Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

VM CM LM Flutes Plate

Moderator: Forum Mods

Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby Barney Fife » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:35 am

I finally got my new 3" bubble plate column, and finally the dephleg together, and ran it last night. My observations for your mulling, especially for those who share my obsession with rums... The first run, with my old standby rum wash, resulted in a whole new dimension of rum flavors that I have never before attained. Thinking about it further this morning, what might be responsible for the great flavor(it's even better this morning!) could be the high input energy. Pugi comments that we need to "run hard; push the flavor out!". He may have been onto something, as I've mentioned earlier. By running hard, we may be caramelizing some of the wash(rums). With a pot still, this caused a lot of smearing of the tails into my hearts, so I would do 5 to 6 strip runs at 4500 watts, then a spirit run at 2250 or 3000 watts to get better cuts. Some of the great caramel flavor from the strips would be lost, unfortunately, but not all. Now, what I'm tasting is very rich in caramel, almost butterscotch in flavor; with the dephleg, we're able to control the reflux, and thus the cuts, quite effectively, which keeping the power up(ran at 4500 watts all the way, after collecting the heads at 1500). So I'm thinking I was able to use the high power to create the caramel/butterscotch flavor notes, while using the dephleg to knock down the heavier tails from the hearts. The transition to tails was quite sharp, though I had to stop short as my cooling water had got too hot. Definitely need a better cooling water system. A radiator is in my near future.

I think the real hero with all these new style stills is not the plates, but the dephlegmator(note proper spelling). Unlike typical reflux columns which send all the vapor back down to be re-distilled many, many times on the random packing, thus stripping away all flavor, the dephleg allows the distiller to finely control the reflux, while allowing the lighter compounds to go straight through the dephleg and into the product condenser. and with minimal surface areas back in the column, the richer flavor compounds aren't being knocked down by all the refluxed alcohol, and can instead make its way north, up the column, and eventually into the condenser. We could test my theory easily by adding packing above the plates in one of our columns and seeing how much flavor we keep, or lose, VS the ABV. I have run mine without the dephleg now, and once without. The dephleg was good for roughly 18-22% ABV higher ABV VS without it, but the flavor wasn't anywhere close to the same.

I'm not looking for arguments; just sharing my thoughts and observations. I reserve the right to change my thinking as I learn to drive this thing further....
Barney Fife
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1250
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 5:20 am
Location: Mayberry, NC

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby LWTCS » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:30 am

Interesting talking points Barney.

I can't imagine running w/o the deeflag-o-tomater any more.
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
User avatar
LWTCS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 9005
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: North Palm Beach

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby Kentucky shinner » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:51 am

I agree , once you have sampled product made using a dephlagmator. Your screwed IMO.
Kentucky shinner
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3018
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:04 pm
Location: Paradise? Western KY

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby kenfyoozed » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:57 am

I would have to agree. It just taste cleaner. I wonder if this is from the dephlegmator as well?
User avatar
kenfyoozed
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 402
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:57 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby Bagasso » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:08 pm

Barney Fife wrote:I think the real hero with all these new style stills is not the plates, but the dephlegmator(note proper spelling).


Interesting I had the idea that the water in the plates did a better job of holding on to the chemicals that make up the tails than metal, copper or ss. Would be nice to see what comes out of a regular pot still with a dephlegmator (no plates or packing).
Bagasso
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:09 pm

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby Barney Fife » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:33 pm

Would be nice to see what comes out of a regular pot still with a dephlegmator (no plates or packing).

I'll be doing exactly that, soon. I built my new column completely modular, meaning, each piece can be removed and used separately. I can take my dephleg and run it without the column.
Barney Fife
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1250
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 5:20 am
Location: Mayberry, NC

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby LWTCS » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:34 pm

I'm set up to run mine with the single thumper and with the straight pot too (and acourse the tower)
But after this last aged dunder/aged low wines experiment,,,I really much prefer all the pieces in the line up. Just such a nice compliment of flavor and crisp clean abv.
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
User avatar
LWTCS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 9005
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: North Palm Beach

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby rockchucker22 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:37 pm

What design did you use for your dephlegmator? Glad to hear your report beings how you helped to pioneer the small scale plated column with your 2" design.
if your gonna ride, ride the wild horse
User avatar
rockchucker22
Forum Mod
 
Posts: 3474
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:21 pm
Location: West coast USA

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby The Baker » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:54 pm

Barney Fife wrote:Would be nice to see what comes out of a regular pot still with a dephlegmator (no plates or packing).

I'll be doing exactly that, soon. I built my new column completely modular, meaning, each piece can be removed and used separately. I can take my dephleg and run it without the column.


Will the column be the same total height as before?

(Will you be replacing the bits that held the plates with plain column?)

I guess that would be a 'fairer' comparison.
The Baker
The Baker
Trainee
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:48 am
Location: Australia

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby Austin Nichols » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:51 pm

Again we see another good reason to have a removable plate tree :wink:
Austin Nichols
Rumrunner
 
Posts: 723
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:57 pm
Location: Dow nunda QLD

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby LWTCS » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:05 pm

Austin Nichols wrote:Again we see another good reason to have a removable plate tree


He he,,
Only to further conclude it is better to have the plates than not...... :ebiggrin:
Course there is still the "should i go 3 plates today,,,,,,,,,or 5" question. :roll:
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
User avatar
LWTCS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 9005
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: North Palm Beach

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby Samohon » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:36 pm

Great report on the dephlegmator Barney... I'm set to start my flute build soon with the addition to my arsenal of a 1.5M length of 4" tomorrow...
All results I've heard so far are on a concentrated carry through of the flavour, but it would be a nice experiment to add a dephleg to the top of my pot still...
Maybe this could be done with a simple 3/8" coil wrapped round 8" of my 2' riser..?

Keep us posted on any developments... :wink:
♦♦ Samohon ♦♦

Beginners should visit The New Distillers Reading Lounge and the Safety and Related Issues among others...
User avatar
Samohon
Moderator
 
Posts: 3435
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:22 am
Location: Somewhere in the UK...

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby WalkingWolf » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:25 pm

Good report Barney Fife. Your assessment carries logic as the flavor components are carried on the non-ethanol portions. It stands to reason that a first/single run would contain considerably more of this portion where-by to distribute through the column tree. I guess the question that is foremost with me (I'm selfish in that way) is will it reproduce the flavor profile with 2 or 3 strips added to a wash and run through it -- for the sake of time efficiency. I enjoy single run whiskey, but I'll admit, it aint the most time efficient way of getting it done ( as he slurps another one down 8) )

I've really enjoyed the research and development that has gone forth with these flute threads -- keep it up guys.
Advice- For newbies, by a newbie

kook04 wrote: maybe cuts are the biggest learning curve, here.
User avatar
WalkingWolf
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 1757
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: LA

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby LWTCS » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:32 pm

It's perty dern good Wolfie.

Can't comment nor am I qualified to comment on the age'd pot stilled likker vs. the age'd bubble column likker.

I can't hardly keep nuthin more than a few months. And this bubbler type of rig that I run makes a much better product than any of my conventional potstilled runs.

Given my time constraints and lack of discipline,,,,,,,,,it's perty dern good Wolfie.
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
User avatar
LWTCS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 9005
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: North Palm Beach

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby WalkingWolf » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:36 pm

Thanks Larry -- I was thinking about you and the dog-dish creation today. I was strolling through about 3K sq ft of medical equipment storage and saw a stack of SS basins in the corner. There appeared to be everying from 3 gallons down to 2 liters or so -- all in "dog-dish" shape. I did see quite a bit of STUFF that could be utilized in this endeavor.
Advice- For newbies, by a newbie

kook04 wrote: maybe cuts are the biggest learning curve, here.
User avatar
WalkingWolf
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 1757
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: LA

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby LWTCS » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:47 pm

The dog dish worked really well from a technical stand point. But the materials were just too thin from a typical stainless bowl. Soon as I brought the still to temp the thin ass SS would buckle and,,,,,,leak. Pulled my first 95 with that thing.

Dee-flegs like you see now have a much better expected service life and much easier to sweat a good joint.
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
User avatar
LWTCS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 9005
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: North Palm Beach

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby Bagasso » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:05 pm

WalkingWolf wrote:Your assessment carries logic as the flavor components are carried on the non-ethanol portions.


I know that this gets said a lot but I wrote about a test I did with panela/water and panela/neutral here:

Don't know if anyone tried it to confirm but it would be nice to know if anyone gave it a shot and what their results were.

I know it seems off topic but I have to say that I have seen dephlegmator ideas proposed usually by noobies and they were almost always told it wouldn't work. I mean some of those pre-fab stills with the tubes through them are a simple dephleg idea and the advise given here is usually to ignore them and not hook the water up to them.

This is the type of thing that keeps us from really understanding what is going on in our stills.
Bagasso
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:09 pm

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby WalkingWolf » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:09 pm

I don't think the dephlag is the magic -- the dephlag simply provides the muscle (IMO) for knocking down the volume of vapor. I think the flavor profiles are being generated by the stacking on the plates. I am getting a bit ahead of myself here as I haven't gotten to that stage yet.
Advice- For newbies, by a newbie

kook04 wrote: maybe cuts are the biggest learning curve, here.
User avatar
WalkingWolf
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 1757
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: LA

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby MuleKicker » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:52 pm

I think barney may be onto something, how the delphalsdfholsogmater lets the lighter stuff go through, and a LM condenses and sends it all back. I have thought of making a plate tree to put into my LM, thinking I could make a flute of sorts. I may still try it, but I think the delphleg may be the ticket. for seperating out and making the different profiles that you flute runners speak of. Interesting stuff.

Unlike typical reflux columns which send all the vapor back down to be re-distilled many, many times on the random packing, thus stripping away all flavor, the dephleg allows the distiller to finely control the reflux, while allowing the lighter compounds to go straight through the dephleg and into the product condenser. and with minimal surface areas back in the column, the richer flavor compounds aren't being knocked down by all the refluxed alcohol, and can instead make its way north, up the column, and eventually into the condenser.


Bingo. I think your on to something here.
-Control Freak-
AKA MulekickerHDbrownNose
User avatar
MuleKicker
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3116
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:14 pm
Location: If I told you, I'd have to Kill You.

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby Austin Nichols » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:28 pm

LWTCS wrote:
Austin Nichols wrote:Again we see another good reason to have a removable plate tree


He he,,
Only to further conclude it is better to have the plates than not...... :ebiggrin:
Course there is still the "should i go 3 plates today,,,,,,,,,or 5" question. :roll:


Yep! :D

But that's easily sorted with the plate tree I have, only takes 5 minutes to change it to however many plates I want to run :mrgreen:
Austin Nichols
Rumrunner
 
Posts: 723
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:57 pm
Location: Dow nunda QLD

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby Barney Fife » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:17 am

The Baker asked Will the column be the same total height as before?

(Will you be replacing the bits that held the plates with plain column?)

I guess that would be a 'fairer' comparison.


No. The point won't be to do a "fair" comparison. The point will be to see if a simple pot still head, with the addition of a dephleg, will produce the flavors we're seein', without the complexity(and expense) of the plated column.

As simple as a dephleg is(basically, a high water volume liebig), it would be worth it for anyone considering building a whole new large-column or still, to simply add a dephleg to their pot still, first. Then perhaps add a wee bit of packing to the lyne arm, and keep adding packing, slowly, until you found your happy place. If you can't find your happy place, then, and only then, go ahead and move-on with the large column project.

I have a second, sister rum wash ready to run, so if the time Gods are nice to me, I'll run it tomorrow in pot still-with-dephleg-mode and report back. I do want to think that the single bubble cap plate adds to the flavor, since it concentrates the refluxed goodies and sends them back up, without them passing through anything else. But I'll be really pleased, also, if I find that the dephleg is the true magician, as that may open up a whole new direction for us and our small scale stills. I do say, we've come a hell of a long way in the past year!

If my spelling is so-so, forgive me. I've been sampling some of yesterday's hearts, at 78% ABV no less(the angels, they're already takin' some of their share), and woo doggie, it's sweet. Literally. "Rum Brandy" is what I want to call it....
Barney Fife
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1250
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 5:20 am
Location: Mayberry, NC

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby Austin Nichols » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:26 am

I can easily do a fair comparison if it's needed, I've got a couple of identical rum wash's ready to run now.

I'll run one in the flute as normal, then pull all the plates out and run just with the delphagometaterer, but wont be able to until after the weekend.

Cheers.
Austin Nichols
Rumrunner
 
Posts: 723
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:57 pm
Location: Dow nunda QLD

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby LWTCS » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:22 am

In the end,,, it is all subjective. Run my "deefleg" a bunch a times with the single (humper) thumper. Its nice and I like it for my typical rum batch.

But now after the aged dunder and aged wash experiment,,,,the single thumper does not get it clean enough for my liking. Very rich and sweet muskiness to it.
The dephlemater alone will will increas abv but I would think that unless you had a long sexy onion and swans neck too boot,,,,,,,the final batch I ran this past week would still be far to heavy for my liking.

I think the the wash (specifically with the rums) is as much apart of the equation as the still head now.

Great fun playing though.
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
User avatar
LWTCS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 9005
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: North Palm Beach

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby The Baker » Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:19 am

Barney Fife wrote:The Baker asked Will the column be the same total height as before?

(Will you be replacing the bits that held the plates with plain column?)

I guess that would be a 'fairer' comparison.


No. The point won't be to do a "fair" comparison. The point will be to see if a simple pot still head, with the addition of a dephleg, will produce the flavors we're seein', without the complexity(and expense) of the plated column.

snip

....


Thanks. I guess my point was that altering only one variable at a time might give helpful results.
But I will study the thread a bit because I have a lot to learn here.
The Baker
The Baker
Trainee
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:48 am
Location: Australia

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby Barney Fife » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:52 am

In the end,,, it is all subjective.

Ah..., you got this thread all wrong. This isn't about which is best, better, worse, etc, etc, etc..., which IS subjective, of course.

This thread, and my sharing my thoughts and observations, and inviting others to share theirs, is about building a better _understanding_ of the why's and whatnot's of small scale distilling, and more precisely at this point, getting to the root of what does what, and what's responsible for what(and what isn't). A perfect example is the long-held notion that to get max flavor from any given wash/recipe, we HAD to run a pot still. Well..., we've shot that bird down, haven't we! <lol> Now that many of us have seen the results, the question is, why? I've offered my current thinking of the "why", but again, I reserve the right to change my mind as I learn, and am taught, more.

Another observation: while looking-over my collected jars, it struck me how distinctly oily/cloudy the tails jars are, compared to the tails jars from past pot still strip runs. Same thing I was seeing with the simple slant plate column! It clearly shows that the pot still strips smear the tails in with the hearts, so much so that the true tails aren't that 'dirty" at all. But with a decent column, the hearts remain much cleaner, leaving the tails much dirtier. My quandary is that I've long held to the idea that much of rum's sweetness resided in the tails, yet here I see, first hand and unquestionably, more sweetness in the hearts, with much less, if any, smearing of the tails. It's nice to know that my setup does this, as this has been my goal forever! But now I want/need to understand why it is so.

Fun!
Barney Fife
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1250
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 5:20 am
Location: Mayberry, NC

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby LWTCS » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:33 am

Again,,really good points Barney

Recon my approach has been more of a " if you do this,,,then the rusult will be that". I'm not smart enough for most of the "why's" but it is sinking in.
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
User avatar
LWTCS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 9005
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: North Palm Beach

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby Barney Fife » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:49 am

I'm just lazy, Larry ;) If I/we can get a deeper understanding of the why's, then I/we won't have to work so hard to reach our targets/goals, since I/we could then make informed decisions of what to build and/or how to run them.

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, but a lot of knowledge is a great tool!
Barney Fife
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1250
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 5:20 am
Location: Mayberry, NC

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby rad14701 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:57 pm

Barney Fife, you've made some good points here... Without having run a plated column I can only speculate but what those of you members who have run them seem to confirm my speculations... Those speculations being that any plated column will help compress the cuts so that more flavor comes through in the hearts while at the same time yielding a larger and cleaner hearts cut due to the compression of foreshots, heads, and tails...

Bear with me on this... When we think about it closely, liquid has a far better HETP value than any structured packing... And when we multiply that idea by a finite number of plates we are able to yield further benefits... Why...??? Because we have the ability to strip or retain as much flavor component as desired by varying the number of plates and the amount of reflux...

We've seen hobby sized plated columns ranging from 2 to 10 physical plates built by members of these forums... The proof is in the pudding... They all work... And those members who have run the various plated columns have proven that the end result can be anything from high proof flavored spirits right on up to neutral spirits... And all of this has been done with far less than the 64 plate continuous columns that commercial distilleries like the one that produces Skyy Vodka uses...

I, for one, want to commend every one of the members here who has devoted the time, money, and effort into forwarding the use of plated columns on a small scale for home distillation... This could very well be a defining point in the future and perhaps decriminalization of home distillation... I say this because it proves that this hobby is taken seriously by at least a portion of those participating and that both safety and advancement are active components of our overall interests in practice of the craft/hobby... I'll go out on a limb and state that this level of interest and advancement is simply not taking place anywhere else...
User avatar
rad14701
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 16890
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:46 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby prdbrissy » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:40 pm

Barney I am interested it what your brew is for whiskey?

Regards
My continuing Flute build story is here- viewtopic.php?f=17&t=19556
User avatar
prdbrissy
Novice
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:32 pm
Location: East Coast Australia

Re: Dephlegmator and bubble plate column observations.

Postby Bull Rider » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:25 pm

I gotta tell ya, you guys keep pecking around these plated columns, and I'm going to have to build one just to stay in the game.

This reminds me of the BetaMax vs VHS war. I can only build one, and I've been reading every post about bubble plate, perforated plate, dinner plate, etc. etc.

The information posted by Barney is pretty compelling. Old Dog too, and Kentucky Shiner.

I had a four foot section of copper pipe in my hands the other day, and was thinking about building a flute, but I put it back in the scrap bin.

Maybe I should go see if its still there. Thanks.


Bull.
Life is hard, it's harder when you're stupid...
User avatar
Bull Rider
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 793
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:47 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA

Next

Return to Column Builds



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests