First time distiller

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Hal
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First time distiller

Post by Hal » Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:30 pm

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So that's my setup guys. I don't know how to build the equipment yet and I borrowed this until I get my own or build one.

Few questions:

1. I ran plain water to clean it...for how long do I steam off the pipes? I can't see when the water is done... How to clean after the vinegar clean up to remove vinegar taste? Is the cleaning with alcohol necessary? Friends used the equipment few days ago, is vinegar necessary in this case?

2. As you see it runs on a propane stove outside. It is windy and the flames are being blown away...Is this going to affect the consistency of temperature in a significant way? My second option is the Shed, but not sure about the gases...

3. I have 3 buckets with fermented grapes (no stems). About 45-50 liters including skins...Would you add water to the mix and how much?

3. How much do you throw out in the beginning when it starts to drip? How is the water technique used to separate methanol?

4. Do you double distill?

The Baker
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Re: First time distiller

Post by The Baker » Sun Oct 25, 2020 6:15 pm

Hello, Hal, from Australia.

2. It will help a lot if you put a shield around the still.
Just a simple open-ended cylinder with perhaps a bit of a cut-out near the flame for the air to enter.
This will keep a lot of the wind out; but even where that is not a problem it will save a lot of gas by keeping the heat near the still.

Geoff
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NZChris
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Re: First time distiller

Post by NZChris » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:42 pm

Be very careful if you shield around the still. Applying heat above the level of the charge can cause burning and burnt flavor is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of, plus, burn on is very hard to clean off the inside of the still.

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NZChris
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Re: First time distiller

Post by NZChris » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:54 pm

What do you want to make?

A traditional grappa?

Lots of alcohol to get drunk on?

Something in between, which is probably the easiest with the still you have?

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Yummyrum
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Re: First time distiller

Post by Yummyrum » Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:24 am

Hal wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:30 pm
1. ..... Friends used the equipment few days ago, is vinegar necessary in this case?
I wouldn’t worry about a cleaning run if your friends just run it . Cleaning run is really only required if its a new built still .
Hal wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:30 pm
2. As you see it runs on a propane stove outside. It is windy and the flames are being blown away...Is this going to affect the consistency of temperature in a significant way? My second option is the Shed, but not sure about the gases...
Yes you should be cautious about running indoors with gas . Have all the doors and windows open if possible to get fresh air in and exhaust gases out .

I agree running outdoors on gas when its windy can be a bit of a problem . I have bricks around my burner to help shield the flames from the wind .

As NZChris said , if you have a close fitting shield around the boiler , it can cause burning of the stuff inside the boiler at the top as the hot gases pass by .

Looking ar your picture , what really concerns me is you are using a gas burner on wooden floor boards . Please please please get some sort of fireproof insulation .

I have cracked concrete and compressed cement sheet from the heat of a gas burner . Look after your house .
Hal wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:30 pm
3. How much do you throw out in the beginning when it starts to drip? How is the water technique used to separate methanol?
Personally nothing on the stripping run .
Hal wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:30 pm
4. Do you double distill?
Yes . Thats where I would do the cuts based on flavour . . If it tastes bad , toss it aside .

There is no magic safe amount cut for Methanol .It will come out throughout the entire run .

Rest assured that any Methanol that does sneak by will well and truely be metabolised in your body by all the Ethanol that you will dink with it . .

What do you think they give Methanol poisoned Patents in Hospital as an antidote... Ethanol

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Durhommer
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Re: First time distiller

Post by Durhommer » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:58 am

Hal show us the inside of the flake stand I wanna see the condenser on the still
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

The Baker
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Re: First time distiller

Post by The Baker » Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:01 am

yummyrun said, 'As NZChris said , if you have a close fitting shield around the boiler , it can cause burning of the stuff inside the boiler at the top as the hot gases pass by'.

The operative word there is 'close fitting'.

I wouldn't be without a shield if heating on gas.

A close fitting shield, no.

Geoff
The Baker

Cristof
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Re: First time distiller

Post by Cristof » Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:44 am

Grapes brandy is one of my favourite brandies, I have similar amount of fermenting grapes this year.

About adding water to the mix... I think fermented grapes is enough liquid that you don't need to add water. Just be sure you don't add too many pawns into pot because it would more likely get burn.

Of course distill it twice. On first run collect everything together, on second run separate fractions. Second run must be veeery slow to get really good brandy, in my case one liter flows 40-50 minutes. From distilling 50 liters (second run) I take away first 0,2 or 0,3 liters. Then collect till 50 % abv as brandy (drinking fraction), and then collect separately till no (or only little) alcohol for next year to include in second distillation. Doing this for almost 10 years and it's really good. :thumbup:

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