Clearing wash and puking.....

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Mash master
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Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Mash master » Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:11 am

Hi guys and gals,

Newbie (ish) here. I have built my own 50L keg pot still and started with the usual sugar wash with turbo yeast and charcoal etc, I’m now ready to start distilling “properly” with grain/cereal mashes.

I’ve been reading a lot about puking especially with an all grain mash/wash. I do run my still slow but after all that hard work I don’t want my product ruined from a puke. My question is if I clarify the wash will that help stop a puke?
I’ve also read about adding a knob of butter to the boil, I also wondered if copper mesh packing in the column would help dissipate the bubbles?

I am new to this site so still finding my way around but couldn’t find anything specifically on puking. Sorry I know this has probably been covered 1,000,000 times before.

Thanks in advance

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Corsaire
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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Corsaire » Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:36 am

A small puke in a strip run doesn't bother me.
It goes through the still a second time anyway.
I've never used clarifiers so couldn't tell you if it helps.
But if you get a bad puke that clogs the mesh you could pressurize your still, which would be a bad thing.
Did you use triclamp connections? A sight glass gives you an easy way to see if it's puking.

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by MartinCash » Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:28 am

You'll most likely be doing double distillations: stripping runs first, then distilling the low wines in your final spirit run. If that's the case, a little puke in the low wines is not a problem, like Corsaire says.

Otherwise, depending on your wash, run slow, don't overfill your boiler, use butter or oil if you need to.

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by GCB3 » Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:30 am

Hey mash master. I am somewhat of a noob myself and have only been running all grains for about two years. So take what I say with a grain of salt and hopefully some more experienced folks will correct anything I say that may mislead you.

I had a puke on one of my first AG strips which wasn’t a big problem. So after some research I started adding real butter to my stripping runs. I ferment on the grain but do not distill on the grain. So, my mash going into the pot is as clean as paint filtering bags and a mop ringer will get it.

Over time I have found that I can fill my boiler to almost full capacity (15 gal) if I put a full stick of butter in the boiler. I haven’t seen anything suggesting that there is a magical amount of butter not to exceed and I have found no negative results from the excess butter. You certainly aren’t going to burn it or scorch it at the temperatures we operate. It does require me to do a little extra cleaning, but, that’s not a big deal to me. By operating this way I get more low wines per run and I can run at full power later in the strip to keep the takeoff rate high. I wouldn’t suggest you just jump in the deep end and try this without some experimenting. The suggestion above about getting a site glass is a good one. They are relatively inexpensive on Amazon. I suggest you disassemble it and wrap the seals and Teflon tape before use.

I hope this helps you and Also hope that if I’m doing something really wrong here some of the more experienced folks will chime in.
Take care.

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Durhommer » Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:51 am

Stripping pukes are not a big deal it happens especially doing grain MASHES not so much on sugar WASHES but still can happen.the lme pukes like crazy too if you use it so run it medium speed to slow. Butter works somehow
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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Mash master » Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:16 am

Corsaire wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:36 am
A small puke in a strip run doesn't bother me.
It goes through the still a second time anyway.
I've never used clarifiers so couldn't tell you if it helps.
But if you get a bad puke that clogs the mesh you could pressurize your still, which would be a bad thing.
Did you use triclamp connections? A sight glass gives you an easy way to see if it's puking.
Yes I use a sight glass fixed with tri clamps 👍

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Mash master » Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:19 am

MartinCash wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:28 am
You'll most likely be doing double distillations: stripping runs first, then distilling the low wines in your final spirit run. If that's the case, a little puke in the low wines is not a problem, like Corsaire says.

Otherwise, depending on your wash, run slow, don't overfill your boiler, use butter or oil if you need to.
I was going to try and steer away from stripping runs, 50L mash/wash straight into the boiler. Stripping runs are just to reduce the volume right? Does it not strip away flavour profiles as well?

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Mash master » Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:27 am

GCB3 wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:30 am
Hey mash master. I am somewhat of a noob myself and have only been running all grains for about two years. So take what I say with a grain of salt and hopefully some more experienced folks will correct anything I say that may mislead you.

I had a puke on one of my first AG strips which wasn’t a big problem. So after some research I started adding real butter to my stripping runs. I ferment on the grain but do not distill on the grain. So, my mash going into the pot is as clean as paint filtering bags and a mop ringer will get it.

Over time I have found that I can fill my boiler to almost full capacity (15 gal) if I put a full stick of butter in the boiler. I haven’t seen anything suggesting that there is a magical amount of butter not to exceed and I have found no negative results from the excess butter. You certainly aren’t going to burn it or scorch it at the temperatures we operate. It does require me to do a little extra cleaning, but, that’s not a big deal to me. By operating this way I get more low wines per run and I can run at full power later in the strip to keep the takeoff rate high. I wouldn’t suggest you just jump in the deep end and try this without some experimenting. The suggestion above about getting a site glass is a good one. They are relatively inexpensive on Amazon. I suggest you disassemble it and wrap the seals and Teflon tape before use.

I hope this helps you and Also hope that if I’m doing something really wrong here some of the more experienced folks will chime in.
Take care.
Thanks for that, very helpful.

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Mash master » Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:29 am

Durhommer wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:51 am
Stripping pukes are not a big deal it happens especially doing grain MASHES not so much on sugar WASHES but still can happen.the lme pukes like crazy too if you use it so run it medium speed to slow. Butter works somehow
Thank you

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by 8Ball » Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:43 am

I had a couple pukes while stripping out my first couple all grain mashes and rum washes. After searching this site, here is what I found that works for me. Haven’t had a puke since, knock on white oak!

+1 Strain mashes through a paint bag using a mop wringer.
Don’t overfill your boiler.
Add some copper scrubbers and copper fittings to the pot.
Leave the pot riser clear or use just one scrubber at the very bottom.
Add a tab of butter.
Degas the boiler charge by stirring before heat up.
Come up to temperature slowly.
Increase heat gradually. Don’t push the heat too much or too fast.

🎱
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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Tummydoc » Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:11 am


Mash master wrote:
I was going to try and steer away from stripping runs, 50L mash/wash straight into the boiler. Stripping runs are just to reduce the volume right? Does it not strip away flavour profiles as well?
If you want to discourage you friends from taking up the hobby, serve them a one and done pot run. You may have 10% that is OK, the rest of your run will be suboptimal. No commercial product is single distilled on a pot for a reason. Stripping allows you to distill a larger volume of higher proof on yor spirit run. This makes cuts easier to discern, and increases the amount of "keeper" alcohol. You can't rush quality, youll have plenty of flavor, but less bad flavor like acetone and ethyl acetate. If you want to do a single run with flavor get a plated column.

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Mash master » Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:15 am

Tummydoc wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:11 am
Mash master wrote:
I was going to try and steer away from stripping runs, 50L mash/wash straight into the boiler. Stripping runs are just to reduce the volume right? Does it not strip away flavour profiles as well?
If you want to discourage you friends from taking up the hobby, serve them a one and done pot run. You may have 10% that is OK, the rest of your run will be suboptimal. No commercial product is single distilled on a pot for a reason. Stripping allows you to distill a larger volume of higher proof on yor spirit run. This makes cuts easier to discern, and increases the amount of "keeper" alcohol. You can't rush quality, youll have plenty of flavor, but less bad flavor like acetone and ethyl acetate. If you want to do a single run with flavor get a plated column.
Thank you. I have a plated column on order but that would mean running a reflux column wouldn’t it to load the plates? Then I would be loosing flavour wouldn’t I?
Thanks for your help 👍

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Corsaire » Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:34 am

You won't find many people here advising single runs.
Try them both, see which you prefer.
I strip and spirit run my whisky on a pot still, they're full flavored.

I haven't run a plated column yet but yes, they're reflux stills. From what I read they retain a lot of flavor but I'm happy with what I get from my pot.

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Saltbush Bill » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:10 am

Plated columns are designed to keep flavour at high abv....they are not a true reflux still.........they use a thing called a defleglamtor.

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by seabass » Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:21 am

Many here like a one and done whiskey in a plated column. It will be mediocre at best through a pot still. It's much better to do multiple strip runs and fill your boiler with low wines. Better cuts means more of the flavors you want and less of the ones you don't. More flavor isn't necessarily a good thing if it's from excessive smearing.

+1 to butter or antifoam. If you're making all barley, it will still want to foam at the beginning even with antifoam. The sight glass will tell you when to cut or lower power. Going very slow for foreshots gives time for the foam to dissipate and you can gradually raise power after that.

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by NZChris » Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:02 pm

Mash master wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:19 am
Does it not strip away flavour profiles as well?
Only for newbies who don't know how to run their still yet. If someone tells you it does, they are probably giving you other bad advice as well, so avoid them.

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by StriaghtJakket » Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:49 am

Saltbush Bill wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:10 am
Plated columns are designed to keep flavour at high abv....they are not a true reflux still.........they use a thing called a defleglamtor.
Hey SBB - I was under the understanding that a defleglamtor was an upsized reflux condenser?
if it is refluxing the vapor down to the lower plates, how to you control the amount of flavor? do you just know the amount of reflux, and to that end, the amount of plates from experience?

the whole plate thing is a bit confusing - at least how you would run different washes. it seems people use it for both neutrals and 'pot' spirits.

Cheers
SJ

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Saltbush Bill » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:10 am

That is a point of contention....personally I and some others believe the two things to be different beasts....others look at a defleglamator as just another reflux condenser.
In my mind a reflux condencer knocks down all vapour that it comes in contact with.
A dephlegmator is a device arranged for the partial condensation of a multicomponent vapor stream.
Im not about to force my beliefs about deflegs on you or anyone else .....read the following and make up your own mind.
http://thermopedia.com/content/691/
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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Corsaire » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:27 am

So in that thinking a cm isn't a reflux still?

A flute, regardless of reflux management is a reflux still.
It's used to retain flavor, but it still passes reflux down to the previous plate and boiler, so yeah reflux, different from pot or thumper setups.

Same for cm packed columns. A dephlegmator is a fancy word for a cm reflux condenser. It sounds more fancy than finely tuneable reflux condenser.

But that's just the way I see it ;-)

Edit:

If preferential condensing worked there wouldn't be reason to use plates or packing right?
But didn't shady run some experiments like this? Time to go digging.

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by seabass » Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:08 am

A dephleg is a type of reflux condenser though. And a cm still relies on reflux to function, so it's definitely a reflux still.

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Corsaire » Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:42 pm

That's my take on it too. I could have phrased it better.

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Yummyrum » Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:35 am

This is my take on it and hopefully its as valid as the other opinions on the topic ... which has gone slightly off topic ... but it happens. :shh:

I think Salty is right about the fact that a Defleg separates fractions . .. But .. I believe it is in the order of one plate or phase change .

So iff'n it was on a pot still ... whoo .. a significant difference .

If its sitting on top of 20 theoretical plates .. IE , a tall packed column ... I don’t think it’s going to make any difference .

The nitty gritty is when you are comparing a few plates 3, 4,5 like in a plated still and you have a Deflag or a VM or LM head . ... it’s still way too nitty gritty for me to desern.

You cannot argue that a Plated still is not a reflux still ... of coarse it is .
If it were not for the reflux returning from the Deflag or RC ( in the case of LM or VM head ) ... it would not work .
It would just be pumping out Pot still stuff at Pot still AVB

I used to run my plated still with a CM head ... IE a Deflagmator. After much frustration , I have switched to a VM head. . There is very little difference that I can tell between using either head . Both seem to be able to produce the same tasting product depending on how I run it .

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by J0hnni3 » Fri Sep 25, 2020 1:05 pm

Saltbush Bill wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:10 am
Plated columns are designed to keep flavour at high abv....they are not a true reflux still.........they use a thing called a defleglamtor.
A deflag can be run so as to either completely or partially condense the vapor. What's the argument you'd make to claim that it's not refluxing? Maybe you run yours in pot still mode?

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by still_stirrin » Fri Sep 25, 2020 1:31 pm

J0hnni3 wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 1:05 pm
Saltbush Bill wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:10 am
Plated columns are designed to keep flavour at high abv....they are not a true reflux still.........they use a thing called a defleglamtor.
A deflag can be run so as to either completely or partially condense the vapor. What's the argument you'd make to claim that it's not refluxing? Maybe you run yours in pot still mode?
I believe SBB means the plated column (a CM) is not a high reflux ratio type of stillhead. The LM is probably the highest, hence it's super slow "production" rates. Next, is the vapor managed (VM & CCVM) designs as far as high reflux capability. The CM, although a reflux stillhead, is the least high, and a plated column is a CM.

Now, not all designs are optimum for all products, with each product benefitting from different designs.

In conclusion, we are not arguing about the different designs or even their best suited product profiles. Rather, when you know best what you're trying to produce, then perhaps you can choose the "right tool for the job".
ss
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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Saltbush Bill » Fri Sep 25, 2020 1:57 pm

still_stirrin wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 1:31 pm
I believe SBB means the plated column (a CM) is not a high reflux ratio type of stillhead.
I think you understand perfectly.
A plated column needs very minimal reflux to keep the plates loaded......it works nothing like a full on proper refux still.

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by Corsaire » Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:04 pm

I think it's unfair to blame it on cm.
There are people here running a vm or ccvm head over their platers.
The plates are what differentiates it from packed columns, rather than reflux management. They're intentionally a low reflux design.
But it was a good read, and made me ponder about a future build. Thanks.

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by StriaghtJakket » Fri Sep 25, 2020 4:56 pm

wow, thanks for clearing that up :crazy: LOL - mate, yes it is defiantly the hobby that keeps on giving. and you don't even need to drink the heads to get a headache - just read until it comes.

I guess I will keep plates in the metaphorical cupboard for the time being. I do really appreciate the feedback, considering I may have dragged it off topic.

Cheers! SJ

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by J0hnni3 » Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:04 pm

still_stirrin wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 1:31 pm
J0hnni3 wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 1:05 pm
Saltbush Bill wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:10 am
Plated columns are designed to keep flavour at high abv....they are not a true reflux still.........they use a thing called a defleglamtor.
A deflag can be run so as to either completely or partially condense the vapor. What's the argument you'd make to claim that it's not refluxing? Maybe you run yours in pot still mode?
I believe SBB means the plated column (a CM) is not a high reflux ratio type of stillhead. The LM is probably the highest, hence it's super slow "production" rates. Next, is the vapor managed (VM & CCVM) designs as far as high reflux capability. The CM, although a reflux stillhead, is the least high, and a plated column is a CM.

Now, not all designs are optimum for all products, with each product benefitting from different designs.

In conclusion, we are not arguing about the different designs or even their best suited product profiles. Rather, when you know best what you're trying to produce, then perhaps you can choose the "right tool for the job".
ss
Cant argue with you there! (raises a glass!)

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Re: Clearing wash and puking.....

Post by NZChris » Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:01 am

still_stirrin wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 1:31 pm
Rather, when you know best what you're trying to produce, then perhaps you can choose the "right tool for the job".
ss
That is where I started, (rum). Other products that happened to be ideal for the same type of still were a bonus, (there were a lot).

Other products had to be done with some compromise, but I learned how to deal with that, then, decades later, I built stills to fill in the gaps in my tool kit.

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