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Can't properly flood my vodka column

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I'm running a hybrid setup with 4 plate Whiskey column and 16 plate vodka column. I'm stacking the Whiskey column okay then releasing the dephlegmator to stack the vodka column. I'm ending up with a completely flooded top plate (on the 16 plate column) and completely flooded bottom two plates with the plates in between showing little to no bubbling action. The vodka dephlegmator is set at 105 and letting it reflux for at least 30 mins but the plates aren't flooding. I slowly release the dephlegmator on the vodka column and get some strong compact heads but its all at 186ish proof.

Anyone willing to help? Am I running the steam heat too hard? I have it set to about 1/3 fully open which I feel is kinda low. The Whiskey column is bubbling away just fine. Fyi, The return drain is open at the bottom of both columns.

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Are you running the whiskey column and the vodka column in series? Regarding the bottom trays stacking, often if there isnt a trap on the return drain you can get vapors coming up through the drain naturally condensing on the the bottom few trays. What brand of still is it?

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Yes both columns in series, there is a trap on the drain. I think I'm running it harder than I should be. I'm going to turn heat down and turn off the Whiskey deph completely once stacked. It's an artisan still. Wonderful piece of equipment, just need to become more comfortable running it.

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