Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Perforated & bubble cap plated columns

Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby MacStill » Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:00 am

I keep getting asked how I run the "Dragon Slayer" so I thought I would post up a simple run strategy that I use for 99% of my runs, I've read and heard a lot about how guys are running these things and think most people are just over complicating their runs and possibly not getting as good a product as what can be achieved with these rigs. This run strategy is for using 2400w on full power for the entire run without a controller, I heat up with 4800w and unplug one element when it gets to temp.

I'll skip all the filling boiler, connecting hoses, turning power on :teasing-blah: :teasing-blah: :teasing-blah: and assume everyone is clever enough to have that figured out.

So, once your column is up to temp and in full reflux just slowly close your reflux valve until you get a drip or two every second, this is how I get rid of my fore shots while leaving the column in 99.9% reflux mode for around 15 to 20 minutes.

Once you've collected fore's and heads start arriving close the reflux valve until you get a nice stream going, your heads should be pretty well stacked in your column from having such a slow take off collecting fores. Anyway now you just want to adjust your take off rate to around 2.5 L/PH which is a stream about the size of a tooth pick or a little larger (not much tho)

You are now collecting the main body of your run in about 350ml increments, dont touch the reflux valve at all, just leave it alone for the entire run now until the output becomes erratic and your alcometer jumps a point or two, this is the onset of tails starting to arrive.

Now the final part of your run, close the reflux valve and let rip in pot still mode until you get to about 20% ABV and turn everything off.

So that's it, pretty simple really and anyone who's tasted my booze raves about how good it is, so next time you fire up your bubbler give this a go and see how well these things can go without fiddling around with settings through a run.

If your new to plate columns this run procedure will see you well, it's simple and not confusing, but most important it works :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Cheers.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Ơbї-Wдη Kєηºb¡ » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:00 am

Great Tips

:music-deathmetal:
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby emptyglass » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:39 pm

Mac, you forgot to add the bit about a plated column sippin' session.

It goes like this; after the heads, and before the tails, take a sample anywhere along, and enjoy a glass of "distillers privilege". Better than double/tripple distilled pot stuff, or some $200 a bottle boutique distillery stuff.


I think the bit about leaving the valve alone once you get the stream running is very important.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby googe » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:38 pm

Good read mac :handgestures-thumbupleft: why are normal cm 's hard to run compared to these? .
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby MacStill » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:33 pm

googe wrote:Good read mac :handgestures-thumbupleft: why are normal cm 's hard to run compared to these? .


I'd reckon that deserves a topic on it's own so this one doesn't get cluttered with off topic posts about a different still, last thing we want is people reading this "simple" run strategy and getting confused hey ;-)
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby MacStill » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:03 am

With all the bubble builders out there I thought this thread could be a good sticky for a while :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Linny » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:03 pm

quick question ,,, i dont think im going to run sight glasses might just build a parrot, do you run this the same way for neutrals and rums/bourbon etc ? or does the sight glass help ? i assume if your running in high reflux , then you wont need to worry about whats happening on the bottom plate
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby bt1 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:16 pm

At some 10 + runs
I'd be in trouble without a sight glass on the bottom and top plate.
The top plate fluid level tell me what the parrot will do i.e. pre the change it's a great tool. There's a distinct relationship between top plate and abv and quality...a work in progress...

The bottom plate shows when tails are building, heat levels vs flow, over powering it and flashing, under powering and drowning etc. The remaining plates I could live without but if had a pref it would be
top plate
2nd to top plate...more lead time before parrot reacts
bottom plate
the rest in any order.

Sure you could run on a parrot alone but by Christ you would have learnt that with sight glasses in place.

bt1
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Motard » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:42 pm

I don't have sight glasses. Hasn't been a problem.

Heat up with 6000 watts, when I feel the bottom plate starting to load (heat) I switch one element off and just run on 2400 watts.

As long as I don't try to get too much flow going into the collection jar the alcohol % stays constant.

I run a netural wash a little bit slower than a rum wash, around 2.1L per hour vs 2.5Lph with a rum.
Two passes for a netural, and I have a product I'm happy with.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby MacStill » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:43 pm

Linny wrote:quick question ,,, i dont think im going to run sight glasses might just build a parrot, do you run this the same way for neutrals and rums/bourbon etc ? or does the sight glass help ? i assume if your running in high reflux , then you wont need to worry about whats happening on the bottom plate


You do not absolutely need sight glasses to run these rigs properly, a temp gauge above the RC and a parrot is all that is necessary :handgestures-thumbupleft:

If you run these rigs for the whole run on 2400w you are not going to experience problems without SG's, you just need to watch the temp and parrot readings then do your cuts as usual.

Once your reflux is set and your take off is steady all you need do is change jars until the output gets erratic, this is the sure sign tails are about to come through and you can adjust condenser to strip them.

It's not rocket science ;-)
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Linno » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:28 pm

McStill wrote:
Linny wrote:quick question ,,, i dont think im going to run sight glasses might just build a parrot, do you run this the same way for neutrals and rums/bourbon etc ? or does the sight glass help ? i assume if your running in high reflux , then you wont need to worry about whats happening on the bottom plate


You do not absolutely need sight glasses to run these rigs properly, a temp gauge above the RC and a parrot is all that is necessary :handgestures-thumbupleft:

If you run these rigs for the whole run on 2400w you are not going to experience problems without SG's, you just need to watch the temp and parrot readings then do your cuts as usual.

Once your reflux is set and your take off is steady all you need do is change jars until the output gets erratic, this is the sure sign tails are about to come through and you can adjust condenser to strip them.

It's not rocket science ;-)


I am a total novice at bubbler runs and could not agree more... i have a five star bubbler but having seen these in action i could run the same as Motard does.. my temp guage hits 78 degrees about 2 minutes before the plates load at 2400 watts.. i have glasses and the runs never change. as my tails are kreeping my temp guage will move about 2 degrees and my parrot alco meter will be on the rise.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby DaveZ » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:02 pm

Linny wrote:quick question ,,, i dont think im going to run sight glasses might just build a parrot, do you run this the same way for neutrals and rums/bourbon etc ? or does the sight glass help ? i assume if your running in high reflux , then you wont need to worry about whats happening on the bottom plate


I'm a total noob to this, so forgive the queery if its totally off base, but just after a little more clarification on this. If you're making a neutral, you want high abvs, if you're making a rum, you might aim for a lower abv to carry more flavour across. By running the still the same way for both it seems you won't be able to control abvs? Or is this where the modular nature of these plated columns comes in and you remove plated sections if you want lower abvs?

Cheers,
Dave.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby kelbygreen » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:11 pm

yep add more plates or a few guys are making rock sections that seems to work really well so I hear.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby bt1 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:03 pm

+1
yep more plates and rock for the clears and less plates no rocks for rums would be the norm for plate stills.

personally run rums through a pot hybrid (pot+coil) for rums cos of the extra flavour and my platers are 6 plate would really do little for a rum.

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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby DaveZ » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:07 pm

Thanks guys, appreciate the answers.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby MacStill » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:22 pm

bt1 wrote:+1
yep more plates and rock for the clears and less plates no rocks for rums would be the norm for plate stills.

personally run rums through a pot hybrid (pot+coil) for rums cos of the extra flavour and my platers are 6 plate would really do little for a rum.

bt1


Here we go again with the hybrid pot blurb again :laughing-rolling:

A 4 plate still (afterall this is the plate still section) will piss all over any pot as far as rum is concerned :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby bt1 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:40 am

Most likely,

I'm happy with the flavour from the pot so never really considered changing.

but that's how I've been doing it. I keep the platers for Irish's and Bourbons and gin at Xmas time.

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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby DaveZ » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:54 pm

Another question. I've been reading a few rum threads in preparation for running a bubbler of my own, most recipes talk about combining the low wines from at least 5 generations, then a spirit run, for best results. How do you manage this with the bubbler? Just strip your washes in pot mode then a bubbler spirit run?
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Linny » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:01 pm

I just treat every run as a single one.... make cuts etc then ferment another gen.... but keep adding the good cuts in one demijohn .... if that makes sense
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby MacStill » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:04 pm

Yep, single runs and no stripping :dance:
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