My Parrot

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My Parrot

Postby Casper » Mon May 17, 2010 7:46 pm

Finally got around to dropping a picture of my parrot in the bucket. It is not my best handy work, but it should serve its purpose. I have tried it with water and it seems to work fairly well. I will be putting my first bit of product through it tomorrow. I will keep you guys posted on how well ....or poorly it works. Let me know what you think. I still need to make a base for it yet, but am sure I can come up with something crafty. Suggestions welcomed. Thanks ahead of time.

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Oh! I will finally be posting some pics of my car rim burner tomorrow too. For coming attractions ....tune in tomorrow.:D
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Re: My Parrot

Postby blanikdog » Mon May 17, 2010 8:02 pm

you'll love the wheel rim burner base. nice parot too.

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Re: My Parrot

Postby Casper » Mon May 17, 2010 8:47 pm

Thanks a lot Blanik! You are very right ....I have come to like the rim burner very much already. I set the keg up on it and it actually fits! The old turkey fryer didn't quite fit the base of the boiler, but the rim fits it perfectly. The rim setup makes me feel a lot more safe as it provides so much more stability. I would recommend anyone who has been using a turkey fryer for a burner upgrade to the rim.
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Re: My Parrot

Postby kiwistiller » Mon May 17, 2010 8:49 pm

pics or it didn't happen :D . you know you can post them here instead of photobucket right?
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Re: My Parrot

Postby Casper » Mon May 17, 2010 10:01 pm

Not sure what size this thing is. Will have to figure out the picture resizing thing. Let me know if this works.
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Re: My Parrot

Postby olddog » Mon May 17, 2010 10:38 pm

That worked fine, a good looking parrot. :ebiggrin: :ebiggrin: :ebiggrin: :ebiggrin:

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Re: My Parrot

Postby mrhooch » Tue May 18, 2010 5:01 am

:ebiggrin: :ebiggrin:

Fine job there Casper! I'm sure you'll bet many fine years out of it!

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Re: My Parrot

Postby Casper » Tue May 18, 2010 6:57 pm

I sure hope I get a couple years out of it. Tried it out this evening, running my Bird wash and it worked great! Ran it through the hearts at around 93%. Not too bad in my opinion. Think I have to put a couple of those plates in my reflux head to get to the 95% that everyone strives for with their neutral. My spirots still have a bit of an "off" smell to them when I pull them off though. I am not sure where the smell is from, but it does not seem to go away with airing even. I let my last collected spirits sit out for about 4 days and they still had an off smell. I may have gotten some heads or tails in my product last time, but I am sure I got it right this time, only collecting ~300 mLs/jar and the smell of heads is still present. Not sure what I can do, but I would appreciate some feedback. Maybe this is not the right place to address this issue, but thought it would be just as good as any.
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Re: My Parrot

Postby bstinga » Tue May 18, 2010 9:58 pm

My spirots still have a bit of an "off" smell to them when I pull them off though. I am not sure where the smell is from, but it does not seem to go away with airing even. I let my last collected spirits sit out for about 4 days and they still had an off smell. I may have gotten some heads or tails in my product last time, but I am sure I got it right this time, only collecting ~300 mLs/jar and the smell of heads is still present. Not sure what I can do, but I would appreciate some feedback


I note you have a stainless column from the photo's, what sort of packing you got? Seems like setup looks good and your collecting in seperate vessels along the way which helps, only thing I would suggest is making sure you have clean real copper packing (not brass or stainless packing, but that is probably stating the obvious). My first pot still was stainless and had a stainless scrubber, swapping it to copper packing made a very noticible improvement. Also give it time to equalibriate and don't push it too hard for a neutral. Try a slower run than you usually do and see if that helps, failing that, revisit your wash recipies. Sorry that's all I could suggest, I sometimes scratch my head when things don't work out as I planned them myself... good luck.

p.s. like the parrot. need to get on with my new one... i'm a slacker.
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Re: My Parrot

Postby mrhooch » Tue May 18, 2010 11:04 pm

+1 on the if you ain't got copper, put some copper in the path. For % remember you need 13 cm of scubbies for each plate, and the jump from 93 to 95 is at least 4-5 plates.

Casper, before you go futzing around, you've got a portal into what your flux coil is doing, with the side attachment. See if the trickle is down the middle or running down the sides.

Are you collecting heads? There are heads in column distilling, as well as foreshots. Heads get pretty stinky. I ran it cup by cup one time and checked where the good stuff was, you might need to do what once or twice.

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Re: My Parrot

Postby kiwistiller » Tue May 18, 2010 11:12 pm

what wash was this using?

Also, I'd definately go for the centering rings. should get you up to 95% I'd say. Going up from the bottom, put them at 40-50cm spacing. It isn't nessesary to have one right at the top where the ABV is so high (lower surface tension).
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Re: My Parrot

Postby Casper » Wed May 19, 2010 10:02 am

mrhooch wrote:+1 on the if you ain't got copper, put some copper in the path. For % remember you need 13 cm of scubbies for each plate, and the jump from 93 to 95 is at least 4-5 plates.

Casper, before you go futzing around, you've got a portal into what your flux coil is doing, with the side attachment. See if the trickle is down the middle or running down the sides.

Are you collecting heads? There are heads in column distilling, as well as foreshots. Heads get pretty stinky. I ran it cup by cup one time and checked where the good stuff was, you might need to do what once or twice.

Hooch.


Hooch, I do have loads of copper in the vapor path. I have the column packed from the top of the boiler to the T where the lyne arm comes off with copper mesh. I am sure I am not getting to 95% because I don't have any plates in the column. I wasn't aware that this was part of the reflux design until after I had built it. I may gotten some heads in the product as you say.

I used a bird wash made with 8 pounds of sugar and 1 can of tomato paste. I pitched about 2 ounces of distillers yeast. It was approximately 18 liters or 4.75 gallons when at volume.

I charged the boiler with the 18 liter Bird wash. Once at equilibrium, I pulled off approximately 150 milliliters(mL) of fores. Immediately after I pulled the fores off, I began collecting 300mL of distillate into pint jars until the run had completed( I stopped collecting at 180 degrees F). When the run was complete, I had approximately 1.25 liters of distillate. It took about 5.5 hours from start to finish. I am thinking that I should have made smaller cuts, something like 200 mL per jar. What do you guys think?


what wash was this using?

Also, I'd definately go for the centering rings. should get you up to 95% I'd say. Going up from the bottom, put them at 40-50cm spacing. It isn't nessesary to have one right at the top where the ABV is so high (lower surface tension).


Kiwi, I was running a bird wash last night. I will definately get those centering rings in there before I run my next wash. I will have to do another cleaning run too, but as you say, it should get me to 95% easily.
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Re: My Parrot

Postby kiwistiller » Wed May 19, 2010 12:57 pm

well you don't have to solder in the rings, so just soak them in some citric acid or vinegar first and give them a good scrub, then you won't have to do another cleaning run. That is sounding a bit on the slow side. you'll get it dialed in.
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Re: My Parrot

Postby Casper » Thu May 20, 2010 8:26 am

How are the rings held in place if they are not soldered? Could you possibly show me an example of what the rings look like when in the column Kiwi? I am sure I will get it dialed in, but it will definitely take some practice.
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Re: My Parrot

Postby kiwistiller » Thu May 20, 2010 12:54 pm

mine just sit tight in the column. I'll look at breaking my column apart and taking a snap when I get to it.
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Re: My Parrot

Postby mrhooch » Thu May 20, 2010 8:25 pm

Well, you should have got more product out of the batch.... But yes the elusive 3%, you got the right basic setup, it might be just how you pack the column, I just scruch mine up, roll them actually, so it fits tightly in the column. I could be the reflux is channelling. where you get little rivers of reflux. Try using a trickle of water approximating the reflux, and see what happens at the bottom, if its running down the sides, it will impact the final percentage.

A trick to use to get the high percents, is to let the flux run under total reflux for a while, 5 - 10 minutes, at least enough time to reflux 10x the wetted volume of the column. This will technically fill the column with very high abv alcohol. Then crack the valve so you get drips, collect enough to take a reading.

You've done well. Have you noticed yet that adding water to it makes it hot?

I personally use a big ass thermometer in my pot, or you can attach one to the base of the column to tell you when all the alcohol is gone (when it hits 212), I stop at 210, yes there is a bit left in it, but it's crud.

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Re: My Parrot

Postby kiwistiller » Thu May 20, 2010 8:38 pm

mrhooch wrote: Try using a trickle of water approximating the reflux, and see what happens at the bottom, if its running down the sides, it will impact the final percentage.

hmmm yes use something with a wildly different surface tension to what you actually are interested in :? :roll:
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Re: My Parrot

Postby Casper » Fri May 21, 2010 2:18 pm

mrhooch wrote:I personally use a big ass thermometer in my pot, or you can attach one to the base of the column to tell you when all the alcohol is gone (when it hits 212), I stop at 210, yes there is a bit left in it, but it's crud.


You collect all distillate until it is that hot. It seems pretty high to me. I read on the parent site that after approximately 180 degrees, the product coming off wasn't worth messing with. After mine got up to around 180 degrees F, the collection rate dropped way down. Even when I bumped up the heat, it still came out at a trickle. What should my collection rate be at so I am still able to get a good neutral product? 5 hours just seemed like a long time to run for an 18 liter wash and I got little product to show for it. Just seems rather odd when I should potentially get around 2 liters of product out of the wash. Any thoughts?
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Re: My Parrot

Postby kiwistiller » Fri May 21, 2010 4:12 pm

hooch doesn't have a thermometer in his column, he's talking about boiler temperature :roll:

I'd say you should probably start running low wines instead of wash, it tends to be more economical with your time, and may boost you an extra tiny bit on the abv if you're lucky. centering rings from the bottom will increase the speed you can run at and maintain high ABV. remember the volume of your column will probably contain a bit of product at the end. I prefer to run low wines in the column, as the last little bit that's a pain to get is proportionately less.
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Re: My Parrot

Postby mrhooch » Fri May 21, 2010 5:37 pm

I agree with Kiwi (with no rolling eyes) that there is a point where it is useless to push the still too far to get that last drop out.

I thought I did mention that the thermometer was in the boiler, I think of it more as a gas gauge to tell me how much alcohol I got in the left in the pot. There is a pretty chart in the theory section which has all the boiling points of different concentrations of ethanol and water.

You should have got more product Casper... Did you taste the wash to see if it was still sweet? If it didn't ferment completely, you won't get as much alcohol out. Maybe your reflux was too low and you had a lot of blowby.

Stills all have their little quirks.

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