Jump to content
ADI Forums
rickthenewb

At what point is a pot still too big?

Recommended Posts

so im curious what systems are in place to monitor the bottoms product to in sure no alcohol is being wasted . can the bottom product be recirculated thru the system if it is not completely stripped or are you useing a reboiler in hopes of lifting any alchol out of the bottoms product . if the feed is heated to say 175 under pressure once it is released into the column and expands to atmospheric pressure ethanol should instantly flash vaporise from the heat and the pressure change  allowing the heavier bottom product to drop thru the column , but still has to be monitored before being pumped out . there are various monitoring systems designed to determine the content of the bottoms product and to send it either to the reboiler or to bottom product storage , but these systems are made for large scale columns{in access of 70 feet }and would not be suited to craft distillery sized operations .  any idea what would be used on a smaller scale would be appreciated some body must have thought of some thing or are they just rely on the temp of the bottoms product  as a guide , say bottoms out of the reboiler at 190 would ensure ethanol is long gone and no longer a pumpable product . 

tim 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Monitoring the affluent leaving the bottom is achieved via temperature probes. If the temp several trays above the bottom is 212 and the bottom of the column is at 215 degrees this information would confirm that nearly all alcohol has been extracted from the beer. 

  • reaction_title_1 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/31/2017 at 3:22 PM, rickthenewb said:

This question just popped in my head and made me curious, I have seen some really big pot stills but is there a limit?  At what point does a continuous still make a more sense?  Is it 500 gallons, 1000 gallons etc... Just something i was wondering.

 

 

rick

A pot still should only be a little less efficient in alcohol recovery but the heating & cooling will be more expensive than running a continuous still.  You can recover a lot of the heat (Armagnac stills/condenser liquid piped into beer still).   However, you should expect flavor differences when changing distillation equipment. The amount of reflux should change your flavor profile both immediately  and in the long run but I doubt you'll find much side by side comparisons in the whiskey world (please share if you have!).  .  It is my opinion that the historical reasons for column v pot were largely financial and not based on flavor.  I will not argue one way or the other to that point here, but I will suggest that our position as "craft distillers" should not be strictly based on financial returns.  And yes - there are awesome products made from both continuous and batch distillations.  

Just my opinion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you build the continuous still correctly you will never need to put in a doubler. They are such a waste. I ran a vendor continuous and we keep having to drain it off because the doubler keep filling up. Besides if your worried about the HEADS well why would you want a doubler??? if you condense the heads and the hearts and it goes in the doubler what is the first thing to come off???? THE HEADS....... if you set your continuous correctly then you can have your tails go down the drain....

We can seperate the heads and the hearts so a doubler is not needed.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×