FLUTE TALK

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

Moderator: Site Moderator

User avatar
Saltbush Bill
Site Mod
Posts: 5555
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:13 am
Location: Northern NSW Australia

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by Saltbush Bill » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:56 am

I'll be waiting for the results of your tinkering Swedish :thumbup:

User avatar
thecroweater
Master Distiller
Posts: 6030
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:04 am
Location: Central Highlands Vic. Australia

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by thecroweater » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:40 pm

What you will get from 2 plates would be about on par with a pot still and thumper. Nothing what so ever wrong with that if that's what you are chasing but a pot still and thumper is going to be easier to get a consistent result. If 3 or 4 plates is giving you a product that is to light that is a direct result of how you are running it and it really is that simple. Maybe your vapour speed (heat) is to low, maybe your reflux is too high, maybe it is a combination of both but the fact is played columns have enough variables to get (with in reason) any product you like without reducing plates to a point where you struggle to keep it stable and consistently loaded. Personally I don't see any good reason to go with less than 4 plates as 3 plates will work fine but you have reduced your variable parameters to achieve a result that was already with your reach in the current configuration.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin

Dima
Novice
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:52 pm

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by Dima » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:52 pm

Happy Belated 8th birthday to "FLUTE TALK" ! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Reading you was tough and time consuming, but in the end it was well worth it!

emptyglass
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1543
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:59 am
Location: Victoria, Australia.Usually the shed. Sometimes the cellar.

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by emptyglass » Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:41 am

Dima wrote:Happy Belated 8th birthday to "FLUTE TALK" ! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Reading you was tough and time consuming, but in the end it was well worth it!
No one wants to be told to "go read", but for those that do, this thread is still the most informative thread out there.
You design it, I make it. Copper and Stainless. Down under. PM me.

User avatar
30xs
Swill Maker
Posts: 394
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: WV

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by 30xs » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:16 pm

emptyglass wrote:
Dima wrote:Happy Belated 8th birthday to "FLUTE TALK" ! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Reading you was tough and time consuming, but in the end it was well worth it!
No one wants to be told to "go read", but for those that do, this thread is still the most informative thread out there.
I’ve read all the way through it, and about to give it another read. Makes one want to go find a piece of 4”, that’s for sure.

WIski
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 726
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:39 pm

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by WIski » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:56 pm

A Flute is a bit of a complicated beast as Blue fish has eluded to earlier. The amount of heat, plate count, and the amount of reflux being the variables obviously. It's a dream machine that only time on water can teach operation technique to result. You really can go from pot still to vodka column by manipulating the variables. Not for everyone, but, with the information provided by our Forefather's in this thread it is very doable and worth every sweat bead. YMMV :egeek:

Dima
Novice
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:52 pm

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by Dima » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:31 pm

This is what I've built, 4 plates and packed section. Not all of it fit under ceiling in my basement (still too cold in garage)
Gives me 95% if i run slower but @93-94% i can collect almost a gallon an hour :crazy: :crazy:
Was doing an experiment, hooked up a DCV to output from dephleg to control temperature above dephleg, worked good for some time but then I realized it was a waste of time. One thing i did find useful from experience is temperature of water coming out of my dephleg - in my case 60°C is the magic number to have a steady frow of product and good compression of tails.
P.s. controller is for brewing, I always use SCR which i recently replaced with ssr+pot, just wanted to see temps and only had one plug in basement.
Attachments
20190412_174628-567x1008.jpg

PDBRadley
Novice
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:11 am

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by PDBRadley » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:10 pm

Hello All-

Thanks to everyone for posting your knowledge, successes and failures. Been reading for days by the suggestion of 30xs and others. A lot of questions answered and a lot of info that prompts different questions. For now only one (two part question):

In a valve plate, has anyone used copper roofing nails and what is the proper plate opening ratio?

Thanks-
PDBR

emptyglass
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1543
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:59 am
Location: Victoria, Australia.Usually the shed. Sometimes the cellar.

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by emptyglass » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:11 am

IIRC, Sungy used copper leather rivets in a valve plate design that worked well.

Roofing nails could work if you addressed how they seal on the plates
You design it, I make it. Copper and Stainless. Down under. PM me.

User avatar
MoonBreath
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2235
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:34 pm
Location: Horseshoe Bend, Ky.

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by MoonBreath » Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:35 am

I've been runnin some purty good likker offn two capped plates, just sayn..
It is somewhat equal to pot and thumper, although I think somewhat more 'refined' ifn you will.
The column warm, equalize the plates, start a quick squeeze or fast drip to your desired cut for collection.
The one thing I have never tried is pre-setting my rc to sweet spot Before equilibrium and just lettn it run as a pot still..Hmmm.
*Spend it all, Use it up, Wear it out*
Beware of sheet-sniffers and dime-droppers!

User avatar
pope
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1339
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:56 pm
Location: Tinseltown

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by pope » Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:17 am

MB have you done both caps and perf plates and have any insight into the difference between the two (flavor-wise or in any other way)?
"A little learning is a dang'rous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again." - Alexander Pope

User avatar
MoonBreath
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2235
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:34 pm
Location: Horseshoe Bend, Ky.

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by MoonBreath » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:39 am

Yes, but the perfs I have were stacked 4 high.
But I noticed abit more raw flavor with perfs...
Seems like caps do a cleaner, more refined drop.
Take note that not all perfs or caps are the same design and specs..Hole counts, diameters and unique, sometimes even single cap plates are everywhere yet to be deciphered from one another..So lots more to be done.
Me runnin a 2 plate setup, I can add feints or backins to my wash or do a full feints run and really do some good whereas more plates either design are gonna boil down your flavor.
Imo
*Spend it all, Use it up, Wear it out*
Beware of sheet-sniffers and dime-droppers!

User avatar
pope
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1339
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:56 pm
Location: Tinseltown

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by pope » Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:41 am

Good to know! As I finish up my dephleg build and get ready to run plates properly it's helpful to set expectations. Can't wait to try some 2-plate whiskey. Do you run some amount of reflux throughout the run or do you turn it off after heads?
"A little learning is a dang'rous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again." - Alexander Pope

User avatar
MoonBreath
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2235
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:34 pm
Location: Horseshoe Bend, Ky.

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by MoonBreath » Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:24 pm

Just enough to keep both plates loaded, but not flooded.
*Spend it all, Use it up, Wear it out*
Beware of sheet-sniffers and dime-droppers!

User avatar
pope
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1339
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:56 pm
Location: Tinseltown

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by pope » Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:46 pm

Sweet thanks!
"A little learning is a dang'rous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again." - Alexander Pope

metalsmith
Bootlegger
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:15 pm

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by metalsmith » Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:14 pm

I made a smallish 6 inch by 24 inch tall copper still head with 3 plates. Put it on a keg boiler. I had to run it so hard to keep the plates loaded, it smeared all over. Tried backing it down to hit equilibrium, then the plates collapsed. Went back to my 3 inch pot head, and am doing well.

User avatar
DetroitDIY
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 578
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:40 am
Location: SE Michigan

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by DetroitDIY » Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:43 pm

I've dialed back to 1 or 2 plates (adjustable) on my 4" sieve flute. 314 1/16" holes. I heat up at 5.5 kW, then dial back to 3 to 3.4 kW (just before it want's to puke... 35 minutes on a 12 to 13 gal wash. It will keep the plates nicely charged through the run at that power. The 1 or 2 plate operation keeps my ABV slightly lower, like 89 +- 2 ABV after fores. But honestly it's difficult for me to pull off too dirty of stuff. While it will eventually get below 80 ABV, those jar almost always go into my tails storage for later re-distillation. I keep thinking of Whiskey's being collected below 80 ABV... I just can't do it on a flute.

I also hear so many folks talk highly about the flavor carry over... but it hasn't been outstanding in my experience. The products seem decent... I need to get a bit more age on most of them for a fair judgement. But I recently ran my flute in pot mode (stripping and spirit runs) for the first time other than during shutdown. In pot mode, the flavor kicked the ass of anything I've been pulling off as a flute. Started trying 4 to 5 plate runs, now 1 to 2 for the rums and whiskeys I'm working on... but thinking about running it like a pot more and more.

So for those who feel your flutes are carrying over good flavor, do you feel it's as good as a pot? If so, how are you running things? How many plates? Sieve, bubble or other? What's your rig like? Are you 1 run and done? That IS how I've been doing my flute. I built it so distilling a spirit took 4 hours rather than 8+.

Cheers.

blizzstill
Novice
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:54 am

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by blizzstill » Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:34 pm

Sorry to bring up an old thread.

I see some LM automated still like the iStill or the Genio Still.

Do you guys think we could do the same with a CM (flute) still ? Regulating the coolant flow to the dephlegmator using the vapor temperature above it ?

Goal is get a good ''automated'' NGS spirit run.

Cheers.
Last edited by blizzstill on Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

The Baker
Master Distiller
Posts: 3569
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:48 am
Location: Northern Victoria, Australia

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by The Baker » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:01 pm

There's many a good tune played on an old fiddle.

Geoff
The Baker

User avatar
kpex72
Novice
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:10 pm
Location: Down by the River

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by kpex72 » Sun May 03, 2020 10:38 am

blizzstill wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:34 pm
Sorry to bring up an old thread.

I see some LM automated still like the iStill or the Genio Still.

Do you guys think we could do the same with a CM (flute) still ? Regulating the coolant flow to the dephlegmator using the vapor temperature above it ?

Goal is get a good ''automated'' NGS spirit run.

Cheers.
That is a possibility, but doesn't seem practical to me. I run a controller that holds Dephleg water temps and Condenser water temps to a fixed (independent of each other) temperature to regulate the reflux and take off. It is completely independent of the Vapor temp, and uses solenoids to open and close to adjust water flow. If you are doing it right, the vapor temp should hold rock solid once you get up to temp. In my experience, changing the dephleg temp while holding a fixed vapor temp is how you change your flavor profile.

I wouldn't trust any fully automated systems since they depend solely on temperatures, and that's not a good thing.

Good luck.

Razor Still
Novice
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:08 am

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by Razor Still » Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:55 am

This is an excellent read, all of it. I have been looking for some 1/2 needle valves to replace the ball valves that came with my flute. I have determined that fine adjustments to the cooling water for the deflag is critical and think having needle valves would give you that control. Does anyone have a source for such? Thanks in advance!

User avatar
TXChiliMayo
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:53 pm
Location: HTX

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by TXChiliMayo » Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:13 am

I bought the following ones, there may be better, but they dramatically improved my very noob process. And they were cheap which was my primary goal. I look forward to suggestions if these are not the “right” ones.

Litorange 2 Pack Heavy Duty Brass Replacement Control Needle Valve 1/4" Male NPT X 1/4" Female NPT Connection

BrewinBrian44
Novice
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2020 2:11 pm

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by BrewinBrian44 » Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:52 am

Observations with my 4 plate bubblecap 3” column:

I have a modular bubble plate column that’s basically 4 borosilicate sight glass sections with 3”TC stainless ends. I bought it on Ali express. I can run it in different configurations, which is awesome. It sits on top of a converted keg boiler with a 5500watt element controlled by a simple SCR. I’ve done about 6 runs on it and think I have the hang of it, but I’d love to get some feedback.

The way I run it:

After filling her up, I ease into the full 5500 watts. Once I see fog appearing in the lower plate, I turn the shotgun defleg on full blast

Once I start seeing the lower plate filling up and bubbling I turn the power dial to 50 percent. All the plates fill up and start bubbling pretty quick at this point. 50% power seems to be the sweet spot before it starts to overpower the defleg.

I leave it sitting in equilibrium for 30min then turn down the defleg to start pulling off spirit, takes like 10min for the vapor to warm up the tubing to the condenser.

I collect 8oz foreshots at a fast drip then switch to heads jars. One thing I notice, my column head temp bounces around quite a bit when I run the takeoff this slow.

I collect heads at a slightly faster rate by turning down the water to the defleg. Product output is basically a broken stream just before it would transition to a small continuous stream.

When the heads seem fade away, I crank up the defleg to full blast to restack the plates for like 10min, and then start pulling off hearts with a small stream, basically as small as it gets before breaking. I leave it this way until I start tasting or smelling the bad tails component. Best description I have is like a faint wet concrete.

At this point, I go into full reflux again for 10min, then pull off product a little slower with less power on the dial. I label there jars of the places I’ve done this in the run. Big difference in flavor between jars. I do this little full reflux thing over and over towards the end and really push back those tails. Pretty freaking cool! When there’s no stopping the tails anymore, I crank it up to finish the run and save the last stuff as feints.

This still basically wants to collect at 91-92% ABV as a default. I’ve tried pushing more power/reflux to lower the proof, but it just floods the lower plates when I do this. I guess what I’m getting at, I see guys in this thread that have way more flexibility doing this with their stills, mine can’t. It’s also impossible to dry up the plates on this still at the end of a run. I’m wondering if this is because of the bubble cap design. Basically, they’re all at the liquid height of the downcomers the whole run.

Here’s the rub: I wish I could “compress” heads more. The amount of heads jars I see is still similar to the pot still, no matter how slow I run it. I’ve tried going at a snails pace and the only thing it did was extend the run.

The best way I can describe the spirit run is the heads part of my run is like a pot still, but after hearts, I compress the hell out of the tails. The early tails flavors definitely present themselves differently than they do with my pot still. It takes a lot longer for the dirty socks smell to appear too. Basically, I gain jars to the right and not to the left.

Does this sound right to you experts? I really value and respect your guys input into this thread!

User avatar
frunobulax
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 621
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:23 pm
Location: Sunny N.J.

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by frunobulax » Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:44 pm

1- I don't know about FOG on the lower plate, I feel the sections, and when the heat is rising, turn on/up deflag, and wait for plates to load.
2-Don't try to over power the deflag. With bubble caps, I look for lively bubbles just above the caps.
3-Don't worry about equilibrium too much in a bubble column. It's not a packed column, the fractions will only compact so much. I think a few minutes is all you need, or even just run it slow as your pulling off the heads is enough.
4- Don't run foreshots/heads that slow. Slower than the hearts for sure, but not too slow. Again, it's not a packed column, It's only gonna compress so much.
5-It's a balancing act. Figure out what's best for your rig, more heat, or less water to keep the plates loaded, again, nice lively bubbles, just above caps.
6- the only time I really go into full reflux is the end of the run, if I want to squeeze a little more out of the tails. you can tell by taste, and the bubbles will look flat and not as lively.
---Other things that will affect your run, which you didn't mention is, wash ABV,(strip runs in the beer, straight beer or all strips) and how many plates your running. More plates, higher ABV.
Personally on a clean, all grain run, or strips, I like 2 plates. With anything dirty, like failed beers, 3 plates.
Hope this helps..

User avatar
Saltbush Bill
Site Mod
Posts: 5555
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:13 am
Location: Northern NSW Australia

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by Saltbush Bill » Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:07 pm

BrewinBrian44 wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:52 am
I leave it sitting in equilibrium for 30min then turn down the defleg to start pulling off spirit, takes like 10min for the vapor to warm up the tubing to the condenser.
As stated it the post above .....not necessary , you can start milking fores off at a slow/fast drip almost immediately.
BrewinBrian44 wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:52 am
When the heads seem fade away, I crank up the defleg to full blast to restack the plates for like 10min,

Not sure why your doing that ?......plates should be loaded and ready to go , why do they need reloading?
BrewinBrian44 wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:52 am
This still basically wants to collect at 91-92% ABV as a default.
My experience is that , that is the sweet spot for any 4 plater......that is where they are happy to run, trying to force them to run at lower ABV is a pain in the ass in my opinion and usually doesn't result in good.
If you want lower ABV use one or more less plates.
BrewinBrian44 wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:52 am
Here’s the rub: I wish I could “compress” heads more. The amount of heads jars I see is still similar to the pot still, no matter how slow I run it. I’ve tried going at a snails pace and the only thing it did was extend the run.
Everything else you are doing seems to be right ......I cant see why you would be getting that many heads jars. Plated columns by their very nature compress all of the fractions to a greater extent than a potty.

BrewinBrian44
Novice
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2020 2:11 pm

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by BrewinBrian44 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:02 pm

Thank you both for the detailed feedback! Looks like I’m overdoing it with the full reflux steps throughout the run. Good to know I can start drawing off fores almost immediately. This advice will speed up my run quite a bit!

In regards to keeping the plates loaded, it seems like no matter what I do, they’re always loaded at the same level, even with barely a trickle from my defleg. I guess this should be a good thing, but makes me confused a bit. Should I run more power and more reflux or less power less reflux? Both can options will yield the same takeoff rate. I suppose I’d be saving energy by providing just enough power and reflux to keep the plates loaded and takeoff at a decent rate. The way I’ve been doing it the last couple runs is to have a trickle coming out of the defleg with hot water coming out.

As for what I’ve been making, it’s been UJSSM for all my runs so far. I’ve done spirit runs from pot stripped low wines and also one 10gal single run which actually turned out awesome.

I’ve been mashing large batches of Honey Bear Bourbon and I’m about to have 10gal of 28% low wines for my very first AG spirit run with this column. There’s soooo much flavor packed in these low wines, I’m afraid I might strip flavor with my 4 plate setup. I was thinking about going down to 3 or maybe even 2. I’d love to hear your guys’ thoughts on this.

Thanks again!

User avatar
RC Al
Swill Maker
Posts: 284
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:40 am
Location: Sunny Queensland Oz

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by RC Al » Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:58 pm

Ifn you have gone to the hassle of stripping it, and are worried about flavour loss, do a potty run

User avatar
Tummydoc
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 838
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:05 pm
Location: attack ship off the shoulder of Orion

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by Tummydoc » Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:19 pm

Don't do a stripping run if you want flavor with a plated column. I run the mash on 3 plates as a single run. 2 plates will give you flavorful 160 proof liquor. Pot mode strip/spirit is most common for whiskey but with my setup (no drain on a keg boiler) that's 2 days whereas with a plated column i can run in one day, but its a slower run.

User avatar
Saltbush Bill
Site Mod
Posts: 5555
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:13 am
Location: Northern NSW Australia

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by Saltbush Bill » Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:26 am

I agree that there is no need to run low wines with a plated column, run straight wash for more flavour, that's how they are made to run, 4 plates is a good starting point for UJ in my opinion..many run 5 with UJ and what Ive tasted of that, has been good, yet others run 3 plates for UJ. Its all a personal things ...gotta experiment and find what suits you.

User avatar
frunobulax
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 621
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:23 pm
Location: Sunny N.J.

Re: FLUTE TALK

Post by frunobulax » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:48 am

Running stripped washes is why your ABV is so high, along with 4 plates. Like everyone mentioned, plates are great for 1 and done runs.
I would take those strippings and add them to your next beer, and run it on 2 plates.
***2 plates is just my personal preference.***

Post Reply