Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

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Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Chauncey » Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:49 am

Relating to my last thread about a rectifying thumper, I'm wondering what the max size of charge in both your keg and thump you've run without running the main boiler dry and not over filling the thump. Abv and size of each boiler would be helpful too. The other thread was more about a third thumper thing so I thought I'd seek more data for my info... On just using two. My thump and main are both half bbl kegs.


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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Tummydoc » Sat Jun 06, 2020 5:41 am

I run the same sizes, and usually have a 20-30 gallon ferment at 8% ABV on grain. I pump the liquid into the boiler and aim for around 10-12 gallons. If shy (because of the grain bed in the fermenter) I'll top with water. I'll fill the thump half full of grain slop. Ive always had at least 5 gallons left in the boiler when done. If I run a 4 plate bubble cap column on the thump it gains 3-4 gallons over the course of a run. I have to resist the temptation to put the "last bit of grain" into the thump because if I fill over 60% with grain it ends up >80% full at the end of a run. I now just leave some grain(and yeast) in my brute fermenter for the next mash. After 3-4 such cycles, i may run a sugar wash on the growing grain bed and then start over.

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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Chauncey » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:16 am

I always leave the grain just put in the dirty uncleared liquid

appreciate the input

I want to hear from as many folk as possible

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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Beerswimmer » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:49 am

Chauncey wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:16 am
I always leave the grain just put in the dirty uncleared liquid
Same here. Clean in the boiler, dirty in the thumper. 12-13 gallons in each. I've never overflowed the thumper, but have run the boiler dry enough to scorch. So Now I make 30 or so gallon ferments, halfway or 3/4 through the strip I top off the boiler with the extra 5 or more gallons of wash so that it doesn't run dry. For spirit runs using the thumper I mix low wines with backset and also top off the boiler halfway through with more backset or water.
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by seabass » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:13 am

I put 11 gal in each the first try. That's when I ran dry. I don't think I would have overflowed the thumper, but it was pretty full. It would have been very full if I had topped up too much. I thought I would have overflowed if I had more wash to top up, but I'm not sure since I stopped from scorching.

Now I put 11 in the boiler and 5 in the thumper and top up the boiler with about 6 gal at 40%. If I made more wash at once, maybe 9 or 10 in the thumper from the start. But I'm starting with 22 gal of cleared wash. I am concerned about it overflowing, but that's not from experience with it happening. I haven't accurately measured what the thumper gains in a run yet.

However, you were originally talking about running two half barrels kegs and a 6th barrel at once. I do think you would need extra space in the first thumper if that were the case. Probably 12gal and 6gal and top up the boiler a couple of times. At least that's how I would do it the first try.

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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Chauncey » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:28 am

Getting my experiments ready to run today so I can report on my results in a few days. I'm gonna try 13 in the main (max I ever strip) and 7 in the thump.

Even if I can strip 5 to 8 more gallons than normal that's a huge plus. I'm not worrying about the previous second thump thing I just really want to be able to strip more at once using the kegs I already have.

Thank you all as always for your input. If anyone else has info to add, please do.

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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by OtisT » Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:13 pm

Chauncey, you should have no problem with the volumes you listed assuming your element is below the half way point of your boiler and you are stripping fast. What is your max power and what is your minimum boiler charge to cover the element?

Normally I’d expect around 3-3.5 gallons of low wines from the 13 gallon charge so even running that out to twice the run time (longer than necessary) you would still have 6+ gallons of liquid in the main boiler which hopefully is enough to keep your element covered.

I don’t think your half full thumper will overfill either, so long as you are stripping fast. A blanket or similar insulation around that thumper would help reduce the max liquid level it will experience.

When you are done with the run, you should be able to see the max level that was in your thumper by looking at the spear. If your spear is already stained up after many runs, lightly sand one face so you can see new stain lines that will show your Max liquid level.

Good luck. Otis
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Kareltje » Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:57 pm

I found in running rum with both boiler and thumper half filled, that the boiler ran almost dry in the end. Took me a whole day to clean out the tar-like rest.
Better result I got with the boiler filled for 60 % and the thumper for 40 %: neither boiling dry nor overflowing. I could have some more in the both, but I feared that loading more in the boiler could cause some puking from boiler to thumper.
The precise ratio depends on several factors: insulation of boiler and thumper, rate of frothing and puking of the wash etc. You could even apply additional heat to the thumper.

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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by seabass » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:10 pm

You drive the boiler much harder with a thumper on a stripping run than without the thumper. I'm curious about exact volumes. I'll be measuring volumes on my next strip run as well.

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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:03 pm

I almost fill the main and about 10 in the thumper.
I would say that’s near a limit. I’ve had some close to full thumpers by the end of a long strip run.

I don’t worry any about puke from boiler into thumper, I let them sort that out.
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Chauncey » Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:21 am

OtisT wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:13 pm
Chauncey, you should have no problem with the volumes you listed assuming your element is below the half way point of your boiler and you are stripping fast. What is your max power and what is your minimum boiler charge to cover the element?

Normally I’d expect around 3-3.5 gallons of low wines from the 13 gallon charge so even running that out to twice the run time (longer than necessary) you would still have 6+ gallons of liquid in the main boiler which hopefully is enough to keep your element covered.

I don’t think your half full thumper will overfill either, so long as you are stripping fast. A blanket or similar insulation around that thumper would help reduce the max liquid level it will experience.

When you are done with the run, you should be able to see the max level that was in your thumper by looking at the spear. If your spear is already stained up after many runs, lightly sand one face so you can see new stain lines that will show your Max liquid level.

Good luck. Otis
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Def not trying to boil dry on a banjo burner tho. Id probably toss the keg after that hehe
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Chauncey » Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:05 am

Tomorrow my experiments begin. Im gonna finish my final assembly in AM and do my cleanup runs. I have a few parts to solder, maybe 5 or 6, then a citric acid bath and hand scrub, a water/vinegar run with steam then condensed with the pc as well to clean my new nozzle/vac break at the end of the shotty. After that my sac run that will be detailed below as it pertains to the charge size experiments im doing based on everyones responses.

This is a diagram of my setup i drew. The smaller keg pictured is interchangeable with the large one. Im gonna do a build thread tomorrow, i had some partial pics in my other thread but im gonna do everything and photograph it for future builders to draw inspiration from.
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Back to the thump charge sizes...

On my sacrificial cleaning run i have some ujssm wash and im going to run half of the numbers i proposed above with some added feints to see if i run dry. I will use my abv refract and paper calculations to add just the right amount of feints to make the wash equivalent to the highest abv wash i might strip as this particular wash is only 7% abv or so and i may run some rums and other wash thats a little higher abv. Im going put a lot of boiling chips in<various stainless copper fittings/parts in 1/4" to 3/4" size range and other inert things like marbles and rascing rings i have> so i can tell if my boiler is low by the sound. Im going to do it till i collect my calculated low wines amt for the charge and see what the remaining level of each is after the run.
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Chauncey » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:57 am

I finally got around to completing this build. Was thinking the small 1/6bbl could be set as a slobber box so i can fill both kegs higher and not panic about overfill or puke, but im not sure if that would work. Experiments to come.

I also have a whole gumbo writeup and pictoral i did for the food forum. Coming soon.
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Twisted Brick » Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:04 am

Nice job, Chauncey. Lookin' forward to the gumbo write-up.
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Chauncey » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:36 pm

I have to find a way to batch resize the pics
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Dewstiller » Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:42 am

Thanks for sharing

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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Hambone » Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:08 am

Chauncey wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:57 am


I also have a whole gumbo writeup and pictoral i did for the food forum. Coming soon.
Looking forward to this...gumbo is a passion of mine.
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Truckinbutch » Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:52 am

Tummydoc wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 5:41 am
I run the same sizes, and usually have a 20-30 gallon ferment at 8% ABV on grain. I pump the liquid into the boiler and aim for around 10-12 gallons. If shy (because of the grain bed in the fermenter) I'll top with water. I'll fill the thump half full of grain slop. Ive always had at least 5 gallons left in the boiler when done. If I run a 4 plate bubble cap column on the thump it gains 3-4 gallons over the course of a run. I have to resist the temptation to put the "last bit of grain" into the thump because if I fill over 60% with grain it ends up >80% full at the end of a run. I now just leave some grain(and yeast) in my brute fermenter for the next mash. After 3-4 such cycles, i may run a sugar wash on the growing grain bed and then start over.
I do basically the same . I heat with propane .
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by seabass » Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:01 pm

I've found that if I get too aggressive with the heat up on barley washes, it will puke 5 or 6 gallons into the thumper. Anyone else experienced anything like that? I'm going to put an inline sight glass after the boiler so I can stop if it happens. It's happened a few batches in a row. I notice it when it pukes while I'm taking foreshots slowly and I realize the thumper is full.

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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Hambone » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:35 pm

seabass wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:01 pm
I've found that if I get too aggressive with the heat up on barley washes, it will puke 5 or 6 gallons into the thumper. Anyone else experienced anything like that?
All of my puking issues stopped when I began using a defoamer. Much better than oil, in my experience.
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by seabass » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:44 pm

Hambone wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:35 pm
seabass wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:01 pm
I've found that if I get too aggressive with the heat up on barley washes, it will puke 5 or 6 gallons into the thumper. Anyone else experienced anything like that?
All of my puking issues stopped when I began using a defoamer. Much better than oil, in my experience.
I am using it. It makes a huge difference, but it'll still do it if the power isn't turned down in time.

I'm just curious if others have had issues like this. Without the thumper, it's easy to slow down for foreshots. With the thumper, it happens while the thumper is heating up and the damage is already done when the foreshots start coming out.

I guess it's more of a warning that you can puke half your boiler charge into the thumper of you aren't careful. Even with antifoam. That didn't seem possible to me until it had happened a few times.

An inline sight glass is an easy fix.

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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Hambone » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:00 am

seabass wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:44 pm
Hambone wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:35 pm
seabass wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:01 pm
I've found that if I get too aggressive with the heat up on barley washes, it will puke 5 or 6 gallons into the thumper. Anyone else experienced anything like that?
All of my puking issues stopped when I began using a defoamer. Much better than oil, in my experience.
I am using it. It makes a huge difference, but it'll still do it if the power isn't turned down in time.

I'm just curious if others have had issues like this. Without the thumper, it's easy to slow down for foreshots. With the thumper, it happens while the thumper is heating up and the damage is already done when the foreshots start coming out.

I guess it's more of a warning that you can puke half your boiler charge into the thumper of you aren't careful. Even with antifoam. That didn't seem possible to me until it had happened a few times.

An inline sight glass is an easy fix.
Barley has certainly been the worst about puking in my experience. I actually may not have done an all barley since I switched to defoamer.
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Chauncey » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:20 am

What kind of defoamer do you guys use. Link? Ive used the still spirits one once but mostly use oil or butter
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by seabass » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:34 am

I'm using 5 star 105 defoamer.


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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Chauncey » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:41 am

Ill give thats a whirl i think. Occasionally have washes that finish above 1.000 and they tend to foam. And for my fast stripping action :)
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Hambone » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:11 pm

seabass wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:34 am
I'm using 5 star 105 defoamer.

:thumbup: Best I've found...
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by Chauncey » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:41 pm

Alright, i ran 13 gallons in the main and 6 in the thump. The main boiler was ujssm wash first generations at 8abv and the thumper charge 2nd gen of the same uj but was 13 percent abv. Made a high gravity ferment for the second gen, clearly. Nothing overflowed, or ran dry. Waiting for the rig to cool and ill see what the remaining levels are. I think i could do 7 or 8 gallons in the thump max after i insulate it without any issue.

I ended up with 5 gallons of low wines after dilution to 30 percent abv. Was more like 3.5 gal before dilution, i stopped stripping when the abv at the spout went under 20 so the low wines were still quite high abv. I know i could have done more but the sun was beating down and with cleaning runs, setup, couple air conditioner breaks here and there, etc i was in my workshop or out back from 7pm till 1030am. Too hot and tired so i didnt strip as deep as i would otherwise.

That makes me very happy, second stripping run tonite
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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by jonnys_spirit » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:07 pm

Dang 7p-1030a that's the definition of moonshine!

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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by JC973 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:48 pm

I went the easy way and machined a SS slug and cut some 3/4” NPT threads in it then welded the slug into the top of a SS Tee, made up a copper dip tube, now the whole thing tri-clamps in place, the photo of the whole rig is a mock up, I was short one elbow, I have that sorted out now so my PC is vertical. Seems to work fine

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Re: Max thumper charge in your experience for double keg strip setup

Post by JC973 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:51 pm

3E8AB5E0-4173-4754-8AB1-B4952914AC3F.jpeg
Here is the mock up photo
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