LM still, positive vapour flow from top of still column

Vapor, Liquid or Cooling Management. Flutes, plates, etc.

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LM still, positive vapour flow from top of still column

Post by richard1 » Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:21 pm

I recently did a beer stripping run on a new 60L LM still build and was checking amongst others a variety of things. ...

Cooling water take off temperature at RC top ..... outlet
Temperature of distilled product take off after PC
Top temperature at column top (where I have a DN25 CIP connection)

I was using ambient tap water for the supply cooling water ... +- 20 deg C estimated and atmospheric temp was approx. 29 deg C.

Cooling water temp during stripping at outlet of top RC not accurately measured but I estimated about 36 - 40 deg C
Distilled product temp was generally < 30 deg C (measured Edrometer)
Top temp at column top (above RC where CIP connection is) was not hot (hand measurement) and I estimated <40 deg C

But this is when I discovered that I had a positive cool vapour flow from top of column (CIP connection)

Beer being stripped was approx. 5% ABV and had been open to atmosphere for a few days so a lot of saturated CO2 gas had been removed

Power to the boiler was approx. 2.5KW

I was at a loss to explain why I had this positive cool vapour flow and possible alcohol loss and ultimately fitted a safety pressure relief valve to this end connection.

Any suggestions regarding this cool vapour flow ???

Thoughts coming to mind;

Flooded column from beer ?? I have no sight glass fitted so can not confirm. I don't think so
Take off needle valve too small so restricted flow (1/4" standard off the shelf needle valve) ..... I was stripping with valve 100% open

I did increase cooling water flow but no difference realised

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