Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Reflux still design and discussion

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

Postby 62woollybugger » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:03 pm

I've had my Copper T500 for a while & thought I'd add my 2c worth. I picked it up second hand & the first thing I did, after reading the article on how to run it on here, was ditch the plastic output tube & put a copper one on. I found some 3/8" tube at Reese plumbing, which is just slightly bigger than the plastic one, so a couple of layers of heatshrink over the outlet spigot & it fits perfectly.
As we're on tank water, I had to get one of the Still Spirits flow regulators to overcome fluctuations due to the pump cutting in & out. The other big advantage of this is that as our tank is under the house, I run the cooling water back into the tank, so don't waste any water. The only downside is that in winter the water is around 13*C, which causes the temperature to run away if I try to run the output temperature above about 55*C, as there just isn't enough water flowing through. On todays run I've got the inlet tube tucked up against the boiler to try to pre-heat it, which seems to help a bit. The advantage is that I can get virtually 100% reflux to compress the heads.
As I said in my intro, for someone who just want to make drinkable spirits, I'm happy with the T500.
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby ozwi09 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:59 pm

Hi all. It's taken me a little while to post this but I followed WJs advice on this using two TPW washes and running my T500 exactly how he describes it. I cannot believe the difference it has made. If you have been running your T500 by the book like I have for the last 3 years, you absolutely must try it this way. My first run this way and my first crack at doing cuts resulted in a neutral that is the best I have ever made. Gone are the days of running my neutral through a fuselex filter for two days only to end up with something that's only good for cleaning windows. Thanks WJ for a great post
The results speak for themselves. :happy-partydance:
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby ruskie » Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:59 pm

Hi All

I've been using an Airstill for a while now running TPW through it but got tried of the length of time to run a 25L wash through it. So I upgraded to a T500, don't know why I didn't do it sooner.

One question when you turn the water on at the start should it be all open and at a certain flow rate? What are the outcomes of not having it on enough/too much?

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

Postby brisvalleymoonshiner » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:06 pm

From memory i think they state 500mls per minute. Also i think they also tell you that the outlet temp should be around 55 deg. Try running a few batches through and then get enough to put back in the boiler and water it down to about 30% abv and then run it with the water temp outlet thermometer around 38-40deg makes a better spirit and also read up about doing cuts
:handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby woodduck » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:37 pm

ruskie wrote:Hi All

I've been using an Airstill for a while now running TPW through it but got tried of the length of time to run a 25L wash through it. So I upgraded to a T500, don't know why I didn't do it sooner.

One question when you turn the water on at the start should it be all open and at a certain flow rate? What are the outcomes of not having it on enough/too much?

TIA


I would have a read of page one. First post will take you to a link that will take you through a step by step process to run the T500. It will answer your questions :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby ruskie » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:31 pm

Thanks for the advice guys.

brisvalleymoonshiner, yep familiar with cuts have been doing cuts with the air still for awhile now, although on my first run of the T500 and doing 200ml cuts I couldn't smell much difference between the cuts.

woodduck, yep I read through all this post and the original post before starting and asking the question, the only unsure thing I had was the water flow as the first post says to open it all the way, my tap runs pretty fast so it was pumping @ 15 sec/l so thought that would be way too fast.
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby Rock » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:07 am

ruskie wrote:Thanks for the advice guys.

brisvalleymoonshiner, yep familiar with cuts have been doing cuts with the air still for awhile now, although on my first run of the T500 and doing 200ml cuts I couldn't smell much difference between the cuts.

woodduck, yep I read through all this post and the original post before starting and asking the question, the only unsure thing I had was the water flow as the first post says to open it all the way, my tap runs pretty fast so it was pumping @ 15 sec/l so thought that would be way too fast.

When I was running a t500, I'm pretty sure I dialled in about 3 l/min to stay in reflux then use needle valve to decrease your reflux and start collecting slow, dont rely on water discharge temp only to run the still, try and concentrate on the speed of collection, but ballpark, i ran mine around 52° and aprox 2.5l/min.
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby ruskie » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:28 am

Thanks for the advice Rock.

So the speed of collection should be a drip..drip.. dribble?
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby Rock » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:34 pm

ruskie wrote:Thanks for the advice Rock.

So the speed of collection should be a drip..drip.. dribble?

Yep that sounds about right, even, drip drip drip drip dribble. As they are pretty water effecent , and it'll still take a while, i think I was around 4 to 5 hr from turn on boiler.
Tpw was about 9% think I was getting about 3 lt and cutting hard keeping around 1.2lt at 93%.
I found it a good learning still, while you will find endless hour's of reading here following thread's and absorbing valuable information.
I lucked on a good value 5 plate bubbler with packed section, so upgraded earlier than I anticipated, good luck stilling my friend and if ya can spare/afford a buck drop past the donor button.
Great library here. :D
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby Hairyleg » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:57 pm

I just finished 7 hours, from turning on the boiler to hosing out the boiler.
For a 25l TPW with 5kg sugar.
This is about normal.
“Drip drip dribble drip drip dribble” is about right.
I don’t follow the temperature, other than to monitor it to make sure it is stable (a hose pressure regular from Bunnings smooths out any fluctuations from other water users).

I set it to a “drip drip drip” for the first approx 100ml of Foreshots (runs about 43 degreees on the water output).
Then turn the needle valve in a tiny fraction to the normal “Drip drip dribble drip drip dribble” and don’t touch it for the next approx 5 hours of jars of heads (typically 300-400ml), hearts (typically 2100-2300ml of 92%) and tails (about 250ml).
This runs about 54 degrees on the water output, but I use the drip rate as the guide, not the water temperature (which can vary based on the mains temperature on the day).
I know it’s finished because it drops to a “drip space drip space drip” and smells strongly of tails.
Even if I then crank up the temperature to squeeze the last drops out, I will only get another 200ml at most, of less than 70%, of extremely tails funky stuff that’s not worth the effort (I normally save up my heads and tails and redistill them).

I leave the jars (330ml beer bottles actually with 100ml in each) opened inside a cupboard for 2 days before confirming the exact point for the cuts.
Having now finished 18 batches of identical TPW ingredients, recipes and temperatures, I find the hearts boundaries very predictable (plus or minus 100 ml each time), so I can confidently take out the middle 1500ml into a single jar.

All very simple, and I can do other things while it is running, but I need to make sure I have the full 7 hours without needing to go out.


When I do a batch of Turbo with 8kg sugar it takes too much effort monitoring the cuts, so I have given up (the extra output is not worth the effort, and it has a LOT more tails).
When I do a batch of heads or tails it takes a lot of concentration, so I tend to stockpile the stuff.
When I try any other recipe I waste time in taking and testing cuts with little or no benefit.
So I think I will just keep up the TPW in “production mode” .... this is the lowest effort for the best outcome, for my tastes at least.

Cheers
Last edited by Hairyleg on Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Running a T500, the Proper Way - Discussion Thread

Postby bluc » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:30 pm

7hrs for 1500ml hearts :scared-eek: :crying-blue: now thats dedication... :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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