Thumper?

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

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Re: Thumper?

Post by HDNB » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:44 pm

glad we got that all straightened out. now we can get back to Christmas cheer! :ebiggrin:

Have a great evening gentlemen.
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Re: Thumper?

Post by Kareltje » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:51 pm

RedwoodHillBilly wrote: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
You mean this is a picture of an upside down thumper diffuser?
Is that a valve in the centre? Are that plastic pieces left and right?

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Re: Thumper?

Post by RedwoodHillBilly » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:59 pm

HDNB wrote:glad we got that all straightened out. now we can get back to Christmas cheer! :ebiggrin:

Have a great evening gentlemen.
Agreed, happy f&#cking everything
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Re: Thumper?

Post by RedwoodHillBilly » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:06 pm

Kareltje wrote:
RedwoodHillBilly wrote: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
You mean this is a picture of an upside down thumper diffuser?
Is that a valve in the centre? Are that plastic pieces left and right?
Yes, it is a picture as I was assembling it. No, there are no plastic pieces except for the PTFE gaskets. The screens are stainless steel. Commonly used as hops screens in a brewing setup.
No valve in the center, I had to extend the spool with another small spool to get the depth that I wanted.
John Barleycorn must die.
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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 6:34 pm

It is, and I will, as I hope you all do too...my 1st Traeger smoked duck is coming of the grill right now and I'm gonna drool on the keyboard if I don't go attend to it. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL>>>>AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!

PS, here's the pic I forgot to load in my 1st query (it's in my thumper)
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Re: Thumper?

Post by magnum49 » Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:09 am

Simply put use vodka cause it’s a neutral spirit
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Re: Thumper?

Post by rob3rd » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:48 am

It looks like this one's been beat to death, but I'll go ahead and throw in my two cents.

A thumper is a good way to turn a "singling" into a "doubling" within a single run. Yes, that's pretty common knowledge, but I bring it up anyway. Suttonites will put the "backins" of previous runs' tails in the thumper. The backins are a sweet tasting component of tails that you literally have to taste for. Obviously it takes a lot of tail collections to get enough to backins to fill a thumper. Personally, I'm not skilled enough (or patient enough) to fish for backins every time. For purposes of this thread, I assume you don't have a whole lot of tail collections. Bottom line is as long as you fill your thumper with something drinkable that has a higher boiling point than the hearts of your ethanol, you should be fine. In that regard, heads collections are probably not good to put in the thumper. Realize, however, that whatever you put in the thumper (besides distilled water) will add constituents to your end product - altering the taste.

The moonshiner that trained me used his thumper more as a "puker", basically catching any mash that would boil (or puke) out of the primary boiler. To me, that's a sign of cooking too hot and fast. To each his own.

I personally do strip runs in a pot still, then pack the column for a spirit run. While thumpers make your run more efficient, they will make your run longer; just ask anybody who ran a double thumper configuration to make triple distilled vodka. Merry Christmas! R3

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Kareltje » Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:58 pm

rob3rd wrote:It looks like this one's been beat to death, but I'll go ahead and throw in my two cents.

A thumper is a good way to turn a "singling" into a "doubling" within a single run. Yes, that's pretty common knowledge, but I bring it up anyway. Suttonites will put the "backins" of previous runs' tails in the thumper. The backins are a sweet tasting component of tails that you literally have to taste for. Obviously it takes a lot of tail collections to get enough to backins to fill a thumper. Personally, I'm not skilled enough (or patient enough) to fish for backins every time.
I do not understand this. Are you saying that backins are some fraction of the tails, say between 20 and 10 %ABV and you collect them when they pass? Or do you have to run the tails again? I don't suppose you can filter them out.
For purposes of this thread, I assume you don't have a whole lot of tail collections. Bottom line is as long as you fill your thumper with something drinkable that has a higher boiling point than the hearts of your ethanol, you should be fine. In that regard, heads collections are probably not good to put in the thumper. Realize, however, that whatever you put in the thumper (besides distilled water) will add constituents to your end product - altering the taste.

That is contrary to an advice I saw some time ago: put tails in your boiler and heads in your thumper. The idea being that you lose the nasties in your heads first and trap the nasties in your tails in the backset of your thumper.
Running a model shows that the alcohol in the boiler is soon gone into the thumper and from then on you are in fact steam distilling until the boiler is empty. To prevent this, you have to close the pipe from boiler to thumper and fire the thumper as if it is a boiler. BE SURE TO OPEN THE BOILER! or it will implode!!
The moonshiner that trained me used his thumper more as a "puker", basically catching any mash that would boil (or puke) out of the primary boiler. To me, that's a sign of cooking too hot and fast. To each his own.

I personally do strip runs in a pot still, then pack the column for a spirit run. While thumpers make your run more efficient, they will make your run longer; just ask anybody who ran a double thumper configuration to make triple distilled vodka. Merry Christmas! R3
Of course: that is the law of conservation of problems: what you gain on one side you lose on the other side.
I use my thumper mainly to prevent scorching or add taste.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by jloftin60 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:16 pm

I am now using a quart jar as my thumper. Would it benefit to go to a half gallon?
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Re: Thumper?

Post by jon1163 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:23 pm

jloftin60 wrote:I am now using a quart jar as my thumper. Would it benefit to go to a half gallon jar?
If you mean glass I'm pretty sure most here on the Forum would point you to a better material for a thumper.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Truckinbutch » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:24 pm

jloftin60 wrote:I am now using a quart jar as my thumper. Would it benefit to go to a half gallon jar?
No jar is acceptable on this forum . Jars create safety issues .
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Re: Thumper?

Post by jloftin60 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:42 pm

Not to be rude, but I didn't ask about glass being acceptable. I asked if going from a quart size thumper to a half gallon size beneficial?
Thank you.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by sltm1 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:19 pm

I can't find where you said the size of your still, but a thumper should be between 1/4 and 1/3 the volume of the boiler, err on the side of safety and make it a large 1/4 at least.
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Re: Thumper?

Post by Truckinbutch » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:20 pm

jloftin60 wrote:Not to be rude, but I didn't ask about glass being acceptable. I asked if going from a quart size thumper to a half gallon size beneficial?
Thank you.
Reread your own post . You specified using a quart jar presently and asked about upgrading to a half gallon jar .
We would need to know the size of your boiler to advise you on thumper size .
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Re: Thumper?

Post by HDNB » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:04 pm

Truckinbutch wrote:
jloftin60 wrote:Not to be rude, but I didn't ask about glass being acceptable. I asked if going from a quart size thumper to a half gallon size beneficial?
Thank you.
Reread your own post . You specified using a quart jar presently and asked about upgrading to a half gallon jar .
We would need to know the size of your boiler to advise you on thumper size .
members are going to point out obvious safety issues as they see them so an unwary new distiller that stumbles into the thread won't be misled thing that the obvious safety issue is an OK thing to use.

In this case, "jar" is common lexicon for glass. It is not acceptable from a safety point of view for what should be obvious reasons. (on this site for sure, and elsewhere if common sense prevails) You bring it here, it's going to get batted down. you defend it, it will get flamed and then we gotta lock the thread and we don't want to do that.

so material -wise neither a quart jar nor a half gallon jar are acceptable.
on the size issue, thumpers are generally accepted to be "too small" if they are less than 1/3 the size of the boiler and 1/2 the size of the boiler is recommended.
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Re: Thumper?

Post by Truckinbutch » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:30 pm

Damn good advice , that .^^^
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Re: Thumper?

Post by Kareltje » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:24 pm

jloftin60 wrote:I am now using a quart jar as my thumper. Would it benefit to go to a half gallon?
As already said: Could not find the size of your still.

Also it is said that the thumper should be about 1/4 the volume of the boiler at least. That is for a reason: I find that if I start with an empty thumper at the end of a strip run (9 litres of 12 %) it contains about 1/4 of the starting volume (2,5 litres 0 %) of the boiler. About the same amount (2 litres of 50 %) is the product. That is if the thumper acts as 1 1/2 plate.
If it acts as 1 plate, the run ends with 1 litre in the thumper and 3 litres of 35 % product.

I did not yet figure out how to influence the amount of plates.
But you have the experience here, as you are the one that observed your thumper in action.

Are there any problems and if yes, what are they?

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Hilltop » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:00 pm

Kareltje wrote:
rob3rd wrote:It looks like this one's been beat to death, but I'll go ahead and throw in my two cents.

A thumper is a good way to turn a "singling" into a "doubling" within a single run. Yes, that's pretty common knowledge, but I bring it up anyway. Suttonites will put the "backins" of previous runs' tails in the thumper. The backins are a sweet tasting component of tails that you literally have to taste for. Obviously it takes a lot of tail collections to get enough to backins to fill a thumper. Personally, I'm not skilled enough (or patient enough) to fish for backins every time.
I do not understand this. Are you saying that backins are some fraction of the tails, say between 20 and 10 %ABV and you collect them when they pass? Or do you have to run the tails again? I don't suppose you can filter them out.
For purposes of this thread, I assume you don't have a whole lot of tail collections. Bottom line is as long as you fill your thumper with something drinkable that has a higher boiling point than the hearts of your ethanol, you should be fine. In that regard, heads collections are probably not good to put in the thumper. Realize, however, that whatever you put in the thumper (besides distilled water) will add constituents to your end product - altering the taste.

That is contrary to an advice I saw some time ago: put tails in your boiler and heads in your thumper. The idea being that you lose the nasties in your heads first and trap the nasties in your tails in the backset of your thumper.
Running a model shows that the alcohol in the boiler is soon gone into the thumper and from then on you are in fact steam distilling until the boiler is empty. To prevent this, you have to close the pipe from boiler to thumper and fire the thumper as if it is a boiler. BE SURE TO OPEN THE BOILER! or it will implode!!
The moonshiner that trained me used his thumper more as a "puker", basically catching any mash that would boil (or puke) out of the primary boiler. To me, that's a sign of cooking too hot and fast. To each his own.

I personally do strip runs in a pot still, then pack the column for a spirit run. While thumpers make your run more efficient, they will make your run longer; just ask anybody who ran a double thumper configuration to make triple distilled vodka. Merry Christmas! R3
Of course: that is the law of conservation of problems: what you gain on one side you lose on the other side.
I use my thumper mainly to prevent scorching or add taste.
I have used thumpers in the woods and at home, I don't have a valve between my boiler and thumper and no large stills in these parts do.

We only collect to 40% there is always some left in the boiler. Thumpers save propane, and enable one run on whisky or rum.

Not sure if any rookie should put a valve there either, it's a recipe for disaster. Sooner or later the newbie will forget to open it, and will be standing in a blue flame.

That blue flame is pretty, but hot boys!

I don't put backset, or tails or heads in mine. I fill it up with the same mash I'm running, or use it to trick my flavor.

I only wish I had a double thumper set up.
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Re: Thumper?

Post by Hilltop » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:30 pm

The only way I could see scorching the boiler is using to big a thumper. I don't use any heat under my thumper never have. Correctly sizing your thumper is very important.
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Re: Thumper?

Post by Kareltje » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:59 pm

Both my boiler and thumper are 10 l. Today I ran a rum: 6 l in the boiler and 5 l in the thumper. About half way the boiler was emptied and gave only water, so at that time I could have stopped the boiler, closed the pipe from boiler to thumper and started running the thumper as a boiler. But I was busy doing other things, so I let it run. The boiler did not run dry, but came close to it. And the salty rumslop got very concentrated.

A few weeks ago I ran a similar rum and did stop the boiler and started the thumper. I figured that is a good thing to do because: I do not have the risk of running the boiler dry and I think it saves me energy, as there is no loss in the path from boiler to thumper. Apart from that I can take the original boiler out and use the contents to start a second generation.

I have tried it just once, so I will collect data on some more runs and comparisons. After all: science is based on experiment!

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Hilltop » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:09 pm

I've never heard of using a thumper the same size as the boiler, I'm sure someone can explain it better than me, but thumpers are smaller for a reason. Generally no more than half your boiler size or close to that. I run a 7.75 gallon thumper off a 14 gallon boiler. I've never emptied mine.

Your setup is gonna worry the hell out of you. Installing a prd may be wise in case you forget to open your valve.
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Re: Thumper?

Post by jon1163 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:55 am

Hilltop wrote:I've never heard of using a thumper the same size as the boiler, I'm sure someone can explain it better than me, but thumpers are smaller for a reason. Generally no more than half your boiler size or close to that. I run a 7.75 gallon thumper off a 14 gallon boiler. I've never emptied mine.

Your setup is gonna worry the hell out of you. Installing a prd may be wise in case you forget to open your valve.
My Thumper is half the size of my boiler. I also run an 8 gallon Thumper in a 15 gallon boiler roughly. I could exchange my Pony Keg Thumper for a half barrel Thumper and increase my stripping capacity by 8 gallons....

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Kareltje » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:27 pm

Hilltop wrote:I've never heard of using a thumper the same size as the boiler, I'm sure someone can explain it better than me, but thumpers are smaller for a reason. Generally no more than half your boiler size or close to that. I run a 7.75 gallon thumper off a 14 gallon boiler. I've never emptied mine.

Your setup is gonna worry the hell out of you. Installing a prd may be wise in case you forget to open your valve.
You may not have heard about it, but it exists nonetheless. (There are a lot of things I have never heard of, that do exist without me knowing it. :mrgreen: Buggers! :angel: )
As far as I know Truckinbutch has a 15 gal boiler and 15 gal thumper and is quite happy with them.
And, just as he does, I use my thumper for far more jobs than only being a doubler. I know he hates me, but this is something we clearly do agree on.

No, my setup does not worry the hell out of me. The valve is always open, unless I close it. I am the only one that touches my stills, as I am living alone, and I am worried enough about explosions to make sure of that.
When I have run all the alcohol out of the boiler, I see no more use for running the boiler to heat the thumper. And when I stop firing the boiler, it starts sucking up the contents of the thumper. That might be inconvenient and even dangerous, so I have to break the connection. I can do that by just opening the pipe, but that would blow steam from the boiler and alcoholic vapour from the thumper into the air in my kitchen. The steam is no real problem, but alcoholic vapour is, so I have to block the opening from the thumper to the air. Shutting the valve is in itself no solution, for if the boiler cools down without opening to the air, it will implode or shrink to half its size.
There are several advantages in shutting the boiler down and go on stilling with the thumper. Saving some energy is one. And starting to empty and clean the boiler while still running is another.

Uncoupling boiler and thumper can be usefull too without a valve. I got a present of 30 liters very sturdy medlar pulp to distill. I put 10 l water in the boiler and 5 l pulp in the thumper, so in fact I was steam distilling the medlar mass. After I ran the first 5 l medlar mass I stopped the fire, uncoupled the thumper, emptied it and filled it again with 5 l medlar mass, coupled it, restarted the fire under the boiler and ran the second batch with the rest of the water in the boiler.

If I want my thumper to be 1/3 of the size of my boiler, I can simply fill it with only 3 liter: the open space will do no harm. It might add some passive reflux, that is all.
I think of a prd, but not because of the valve, but because of the contents of the thumper. So I ALWAYS blow through it before connecting it. Sometimes there is some extra pressure, indicated by a temperature of more than 100 dgr C between boiler and thumper, but if pressure really will go up too high, it will blow my thermometer out.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Truckinbutch » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:28 pm

Hilltop wrote:I've never heard of using a thumper the same size as the boiler, I'm sure someone can explain it better than me, but thumpers are smaller for a reason. Generally no more than half your boiler size or close to that. I run a 7.75 gallon thumper off a 14 gallon boiler. I've never emptied mine.

Your setup is gonna worry the hell out of you. Installing a prd may be wise in case you forget to open your valve.
You are missing a lot of reading here . 15/15 boiler/thumper enables double stripping runs and the ability to shoot the thumper on spirit runs . Been working well for many of us . Take a look at some older threads .
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Re: Thumper?

Post by Kegg_jam » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:24 pm

Hilltop wrote:I've never heard of using a thumper the same size as the boiler, I'm sure someone can explain it better than me, but thumpers are smaller for a reason. Generally no more than half your boiler size or close to that.....
What would the reasons be?

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Re: Thumper?

Post by jon1163 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:34 pm

Kegg_jam wrote:
Hilltop wrote:I've never heard of using a thumper the same size as the boiler, I'm sure someone can explain it better than me, but thumpers are smaller for a reason. Generally no more than half your boiler size or close to that.....
What would the reasons be?
You want to have enough room in the thumper so that you don't fill it up and have it back fill in your boiler. Half the size of your boiler is a good size rule - of - thumb for that.

That being said a larger Thumper is great. You can feel your Thumper with your Mash and use your boiler to heat it. As soon as your Mash in your boiler runs out of alcohol your boiler keeps eating your Thumper and you can pretty much double the size of your stripping runs.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Kegg_jam » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:23 pm

I mean, what are the so called reasons a thumper should be smaller than the boiler?

My steam rig ran just fine with the opposite. Smaller boiler and larger thumper. Depends on what your doing.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by jon1163 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:36 pm

Kegg_jam wrote:I mean, what are the so called reasons a thumper should be smaller than the boiler?

My steam rig ran just fine with the opposite. Smaller boiler and larger thumper. Depends on what your doing.
I guess think of your boiler as the engine. I can see having a boiler the same size as your temper but think it would be kind of pointless to head up a thumper bigger than your boiler. I know there's some people have a heat source for their Thumper and use it as a second boiler when they're boiler is empty but I don't see the point in that really

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Kareltje » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:32 pm

jon1163 wrote:
Kegg_jam wrote:I mean, what are the so called reasons a thumper should be smaller than the boiler?

My steam rig ran just fine with the opposite. Smaller boiler and larger thumper. Depends on what your doing.
I guess think of your boiler as the engine. I can see having a boiler the same size as your temper but think it would be kind of pointless to head up a thumper bigger than your boiler.
Surprisingly a boiler half the size of a thumper can be usefull. :crazy: (I was surprised too!)
If you have a 8 litre thumper with 12 % mash a 4 litre boiler with water can be enough to run the thumper! Of course depending on the thermal efficiencies etc.
(Now I come to think of it: I ran 5 L sturdy medlar mass with a 10 L boiler filled with water. And again a 5 L mass. And there was water left in the boiler, so I used less than 5 L water for a 5 L thumperload.)
I know there's some people have a heat source for their Thumper and use it as a second boiler when they're boiler is empty but I don't see the point in that really
The point is simply saving energy or ease of working. When the boiler has blown all its alcohol into the thumper, one can hope for some taste to follow, but one might as well stop the boiler and fire up the thumper. I guess, but I did not verify it by measurements, that a direct fire under the thumper is more efficient than a fire under the boiler and continued steam distillation. And one can start cleaning the boiler while the still is running on.

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Re: Thumper?

Post by Truckinbutch » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:21 pm

jon1163 wrote:
Kegg_jam wrote:I mean, what are the so called reasons a thumper should be smaller than the boiler?

My steam rig ran just fine with the opposite. Smaller boiler and larger thumper. Depends on what your doing.
I guess think of your boiler as the engine. I can see having a boiler the same size as your temper but think it would be kind of pointless to head up a thumper bigger than your boiler. I know there's some people have a heat source for their Thumper and use it as a second boiler when they're boiler is empty but I don't see the point in that really
Keep reading old posts and you may find some answers to your questions .
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 .
Don't drink water , fish fornicate in it .

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