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Everything posted by PeteB

  1. How to keep cooling water from going bad

    My cooling water tank is an old concrete 35,000 gallons. It was initially filled from the river with a windmill pump that must have sucked small fish or eggs into the tank. There were some quite large fish in there. Then I started circulating warm condenser water I assume they didn't appreciate the heat because they have now vanished. There is now a freshwater plant called azola growing on the surface. The water appearance and smell is now much nicer than when the fish were there.
  2. Violent bubbling in the parrot

    If I am understanding your setup correctly then leave the drain open at the bottom of the parrot, with a bucket to catch initial condensate, until condensate starts flowing fully.
  3. Cleaning Run

    My suggestion is to leave your hatch open while heating your water or just leave it closed but not bolted down. The danger time is if a pressure buildup is suddenly released
  4. Cleaning Run

    Totally agree, a slight drop in pressure can make the contents boil rather rapidly. Been there, done that. Luckily I jumped very quickly but still ended with a small burn on my back. Another distillery near here ended up with 2 people hospitalized for some time.
  5. Cleaning Run

    I assume you mean no steam or water! If you are you running cold water through the dephleg that could stop the steam getting past. Boiler can't be working efficiently. If my math is correct 600,000 btu is about 175 Kw. That is a lot of heat for 600 litres. I am intrigued, I will watch this space.
  6. Direct Fire Heat Up Problem

    Roger, I know what you mean by watching the thermometer in the pot and it seems to take forever to boil, but that thermometer is very important to give you an idea when the pot is about to boil. If the heat is up too high at start of boil there can be foaming and puking issues. (but probably not such a problem with this particular still) The other thing you say is essential is the hydrometer in the parrot. I don't use one because I do my cuts purely on nose. I don't want a hydrometer that might influence me to think the cut is at a particular ABV when my nose is telling me it is not. I am making spirits that smell and taste great, I think of ethanol as just a byproduct (unless making vodka) . I use a cheap $30 refractometer to indicate when to turn the still off at the end of the run.
  7. What is happening to your country? Toughen up or put a jacket on. (although fair enough if you are employing nudists) There is a brewery down the road from here where they take their morning coffee into the cool store (36f) because it is about 10 degrees warmer in there during the winter. Some Aussie schools and industries used to knock off when the temperature got over 100 but haven't heard of that in recent times.
  8. Mash to whiskey in single run

    I don't know if our technical terms differ US vs. Aus. Mash needs fermenting before it is distilled meaning at least 2 steps.
  9. Intrigued! What is the problem if temperature drops below 68f (20c)? I presume you mean air temperature of work area.
  10. Steven Cage

    I have enjoyed reading your posts over the years as Violent Blue and then ASD. All the best for the future, hope you stay in distilling and keep posting. Cheers Peter Bignell
  11. Jar Kit for enolmaster bottle filler

    I use Enolmatic and I assume the Enolmaster is similar, it fills to a level set by the operator. I achieve very accurate fill volumes for bottles with slender necks but if filling jars with a large surface area it would be very unlikely to get anywhere the accuracy required. For example a bottle with a 2 cm diameter neck and a fill level variation of 2mm will have volume variation of about 0.6 mL but a jar with diameter of 6 cm and level variation the same will vary by 5.6 mL Also, I find to get a consistent level the bottles need to be removed swiftly. I suspect the contents of a mason jar could spill if removed in the same way.
  12. Bottle Filling Calibration

    I was confused for a while about measuring mass in a vacuum. My thought was that if you had a beaker of alcohol and tried to weigh it in a vacuum it would instantly boil off. The reason to measure in a vacuum is because it is more accurate ( very slightly) The difference is because of the buoyancy of air, that buoyancy is not always the same (extremely slight variation) Buoyancy in water is a bit more obvious. If you weigh a 1 liter block of aluminium you get about 2.7Kg Weigh it again when it is in fresh fresh water and it will only weigh 1.7 Kg because of the buoyancy of the water. Weigh it in sea water and it will be less again, or in the Dead Sea and it will be even less. Air creates buoyancy, that is how hot air balloons float. Why does the rest of the world do our alcohol calculations based on "in a vacuum" when in practice we weigh in air?? Beats me. (And a bit more confusing for some is the MASS of that block is 2.7 Kg everywhere, even in no gravity orbit!!) ps. if you need to weigh a container of alcohol in a vacuum it needs a well sealed lid
  13. I am now burning my heads under my still. I have a dual nozzle waste oil burner running on waste fryer oil. There is a 2 way valve on one of the nozzles. When there are heads to burn I switch one of the nozzles to the heads tank. Heads are from an alembic pot still and are in mid 70%abv. The flame can be a little erratic if burning heads only but with the other nozzle on waste oil it runs very well.
  14. At a quick glance definitely not enough fermenters unless you are planning to be part time.
  15. Aeration

    I splash fill my fermenters, occasionally use a drill for aerating and breaking up lumps of dry yeast. The drill with propeller just under the surface looks as if it does a great job. At my Son's brewpub he has an inline oxygen inducer just after the heat exchanger, bottled oxygen enters a venturi. Brewery fermenters often have oxygenating stones fitted, dual purpose fermenter/brite tanks use the same stone for oxygenating then carbonating.
  16. Has anyone on this forum had experience fermenting and distilling pineapple juice? I have been offered 600 litres of frozen juice Any ideas for the best use for it? Cheers Pete
  17. Pumps

    If you want something easy and cheap try a submersible "dirty water pump" https://www.edisons.com.au/1500w-submersible-dirty-water-pump-prd-m5/?___store=default&gclid=CjwKCAjw3f3NBRBPEiwAiiHxGBAChsEZVbvRciGKc9L01ymM4IHOoWTL6clBuBn9UdZvDUpR8OHZExoC8AoQAvD_BwE I use one to pump very thick mash. Wash and dry ASAP or the bearings won't last long, but they are very cheap and work brilliantly. They will empty a 55 gal drum in less than 10 seconds.
  18. Fermentation stops @ 50%

    I remember someone posting about a similar sudden 50% yield loss quite a few years ago. I finally tracked it down. His conclusion was "I finely contacted the local Farm Administration to check out the quality of the last batch of corn I got in. Per bushel weight was moderately low which in turn made available starches LOW. We brought in a different strain of corn and thing got back to normal." Denver Distiller, you were a contributor You should be able to find the thread here
  19. Fermenting pineapple juice

    Sorry to followers of this thread. I forgot to report back on outcome. I fermented the pineapple juice with added cider yeast so ended up with a pineapple wine. Double pot distilled it which removed most of the pineapple flavor. Back flavored and reduced ABV to 18% with more pineapple juice then added a little sugar. Final product 100 bottles (500 mL each) of a delicious pineapple liqueur. Just a fun experiment never to be repeated, unless someone gives me more bulk juice.
  20. Pulsing Still

    Is the spirit outlet open to the air or submerged as in a parrot? If open then it is possible for cold air to get sucked into the condenser if the still slows for a moment. If the condenser is short the cold air gets into the still and cools the vapor in there causing a slight negative pressure which sucks more cold air in. Then as that air heats up it rushes out again, when the air has finished expanding the output stops for a moment and more cold air gets drawn in. Huffing. If that is what is happening then a submerged outlet will stop it.
  21. Direct Fire Heat Up Problem

    The insulation was there for several years before it "vanished in a puff of smoke" I wasn't next to it when it went up. Could smell hot plastic and went to investigate. In hindsight I am surprised it survived for so long. I possibly had the burner turned up a litter higher and the flame licked up the side of the still and caught the plastic foil on fire.
  22. Direct Fire Heat Up Problem

    I assume the bottom is not insulated and the flame touches the single layer of copper. For safety reasons I am concerned about the wooden cladding with direct flame heating. I had my direct fired still wrapped with a foil like insulation. I was planning to eventually wrap with fibreglass insulation then clad with wood. Years went by then suddenly the "foil" went up in flames. It was just shiny plastic. No harm done because there was nothing flammable near by but it could have burnt the distillery down. I have definitely decided against wood cladding.
  23. Direct Fire Heat Up Problem

    In Australia propane and natural gas need different sized nozzles, maybe you have oversized ones.
  24. Ethanol Water Contraction and Dilution

    The answer for this blend does clearly show shrinkage, but it is not the most common type of diluting done in a distillery. More often the question would be: How much water do I need to add to bring the proof down to 80? Meerkat could you show these calculations please. As Tom said above use mass not volume for your measurements then you don't have to do temperature calculations. I have done TTB calculations in the past and sometimes it is easier to understand and calculate if it it done in volume at 60f, but at the end convert back to mass for actual measurement.
  25. Ethanol Water Contraction and Dilution

    TTB tables do account for shrinkage, but there is not a table that shows if you add a certain amount of water to a certain proof, there is your answer. That is where the maths comes in. I have only used TTB tables for mental stimulation, and it has been some time. (I am Aussie so I don't use them) I suggest you post a theoretical blend that you are trying to achieve and someone will post the math of how it is done. If no-one posts then I will re-learn and post the method for you Pete