(Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

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(Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby Husker » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:12 am

Here is the discussion topic relating to the original reading lounge post: viewtopic.php?f=65&t=13294
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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby pounsfos » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:46 pm

I believe it is NOT necessary
but for people starting out, it can help them greatly what comes out where

until they learn by taste,feel and smell
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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby toast860 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:10 pm

i started without a thermometer. it was pretty easy .I just feel the column. I could tell where it was. I got it down to a good science. it kinda gets a shake when its close to taking off.
if you cant build a paper airplane, then leave the rocket alone.
its like wiping before you poop, dont make sense.
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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby MitchyBourbon » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:48 pm

I have one on my pot still. I like it, lets me know when the show is about to begin. I don't have to put rocks in my still. Plus, mama toll me, "MitchyBourbon, don't you touch that hot pot lest you'll get burned".
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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby acfixer69 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:16 pm

MitchyBourbon wrote:I have one on my pot still. I like it, lets me know when the show is about to begin. I don't have to put rocks in my still. Plus, mama toll me, "MitchyBourbon, don't you touch that hot pot lest you'll get burned".


Don't get it lest the mash /wash is zakley tha same evrey tim dah temp would differ so whate ya see in da nonber

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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby googe » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:41 pm

I've never used one, onto have one on the bubbler either. I think it more confusing than helpful when doing your first runs, there's enough shit going on you don't know about with out worrying about a thermo as well, think how many threads have been started here from new people confused about the temps. Turn the heat on, heard up, distillate comes out. Use your senses. Just my opinion though.
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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby goose eye » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:06 pm

Just something to break off.
have a plug just in case if you do.
things tend not to break at opportune times


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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby Odin » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:37 am

Never used one on my potstill. Don't feel it should be there, 'cause it can give (especially the beginner) a false sense of being in control.

All those questioins we get like "do I have to finish taking hearts when my thermometer says 92 or 93 degrees?"

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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby Fastill » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:33 am

goose eye wrote:Just something to break off.
have a plug just in case if you do.
things tend not to break at opportune times


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Thats funny, I know of 2 that broke off in a 40" column, the hole is now permanently plugged with an oak dowell. Even in a LM column people can learn to run by other means than temps.
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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby ukmoon » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:30 pm

No


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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby Saltbush Bill » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:24 am

Defiantly not, probably one of the things that can confuse a newbie more than anything else when they first use a pot still is chasing temps all over the place. If you learn what makes a pot still tick, then learn good cuts, you can run any still on earth without gadgets.
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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby Pikey » Wed May 31, 2017 1:16 pm

Well I like to have a thermo at the head and another at the boiler, so I can see when the vapour is getting close to rising and can switch the water on, so I can see what is going on inside and how long it is likely to be before I can switch off, and I like to switch off as the head temp gets to 100C or so - I've got most of the alc by then. I don't HAVE to have them, but I'd feel I really didn't know "where I'm at" without.

I've always had them, and DID try to run "constant temperature" for my first couple of runs - until I worked out that somehow a LOT of alc wasn't getting into my jars, and just turned the temp up a bit - then a bit more - then a bit more :lol:

Much is made of "not confusing newbies" in this argument. I say "let the newbies learn". I find them useful information providers and can't forsee a situation where I would rather be without.
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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby thecroweater » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:46 am

Ashtray on a motorbike :roll:
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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby Kareltje » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:17 pm

I always have a thermometer at the top of my still, whatever configuration I use.
It gives me some information about the status of the process and my hand does not feel the difference between ouch 70 dgr and OUCH 100 dgr. In a stripping run I can use my samples to see if I get 10 % ABV or less and when I do a spirit run I use my taste and smell to judge a sample. But looking at the thermometer gives some previous insight.
Nowadays I have some thermometers bought from a supermarket and designed for meat. These are some dgrs off: one says 98 dgr C at boiling water, the other 102 dgrC. But I still use them. When it goes from 30 dgr to 80 dgr in one minute I react. When I do not have this visual sign, I have to hold my hand on the pipes all the time.
And when it stays the same for some time, the % will be the same (or so). And when the temperature starts changing, I know I have to change my sample bottle. And measure volume and %.
Temperature can be very deceptive too in special circumstances.

I think I will try some runs without using it. See and feel how I like it. And why.
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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby Kareltje » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:28 pm

thecroweater wrote:Ashtray on a motorbike :roll:

:clap:
Nice metafor!

I had a friend who once a year rented a cabriolet, a nice, expensive car. Then he bought a pricey cigar, got into the car and lit the cigar. He would then drive around with the cigar in his mouth while the cigar was burning just because of the wind of the riding car. Never smoking himself, just burning the cigar by the riding wind of the expensive car.
Completely useless, no sense at all. Just for the fun of it.
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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby Saltbush Bill » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:16 am

thecroweater wrote:Ashtray on a motorbike :roll:

Hip pocket on a singlet Crow?
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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby Mikey-moo » Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:14 am

I saw a toilet roll holder on a Goldwing once...
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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby ukmoon » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:02 pm

Nope , just feel your pipes , they let u know


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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby thecroweater » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:14 pm

I should probably clarify my position on this is based on the fact that too many people try to run their still using a thermometer. It would be the single biggest cause of confusion to new stillers but to be fair its not quite an ashtray on a motorbike if you take into account you can't do cuts and rarely shut downs by temperature. Coming up to temperature is a quick easy way to know you need to start paying attention, there are many other ways to tell but this is one way. Elsewhere I recently recalled years ago I had a blockage in a pot still that quickly built up pressure to a dangerous level, what I failed to mention was among the indicators that something was a miss was the fact my thermometer read 107' c . They were a few other indictors, reduced flow weird noises but seeing the temp was a wtf moment and the penny dropped.
The question is do ya need a thermometer on a pot still and the answer is no you surely don't but it can be helpful or a hindrance depending on how its used. I will mention mine was in a sealed thermo well so no chance of vapour leaks and associated problems.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin
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Re: (Discussion) Do I need a thermometer on my pot still?

Postby NZChris » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:07 pm

Position is important too. Because of passive reflux, the vapor temperature always reads lower than the charge temperature, so a boiler under pressure and about to take off like a bottle rocket spraying you with hot liquor, may not be showing a dangerous temperature in the swan neck.

I work out the expected starting temperature from the abv of the wash so that, if I ever see the charge temperature going over that without getting a drip, I know it's time to switch the heat off and start checking out why.
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