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a few questions

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  • jonoandjo@southcom.com.au
    hi all - just joined up. looks like a great group , with plenty of good advice from knowlagble people. i have been using a 5L euro reflux still for about a
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 2, 2001
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      hi all - just joined up. looks like a great group , with plenty
      of good advice from knowlagble people.
      i have been using a 5L euro reflux still for about a month now ,
      and have been pretty happy with the results but havent been able to
      get anything above 85%.I have just finished building a fractionating
      still as described by John Stone in his book Making Gin & Vodka. If I
      get the results he indicates ie. 95% , will I still need to put the
      spirit on carbon or will it be clean enough to drink as is.
      Is there an optimum temp to have the wash heated to in the still
      or just boil it flat out.
      Is it important to clear the wash before running it thru the
      still.I have been putting finings in and leaving 2 days before
      putting thru the still.
      I would guess u are familiar with this still John describes in
      his book - I am wondering how i am going to control the temp as there
      is no cooling coils on the colum like I have been used to.I cant
      understand why it would just sit on 78.5 for me or do I control it by
      the temp of the wash.He seems to indicate that u dont need to do
      anything.
      Hope I havent bombarded u with too many questions but I am a bit
      excited about this new toy.
      Thanks in anticipation
      Jonathan.
    • D. C.
      It would be a real
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 2, 2001
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        << If I get the results he indicates ie. 95% , will I still need to put the
        spirit on carbon or will it be clean enough to drink as is. >>

        It would be a real good idea to polish your spirit with the carbon if you
        have it available to you. There are many people that skip this step and
        report good drinking. I would say, however, since you are running the still
        that you are, i.e. *not* a pot still, I would recommend running it through
        some carbon. You'll be able to taste a difference if you try it both ways.

        Your Brother in Magick,
        The Omnipresent Mecakyrios



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      • Tony & Elle Ackland
        Jonathon,Welcome.Is there an optimum temp to have the wash heated to in the still or just boil it flat out.I believe in boiling it flat out. The only
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 2, 2001
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          Jonathon,

          Welcome.

          >Is there an optimum temp to have the wash heated
          >to in the still or just boil it flat out.

          I believe in boiling it flat out. The only times you'd do less than that
          is if
          *your column diameter is too narrow,
          *the wash is really prone to foam
          *you can't generate enough reflux to get the right reflux ratio

          >Is it important to clear the wash before running it thru the
          >still.I have been putting finings in and leaving 2 days before
          >putting thru the still.

          yes and no. No - insomuch as its not too much of a problem if it has not
          cleared fully. Yes - insomuch as the clearer you have it, the better (less
          flavours) your neutral spirit will have. Each to their own on this one.
          The main point is to make sure that it has mostly finished fermenting, and
          that theres not too much sugar left - else it will foam heaps, and posibly
          burn onto the element.

          >I am wondering how i am going to control the temp as there
          >is no cooling coils on the colum like I have been used to.I cant
          >understand why it would just sit on 78.5 for me or do I control it by
          >the temp of the wash.He seems to indicate that u dont need to do
          >anything.

          You are doing one thing. You are controlling the amount of distillate that
          you keep. By difference, this then defines how much you are returning
          (refluxing) back down the column. For example, with a 1500W element, you
          could collect your spirit at around 78 mL/minute if you had it fully open.
          But instead, close off the off-take valve, so that you're only collecting
          around 10 mL/min. This means that about 68 mL/min is returned to the
          column - eg a reflux ratio of 68:10 or 6.8 You were doing somthing similar
          with the Euro still - the cooling tubes were generating a certain amount of
          reflux depending on how much water you put through them. In this case, you
          are fully condensing all the vapour, then deciding how much to keep & how
          much to reflux. Same result, but easier to control. Its this liquid that
          you're returning down the column that then purifies the rising vapour. By
          doing so over such a long height of column, it is capable of the high
          purities. This is the beauty of their still design - you leave the pot at
          maximum heat input (no adjustment needed), you ensure that your've got
          enough water through the condensor (doesn't need any adjusting), then all
          you do is adjust the reflux ratio to give you the purity that you're after.

          cheers

          Tony
        • pilch@tpg.com.au
          ... now , ... Thats about all you will get from this little work horse but with a very simple mod you can take her up to 95%. If you are interested in the mods
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 6, 2001
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            --- In new_distillers@y..., jonoandjo@s... wrote:
            > hi all - just joined up. looks like a great group , with plenty
            > of good advice from knowlagble people.
            > i have been using a 5L euro reflux still for about a month
            now ,
            > and have been pretty happy with the results but havent been able to
            > get anything above 85%.
            Thats about all you will get from this little work horse but with a
            very simple mod you can take her up to 95%. If you are interested in
            the mods give me a holla.
            I have just finished building a fractionating
            > still as described by John Stone in his book Making Gin & Vodka. If
            I
            > get the results he indicates ie. 95% , will I still need to put the
            > spirit on carbon or will it be clean enough to drink as is.
            Make carbon your best friend and you will never have any problems.
            I have done a few experiments in this field and believe me when I say
            there is definatly a head ache and hangover in every bottle that is
            not carbon treated. When carbon treated you only get pissed without
            the after effects .

            > Is there an optimum temp to have the wash heated to in the
            still
            > or just boil it flat out.
            > Is it important to clear the wash before running it thru the
            > still.
            So as not to be boiling yeast while you are stilling off and getting
            bad smells it is adviseable to allow your wash to clear, don't be in
            a hurry.
            I have been putting finings in and leaving 2 days before
            > putting thru the still.
            > I would guess u are familiar with this still John describes in
            > his book - I am wondering how i am going to control the temp as
            there
            > is no cooling coils on the colum like I have been used to.I cant
            > understand why it would just sit on 78.5 for me or do I control it
            by
            > the temp of the wash.He seems to indicate that u dont need to do
            > anything.
            > Hope I havent bombarded u with too many questions but I am a
            bit
            > excited about this new toy.
            > Thanks in anticipation
            > Jonathan.
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