How to tell if still cooler is working well enough?

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How to tell if still cooler is working well enough?

Postby justinm001 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:10 pm

Okay so 1st time distilling and not at the best start.

Decided to use 1/4" copper tubing with 2-3 loops in a 5gal bucket with cold water. It is dripping out but at a super slow pace and at 205 degrees.

Copper piping is super hot until it hits water then is cold. How can I know if its cooling enough so it's all liquid and not vapor? It seems like I can't find any info about the dynamics of how much tubing and cooling is needed.
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Re: How to tell if still cooler is working well enough?

Postby NcHooch » Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:41 pm

justinm001 wrote:Okay so 1st time distilling and not at the best start.

Decided to use 1/4" copper tubing with 2-3 loops in a 5gal bucket with cold water. It is dripping out but at a super slow pace and at 205 degrees.

Copper piping is super hot until it hits water then is cold. How can I know if its cooling enough so it's all liquid and not vapor? It seems like I can't find any info about the dynamics of how much tubing and cooling is needed.


You should be using 3/8" for the coil, 1/4" is too small. but suffice to say, it's supposed to be hot until it gets to the worm bucket, and then the coil should knock down all the vapor to cool distillate .

throw away the thermometer, you don't need it.
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Re: How to tell if still cooler is working well enough?

Postby MitchyBourbon » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:39 pm

Let a few drops drip on your finger. If its too hot to hold your finger under for a few drops then its probably too hot.
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Re: How to tell if still cooler is working well enough?

Postby justinm001 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:14 pm

I'm pretty certain it's cold when dripping.

couple dumb questions:

Is there a calculation for pot size to how high the piping should go up above the pot? Mine doesn't really go up at all.. time to rebuild the piping apparently.

Also what percent should I expect for the finished product? Is there a normal percentage, like % left in pot, % in heads, % in tails, %good product.

Also how long does it take on average to still? I plan on doing about 2 gallons and just wondering if it's a couple hours max or all day.


We're definitely learning a lot, just trying to figure out what we should expect. It seems like it's taking us 2-3 hours and 1 gallon for 1 mason jar to come out before it gets to around 210 degrees.
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