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Re: [new_distillers] Re: [Distillers] Vapor management versus reflux control

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  • Mike Nixon
    bokakob wrote Subject: [new_distillers] Re: [Distillers] Vapor management versus reflux control On this question of tainting, it is worth bearing in mind that
    Message 1 of 53 , Dec 1, 2003
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      bokakob wrote
      Subject: [new_distillers] Re: [Distillers] Vapor management versus reflux
      control

      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
      remains clean.
      Mike N

      So, if I understood correctly, these are the conclusion of your
      explanations:

      . 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
      continually
      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
      reasons
      ... 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,
      Mike N
    • Mike Nixon
      Shane Kirkman wrote: Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: [Distillers] Vapor management versus reflux control So would a cup or 2 of boiling water tipped down the
      Message 53 of 53 , Dec 9, 2003
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        Shane Kirkman wrote:
        Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: [Distillers] Vapor management versus
        reflux control

        So would a cup or 2 of boiling water tipped down the condenser tube after
        the heads are removed help remove the tainting?
        ===============
        Hi Shane,

        It might, although you usually need to give components a good scrubbing with
        detergent, or soak in some active cleanser, to really shift those
        contaminants.

        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
        collection path.

        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?" :-)

        Cheers!
        Mike N
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