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  • Emilio Guía López
    Dear friends:I am building my first valved reflux still and I will use two electric immersion heaters (1000 watts each one) in the boiler but I am worry
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 1, 2002
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      Dear friends:

      I am building my first valved reflux still and I will use two electric
      immersion heaters (1000 watts each one) in the boiler but I am worry because
      I don't know which should be the right distance over the bottom where the
      heaters must be located (wiring is on a lateral wall). How you take control
      of the liquid level in the boiler in order to avoid the heater elements
      operates outside the liquid ?. I have seen a lot of boiler designs but
      nothing about how to prevent this problem? Where I can find information or
      advice about this matter?. Measuring the distillate collected is enough?
      Please, help me and let me know.

      Regards,

      Emilio

      ______________________________________________________________________
      Post your free ad now! http://personals.yahoo.ca
    • nanosleep
      You should put your heating elements as close to the bottom of the boiler as possible. Look at my boiler at the following:
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 2, 2002
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        You should put your heating elements as close
        to the bottom of the boiler as possible. Look
        at my boiler at the following:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/nanosleep/current%20still/bo=
        iler_inside.jpg
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/nanosleep/current%20still/ba=
        d_welder.jpg

        I had to install the second element slightly
        higher than the first so that their ends wouldn't
        touch. When I distill I know when to stop by
        when the output doesn't have any alcohol in
        it. When I open my boiler after a run there
        is still at least three or four inches of
        water covering the upper element. I use both
        elements for getting up to a boil, but only
        the lower element during the run.
        As long as you don't continue your run and start
        distilling water you should never burn out an
        element because you ran it dry.

        -A

        --- In new_distillers@y..., Emilio Guía López <emilioguia@y...> wrote:
        > Dear friends:
        >
        > I am building my first valved reflux still and I will use two
        electric
        > immersion heaters (1000 watts each one) in the boiler but I am worry
        because
        > I don't know which should be the right distance over the bottom
        where the
        > heaters must be located (wiring is on a lateral wall). How you take
        control
        > of the liquid level in the boiler in order to avoid the heater
        elements
        > operates outside the liquid ?. I have seen a lot of boiler designs
        but
        > nothing about how to prevent this problem? Where I can find
        information or
        > advice about this matter?. Measuring the distillate collected is
        enough?
        > Please, help me and let me know.
        >
        > Regards,
        >
        > Emilio
        >
        >
        ______________________________________________________________________
        > Post your free ad now! http://personals.yahoo.ca
      • Proko
        I think common sense prevails here. If you are planning on distilling, say 10 litres of wash with a 10% alcohol volume you would ensure that the elements are
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 20, 2002
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          I think common sense prevails here. If you are planning on
          distilling, say 10 litres of wash with a 10% alcohol volume you
          would ensure that the elements are always below the 9 litre mark.
          Normally you stop distilling after you have extracted all the
          ethanol therefore you would have about 9 litres of (mainly) water
          left. Hope this helps,
          Proko
          --- In new_distillers@y..., "nanosleep" <nanosleep@y...> wrote:
          > You should put your heating elements as close
          > to the bottom of the boiler as possible. Look
          > at my boiler at the following:
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/nanosleep/current%
          20still/bo=
          > iler_inside.jpg
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/nanosleep/current%
          20still/ba=
          > d_welder.jpg
          >
          > I had to install the second element slightly
          > higher than the first so that their ends wouldn't
          > touch. When I distill I know when to stop by
          > when the output doesn't have any alcohol in
          > it. When I open my boiler after a run there
          > is still at least three or four inches of
          > water covering the upper element. I use both
          > elements for getting up to a boil, but only
          > the lower element during the run.
          > As long as you don't continue your run and start
          > distilling water you should never burn out an
          > element because you ran it dry.
          >
          > -A
          >
          > --- In new_distillers@y..., Emilio Guía López <emilioguia@y...>
          wrote:
          > > Dear friends:
          > >
          > > I am building my first valved reflux still and I will use two
          > electric
          > > immersion heaters (1000 watts each one) in the boiler but I am
          worry
          > because
          > > I don't know which should be the right distance over the bottom
          > where the
          > > heaters must be located (wiring is on a lateral wall). How you
          take
          > control
          > > of the liquid level in the boiler in order to avoid the heater
          > elements
          > > operates outside the liquid ?. I have seen a lot of boiler
          designs
          > but
          > > nothing about how to prevent this problem? Where I can find
          > information or
          > > advice about this matter?. Measuring the distillate collected is
          > enough?
          > > Please, help me and let me know.
          > >
          > > Regards,
          > >
          > > Emilio
          > >
          > >
          >
          _____________________________________________________________________
          _
          > > Post your free ad now! http://personals.yahoo.ca
        • Debbie
          Please ignore this post, hubby has had enough of fooling around with it and has sold the whole setup. The bloke is picking it up after lunch. We have done some
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 22, 2007
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            Please ignore this post, hubby has had enough of fooling around with
            it and has sold the whole setup. The bloke is picking it up after
            lunch. We have done some money but that's life.
            To be honest, I thought the whole process would be easier when we
            bought it. I guess it just isn't for me.
            Deb

            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Debbie" <jidykomt@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi all. I have been lurking here for awhile, reading the facinating
            stuff you guys do.
            >
            > I am having problems and hope someone can give me some advice. I
            have comercially bought super reflux still. I have run 4 batches
            through it now. I don't know what I am doing wrong but I am only
            getting between 62 and 73 %. The 73 was a one off, one was a 71% and
            the other two have been in the low 60's.
            > The still is packed with ceramic saddles, they came with it. I have
            used sw24, sw48 and 2 by 24 hour yeasts. With the sw yeasts I used
            8kg of sugar. With the 24 hour yeasts I used 6kg of sugar. This is a
            25 litre fermenter. I started them at 30%. The 73% and 71% came off
            the 24 hour yeasts. With them I used turbo clear. The washes have
            gone off well, except for one which gave me the 62%. I am running my
            still at between 75 and 80 degrees. I take off 100 ml of head.
            >
            > Can someone give me some advice on what to do. I am so
            disappointed. I have a mate with a pot still and he is getting up to
            96%. He is mighty pleased with himself comparing his results to my
            those of my flash store bought still.
            >
            > Help! I am very new at this so please keep all advice pretty basic.
            >
            > Deb in oz
            >
          • Larry
            ... 1. Are you getting tails mixed in with your hearts? Collect into a different container after about 79C, then dilute THAT output by 50% and add it to your
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 22, 2007
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              At 04:11 AM 07/22/2007, you wrote:
              The still is packed with ceramic saddles, they came with it. I have used sw24, sw48 and  2 by 24 hour yeasts. With the sw yeasts I used 8kg of sugar. With the 24 hour yeasts I used 6kg of sugar. This is a 25 litre fermenter. I started them at 30%. The 73% and 71% came off the 24 hour yeasts.

              1. Are you getting tails mixed in with your hearts? Collect into a different container after about 79C, then dilute THAT output by 50% and add it to your next run.

              2. Are you putting too much heat under the boiler?

              3. Is your thermometer reading correctly? If it's installed so that it reads low, you could be cutting off the hearts way late, throwing tails & distilled water into your output.

              4. Are you reading your hydrometers correctly. That 30% starting %ABV doesn't sound like it, and neither does that 96% from a pot still, if you're talking about a single run from the pot. Pot stills have to re-distill the output to get anywhere near 96%.
              -------------------------------------------------------------------------
              You talk about collecting heads, but you don't mention tails.  If you don't stop collecting at about 80C, your percentage will go down. If you're at 90C and thermometer reads 75C, you'll dilute your output.

              If you put too much heat under your boiler, it will reduce percentage.   All you need is enough heat to keep the wash at the boiling point of ethanol.

              Temp of the boil won't rise above boiling point of the liquid, even if you put a thousand degrees under it, but SPEED of the boiling increases with extra heat. That can cause actual droplets of water (diluting the output) to get carried up with the pure vapor if you are boiling fast enough.

              It's generally best to put LOTS of heat on the boiler to get up to about 78C, then reduce heat as much as you possibly can and still maintain it at around 79C-80C.

              Those ceramic rings are okay too, but you'd be better off in a couple of ways if you replaced them with copper mesh.  Unless you pack it too tightly, it will provide more area for reflux than any other packing material, and you need copper in your vapor-path anyway, to improve flavor.

            • sonum norbu
              What a bugger, Debbie. Pity you didn t stick with it. It s a fascinating hobby with a nice, consumable end product. :) ... Most of the troubles of the
              Message 6 of 6 , Jul 23, 2007
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                What a bugger, Debbie. Pity you didn't stick with it. It's a fascinating hobby with a nice, consumable end product. :)


                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: Debbie <jidy66@...>
                > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Help needed
                > Date: Mon, 23 Jul:16:53 -0000
                >
                >
                > Please ignore this post, hubby has had enough of fooling around with
                > it and has sold the whole setup. The bloke is picking it up after
                > lunch. We have done some money but that's life.
                > To be honest, I thought the whole process would be easier when we
                > bought it. I guess it just isn't for me.
                > Deb
                >
                > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Debbie" <jidykomt@...> wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi all. I have been lurking here for awhile, reading the facinating
                > stuff you guys do.
                > >
                > > I am having problems and hope someone can give me some advice. I
                > have comercially bought super reflux still. I have run 4 batches
                > through it now. I don't know what I am doing wrong but I am only
                > getting between 62 and 73 %. The 73 was a one off, one was a 71% and
                > the other two have been in the low 60's.
                > > The still is packed with ceramic saddles, they came with it. I have
                > used sw24, sw48 and 2 by 24 hour yeasts. With the sw yeasts I used
                > 8kg of sugar. With the 24 hour yeasts I used 6kg of sugar. This is a
                > 25 litre fermenter. I started them at 30%. The 73% and 71% came off
                > the 24 hour yeasts. With them I used turbo clear. The washes have
                > gone off well, except for one which gave me the 62%. I am running my
                > still at between 75 and 80 degrees. I take off 100 ml of head.
                > >
                > > Can someone give me some advice on what to do. I am so
                > disappointed. I have a mate with a pot still and he is getting up to
                > 96%. He is mighty pleased with himself comparing his results to my
                > those of my flash store bought still.
                > >
                > > Help! I am very new at this so please keep all advice pretty basic. Deb in oz
                > >

                >



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