Filling the Boiler

When filling the boiler, make sure you leave enough headspace above the liquid, so that if it foams up a bit, that the foam won't get pushed up the column. Typically it should only be around 3/4 full.

You also want to ensure that there will be enough liquid at all times to completely cover the elements. This is particularly relevent when you've already done some "stripping" runs first, and you're now starting with something quite high in purity (eg 45%) and the reduction in volume will be greater.
If starting with L of wash at % alcohol
through a still that collects its distillate at %
should result in L water left in the boiler when finished

Some washes may tend to foam up a bit & get pushed out through the column & condenser, contaminating the clean spirit. This sometimes means that for some washes you may have to leave your boiler 1/3 to 1/2 empty at times, in order to accomodate that foaming. Hogan writes about how to deal with this ...
    someone was descibing the use of malt extract for making whiskey and commenting that it foamed a lot in the distiller. The extract will contain a lot of proteins and when boiled it will foam a good bit. You need to let it foam as much as possible (without boiling over, of course). If you have a big pot, that helps. But you can remove the pot from heat or turn it down (if a gas heat source) let it sttle a bit and fire it back up. You are looking to achieve something called hot break. The foam will soon stop rising. This process coagulates the protiens so that they are larger and will settle out, producing a clearer liquid.


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