Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

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Postby DocJohn » Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:07 pm

I heared ya! For some dang reason I was still seeing a pot still wtih a column too... but just the head right onto the boiler makes more sense now.... thanks again. My keg connection failed... all he could find was AL kegs with rubber linings... but we are still looking...

Have a good weekend fellers.... I still got some left for drinkin... just not cookin my own yet.

DOC
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby hoochinoo » Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:48 pm

4. Reflux 100% like this (equilibrium) for at least 30 minutes


Husker, the ONLY problem I see here is that when the still thermometer is indicating 170 degrees and over there is HEADS accumulating with the good stuff. I easily collect 100 ML of heads in the first few minutes and am confident that this will not work with my valved reflux still I built in accordance to the widely publicized specification.

Thanks for consideration.
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby HookLine » Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:52 pm

Nice job.
Be safe.
Be discreet.
And have fun.
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby mfdesalas » Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:29 am

Hi Husker,
I'm building an offset head reflux still, and was already planning to have the column and head in separate, threaded sections, to be able to use the head as a pot still for the flavoured stuff.
My question is on the quality of the prodcut from a purpose-designed pot still head vs. using the head of the offset still. Is purpose-designed better or are they indistinguishable. I enjoy making them and storage space is no problem :)

MFS.
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby Blueraven » Mon May 19, 2008 7:46 pm

Dang Husker, that is a great explanation. I've been gone for about 1.5 yrs or so and your info is near bouts perfect.

thanks

BR
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby Mr Clean » Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:01 am

New to the craft and have been somewhat successful except I cannot get above 88% ABV, I have a reflux unit 6' X 2" and does 25l batch. Yesterday I had a power failure during a spirit run and power was off for several hours. When power came back, I started everything up again, took an hour to get boiling but I could not control the temp in the head, kept running at 95+, opened the valve to cool the top of the tower and temp went to below 70, I kept adjusting and it would just go up and down, never settle in the right temp range, I took off about a gallon of spirits before the power failure, is this batch history or can it be salvaged?

I followed the instructions posted in this forum to the letter.

Thanks for your advice.

Ed
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby minime » Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:52 am

edbarcik44 wrote:New to the craft and have been somewhat successful except I cannot get above 88% ABV, I have a reflux unit 6' X 2" and does 25l batch. Yesterday I had a power failure during a spirit run and power was off for several hours. When power came back, I started everything up again, took an hour to get boiling but I could not control the temp in the head, kept running at 95+, opened the valve to cool the top of the tower and temp went to below 70, I kept adjusting and it would just go up and down, never settle in the right temp range, I took off about a gallon of spirits before the power failure, is this batch history or can it be salvaged?
I followed the instructions posted in this forum to the letter.
Thanks for your advice.
Ed


Are you stripping your wash first? You have to run MUCH MUCH slower if you're running straight wash. Sounds like you didn't have much alcohol in your boiler. With a six foot packed column it should be just about running itself. :?
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby Mr Clean » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:57 am

Are you stripping your wash first? You have to run MUCH MUCH slower if you're running straight wash. Sounds like you didn't have much alcohol in your boiler. With a six foot packed column it should be just about running itself.



Yes, strip run first, got 3 gallons, cut it about half, enough to almost fill the container and started running, got about a gallon and the power went off, can't get it going again
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby minime » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:03 am

edbarcik44 wrote:
Are you stripping your wash first? You have to run MUCH MUCH slower if you're running straight wash. Sounds like you didn't have much alcohol in your boiler. With a six foot packed column it should be just about running itself.



Yes, strip run first, got 3 gallons, cut it about half, enough to almost fill the container and started running, got about a gallon and the power went off, can't get it going again


Ok, well most of my strips end up around 50%ABV. So the calculators show you should collect 5.7 liters from that if you're collecting at 95%, subtract the heads and tails and I'd say you're right on target. Unless the gallon you collected includes the heads. Generally speaking when you can't reflux enough to equalize at an alcohol temperature it's 'cause there's no alcohol left. Also you'd have to be running REALLY hard to drive a 6 foot column down to 88% :o :shock:

On a short column if it's insulated you could run into problems. I have a 42 inch offset and a cheap propane burner. If I insulate that column I can't turn the heat low enough to get a reasonable product rate. I've got to reflux almost everything. I peeled the insulation off and it worked fine.
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby Mr Clean » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:42 am

I peeled the insulation off and it worked fine.


Mine is insulated the full length, think I should take it off?

You are right, my strip run gets 55% ABV but I've never got (4 spirit runs) above 88%

The wash seems good, gets down in .996-.998 area and started with 15 lbs of dextrose.
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby minime » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:53 am

edbarcik44 wrote:
I peeled the insulation off and it worked fine.


Mine is insulated the full length, think I should take it off?

You are right, my strip run gets 55% ABV but I've never got (4 spirit runs) above 88%

The wash seems good, gets down in .996-.998 area and started with 15 lbs of dextrose.


So there it is.........15 lbs should yield one gallon. I think your alcohol meter is out to lunch. It'd be pretty hard to collect 88% from a six foot column and keep it stable. It would be running away on you just like you're describing even when you're in the hearts.
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby Mr Clean » Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:49 am

So there it is.........15 lbs should yield one gallon. I think your alcohol meter is out to lunch. It'd be pretty hard to collect 88% from a six foot column and keep it stable. It would be running away on you just like you're describing even when you're in the hearts.


I missed the point, not enough sugar? what is your suggestion?
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby minime » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:08 am

edbarcik44 wrote:
So there it is.........15 lbs should yield one gallon. I think your alcohol meter is out to lunch. It'd be pretty hard to collect 88% from a six foot column and keep it stable. It would be running away on you just like you're describing even when you're in the hearts.


I missed the point, not enough sugar? what is your suggestion?


I don't know about not enough sugar but if you use the calculators on the parent site you'd know how much alcohol to expect on a run. As Alex Bokakob so eloquently puts it "Do your math." You can't squeeze out something that wasn't there in the first place.

My runs never achieve the full potential of the parent site calculators. I always come up a bit short but I've enough experience to know what I am going to get. There's lots of factors that might effect overall volume but the calculators should get you in the ball park. They're easy enough to use or you can set up a spread sheet to do the calcs for you but when you start a run you ought to know what to expect and when you're gonna finish. Gives you a little freedom to move around and do other things if you know you've got a bit of time. I'm never very far away from my still and I'm always doing quick walk arounds but if you're in the middle of a two hour hearts collection there's no need to watch every drop.

So overall if you like your product you did great :D
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby Mr Clean » Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:48 am

use the calculators on the parent site you'd know how much alcohol to expect on a run.


I can't find these calculators although it seems I saw something like that before, where are they anyway. :?:
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby scotty » Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:23 am

I'm slowly covering as much material as i can.

This is basically an answer to a question that i posted in another thread.
I made a word pad doc and saved it for studying--

Great thanks for taking the time to detail the explanation :D
teach me and correct me if you are my friend
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby DestructoMutt » Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:24 pm

edbarcik44 wrote:New to the craft and have been somewhat successful except I cannot get above 88% ABV, I have a reflux unit 6' X 2" and does 25l batch. Yesterday I had a power failure during a spirit run and power was off for several hours. When power came back, I started everything up again, took an hour to get boiling but I could not control the temp in the head, kept running at 95+, opened the valve to cool the top of the tower and temp went to below 70, I kept adjusting and it would just go up and down, never settle in the right temp range, I took off about a gallon of spirits before the power failure, is this batch history or can it be salvaged?
I followed the instructions posted in this forum to the letter.
Thanks for your advice.
Ed

sounds like you are not running in equlibrium long enough, thus not separating the foreshots completely from the hearts. you need to let your column run in equilibrium until the head temperature drops of it's own accord (natural action).

to achieve equilibrium you get the boiler up to boiling, then turn the heat down so that you have a slow simmer (still boiling, but slowly). before the boiling begins, you turn on your reflux condensor so that the vapors from the boiler are ALL condensed and returned to the top of your column as liquid. you do not remove any product during this time/period. everything is returned to the top of the column as liquid. during this period the head temperature may jump up to 84C, relax, don't worry, be patient, watch it, it will slowly drop back down to something less than 78C. by slowly, i mean 1 - 4 hours, depending entirely on your system and the wash you are using. after the temp has dropped on it's own (you can not force it to drop before it is ready to without screwing things up), you can start to slowly bleed off the foreshots. watch the thermometer while you are doing this, if it starts to move slowly upwards, you are taking the foreshots off too quickly. if it holds steady for a while (10mins or so), while bleeding off the foreshots, you are taking them off at the correct rate. after 10-15mins, the temperature will make a quick jump, if you have collected the foreshots slowly enough; if not, it will make a slow steady climb - this means you are dragging the foreshots through to the hearts and creating heads (heads are a mixture of foreshots and hearts). the more slowly you bleed off the foreshots, the better your separation from foreshots to hearts will be. [what would you rather have, 500ml of foreshots/heads in 15 minutes or 100 ml of foreshots/heads in 30 minutes?]
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby gbdsl0 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:38 pm

Hi, I am currently using a still maker internal reflux still. (In the process of making a valved reflux still) I have used the still quite a few times and managed to get at least 90% ABV. I have only ever done this in a single run by regulating the temperature (79c degrees) at the take off point. I have never done a stripping run.

Now this question relates specifically to temperature control in a stripping run. I want to know if I need to be overly particular about the temperature at the take off point when I'm doing the stripping run. Because of the design of my still I can't switch the reflux off so I need to run the temerature at the take off point around 84/85c degrees to maintain a decent flow rate. This puts the temperature above the boiling point of 2-propanol.

Now if I understand my theory right the different components in the wash will seperate themselves into gradients, those with the lowest boiling point will be at the top. So would it be true to say that prior to any large amounts of 2-propanol coming out, I should be able to extract mostly ethanol even with this higher temperature at the take off point.

I did the calcs on my wash and I should be able to get approx 4.5 litres of ethanol from the wash.

Thanks

gbdsl0 :D
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby Dnderhead » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:13 pm

""Because of the design of my still I can't switch the reflux off""
I believe that is part of your problem,, do some repluming so you can control both reflux and condenser separately. (a simple Y valve)
stripping run,, just run hard and fast as you can and still knock down the vapor.
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby gbdsl0 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:39 am

Thanks for your help Dnderhead. Can anyone advise how long I strip run for. Do I keep going until there is no Ethanol in the distillate or is there an approx ABV I should stop at.

Can anyone advise also if my assumptions in my previous post were correct?

Thanks again.

gbdsl0 :D
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby Mc Shine » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:42 pm

This is my second run ever ,still usein birdwatchers and the instructions are spot on . thanks for the help. my still is a LM keg boiler 4 foot collom cross flow condencer
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby Jon » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:16 pm

[what would you rather have, 500ml of foreshots/heads in 15 minutes or 100 ml of foreshots/heads in 30 minutes?]


Doing my first run on my 3 ft reflux column with bokakob head. The 36" column is lightly filled with coppers scrubbers.

I'm distilling 6500ml of 40% abv, the result of a stripping run (in a pot still) of 5.5 gallons of birdwatchers sugar wash. I discarded the foreshot of 100ml and am 400ml into the heads (1 drop / second). It's been 4 hours since the first drop, and 3 hours of heads (100/ml an hour). The temp has been steady at 75.1C to 75.3C since the headshot (74.8C).

Is this normal or are my drops small? :)

It's still coming out smelling like grape koolaid/acetone.
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby Dnderhead » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:40 am

depends, you doing one or two runs? if your stripping, just run it off in a stream, a stripping run,is just to reduce the amount of wash and clean it up a bit. with no major concerns for purity.
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby Jon » Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:33 am

Well the run worked out just fine. I ended up with about 1100ml of 95% abv. I had 200-300ml of heads and missed the start of the tails so i spoiled about 200ml of good body. I will toss it into the next run. My thermometer must be off by 3 degrees because it read 75 when the temp had to have been 78?

Aired it out for 2 days and mixed it with distilled water to 2300ml of 40% abv. Did a taste test vs. Skyy vodka and wow, this is so much better. Thanks for the instructions.
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions)

Postby CROW-EATER » Thu May 27, 2010 2:27 am

Great post husker,coppied into my documents for printing as im about to use my offset head fractional still for the first time very soon,
cant wait !
Its people like yourself that make these kind of sites worth thier weight in gold.
Cheers
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions

Postby Kiwi-lembic » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:57 am

Great Stuff Husker ..was there ever a link for pot still instructions made (stripping runs/spirit runs in a pot)..going looking /reading for myself ...after reading this it might help new people....making it easy to find if it was plastered here for ease ..many thanks for you great post
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions

Postby CH3CH2OH » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:38 pm

Great instructions
"Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life." - George Bernard Shaw
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Re:

Postby yamastill » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:45 am

Husker wrote:
Bohunk wrote:Husker, what an awesome answer... You have continually provide a lot
of folks with help, there are few folks here willing to take the time to help
like this. Proud of you dude!!! Now if only those other huskers could make me proud again, damm.

The Bohunk


I dont expect the "other" Huskers will make us too proud any time soon. It is a sad time, when the defense is not even up to blackshirt standards, and have to lose them.

H.


This really explains a lot. I was keeping my condenser water wide open figuring it would just knock everything down but I guess you want what is coming down to be warm. Round 2 Friday with playing around with it some more,, Thanks Man!
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions

Postby john442 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:02 am

These are some awesome instructions !...Thanks
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions

Postby freespirited » Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:08 pm

There are instructions here for every avenue. You just need to read. Stripping runs can be done at full power using a design that allows for condensing only the vapor on the take off port. There are no cuts to be made on a stripping run and you can collect to as far down as 25%.
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Re: Second run (w/ Fractional Reflux operation instructions

Postby XFABCALGARY » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:07 am

running "as" a reflux system, to build a neutral

bookmarked for post number 4
"Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker" Rip Pops
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