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About OzDistilling

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  • Birthday October 17

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    Sydney, Australia
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    Consulting, automation, QA, doing things smarter.

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  1. You need damn good eyes to see anything smaller than 0.5uM. I always suggest 0.5uM as the final bottling filter as its sterile, that is yeast and most other spoilage microbes will not pass through 0.5uM. I have good resukts with cheap poly spun water filter cartridges. Use one per batch, but purge with product frst for say 50 litres and return to the tank for re-filtering. If your still getting particulates IMMEDIATELY upon bottling in the bottles, then there is contamination, work through the following; Are the bottles clean, corks as well (dusty corks are a common oversight) Is the bottle wash water equally clean Is there contamination in the downstream filter hoses, or the bottling head. The is most likely a bleed in the filter canister or the filer membrane, where unfiltered liquid is getting around the filter. Some general questions; Does the particulate settle out eventually? Does it get worse after bottling? If you bottle filtered distilled water, do you get the same contamination.
  2. TY for the explanation, a fascinating subject. I am a Chemical Engineer by profession, so I get your process. CBD seems to be a complex cocktail to seperate. But you answered my question with vacuum distillation.
  3. Even with LS, you should consider some sort of cooling for your ferment, even if only for the spike. Happy yeast is a quick and complete ferment.
  4. The general definition for Vodka is that it must be made from a neutral spirit of AGRICULTURAL origin, diluted from no less than 95% ABV. A very broad definition indeed. As we say, if it rots you can make vodka from it.
  5. Depends on the country. Sugar is illegal in Australia, but not the addition of acids. Sugar is legal in France, but acids are prohibited in most regions. As sugar is usually 3-4 times the price of grape juice, its usually grape juice concentrate that is added to bolster the sugar levels. GJC is mainly fructose, where as cane sugar is sucrose. The later being harder to ferment.
  6. For neutral spirit, I always recommend you clarify the wash before distillation. Means you not boiling/cooking kilo's of yeast hulls in the still. Bentonite (either sodium or potassium) is fool proof, cheap and highly effective. Dose at about 1.8g/l hydrate well in water before addition.
  7. LS is a high temperature strain of EC1118. Its very good for tropical climates. Also look to nutrition if your getting off flavours at higher temps. Often an indication of a nitrogen deficiency. Cane sugar washes need a lot of DAP and Vit B to thrive. Never ever use Urea.
  8. I did this commercially in Thailand. The mango fibre/pulp will usually settle out fairly quickly in the fermented wash. The lower the tank temperature the faster the settling. It can be difficult in warmer climates. Do some trials with a wine making fining agent (bentonite, casein, isinglass, gelatine, PVPP) to find out which one assists with clarification the best.
  9. The principal reason to keep the distillate temperature as low as practical (is the flash point of ethanol, and therefore the fire risk, try to keep the flash point as low as possible. The higher the temperature of a spirit, the more ethanol vapours that are liberated. Distilleries for decades saw 20C as the safe point. It has nothing to do with measurement temperatures, and virtually all measurements have to temperature corrected. Generally I have not seen 30C as an issue, providing good handling and fire control practises are observed. In locations with higher ambient temperatures like you describe, usually have higher humidity. As the humidity goes up, the flash point goes down. To your specific question. Nothing can reduce the distillate temperature below the condenser water inlet temperature, fact. So you need to reduce the condenser water temperature. As suggested you need some sort of chiller, compressor based units are not cheap to purchase or own, but are highly effective. Depending on your average humidity, a simple falling water cooling tower will give you the 5-9C drop you need. A lot of smaller distilleries such as yours, use ice banks, a cheap option. 100kg of ice will chill 900L of 30C water (total 1000L) to 19C. If your final condenser needs 200L/Hr then you have 5 hours before extra ice is needed. Remember you just need to pull down the temperature of the higher proof distillate to a level that presents an acceptable fire risk.
  10. Also investigate Heating Oil, if available in your area. Its usually a lot cheaper than Diesel, and has almost the same calorific value. Do your sums for all options.
  11. 50C ? Obviously not ethanol stills? or are you running partial vacuum? I am interested in the Cannabis application.. as the Boiling point of THC is ‎155-157°C @ 0.05mmHg, how are they using your stills? Binary azeotropes of THC? Cannabis is still a Class 1 drug in Australia, with all the penalties that our nanny state imposes. Our lawmakers are anything but progressive. Fortunately Alcohol is still legal here.
  12. Of course, I agree. Every application must be individually assessed and the design options considered. One size never fits all. In my 20 years I have never seen two installations the same. My Gospel: Define your requirements, research the various options to meet your requirements (every supplier has a different view), cost your options for installation, operation and maintenance, pragmatically review the costs and benefits, get it all checked by an independant expert, remove the emotion, make a decision. We are saying the same thing.
  13. I dont think you can generalise as you said. The decision to use steam or electric firing for any still, is dependant on many factors. Size being one major factor. A 500L pot is very much on the boarder between Steam and Electric. Key benefits of various firing methods; Governing point: Electricity, NGas, LPG and Oil prices vary greatly around the world. Always compare the different fuel options available to you. Direct Electric Element Cheapest option Best end to end heat transfer efficiency (if sized correctly) Fastest boil-up time for a given power input Easy to proportionally control No boiler, no boiler water prep issues, no condensate issues, no boiler certificates/inspections Not easily scalable to very large pots. Has limits regarding total power density (coking of elements) Oil jacket helps this Always have a wash stirrer Generally suits smaller (less than 200L) pots well. Steam (electric fired boiler) Adds the complexity of a boiler, steam distribution, condensate recovery etc Gives you a steam supply for other applications More efficient than flame (gas/oil) boilers, but less efficient than direct electric May require feed water tanks, blow down tanks, condensate tanks, condensate recovery lines depending on design, which direct electric does not E.Boilers are usually more compact than flame boilers E.Boilers have practical limits on size, due to available electrical supply E.Boilers over 500kw/50hp are usually the upper limit. But chaining e.boilers will extend this Tend to be lower in price per kW over Flame Boilers Proportional control is easier, hence better energy usage at low firing Steam (flame fired boiler) Adds the complexity of a boiler, steam distribution, condensate recovery etc Gives you a steam supply for other applications Less efficient compared E.boilers, but less efficient than direct electric May require feed water tanks, blow down tanks, condensate tanks, condensate recovery lines depending on design, which direct electric does not Need flues and fuel feed lines Flame Boilers are usually larger than flame boilers, per Hp up to 50Hp F.Boilers have no real practical limits on size, you can build them big Tend to be lower in price per kW over Flame Boilers, above 50hp Proportional control is awkward, hence poorer energy usage at low firing Longer boil-up time compared to e.boilers & direct All flame boilers still require a substantial electrical supply for feed pumps etc. Factors to be considered in determining the best firing methods; Size of pot, time to boil Boil-up time of boiler Cost of fuel/electricity Is off peak electricity an option Legislation regarding boilers in your area Does you still supplier provide steam jacket options Space for boiler house, fuel storage Size of operation (several larger stills are more suited to steam) Layout of site, pipe runs etc Available max electrical supply Type of run (hard boil stripping, or low boil refrac) ease of control. Hope this helps
  14. Never ever perform a large vessel pressure test with air. Ruptures can be explosive. Always fill with water, then test. Standard plumbers pressure test pumps work a treat. With copper pots etc, be aware that there is a lot of 'give' in the copper walls, so understand your test point pressure, before over pressurising and stretching the pot walls.
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