Thumper?

Simple pot still distillation and construction with or without a thumper.

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goose eye
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Re: Thumper?

Post by goose eye » Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:24 pm

Son, the benefit is learnin.
Not thinkin but knowin


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Re: Thumper?

Post by Iamgod » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:38 pm

Thanks @gooseeye need to rebuild my column any how stainless not enough copper some off tastes so will look at a thump try with and without see difference as you said at least i will know :D

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Re: Thumper?

Post by olelucky46 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:31 am

Evidently some of these good ole boys, never did any canning. Mason jars weren't made for moonshine. That's the reason they are calledtemp moonshine. The are made to withstand boiling hot liquid. Plus they do make high temperature plastic lids. Mason was one of the first manufacturers.
One other thing. a thumper for all tense and purpose is not a boiler..no external heat source. Although you could make a glass boiler, but rapid changes in temperature could be catastrophic. Just saying.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by APD » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:37 pm

Dunno if I'd be game for a glass thumper.
Have done a lot of canning with glass "Ball" brand jars - basically a Mason jar by another name.

They do withstand high temp but you have to treat them gentle and heat them evenly in the canner, ... get to big a differential over the jar and bang.
When canning you sit cooling jars on a folded towel to avoid to rapid a change on the bottom of the jar with a cold bench-top.
Once had the top of a very hot jar break in the canner when I tried to pick it out with cold tongs.

I've been running a thumper in various incarnations for 18months - wouldn't go back to straight pot still as the advantages are just so many, higher consistent abv (rather than a steady decline in abv with pot config'), thumper moderates any fluctuation in the kettle to an extent and seems to act as a temp governor.
I have a thermometer fixed in the head of my thumper and you can notice a slight increase in temp at the same time the abv starts to drop off.
Had one high abv Rum wash that the nitial head take with the thumper started off at 90%abv!

Mine have always been copper.
Current one that is working like magic is about 1/4 the size of my kettle, ... I went a lot smaller with my first one after reading some misleading info' and had trouble with it sometimes puking over.

Pipe size wise, I'm running a 50L kettle and my lyne arm tapers down to a 3/4inch copper pipe, that goes in/out of the thumper to a 5m long 3/4 inch copper worm.

Would appreciate any feedback anyone has on pipe sizes as that's not something I've seen much info' on.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Shine0n » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:08 pm

3/4 is the minimum I'd go, mine is 1" in and out.
if I do another cross over section I'll do 2"all around. just tig another 2" ferrule and make 2" shotgun off the thumper.
although I love worm!
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RedwoodHillBilly
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Re: Thumper?

Post by RedwoodHillBilly » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:20 pm

Shine0n wrote:3/4 is the minimum I'd go, mine is 1" in and out.
if I do another cross over section I'll do 2"all around. just tig another 2" ferrule and make 2" shotgun off the thumper.
although I love worm!
Shine0n
That's the way mine is. I don't have any worries about a puke. What's the worst that can happen with a 2" feed from the boiler to the thumper?
John Barleycorn must die.
"and little Sir John in the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last.
The huntsman he can't hunt the fox, nor so loudly to blow his horn
and the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots without a little barleycorn."

Antler24
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Re: Thumper?

Post by Antler24 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:31 am

I've got a 15.5g boiler and recently added a 7.5g thumper. Usually just do single runs now but was wondering if anyone has ran low wines in the thumper and backset in the boiler?
Im gonna try something different, strip a 12g wash right into the thumper, then plumb the thumper in and run it nice and slow for a spirit run. Thinking the backset vapor may add more flavour?
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Re: Thumper?

Post by boda getta » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:07 pm

I run an electric powered (5500/240) 15.5 ss keg pot still and mostly run all grain whiskies. I have run neutrals a few times with Birdwatches and ran it 3-4 times. I have a 7 gal 1/4 ss keg I often use for small spirit runs that I been thinking for a couple years of setting up as a thumper (I would also plan to continue to use it as a boiler for small runs) I have always read that a pot still w/thumper equal about 1.5 distillations. If I did both the stripping and spirit run using the thumper, that should equal a triple distillation. As I don't want to strip too much favor I'm thinking I would run the thumper for only one run. I can't wrap my mind around if I would be be better off to strip with the thumper or do the spirit run with the thumper.

Also, IMHO, I would never use a glass jar as a thumper.

BG

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Re: Thumper?

Post by zapata » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:46 pm

I don't think a double run with thumper really equals a triple distillation if you mean like triple distilled irish whiskey. I mean the abv would be high like the output of 3x pot stilling with no dillution, but that doesnt mean the flavor profile is the same as the irish protocol. BUT I've never done it, just been educating my pallette to pure pot irish whiskies lately deciding if I want to bother making one. I've compared drinks made w thumpers and not, and dont think its as simple as "thumper = 1.5 distillations". Abv wise maybe, but the other way to do a 1.5 run (spirit run of wash and low wines in pot still) does not taste exactly like a 1 and done with a thumper.

That being said, unless you get some first hand experience, I don't think it'll be bad either way. Personally I'd strip deep down to low abv (like 0-5% output) without thumper, then spirit run with it. My thinking is that the deep strip will catch a lot of potential flavor, but without feints to add you could go too deep to have a good spirit run on a simple pot. But using the thump on the spirit run will keep the abv high even if your low wines are only in the 20s abv. No idea if it is "right", but thats how I'd do a double run with a thumper if I started one tommorow and didnt have appropriate feints.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by birdpilot » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:33 am

I use a small (1 quart) thumper with a 4 gallon pot still, and only fill still 3/4 full or slightly less. I fill the thumper ~1/2 full using tails from previous run. With 11-12% wash, I get 750 ml of 75% and 375 ml of 60%, before I start getting tails.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by trueheart » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:32 pm

I love a thumper. I have a 15.5 gal. keg boiler and a 7.5 keg thumper and usually keep my spirits white. I use the boiler only to do strip runs, then add the thumper when doing the spirit run. The thumper on a spirit run will increase the alcohol percentage of your finished spirit, though not quite as much as another full distillation, because it is basically acting as a (unheated) secondary parasitic boiler. Putting low wines in both boiler and thumper doesn't seem to change the flavor profile much to me. Putting saved tails or feints in the thumper will bump the flavor but I find that it can push everything towards the "wet dog" edge. Water in the thumper seems to clean up the flavor, make the cuts a little tighter, and stretch out the hearts a bit. Others may disagree. You can also use the thumper to flavor your spirits by putting oils, berries, or grain in it without the fear of scorching that can happen in the boiler.
You can judge a great whiskey with one sip, but it's best to be thorough.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Playhard » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:50 am

Way back on Nov. 7, 2013:
sltm1 wrote:I'm going the traditional thumper route (switching from the line condenser and using a worm), and I was wondering how much longer percentage wise it takes to complete a run. Just a rough guesstamate is fine (6gal boiler/3gal thumper pot, 6gl bucket for the worm). Thanx
Now, 4 years later, looking at your 2 thumper photos, makes me want to go this same route. The photos look like great. Your fittings into and out of the thumper look clean, compact. Can you describe what they were? Both on the top and bottom of the lid? I googled what I thought the top fittings could be. I came up with a Wrot Copper Adapter, C x FNPT Connection Type, 3/4" Tube Size. I can't see the bottom config and I can't tell if the fittings were soldered to the lip. Was there any soldering to the lid? Also, I googled a second copper fitting a Wrot Copper Adapter, C x MNPT Connection Type, 3/4" Tube Size that could screw from below into the lid topside fitting too. I could go on and on trying to cobble something together. Can you help? Thanks.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Playhard » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:03 pm

Ok. Used my best judgement and have a pot and thumper assembled. Used standard copper plumbing fittings. I used 3/4" female npt by 3/4" male npt fittings. The key being able to use a knockout die/punch that my Dad passed along to me. I needed 3 fittings. One in the pot and 2 in the thumper. It was my very first ever stainless steel to copper solder project. The solder joints worked out very well using Harris Stay-Clear flux and Harris Stay-Brite 8 silver solder. I found it easier to pre-tin the stainless steel with the solder, clean up the flux residue and then insert the fitting and solder away. The female end of the fittings point upward and will receive the 3/4" pipe in the way of a slip fit socket, for ease of assembly and dismantling.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Playhard » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:08 pm

Fresh question. I have seen one post by corene1 (11.2.13) who talked about a thumper diffuser using a 3/4 x 1-1/4" reducer with many small holes drilled. Can anyone share a winning diffuser they use. Can you have too many small holes. What's a small hole? 1/16", 1/8" diameter? Or, I have seen 1 post where a v-notch was recommended. Does anyone use a v-notch at the bottom. Is only one notch necessary. Seems like a notch acts like a weir. If one notch is good, are two notches better?
Last edited by Playhard on Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Playhard » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:12 pm

Another question. I have 1 thermometer mounted at the pot outlet. I also built a thumper. I do not have a thermometer mounted at the outlet of the thumper. Is it nice, important, or necessary to monitor thumper outlet temperature, as well as pot temperature?

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Antler24 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:39 pm

Playhard wrote:Another question. I have 1 thermometer mounted at the pot outlet. I also built a thumper. I do not have a thermometer mounted at the outlet of the thumper. Is it nice, important, or necessary to monitor thumper outlet temperature, as well as pot temperature?

It's not necessary to know any temperatures on a pot still. Not important at all some people just like having things to look at I guess. Give it half dozen runs and you should be able to feel the plumbing and give a pretty accurate guess to how long before she starts pissing liquor.

A diffuser is not needed, it's said it'll help "mingling" of the incoming vapor with the thumper contents. I did about a hundred 1/16" holes on mine, but don't cap the end. If it pukes over you don't want those tiny holes plugging up.
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Re: Thumper?

Post by sltm1 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:00 pm

Playhard, the fittings are 1/2 inch (interior) copper , with copper to copper screw down couplings/connectors, having brass exterior nuts. They are not soldered, I ended the exterior copper pipes with male fittings and screwed on female fittings inside, using PTFE tape to secure everything. I had to re tape them after 2.5 years, but I'm happy with their performance overall. My thermometer is just a basically a visual indicator for when the runs going to start, temp is not important, just the position of the needle. Also, I use a parrot with a hydrometer, but I know when the hearts are done by watching the needle.
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Re: Thumper?

Post by Truckinbutch » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:13 pm

Double v-notch . Amuse yourself with thermometers if you must . They have no material usefulness .
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Re: Thumper?

Post by sltm1 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:08 pm

Double v notch? And yes, they are amusing....and I'm easily amused.
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Re: Thumper?

Post by Playhard » Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:18 am

Thanks @antler24, @sltm1, @Truckinbutch. Thanks for the Christmas presents. I appreciate the info. Not knowing someone with first hand experience has made things interesting. Initially, I had silver brazing wire (from my Dad) and 3/8" copper tube and fittings, so I figured, I already had a head start, until I started reading up on the craft. So i did a u-turn and picked up 3/4" copper, silver solder, yada, yada, yada. Never soldered s/s. Now, I have. Call it a bucket list item. Going forward, need to keep it simple and not re-invent the wheel.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Truckinbutch » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:47 pm

Fare well , Pilgrim . We will do what we can to help . Sound's like you have a good self help program in progress .
If you ain't the lead dog in the team , the scenery never changes . Ga Flatwoods made my avatar and I want to thank him for that .
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Re: Thumper?

Post by corene1 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:53 am

Playhard wrote:Fresh question. I have seen one post by corene1 (11.2.13) who talked about a thumper diffuser using a 3/4 x 1-1/4" reducer with many small holes drilled. Can anyone share a winning diffuser they use. Can you have too many small holes. What's a small hole? 1/16", 1/8" diameter? Or, I have seen 1 post where a v-notch was recommended. Does anyone use a v-notch at the bottom. Is only one notch necessary. Seems like a notch acts like a weir. If one notch is good, are two notches better?
I use always diffuser on my thumpers Is it more effective? I like to think so it seems to make the heat up a bit faster on my set up ,and in my thoughts it causes the incoming vapors to condense more quickly and evenly , The diffuser you were looking at was on my small 8 gallon set up . The 3/4 inch tube just slips in and goes to the 3/4 by 1-1/4 adaptor with the top being drilled with 1/8 inch holes . Since it sits just off the bottom if there is a puke it will not plug up the smaller holes On a difuser with a sealed end such as one coming off of a 90 degree bend I use 1/4 inch holes just for safeties sake. I have never had one plug but it doesn't mean it could not happen as I have never run a cleared mash that could puke 1/4 inch chunks. Again just my thoughts. Here is a photo of the difuser you were talking about.
007.JPG

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Re: Thumper?

Post by RedwoodHillBilly » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:50 am

I prefer diffusers as well. Here is a picture of two of my mash tun / fermenter/ thumpers (MFT), as I was assembling one of them for thumper mode. You can see how the diffuser works. I have a dedicated 30G stripping boiler to go with them. I move the clear beer to the stripping boiler and leave the slop in the MFT. The input is 2". Overkill, perhaps, but it works for me. On the lower right is my 15G spirit boiler. Makes a reasonable drop, if I do say myself.
SteamWandResized.JPG
Last edited by RedwoodHillBilly on Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
John Barleycorn must die.
"and little Sir John in the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last.
The huntsman he can't hunt the fox, nor so loudly to blow his horn
and the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots without a little barleycorn."

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Re: Thumper?

Post by sltm1 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:43 am

A little confused with the term here. The pic is of a bad, as in terrible gin basket (infuser), on the outlet pipe, the long pipe on the bottom of the inlet pipe is lined with holes on top, is that a (diffuser)? Seems like it, just never heard the term used before.
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Re: Thumper?

Post by RedwoodHillBilly » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:33 pm

sltm1 wrote:A little confused with the term here. The pic is of a bad, as in terrible gin basket (infuser), on the outlet pipe, the long pipe on the bottom of the inlet pipe is lined with holes on top, is that a (diffuser)? Seems like it, just never heard the term used before.
Yes you are confused. Perhaps you need to understand what a thumper is and how it works.
John Barleycorn must die.
"and little Sir John in the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last.
The huntsman he can't hunt the fox, nor so loudly to blow his horn
and the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots without a little barleycorn."

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Re: Thumper?

Post by sltm1 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:07 pm

Thanks for the "no-info", been using this thumper for over 4 years now with excellent results and no problems, just wanted a definition on a word. How about you answer me that.......without the sarcasm?
A Paraphrase of a Joe Walsh Album Title, "The Drinkier I get, The Smokier I Play!!"
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Re: Thumper?

Post by RedwoodHillBilly » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:25 pm

sltm1 wrote:Thanks for the "no-info", been using this thumper for over 4 years now with excellent results and no problems, just wanted a definition on a word. How about you answer me that.......without the sarcasm?
If you don't have a clue how these systems work, I guess that you are a troll.
John Barleycorn must die.
"and little Sir John in the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last.
The huntsman he can't hunt the fox, nor so loudly to blow his horn
and the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots without a little barleycorn."

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Re: Thumper?

Post by HDNB » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:40 pm

ahem. :evil:

i believe the thumper diffuser is show in the picture is attached to the lid and flipped upside down

:wtf:
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Re: Thumper?

Post by sltm1 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:44 pm

HDNB, thanx.

RedwoodHillbilly.....have nice day :lol:
A Paraphrase of a Joe Walsh Album Title, "The Drinkier I get, The Smokier I Play!!"
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Re: Thumper?

Post by RedwoodHillBilly » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:35 pm

HDNB wrote:ahem. :evil:

i believe the thumper diffuser is show in the picture is attached to the lid and flipped upside down

:wtf:
Of course, I thought that it was obvious to anybody that has done some research, my mistake. :)
John Barleycorn must die.
"and little Sir John in the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last.
The huntsman he can't hunt the fox, nor so loudly to blow his horn
and the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots without a little barleycorn."

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