Pot Still drip rate

Pot still design and discussion

Pot Still drip rate

Postby TBird61 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:42 am

Hiya

I have a T500 boiler with the Alembic pot head on it, I have also had made a power controller so I can dial down the input power. So far I have done the stripping runs on our McRum and I have about 36L of low wines ready for a spirit run which I suppose will probably need doing over 3 sessions due to the volume of the boiler.

My question is at what rate should the distillate be dripping into the jars? Is it the slower the better to compress the cuts or should I do the heads area slowly and then sped it up for the rest?

:text-thankyoublue: Thanks

Christine
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby PeterC » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:24 am

I would suggest controlling the power to run as slow as possible while still getting a very slow drip. Monitor the odour to separate foreshots and some heads at this slow rate. When you think that this has come through then speed up to a faster drip still doing cuts collections all through the run. Airing the cuts from your first run then tasting will help plan for you next runs so you can be a bit more efficient. Running faster is going to smear things more. Only you can decide what is OK to drink or not. A thermometer in the vapour path can be helpful. The temperature that an azeotropic mixture of alcohol and water boils at is 78.2C so any temperature lower than this is going to have other nasties. The temperature you measure may be slightly different depending on a few things but as the temperature slowly rises your %abv will drop. A steady collection at a steady temperature indicates a good collection rate but with pot distilling the temperature will inevitably rise and you need to decide then what is still hearts and what is tails.

When I pot distilled with a 2000W element and 2" riser and condenser from my memory it shot out a bunch of Fores before and as it got to 78C then ran for awhile around 81-82C and I collected a fair bit at this sort of temperature then it slowly rose to about 96C with only 20% alcohol when I stopped. To get stuff I was happy with I had to run very slow like 1 litre an hour. That is why I moved to a 4" bubble plate so I can collect at 2.5L an hour as I just did not have the time and the patience.
Cheers.
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby TBird61 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:53 am

Many thanks

I've already taken out 200ml of foreshots from each 25L wash but I'm sure there will be a lot more. Incidently I used the foreshots to remove UV cured gel nail varnish this morning while I was doing the last stripping run, scary yes!

I have 60 380ml jars to collect the rum, so each one up until the 78C I should label as being questionable? It might then be worth recording the temperatures at which each jar is collected; I appreciate this isn't going to be a method from which i can judge cuts but I might learn something by it. I'm also guessing that I should run the boiler at 100% until I get the first drips then dail it back to about 75% and see what the drips change to, then monitor them and adjust as needed?

The time issue isn't the end of the world, it won't be something we do on a regular basis, this batch of rum should last us a few years at the rate we drink

Thanks again Peter, very useful info :text-thankyoublue:

Christine
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby southern45 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:35 am

Monitor your rig and before it hits boiling (just before the first drips appear) reduce the power then. I recon you could go lower than 75% power on the 25L T500 boiler - turn it down to around 50% at that point and work up from there. It doesn't take much power to maintain a rolling boil on a spirit run.

Good to see you have plenty of jars. Have fun!
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby bluc » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:13 am

Pot still I always turned down power till drips then up the power just enough to get solid stream. It's not a reflux you don't need to collect at drips rate. I think I used to do 2-2.5l/h on 2" pot. :handgestures-thumbupleft:
Last edited by bluc on Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby southern45 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:14 am

Just checked over my notes for rum strip and spirit runs (using 2" pot with 30L 2000W boiler). Stripped at ~4L/hour full power. The final spirit run I collected at ~2.2L/hour through the hearts on around 50-60% power.
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby hillzabilly » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:39 pm

For 25lt boiler and pot stilling I found 900-1000wt power collecting from 2-2.5lt/hour about right .With a stream at the start going to a drip towards the end ifn you leave power set for the whole run,yes full power ta heat up and dial down after the first 50ml or so maaaate !.I also put a small tapered piece of cooper mesh in the output tube to help stop huffing and evens out flow.cheers hillzabilly :D
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby TBird61 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:40 pm

Thanks all, doing it now, currently collecting at what looks like 1.5L/h give or take (about 720mls in the last 30 mins and I'm running at 40% allegedly. I got no product at all until I hit 76C but I waited until 78 before I started collecting in my jars. Will keep on top of it for the rest of the day :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby Rolls912 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:29 pm

Drip drip dribble drip drip is the correct rate.

Do not run it full strength and then turn it down. Start and leave at slow (170 volts for me) and turn the water tap on after 15 mins. Don’t wait for the temp to rise.

I recently read it’s worth leaving it in full reflux for 15 minutes to compress.
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby TBird61 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:37 pm

How do I run a pot still in complete reflux?

Yes that's about what I'm getting drip drip dribble; still running at about 40% with the odd adjustment to 37% every now and then as it seems to speed up

Quite a taste difference in the first few jars, the first was diabolical but i'm on number 9 now out of probably 47+ and it's starting to taste pretty good, it's boding well (famous last words :laughing-rolling: )
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby hillzabilly » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:51 pm

Do not forget wisdom is knowledge tempered with shit loads of experience,ya just have ta get into it and find ya way,with some late nights and long tasteing sessions,while considering oaking options for the maturation stage ,cheers hillzabilly :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby TBird61 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:31 pm

hillzabilly wrote:For 25lt boiler and pot stilling I found 900-1000wt power collecting from 2-2.5lt/hour about right .With a stream at the start going to a drip towards the end ifn you leave power set for the whole run,yes full power ta heat up and dial down after the first 50ml or so maaaate !.I also put a small tapered piece of cooper mesh in the output tube to help stop huffing and evens out flow.cheers hillzabilly :D


Thanks maaate me old cobber :laughing-rolling:
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby TBird61 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:59 am

Finally done, 10 hours and 15L of product out. I put 18L of low wines, I assume the discrepency it because of a higher ABV than the stripping run, I didn't do any checking on the way apart from the very end. Interestingly the last two jars dropped from 20% to about 12, the last jar although weak had some nice flavours coming back as opposed to some bitter ones earlier in the tails. Will get a better idea tomorrow afternoon when we have the tasting session to blend :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Thank you all again, I've learnt a lot today :text-thankyoublue:
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby hillzabilly » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:35 pm

G-day T,I use oak dominoes for maturation and have found soaking then in some quality port adds another flavour profile ,one of the things that develop flavour in ya rum or whiskey is the subsequent use of feints as you do further batchs ,so after 3-4 batchs it will be stronger,wich is a good reason not to be over critical of first batchs ,as oak choice will effect things too,my suggestion would be to try a few small tests with oaking befor you commit all ya spirit(wich can be stored for long time no probs)to it,FSD is a great source for dominoes in French and American oak.cheers hillzabilly ;-)
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby Rolls912 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:42 pm

TBird61 wrote:How do I run a pot still in complete reflux?

Yes that's about what I'm getting drip drip dribble; still running at about 40% with the odd adjustment to 37% every now and then as it seems to speed up

Quite a taste difference in the first few jars, the first was diabolical but i'm on number 9 now out of probably 47+ and it's starting to taste pretty good, it's boding well (famous last words :laughing-rolling: )


Sorry - I was referring to the T5. :violence-stickwhack:
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby southern45 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:27 pm

hillzabilly wrote:my suggestion would be to try a few small tests with oaking befor you commit all ya spirit(wich can be stored for long time no probs)to it,FSD is a great source for dominoes in French and American oak.cheers hillzabilly ;-)


^ This. I have about half my first batch of rum soaking and half left white for future use when I decide. I put 4L on FSD American Oak Medium dominos for long term, then a few half litre jars with different types of Brew Shop chips (Samuel Willards, Still Spirits, etc). Will see how the flavour profiles develop over time.
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby hillzabilly » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:03 pm

Some advice on oaking,do not leave for too long without testing,many may think in years but reality 3-6months with 5-10gr of dominoes per liter of 60-65%abv spirit will be plenty,so test each week or so until you suss it out a bit,as over oaked spirit is not pleasant and not a good result after all the time and effort.cheers hillzabilly ;-)
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby TBird61 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:04 am

Thanks, good advice, I shall certainly test until the end of March then we're off travelling for 3 months; any ideas what I should do then?

We toasted our own oak, we have loads of it here, we're both woodworkers
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby hillzabilly » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:44 pm

Do a few small tests befor ya go ,then store the rest at 60-65%ABV in glass without oak,and carry on when ya get back.cheers hillzabilly ;-)
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Re: Pot Still drip rate

Postby TBird61 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:44 am

hillzabilly wrote:Do a few small tests befor ya go ,then store the rest at 60-65%ABV in glass without oak,and carry on when ya get back.cheers hillzabilly ;-)

Why didn't I think of that? :laughing-rolling:
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