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Re: Still improvement question

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  • 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 1 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
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      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 2 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
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        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 3 of 17 , Dec 2, 2002
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          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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