FSD Carter Head Review

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FSD Carter Head Review

Postby MaKa » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:48 pm

Hi guys,

I just thought I would put together some thoughts together around the FSD Carter Head unit that I received the other day. I have to say as usual I am impressed by the speed at which Andrew and the team at FSD get their products to the post office and how quick they are to be received. As usual this item arrived very well packed and in pristine condition. There was so much bubble wrap I am beginning to assume FSD holds some shares in packaging companies.

Build Quality
As you would expect the build quality is very good. The unit when assembled is very heavy some something to remember when lifting the unit. The glass section is an absolute work of art. The way it is secured and protected means I am less worried about breaking it. I can see from the way that this is put together the (recently released) Visualiser will be well built too (not that I expected anything else). There is a custom made copper insert that takes the ethanol vapour and directs this downwards to the glass section as a kind of thumper. This piece is very well made, although it can require a bit of manipulating to ensure it sits centre to your equipment. The botanical basket is quite large and fits very snugly within the stainless steel tube. I guess this basket would be at least 750mL in volume. The basket and top clamp end both have handles. The clamp end has a handle that is sufficiently long enough that it doesn’t get too hot during the run and burn your hands when you try to touch it.

Running the Carter Head
From what I can tell from the start is that there are several ways you can run head. One as a simple vapour infusion, as a thumper or a combination of the two. I believe is is this reason that this Carter Head arrangement is of a superior design compared to others available on the market.

Running as vapour infusion only
This mode you simply load up the botanicals into the basket and run your still in pot mode. You need to be sure that you are not overloading your botanicals so as to force the vapour around the basket or blocking the vapour path.

Running as a thumper only
You can place some liquid in the glass section and run the Carter Head in a thumper arrangement. Some uses for this would be to add orange juice to this section and make an orange flavoured vodka. Running the Carter Head is a little more difficult. The volume of liquid added increased the head pressure required to overcome this liquid head and thus reduces the production rate. During my experimentation in this mode I found that if I had the smallest flow through the reflux condenser I could put the still into full reflux and stop production. I only tried this with 2400W into the boiler but as the distiller you require a bit of practise to get an idea on how much liquid in your thumper is too much

Running both vapour infusion and thumper
Basically a combination of points 1 and 2

Essential oils
I am not sure on this one, but I feel that given the size of the botanical basket surely there has to be room for essential oil production here. Maybe something that will come up when I am playing around with gin vapour infusions.

Other considerations
When I first assembled the still with the Carter Head attached I was a little worried that the still unit would topple over due to the weight of the unit. Alas these fears were unwarranted and the still and head were quite stable. For reference I ran this on my FSD 50L milkcan boiler. In saying that I would not be using this unit on something like a T500 etc. you need something very well built to support the weight. Given that this head should only be run on my milkcan the size of my batches is going to have to get much bigger., meaning that I now have to up my fermentation regime.

The carter head on the FSD website is pictured running off a 2” spool with a 90 degree bend to the head. I have set this unit up attached to my column with a block head t-piece rather than the 2” section. That way I can keep my RC in the vapour path should I one day want to work out how to change over the botanical basket mid run.

What am I going to do with this Carter Head
I brought this to take my gin to next level. I want to use the botanical basket to vapour infuse oranges, florals, coffee etc into my gin. I also am very interested to use this in its thumper mode.

Today I am running cold brew coffee into the thumper section with some more coffee beans and cocoa nibs in the vapour path. The possibilities are endless.

One idea I can see for future improvements is a tri-clamp fitting for the drain rather than the threaded piece the valve screws onto. I have been using liquid gasket on my water fittings but this is in the path of the ethanol vapour so I have had to switch to PTFE tape for this seal.

I am not sure if this image below will work, otherwise follow this link to google photos: (I removed the link because it has your name on it, cheers Stig oh and I added the pics for you)
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Last edited by The Stig on Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MaKa
 
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equipment: FSD 4" Neutraliser
FSD Carter head
T500 pot still with a 2" FSD modular head

Re: FSD Carter Head Review

Postby The Stig » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:42 pm

Fixed for you :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: FSD Carter Head Review

Postby MaKa » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:44 pm

The Stig wrote:Fixed for you :handgestures-thumbupleft:


Thanks Stig
MaKa
 
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equipment: FSD 4" Neutraliser
FSD Carter head
T500 pot still with a 2" FSD modular head

Re: FSD Carter Head Review

Postby Andrew » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:45 pm

MaKa wrote: There was so much bubble wrap I am beginning to assume FSD holds some shares in packaging companies.

Sadly no we don't, what we do have is a bubble wrap factory close by who gives us some great deals.
.
What a wonderful write up, I thank you so much for taking the time to review our gear.
Cheers
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Re: FSD Carter Head Review

Postby Rock » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:41 pm

Andrew wrote:
MaKa wrote:
What a wonderful write up, I thank you so much for taking the time to review our gear.
Cheers

:text-+1:
Well written, be some good times coming
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Re: FSD Carter Head Review

Postby PeterC » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:26 pm

Hi, Is there benefit to putting a few tees with plates in the riser section to raise the alcohol concentration?
Thanks.
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Re: FSD Carter Head Review

Postby bluc » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:36 pm

Generally you are working with 95+% hearts watered back to 40% for safety. You dont really need higher proof as it will be watered back to 40 anyway..less water= more flavour :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: FSD Carter Head Review

Postby The Stig » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:13 pm

Some hang these off the top of the neutralizer :laughing-rolling:
Makes for a really tall rig
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Re: FSD Carter Head Review

Postby Rock » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:48 pm

The Stig wrote:Some hang these off the top of the neutralizer :laughing-rolling:
Makes for a really tall rig

You would have to punch some power to push up though the neutralizer as well as through the Carter head
Rock
 
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Re: FSD Carter Head Review

Postby MaKa » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:20 am

Rock wrote:
The Stig wrote:Some hang these off the top of the neutralizer :laughing-rolling:
Makes for a really tall rig

You would have to punch some power to push up though the neutralizer as well as through the Carter head


The Rock has it right, the thumper section really changes the dynamics of the rig. The more liquid in the thumper the more power you require to push though it. Running with 2400 W input for me means I cannot have any flow to the RC. I haven't tried with 4800 W as I haven't run a big enough batch yet.
MaKa
 
Posts: 76
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Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:08 pm
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equipment: FSD 4" Neutraliser
FSD Carter head
T500 pot still with a 2" FSD modular head

Re: FSD Carter Head Review

Postby P3T3rPan » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:48 pm

Rock wrote:
The Stig wrote:Some hang these off the top of the neutralizer :laughing-rolling:
Makes for a really tall rig

You would have to punch some power to push up though the neutralizer as well as through the Carter head


I only use 3Kw

Seems to work very well
EC08CE86-F55C-4115-AB09-0A9DFB7BF011.JPG
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Last edited by P3T3rPan on Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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