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About dwrich1020

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  1. Silver Metallic Build-up during Rye Stripping Run

    I have the exact same thing happen in my still any time I do grain in distillations. The inside of my lyne arm looks identical to that. My still is a stainless steel pot made from a square tote tank. It has steam jacketing on all four sides. During the course of the run, the liquid level inside the still drops obviously, but because the steam jacket goes to the top of all four sides, there is a portion of the side wall that remains heated above the level of the liquid. After a run, it isn't scorched, but there is a baked on caramelized ring around on the inside of the pot. During stripping runs, my output is pretty oily over the course of the entire run, but gets noticeably more oily toward the end of a run. Based on the solubility tests described earlier, would that mean it is some type of organic salt? That might make sense because the proof decreases over the run so whatever it is becomes less and less soluble over the run. I don't use any type of anti foaming ingredients. My recipes are either 100% ground corn converted with SebStarHTL and SebAmylGL, or bourbon made from ground corn, barley, and wheat, with addition of enzymes as well. I'd love to hear any other theories anybody might have.
  2. Steam Line Questions

    James, Meerkat, and Roger, thanks for all the replies and information. I've decided now to definitely use the boiler feedtank, and actually after looking at different models online, I may purchase the exact same one you are using James.
  3. Steam Line Questions

    This is a great topic, and thanks for all the information everyone has posted. I am in the process of hooking up my steam boiler and am trying to figure out all of the regulators, gauges, valves, and traps that I'll need. I'm using a Burnham 5011B natural gas fired boiler rated for 624,000 BTU/hr steam output. I have a 300 gallon mash cooker and a 300 gallon still. Based on all the information here, I'm confident that I have the correct size boiler for my application. I believe this boiler is commonly used in basements of homes that have radiant heaters in upper floors. The recommended piping diagram in the manual shows a gravity feed system using a Hartford loop. The normal water line of the boiler is 27" above the floor. The boiler, still tank, and mash cooker are on the same floor level and are only separated by a distance of about 8' with the boiler room wall separating the two. My main question is if anyone knows if I can get by without a condensate pump or a feedwater tank? The condensate outlet for both the mash cooker and still are only about 15" above the floor. By my reckoning, this would mean that the steam trap at the outlet of each tank wouldn't even work and there would water filled in my tank jacket up to the same level as the water in the boiler. Is this correct? It seems like I'd have water hammer in the bottom 9" or so of the steam jacket. My boiler didn't come with a feedwater tank. Is my solution as simple as buying a feedwater tank and mounting it up high in the boiler room and letting the pressure of the system push the condensate up to it?
  4. Bulk Tank to Mash Tun conversion ideas?

    County Seat- Heat up time will be entirely dependent on the surface area that gets covered in heaters and the watt density of the heating pad, the volume of liquid being heated, amd the efficiency of the heating. Generally these style of heaters are designed for 2.5, 5, or 10 W/sq. In. If you had a 36" diameter tank, and had heating pads over the entire circumference that was 36" tall, the surface area would be about 4000 sq. In, so you could possibly have 40,000 W of heating. A 36" diameter tank that is 36" tall is about 150 gallons.If the tank was 4' tall it would hold 200 gallons. A good rule of thumb is 1000 BTU of heating per gallon of mash to get your still boiling in one hour. 40,000 W is equivalent to about 136,000 BTU/hr. If the heating was only about 80% efficient, the example outlined above might take an hour and a half to get the still boiling. That's a rough napkin calculation anyway on an estimated heating time.
  5. Bulk Tank to Mash Tun conversion ideas?

    I have a suggestion. You could wrap the outside of the tank with flexible silicone rubber heating pads. This would work similar to a steam setup in that the entire outer surface area of the tank would be evenly heated. The heat then conducts through the wall of your tank into your mash. You'd need a layer of insulation on top of the heating pads. These pads are usually designed for 2.5, 5, or 10 W/in^2. Just estimating the size of your tank I'd say it was 4 feet in diameter by 3 feet tall of surface area, which works out to almost 300 gallons. If you wrapped the outer surface with a heating pad at 5 W/in^2, you would have at least 25,000 W of heating, or 50,000 W if you use a higher watt density heater. The electric service will be your most expensive thing if it can't already handle this capacity. I'm not a representative of this company, but I have used them before on a project in my former professional life as an engineer. There are certainly more manufacturers out there that make these type heaters. They have on their website an example used in food processing for holding a constant temperature of very viscous liquids at a constant temperature, almost what you are doing in mashing. http://www.michaelsenterprises.com/custom-heating-solution-food-processing.html
  6. Pot size to column diameter ratio

    Your analogy you keep going back to about propane tanks is faulty too by the way. The surface area at the top of the liquid there again isn't the driving factor in how much gas is produced. The driving factor there is the wetted surface area. That is the area of the side walls of the tank in contact with the liquid propane. The reason I'm giving you such a hard time is that you are a commercial still builder and you just demonstarted that you don't understand basic physical processes that govern a still's operation.
  7. Pot size to column diameter ratio

    YOU need to do an experiment. A wide shallow pot with an internal heating element vs a tall skinny pot with the same internal element. They are filled with the same volume of liquid and have the same diameter column. See which one produces product faster. The answer is they'll produce at the same speed. The surface area of liquid on the top is irrelevant!
  8. Pot size to column diameter ratio

    You obviously don't know anything about thermodynamics so it probably isn't worth arguing with you and trying to teach you anything. There is this thing called enthalpy of vaporization. It is a measure of the energy required to convert a given amount of liquid into a gas. Let's take water as an example. Let's assume I have 100 gallons of water. 100 gallons of water will weigh about 834 lbm. Let's also assume for the moment that we are dealing with a simple pot still. The liquid in the pot should be at atmospheric pressure because it is an open system. At atmospheric pressure the enthalpy of vaporization is 970 BTU/lbm. That means that once the water is brought to 212 F, for every 970 BTU of energy that is input into the system, 1 lbm of vapor will be produced. Let's say we have gotyen the pot up to 212 F and we heat that water with 100,000 BTU/hr for 1 hour. We've input 100,000 BTU into the system and have boiled off 103 lbm of water, or about 12.4 gallons. If we heated it with 200,000 BTU/hr instead for 1 hour we would have boiled off 24.8 gallons. That example dealt with a simple pot still. To prove your previous point wrong, let's discuss a plated column where there actually is a slight amount of pressure. The only pressure is due to the height of the liquid on the plates. If there was a whopping 28" of water combined on the plates, the pressure in the still boiler is still only 1 psi gauge. Now back to our steam tables and enthalpy of vaporization. At 1 psi our boiling point has now risen yo 215 F, but our enthalpy of vaporization is now only 968 BTU/lbm instead of 970 BTU/lbm. So if we again are boiling and heat with 100,000 BTU/hr for 1 hour we will have boiled off MORE water than we did before.
  9. Pot size to column diameter ratio

    Boiling and evaporation are completely different processes. With evaporation, yes the surface area drives the amount of vapor produced. That is not the case with boiling.
  10. Pot size to column diameter ratio

    This couldn't be more wrong. The surface area of the top of the liquid is irrelevant to the amount of vapor that is produced. The amount of vapor that is produced is controlled by the amount of heat that is input into the still.
  11. Calculating alcohol from grain

    This is actually pretty simple. The table referenced in the first post refers to the number of wine gallons of total alcohol produced from a bushel of grain. That is the number of gallons of 200 proof alcohol (heads, hearts, and tails, everything) that can be expected from 56 lbs. of a particular grain. Let's take corn for example: According to the USDA, dried yellow feed corn has a carbohydrate content of 74.26%, but 7.3% of which is fiber, and thus won't be fermentable to alcohol. That leaves a starch content that can be fermented of 66.96%. On a bushel of grain, 56 lbs. , this works out to 37.5 lbs. of fermentables. If all the available starch were converted to sugars, that leaves us 37.5 lbs. of sugar. Theoretical conversion of sugar to ethanol is 51.1% by weight. That means 1 lb. of sugar yields 0.511 lbs. of ethanol. Using this, our 37.5 lbs. of sugar has now turned into 19.16 lbs of pure ethanol. Pure ethanol has a density of 6.58 lbs./gal. Our 19.16 lbs. of ethanol will yield 2.91 gallons of 200 proof ethanol. That is pretty close to the published 2.85 gallons that was predicted from the table. However, this math doesn't take into account the inability to convert all of the starch to sugar, or the inefficiency of fermentation. This same math could be used to calculate the theoretical maximum alcohol yield for any grain. The only piece of information to know at the start is the mass percent of carbohydrates that can be converted to sugar.
  12. Location in Historic Business District

    Also, in the last week we were able to get a special use permit from the city to allow distillery operations in the historic commercial district. In our case, the downtown area wasn't zoned to allow manufacturing and a distillery was not an expressly listed permitted use. We had to submit an application to the zoning board to get a special use permit to allow the distillery. The zoning board voted in favor and made a recommendation to the city council to approve it. We met early on with the alderman over our ward as well as the mayor before we even submitted the application. Folks in small towns like to be clued in and involved from the start. Later on they'll be able to point to their constituents that they helped bring in a new business. We are in the deep south in the bible belt and I thought surely we'd face at least some opposition in town due to local politics and religious objections. The response so far has actually been just the opposite. Everyone has been overwhelmingly supportive. We actually have a small church located just two doors down and had to receive their written approval by state law. The church was fine with our operation once we explained everything to them.
  13. Location in Historic Business District

    I am in the process of doing this exact thing currently. Our building is just off the town square in a small town historic commercial district. We are going to take advantage of federal and state tax credits for the renovation of the building. We met last week with someone from the state archives and history department. Our state currently provides a 25% tax credit and the National Park Service provides a 20% tax credit. These percentages apply to any money that is invested for renovations above and beyond the purchase price of the building. For example, if you bought a building for $100k and invested $100k, you could receive $45k in total tax credits. If you invested $200k in renovations you could receive $90k in tax credits. There are lots of restrictions on what type of renovations qualify but most renovations actually do qualify. A new parking lot outside or your actual stills and equipment are covered, but adding walls, flooring, roofs, painting, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, etc. qualifies. As far as getting approval from the city for any renovations, we met early on with the city's historical preservation group and economic development department. This city has been somewhat economically depressed and has been agreeable to most of our ideas for renovating this building. They are really happy that someone is investing in the city and will help with tourism.
  14. Over 100 years old whiskey

    http://www.pre-pro.com/midacore/view_vendor.php?vid=RIC14898 I found the image at a website called pre-pro.com. It is a pretty neat website that has a searchable database of pre prohibition distillers and brand names. For a lot of them, there will be images of bottles, shot glasses, and advertising. That brand name appears to have been used by several companies but was used by the Straus Gunst distillery possibly between 1895 and 1915. The website gives an address for the location of the company, their years of operation and the other brand names they produced.