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PeteB last won the day on April 13

PeteB had the most liked content!

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About PeteB

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    Tasmania, Australia
  • Interests
    Distilling, plough to bottle. Farmer.
    Professional Sand and Ice Sculptor,
    repairing water mills
    Making biodiesel

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  1. PeteB

    Explosive limits

    Thanks for the above advice. I have purchased a personal monitor RK GP-03 for AU$400. It has been set for initial alarm at 5% LEL then a second level 10% LEL. I sat it in the lowest point of my bond store this morning and it read ZERO. There is a small amount of natural ventilation in there. For the rest of the day it sat on the floor next to the still while it was doing a stripping run. It read zero all day except when we poured a small amount of the output onto the floor to mimic a spill and it indicated 1% of LEL for a minute or so. Very encouraging results. My stil
  2. I do add extra water the flask after the 250 mL but maybe not as much as you have suggested. I will try with more water and see what happens. My condenser does not usually become contaminated as long as I switch off heat soon after that cloudy distillate stage. One time I measured the ABV of a cloudy sample of distillate, then re-distilled it and the distillate was clear and the apparent ABV increased.
  3. PeteB

    Explosive limits

    Our state Workplace Regulations says 5% of the LEL. That is 5% of 3.3% = 0.165% I would assume without further tedious reading that that means anywhere workers are going to be. Our National Regulations says the same 5% but that is only in cool stores (where there is almost no ventilation) I am quite sure I will need to get a alcohol meter to do tests, possibly one with a logger so I can record what happens over a period of time. Any suggestions on buying one that won't cost too much?, I have a very small operation.
  4. PeteB

    Explosive limits

    My distillery is being audited by our Australian work-safe government agency. A report I was given says I must not allow the alcohol vapour to be greater than 5% of the LEL (lower explosive limit) I have seen on this forum that in USA that is 25% of LEL. Is that correct?
  5. I did miss a step. I studied this subject at University nearly 50 years ago, but as expected some details don't come back spontaneously. I felt there must be something missing and that is why I posted for help. Cheers Pete
  6. I have been asked by a neighbouring distillery for some numbers he can use to counter a ridiculous request from our local authority regarding build-up of ethanol fumes in his bond store. I haven't read all this thread recently, it is late here in Australia and I need to get to bed. My conclusion is similar to Silk's conclusion, except I don't believe alcohol vapour will pool in a hot distillery because of dilution with air by thermal air currents.( probably discussed earlier on this thread.) ................................................ My calculations and response to m
  7. Most spirits need copper contact in the still. If built from all stainless you will most likely need to put a lot of copper inside, main reason is to react with sulfur that would otherwise cause a turnipy note
  8. Below are some extracts from TTB requirements. I make a coffee liqueur which has very much in excess of 600 mg of solids per 100 mL I distill off 250 mL in a glass lab still, if I boil off any more than about 70% of the original volume I find that my condensate goes cloudy and the apparent ABV readings start dropping. I assume that solids are being evaporated as the boiling point increases, and are condensed into my collection flask so re-obscuring the true ABV. My understanding is 30.32 (c) says the sample must be distilled until there is only 1 or 2 mL left in the flask, but i
  9. I don't recall ever seeing Liebig condensers hooked up in series. To me it seemed logical that is the way to get the the "coolant" to a very high temperature and at the same time get the condensate output cold enough. Surely I am not the first person to figure that out!!
  10. Paul, you make me think I should patent my design, but I am sure it must be used elsewhere. The condensers on my continuous stills are as described 5 posts above, a long set of Liebig condensers in series. The coolant for the condensers is the feed stock(wash, beer, wine or whatever) The cold (room temperature) wash travels in the opposite direction (counterflow) to the vapour and condenses it, by the time the wash reaches the height of the still it is almost to boiling point, then it drops into the top of the stripping column. With enough length of Liebig and adjusting th
  11. If anyone has an issue with enough economical cooling water I suggest you consider a continuous still, at least for the stripping run. With the correct simple design they need NO = ZERO = ZILCH cooling water and no chiller unit. Continuous stills sound complicated and expensive but a stripping one is very basic and should be much cheaper than a pot of similar output. And they use way less heat energy and so are much cheaper to run.
  12. Paul, I am not quite sure, I think you are describing what I know as shotgun condensers, many tubes inside one shell. My condensers are Liebig, just one tube inside one slightly larger tube, like the ones you have on your very small stills. If the image attached, this is like what I am talking about. I have them in 10 foot lengths, the vapour travels along the inside tube, for my 2,000 litre stills the first internal tube (copper) is 2 1/2 inch inside. There are 8 lengths that are connected together in series, for convenience they attached to a wall in a zig zag pattern. The diameter
  13. Here is an interesting article by Cowdry who was, maybe still is, on this forum, that he wrote back in 2011 http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/buffalo-trace-demonstrates-another-way.html This is the way I have been souring my mash for the last 11 years, it is possibly the sour dough bread method mentioned earlier in this thread. I only occasionally add some of the previous fermentation. Also mentioned above is using 100% backset, I tried that about 4 years ago in a single malt. It produced a huge amount of very interesting flavours. It is still maturing in barrels, pro
  14. Hi Paul, what design are your condensers that you use to end up with the hot water? I build most of my own equipment. (I am in Australia) My condensers are tube in tube counterflow and are insulated on the outside. The water I get out of the end of the condensers is almost boiling, at least 95degrees C, 203F. If the available cooling water is a bit warm, then you just need longer condensers and, as you have said, possibly a very small chiller. With a long enough condenser a 500 gallon still charge will only need 500 gallons of cooling water and you end up with 500 gallons of wat
  15. There is apparently a method that combines refractive index with density that can directly measure ABV containing sugars (obscuration) As most would know the density increases with addition of sugar but decreases with addition of alcohol making hydrometers useless. But refractive index increases with the addition of both sugar and alcohol. Using both measurements and smart math the ABV can be calculated. BUT as far as I am aware the method is not government approved. The link below is for a device that apparently does the job. Looks expensive unless you are doing thousands
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