Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Perforated & bubble cap plated columns

Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby BackyardBrewer » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:34 pm

I'm indebted to Mac for the advice he gave me on running mine and coming from a straight up reflux background I was obsessed with temps... With a bubbler it is merely a guide and varies a lot still to still - but abv and smell will be a more accurate guide every time.

When you see the plates dry up - get ready for tails.
When you see the abv drop sharply - get ready for tails.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby big albert » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:39 pm

Hi all, how do you guys run the cooling system to both condensors? If your recirculating do you run them both off the same ibc?
Thanks,
big albert
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby MacStill » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:45 pm

big albert wrote:Hi all, how do you guys run the cooling system to both condensors? If your recirculating do you run them both off the same ibc?
Thanks,
big albert


See here for plumbing a plated still :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby MacStill » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:51 pm

BackyardBrewer wrote:I'm indebted to Mac for the advice he gave me on running mine and coming from a straight up reflux background I was obsessed with temps... With a bubbler it is merely a guide and varies a lot still to still - but abv and smell will be a more accurate guide every time.

When you see the plates dry up - get ready for tails.
When you see the abv drop sharply - get ready for tails.


Just to point out "When you see the plates dry up - get ready for tails." is for perforated plates only :handgestures-thumbupleft:

But yeah outlet temps from the RC would be unreliable as a guide, a lot would depend on heat input, ambient coolant temp (which rises on a recirc system) and a few other things.

You could turn it into a porcupine and call it proby if ya wanted to though :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling:
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby big albert » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:01 pm

Hi LX,

Terrific many thanks.

Big Albert
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby big albert » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:25 pm

Lame drawing??? Id have to wait for my beautiful grandkids to show me how to do that. Many thanks LX that drawing is terrific.

big fat albert
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby MacStill » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:23 pm

That is exactly how I have mine set up, thanks LX77 for drawing.... perfect :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby peterhobit » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:21 pm

So when you are running the plated column (and I will set my still up the way Mac has shown with pictures) does the product condenser just run flat out with water and you micro adjust the reflux condenser to get the correct spirit flow? learner question. I am only asking this as we are on tank water and it is easy to run the pump flat out rather than stop start with low flow.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby MacStill » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:26 pm

Yeah you dont want intermittent water supply or pressure changes, it will ruin your day guaranteed.

You can run the product condenser flat out sure, not really needed, but won't hurt anything as long as there's enough pressure left to feed the RC. :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby 1 2many » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:27 pm

peterhobit wrote:So when you are running the plated column (and I will set my still up the way Mac has shown with pictures) does the product condenser just run flat out with water and you micro adjust the reflux condenser to get the correct spirit flow? learner question. I am only asking this as we are on tank water and it is easy to run the pump flat out rather than stop start with low flow.


Yep thats how you do it mate just run the PC flat out and control flow through the RC to adjust your spirit take off rate.

EDit posted same time as Mac
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Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby mr_gt » Mon May 05, 2014 8:02 pm

Considering one of these stills they look pretty shiney :-)

On a serious note what percentage would it come off the still if say running 3-4 plates
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby MacStill » Mon May 05, 2014 8:11 pm

from 3 plates you'll get roughly 88% but cuts won't be as defined as with 4 plates and 92% ;-)
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Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby mr_gt » Mon May 05, 2014 9:00 pm

Mmmm looks like 4 plates it is then :-)

I may email you for a price if the wife gives the green light
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby TheMechwarrior » Thu May 08, 2014 8:26 pm

Thanks for this thread Mac, now to buy me a 4 plate FSD and mutha boiler and get on with it!
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Clickeral » Mon May 12, 2014 10:11 pm

Hey Mac

Thanks for the guide, now following your instructions I should get flavor coming over from CFW, Brandy etc

How would you suggest I run a TPW though a 4 plater (no packed section) to get it as neutral as possible?

I am humming and haring about getting another 2 plates and maybe a packed column but want to give the 4 plate setup a go first

Cheers in advance :)
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby MacStill » Mon May 12, 2014 10:16 pm

How would you suggest I run a TPW though a 4 plater (no packed section) to get it as neutral as possible?


twice & real slow :handgestures-thumbupleft:

4 plates is a flavor still, it's going to take some work to get neutral from a 4 plater ;-)
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Clickeral » Mon May 12, 2014 10:26 pm

Would a packed column be better then two more plates or should I just got for both aha
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby MacStill » Mon May 12, 2014 10:43 pm

Clickeral wrote:Would a packed column be better then two more plates or should I just got for both aha


YES it would be much better than another 2 plates, I'd go with a packed section first & see if your happy... you'll be real close.

The best combination for neutral is the FSD Neutralizer :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Clickeral » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:51 pm

Ok with the high abv tpw that I have I should get about 10l of 90% from my 2 stripping runs taking fores each time water that down to about 20%? So my 50l boiler will have 45l in it

Run that slow should get me a neutral so it'll be double distilled

I just had a taste of my tpw and you can barely taste the tomato but I know that will get intensified (atm you can mainly taste alcohol) and considering my sg was 1060 and fg is between 900 and 960 its strong stuff
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Urrazeb » Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:19 pm

Stripping and spirit might get you a fair way there but cutting (at least the tails) and running it again slowly will get you where you want to be. But as previously mentioned the packed section and 5 plates is the go. Combine strips for a slow spirit run gets you pretty close to a perfect neutral.

If you can smell anything else than ethanol then I'd re run it, but I came from making neutral from a pot so my nose is all messed up :laughing-rolling:
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