Bubbler update and observations

Perforated & bubble cap plated columns

Bubbler update and observations

Postby Guyross » Thu Apr 20, 2023 8:02 pm

Hi All - I haven’t posted in a long time, but have been following. Just thought I would post about my experiences with my 4” bubbler. I use 8 plates and have 4800 of power.

I only run my full bubbler a couple times a year - for several days at a time. I make a boatload if wash, strip it, and then run the low wines. In my still,in the end I fill the 60 litre boiler at 40%, and then hunker down for a long day. By the time I get everything balanced, the heads wel, separated, and the product run, it makes for a long day.

For a long time, I couldn’t hit much better than 94% ABV, but have now pushed it up to 95%. But it is slow - around 2 litres an hr. At say 2.5 litres, I get around 94.5. Is that a reasonable outcome? If I push it out to say 93%, I can get around 4 litres an hour. As you can see, at 95%, it makes for a long day.

The difference in quality between the 94 or 95% product and the 93% very significant. I am pretty brutal about early cuts, and the minute the tails even look like coming through I pull the hearts.

An interesting thing - my number 4 and 5 plates collect a lot more on them than the other plates. All plates reflux well, but those two end up with significantly more product sitting in them than the rest, unless I drop the power very significantly. I don’t let them entrain on the above plates, obviously. I keep my take off temps around 20c.

As I say, I don’t run the thing often enough to become expert, but would appreciate any advice or comments as to how I am doing. I would love to get a higher ABV at faster output. I haven’t been successful with a packed section, as I had a huge flood once - surely operator error - and it scared crap out of me. Stills are serious business! I will try it again next time, but am a bit unsure.

Otherwise, with 3 plates I occasionally run a big all grain, but I have so much ageing I doubt I will do that again anytime soon. My efforts with all grain scotch have been outstanding, but my bourbon is still too soon to tell. I will say that using corn is an absolute pain in the arse. I would suggest that the BWKO is the way to go, as it gives tremendous results without the all grain issues. But scotch, using all barley, is far easier. I will be making some more scotch shortly.

I would love to add a Carter head, but probably don’t have the volume to really use it. I make the neutral so as to keep the parasites, er family, happy, but not sure i can justify charging a big boiler to use the Carter heads. I currently use a small boiler with a pot still and gin basket - makes excellent gin. But I would love a Carter head!

Anyway, just thought I would update on my journey. Hope everyone stays safe and enjoys the hobby!
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Location: Can see lights of Bendigo on the horizon
equipment: T500 with alembic and tower condenser
4” 8 plate bubbler with 600 reflux tower
95 litre BIAB boiler system

Re: Bubbler update and observations

Postby Wellsy » Thu Apr 20, 2023 8:42 pm

Thanks for the update mate, biggest I have ever run is my 4 plates for a my vodka.

My usual run is 3 plates with my BWKO. This will be the year of the AG whiskey for all the reasons you said lol. Sounds like you are just over the hill from me.

Stay safe
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Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:48 am
Location: Victoria
equipment: FSD 4” Modular Pot Still plus 4 FSD Bubble plates on FSD 50 ltr Milk Can Boiler + 2 x 2400W FSD Element and Guard Kits

Re: Bubbler update and observations

Postby bluc » Fri Apr 21, 2023 10:52 am

It doesnt matter much what the abv is as long as your happy with the flavour.
2l/h is about right for vodka,,/neutral in a 4" plater. I push to 2.5-3l/h on rum or whiskey.
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Location: sunshine coast
equipment: 2" pot with 2" shotty 400mm long 5x 1/2" on a t500 boiler.
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4 plate 4" bubbler, 600mm packed section

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