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jbdavenport1

Cleaning columns and bubble plates

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A couple process and cleaning questions.

So I have an 8" and a 12" bubble plate columns. With those of you that run the same style, how often do you clean the inside of your columns and the bubble plates?

Also, does anyone also run these style columns with raschig rings as well?

 

Thanks in advance.

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More often that I would have imagined. Cleaning the column and the plates arn't so bad, especially if you have CIP. However, I have found that CIP may not thoroughly get under the caps in all cases. There you will find plenty of crud that builds up surprisingly fast. I think that often goes overlooked. It takes taking everything apart and cleaning each part by itself to really get it clean. I try and do a deep cleaning every two months or so.

My system has two bubble plates then a six foot SS tube that I have filled with 20 pounds of raschig rings, topped with two more bubble plates. Kind of a funky system, but pretty good for making vodka :)

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We open and clean our columns about 2 x a year.  Change gaskets, shine it up, and make sure all is well.  I'd say a minimum of once a year, depending on use and what you're making.

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We CIP the column every time we switch spirit types, so we'll CIP between rum and bourbon and rye for example.  We don't usually go more than 4 runs without CIP.

At 12", we don't generally look forward to disassembling columns, most commercial columns don't come apart at all, even when they don't have a CIP spray ball for each plate.

We don't aim for shiny copper.

 

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