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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/20/2018 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    Our chickens do a great job of eating everything we throw at them
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    At the risk of inviting a flaming, here is a suggestion from a newbie: modify your existing still to run continuously. 1) You will need a well-functioning column (either plates or packing). Tap into the column 1/3 of the way up for the beer input. Having a flow gauge on the dephegmator coolant is desirable. 2) You need a level control on the "pot" (now the reboiler). A simple overflow with "P-trap" and vent will do. If there is appropriate existing access, great. The reboiler level can be as low as about 15% of the pot capacity. It could be anything higher, so chose a level compatable with your heater. If you must make a siphon, remember you can't siphon a boiling liquid. The siphon tube needs a cooling jacket to prevent vapor lock. If you use incoming beer as the cooling liquid for the siphon, it serves as a pre-heater for the input. Otherwise, use reboiler discharge and a heat exchanger as a beer pre-heater. 3) Install lots of digital thermometers.You want to know reboiler temperature to 0.1C (since this will tell you how much ethanol you are losing in the discharge), input beer temperature, column temperature at the input level, below the dephlegmator, and at the head. 4) Turn down the kilowatts. The reboiler has a much smaller liquid volume than the pot did. It will flash up to operating temperature fast. Once stabilized in a run, it will require about the same power as when the the still was operating as a pot still. 5) The beer input feed needs a positive displacement pump (like a peristaltic pump) with a speed control and flow meter. 6) To operate, run the beer feed pump to bring the reboiler to operating level. Turn off the feed pump. Turn on the dephlegmator cooling flow. Turn on the reboiler power. Allow reflux to fill the plates. Turn down the 'phluger flow and juggle beer inflow rate + power level to maintain desired output ABV (I strip to 85% with my packed column). If reboiler temperature drops, turn down beer flow or turn up power. If output ABV drops, turn down beer flow. A continuous still like this will not separate out the heads. This will need to be done on the spirit run. Production rate will be about the same as when operating as a pot still. However, it heats up faster and this only needs to be done once. The longer you run it, the more the time savings adds up. If you need to take a beak, it will restart rapidly. If the beer is pre-heated by the siphon cooling jacket, it will boil and make percolator noises as it burps its way up to the input. No worries. Like any still, you can't turn your back on it while it is running. After lulling you to sleep with hours at the same settings, it will surprise you. Avak
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