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Sizing Still/Boiler to Column Width


william-bailey

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We're close to pulling the trigger on our first equipment. We will be using GNS and run it through a 300L still and into a six inch bubble plate column. For 300L, we know that a 4 inch column would be way too small. We hope that 6 inch bubble plate would suffice but would love your expert opinion. Thanks friends!

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The final thing that governs the diameter of your column is the Kw of your boiler, not the volume of it.

I don't have a column so the numbers are not in my head. I have seen tables and formulas on Homedistiller to calculate diameter

I guess you are planning for the future, but if you are only going to re-distill Neutral I might ask why you would need a column?

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The 4l and 8l per hour are approximate volume of distilled alcohol. So for a 300l charge at 10% you would pull off maybe 30 to 45l of alcohol so you would have a run of say 7 to 10 hrs. With a 6" that would be 3.5-6 hrs. Once you add in warm up time the 6" is a lot faster, but you will need more power to make it work. A 4" will run nicely with 5000w while a 6" will need 10,000w. 

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46 minutes ago, william-bailey said:

 

 

I am using GNS.

I still don't understand why you would want to use a column with bubble plates if you are only putting GNS (Neutral) in the pot

One of us is missing something here. I am wondering if someone has talked you into spending your money on a fancy column when all you need is a much cheaper alembic pot, ie no plates.

I could question your reason more but await your reply in case I don't have the full story.

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I was trying to be very narrow with my question because it had to do with time/output/operation time. But since you want to expand the purpose, we want to eventually get into making whiskey by using the bypass valves. Additionally, future plans are to do custom vodkas where we will make our own three lines. 

You are right that from the start, we don't need much but we're looking beyond the next 12 months. 

Others, I would certainly value feedback on run times based on energy, still and column specs provided.

William

 

ReDfined

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Hi William,

 

You should go with a 6" column.  If you are going to run Whiskey and GNS all that you need is a pot still column.  A pot still column will get you to 130 proof and if you are putting your whiskey in a barrel there is no reason to go to a higher proof than that.

 However, if you are going to make a  moonshine or un-aged whiskey, then it is my opinion that you should run at around 150 proof.    This will make your un-aged whiskey smoother but you will still have some flavor and body in it.  If you are going to do white whiskeys or rum then I would suggest one of our 6" modular 4 plate bubble plate columns.  Since you are doing GNS for vodka, I would also suggest an over sized condenser so that you can do the Vodka runs in a reasonable amount of time (3 hrs after operatin temp is reached with 20KW if you run diluted to 35% ABV.

 Here is how the modular 4 plate column would work: When you run white dog for the barrel or GNS for vodka, you simply pull the plates out of the column and run in pot still mode.  When you run higher proof moonshine, white rum or white whiskey put the plates back in and run in reflux mode.  

I have the 6" 4 plate modular columns in stock right now.  I have them in copper or stainless with copper plates and copper plate components.  The stainless one costs less and I can put enough copper in the stainless column, so that you will get more copper vapor interaction than an all copper pot still will give you.  If you are not going to have a run target proof of over 130 then I can supply you with an all copper pot still column or a stainless pot still column.  I would put in a copper perf plate with large copper rashig rings and a copper defuser plate assembly so that you have more copper vapor interaction than an all copper pot still, even with the stainless column.  For a quote and more info email paul@distillery-equipment.com or call 417-778-6100  We do not have these on the web site yet but we hope to get them on there within the next couple of weeks.

 

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Hi William,

I am 3 days behind on my emails right now.   I typically run 1 to 7 days behind, only because I cannot keep up.   This is typical for me as I usually receive 50 to 100 emails per day and somewhere around 30 calls per day.  I am working on Wednesdays emails right now and I just replied to yours a few minutes ago.  Susan is working on your quote right now and she will have it over to you within the next hr or so.   We have equipment in over 130 distilleries now and we have around 40 orders for large equipment that we are working on now.  I work  50 to 60 hrs per week and I spend around 85% of my time answering emails.   I answer them as quickly as possible.  I answer every single email that I receive and I return all calls.  I spend as much time answering questions as each customer requires.  I am always here to help all of my customers.  Customers who have already purchased their equipment from me always get priority. I have 18 employees as of today, with 10 welder fabricators.  I out source work to a factory that has 60 employees and about 75% of the work they do is for me.  It's back to answering emails now.

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Don't go smaller than 6". But with 20KW, you can do an 8, so if you can afford that, do it. Since the pot size is set, time to boil is fixed. It will take you a bit longer to fill plates, but I assume you are only doing 3 or 4 if you plan also to use for whiskey. If you are running 16-24+ for vodka, then why use GNS indeed!?

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William,

 

I didn't think that you were being disrespectful at all.  I just wanted to give you a good complete answer, so you would know why my email turn around time can so long.  Another thing that I always try to do; is if it takes a couple of days for me to answer and you reply right away to my answer, then I try to get back right away so that we can complete the conversation that day.

Also, Buestar is of course correct about sizing up to an 8" plated.  It will give you more throughput and a faster run time when you are running the plates and deflegmator.  However, your run time for stripping runs and pot still runs (running with no plate and no water to the dephlegmator) would be the same whether the column is a 6" or 8"  as long as the condenser is the same size and has the same efficiency.

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