Running a Carter Head

Perforated & bubble cap plated columns

Running a Carter Head

Postby Tesla101 » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:43 am

Hi all, I'm seriously thinking about getting into making gin so was thinking about the rig I want to get and how I'm going to run it.

The rig I want to get is a 50L milk can boiler, a 4" Neutraliser (5 plate bubbler, 500mm packed section, RC) , Carter head and then PC with parrot. Planning on getting all of this from FSD.

This should get me a rig that can do anything from rum to gin, but my target for now is just gin.

My plan for running it is to feed the 95% vapour from the top of the reflux section into the Carter head, similar to the method that The Doc uses. But to do this I'd need to run just the hearts into the Carter, as I don't want heads and tails ending up in the final product. I know The Doc uses a twin head but that's a bit above my budget.

I was thinking of doing 4 x 50L stripping runs first with just 4 plates and then a spirit run with the Neutraliser.

The question is, after I've collected fores and heads, can I put the rig into full reflux and put the Carter head on mid-run, collect hearts and gin, then swap back for rails, OR

Would it be better to do the full spirit run and do a third distillation with just hearts through the Neutraliser and Carter head?

What would you guys do?
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Re: Running a Carter Head

Postby The Stig » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:49 am

3 runs, then remove the Neutraliser .
Place Carter head on boiler and run
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Re: Running a Carter Head

Postby Amberale » Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:21 am

Do you mean three run types total?

4 x stripping runs with 4 plates and no packed section.

1 x spirit run with 5 plates and packed section.

Put on Carter head and run with hearts only.

That’s how I plan on doing it if I ever get a Carter head.
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Re: Running a Carter Head

Postby The Stig » Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:30 am

That would be perfect :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Running a Carter Head

Postby Tesla101 » Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:43 pm

Amberale wrote:Do you mean three run types total?

4 x stripping runs with 4 plates and no packed section.

1 x spirit run with 5 plates and packed section.

Put on Carter head and run with hearts only.

That’s how I plan on doing it if I ever get a Carter head.


Ah OK, thanks Amber.

So something like this?

First distillation - pot still mode (4 plates)
4 x 50L stripping runs (200L) at ~10% wash abv for about 50L at 40%

Second distillation - Neutraliser
1 x spirit run, 50L at 40% for about 20L at 95%. Let air for a couple of days and do cuts. Assume about 3L of heads, 5L of hearts and 2L of tails. Dilute 5L hearts to 40%, about 12L

Third distillation - Neutraliser and Carter head
1 x gin run, 12L of hearts at 40% to make about 5L of gin at 95%. Dilute to about 12L of 40% drinking strength

Does that sound about right?
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Re: Running a Carter Head

Postby The Stig » Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:12 pm

Best to run the carter head as a pot still
Some of the flavors your going to want will come at the lower abv
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Re: Running a Carter Head

Postby Amberale » Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:43 pm

:happy-partydance:
The Stig wrote:That would be perfect :handgestures-thumbupleft:


:happy-partydance:
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Re: Running a Carter Head

Postby Andrew » Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:26 pm

Amberale wrote::happy-partydance:
The Stig wrote:That would be perfect :handgestures-thumbupleft:


:happy-partydance:

Let me know when your ready to make the jump and I’ll do you a deal :music-deathmetal:
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Re: Running a Carter Head

Postby Tesla101 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:11 am

Andrew wrote:
Amberale wrote::happy-partydance:
The Stig wrote:That would be perfect :handgestures-thumbupleft:


:happy-partydance:

Let me know when your ready to make the jump and I’ll do you a deal :music-deathmetal:


:text-thankyoublue: Andrew
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Re: Running a Carter Head

Postby hgwells » Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:04 am

What do those of you who have a Carter head do with the liquid that builds up in the glass section?

Does anyone run a return into the boiler and if so how?

Cheers

HG
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Re: Running a Carter Head

Postby MaKa » Mon Apr 26, 2021 12:57 pm

I usually just smell them to see what sort of flavours are left then discard.

I am not sure what the benefit of returning this liquid to the boiler would be, but it could be possible to set up some sort of liquid lock that allows you to run it back to the boiler while maintaining a liquid seal.
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Re: Running a Carter Head

Postby RC Al » Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:34 pm

One of the advantages of the offset head is to keep those oils out of the boiler, If the still was only used to make that one product, no dramas, otherwise it can be a bit of a hassle to clean out, they are very persistent.

Depending on what's collected, you may wish to recycle the fluid as a tincture to add to the final product or a different one completely, seems like just about anything growing outside is fair game as an ingredient, so its hard to say what flavours you will collect over time, like a collection of different "bitters".

To return it, usually just a simple tap/valve & tube is plumbed back to boiler, it wont be open long enough to worry about vapour bypass, but you can also just use a simple j trap (same as whats on a bubble plate drain). It will give you differet flavours through no doubt.

Must have started just as maka posted lols, type faster rc
Last edited by RC Al on Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Running a Carter Head

Postby hgwells » Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:28 pm

Thanks for the replies RC & MaKa,

I do run different things through the still, so will take your advice and not drain back into the boiler. Don’t want to spend heaps of time cleaning and running the risk of off flavours in the next run(s).

On a 50L run I get a couple of litres in the glass bowl, does that sound right?
I drain some off every time when the glass is close to full, not sure if that’s what I should be doing.

Cheers

HG

RC - re typing speed, I get 16 words per min on the space bar :-D
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Re: Running a Carter Head

Postby PeterC » Tue Apr 27, 2021 12:50 pm

Does you carter head have the copper elbow going down into the glass bowl? This is to ensure the area stays hot and you don't get much alcohol condensing, only heavier oil collection. My carter head does not have the glass bowl at all. There is only a couple of centimeters from the inlet to the bottom. The bottom is blanked off and has a small drain valve. In a 25L run with 30% alcohol I get maybe 200ml collected in the bottom. I make sure this does not fill up and run back into the boiler.
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