Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Perforated & bubble cap plated columns

Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby stretch69 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:45 pm

I ran a 5th gen bkor today and forgot to open the tap on the parrot and empty the foreshots at the start, i didn't notice til right near the end. Will this matter too much?Apart from that i had a really good run, went nice and slow
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Beer Belly » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:01 pm

I don't have a tap on the bottom of my parrot, i just let in run through until the unmistakeable smell of fore shots has gone ( collecting small amounts at a time ) and then place my first cut jar under it.
I'm not super experienced, but I'm sure you'll be able to smell which of your cut jars have been smeared with fore shots. I would just throw out the tainted jars and carry on with my cuts. I hope it hasn't tainted to much of your hard work but I'm sure you wont do that again.... :violence-smack:
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby BIG D » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:32 pm

stretch69 wrote:I ran a 5th gen bkor today and forgot to open the tap on the parrot and empty the foreshots at the start, i didn't notice til right near the end. Will this matter too much?Apart from that i had a really good run, went nice and slow

It won't be an issue mate make cuts as normal it will be in the first jar anyway the tap is a luxury not a necessity. :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Roger » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:22 pm

Running my bubbler for the first time :-D
My ABV keeps dropping as if I am doing a stripping run, but I understand it should be steady until the tails arrive. Running 4 plates and 2400 watt element in 50 litre milk can boiler. The RC is turned down until toothpick sized stream is coming out. Should the ABV be dropping?
Cheers
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby woodduck » Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:26 pm

G'day roger,

No that seems strange :think:
it should hold around the 92-93% mark right through until the glass starts to fog up and the tails are there. Even then it only jumps a few % until you turn your rc off to strip the rest then it will jump quite rapidly. Did you get much product out? Maybe your wash was low in alc content? What was your take off rate? 2-21/2 ltrs an hour is about right, maybe the water flow to your rc was to low, letting the product out too quick?

Hope you can work it out mate
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Roger » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:59 pm

Thanks for the reply woodduck. That's what I thought. What a bugger. Spent the weekend doing 4 runs so feel I have wasted my time and washes. I had 100 litres WBAB (did two runs), 50 litre UJ gen 2 and lastly a run of CFW gen 3 wash with the gen 1 and 2 pot still stripped added. I have actually put the end result on oak in 5 litre demijohns, so not sure how polished this will be. Sounds like I have just done stripping runs.
So, not sure where to go from here. The washes had OG of 1.6 to 1.7 and were generally 0.90 to 1.0, so they had good alcohol content. I think the content was fine. Getting 7 to 8 litres per run before shutting down when I hit 30 to 40% ABV.
I started with RC and PC valves open. Once the bubblers started going I turned the water on (couldn't see why I should waste water while warming up that first hour). Then I turned one heater element off to run at 2,400w with parrot bottom open. I could see all 4 plates bubbling nicely with a drip per second coming out of the parrot. Then I turned down the water flow until the fores dripping out of the parrot increased. Waited 30 minutes to load the plates and turned the RC gate valve down until toothpick size stream came out. This had the gate valve very close to being fully off.
I then closed the bottom of the parrot and product started at low 90's ABV. But every 500ml it would drop a few % ABV.
All I can think of is if I closed the RC valve too much and restricted the water flow. But if I opened it up any more the product flow out of the parrot would reduce to drops.
I have some TPW ready to go plus barrel of feints in the 5 plate copper packed section but don't want to do this until I sort out what I am doing wrong.
So any comments or suggestions or anything else from anyone much appreciated!!!!!

Cheers for your time if you have read this far.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby markus » Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:59 am

Hey roger I had the same problem when I first started running my bubbler.
Try throwing a bit more power at your boiler, as a result you will have to increase the flow to your RC
Which should keep a more constant ABV.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Mrs Mac » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:18 am

Roger wrote:Thanks for the reply woodduck. That's what I thought. What a bugger. Spent the weekend doing 4 runs so feel I have wasted my time and washes. I had 100 litres WBAB (did two runs), 50 litre UJ gen 2 and lastly a run of CFW gen 3 wash with the gen 1 and 2 pot still stripped added. I have actually put the end result on oak in 5 litre demijohns, so not sure how polished this will be. Sounds like I have just done stripping runs.
So, not sure where to go from here. The washes had OG of 1.6 to 1.7 and were generally 0.90 to 1.0, so they had good alcohol content. I think the content was fine. Getting 7 to 8 litres per run before shutting down when I hit 30 to 40% ABV.
I started with RC and PC valves open. Once the bubblers started going I turned the water on (couldn't see why I should waste water while warming up that first hour). Then I turned one heater element off to run at 2,400w with parrot bottom open. I could see all 4 plates bubbling nicely with a drip per second coming out of the parrot. Then I turned down the water flow until the fores dripping out of the parrot increased. Waited 30 minutes to load the plates and turned the RC gate valve down until toothpick size stream came out. This had the gate valve very close to being fully off.
I then closed the bottom of the parrot and product started at low 90's ABV. But every 500ml it would drop a few % ABV.
All I can think of is if I closed the RC valve too much and restricted the water flow. But if I opened it up any more the product flow out of the parrot would reduce to drops.
I have some TPW ready to go plus barrel of feints in the 5 plate copper packed section but don't want to do this until I sort out what I am doing wrong.
So any comments or suggestions or anything else from anyone much appreciated!!!!!


Cheers for your time if you have read this far.


Hi Roger,

When you opened the gate valve and the flow reduced to drips, how long did you let it go before adjusting the valve again. The reason I ask this is when you adjust the valve you need to give the still time to adjust fully to what you have done. (roughly 3-5 mins).

Once you are ready to run again and have the still going please as mentioned before give Allan a call and he we talk you through any issue that you have.

Cheers
Mrs Mac
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Hill » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:53 am

Hey roger, I think I did the same thing on my first runs, you need to make really minor adjustments on your RC, get the plates all loaded than back it off very small amounts and leave it for a good 5 mins and slowly it will start to change. I thought I was making small adjustments at first but you really need to make miniature adjustments.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Roger » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:14 pm

Hi Mrs Mac. Now I understand why I once saw you referred to as the bubble wrap queen!! My runs were at night, so didn't want to bother Allan at the time. Having run the bubbler a few times now I feel my questions will be based on some experience. It's one thing to read about it and another to experience it.
Once the plates were all bubbling away and I had drops only coming out the parrot, I waited 30 minutes before I started to close the RC gate valve. I was waiting a minute between further adjustments, which looked to make changes, but sounds like it was too short a time frame to see the results.
Not sure if I will get time this weekend to give it another go, but at least I have something to try and change!!
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Sam. » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:07 pm

Roger wrote: My runs were at night, so didn't want to bother Allan at the time.


Mate if your in canberra you could ring anytime into the night and it's 3pm in Perth, in 1980 :teasing-tease: couldnt help myself

Are you running outside there? If so I assume it is colder than an iceberg this time of year, as said maybe more power, or more reflux.

Either way you need to find the sweet spot for running it, once you have found this once you can replicate it time and time again :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Roger » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:18 pm

Haha Sam. Well now that you mention it, we were outside and it did get to -5 that night.

One other thing. Is the water flow meant to be high with the bubblers?
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby MacStill » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:51 am

Hi Roger,

Running outside at those temps and a slight breeze will make life very hard getting the still to run properly, I'd say that's half your troubles right there ;-)
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Roger » Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:48 pm

I did another run last weekend and it was a bit better but still not there. The ABV was dropping quickly again so opened up the RC water flow plus increased the tap water flow until no product was coming out. Then did half to quarter turns closing the RC valve and waiting 3 to 5 minutes until eventually product starting trickling out again and ABV started going up!! Only got to 85% until it started dropping again but I think that was getting into tails? Anyway, some improvement, but the water flow through the bubbler is high!!
So, looking at a pump and water container to recirculate. What's the minimum size water container recommended. A wheelie bin is 240 litres but is that enough to keep the water cool?? Never understood why people talked about pumps etc coming from my T500 background!
So interested in minimum water container sizes. Can also get 1,000 litres water cubes but want to minimise size.

Any comments about being on the right track with my bubbler appreciated also.

Cheers
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Zak Griffin » Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:52 pm

What wash are you running?
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Roger » Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:47 pm

My last wash was red wine for a brandy. But before that WBAB and CFW. Oh also UJSM. Have some TPW's taking weeks to get ready but it's so cold here they take their sweet time!
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Fishws » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:48 pm

Newbie question - when I run the bubbler as a 4 plate potstill setup for brown spirits do I use the RC and get it into full reflux before drawing off foreshots and heads as per a neutral run? Or do I let the still do it's thing without RC and allow the foreshots and heads to pass through the PC as soon as they start boiling off?

Thanks,

Fish
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby rumdidlydum » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:07 pm

Yes use the rc. Full reflux for 10 to 15min then adjust for your toothpick stream output
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby CO-D » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:15 pm

Glad that question came up! Got an answer I was only just looking for :D
Love this site!
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby rumdidlydum » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:18 pm

Or just read page 1 8-}
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