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PeteB

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PeteB last won the day on August 28

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About PeteB

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    Active Contributor

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  • Website URL
    http://www.belgrovedistillery.com.au

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Tasmania, Australia
  • Interests
    Distilling, plough to bottle
    Professional Sand and Ice Sculptor
    repairing water mills
    Making biodiesel

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  1. How to keep cooling water from going bad

    Anyone with limited cooling water should consider a continuous stripping still. A properly designed one requires no cooling water and as a bonus they only require about 20% of the energy to run the same volume of wash. I think Dehner Distillery has built some. I have but I don't export.
  2. Ethanol Water Contraction and Dilution

    that is the same with any program when using for the first time. Meerkat I had a potential issue yesterday, we use both ABV and proof hydrometers (proof ones are so much cheaper) and this program makes it so easy to use both even in the one calculation just with one click of a mouse. Yesterday I notice Mass% was clicked instead of Volume%. I suggest on next update you make it slightly more difficult to change, maybe right then left click.
  3. No harm in trying to find out but in the end there are some customers who just won't believe in science. "the customer is always right"
  4. If you set fire to ethanol its carbon will turn to carbon dioxide but if you run ethanol through a still then it remains as ethanol, no carbon released.
  5. By being "certified organic" the customer should be confident that there are no pesticides or other "artificial" nasties in their drug (ethanol) that they are consuming.
  6. The main reason to brand "certified organic" is to cater for those customers who wish to pay more to make them feel better for being more "natural" etc etc. All spirits are "organic" Ethanol C2H5OH is an organic compound, so I was told when I studied organic chemistry at university many years ago.
  7. Pulsing Still

    I have been thinking about the physics of why a still would pulse. Interest for physics nerds only. The boiling chips comment gave me an idea, the boiling appears to stop and start. A plausible explanation is when the pot boiling vigorously there is a very slight increase in pressure in the still because the rapidly evolving vapour This slight pressure increase will increase the boiling point of the still contents and boiling stops, (but temperature now increases because no heat lost as Latent) Now not boiling or producing vapour and pressure drops, boiling point drops and the contents will start boiling again, even more vigorously because the liquid is now slightly superheated. Pressure builds again and boiling stops........................etc..... Someone mentioned very cold condenser water could cause pulsing. The above theory still applies, the really cold water creates a slight negative pressure allowing rapid boiling then pressure builds .... etc......
  8. Column Diameter and collection rate

    For a still with plates and bubble caps you are quite correct, if column too narrow the vapor velocity is too high and liquid will get carried up the column reducing effectiveness of the plates. With no plates as in an alembic still there is no need for a column. It will work more efficiently at separating ethanol without one. The main reason for the column or neck is for reaction with copper especially when making whisky to remove sulphur. The wider and longer the neck the more surface and also a cooler surface that allows more reflux and hence reaction with the copper.
  9. grain cleaner

    What is wrong with grasshoppers in your mash? A bit more flavor. I grow my own grain and it has a lot of chaff and other seeds, and grasshoppers. Jim Murray has awarded my whiskies 4 Liquid Golds, maybe he likes those grasshopper notes. You won't get mouse poop directly from the field, that is usually added during poor storage even if it is cleaned then stored with mice. Tim, what was your cleaner removing before it died?
  10. How to keep cooling water from going bad

    My cooling water tank is an old concrete 35,000 gallons. It was initially filled from the river with a windmill pump that must have sucked small fish or eggs into the tank. There were some quite large fish in there. Then I started circulating warm condenser water I assume they didn't appreciate the heat because they have now vanished. There is now a freshwater plant called azola growing on the surface. The water appearance and smell is now much nicer than when the fish were there.
  11. Violent bubbling in the parrot

    If I am understanding your setup correctly then leave the drain open at the bottom of the parrot, with a bucket to catch initial condensate, until condensate starts flowing fully.
  12. Cleaning Run

    My suggestion is to leave your hatch open while heating your water or just leave it closed but not bolted down. The danger time is if a pressure buildup is suddenly released
  13. Cleaning Run

    Totally agree, a slight drop in pressure can make the contents boil rather rapidly. Been there, done that. Luckily I jumped very quickly but still ended with a small burn on my back. Another distillery near here ended up with 2 people hospitalized for some time.
  14. Cleaning Run

    I assume you mean no steam or water! If you are you running cold water through the dephleg that could stop the steam getting past. Boiler can't be working efficiently. If my math is correct 600,000 btu is about 175 Kw. That is a lot of heat for 600 litres. I am intrigued, I will watch this space.
  15. Direct Fire Heat Up Problem

    Roger, I know what you mean by watching the thermometer in the pot and it seems to take forever to boil, but that thermometer is very important to give you an idea when the pot is about to boil. If the heat is up too high at start of boil there can be foaming and puking issues. (but probably not such a problem with this particular still) The other thing you say is essential is the hydrometer in the parrot. I don't use one because I do my cuts purely on nose. I don't want a hydrometer that might influence me to think the cut is at a particular ABV when my nose is telling me it is not. I am making spirits that smell and taste great, I think of ethanol as just a byproduct (unless making vodka) . I use a cheap $30 refractometer to indicate when to turn the still off at the end of the run.
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