Can The percentage curve be altered?

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Can The percentage curve be altered?

Postby ABadBrewer » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:10 am

I'm trying to run tests to see if I can alter my distillation curve. I suspect that there isn't, but I'm gonna try anyways.

I have a pot still with thumper. I'm trying to determine how to get more of my distilling to land in the hearts section, or get more hearts per run. If my mash is a lower %, does that mean I get less per run or more water per run and a longer lower %?

currently I can produce 2L of 70 - 80%, then it drops to 68 for 250ml, 55 for 300 ml then drops out into my tails. This was the first time i boosted % by tossing in 750ml of 79% heads in the boiler and thumper each. I know it can be lowered by just dumping the thumper, but I can do a lot with that thumper, so I'm trying to find a way to eat my cake and have it too... maybe.

If something can be found in that direction, lower %, higher %, hi/lo heat, shorter tubing, etc. it might be a handy technique.
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Re: Can The percentage curve be altered?

Postby zed255 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:52 pm

If increasing your hearts cut is what you are after I'd say a hybrid still of some sort might fit the bill. A type of CCVM feeding your thumper to product condenser.

Reflux to compress fores and heads then switch to 'pot mode' for hearts collection until tails are expected and return to refluxing. You would need your reflux condenser to live under a cap and control reflux via water flow rather than raising and lowering the coil per usual CCVM practice but might work out.

Just thinking 'aloud'.

Oh, should you ever figure out how to cheat the laws of physics let me know.
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Re: Can The percentage curve be altered?

Postby zapata » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:43 pm

If you define hearts simply abv %, then of course you can get more of your run in there. If you define it by taste, there isn't much you can do, and all of it is subjective. Various fermentation conditions can potentially make for a bigger hearts cut. Exagerated example, a sugar wash fermented at 100*F will likely have a smaller hearts cut than one fermented at 80*F. That effect will be real, but not drastic, there are easier ways to get 5-10% more booze (just do 5% more runs in a year, increase wash size by 5%, etc).

A reflux rig to compress fractions does work, but again, minimally. A perfectly refluxed heads fraction may be about 12% of total distillate. A pot still heads fraction might be 20% of total. 8% is something, but it takes multiples of time longer for any reflux run, and to get a heads fraction down near 12% it's 5-10x longer. So yeah, you get a bigger hearts cut, but is it really more efficient? More efficient of etoh molecules, but not time molecules. ;)

It's been my experience that by far the best ways to get more hearts is to run bigger ferments, more often, bigger stills, be time and money efficient so you can do more with less.
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Re: Can The percentage curve be altered?

Postby ABadBrewer » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:11 am

Just can't cheat physics lol. Time and energy fit in my efficiency calculations. Its gotta taste good as well. I'll be useing all of my carboys per recipe.
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Re: Can The percentage curve be altered?

Postby Pikey » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:22 pm

If you're running a thumper as you say, then really there is not much you can do because the thumper just acts as a second pot still when it gets up to production temperature. higher abv washes in both still and thumper is about all you can do, but that should give you some pretty high output.

Then you simply put the heads and tails back into the next run and you will eventually get pretty much all the ethanol out except for teh feints on the last run.

You store these for teh next run of the same type and off you go again. I think you're just over-thinking the issue. :)
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