Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Southernhighlander

  1. And you heat the well water for cleaning and mashing correct? It also takes time to heat it right? I would suggest you let your well fill the holding tank slowly overnight and run the 835 gallons through your condensers and run the free hot water into hot water holding tanks. Of course if you need more water than that for your condensers you may have to take a different path. Also, many times it costs less to dig a well than it costs to buy a chiller. If you are going to go with a new chiller I suggest you contact Mike at MG Thermal Consulting: http://mgthermalconsultingco.com/Home_Page.html
  2. By definition Vodka must be neutral of flavor and smell and as far as I know that is universal, however there are subtle differences that can be detected by Vodka drinkers. I am a whiskey bourbon guy but I like rum and brandy as well. I like to drink my spirits strait so I don't care for Vodka. Vodka to me it is a neutral spirit that is used to mix with things and I don't drink mixed drinks. However many people love vodka and there are some great vodkas out there if you are a vodka lover. Keep in mind that filtering makes a huge difference in vodka flavor as well.
  3. How much water do you use to clean and make your mash?
  4. Here is the first thing to look at. Do you use your well water to make mash and clean your equipment and around your distillery? If that is the case you should look at your condensers as hot water heaters. So your well water is used to cool your condensers and when it comes out of your condensers you run that free hot water into a couple of insulated plastic hot water tanks and use it for mashing in and cleaning. No water wasted and you just saved a lot of money on water heating costs. Also this method will decrease your mashing time. Does this sound workable for your situation? Of course you cannot do this with your mash crash cooling. For that I suggest you use your current chiller.
  5. Mat, What is your tap water temp in winter and what is it in the summer? What are your condenser specs for the still? coolant input temp? Flow rate in GPM. Coolant output temp. What is the heat exchange surface area of your fermenter (how much area do the jackets cover in square ft? What are the dimensions of your fermenter? Are the fermenters agitated? What spirits will you be producing? What will you be producing your spirits from (be specific)? Please explain your mash cooking process and fermentation process? What is your stills run time doing vodka? With all of the above information, I and others on here can help you.
  6. Email me paul@distillery-equipment.com and we will help you with it.
  7. I hear you. We have destroyed some vessels in other types of testing. I agree that the trade offs are worth it depending on what you are doing. Good job and good luck moving forward.
  8. Sorry to hear that you have imploded some of your vacuum stills and about your challenges concerning cuts and efficiency. The info that you need to do the proper design calcs for your vacuum stills so that they won't implode is online, so there was no reason for that. Out of the 50 or so vacuum stills of various designs that we have built, none have ever imploded. Two of them are 500 gallon capacity and are currently being ran 2 shifts per day by a nutraceuticals company. Our beverage ethonal vacuum still 5-150 kits require a 300 series stainless vessel that has wall thicknesses of at least 1.65mm for vessels smaller than 48" in diameter and for vessels larger the requirement is 2mm. Our 5-150 beverage ethanol vacuum kits only pull enough vacuum to distill at 150 F at the lowest. They are not capable of pulling any more vacuum than that. They don't even use vacuum pumps. If the stills columns are copper a 2mm wall thickness is fine for up to an 8" column. If your still meets those requirements we will supply you a new still if yours implodes using our kit, but that will never happen. Our kit connects to the parrot connection of the still and the parrot connects to the output on the kit. Output comes right out of the parrot as it normally does I recommend doing the cuts by taste and smell for the first few runs while recording the proof then use that info but still taste and smell to be sure. We are currently selling 1 to 2 vacuum stills to the hemp to CBD processing facilities per week. Those stills have 3 mm and greater wall thicknesses and distill at as low as 80 F. They are incredibly fast with run times of 1hr for the smaller ones and 1.5hrs for a 500 gallon at 50 C (122 F). Our falling films will be even faster.
  9. One of the great things about vacuum stills is that they can be wood fired by a hydronic boiler. Hydronic hot water boilers are relatively inexpensive to buy compared to steam boilers. Also wood waste costs a great deal less than nat gas in many areas. Here you can buy a 17 yard dump truck load of end trim blocks from railroad ties and pallet squares that are 80% oak for $160.00 I have my own dump truck so it costs me around $75.00 per 17 cubic yard load from sawmills. Also these boilers go outdoors which can make things easier concerning compliance. Of course they are not allowed in some areas. I applied for and received a government grant to help pay for my last hydronic boiler which I used to fire one of my lumber drying kilns. The government considers wood a renewable resource, which is how I got the grant. https://earthoutdoorfurnaces.com/
  10. We do not have flooding/puking issues in our beverage ethanol vacuum stills because we are only pulling enough vacuum to distill at 150F. Also because of this our column functionality is preserved. Also our beverage ethanol vacuum stills are inexpensive when compared to most of our competitors stills that operate at 1 atmosphere. Our vacuum stills that operate at higher vacuum for producing CBD and other cannabinoids are also inexpensive. In fact our solvent reclamation vac stills are as little as 1/10th the cost of our competitors equipment and our quality is better. Equipment to create cannabis concentrates such as CBD are massively over priced, with some equipment being sold for as much as 2000% over production costs. I am already taking advantage of this, in a huge way. The growth curve in our business is incredible right now but we are dealing with it with very good results. We have gotten the run times on our high vacuum, solvent reclamation stills down to 1 hr. When we started the run times were 6.5 hrs. This really fast distillation does cause some bumping and surging and the still pot will shake a little, however we have never had to bolt our prototypes to the floor. We state that the ones that we sell must be bolted to the floor. I don't think they will walk or anything but better safe than sorry. We had some puking issues with our high vacuum stills during the original design phase and that is absolutely unacceptable for a solvent reclaim still but I solved that issue right away. The newest ones are set up like short paths with no columns and we have zero puking issues. The ethanol in the reclaim tank is free of any oils. Also with our new semi short path design we are staying above 188 proof for 10 to 15 runs re using the same solvent which starts at slightly above 190 proof.
  11. We already have vacuum stills for sale if anyone is interested, including the flavor infusers, except ours are a lot prettier than 7 brothers. Except for our vacuum stripping stills and vacuum stills for hemp to CDB processing and our short path vac stills and our glass laboratory vac stills, they look just like our regular stills. In fact we have a design for a unit that is contained in a case that looks like and oversized computer tower that will connect to any stills parrot connection so that it becomes a vacuum still. Our first model 5-150 is good for stills up to 150 gallon. Our 2nd model 200-800 will be good for stills up to 800 gallons. Unlike some other vacuum stills we have a continuous output from the still. We are able to do this without breaking vacuum. This allows the cuts to be made using smell and taste. Vacuum beverage ethanol distillation has advantages and disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is that copper vapor interaction is reduced under vacuum. If you pull -29.5 inHg gauge so that you are distilling at around 80 F then you will get very little sulfur removal. At least this is what our lab tests showed. If we pull enough vacuum to distill at around 150 F and we increased the amount of copper surface area inside the still by a certain percentage, we are able to get the same amount of sulfur removal as running under no vacuum. Another disadvantage is that you need more chilling capacity for the condensers. If you are distilling at -29.5 inHg gauge then the temp of the coolant going into your condensers must be -20 to -30 C. Distilling at 122 F (50 C) means your incoming coolant temp must be at least as low as 10 C. If you distill at 150F under vacuum then a standard chiller can be used. Well water can be used if it is below 55F when distilling at 155F The advantages of vacuum distilling are many. Higher proofs with less column. Hot water can be used to great advantage as a heat source so you don't need to buy that expensive steam boiler. A 100 gallon commercial hot water heater can be used to heat a 100 gallon vacuum still. Less heating BTUs are needed. Our lab tests showed that we were getting up to 90% less methanol under vacuum, so the heads cuts are smaller. We had faster run times as well. There are other advantages including spirit flavor improvements due to less volatilizations of positive flavor compounds. In my opinion flavor infusions come off better as well. Continuous column vacuum stills have been around for over 100 years. Below is a picture of a really huge industrial one. Any of our vacuum stills can be set up for continuous feed and our vacuum stripping stills are really fast.
  12. The is one of ours and we are glad to give the purchaser the unlimited phone and email support that comes with our stills.
  13. Hi Brian, Did I sell you this boiler 7 or 8 years ago? If so, this was the first piece of equipment that I sold to a distillery and I used the profit from the sale to start Affordable Distillery Equipment which has since sold over $17,000.000.00 worth of distilling equipment.
  14. Six or eight plates would be good for higher proof rums, light whiskey and light brandies among other things. You can do stripping runs and spirit runs for whiskey in the same or 2 different pot stills with no plates. You can run whiskey in one run with one plate. You could do whiskey in one run with 4 plates running low reflux. You can engage and disengage different plates in our columns for different results. A very few go so far as to have draw offs at different plates. You can distill under vacuum to reduce negative chemicals and to distill at high proofs with fewer or no plates. There are an almost unlimited number of ways to skin this cat.
  15. Give Mike at MG Thermal Consulting a call. He can help you size your tank etc. http://mgthermalconsultingco.com/Home_Page.html
  16. In my opinion the tube in tube heat exchanger would be better. We have them in stock. If you would like a quote please email paul@distillery-equipment.com Thank you.
  17. Some combination mash tun stills that we just finished yesterday. Also we just sold an Ultra Pro Whiskey System complete with mash pump, explosion proof ethanol pump,mash tun, fermenter, CIP system etc to the University of Illinois. We are currently working on a sale to another state University . We have sold 4 complete system just this week. If we do as well the rest of the year as we have done so far, our US sales this year should approach $7,000,000.00 I'm not certain but I think that we are currently number two in sales to US distilleries. Maybe next year we will be number one.
  18. We have what you need. I called and left a message on your service. Please call me back or email me. paul@distillery-equipment.com 417-778-6100 Thanks. Paul
  19. Please excuse me. I learned on a pot still doing white dog, rum and brandies from my father and grandfather. Neither of them ever ran a plated column as far as I know. My Granddad did long distillations to get good definition between the cuts. Of course I understand how bubble plate columns work because I design them. However, other than running prototypes to test for functionality and efficensy I haven't distilled in many years. Also my permits do not allow me to consume the spirits that we distill. Of course we get great feedback from our customers and our stills have produced lots of award winning spirits. For the last few years I had employees work in the equipment development and testing lab and I just receive the data and make changes to the systems to try and improve things or come up with new ideas. I've developed some vacuum stripping still designs that are incredibly fast and can be fired by 180 F hot water. The run times for redistilling GNS on these things is crazy fast at up to 1000 gallons per hour and you can run the smaller ones off commercial hot water heaters which cost a huge amount less than a steam boiler. We have been selling the 8 to 500 gallon vacuum reclamation stills like hot cakes to CBD producers. Extract with ethanol, distill off the ethanol under vacuum and concentrate the oil and you make 15 times per day more than making whiskey (at least for now). Adam what you say makes sense concerning your methods and the proof is in what you produce. If you produce good spirits that way and they sell well, then keep doing what you are doing. Thanks to all of you guys for the education on this. I have committed it to memory. I apologize for my error.
  20. Not something I would do. I was taught never to redistill heads or forshots or you get something we called Splo. It means you are more apt to get a headache the next day from residual lower boiling point volatiles such as acetone and methanol etc. At the same time, it would depend on how broad your foreshots cut is. If you are not concentrating lower boiling point nasties, it's not a problem.
  21. That is odd. I can see using tails for the initial cleaning run, however most would not use tails for that because you can retrieve the alcohol from the tails. You cannot retrieve good alcohol from heads, so some will use heads for the first run cleaning. I have never heard of anyone using tails to do regular cleaning.
  22. The Conex box could be looked at as the cage and the barrels like the tote. As you and I both know, many times, how things are presented to the powers that be makes all of the difference.
  23. I apologize. Some of my assumptions were based on your original designs. It's good to hear that you made changes. My designs are completely different than anything I have ever seen before. We are not using screens above our plates, we have a different method to keep the foaming from occurring. Since there is no foaming, our plates can be closer together. Our column T sections are shorter than in any of the US or German designs that I have seen. My designs are not based on any US, German or Western European designs. They are based on something different. Something more advanced in some ways that was built in a Nation that no longer exists. My engineer is from there. My engineer and I both saw your still run in the video and to him it looked like a lot of little bubbles in beer. Also your plate spacing is a greater than ours and he assumed it was to decrease the foaming issue. If we were mistaken I apologize. I will contact you to compare data in few weeks when our patent work is far enough along. I think that you will be really surprised about a few things.
  24. Georgeous, You could distill lavender oil for them in your still by placing the plant material in your pot along with water then heat up to 212F and distill off the hydrosol. It would be best if you put the plant material in stainless bags and better if you had a false bottom You will need to clean thoroughly afterword to get the lavender flavors out of your still. You will need to remove your parrot and put an oil water separator at the output of your still. This is one way but not the best. We build special steam stills for essential oils that have false bottoms that separate the plant material from the water. The water is below the false bottom and the heat source to boil the water is electric or gas. The stills are large straight sided vessel and the whole top is removable so that they can be loaded easily. Ours tilt like cement mixers so that they can be easily dumped. The best way in my opinion is to use our vacuum stills with a solvent like ethanol. First you do an extraction in a wash vessel and then the oil laden ethanol from that extraction is pumped into the reclamation vacuum still. You pull -29.5 inHg and distill at around 80F. The ethanol is reclaimed for future use and the oil is left in the still pot and drained. This makes the very best oil. It is cleaner and a much lighter color because it was distilled at lower temps. We primarily sell these systems to hemp to CBD processors. For Hemp to CBD processing we include equipment to winterize and remove lipids, waxes, chlorophyll and THC. Our CBD oil is very high quality and only contains CBD, CBG, CBN and terpenes. These are all cannibanoids. We also have lab equipment to create CBD isolate. Winterizing and removal of waxes lipids and chlorophyll is normally done at the point of extraction but our equipment does it post extraction so our process costs a great deal less than the processes and equipment sold by our competitors. Our 8 gallon system will process 40 lbs of hemp into 4 to 6 lbs of high grade CBD oil per day. The still is capable of doing a run in 65 minutes. The complete set of 8 gallon equipment including the chiller wash vessel, winterizing vessels and everything costs less than $20,000.00 Hi quality bulk CBD oil brings $10.00 per gram. You can do the math. The equipment pays for itself the first day. I don't know of anything more profitable than processing CBD to hemp. The 8 gallon system is the smallest we have. We have sold hemp to CBD processing systems that will do 5,000 lbs of hemp per day.
  • Create New...