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optimal power for 100l pot still for gin produciton

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I am moving from a 50l 2.4kw direct heat to a 100l. With my 50l I would run full power to heatup and then dial down top around 3.6kw for the run. This was on a 3" pot still then went to a 3" to 2" reducer, into a 90 dedgree bend then reduced again to 1" then a 90, then into a 1" liebig.

3" > 2" > 90 > 1" > 90 > 1" liebig

The 100l is a 3" pot that runs to a 2" shotgun condensor and has 7kw of power available via 2 x 3.5kw elements.. 

the 7kw is good for the heatup but will it be overkill for the run... anyone any experience running gin on a 100l or 26 gallon still direct heated?

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I got the new still, 100l milk can, 7kw power. 

1st run - ran at 3.5kw after heatup, control was compromised - earthy notes detectable in the final product, I am airing it to see if it recovers.

 It's a 3" column so vapour speed is around 23 inches per second.

I am going to run at 3kw or less and see what that does for me..

 

old and new still pics..

20190703_093203.jpg

20190703_200843.jpg

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Run is in progress,

I dialed power down to approximately 2kw and I can still detect a slight amount of earthiness, it is the 1st stage of the gun run. If i add some warm water it immediately opens up into bright citrus tones and no hint of earthiness.

Confused.

 

I am now at 1750w...

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so the 1st run i did a week or so ago has recovered nicely, the earthiness has faded significantly.

The current run is at about 3kw now, slight earthiness still - now when i used the old still there wasnt any - I can now only attribute this to the length of the vertical pipe.. in addition to the copper section visible on the keg above there was 300mm of steel also.. so i will increase the length of the spool on the new still and see if this has a positive effect on the immediate odor.

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Love talking to myself 😉

Had a thought that maybe the earthiness is due to the lack of copper in my still now, thoughts?

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So no copper in the new still? Maybe add some copper mesh in the column if needed.

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Are talking about a final gin run with botanicals in it? To me earthness sounds like the root or spice botanicals. Is it more pronounced toward the end of the run? Copper is more for absorbing sulfer notes produced in the ferment. If youre making gin from ngs (looks like you are) those should already have been cleaned up, and you shouldnt need any copper interaction.

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4 hours ago, adamOVD said:

Are talking about a final gin run with botanicals in it? To me earthness sounds like the root or spice botanicals. Is it more pronounced toward the end of the run? Copper is more for absorbing sulfer notes produced in the ferment. If youre making gin from ngs (looks like you are) those should already have been cleaned up, and you shouldnt need any copper interaction.

Yes I am using NGS, the only thing that has changed is the still. The botanical bill has just scaled with the still.

I know the earthiness should come through at the end but it is coming through from the start, if i lower power considerably it is less but it is still there. It has mellowed out after time but the smaller still had none.

That was also my thought on copper, it's good if you are stilling wash but i didnt think it was needed for NGS.

All I can now assume is that it is the length of the vertical column. If we talk purely about the column and not the distance from the top of the boiliing liquid then the current column is shorter, 300mm versus 700mm, with a shorter column maybe the "heavier" earthy compounds don't "fallback" like they would on a longer column? 

I have a 400mm section of spool on order to see if that makes a difference.

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I'm back!

So I added another 18" section of column and my run is now free of the "earthy smell" with all other aspects the same.

So I can only surmise that you need more than 16" of column so that the "heavier" "earthy" notes don't just get forced into the collection path despite a low running power and vapour speed,  I am collecting product on 2.1kw of power, I will let this run complete and next run try increasing power marginally to find the sweet spot between power/take off rate and quality.

So at the moment:

25l NGS, watered down to 30% in a 100l boiler

7kw heatup

2.1kw running power (this is a approximate)

vapour speed 13.6" per second

3" column, 32" long

 

The power, vapour speed and takeoff rate seem low so I hope to be able to increase this and maintain quality.. until next time.

 

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next run completed, estimate 2.45kw of power until temp at top of column hits around 90c - then increase to 2.8kw to maintain a steady takeoff.. all good still.

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Earthy flavors indicate too late a cut from hearts to tails ... or too high vapor speeds. Increased column length will lower overall system's efficiency, lowering vapor speeds in the process, pushing third dimensional or earthy flavors back. A wider column (same power input though!) would be an easier solution to push those flavors back.

Hope this info helps.

Regards, Odin.

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12 hours ago, Odin said:

Earthy flavors indicate too late a cut from hearts to tails ... or too high vapor speeds. Increased column length will lower overall system's efficiency, lowering vapor speeds in the process, pushing third dimensional or earthy flavors back. A wider column (same power input though!) would be an easier solution to push those flavors back.

Hope this info helps.

Regards, Odin.

thanks Odin, this confirms my thoughts on the matter. My earthy notes were coming through from the start, initially because of too much power (too high vapour speed), a made the column longer with same power and it resolved it (effect was to lower vapour speed)

I have now commissioned a wider 4" copper column and will play with power to see optimal takeoff speed.

 

and I will take a look at that book also..

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Glad to hear that!

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update, copper column in place. Sulphur smell gone, power running at 3.5kw so far and earthy smell also gone.

 

I will see how this run goes on 3.5kw with a view to increasing to 4.5kw for the next run, which should give me the same vapour speed as use don the 3" column successfully.

20190807_084833.jpg

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