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## still design

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• Gday I am about to build this and way wondering if anyone can point out an error in my ways before I finish it. Kez
Message 1 of 27 , Jun 10 3:06 PM
Gday

I am about to build this and way wondering if anyone can point out an error in my ways before I finish it.

Kez
• Kez, You probably won t want to cool the whole length of the column (did I actually read that right ? You do plan to cool the whole 1.5 m ?) The idea of having
Message 2 of 27 , Jun 10 5:10 PM
Kez,

You probably won't want to cool the whole length of the column (did I
actually read that right ? You do plan to cool the whole 1.5 m ?)

The idea of having pre-cooling is to generate some refluxing liquid (eg
condense some of the vapour, so that it will run back down over the packing,
helping purify the rising vapour). Since the more vapour the liquid can
come in contact with, the better, you want to generate all your reflux at
the very top of the column (so that it then flows over the maximum amount of
packing material too).

This is more usually done by
* condensing all the vapour at the top, and returning a proportion of it
back to the column, or
* putting some "through-tubes" at the top of the column, or a cooling collar
(smaller version of yours), and then regulate the water supply to it, so
that it will only condense a proportion of the vapour.

To get the rising vapour & falling reflux liquid to transfer the alcohol and
water between each other, they need to be able to equilibriate (or at least
try to get there). This means that for a particular composition (% purity),
they desire to be at a particular temperature. This will range from about
93C at the base of the column, where the vapour is only 40-50% pure, up to
around 78.4C at the top of the column (where the vapour should be up to 95%
pure). If you use a thermocouple or suchlike against the side of a column
you can see this quite clearly - the transition from 90's to 78ish. If the
liquid is cooler than its desired temperature, then any energy the vapour
contains will be going into trying to restore their equilibrium temperature,
rather than swapping water for alcohol. By having cooling over the whole
length of the column, you will disrupt this nice steady temperature
gradient. Normally you'd actually insulate the outside of the column, so as
to try and preserve the temperature gradient, and not have it affected by
breezes etc doing extra cooling. Same thing also happens if a
"through-tube" is used low down in a column ... all the cooling & making
reflux has to happen at the very top !

If I've mis-read your drawing, and you are refering to only a small cooling
colar, (say 20 cm ?) vs the whole height of 1.5 m, then yes, it looks good.
What you might want to consider then is someway of redistributing the liquid
(which has cooled on the sides of the column), to encourage it to flow down
evenly over the packing, and not just run down the walls.

The other thing that you may want to consider is plumbing the two cooling
condensors seperately. You want to ensure that you have more than enough
cooling going on in the final condensor, to ensure that no vapour escapes,
however you want to be able to control (with some precision) how much
cooling happens in the "collar", so that you can control the proportion of
reflux that you're generating. Get too much cooling going on there, and
you'll end up putting it into total reflux, and not seeing any distillate
come out the end. Too little reflux, and your purity will suffer. Having
the two coupled will make it quite an interesting balancing act.

Tony
• Thanx Tony for such a comprehensive reply (and Peter too). Yes you did read right, 900m of the tube I was considering cooling but the gap between a 1.5 pipe
Message 3 of 27 , Jun 11 12:56 PM
Thanx Tony for such a comprehensive reply (and Peter too). Yes you did read right, 900m of the tube I was considering cooling but the gap between a 1.5" pipe and 2" housing would be very minimal so I thought that to be ok.

I have now redesigned it and have a single half inch pipe running through the top below the stopper and out. Or was even considering what Anthony was asking, wrapping the pipe around the top. I will see what response he gets to that.

I notice a lot of talk of copper scourers verses stainless steel scourers. I am using a copper pipe anyway, a friend of mine mentioned a very mean poison that you can get from copper that is deadly. He suggested if I go the copper scourer way I would almost need to be an industrial chemist to check that this poison is not processed.

Has anyone had any experience with this poison? I had decided copper but now I'm not so sure.

Kez
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2001 10:10 AM
Subject: RE: [new_distillers] still design

Kez,

You probably won't want to cool the whole length of the column (did I
actually read that right ? You do plan to cool the whole 1.5 m ?)

The idea of having pre-cooling is to generate some refluxing liquid (eg
condense some of the vapour, so that it will run back down over the packing,
helping purify the rising vapour).  Since the more vapour the liquid can
come in contact with, the better, you want to generate all your reflux at
the very top of the column (so that it then flows over the maximum amount of
packing material too).

This is more usually done by
* condensing all the vapour at the top, and returning a proportion of it
back to the column, or
* putting some "through-tubes" at the top of the column, or a cooling collar
(smaller version of yours), and then regulate the water supply to it, so
that it will only condense a proportion of the vapour.

To get the rising vapour & falling reflux liquid to transfer the alcohol and
water between each other, they need to be able to equilibriate (or at least
try to get there).  This means that for a particular composition (% purity),
they desire to be at a particular temperature.  This will range from about
93C at the base of the column, where the vapour is only 40-50% pure, up to
around 78.4C at the top of the column (where the vapour should be up to 95%
pure).    If you use a thermocouple or suchlike against the side of a column
you can see this quite clearly - the transition from 90's to 78ish.  If the
liquid is cooler than its desired temperature, then any energy the vapour
contains will be going into trying to restore their equilibrium temperature,
rather than swapping water for alcohol.  By having cooling over the whole
length of the column, you will disrupt this nice steady temperature
gradient.  Normally you'd actually insulate the outside of the column, so as
to try and preserve the temperature gradient, and not have it affected by
breezes etc doing extra cooling.  Same thing also happens if a
"through-tube" is used low down in a column ... all the cooling & making
reflux has to happen at the very top !

If I've mis-read your drawing, and you are refering to only a small cooling
colar, (say 20 cm ?) vs the whole height of 1.5 m, then yes, it looks good.
What you might want to consider then is someway of redistributing the liquid
(which has cooled on the sides of the column), to encourage it to flow down
evenly over the packing, and not just run down the walls.

The other thing that you may want to consider is plumbing the two cooling
condensors seperately.  You want to ensure that you have more than enough
cooling going on in the final condensor, to ensure that no vapour escapes,
however you want to be able to control (with some precision) how much
cooling happens in the "collar", so that you can control the proportion of
reflux that you're generating.  Get too much cooling going on there, and
you'll end up putting it into total reflux, and not seeing any distillate
come out the end.  Too little reflux, and your purity will suffer.  Having
the two coupled will make it quite an interesting balancing act.

Tony

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• Is this poison blue in color? I run a copper still and have no problems except when I recently put in about 10 copper scrubbers. I got a blue distillate that
Message 4 of 27 , Jun 13 10:54 PM
Is this poison blue in color? I run a copper still and have no problems except when I recently put in about 10 copper scrubbers. I got a blue distillate that smelled like Windex (window cleaner). I had attributed it to an unclean still. Maybe I'm wrong.

Let us know if you find out anything else.

Thanks,

Tim
• Kez, ... Any ideas what poison your mate was refering to ? It would be helpful to learn a little more about this, rather than leaving it as a myth . I very
Message 5 of 27 , Jun 13 11:57 PM
Kez,

>.... a friend of mine mentioned a
>very mean poison that you can get from copper that is deadly. He
>suggested if I go the copper scourer way I would almost need to be an
>industrial chemist to check that this poison is not processed.

Any ideas what poison your mate was refering to ?

It would be helpful to learn a little more about this, rather than leaving
it as a "myth". I very much doubt that we're at risk of it (given the
prevalence of copper used in commercial stills), however it would be useful
to be able to confirm or deny it.

Brian - have you heard of this before ?

Tony
• Gday I asked him what it was and he said it was Ambergrease (don t know how to speel it). He guessed at copper oxide being its real name. I did a search on the
Message 6 of 27 , Jun 14 3:19 PM
Gday

I asked him what it was and he said it was Ambergrease (don't know how to speel it). He guessed at copper oxide being its real name. I did a search on the net for copper poisoning to find that you actually need copper in some form, most living things do. I would love to hear from anyone who knows about the above. I have gone for copper scourers anyway and figure I will need to take them out and clean them after use just to be sure.

Kez

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2001 4:57 PM
Subject: RE: [new_distillers] still design

Kez,

>.... a friend of mine mentioned a
>very mean poison that you can get from copper that is deadly. He
>suggested if I go the copper scourer way I would almost need to be an
>industrial chemist to check that this poison is not processed.

Any ideas what poison your mate was refering to ?

It would be helpful to learn a little more about this, rather than leaving
it as a "myth".  I very much doubt that we're at risk of it (given the
prevalence of copper used in commercial stills), however it would be useful
to be able to confirm or deny it.

Brian - have you heard of this before ?

Tony

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• Sounds to me like verdigris that always accumulated in a thick green crust round the copper drinking fountains at my primary school. I was told to avoid this
Message 7 of 27 , Jun 14 3:42 PM
Sounds to me like "verdigris" that always accumulated in a thick green crust round the copper drinking fountains at my primary school. I was told to avoid this by my parents but I'm not aware how toxic this stuff actually is.

Brian B.

Gday

I asked him what it was and he said it was Ambergrease (don't know how to speel it). He guessed at copper oxide being its real name. I did a search on the net for copper poisoning to find that you actually need copper in some form, most living things do. I would love to hear from anyone who knows about the above. I have gone for copper scourers anyway and figure I will need to take them out and clean them after use just to be sure.

Kez

----- Original Message -

Kez,

>.... a friend of mine mentioned a
>very mean poison that you can get from copper that is deadly. He
>suggested if I go the copper scourer way I would almost need to be an
>industrial chemist to check that this poison is not processed.

Any ideas what poison your mate was refering to ?

• Gday For those who are looking to buy copper scourers in Australia, I got a heap at woolies for 79c and then saw them in Franklins for 41c each. Franklins is
Message 8 of 27 , Jun 14 4:02 PM
Gday

For those who are looking to buy copper scourers in Australia, I got a heap at woolies for 79c and then saw them in Franklins for 41c each. Franklins is the go. See below - green is not so good! Can I ask anyone using copper and copper scourers do they notice any green growing and how often they clean there system out by taking it apart.

verÂ·diÂ·gris (vÃ»rd-grs, -grs, -gr) n.
Distilled verdigris (Old Chem.), an acid copper acetate; -- so called because the acetic acid used in making it was obtained from distilled vinegar.
1. A blue or green powder consisting of basic cupric acetate used as a paint pigment and fungicide.
2. A green patina or crust of copper sulfate or copper chloride formed on copper, brass, and bronze exposed to air or seawater for long periods of time.
3. (Chem.) A green poisonous substance used as a pigment and drug, obtained by the action of acetic acid on copper, and consisting essentially of a complex mixture of several basic copper acetates.
4. The green rust formed on copper. Note: This rust is a carbonate of copper, and should not be confounded with true verdigris. --U. S. Disp.

TTFN, Kez
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, June 15, 2001 8:42 AM
Subject: Re: [new_distillers] still design

Sounds to me like "verdigris" that always accumulated in a thick green crust round the copper drinking fountains at my primary school. I was told to avoid this by my parents but I'm not aware how toxic this stuff actually is.

Brian B.

Gday

I asked him what it was and he said it was Ambergrease (don't know how to speel it). He guessed at copper oxide being its real name. I did a search on the net for copper poisoning to find that you actually need copper in some form, most living things do. I would love to hear from anyone who knows about the above. I have gone for copper scourers anyway and figure I will need to take them out and clean them after use just to be sure.

Kez

----- Original Message -

Kez,

>.... a friend of mine mentioned a
>very mean poison that you can get from copper that is deadly. He
>suggested if I go the copper scourer way I would almost need to be an
>industrial chemist to check that this poison is not processed.

Any ideas what poison your mate was refering to ?

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• Something that may be of interest A few weeks back I did a redesign on an old copper column that I had. After completing the construction I cleaned up the
Message 9 of 27 , Jun 14 5:07 PM
Something that may be of interest

A few weeks back I did a redesign on an old copper column that I had. After
completing the construction I cleaned up the silver solder joints with hot
water soap and a scotch brite pad. I then noticed that the rest of the
device looked rather shabby and grabbed a new scotch brite and proceeded to
polish it up. I noticed that this produced quit a bit of copper dust in the
air. After completing the polishing job I noticed that I had a bad
metallic taste in my mouth and every thing tasted and smelt the same.
Approximately one hour after this I developed a very bad head ache and the
following 2 days I felt as though I had food poisoning. I suppose that
these conditions may have been brought on by something else apart from the
copper dust but I suspect that to much copper is not good for the system.
What I will be doing in the future is to use a respirator when ever I do
any cleaning work on copper.

I have also noticed that when I removed the packing from the column I had a
small amount of green corrosion inside of the column. I suspect that this
occurred when the column was left damp after cleaning and as it was an
original still maker design I had not removed the SS scrubber since
construction (removal was impossible due to the cooling tubes). Fortunately
the modification now allows the removal so this should no longer be a
problem. Ok back to the poison bit. The main reason that I had stoped
using the copper column was that I had become concerned that the output had
a very slight metallic taste (possibly the corrosion) and I that this could
lead to some sort of poisoning. What I can say is that I have never had a
metallic taste from an all stainless configuration and I have never has a
blue crystal or sediment problem with stainless although this could be due
to improvements in the fermentation processes.

At present I have not had a chance to use the redesigned column so I am
unsure if I have removed the slight metallic taste from the output. In any
case I will let you know what the outcome is. I would also like to offer
one last suggestion for anybody using the standard still maker design with
the lower crossing tube, stick with the raschig rings as they are far
simpler to remove, clean and you can inspect the inside of the column for
possible problems.

-----Original Message-----
From: Tony & Elle Ackland [mailto:Tony.Ackland@...]
Sent: Thursday, 14 June 2001 4:27 PM
To: 'New Distillers newsgroup'
Cc: 'Distillers newsgroup'
Subject: RE: [new_distillers] still design

Kez,

>.... a friend of mine mentioned a
>very mean poison that you can get from copper that is deadly. He
>suggested if I go the copper scourer way I would almost need to be an
>industrial chemist to check that this poison is not processed.

Any ideas what poison your mate was refering to ?

It would be helpful to learn a little more about this, rather than leaving
it as a "myth". I very much doubt that we're at risk of it (given the
prevalence of copper used in commercial stills), however it would be useful
to be able to confirm or deny it.

Brian - have you heard of this before ?

Tony

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new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com

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• You just suffered through something called metal fume fever - Don t do it again. It is capable of causing damage if you keep getting metal dust exposure-
Message 10 of 27 , Jun 15 3:28 PM
You just suffered through something called "metal fume fever" - Don't do it
again. It is capable of causing damage if you keep getting metal dust
exposure- but as for now- you should be fine.
• Hello all, I need some advice on still construction. I am a brand-new list member, and plan to build a reflux column still, this week while I have some time. I
Message 11 of 27 , Nov 18, 2001
Hello all,
I need some advice on still construction. I am a brand-new list member, and plan to build a reflux column still, this week while I have some time.

I have read much much much on the web, and as I want to produce clear spirits I have settled on a reflux still based on a canning kettle, about 24" x 1 3/8" column.  Potscrubber for packing.  This leads to a jacketed condenser (18"x 1 3/8" jacket, 18"x5/8"core).  Water cooling lines only to condenser.  Electric stove top heat.

My questions: are these dimensions about right?  Does this setup seem right?  [The reason for the 1 3/8" and 5/8" is that I have a few lengths of this in my workshop.]
Many thanks, John / Nova Scotia

Tony & Elle Ackland wrote:

Mud,

> I use still spirits turbo yeast with 6.5 kgs of sugar for each 20 litre
> batch. Can i use more or will it be unused?

The guideline is 17g of sugar per litre wash per percent alcohol,
Eg if you wanted to make a 15% wash for 20L, you'd use 17*15*20=5100g

Doing the maths backward for you, 6500 / (17x20) = 19.1% alcohol.

I'd say thats about as high as you want to aim for, so don't add any more sugar

Tony

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• I d make the main column another 12 longer if possible (getting a bit close to the roof ?) How do you plan on making the reflux / feeding it back to the
Message 12 of 27 , Nov 18, 2001
I'd make the main column another 12" longer if possible (getting a bit close
to the roof ?)

How do you plan on making the reflux / feeding it back to the column ?

Tony
http:\\homedistiller.org
• Hello Tony, My ignorance is showing. I understand reflux to mean that the main column has an internal reflux process, i.e. filled with marbles, or packing
Message 13 of 27 , Nov 18, 2001
Hello Tony,
My ignorance is showing. I understand reflux to mean that the main column has
an internal reflux process, i.e. filled with marbles, or packing such as pot
scrubber. Any 'refluxed' vapors reaching the top flow over into the condenser
via a T-joint. Isn't that correct?

As for an extra 12" in length. I can do that but it would get unwieldy. Can I
get away with a shorter (ca. 24") column by going larger in diameter - for ex.
24" x 2"?
John Vandermeulen / Nova Scotia

Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS) wrote:

> I'd make the main column another 12" longer if possible (getting a bit close
> to the roof ?)
>
> How do you plan on making the reflux / feeding it back to the column ?
>
> Tony
> http:\\homedistiller.org
>
>
> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
>
>
>
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
• ... No problems - thats what this group is here for ... ... Almost, but not quite. Yes - you need the packing there, but what you also want to do is
Message 14 of 27 , Nov 18, 2001
> Hello Tony,
> My ignorance is showing.

No problems - thats what this group is here for ...

> I understand reflux to mean that
> the main column has
> an internal reflux process, i.e. filled with marbles, or
> packing such as pot
> scrubber. Any 'refluxed' vapors reaching the top flow over
> into the condenser
> via a T-joint. Isn't that correct?

Almost, but not quite. Yes - you need the packing there, but what you also
want to do is deliberately condense a proportion of the vapour, and return
it back down over the packing as a liquid. Just having the packing there
won't do this for you - you need to provide some cooling to take away the
heat. Some designs do this in a very minimal way, by getting a small amount
of cooling happening via heat loss from the sides of the column. But its
not very much, nor controlled. A better method is to have say either a
small coil inside the top of the column (above the packing), or a jacketed
section externally. Either way, you want to generate this reflux so that
its at the very top, so that the liquid then gets to drip down over all the
packing, and thus work more effectively. How much of the vapour to condense
& reflux back down ? Maybe 4/5 of it. Its this interchange between the
refluxing liquid & the rising vapour that increases the purity, so the more
you reflux, generally the higher the purity you will get (up to a point),
but at a cost of slower offtake from the column.

See http:\\homedistiller.org\refluxdesign.htm for a few more comments/detail
about this (particulary down near the bottom of the page).

> As for an extra 12" in length. I can do that but it would
> get unwieldy. Can I
> get away with a shorter (ca. 24") column by going larger in
> diameter - for ex.
> 24" x 2"?

Unfortunately it has to be height. The larger diameter will allow you to
put more liquid & vapour through it (eg use more heat, and thus be able to
run it faster), but you need height for purity.

Some people do use 24" OK, but it may mean quite a lot of reflux needed to
get the realy high purity (eg slow). 36" would let ya run it faster, and
maybe a slightly higher %.

No drama though - the point is to be happy with what you make, and ignorance
is bliss. 75% use to be a fantastic purity, until you tasted 85% ... and
then its not until someone hands ya some which was done at 95% do you say
Aaahhh...

Tony
• To a clogwog from the oatmeal savage on the other side of Canada. I have been following your messages with interest (no I m not a cop) and think you are doing
Message 15 of 27 , Nov 22, 2001
To a clogwog from the oatmeal savage on the other side of Canada.  I have been following your messages with interest (no I'm not a cop) and think you are doing excellent research.  The only thing that I worry about is: - if you build a really efficient still - you may not get the whiskey taste that you so righteously deserve.  I found that out - not with whiskey - but plums.  I have a really nice little reflux  - I made a huge batch of plum wine  - and ran it through the still.  The reflux removed virtually all of the plum taste ( and the taste of other fruit wines I made) rendering it almost without any taste at all.  The carbon "polishing" made it into a completely neutral spirit.  It would have been a lot easier if I'd just made a mash from sugar, water and turbo yeast - then flavoured it later.  My ancestors, the Scots' used a pot still to make the beverage you like.  My worry is - too efficient a still - too little flavour of the  mash.  I have been doing quite a bit of reading on pot stills- to make fruit brandies that actually taste like the original fruit.  I'm sure there are a lot of people who have made great whiskeys (and brandies) out there. Best of luck from rainy B.C.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2001 12:50 PM
Subject: [new_distillers] Re: still design

Hello all,
I need some advice on still construction. I am a brand-new list member, and plan to build a reflux column still, this week while I have some time.

I have read much much much on the web, and as I want to produce clear spirits I have settled on a reflux still based on a canning kettle, about 24" x 1 3/8" column.  Potscrubber for packing.  This leads to a jacketed condenser (18"x 1 3/8" jacket, 18"x5/8"core).  Water cooling lines only to condenser.  Electric stove top heat.

My questions: are these dimensions about right?  Does this setup seem right?  [The reason for the 1 3/8" and 5/8" is that I have a few lengths of this in my workshop.]
Many thanks, John / Nova Scotia

Tony & Elle Ackland wrote:

Mud,

> I use still spirits turbo yeast with 6.5 kgs of sugar for each 20 litre
> batch. Can i use more or will it be unused?

The guideline is 17g of sugar per litre wash per percent alcohol,
Eg if you wanted to make a 15% wash for 20L, you'd use 17*15*20=5100g

Doing the maths backward for you, 6500 / (17x20) = 19.1% alcohol.

I'd say thats about as high as you want to aim for, so don't add any more sugar

Tony

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• Hello Ian, you are quite right - a good reflux still is incompatible with producing a whisky. I actually have two projects in sight - a reflux still for gin,
Message 16 of 27 , Nov 23, 2001
Hello Ian,
you are quite right - a good reflux still is incompatible with producing a whisky.  I actually have two projects in sight - a reflux still for gin, a pot-still for whisky.  The design of the reflux still is now clear in my mind;  I am less certain of the column/condenser of a pot-still.
John

Ian Macsween wrote:

To a clogwog from the oatmeal savage on the other side of Canada.  I have been following your messages with interest (no I'm not a cop) and think you are doing excellent research.  The only thing that I worry about is: - if you build a really efficient still - you may not get the whiskey taste that you so righteously deserve.  I found that out - not with whiskey - but plums.  I have a really nice little reflux  - I made a huge batch of plum wine  - and ran it through the still.  The reflux removed virtually all of the plum taste ( and the taste of other fruit wines I made) rendering it almost without any taste at all.  The carbon "polishing" made it into a completely neutral spirit.  It would have been a lot easier if I'd just made a mash from sugar, water and turbo yeast - then flavoured it later.  My ancestors, the Scots' used a pot still to make the beverage you like.  My worry is - too efficient a still - too little flavour of the  mash.  I have been doing quite a bit of reading on pot stills- to make fruit brandies that actually taste like the original fruit.  I'm sure there are a lot of people who have made great whiskeys (and brandies) out there. Best of luck from rainy B.C.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2001 12:50 PM
Subject: [new_distillers] Re: still design
Hello all,
I need some advice on still construction. I am a brand-new list member, and plan to build a reflux column still, this week while I have some time.

I have read much much much on the web, and as I want to produce clear spirits I have settled on a reflux still based on a canning kettle, about 24" x 1 3/8" column.  Potscrubber for packing.  This leads to a jacketed condenser (18"x 1 3/8" jacket, 18"x5/8"core).  Water cooling lines only to condenser.  Electric stove top heat.

My questions: are these dimensions about right?  Does this setup seem right?  [The reason for the 1 3/8" and 5/8" is that I have a few lengths of this in my workshop.]
Many thanks, John / Nova Scotia

Tony & Elle Ackland wrote:

Mud,

> I use still spirits turbo yeast with 6.5 kgs of sugar for each 20 litre
> batch. Can i use more or will it be unused?

The guideline is 17g of sugar per litre wash per percent alcohol,
Eg if you wanted to make a 15% wash for 20L, you'd use 17*15*20=5100g

Doing the maths backward for you, 6500 / (17x20) = 19.1% alcohol.

I'd say thats about as high as you want to aim for, so don't add any more sugar

Tony

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• Hi a question rather than a statement, but isn t a pot still just a still with a small amount of reflux, (caused by its shape). So couldn t you use a reflux
Message 17 of 27 , Nov 23, 2001
Hi

a question rather than a statement, but isn't a pot still just a
still with a small amount of reflux, (caused by its shape). So
couldn't you use a reflux still with say a couple of stainless steel
scrubbers to achieve the same effect??

regards
Ron
--- In new_distillers@y..., John Vandermeulen <vandermeulen@n...>
wrote:
> Hello Ian,
> you are quite right - a good reflux still is incompatible with
producing a
> whisky. I actually have two projects in sight - a reflux still for
gin, a
> pot-still for whisky. The design of the reflux still is now clear
in my
> mind; I am less certain of the column/condenser of a pot-still.
> John
>
> Ian Macsween wrote:
>
> > To a clogwog from the oatmeal savage on the other side of
> > have been following your messages with interest (no I'm not a
cop) and
> > think you are doing excellent research. The only thing that I
worry
> > about is: - if you build a really efficient still - you may not
get the
> > whiskey taste that you so righteously deserve. I found that out -
not
> > with whiskey - but plums. I have a really nice little reflux -
> > huge batch of plum wine - and ran it through the still. The
reflux
> > removed virtually all of the plum taste ( and the taste of other
fruit
> > wines I made) rendering it almost without any taste at all. The
carbon
> > "polishing" made it into a completely neutral spirit. It would
have been
> > a lot easier if I'd just made a mash from sugar, water and turbo
yeast -
> > then flavoured it later. My ancestors, the Scots' used a pot
still to
> > make the beverage you like. My worry is - too efficient a still -
too
> > little flavour of the mash. I have been doing quite a bit of
> > pot stills- to make fruit brandies that actually taste like the
original
> > fruit. I'm sure there are a lot of people who have made great
whiskeys
> > (and brandies) out there. Best of luck from rainy B.C.
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: John Vandermeulen
> > To: new_distillers@y...
> > Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2001 12:50 PM
> > Subject: [new_distillers] Re: still design
> > Hello all,
> > I need some advice on still construction. I am a brand-new
list
> > member, and plan to build a reflux column still, this week
> > while I have some time.
> >
> > I have read much much much on the web, and as I want to
produce
> > clear spirits I have settled on a reflux still based on a
> > canning kettle, about 24" x 1 3/8" column. Potscrubber for
> > packing. This leads to a jacketed condenser (18"x 1 3/8"
> > jacket, 18"x5/8"core). Water cooling lines only to
condenser.
> > Electric stove top heat.
> >
> > My questions: are these dimensions about right? Does this
> > setup seem right? [The reason for the 1 3/8" and 5/8" is
that
> > I have a few lengths of this in my workshop.]
> > Many thanks, John / Nova Scotia
> >
> > Tony & Elle Ackland wrote:
> >
> > > Mud,
> > >
> > > > I use still spirits turbo yeast with 6.5 kgs of sugar for
> > > each 20 litre
> > > > batch. Can i use more or will it be unused?
> > >
> > > The guideline is 17g of sugar per litre wash per percent
> > > alcohol,
> > > Eg if you wanted to make a 15% wash for 20L, you'd use
> > > 17*15*20=5100g
> > >
> > > Doing the maths backward for you, 6500 / (17x20) = 19.1%
> > > alcohol.
> > >
> > > I'd say thats about as high as you want to aim for, so don't
> > > add any more sugar
> > >
> > > Tony
> > >
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Service.
• ... again I refer you guys to Smiley s book on Corn Whiskey. A fractionating still can be used for flavored spirits, even whisk(e)y. The technique lies in
Message 18 of 27 , Nov 23, 2001
On Fri, Nov 23, 2001 at 08:55:41AM -0400, John Vandermeulen wrote:
> Hello Ian,
> you are quite right - a good reflux still is incompatible with producing a
> whisky. I actually have two projects in sight - a reflux still for gin, a
> pot-still for whisky. The design of the reflux still is now clear in my
> mind; I am less certain of the column/condenser of a pot-still.
> John

again I refer you guys to Smiley's book on Corn Whiskey. A fractionating
still can be used for flavored spirits, even whisk(e)y. The technique lies
in what time to make what cut and also the proper use of feints (heads and
tails of the previous runs) as a powerful flavor enchancer for the current
run. Plus you can always put more or less column packing in the still for
a given run, affecting how pure the output will be overall.

Yes the traditional whisk(e)y method is a pot still. But they also distill
it twice, and in some cases (Glenmorangie) the necks of those stills can
reach 17' long! Not to mention the lyne arm involved. So there is
definitely separation happening on all that surface area.

--
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthew @ psibercom
psibercom.org: doing pretty much nothing for the net since 1994!
• My friend and I have a work in progress on a pot still. All that remains to be done is the silver soldering - but that won t happen until my pal gets back
Message 19 of 27 , Nov 23, 2001
My friend and I have a "work in progress" on a pot still. All that remains
to be done is the silver soldering - but that won't happen until my pal gets
back from Mexico. A "commercial" shiner lives just a few blocks away from
me. I used to buy from him as I thought his stuff was good - but mine is
now much better than his - and thanks to the group - I have access to all
the literature and current technology. Bill the Bootlegger is still using
ancient Ozark's low tech - but I must admit, he has a very sophisticated
fractionating still. He does not use carbon - and like Pa Kettle in the "Egg
and I" - he sells it fresh daily right out of the still. Yuck! But I didn't
go blind - I told him I was no longer a customer for health reasons. The
very worst shine I ever tasted was in Annapolis Royal. I was doing my basic
navy training in HMCS Cornwallis. The boys and I went into town - asked a
taxi driver where we could buy booze - he drove us to a run down farm and
introduced us to a black guy named Murray. We only bought a couple of
mickies - and I could only manage a few sips - even to my uneducated palate
it tasted dreadful. When I taught school in Dawson Creek - a grain growing
area - the kids in my class would frequently ask me home for dinner. The
dad would usually give me a glass or six of the local shine - a very clear
all grain whiskey. The locals were generous but very secretive about their
methods or sources - in a small place like that the RCMP don't have enough
to do. Ian
----- Original Message -----
From: "Matt" <spore@...>
To: <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2001 8:26 AM
Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: still design

> On Fri, Nov 23, 2001 at 08:55:41AM -0400, John Vandermeulen wrote:
> > Hello Ian,
> > you are quite right - a good reflux still is incompatible with producing
a
> > whisky. I actually have two projects in sight - a reflux still for gin,
a
> > pot-still for whisky. The design of the reflux still is now clear in my
> > mind; I am less certain of the column/condenser of a pot-still.
> > John
>
> again I refer you guys to Smiley's book on Corn Whiskey. A fractionating
> still can be used for flavored spirits, even whisk(e)y. The technique
lies
> in what time to make what cut and also the proper use of feints (heads and
> tails of the previous runs) as a powerful flavor enchancer for the current
> run. Plus you can always put more or less column packing in the still for
> a given run, affecting how pure the output will be overall.
>
> Yes the traditional whisk(e)y method is a pot still. But they also
distill
> it twice, and in some cases (Glenmorangie) the necks of those stills can
> reach 17' long! Not to mention the lyne arm involved. So there is
> definitely separation happening on all that surface area.
>
> --
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
-
> Matthew @ psibercom
> psibercom.org: doing pretty much nothing for the net since 1994!
>
>
> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
>
>
>
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
>
>
• Got some questions for you, Ian. How big (mash capacity) is bill the bootlegger s still? How much did he sell his booze for (by the gallon)? What type of
Message 20 of 27 , Nov 23, 2001
Got some questions for you, Ian. How big (mash capacity) is "bill the
bootlegger's" still? How much did he sell his booze for (by the gallon)?
What type of whiskey was it? Thanks for any info you can give me. -Jack
• Mash capacity? - not sure, but I think it is 15 gals or over. The price: \$100.00 gal - more for very high octane. What type? - the flavour of the week -
Message 21 of 27 , Nov 23, 2001
Mash capacity? - not sure, but I think it is 15 gals or over. The price:
\$100.00 gal - more for very high octane. What type? - the flavour of the
week - whatever the run is : good week - a nice fruit schnapps : an in
between week - vodka : a lousy week : rum (really did not taste like
Backward).
----- Original Message -----
From: <ups474@...>
To: <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2001 1:59 PM
Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: still design

> Got some questions for you, Ian. How big (mash capacity) is "bill the
> bootlegger's" still? How much did he sell his booze for (by the gallon)?
> What type of whiskey was it? Thanks for any info you can give
-Jack
>
>
> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
>
>
>
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
>
>
• Please correct they type of rum from Backwards to Baccardi - damn spell checks..----- Original Message ----- From: Ian Macsween
Message 22 of 27 , Nov 23, 2001
Please correct they type of rum from "Backwards" to Baccardi - damn spell
checks..----- Original Message -----
From: "Ian Macsween" <ianelamacsween@...>
To: <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2001 7:03 PM
Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: still design

> Mash capacity? - not sure, but I think it is 15 gals or over. The price:
> \$100.00 gal - more for very high octane. What type? - the flavour of the
> week - whatever the run is : good week - a nice fruit schnapps : an in
> between week - vodka : a lousy week : rum (really did not taste like
> Backward).
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <ups474@...>
> To: <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
> Sent: Friday, November 23, 2001 1:59 PM
> Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: still design
>
>
> > Got some questions for you, Ian. How big (mash capacity) is "bill the
> > bootlegger's" still? How much did he sell his booze for (by the
gallon)?
> > What type of whiskey was it? Thanks for any info you can give
> -Jack
> >
> >
> > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> > new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
> >
> >
> >
> > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
> >
> >
>
>
>
>
> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
>
>
>
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
>
>
• Hello, I am digging thru some past e-mails to refresh (reflux? hee-hee) my memory. Matt points out that even the non-refluxing pot stills do some refluxing -
Message 23 of 27 , Dec 4, 2001
Hello,
I am digging thru some past e-mails to refresh (reflux? hee-hee) my memory.
Matt points out that even the non-refluxing pot stills do some refluxing - viz.
for ex. the Glenmorangie 17' lyne arm. Now, I am looking at building a pot
still - but 17 feet of column if I want something near a Glenmorangie? And I
don't believe that this can be scaled down if boiling only 10L instead 10,000L.
Any discussion on this? We could sure use the input of the more experienced
pot-still users. Anyone? Please? Flaunt your knowledge or experiences.
John V/ N.S.

Matt wrote:

> On Fri, Nov 23, 2001 at 08:55:41AM -0400, John Vandermeulen wrote:
> > Hello Ian,
> > you are quite right - a good reflux still is incompatible with producing a
> > whisky. I actually have two projects in sight - a reflux still for gin, a
> > pot-still for whisky. The design of the reflux still is now clear in my
> > mind; I am less certain of the column/condenser of a pot-still.
> > John
>
> again I refer you guys to Smiley's book on Corn Whiskey. A fractionating
> still can be used for flavored spirits, even whisk(e)y. The technique lies
> in what time to make what cut and also the proper use of feints (heads and
> tails of the previous runs) as a powerful flavor enchancer for the current
> run. Plus you can always put more or less column packing in the still for
> a given run, affecting how pure the output will be overall.
>
> Yes the traditional whisk(e)y method is a pot still. But they also distill
> it twice, and in some cases (Glenmorangie) the necks of those stills can
> reach 17' long! Not to mention the lyne arm involved. So there is
> definitely separation happening on all that surface area.
>
> --
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Matthew @ psibercom
> psibercom.org: doing pretty much nothing for the net since 1994!
>
>
> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
>
>
>
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
• Hello, I am digging thru some past e-mails to refresh (reflux? hee-hee) my memory. Matt points out that even the non-refluxing pot stills do some refluxing -
Message 24 of 27 , Dec 4, 2001
Hello,
I am digging thru some past e-mails to refresh (reflux? hee-hee) my memory.
Matt points out that even the non-refluxing pot stills do some refluxing - viz.
for ex. the Glenmorangie 17' lyne arm. Now, I am looking at building a pot
still - but 17 feet of column (let alone the lyne arm) if I want something near
a Glenmorangie? And I don't believe that this can be scaled down if boiling
only 10L instead 10,000L.
Any discussion on this? We could sure use the input of the more experienced
pot-still users. Anyone? Please? Flaunt your knowledge or experiences.
John V/ N.S.

Matt wrote:

> On Fri, Nov 23, 2001 at 08:55:41AM -0400, John Vandermeulen wrote:
> > Hello Ian,
> > you are quite right - a good reflux still is incompatible with producing a
> > whisky. I actually have two projects in sight - a reflux still for gin, a
> > pot-still for whisky. The design of the reflux still is now clear in my
> > mind; I am less certain of the column/condenser of a pot-still.
> > John
>
> again I refer you guys to Smiley's book on Corn Whiskey. A fractionating
> still can be used for flavored spirits, even whisk(e)y. The technique lies
> in what time to make what cut and also the proper use of feints (heads and
> tails of the previous runs) as a powerful flavor enchancer for the current
> run. Plus you can always put more or less column packing in the still for
> a given run, affecting how pure the output will be overall.
>
> Yes the traditional whisk(e)y method is a pot still. But they also distill
> it twice, and in some cases (Glenmorangie) the necks of those stills can
> reach 17' long! Not to mention the lyne arm involved. So there is
> definitely separation happening on all that surface area.
>
> --
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Matthew @ psibercom
> psibercom.org: doing pretty much nothing for the net since 1994!
>
>
> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
>
>
>
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
• (actually Glenmorangie s still is 17 10 tall) Right- so you want a lighter potstill flavor akin to the Glenmorangie spirit- me too. If you make a standard
Message 25 of 27 , Dec 5, 2001
(actually Glenmorangie's still is 17' 10" tall)
Right- so you want a lighter potstill flavor akin to the Glenmorangie spirit-
me too.
If you make a standard potstill (pot, lyne arm, coil, etc) just angle the
lyne up at a 45 degree angle, for maybe 2 feet (pipe length), then drop it
straight down into the coil. For a standard light whiskey (I make Irish malt
mostly, not Scotch), a 20 liter batch is run through once (high heat to speed
up the run) until I gather one third of the mash volume. On the second run,
the still is run on the lowest possible setting that will still get spirit to
flow from the condensor, 100ml is collected then the next 1.5L is collected
as drinking spirit. Watered (good soft water is ESSENTIAL) down to 45% and
aged on 15ml (heavy) charred american oak chips. In 2 months it's golden
honey colored, light tasting, and wonderful. The same results are even
easier to get with an "ice-water-wok-still" Run the raw mash through the
normal potstill, collect 1/3 of the total, then put the low wines into the
"wok" still, put it on the stove burner on the lowest setting possible
(typically "Wm"), collect the first 100ml (heads to throw out), then the next
1000-1500ml is your spirit. Water and age as before. The low heat setting
causes not so much of a distillation as an "evaporation" of the spirit-
resulting in a lighter style. Using some honey malt (grain) in the mash will
help to get the honey notes in the spirit like Glenmorangie has. Does this
help?
• Just wondering if anyone can help out with any design modifications to my proposed still. It is being built from 1.6mm stainless steel, with a tank capacity of
Message 26 of 27 , Mar 1, 2005
Just wondering if anyone can help out with any design modifications
to my proposed still.
It is being built from 1.6mm stainless steel, with a tank capacity of
32L. The top is conical in shape, with a 30 degree upward slope, The
diameter is 300mm. The column is 40mm diameter by 600mm long. Packing
will be stainless steel scrubbers (scourers).
Being an electrical engineer, i have designed the following heating
system- cost at the moment is nearing \$AU300! Thankfully a sheetmetal
worker friend is building the still!
Essentially, 2 heating elements will be used. An 1800W element is
used to get the wash up to temperature, with a thermal cut out and
relay combination switching it off at 70 degrees. While this is
running, a 600W element will run also. This 600W element is
controlled by a solid state relay, with 0-100% proportional voltage
control. An electric thermometer with alarm will be used to monitor
temperature, so its not really a hands off operation.
The current design has no provision for cooling water (we are having
a drought here) to control reflux or liquidizing the vapour for
collection. The condenser outlet will be air-cooled with a massive
spiral heatsink (actually the heatsoink is pilfered from an old air
heating element) and (possibly) fans.

If anyone has something similar, or could suggest improvements, please
let me know as i am wanting to have my first run in the next few
weeks.
PS many thanks to Tony Ackland- your home distiller site has inspired
and made this project possible.

Cheers
Ben S
• Ben, Is your column made from copper? If not I d advise you to use copper scourers in it. Macallan says the following: The more contact the wash and low wines
Message 27 of 27 , Mar 1, 2005
Ben,
Is your column made from copper? If not I'd advise you to use copper
scourers in it.

Macallan says the following:
The more contact the wash and low wines have with copper the better, since
it acts as a catalyst, removing sulphury impurities (in the wash still) and
promoting the creation of esters (in the spirit still) - effectively
cleaning and lightening the spirit.

Home distillers says:
Copper is an interesting case - high levels of it are known to be dubious
to your health, however it has been (and will continue to be) used for
centuries in commercial stills (because of its excellent ability to transfer
heat). This is because any dissolution is at such a low rate that you don't
get exposed to enough of it. It is well known that the low wines produced in
commercial stills can be a light green in colour due to their copper
pick-up, however they are still below limits prescribed for potable water by
health authorities. It would also appear that the copper helps convert some
of the esters & organic acids present (which affect taste and odour), so
that they're reduced. Some people who have built stills without copper have
later added some back in (say using copper srcubbers for column packing), to
because their highly pure (93%+ purity) spirit still had a smell present,
which only went away when they put some copper in the vapour path.

----- Original Message -----
From: emailbenja
To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 10:58 AM
Subject: [new_distillers] still design

Just wondering if anyone can help out with any design modifications
to my proposed still.
It is being built from 1.6mm stainless steel, with a tank capacity of
32L. The top is conical in shape, with a 30 degree upward slope, The
diameter is 300mm. The column is 40mm diameter by 600mm long. Packing
will be stainless steel scrubbers (scourers).
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