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At what point is a pot still too big?

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so im curious what systems are in place to monitor the bottoms product to in sure no alcohol is being wasted . can the bottom product be recirculated thru the system if it is not completely stripped or are you useing a reboiler in hopes of lifting any alchol out of the bottoms product . if the feed is heated to say 175 under pressure once it is released into the column and expands to atmospheric pressure ethanol should instantly flash vaporise from the heat and the pressure change  allowing the heavier bottom product to drop thru the column , but still has to be monitored before being pumped out . there are various monitoring systems designed to determine the content of the bottoms product and to send it either to the reboiler or to bottom product storage , but these systems are made for large scale columns{in access of 70 feet }and would not be suited to craft distillery sized operations .  any idea what would be used on a smaller scale would be appreciated some body must have thought of some thing or are they just rely on the temp of the bottoms product  as a guide , say bottoms out of the reboiler at 190 would ensure ethanol is long gone and no longer a pumpable product . 


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Mr_Whiskey    0

Monitoring the affluent leaving the bottom is achieved via temperature probes. If the temp several trays above the bottom is 212 and the bottom of the column is at 215 degrees this information would confirm that nearly all alcohol has been extracted from the beer. 

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