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I'm starting up a (very) micro distillery and looking for a solution for an electric stripping still.

We're going to be distilling off-grain with electric heat to start to avoid the need for a boiler system. I've got my spirit still sizing/sourcing figured out but I'm having trouble sorting out where to buy/source my stripping still. I need 1000L capacity minimum and I'm trying to avoid a bain marie style still. Most companies I've talked to are recommending not to use electric elements in the stripping still to avoid scorching, but I know people who are using electric with low watt density elements and having no issues or off flavours.

Thoughts? Recommendations for companies who can provide such a still?

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Skaalvenn    24

I don't understand why you wouldn't want bain marie for stripping.  You are just asking yourself for a headache and for problems by using direct elements.

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It's not that I'm opposed to it, but I have no experience using it and am really unsure. Also, jacketed stills tend to be more expensive and I'm trying to save money.

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1000 liters electric?  How much power do you have in your facility?  You are well outside the realm of water heater elements and standard 240v 200a service.

Heed the warnings, you are being warned for a reason.  In 1000l volumes, scorch just one batch a month, and in a year you are halfway in cost to a fit-for-purpose still.  When you scorch distillate, it's not a fault, it's garbage - and completely non-recoverable.

 

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Thatch    2

You might want to talk to Odin at iStill on his products.  They seem to meet your needs.  Unfortunately his stills jump from 500 to 2000 liters.

https://www.istill.eu/

sales@istillmail.com

 

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Tom Lenerz    12
10 hours ago, No13Distilling said:

It's not that I'm opposed to it, but I have no experience using it and am really unsure. Also, jacketed stills tend to be more expensive and I'm trying to save money.

You will save more money if you put in a boiler and run NG, because electric will cost much more per run.

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thats  a pretty big electric still might work , my vote is with out a doubt a baine marie you wont be sorry .  if your trying to keep your costs down start smaller or make your own stripping still slash mash tun . if you start small run as hard as you can get the cash flowing and make sure you can sell what your making then you can upgrade to bigger with the confidence its money well spent . how big is the mash tun and fermenters that you have . 

depending on where you are in canada once you out grow your equipment you can resell it very easy .  a small affordable well built still will make you more money than a big still that wont work or scorches product . the cheepest thing you buy to run a distillery is the still but its some thing you cant cheep out on . 

if i was you i would contact paul at ade talk to him explain your outfit and see what he can suggest there is more than one way to skin a cat even if you cant afford a knife lol 

 when the night shift is bitching they cant keep up to sales then its time to buy bigger equipment ,

tim  

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5 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

1000 liters electric?  How much power do you have in your facility?  You are well outside the realm of water heater elements and standard 240v 200a service.

Heed the warnings, you are being warned for a reason.  In 1000l volumes, scorch just one batch a month, and in a year you are halfway in cost to a fit-for-purpose still.  When you scorch distillate, it's not a fault, it's garbage - and completely non-recoverable.

 

I've seen people run 1000 litres on 4 x 5500W which are 240V and it takes about 10 hours for a run. No scorching, no off flavours.

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34 minutes ago, Hudson bay distillers said:

thats  a pretty big electric still might work , my vote is with out a doubt a baine marie you wont be sorry .  

Do you run a bain marie? I'd love some feedback on how well they work/maintenance/etc.

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I think we're going to go with a 1500 L mash tun from ADE to start, split into two totes, so we'll be doing at least two stripping runs per week, if not more.

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Skaalvenn    24

I have a 570 liter electric bain marie still.  27kW and it's heatup time alone is 2 hours, so at 1000L you're looking at closer to 4 hours wasted each work day of just heating--unless you have a ton of heating power available.  Also, if you start moving product you'll need to plan on having some very high electric bills.  I'd save $500-600 every single month just by upgrading to steam.

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NO13 distilling,

 

We can supply you with a single wall 200 gallon operating capacity (230 gallon total capacity) electric stripping still, for off of the grain distillation.  Our mirror polished, ultra low watt density heating elements work very well, with off the grain mashes, without the danger of scorching.  The price point on these stills is absolutely unbelievable at only $9,855.00.  This price is for a turn key system with the control panel and complete heating system.  If you are operating from single phase 240vac the 44Kw heating system will draw 184 amps at 240v single phase. If you have 240vac 3 phase then you will only draw 106 amps.  At 480v 3 phase you will only draw 53 amps.  We can build the heating system in any of the given phases and voltages for the price given above.  Our heating systems meet the requirements for class 1 division 2 hazardous environments.  We also have Baine Marie stills that just cost a few thousand more in this same size.  We can build you a single wall 1000 liter operating capacity still for a couple of thousand more.  We size our electrical systems so that our direct fire and bain marie electric stills reach operating temp in 1.5hrs to 2hrs.  Our steam fired stills reach operating temp in .5 hr to 1 hr.  You can save yourself a lot of money in the short run starting with an electrically fired still.  A Rite or other good, industrial, low pressure steam boiler  will cost you $30,000 to $50,000 including installation, for this size still.  The low pressure steam boiler will pay for itself compared to electric, but it would take several years for it to do so.  Also some people cannot afford the up front cost of a low pressure steam boiler.  We have equipment in well over 200 distilleries in the US.  Whether you are starting with a very tiny equipment budget, or a very large equipment budget, we have the safe, high quality, beautiful, equipment, that you need. 

paul@distillery-equipment.com  417-778-6100

below are some links to a couple of our our web sites, but not all equipment is listed on the sites.

http://distillery-equipment.com

http://moonshine-stills.com

 

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No13distilling

Tim, is correct, the baine marie is always the better way to go, however if you have ran washes in small 5 to 50 gallon single wall stills, using ultra low watt density elements, you know that it works pretty good and if you do it right it will not scorch any of the time.  If you are going to run barley beer for single emalt or suger mashes for rum, this still will get the job done with no scorching.  If you are going to do the back set, sour mash, no cook corn method, where you add dextrose, this still is a great option as you can easily separate the liquids from the solids with one of our specially designed fermenters, when using this method.  However, if you are going to use the cook method with, corn this is not a good option in my opinion.  Nor is it a viable option for grappa or any grain in mash.  So, you are limited in the types of spirits that you can produce, however sometimes we have to go with what the budget dictates and you can make many different spirits with a single wall electrically fired still that is designed correctly.  We will have our new line of electric direct fired stills listed on our web site in a few weeks.  The current capacities are  45 gallons, 100 gallon, 150 gallon, 200 gallon, 300 gallons and 500 gallons.  

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You can run the oil temp as high as 350F in our newer models without the worry of scorching even the thickest corn mashes, as long as the agitator is on. This allows for some fairly fast stripping runs.  Without running an agitator you should not go over 260 F in the oil jacket or sticking might occur.  Also, as long as you have agitation you can run 350F during the run up to operating temp with some mashes and washes but others will stick (not scorch) in the early part of the mash cook or distilling run, so with some mashes you must keep the temp down below 300F at the start and then once the mash has heated up some you can increase the oil temp.  Our testing shows that it is the temperature differential that causes the sticking in those situations and it happens more at the beginning of a mash cook than at the beginning of a distilling run. The insides of all of our still pots, mash cookers and fermenters are mirror polished so that sticking is less likely to occur in our vessels and this also makes our vessels easier to clean.

 

Steam however is always the best option when it comes to heating jackets.  Steam has a much better heat transfer coefficient than  oil.  In a still jacket 250F steam will give you a faster heat up to operating temp time than 300F oil.

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MythBuster    3
On 8/6/2017 at 6:18 PM, Southernhighlander said:

You can run the oil temp as high as 350F in our newer models without the worry of scorching even the thickest corn mashes, as long as the agitator is on. This allows for some fairly fast stripping runs.  Without running an agitator you should not go over 260 F in the oil jacket or sticking might occur.  Also, as long as you have agitation you can run 350F during the run up to operating temp with some mashes and washes but others will stick (not scorch) in the early part of the mash cook or distilling run, so with some mashes you must keep the temp down below 300F at the start and then once the mash has heated up some you can increase the oil temp.  Our testing shows that it is the temperature differential that causes the sticking in those situations and it happens more at the beginning of a mash cook than at the beginning of a distilling run. The insides of all of our still pots, mash cookers and fermenters are mirror polished so that sticking is less likely to occur in our vessels and this also makes our vessels easier to clean.

 

Steam however is always the best option when it comes to heating jackets.  Steam has a much better heat transfer coefficient than  oil.  In a still jacket 250F steam will give you a faster heat up to operating temp time than 300F oil.

This is of huge technical interest to me, Southernhighlander. Note that I'm NOT a competitor (at all!) to your existing or future industry-scale still equipment. I immediately detect and applaud your focus on Quality and repeatability......

 

Although it may not be obvious to some, I expect that the high heat transfer rates available from steam heating (versus element heating) is down to Latent Heat of Vapourisation of steam condensing to water - the chief reason why a steam burn can be so severe.... if its impact point is not yet at 100C, steam will literally SHOVE heat (via condensation) into that point!

[Because my device operates at steady-state, I have no heat transfer issues at all but readily appreciate the problem of getting it INTO a pot's contents!.]

That said, the inner workings of such continuous distillation - in this area of heat transfer especially - may trigger some productive/provocative thoughts for a pot still designer?

 

A once-over with a calculator shows me that you take about 0.12 KWH per litre to get the charge up to boiling. Have you any data indicating how much more power (KWH) it typically takes to complete the distillation for a given charge volume and %ABV to a given output volume and %ABV?

If you see my own post (sub-micro scale, continuous distillation) I've found that moderate energy recovery methods yield a start-to-finish power requirement (for 90% ABV on 12% ABV charge) of about 1.4KWH per litre of product at 90% ABV. Please note that if power is measured relative to volume of charge feed instead, I'm at about 0.17KWH per litre.

(I am aware that commercial distilleries, especially traditional ones, rarely use such concentrated feedstock.)

I hope that a glance-over of my own power data will be of interest to a large-scale batch still designer such as yourself, and any feedback of technical interest will likely be mutually beneficial. In return, if you have any questions on my own results, please ask or PM me.

Commercial discretion assured, both directions.

 

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Mash    7

 

Check out Miss Dana, 725 liter still, set up for electric, steam injection, direct fire or any and all combinations.  If your looking for a $8000 still, i also have a 200 gallon fully jacketed tank, with a 6" triclamp fitting off set on the top. Just need a column or copper head. Tank is also set up to move with a fork lift.

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DYE    1
On Sat Aug 05 2017 at 9:24 AM, No13Distilling said:

I'm starting up a (very) micro distillery and looking for a solution for an electric stripping still.

We're going to be distilling off-grain with electric heat to start to avoid the need for a boiler system. I've got my spirit still sizing/sourcing figured out but I'm having trouble sorting out where to buy/source my stripping still. I need 1000L capacity minimum and I'm trying to avoid a bain marie style still. Most companies I've talked to are recommending not to use electric elements in the stripping still to avoid scorching, but I know people who are using electric with low watt density elements and having no issues or off flavours.

Thoughts? Recommendations for companies who can provide such a still?

Hi No 13Distilling, 

Our company (DYE Company) is speicialized in distilling equipment, with short delivery time, reasonable price and good quality. We have a 300 gallons still (bain marie type) in stock, if you are interested, pls contact me by daey009@dayuwz.com. 

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