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Re: Still improvement question

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  • Dene Oehme
    Thanks again Dirk, ... About 400ml at an average of 50%. I could have gone longer and got more out of it but when it got to producing at about 15%, I stopped
    Message 1 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
      Thanks again Dirk,

      > How much distillate did you collect ?

      About 400ml at an average of 50%. I could have gone longer and got
      more out of it but when it got to producing at about 15%, I stopped it
      for the day.

      > And indeed when you redistill,there is no need to dilute the
      > distillate: it makes you just run in circles.

      Yea, I realise that in the real world, if I'm after best product, I
      wouldn't do that but as I explained to Peter, I'm assuming that when I
      do a run with a real wash I'll be starting with something at about 10%
      so I wanted to simulate that situation.

      > http://homedistiller.org/theory.htm#strong

      I've been going by that graph for my assumptions regarding strength.
      That's why I raised the question earlier about why with a head temp of
      80 degrees am I still only getting 50% alcohol output.

      Regards

      Dene
    • peter_vcb
      the theory and temps you say all add up to you having good distillate especially running under 10ml/min even with no forced reflux it should be better. does
      Message 2 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
        the theory and temps you say all add up to you having good distillate
        especially running under 10ml/min even with no forced reflux it
        should be better. does the distillate taste nice? what is its smell
        like?

        more technical stuff to check.
        1 is the thermometer accurate? try it in boiling water.
        2 is the probe reading temperature in the right place in the column?
        it should be ideally placed right where the take off tube is.
        3 does the probe need a certain portion to be covered? many glass and
        digital thermometers need a certain lenght to be exposed to the
        temperature. many digital probes have their devices 1/3 the way up.
        this can be checked by putting the tip in boiling water to see if you
        get 100c
        4 is there a possible hole in your condenser side letting water
        trickle into your distillate. this can easily happen and is hard to
        spot with a worm type condenser like yours. at such low take offs it
        will add up even if it is just a few drops. try removing the worm
        from the barrel, turn the still upside down and try to fill it
        entirely with water to spot any leaks, plug up the outlet.
        another way to check would be to accurately measure 1 litre of water
        and distill it until the still is totally dry, then simply measure
        what came out and see if it is over a litre



        --- In new_distillers@y..., "Dene Oehme" <waterline@o...> wrote:
        > Thanks again Dirk,
        >
        > > How much distillate did you collect ?
        >
        > About 400ml at an average of 50%. I could have gone longer and got
        > more out of it but when it got to producing at about 15%, I stopped
        it
        > for the day.
        >
        > > And indeed when you redistill,there is no need to dilute the
        > > distillate: it makes you just run in circles.
        >
        > Yea, I realise that in the real world, if I'm after best product, I
        > wouldn't do that but as I explained to Peter, I'm assuming that
        when I
        > do a run with a real wash I'll be starting with something at about
        10%
        > so I wanted to simulate that situation.
        >
        > > http://homedistiller.org/theory.htm#strong
        >
        > I've been going by that graph for my assumptions regarding
        strength.
        > That's why I raised the question earlier about why with a head temp
        of
        > 80 degrees am I still only getting 50% alcohol output.
        >
        > Regards
        >
        > Dene
      • John Vandermeulen
        1) Alcoholmeter - you can check higher alcohol ranges by dropping the alcoholmeter into a bottle of wine, and into a bottle of vodka. The latter should give
        Message 3 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
          1) Alcoholmeter - you can check higher alcohol ranges by dropping the
          alcoholmeter into a bottle of wine, and into a bottle of vodka. The latter
          should give you a credible reading for 42%abv.
          2) Leaky condenser - that suggestion is a good one. Try turning on the
          condenser water lines, without any heat. Can you isolate the condenser? And
          watch for water coming from the drain spout. (Which it should not.)
          John
        • BOKAKOB
          It appears that your heat power is too high. try running the still with a spacers between the hot plate and the pot. you may want to use machine nuts. if it
          Message 4 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002

            It appears that your heat power is too high. try running the still with a spacers between the hot plate and the pot. you may want to use machine nuts. if it works out then you will have to think how to control input power for your heating element. i am so happy i use natural gas.

             deno752002 <waterline@...> wrote:

            I've given my new still a few more runs.  I am finding it difficult if
            not impossible to get the still to run with the column head
            temperature below 90 degrees C. 

            On the last run it stayed at about 93 degrees pretty well the whole
            time untill the run was finished and I wound up with distilate at
            55% which matches Tony's graph for vapour alcohol content. 

            I want to get the percentage in the distillate up a bit - more
            like an easily achievable 80% for which I would need a column head
            vapour temp of about the mid 80s.  (Am I basiccally correct
            here??) 

            At the moment my column is 2" by 2 feet high with scrubbers for 18
            inches in it.  Would lengething the height of the column by 380mm (15
            inches) and adding another foot or so of scrubbers allow it to run
            with a cooler head vapour temp?

            If not I might just have to make an internal reflux coil for it after
            all. 

            Any suggestions most welcome.

            There is a photo of the still in it's current form at;

            http://www.oldengine.org/members/dene/still.htm

            Thanks in advance
            Dene
            getctat the top of the column



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            I can be wrong I must say.
            Cheers, Alex...



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