Couple of questions
- Hello I have two questions:
1. I am building a Stillmaker out of stainless. I am using a keg for
the boiler. I plan on adding two 1500w hotwater heater elements to
the boiler is this enough? I have read about moving the lower cooling
tube to the top of the column, how far away from the upper cooling
tube should the lower one be? Should I omit the lower tube all
together? I have about 4m of 50mm stainless and was thinking of
increasing the height of the column to somewhere between 110cm -120cm
Does any one have any pointers on this design?
2. I have a friend who owns a pub and has offered to collect the
tails of beer that normally go down the drain for me to use as a
mash. Can I use this as my mash? Will this change the quality or
taste? I realize that this has a lower ETOH% than a mash made with
turbo yeast & sugar, but I will have a lot of it and I won't have to
mess with fermentation.
1) Yes, lose the lower tube. I'd guess about having the upper two say
30-50mm apart ? Its a matter of having them so that they can effectively
contact the vapour - if too close, and one directly above the other, then
you'd have less chance of the vapour getting to the second one. Has anyone
tried offsetting these (e.g. if looking down from the top, one through from
say 11oclock to 7oclock, and the other say from 1oclock to 5oclock), or
putting them at 90 degrees to each other ? Taller column will mean greater
purity, and less reflux needed to do so. However at some stage it becomes
difficult to read the top thermometer, etc, and become a little more prone
to tipping over if not restrained.
2) Sometimes the hops in the beer can come through in the spirit flavor.
Will need to try it, and see if they're a problem or not. Gees- if not,
then you're on to a winner ! Another option, to reduce the amount of slow
high reflux stilling, is to run them through a beer stripper first - e.g. a
basic pot still, which will increase them up from 4-5% up to 30-35%. This
would turn say 100 L of 5% beer into 16 L of 30% "low wines". If you get
real fancy with your excess tubing, you could possibly design your still
with an interchangeable column (but still use the same condensor), so that
you can use it first to strip the beer, collect up the results of a few of
these, then put the StillMaker column in, and do the purity run. The column
for the pot still version doesn't need to be anything fancy - basically just
something that would connect the condensor to the keg.