Reflux columns for producing 190 proof ethanol

Bubba

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Just about ready to finish soldering the copper still top. Obviously still need the copper 45 degree and a couple copper ferrels.

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Bubba

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When I get more play money for still, I want a 3 gallon milk can like the 8 gallon. It would be a good small batch on top of stove, all my "parts" fit on it. Could also be used as a thumper I guess.

Maybe we will have a 190 proof ethanol distilling group. Lol. 5 gallon is a good size.
Most recipes I see are based on 5 gallon size.

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Finished the copper pot still top and condenser and ran a vinegar run through it. First jar very green/cloudy, second one slightly cloudy, third and beyond, crystal clear.
 

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Bubba

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If anyone is interested in the "pot still" version, I made it from 2" copper DFW pipe. It is lighter weight, and so it's hole diameter is large enough for the copper ferrel to fit without machining. Heavier pipe has a smaller inside dimension, more machining required.

A 2" to 1/2" reducer, and the copper ferrel that allows attachment to the still. A stainless steel 15 degree with TRI clamp fittings. I also got a 45 degree version, to allow downpipe to go straight down into a thump barrel, if so desired.

The condenser is a good 4 ft long and works great. My column reflux top's condenser is only about 2/3s as long, inside tube and jacket smaller size tubing as well. When it's at full boil, condenser may feel warm on the top 1/3 unless cooling water is turned up. The long copper one stays cold all the way to the exhaust portion condenser. Only needs enough water pressure to fill condenser. Good over kill. Of course this pot still top won't produce 190 like the column will, but it was a fun build.

Now to do the sacrificial run, box wine or the like, the it's ready. I may use it for stripping run, then to 190 with reflux top. Of course that spoils the "190 in one run" but will give me necessary experience? Who knows....pic shows a 20 inch copper extension, really for extra tall reflux top.

Bubba
 

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Bubba

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Hit a little bump figuring out copper pipe. Several types, some heavier, some lighter.
The outside diameter is the same, so the heavier, the smaller the inside diameter.

The lighter pipe I used, really put the torch to the ferrel, it's substantially heavier copper and will heat slower. Clean copper with fine sand paper, use plenty of flux and remember, use nolead silver bearing solder and plenty of flux.

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Bubba

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Ran a sacrificial run of franzia chadornay box wine through the copper pot still.

Hearts came off at a little over130 proof. Next, we see what column reflux head will do.

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Bubba

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I start with 12% mash,10lbs sugar,1/2 cup bakers yeast in 5 gal water.
The first run I get the percentage
to 60%. The 2nd run I get between 180 to 190% proof. By the way pure alcohol is 100%, you'll
need a meter to measure your progress. There is no head to discard from sugar mash, named mountain dew. A digital air still is acuate and you can set it for different evaporation points for different fluids. Five gallons makes 2 1/2 quarts at that high of proof.
I think you mean 190 proof? Think you just accidentally hit the "%" as you did say proof.
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Bubba

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My first cut is usually about 130 proof as well.
I wasnt real careful about temp of everything when measuring proof. I just went with the temp of the room, about 70 at the time, so who knows, but I'm sure its close. I cant tell poo by shaking and looking at bubbles....

Will try column and see what it does in one run. It wasnt as high as yours (the column) in the article, so I bought an extension, a couple of those gaskets with the screen in them, a roll of the copper mesh and those ceramic rings you told me about. Turbo yeast, sugar, etc. Hoping to duplicate efforts!

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Tattered Old Graywolf

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I wasnt real careful about temp of everything when measuring proof. I just went with the temp of the room, about 70 at the time, so who knows, but I'm sure its close. I cant tell poo by shaking and looking at bubbles....

Will try column and see what it does in one run. It wasnt as high as yours (the column) in the article, so I bought an extension, a couple of those gaskets with the screen in them, a roll of the copper mesh and those ceramic rings you told me about. Turbo yeast, sugar, etc. Hoping to duplicate efforts!

Bubba

Should work! Ah wait with bait on mah breath!
 

Bubba

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Got everything together, but can't locate, thought I bought some kind of sterilizing stuff for fermenter, but nowhere to be found.

Is there a good substitute, bleach water, alcohol or the like. One guy told me just to rinse it out super good with hot water?

Suggestions?

Bubba
 

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Got everything together, but can't locate, thought I bought some kind of sterilizing stuff for fermenter, but nowhere to be found.

Is there a good substitute, bleach water, alcohol or the like. One guy told me just to rinse it out super good with hot water?

Suggestions?

Bubba
I first wash with water and remove any solids clinging to the insides of the carboy, then rinse out with Star San, which I picked up on-line.


It's active ingredients are Dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid and Phosphoric Acid, which suggests they are also trying to remove any organics, as well as sanitize.
 

Bubba

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I first wash with water and remove any solids clinging to the insides of the carboy, then rinse out with Star San, which I picked up on-line.


It's active ingredients are Dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid and Phosphoric Acid, which suggests they are also trying to remove any organics, as well as sanitize.
I thought I ordered some of that, I will have to keep looking, might not have made it into my "box o stuff" in the garage.
Otherwise, I will order some more.

Bubba
 

Bubba

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found it. I new I had already bought it. I thought I remembered that it was a powder. Nope, that was the citric acid.
Starsan is liquid and in a container like insecticide comes in, with the little built in measuring cup. I thought it was my Pyganic. Nope. Mash time.

Bubba
 

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