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MythBuster last won the day on April 11 2017

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  1. You will most certainly, then, understand that the "hocus pocus" pseudoscience claptrap often posted on forums is nuisance misdirection! (Particularly when you read about "column packing" assurances from the witch doctors.....). The flux [alcohol/water/other things] of molecular transference (both ways) is PRECISELY quantified in Langmuir's formula - the most important aspect for still designers / experimentors being simply the SIZE of the surface area of the boundary layer between gas and liquid at all points within the still, and the "passage time" of liquid and gas through
  2. Whilst I appreciate that this Forum appears (mostly but not completely) "set in its ways" to age-old traditional distillation, that's just fine with me. Just be aware that the world you live in is MUCH wider than the horizons you see! For the information of those (if any) who feel that novelty is the Mother or Progress:- I have been successfully running my Microstill for a couple of years now - delivering top-class (FLAVOURED and pure spirit) Product. Heads and tails are removed continuously too. I like Malt whisky and gin, so that is what I make. My personal alcohol cons
  3. The world is never short of those who have convinced themselves that they know all there is to know. BECAUSE THEY SAY SO. Progress is achieved by those who never accept that their own knowledge as complete, and stagnation attends those who bask in ignorance. There is little that science, creativity and a sound development program can't achieve. And that includes the contents of a bottle full of a complex (but determinable!) mixture of chemicals. For that is all any bottle of spirits is. There is NOTHING in there which won't succumb to detailed qualitative and quantitative analys
  4. To assume is to make an ASS of U and ME. "Because I say so" theme betrays your knowledge level. Go away.
  5. This is of huge technical interest to me, Southernhighlander. Note that I'm NOT a competitor (at all!) to your existing or future industry-scale still equipment. I immediately detect and applaud your focus on Quality and repeatability...... Although it may not be obvious to some, I expect that the high heat transfer rates available from steam heating (versus element heating) is down to Latent Heat of Vapourisation of steam condensing to water - the chief reason why a steam burn can be so severe.... if its impact point is not yet at 100C, steam will literally SHOVE heat (via condens
  6. As Arthur J Watson discovered in double quick time, such opinions, stated as fact, can return to haunt.... but all the best to you too!
  7. Update. I have completed continuous distillation of about 100 litres-worth of 12% ABV feed, taken in 10 to 12 hour sessions of 4.5 litres feed each. Output from my carefully QA'd and easily-repeatable sugar-boosted malt feed is taken off at 92% ABV, at which strength I get my preferred composition of "maltiness" and NO heads or tails whatsoever. (They are removed at high efficiency by the still). Output volume is roughly 500mls each run and this typically yields ~1,100 mls of 40%ABV spirit. And with NO cooling water required, because of the extensive energy recovery techniques emplo
  8. You're on the wrong tack there..... a batch fermentation relies on sterile liquid feed and then rapid production of alcohol, so that - on the basis of probabilities, airborne infection by other beasties is very low. That said, if you contemplate a continuous fermenter, again using sterile feed, which runs at positive internal pressure (from the controlled offtake of CO2 evolved inside it) then no airborne contamination is possible. So it actually represents a very substantial sterility improvement. The problem becomes one of materials handling rather than infections. So really, conti
  9. .... so, a continuous still and a batch-process fermentation regime is always going to be a compromise. A "hybrid". Logic dictates that if continuous distillation brings with it many substantial benefits, its feedstock should ideally also be produced continuously too. And that, for me, for now, remains an ongoing brain-teaser! I have ideas which run from immobilised yeast cells (alginate gel for example) to cascaded, mini-settling tanks all interconnected; but so far I can forsee substantial operational problems with all of them (including as you say, the risk of ingress (sooner or later) of
  10. Congrats on your own success with tiny continuous stilling Glen...... As you've no doubt discovered by now, "eye-candyness" is an expensive bit of exhibitionism in the continuous, nanostill world. If it's part of the system and not an input or output connection and you can see it, it begs the question "why doesn't that need to be thoroughly insulated to conserve energy, too?" - I reckon that at the nano scale, continuous done right is > 2x the efficiency of batch-stilling. My still looks like a (small) lump of insulation material, with just a few wires and pipes in and out of it.
  11. The continuous still works just fine. Maximum insulation and better-than-basic heat exchanging is lower down the list of priorities for now, so it does need 60 Watts (rather than the designed 50Watts) of juice to deliver ~ litre per day of 90%ABV from a ~10% ABV feedstock. Heads (~0.05% of the Hearts by volume, tuneable) and Tails (~0.2% of Hearts by volume, tuneable) are collected also. The discarded still effluent contains <<0.2% ABV. Re-reading the above comments, there is a misunderstanding on the terminology "wine". Here in Europe, lots of people refer to the fee
  12. Ah! "but not the chemistry behind how they interact once mixed.".... Along similar lines to "What is the meaning of Life, The Universe, and Everything?" As the Japanese distillers have pursued (to their definite and large advantage), modern chemistry allows PRECISE discovery of "what is in it?" for any liquid. Down to parts-per-billion precision and with total knowledge of component identification. There are NO components in - for example - a Great malt whisky which cannot be acquired in pure form so that a duplicate "recipe" of ingredients can be made. The Great Mystery is
  13. All of my discussion revolves around continuous distillation. The Product output point(s) are user-defined. The "Q" (quality factor) of separation at EACH output point is tuneable. Such points can be added/removed.
  14. I have found that especially, and necessarily, in a continuous still, once the fabrication metal (or any other material) of a fractionator packing, or plate for that matter in a plate fractionator, is at the temperature governed by the equilibrium temperature of the gas and liquid phases surrounding it, you can consider the thermal (and Mass) characteristics of the packing material irrelevant to the thermodynamics of the still operation, in comparison to the heat transfer associated with the molecular exchange solely in the surface area between gas and liquid phases. Once at the desired equil
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