Odd still behaviour

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Odd still behaviour

Postby Stevejb » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:13 pm

I'm still VERY much a newbie to this craft, so please bear with me.

I recently got a reflux still from Keggomax. Yes, I know it's not the best still out there but I thought it's a way to start. Anyway, I was doing my third run with it, fired it up and let it stabilize for around 20 minutes. I then ran my fores and heads and then I had to leave for around 15 minutes, so I left it running but stopped the alcohol take off.

When I returned I was surprised to see that the temp had dropped about half a degree. Why would this happen? Insufficient time to stabilize?

Any ideas?
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Re: Odd still behaviour

Postby woodduck » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:21 pm

First things first, NEVER leave a still unattended, never. What would have happened if the water had stopped for some reason? You would have had a room full of volatile alcohol vapor, not a good thing. Please be safe when distilling, it only takes a split second for something to go terribly wrong.

On your temp issue, I've never run one but I wouldn't be terribly worried about 1deg change. My guess is that the alc had seperated better from longer reflux and the cooler/lighter alc was sitting right up the top. Hopefully someone who runs one of these will chime in with a theory.

Safety first mate :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Odd still behaviour

Postby Sam. » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:41 pm

:text-+1: On everything woody said.
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Re: Odd still behaviour

Postby Plumby » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:51 pm

I know you are new to it mate but never leave a still unattended at all, especially a reflux still, you are making something that's as explosive as petrol.
It only takes one spark, from someone lighting a cigarette or a stray ember from a cigarette and the 93% alcohol that's flowing from your still has the potential to go up in flames.
I know myself from using the fores and heads from my old super reflux still to light camp fires that 93% alcohol has a clear flame.
I know we sound like mother hens but you can't fuck around with the safety of this stuff man, last thing any of us want to see on the news or read about in the papers is, " Man burns down house making illegal alcohol ".
Last edited by Plumby on Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Odd still behaviour

Postby PeterC » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:45 pm

I have had something like this still and you may have not let it reflux long enough to compress the heads then collected very slowly the fore’s. once you begin the steady take off the temperature rises a little and can vary with take off rate. The slow rate was killing me and if I rushed it I smeared everything. it took all day from heat up to clean up to get a run done. So I went 4 inch and do it in half a day plus can do brown spirits.
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Re: Odd still behaviour

Postby Stevejb » Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:51 am

Thanks for the replies. I appreciate the advice regarding leaving an unattended still, although it wasn't "alone" as my wife was pottering around.

Thanks for that PeterC - I'll let it reflux longer next time before collecting the fores.

Yes, I will be getting a 4 plate bubbler when I have sufficient funds which will include another learning curve!
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