New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Pot still design and discussion

New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby oglennyboy » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:33 pm

Gday, I have a spanking new 2" copper column fitted to my 48 litre home brew urn, voltage regulator and 1m x 3/4" over 1/2" condenser, and today I did my first sacrificial run in preparation for stripping 75 litres of Teddy's FFV.
I've got some numbers below, and would be interested in comments on the results, it didn't really fit with what I was expecting from some of the calculators, so wonder what to expect from the run tomorrow. Am I gonna need a bigger boat ;)

A pic of the vinegar run below, turns out a 2,500W urn from ebay is actually rated at 220V, so the 240V supply boots that sucker up to nearly 3,000W when considering the 19 ohms impedance measured. :roll: No wonder my beer runs were always out on the evaporation!

IMG_4192.JPG

20-odd brews with this urn, no problems at all, nothing ever got hot that shouldn't've, so there's some small tip o' the hat to the poor buggers in the Chinese factory I guess. Feel comfortable that with the voltage reg it won't run for as long at full bore so the longer spirit runs should be less stress on everything.

Today I ran a couple of cheapo cask wines through for the sacrificial clean, ended up with 12.5 litres at about 7% in the urn (starting water to cover the elements) which produced 2.7 litres at 30%. 50 minutes run time in total.
The 5 minute splits were about 200ml at 40-48% at 1,700W (for the first 20 mins, mucking around with the controller), then on cranking it up to 2,650W for the remainder, which produced 300ml every 5 minutes, dropping from 38% down to 26%. The last 15 minutes had a spike to 380ml, then dropping volume and strength as expected (380ml @ 20%, 295ml @ 16%, 260ml @ 10%).

A pic of the condenser, running 2 litres/min for the first 20mins, then 4 litres/min for the remainder. All the distillate came out at 20 degrees, gotta love Tassie water in the winter!
I had a strange noise like the roaring of a gas burner from the condenser towards the end, but no vapour escaping. Is this the huffing or train symptom I've seen in posts?

IMG_4196.JPG

That's not vapour in the jar, just the joy of a basement at 10 degrees!

Keen as for tomorrows strip, 3 lots of 25 litres of 11.5% to run through. I guess based on today it's going to take at least 5 hours to end up with maybe 20 litres of 30%?
Is there anything in the numbers above that seems off?
Oh and one other thing, jeez foreshots smell nice!
cheers!
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby db1979 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:39 pm

I'm not sure about the abv on a pot still, others can comment on that, but you should expect to see higher abv on your run tomorrow since your wash abv is higher. 11.5% is 1.64 times 7%. Maybe you should expect to get about 50%? Have fun tomorrow! :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby copperhead road » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:42 am

Well done glennyboy, tomorrow will be a big exciting day! :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby Dig Brinker » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:20 am

You expect 20 litres of 30% as your spirit run? Or that's what you are running as your spirit run?

And fores smell like rocket fuel & nail polish remover, are you sure you know what you are doing???
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby scythe » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:07 am

So when you had it on full noise it was running at 3.6L/hr.
Generally 1-2 L/hr is a spirit run.

But strip it at full noise and collect all but the first bit.
Put it back in the boiler so its less than 40% and run it slow to get the best separation you can, altho it is a pot.
On a spirit run i think you can expect up to 75%.
Make sure you discard the foreshots on all runs.
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby bluc » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:04 am

Whos the bloke in the window who may or may not want his face on the forum :laughing-rolling:
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby oglennyboy » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:07 am

Dig Brinker wrote:You expect 20 litres of 30% as your spirit run? Or that's what you are running as your spirit run?

And fores smell like rocket fuel & nail polish remover, are you sure you know what you are doing???


Oh for sure the bulk of the first jars collected smelt absolutely terrible, real paint stripping sharp. But the very first drops that come out, really interesting smell, very rich. I wonder if anyone has done anything with it, room freshener sort of approach?

And yep, stripping run today and thinking 20L @ 30% in the end, for a spirit run next week.

cheers
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby oglennyboy » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:12 am

bluc wrote:Whos the bloke in the window who may or may not want his face on the forum :laughing-rolling:


hahaa ahh jeez yeah, that'd be the neighbour, yeah definitely not me, no sir! ;)

Good tip for future pics, ta bluc!
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby Thiele » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:56 pm

You will not get 3000W out of the heating element at 240V

Standard power points are rated at 10 AMP at 240V AC - which delivers 2400W of power
The power rating on the heating element is really just a maximum power output.

There is some fluctuation in the current on any power point but apart from that, 10 Amps is what you can draw on a continuous basis so at 240V AC you get 2400W of power from the element.

The only time the element power rating matters on a standard 240V power point is when it is less than 2400W, then the current drops below 10A to deliver the maximum power that it is rated at (the fuse or circuit breaker trips on current, not power or voltage)

There are also the larger power points for air conditioners etc which deliver 15 Amps - need a different power plug. You can get 3,600 W from those continuously if you need more power/current.

(having said that, if you measure the actual voltage at most power points you often get higher values than 240V - in the range of 250V or 254V AC, but even then the level of current you can extract from a power point will dictate to overall power. P=VI)
Being a :-B just for the day
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby Kenster » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:14 pm

Max power aside, you will not want to use it cos it will be toooo fast a take off and reduce your ABV. I run my 3'' pot SLOW( quick drops not stream) and pull 85%...slow is good, as mentioned before some stacking in the column will occur and help purity also. Too quick and u smear it. It is better to spend more time to achieve a good dprop,dilute that, rather than have heaps of average shit. IMO.
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby oglennyboy » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:39 pm

Thanks for the info Thiele & Kenster, it lines up well with what I noticed mucking around today on the first two stripping runs, and playing with the voltage reg & a power meter.
I'm pretty pleased with today's run, two sets of 20 & 25 litres, ended up with 11.5L @ 39% which seems to be a fair match for one of the little pot still calculators on the HD site. (All grain brewing habits, numbers man, gotta have numbers to obsess over!)
With the last 25 litres to strip tomorrow night, I should end up with 18L @ 39-40% ready to water down to 24L @ 30%.

A question on the spirits run:
I understand that I'll be running the first part through to the heads collection pretty slow, probably half or less the rate at which I stripped (20 & 25L in 60 & 80 mins respectively down to 18%, about 4.2L/hr). Would I keep running tails on this wheat-y vodka wash at the same slow rate, or crank it up to collect feints quickly & wrap it all up? Does it matter if the tails gets smeared if it's all going to be dumped together in the future for another slow spirits run?

And a chart! Because, numbers!
Strip run 25L.PNG

After 32mins, 2.5L collected, the slope starts to turn down, each 250ml took a little longer to collect as it went down from 48%. I can see why people stop around the 20% mark.

Really looking forward to next weekend, a little taste here & there through the middle collection of this fast strip had a spirit that was nowhere near as nasty as a cheapy bottle of Red Square. Here's hoping all those bad weekends are now a thing of the past :)

cheers!
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby oglennyboy » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:48 pm

Alrighty that's the last of the strip run and done, all up 71 litres of Teddy's FFV at about 12% which resulted in 18.5L @ 40.4%
The coffee urn pushed this through in 3 batches, in total 4hrs 10min of stripping time which I'm really pleased with. Breaking it down into manageable chunks of about 90mins per 25 litres makes popping down to the basement on a weeknight a lot easier to do than giving up a whole day on the weekend.
Except for this weekend, when I'm guessing its going to take maybe 3-4 hours to do a spirit run? Never looked forward to spending the whole arvo in a cold basement before now! :)
cheers!
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby hillzabilly » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:35 pm

Collecting at about 2lt/hr spirit run I would say ya run for 18lt would be more like 9hrs.cheers hillzabilly ;-)
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby oglennyboy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:02 am

Oh crap! :o
But if I'm only running till the tails kick in, I can keep the leftovers for a feints run later? And not bother with the remainder of the run? Or should I run the whole lot through slowly?
I was hoping (cos it's just a little pot still) that all I'm really after with this "sort of" vodka is the first 4-6 litres, to try and score some nice hearts and maybe a little tail for a bit of blending.
Overly optimistic? This run is a crack at cuts, a bit of blending etc, before I get knee-deep in bourbon & rums :-D But it would be nice to have something that's pretty decent too...
cheers
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby Dig Brinker » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:07 am

You have to run the whole lot to get feints. They are they heads & tails. You don't keep what's left in the boiler as feints...
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby oglennyboy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:09 am

Alrighty, an early start it is!
Thanks for the info.
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby hillzabilly » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:41 am

For me the issue is if ya run too fast ya get a smaller hearts cut volume and a bigger heads and tails cut volume ,wich kinda defeats the purpose of what ya doing,full power for heat up -then cut down to about 1500wt or the toothpick sized stream for most of the run until ya hit 30% then yes crank the power and consider everything collected from then feints for the next run,but use ya cuts jars as ya starting out and get some experience with the smells and tastes that go with tails.cheers hillzabilly ;-) ps have ya read viewtopic.php?f=57&t=2859
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby oglennyboy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:42 am

Thanks for the reminder hillzabilly, I'd read kiwi's post a few times over the months while getting ready to jump in, and now at the pointy end it is not such an abstract concept. For me, while it all seemed logical & straight forward in a theoretical sense, its not until you're actually firing up the wash & watching it come out that all that reading clicks into place.
Good tip for newbies I reckon, doing a quick refresh of a few of the really key posts specific to the task at hand. I found it waay too easy to go deep into the forums, exploring like an obsessive, getting sidetracked & planning too far ahead (manky dunder pit? MUST HAVE! 100 litre barrels? Find two! NOW!!) 8-}
Same thing happened with going all-grain a few years ago after kits, but the massive upside is: if this little hobby pans out the same way then I'm gonna end up very pleased and with a metric shit-load of top drinking for years to come :D
cheers!
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby hillzabilly » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:58 am

Wisdom is knowledge tempered with shit loads of experience,you will get better understanding the more runs ya do ,go slow until ya confident would be my advice.cheers hillzabilly :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: New 2" pot build - first run & observations

Postby Zak Griffin » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:05 pm

The best method for blending is to leave out everything that isn't hearts.
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