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Re: Arr!! Break... something...

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  • nanosleep
    In the heart of your run you said you got 85% output. The 1 meter column with scrubbers should be able to get this up into the 90+% range. I m not familiar
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 6, 2002
      In the heart of your run you said you got 85% output.
      The 1 meter column with scrubbers should be able to get
      this up into the 90+% range. I'm not familiar with the
      head. Does it provide reflux back into the column? If
      not the you are only getting the 'natural' reflux from
      what recondenses inside the column. This probably is
      not enough reflux.

      With 1800watts you *could* be flooding. I run 1500watts on a
      1.5meter by 2inch column with no troubles. You might try
      packing your column less. Stretch those scrubbies out a bit.
      If possible try reducing the heat input. Don't insulate the
      boiler. When I flood my column the percent drops below 90
      and the output has a smell. The heart of your run should
      smell of alcohol only.

      Also, how fast do you draw off the distillate? You need a
      good percentage refluxed into the column to get the high
      proof output.

      I'd bet with some minor modifications you can be making 90+%

      In my still, temperature is a lousy method to determine the cut
      points. The temp at the top of my column goes from room temp
      to 170F in about 10 seconds. It will ALWAYS go to 170F even
      if I have the offtake valve closed and I'm refluxing everything.
      I use smell to determine when I'm done collecting heads. At the
      end of the run, the temp will still be rock solid on 170F but
      there will start to be a smell of tails in the output. I stop
      my main collection here and collect tails until the temp hits 190
      or 200F.

      -A

      --- In new_distillers@y..., "Michael" <god@p...> wrote:
      > Okay...
      >
      > INSERT SWEARING RANT HERE
      >
      > Modified my still spirits reflux still with a 1m x 2" column and
      > disconnecting the cooling jacket. Running the old condenser at the
      > top of the 1m column, with a 2" to 15mm adapter. Run a 15mm to 2"
      > adapter from the boiler lid to the column. I think the boiler has
      a
      > 1800W element, although it is unmarked. Have 18 scrubbers packed
      > into my column.
      >
      > Just ran a 15L batch at 30% through it. Got 4.5L at 65%, and
      another
      > 4.5L at 10%. Final temp was 92 degrees Celcius. This is worse
      than
      > before I modified the *INSERT SWEARING RANT HERE* still. There are
      > no leaks, and there does not appear to be any leaks from the
      > condenser fluid to the condensate.
      >
      > Only good point is the 65% stuff tastes good (I am drinking this
      > right now ;) )
      >
      > For the life of me I do not understand. Heads came off in about 2
      > seconds flat (actually jumped from 25 deg to 78.5 in about 2
      seconds
      > flat no shit), then it settled right on 78.5 degrees, and came off
      at
      > 85%. Kept like this for about an hour till it started creeping up
      in
      > temp.
      >
      > At 86 deg and 42% I switched to the second flagon. I had collected
      > 4.5L by this stage. I kept collecting for another 2 hours until I
      > had another 4.5L and it was at 92%.
      >
      > Ah bugger, this is frustrating... It should work...
      >
      > Does anybody have a clue what the f... *INSERT SWEARING RANT HERE*
      I
      > am doing wrong?
    • Michael
      What exactly is flooding? Is it when you get liquid forced up the column by boiling it too vigorously? If this is the case, then I had more than 10L of room
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 6, 2002
        What exactly is flooding? Is it when you get liquid forced up the
        column by boiling it too vigorously? If this is the case, then I had
        more than 10L of room above the liquid level in my still. It also
        would not explain why I got less than 10%abv liquid condensing out of
        the still at a temp of 92deg cel right at the end of the run when the
        boiler is less than half full.

        The still spirits heads do not provide any means to reflux back to
        the column. I am relying upon the reflux from the column only. This
        gave a draw off rate at the start of 80mL/min, which then dropped to
        40mL/min in about 5 min, and dropped further to 18mL/min after
        another hour. Two hours later it was less than 5mL/min.

        I definitely think that my heating element is too large. I intend to
        install a second element at 1000W. That way I can bring to temp at
        2800W, switch to 1000W to take off heads and middles, and switch to
        1800W to take off tails.

        However this does not explain why the second batch of 4.5L was only
        10%abv and the highest temp that it came off at was 92 deg cel. I've
        got a feeling that I must have sprung a leak in my condenser and got
        water mixed into my output. This does seem to be the only logical
        explanation. Except that I have checked it several times now though,
        and this does not seem to be the case. Oh, well. I wanted to change
        it anyway. Guess I'll just have to make a new condenser.


        --- In new_distillers@y..., "nanosleep" <nanosleep@y...> wrote:
        > In the heart of your run you said you got 85% output.
        > The 1 meter column with scrubbers should be able to get
        > this up into the 90+% range. I'm not familiar with the
        > head. Does it provide reflux back into the column? If
        > not the you are only getting the 'natural' reflux from
        > what recondenses inside the column. This probably is
        > not enough reflux.
        >
        > With 1800watts you *could* be flooding. I run 1500watts on a
        > 1.5meter by 2inch column with no troubles. You might try
        > packing your column less. Stretch those scrubbies out a bit.
        > If possible try reducing the heat input. Don't insulate the
        > boiler. When I flood my column the percent drops below 90
        > and the output has a smell. The heart of your run should
        > smell of alcohol only.
        >
        > Also, how fast do you draw off the distillate? You need a
        > good percentage refluxed into the column to get the high
        > proof output.
        >
        > I'd bet with some minor modifications you can be making 90+%
        >
        > In my still, temperature is a lousy method to determine the cut
        > points. The temp at the top of my column goes from room temp
        > to 170F in about 10 seconds. It will ALWAYS go to 170F even
        > if I have the offtake valve closed and I'm refluxing everything.
        > I use smell to determine when I'm done collecting heads. At the
        > end of the run, the temp will still be rock solid on 170F but
        > there will start to be a smell of tails in the output. I stop
        > my main collection here and collect tails until the temp hits 190
        > or 200F.
        >
        > -A
      • Mike Nixon
        Michael asked: Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Arr!! Break... something... What exactly is flooding? Is it when you get liquid forced up the column by boiling
        Message 3 of 7 , Nov 6, 2002
          Michael asked:
          Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Arr!! Break... something...

          What exactly is flooding?  Is it when you get liquid forced up the
          column by boiling it too vigorously?  If this is the case, then I had
          more than 10L of room above the liquid level in my still.  It also
          would not explain why I got less than 10%abv liquid condensing out of
          the still at a temp of 92deg cel right at the end of the run when the
          boiler is less than half full.
          =================================
          Hi Michael,
           
          No, it's when you operate the still too vigorously and too much liquid condenses on the packing to let vapor through easily.  It's not liquid bubbling up from the boiler, just lots of liquid held up in the packing and choking it.  Often obvious when it happens as it usually rumbles and shakes the whole rig around a lot.
          ===========================
          The still spirits heads do not provide any means to reflux back to
          the column.  I am relying upon the reflux from the column only.  This
          gave a draw off rate at the start of 80mL/min, which then dropped to
          40mL/min in about 5 min, and dropped further to 18mL/min after
          another hour.  Two hours later it was less than 5mL/min.
          ===========================
          That's fine ... a reflux still is almost as good as a more complicated compound still
          ===========================
          I definitely think that my heating element is too large.  I intend to
          install a second element at 1000W.  That way I can bring to temp at
          2800W, switch to 1000W to take off heads and middles, and switch to
          1800W to take off tails.
          ===========================
          This does seem to be problem.  Reducing the heat to the boiler will stop any flooding, and you will also get better separation for a cleaner and stronger product.
          ===========================
          However this does not explain why the second batch of 4.5L was only
          10%abv and the highest temp that it came off at was 92 deg cel.  I've
          got a feeling that I must have sprung a leak in my condenser and got
          water mixed into my output.  This does seem to be the only logical
          explanation.  Except that I have checked it several times now though,
          and this does not seem to be the case.  Oh, well.  I wanted to change
          it anyway.  Guess I'll just have to make a new condenser.
          ==========================
          Dunno about that one ... not without seeing the still.  See below about that condenser.
          ==========================
          --- In new_distillers@y..., "nanosleep" <nanosleep@y...> wrote:
          > In the heart of your run you
          said you got 85% output.
          > The 1 meter column with scrubbers should be
          able to get
          > this up into the 90+% range.  I'm not familiar with
          the
          > head.  Does it provide reflux back into the column?  If
          > not the you are only getting the 'natural' reflux from
          > what
          recondenses inside the column.  This probably is
          > not enough
          reflux.
          ==========================
          If 'nanosleep' was talking about a compound column then yes, it has a reflux condenser on top.  However, modify the heating to your boiler first before trying that.  You may well find that you will be pleased enough with the results at lower power and don't need to change your condenser.
           
          Very good advice below .....
          ==========================
           
          > With 1800watts you *could* be
          flooding.  I run 1500watts on a
          > 1.5meter by 2inch column with no
          troubles.  You might try
          > packing your column less.  Stretch
          those scrubbies out a bit.
          > If possible try reducing the heat
          input.  Don't insulate the
          > boiler. When I flood my column the
          percent drops below 90
          > and the output has a smell.  The heart of
          your run should
          > smell of alcohol only.
          >
          > Also, how fast
          do you draw off the distillate?  You need a
          > good percentage
          refluxed into the column to get the high
          > proof output.
          >
          >
          I'd bet with some minor modifications you can be making 90+%
          >
          > In
          my still, temperature is a lousy method to determine the cut
          >
          points.  The temp at the top of my column goes from room temp
          > to
          170F in about 10 seconds.  It will ALWAYS go to 170F even
          > if I have
          the offtake valve closed and I'm refluxing everything.
          > I use smell to
          determine when I'm done collecting heads.  At the
          > end of the run,
          the temp will still be rock solid on 170F but
          > there will start to be a
          smell of tails in the output.  I stop
          > my main collection here and
          collect tails until the temp hits 190
          > or 200F.
          >
          >
          -A
        • Michael
          Thanks for your help guys. Will be swapping elements this weekend and trying again.
          Message 4 of 7 , Nov 6, 2002
            Thanks for your help guys. Will be swapping elements this weekend
            and trying again.
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