Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Reflux still design and discussion

Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby scythe » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:52 am

Thats why we say select cuts based on taste (lack of).
Rather than keep everything after fores.

Quality not quantity, make bigger washes if you go through the amount you make in one go.
1L of 90% is 2L of 45%, how long does it take you to drink 2L of spirits ?
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby Andysanc » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:00 pm

My T500 and extra’s get delivered in the next few days, this thread has been a good read.

Thank you
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby Sam. » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:31 pm

Andysanc wrote:My T500 and extra’s get delivered in the next few days, this thread has been a good read.

Thank you


How about an intro in the welcome centre bud, you will get all the help and advice you need if we know what you are chasing :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby Woods314 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:11 pm

Just doing a feints run on my t500, the distillate is coming out warm, about 42 or 45c. Upped the water flow and out temp is 55 to 56c but distillate is still warm. This doesn’t happen when I run a TPW. Is this normal for a feints run in a t500?
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby Doubleuj » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:51 pm

There’s a lot more alcohol in an all feints run at 40% compared to a straight wash at 10%. It’ll take at least 4 times as long. I’d suggest patience and keep her running and a steady dribble dribble drip.
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby Woods314 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:06 pm

Thanks Doubleuj, she’s running good, but what I’m getting at is the distillate is very warm, is this ok?
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby scythe » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:05 am

Distillate should not be warm coming off the still for safety reasons (explosion risk). If the distillate is that warm it sounds like you are pushing the still too hard.
Or are you using a small recirculated water system?
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby brisvalleymoonshiner » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:26 am

i did a run with a boiler charge at 30% and the outlet temp was around 36 deg for most of the run. Sounds like you need alot more water :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby Mattq71 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:06 am

Hi all,
Just completing my cleaning run and wanted to thank everyone for this thread. Been very helpful.
Cheers
Matt.
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby effque » Tue May 01, 2018 4:55 pm

so i noticed this thread back when i first started out and i've read it a few times before (not lately in the last month or so)

my question is around packing the column with scrubbers (currently have ceramic) as there is a few copper tubes inside blocking up a clear pathway

1525157163_tmp_20180501_163532.jpg


do i poke them through past the piping ? how strong are the copper pipes held in place ?
this would also make it much harder to clean the copper saddles every now and then having to pull the scrubbers out carefully past these pipes wouldnt it?

thanks
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby Doubleuj » Tue May 01, 2018 7:10 pm

Definitely don’t poke the ceramics past the internal fittings, would either damage the pipes or jam the ceramics in permanently.
Just tip your copper in first then tip the ceramics. Don’t tamp or shake.
But, best is to one day get stainless scrubbers or saddles.
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby effque » Wed May 02, 2018 6:23 pm

Doubleuj wrote:Definitely don’t poke the ceramics past the internal fittings, would either damage the pipes or jam the ceramics in permanently.
Just tip your copper in first then tip the ceramics. Don’t tamp or shake.
But, best is to one day get stainless scrubbers or saddles.

Hey thanks again WJ my local HBS does a credit so when you buy something you get 10% of that sale added onto the system for a credit so today i went down and used 17$ of credit to buy just some normal SS Saddles instead of screwing around with the scrubbers while i had the column apart i cleaned the copper saddles (PROPERLY) they hadnt really been cleaned properly since i bought it second hand they where BLACK AS BLACK LAYERED ON so i gave them 5 water and citric acid baths in a 700ml wine bottle (which i will not be using again after the colour that came off) and a mix of vinegar hot water and citric acid bath over night after much aggressive shaking of this bottle i've bought them back to almost as good as new theres a few saddles that have a bit of colour on them but i cleaned them up so much nicer compared to what they where

im really looking forward to seeing if the clean copper and new SS Saddles makes any difference to running my T500


thank you
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby tonyg » Sat May 12, 2018 8:27 am

Thanks WJ for pointing me to your original thread and thanks to everyone who's added to it. Great read for anyone new to the T500 (like me). I might suggest, Sam, that comments about modifications other than those WJ suggests get pushed off to new threads? Otherwise the thread gets too long.

Anyway I still have some questions that I'm surprised haven't already been asked here.

First question is about adding olive oil to the boiler. Saw this mentioned a couple of times but don't understand why, how much or when.

Second question is about how to clean the T500 after a distillation run? It would be good to have this info added to the original post is possible.

Third question is about reticulation. Again I'd love to see this added to the original post. How are you reticulating? What sort of pump? Doesn't the water get too warm to keep a stable temp?

Fourth question is about water pressure. Like others I am concerned about having the valve wide open. Is your tap wide open too? If I did that the temp sensor would pop out of the top section and there'd be water everywhere. There must be more to this tip.

Last question is about packing the top. I have copper and ss saddles and intend to keep using them for now. I get dropping in the copper saddles so they fall to the bottom (upside down) but not sure what you're doing with the ss saddles. Are you only putting them below the internal pipe? Or are you jiggling them up into the upper part of the tube to keep the copper saddles near the top? Are you using the whole bag of ss saddles?

FYI yesterday I grabbed all of the 30-40% white spirit I had laying around unflavoured and threw it into the T500 with the same amount of water. I added 6L at 30-40% but got back 2L at 85%. I expected 3L so was a little surprised, but the smell is so much better. Was using an air still before.

Cheers, Tony
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby scythe » Sat May 12, 2018 3:41 pm

Answer 1: olive oil is used as an anti-foaming agent, like you would do when cooking pasta, how much depends on the wash.
About a table spoon is a good starting point.

Answer 2: how do you clean any stainless steel pot or pan after cooking with it?

Answer 3: some people use recirculating cooling water you dont have to. how much water they use, how they do it and how they cool it is another thread.

Answer 4: just try it, and adjust your main tap to what works for you without popping out the temp probe.

Answer 5: ss is used as it is cheaper, copper is there to remove sulfites that make good booze taste like balls.
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby Smiffyandmissus » Sun May 13, 2018 10:26 am

So we’ve had ours for about 6 months. Bought the copper condenser and the pot lid dome whatever it’s called! A lot of crap was poured down the drain. You could say we did numerous cleaning runs! :)) so the way we’ve (well I do most of the distilling bit cos Smiffy gets bored sitting around! - I manage to do lots of cleaning in the kitchen and living area!) is I strip a 25L wash, flat out with the pot/dome. I generally get 5L or just over (a bit less for Macs Rum recipe as less sugar I think). It’s generally around 40% and I strip down to roughly 20%. The temp, which I use only as a safety guide, is generally around 98 (remember this is the dome lid not condenser so don’t freak out at 98). Put it away in glass. Strip a 2nd wash (of the same type) put it aside and then a 3rd and sometimes a 4th. Then I put all 4 strips together and strip the whole lot again through the pot. If it’s 3 strips I will get roughly 10L. From memory it’s around the 70% but I haven’t tested it in awhile, I know it’s alcohol so all good!

It’s then time for the spirit run. Out comes the temp controller. If it’s a dark wash I stay with the dome. If it’s TPW out comes the condenser. So for the condenser I Keep the temp up and water full on (well till it gets a little dribble out the temp probe) and leave it to boil away for an hour or so. Takes awhile to get up to boil. I do add filtered water to my strips so that the liquid is only about 35% ABV in the boiler. After that hour or so I reduce the power to about 3/4 and the water to around a litre per minute....yep still faster than the recommended. I get the drip drip dribble dribble drip drip drip dribble and I’m happy. Now off each strip run I’ve generally taken around 160 to 200mls of fore’s (including my second strip) so I again take around the same in fores from the spirit run. Yes not totally necessary but I figure it’s just heads anyway and it’s great window cleaner anyway! I do different sized jars depending on where I think I am....beginning is a stubby cos I know I won’t be keeping that first one, then onto 150ml glass beakers (don’t tend to keep the first 4 of those either), then slightly larger glass jars and glasses. I normally have about 15 of them then back to a few beakers and larger jars at the very end cos I know that will be going into tails. So roughly 12 hours or more after turning the boiler on (remember there is 3 or 4 washes in there) I can turn the sucker off and order pizza for dinner cos buggered if I’m cooking dinner now! So as an example from 3 washes of TPW and about a litre of feints from the previous spirit run of TPW we ended up with 4.5 litres of good drinkable stuff (90%) and 2litres of feints. Yep I take tight cuts. It’s not going to waste cos it goes back in with the next lot. So we end up roughly 10.5 litres of alcohol at 40%. I’m happy. It’s smooth, makes great Odins gin and espresso vodka. Yes a bit more work with the extra distillation but it’s working for us. Mates and family like it.

It’s a bit early to tell for the rum and CFW as the rum is only about 7 weeks old and the CFW about 4. Both are smelling good. Had a taste of the rum about 10 days ago and it was yuck but the after taste was semi ok....just like bundy! Had a smell yesterday and seems to have improved in that time. Done the same way with the 2 strips and one spirit run. Temp controller around half but water flow up more for the pot. So hopefully another month or so on oak and it won’t have that bundy after taste!

So it is possible, with a lot more distilling, to get a reasonable product. I’m about quality not quantity. I don’t want product that tastes like a cheap bottle from the shop. It’s about time and patience. Which I know sucks. That’s where the TPW is good. Cos we’ve got a smooth spirit to begin with, the essence isn’t too bad. I’ve added spices and oak to rums and whiskeys made from essence and made southern comfort with the recipe on here (tho I tend to use 3/4 of the sugar in all recipes) by making a bourbon essence first. Leaving it a few weeks to mellow then adding peaches etc. even with the essences they benefit from aging. Leave them at least 2 weeks. I also leave the neutral in the Demi with paper towel over the top (no rubber anywhere) as long as possible before I start mixing it. Time is your friend!
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby Woods314 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:44 pm

It makes my grog and it heats my chilli, who said T 500’s are fucking useless! :teasing-neener: :laughing-rolling:
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby The Stig » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:51 am

Woods314 wrote:It makes my grog and it heats my chilli

Thats gold ^:)^
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby hoddo59 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:35 am

Hi Guys Just bought a secondhand T500 to have a play around with. Have replaced the plastic outlet tube with copper pipe and am cleaning up the stainless and copper saddles. Just wondered if anyone can advise is there a suggested ratio of copper to stainless saddles. Got 2 full 400ml jars of stainless out of the column and only about a fifth of a jar of copper. So the ratio appears to be about 10 to 1 stainless to copper. So I guess I'm asking does the ratio make any difference? Would more copper be better? Been reading through the discussion here and have searched but haven't been able to find anything at this time about the ratio. cheers Hoddo
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby Doubleuj » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:46 pm

Hey Hoddo, you really don’t need much copper to do the job so I’d say what you’ve got is fine :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby hoddo59 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:49 pm

cheers WJ thanks for the advice
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