am i running my offset head properly??

Putting older posts here. Going to try to keep the novice forum pruned about 90 days work. The 'good' old stuff is going to be put into appropriate forums.

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CanadianWhiskey
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am i running my offset head properly??

Post by CanadianWhiskey » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:09 am

i dont know what everyone means when it come to getting a reflux ratio on an off set head design

I have 40 inch column with an elbow at the top then a t connection

i dont see a point of getting a double valve or even getting the perfect reflux ratio that everyone here talks about...i run cold water with ice cubs in a tub with a subermisable pump constantly running leveing the my head at 5 degrees celsius at all times and i control the heat with dimmer?

should i be running my still differently???
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Pikluk
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Post by Pikluk » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:07 pm

are you happy with the product your getting?

CanadianWhiskey
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Post by CanadianWhiskey » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:42 pm

the highest ive got was 92 abv

what i should be asking is, should i be running it differently?

also im getting confused with how some people dont kee the temp at a constant 78 and just let there heater power hard and fast till it starts tasting like tails!

should i be doing this also?
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wineo
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Post by wineo » Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:23 pm

It sounds like your running it right to me.Running it hot,or hard is going to mix heads and tails throughout the whole run.I used to run a nixon/stone but only used 1 valve on the collection line.

CanadianWhiskey
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Post by CanadianWhiskey » Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:40 pm

i just dont get this whole equilibrium and reflux ratio everyone talks about!!!

i dunno. i just plug the damn thing in set it at 78 where i have thermometer at the top of the elbow and let it run till i get about 4 liters or until it starts tasting alittle like harsh tequilla...

it seem like everyone take things to far, or maybe im too easy going when it comes to this

iv also realized i dont think i even need a thermometer i just let it drip at one drop a second if it starts going to fast and puch back my power output i cunt hair!
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wineo
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Post by wineo » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:46 pm

I dont run mine anymore.I have become a potstill person.I use it for everything.The one I had used 1 valve,and you could control how much went back in for reflux.As your run progressed you could increse the amount of reflux as you got twards the tails part of your run,and lower the temp back to 78 once it started to rise at the end.Mine would run 95+% all the time if you adjusted the output down enough but I hated those long runs.I would do a stripping run first,then run it at 95% with alot more output.It still took 6 hours.I can run 13 gallons in 3 hours in my potstill.

big worm
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Post by big worm » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:21 pm

i'm starting to think like wino and the other pot stillers here...reflux is good but pot is better unless your after a pure nurtral.
GOT BAIT?
small children left unatended will be sold as bait

CanadianWhiskey
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Post by CanadianWhiskey » Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:09 pm

lol ya no kidding. after all the elctrical TIG welding, soldering, buying the keg, buying the copper, figuring out the best way for the cooling water, headaches, and going back to the home depot again and again for different fittings blah blah blah... iand i mean like for what? iv prolly spent about 700 bucks on this rig...no im looking at the normal pot still maybe ge better taste

what exactly should a neutral spirit taste like anyways ???

i think im more imprssed with the fact that 1 tbs burns for 2 minutes
rather than the drink its self... i hear the turbos give off tatse though

should i be doing a stripping run even with my reflux still Wineo??
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wineo
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Post by wineo » Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:37 pm

It always helps to do a stripping run first cause your reflux will run a stripped wash faster.I built that nixon stone,and then built a potstill/stripper column.Once I started using the potstill,I hated the longer reflux runs.I got to the point that I wasnt using the reflux at all.
Now that I know how to make cleaner washes,I potstill my neutral,and its much better than any that I ran with the reflux.I remodled that nixon stone,and now its a tall column with a little reflux.It looks cool,but Its collecting dust too.You live and you learn!

tracker0945
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Post by tracker0945 » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:01 pm

CanadianWhiskey
A neutral spirit should taste exactly as it is described - neutral i.e. no taste. Most use reflux stills for this. Then mix flavourings to get what taste they are looking for..
Not what you are looking for if you want to drink it straight from the still (or with a bit of ageing). Pot stills are far better for this.
Cheers.
2"x38" Bok mini and
Pot still with Leibig on 45 litre boiler

CanadianWhiskey
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Post by CanadianWhiskey » Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:09 am

thanks tracker and wineo i really appreciate your reply's

One last thing is it ok to run my stripping run fast and hard?
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Pikluk
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Post by Pikluk » Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:59 am

your lucky theres so many nice peoples here because all you asked are basic and had been answered here many times...

you wanna make your own booze read damn it...

sorry to sound bad here...

do you know the difference between a reflux column and a pot still?

a basic quiz could be very useful not only for you guys to know if that person readed enough to make is own booze and/or for you guys to know if what you say might get someone hurt....

Pikluk
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Post by Pikluk » Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:07 am

hows the saying goes ...
give a man a fish you'll feed him for a day teach him how to fish feed him for life...

Pikluk
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Post by Pikluk » Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:11 am

maybe in our case it would be teach a man the read save him and is friend from methanol poisoning...
:P

Pikluk
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Post by Pikluk » Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:12 am

i know methanol poisoning would be hard to do but i don't think he knows, might make him read..,

CanadianWhiskey
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Post by CanadianWhiskey » Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:23 am

hahah dude . ive read...and the more i read, the more all you guys contradicte yuorself's

i asked about a stripping run on a reflux column that i have so clearly i knwo the difference.

some peopel here do a stripping run on a reflux wheile others say theres no point, some people run there stripping runs hard and fast and collect the heads and tails other dont and wait till the next run to collect them, some people run there stripping runs nice and slow and dont collect the heads and tail;s, some people here run a dstripping run slow and collect the headsd and tails. somene people here collect heads and tails on both the stripping run and the next run...so yuo can see how begginers have soooooooooooooo many questions. i can see for all the vet's on this site how it can be annoying but for the begginers, and i dont speak for myself, can be confused with all the contradicting comments and at the end of the day leave us puzzeled.

i figured id ask questione before i waste 2 weeks of fermenting to find out i did somehting wrong so i guess ill just have to learn for myself, thanks to all the people who have helped me out and answered my questions.

Pikluk
when you were just a baby and learning how to walk i hope nobody made fun of you cuz you didnt know how tor run. What i mean by thatis have some patience for the next noobs that come on here. let them ask thier questions even if they sound dumb to you.
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ChillinDistilln
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Post by ChillinDistilln » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:50 am

Is there a cutoff in % ABV where a spirit is considered nuetral?

I'm running a "tilt reflux" still and my max ABV has been 92% on the spirit run, yet still I detect a hint of flavor. It's very subtle but It's there.

CanadianWhiskey
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Post by CanadianWhiskey » Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:24 am

i get loads of flavour at 88 percent, it maybe from my turbo, this is whyi posted this topic to see if im running my still right lol

its lke a horrible tequilla taste
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GingerBreadMan
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Location: Ontario

Post by GingerBreadMan » Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:05 pm

I don't run a column still. But if you are trying to make vodka then you should first get your column in equilibrium. There is an excellent post of how to run a reflux column to make vodka here -

http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5107

If you are trying to make rum or whiskey you would run your Nixon stone still differently. You would run it with less reflux to draw off a product that has some flavor. Depending on how much flavor you want you might run it without any reflux at all.

More reflux = slower product output = more purity = less flavor

The book Making pure corn whiskey has a detailed operation guide for both making whiskey or vodka with a Nixon Stone offset head.
I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it left.

rad14701
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Location: New York, USA

Post by rad14701 » Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:27 pm

CanadianWhiskey, I can understand your frustrations... However, one thing you should remember is that some of the members have been answering the same questions over and over again, literally for years, so I can also sympathize with their frustrations too...

My best advice is to suck in every bit of information you can, digest it as best as possible, and then experiment... Everyone has had to and virtually 100% have made a mistake along the way... As long as any mistakes you make aren't going to potentially harm you or others, they become good learning experiences... Every still and every distiller has different quirks... Worst case scenario, you dump everything back into the boiler and start over, tweaking your technique... You don't get that option with a lot of other hobbies...

Hope this helps your spirits, in more than one way... Good luck...

big worm
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Post by big worm » Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:05 pm

i do know a tall reflux column will ,and can be made to puke if pushed real hard. wether to strip or just reflux is really a personal choice. stripping and saving for a spirit run can yeild more product from a single charge...if its a good run ya have the whole batch at the same time. if you reflux them out one by one it burns more fuel and takes quite a while....say you have a 15 gal keg type? 2 reflux runs start to finish could take 8-10 hours from charge/clean-up...thats a long time to watch a drip.drip drip...lol alot of questions on here depend on who replys...that said...everyone here agrees on certan things like safety, but do things the way they they have lerned or been told, some things are just up to you on how to do them..yeast...mash...still...fast...slow...reflux...pot, some things are just plain facts safety....foreshots....not getting busted :shock: ...good cuts{that ya just have to learn} ahhh what do i know? just what i ben tolt
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small children left unatended will be sold as bait

tracker0945
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Post by tracker0945 » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:01 pm

Collecting foreshots on each of multiple runs is a personal choice.
There is more likelyhood of larger quantities of foreshots to be collected from fruit/grain mashes than sugar washes.
It is claimed to be easier to remove foreshots with a reflux still as you are able to keep returning the product (refluxing) until everything is equalised then slowly remove the foreshots.
With reflux stills, stripping runs are usually performed as time/energy savers. Whereas with pot stills it is to increase %abv and for subtle flavour changes.
As an example, with a reflux still, a hot and dirty stripping run can reduce the volume of a wash to 1/3 its size in say 3 hours. A reflux run of the same size takes say 9 hours.
Therefore 3 washes takes 3 stripping runs then combine all collected product for 1 reflux run = 3+3+3+9=18 hours. Without stripping runs 3 reflux runs take 9+9+9=27 hours.
There is no absolute right or wrong way to collect fores, heads, hearts, tails, it is all personal preference.

CanadianWhiskey
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Re: am i running my offset head properly??

Post by CanadianWhiskey » Fri May 23, 2008 5:25 pm

good post tracker i started doing this and it works amazing and actually clears up the turbos nicely too.

What i have been doing is fermenting for 3 weeks then running in the still. 6 ferment buckets, running 2 a week so every week i have something to run, but now i just do 6 ferments at the same time strip all 6 buckets in one day "saturday" reflux un sunday taking the same time 14 hours but i get just over 16 bottles of good 175-180 proof alcohol!!! now all i need to do is buy 12 more fermenting buckets so every week i can run 16 bottles lol This will definalty get me divorced!
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CanadianWhiskey
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Re: am i running my offset head properly??

Post by CanadianWhiskey » Fri May 23, 2008 5:26 pm

i forget to mention that doesnt count the tails ive collected on the reflux run which i can add later too!!!
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Dnderhead
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Re: am i running my offset head properly??

Post by Dnderhead » Fri May 23, 2008 5:53 pm

yes everybody does things a little different when you see "conflicting " statements try them then pick out the one you like as I run a pot still like to run off at what proof I want to bottle/age at ,I fiend more flavor . I do have a reflux to redo " mistakes" (yes I and most others make mistakes experimenting with different recipes you are going to have them) just "cook" them over and make neutrals out of them. Just keep trying diferant thangs/ways and you'll fiend your nitch

Hawke
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Re: am i running my offset head properly??

Post by Hawke » Fri May 23, 2008 10:42 pm

I tried a couple sugar washes before going to UJSM. I prefer to do a single spirit run through my 3" Bokakob. Sugar washes came out pretty much nuetral as expected, Refluxing the UJSM gives a very subtle taste that I find 'right' for me.
It is the very things that we think we know, that keep us from learning what we should know.
Valved Reflux, 3"x54" Bok 'mini', 2 liebig based pots and the 'Blockhead' 60K btu propane heat

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