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Continuous Columns: Where do I start??

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The column is 4" X 6' packed with ceramic rings over a 3.5Kw bain Marie. It is now operating as a batch still since our distillery does not have fermentation capacity to run this size continuous still. And with just an 8 hour shift, we are not keen to try. Other posts have been very perceptive about balancing fermentation, manpower, cooling, etc. A continuous still is a demanding mistress. There is no substitute for experienced advice before signing the check for a new still.

My interest in continuous distillation is to design a recovery still to recover low concentrations of ethanol from backset and tails. Better the hootch ends up in my inventory than down the drain ! One small scale still with a Vigreux column recovered 89%ABV from 1%ABV backset. But it was a slow process. It would need to run unattended overnight and we know what this forum thinks of unattended stills !

Is a recovery still a dumb idea? I've never heard of anyone doing it so I wonder if I'm out to lunch on this.

The purpose of my previous post on conversion of a batch still to a continuous still was to suggest a low cost  way to re-purpose existing equipment. If the result did not fit in the operation, little would be lost and fun would be had.

Avak

 

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