Re: [new_distillers] Re: [Distillers] Vapor management versus reflux control
- bokakob wrote
Subject: [new_distillers] Re: [Distillers] Vapor management versus reflux
On this question of tainting, it is worth bearing in mind that
congeners can stick around on the surface anywhere they previously
condensed or liquid they are in has touched, be that the scrubbers,
the walls of the still, a reflux reservoir, or the top condenser.
Any liquid that condenses from purer vapor will be tainted by this
film of liquid to some degree. If, however, you direct that purer
vapor to an area that has not been previously tainted and then
condense it, then the liquid you get will reflect the purity of that
vapor. In short, it is pure condensing liquid that can get tainted
if it runs over a surface wetted with impurities, not vapor that
passes by such surfaces. The key factor in this business of tainting
is "physical contact". Pour Napoleon brandy into a dirty coffee cup
and you ruin the brandy. Pour it into a clean cup or glass and it
So, if I understood correctly, these are the conclusion of your
. congeners will boil at lower temperatures comparable to boiling
point of ethanol, around 78*C it is.
No. The mix at any point boils at the bp of that mix.
. congeners will bypass the packing material without "tainting" it.
No. Congener compounds will stick around anything
that they have condensed on, as will traces of all other
compounds like ethanol.
. uprising vapors will not come in contact with "tainted" packing
material and will arrive at side tube for Vapor Management System
in "clean" condition.
No. Uprising vapors do come in contact with packing
material as they rise through the column, and are
condensing and being re-boiled again. Their composition
changes on re-boiling.
. the amount of this "tainting," if any is happening, is so great
that it will spoil the whole batch.
No. The amount of "tainting" is quite small (hence the
description "taint" which implies small contamination.
Providing a clean path for vapor when heads have
been removed will offer a small improvement that
will be noticeable only to those who are trying to
squeeze the last bit of purity out of their product..
. "clean" vapors will not get in "physcal contact" with tainted
packing material on its way to either condenser in liquid management
system or to the side tube in vapor management system.
No. This was discussed above.
With all due respect to scientific background - it sounds pretty
biased toward vapor management system.
No. It is merely a statement of fact, which has nothing
to do with what background it was derived from.
What system you choose to make and use is entirely a
matter of personal preference.
I do like pouring brandy example though, but if the bottle neck
is "tainted" it does not matter how clean the cup is.
You can pick holes in any analogy. The brandy may
taste different at different times for any number of
... like when quaffing it as you enjoy your bue-vein cheese
platter after eating a white hot beef vindaloo.
Now that is "tainting" with a vengeance!
I apologize for all the 'No's" Alex, but it is quicker than writing "I fear
that you are laboring under a misapprehension" :-)
All the best,
- Shane Kirkman wrote:
Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: [Distillers] Vapor management versus
So would a cup or 2 of boiling water tipped down the condenser tube after
the heads are removed help remove the tainting?
It might, although you usually need to give components a good scrubbing with
detergent, or soak in some active cleanser, to really shift those
Frankly, I wouldn't worry about it. What we are talking about here is a
tiny amount of additional purification which is probably only worth
bothering about if you are after ultra pure ethanol for use with scents or
essences. In that case it is then probably better to go the 'dedicated
path' way and try to keep as much of the heads away from your main product
Just shows how far we have all come on this list (which was supposed to be
for newbies!) that we are now discussing removal of trace compounds! Just a
couple of years ago it was "what the hell is distillation?" :-)