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A.      The system was designed for around 200 gallons per hour of feed at around 10% alcohol.  I do not think it is all that important how much alcohol is in the wash, but the feed rate can be probably a low of 100 to maybe a high of 250-300.  At a 200 gallon-per-hour feed rate, that would be slightly over three gallons a minute going in.  The product passes through a pipe in a pipe heat exchanger where it would be heated up from the fermentation temperature to approximately 150°F entering the top of the beer column.  I would recommend you set the pipe in a pipe heat exchanger horizontal rather than vertical.  In the event you shut it down without completely emptying it, you will not plug it up in the bottom elbows.

 

B.      The steam addition to the unit would be around 300 pounds per hour, the equivalent of about 10 horsepower of steam.  A 22 horse power boiler unit that would run at about eight to 10 usage with plenty of steam for mashing.  This steam should heat the bottom of the column to approximately 215-217°F, and I would have a dial thermometer at the bottom or a couple of plates up from the bottom of this column to validate that temperature for good viewing from ground level.  You will also run about three psig in the bottom of the beer column when all of the trays are adequately filled.  The steam can be controlled with a control valve to temperature at the bottom of the column or manually run with a hand-operated steam globe valve.  If you are feeding the column with a positive displacement pump of some kind, like a Tuthill or something along those lines, you can also run the steam in manual and the column will be fairly stable.

 

C.      The 200 gallons an hour input, minus the ethanol boiled out, plus the direct inject steam condensate will result in approximately 200 gallons an hour out the bottom of the beer column.  This product will be approximately 215°F, and when it cross-flows with the beer going in, it will be cooled down to somewhere around 150°F.  Again, I would recommend a small lobe pump (Tuthill or equal) to pump the bottom product--a VFD drive on the electric motor will allow for variable speed?and take the product through the heat exchanger and discharged.  The vapors off the top of the beer column are then transferred through the three-inch line to the bottom of the rectifier, and they will be approximately 100 proof. 

 

D.      The bottom product off the rectifier column, which is the second column, will be approximately 100 proof and will return back to the top of the beer column.  This system originally had a 1/8th horsepower centrifugal pump that pumped off the bottom of the rectifier to the top of the beer column and was more of a continuous running, maintain empty function.  In order to make the 190 proof off the top of the rectifier column, there was cooling of the vapors to create a certain level of reflux.  That would be for every three gallons of vapor going up the column, two gallons were condensed and returned back down the column for cooling.  This was accomplished by controlling the flow of water through the coil in the top of the rectifier column coming in at (E) and coming out at (F).  The flow here is calculated to be about 20 gallons per minute with a 20° temperature rise.  Since this is making whiskey there is no need to run water through points (E) and (F). The vapors off the top of the rectifier column go over to the condenser where the final ethanol vapors are condensed.  The flow in the product condenser, on the other hand, is not controlled.

G & H. The cooling water going into (G) would be somewhere around 15 gallons per minute, and it would have about a 10° temperature rise at that flow rate.  It would come out at (H) and either go to drain or to some type of a small cooling tower.  Either way, this does give you a general idea of the water needed for the condenser.

 Below G&H will be another set of condensing tubes. If you return some product from the bottom of the beer column to this set of tubes, it will evaporate the heads and allow you to collect from the top copper tube on the side of the condenser. The copper tube below that is really for temp reassurance. 

I.        Based on the 200 gallons an hour input at 10% ethanol, you will have somewhere between 20 and 22 gallons per hour of ethanol produced from (I) at 140-160 proof.  The bottom part of that condenser was intended to be a small reservoir to hold the product.  Then it was pumped from there to storage somewhere. 

 

For info - pjc@taconicdistillery.com

$15K OBO

 

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Has that ever been run?

It is not a very energy efficient system as far as cooling water is concerned, but not a difficult fix.

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On January 22, 2017 at 1:53 AM, PeteB said:

Has that ever been run?

It is not a very energy efficient system as far as cooling water is concerned, but not a difficult fix.

Not by us.

We ended up purchasing a larger still. 

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Who manufactured? true cont columns are hard to come by in micro but I see why you sized up. Nice piece bro!

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