How fast is running a still too fast? Signs of condenser not knocking everything down?

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HuckFinn
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How fast is running a still too fast? Signs of condenser not knocking everything down?

Post by HuckFinn » Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:09 pm

Hi everyone,

I did a stripping run previously that took 6 or so hours and was told to go as fast as possible. How fast exactly is too fast? Like how can I see vapor in a jar and was does a condenser being overrun look like?

Thank you

SaltyStaves
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Re: How fast is running a still too fast? Signs of condenser not knocking everything down?

Post by SaltyStaves » Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:17 pm

Get a mirror or a piece of glass. If you have vapour exiting your condenser, then you'll be able to clearly see it.

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still_stirrin
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Re: How fast is running a still too fast? Signs of condenser not knocking everything down?

Post by still_stirrin » Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:21 pm

If you get vapor puffing out of the spout, and you can’t turn up the cooling water any more, you’re running too fast.

A mirror at the spout would steam up if you’re pushing vapors out. Otherwise, it’s often hard to see alcohol vapors. If you have a good nose, you can smell vapors escaping too. So that would be another indication of running too fast.

For a strip run, you can run as fast as your product condenser can handle the heat load. Overrunning the pc is both wasteful and DANGEROUS. But, you’ve got to learn where that point is....we can’t say it “X number of watts”, or “Y degrees at the thermometer”, or even “Z liters per minute”. It’s a function of your equipment and how it’s run. You gotta’ learn it.
ss
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Yummyrum
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Re: How fast is running a still too fast? Signs of condenser not knocking everything down?

Post by Yummyrum » Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:58 pm

Like SS and SS said , if vapour is coming out the spout , you’re stripping too hard .It’s uncondensed vapour filling your room that is the problem .

As a rule , if the distillate feels cool to the touch , you’re running fine and safe as ... but you could still crank up the power some more . :yawn:
If it’s starting to feel warm then you are at a good safe place to be . :thumbup:

But if its hot , you are running close to the limit and if as the others have said , you stick a mirror or a spoon near the spout and it starts to fog , you are running too hard and the condenser can’t keep up .

Remember , your body runs at around 38°C so if the distillate feels comfortably warm , then that is a good indicator that all is working well with a good safety margin . :thumbup: .... 35-45°C distillate happens to be a pretty good safe range from what I’ve found .

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