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Old 05-01-2020, 11:49 PM #21
troutman
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Airlock is also important to keep out fruit flies which carry bacteria called acetobacter that will convert all your alcohol to vinegar.

Acetic acid bacteria
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Old 05-01-2020, 11:51 PM #22
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My setup came with a "Thumper Keg". It is just another pot in the chain between the boil pot and the condenser pot. It is supposed to provide a "second distillation" and a cleaner end product. I was reading up on it and I saw some pics and mine is different than the pics. The pics show 2 tubes, in and out. In tube goes into liquid and out tube is flush with the lid. On mine, there is no "down tube" into the liquid. Both in and out are flush with the lid. I'll try to read some more but logic tells me one should go into the liquid while the other outputs steam only.

This is the setup I bought...

https://www.vevor.com/products/5-5ga...ne-tube-brandy

I am going to try to distill some water just to learn a little about it and check the seals. I noticed some steam coming from one of the lids. Also, I wonder if I should Teflon Tape all the joints. It didn't say anything about it.


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Old 05-02-2020, 02:34 AM #23
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Hey troutman, thx I didn't know that. I just began making it 4 months ago and I still have lots to learn. I already noticed that some containers smelles like good liquor and others smelled like feet that have'nt been washed ever . Those that smell bad don't produce much CO2 (you can normally see it bubbling a lot if it goes well) and they have a white powdery layer on top. The ones that smell good have bubbling foam on top.

So maybe that's the cause? I tried reading up about it already spent a few hours, but there is a lot of info and I don't have much time lately. Its a work in progress.

I use yeast for wine that can handle higher levels of alcohol, I prepare it by soaking it in water (no tap) for 15-30 minutes wth nutrients salts. I know you should use a magnetic stir thingy(will get that later) but I just stir manually now. Then I add the yeast to the sugarwater that also contains nutrient salts and I often throw in fruit or other foods that are old. I have read they eat jut about anything with aminoacids, proteins and carbs? I place the containers on a heating mat set to 25-3 degrees. Should I also use an air pump instead of stirring the mixture twice a day? I recharge each container with sugarwater once per week and I make a new batch every 2 weeks to keep co2 production at a certain level.

If you have any other tips for optimal co2 production (especially keeping it going) I'm all ears. . So it's not about the booze (although I will do that later once I have learned more and bought equipment).
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Old 05-02-2020, 02:46 AM #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flylowgethigh View Post
1 pack of yeast is all that is needed for 3 gallons. There is a gizmo for racking that is a plastic tube and has a nice tip, which helps avoid stirring up the dead yeast on the bottom.

Some people re-use yeast. I just put it in the sink.

You can't get everclear? How about E-85, then wash it with soap/water or dishwasher?

i make smaller batches these days with about 1 gallon of water.

1 1/2 to 2 pounds of sugar, 3 heaping spoons of Active Dry yeast, 1/2 teaspoon of champagne yeast.

from what you said I might be using more yeast than necessary.

on the other hand the ingredients are cheap. I buy the bulk yeast from Winco, $3 for a pound. The packs of champagne yeast are $1 each, but they last about 4 batches of CO2.

right now i only make it for the indoor seedlings. they don't have any ventilation, the extra CO2 is my way of trying to give them something healthier, without adding another duct to the house.
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Old 05-02-2020, 03:39 AM #25
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When fermentation is working there should be a bubble foam layer on top of the brew with visible
carbon dioxide bubbles rising to the top. Once fermentation slows down get ready to distill ASAP.

BTW: Dextrose (aka Glucose) ferments cleaner than regular table sugar. It can be easily purchased in some food stores or online.
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Old 05-02-2020, 09:35 AM #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringodoggie View Post
I think this might be an important question.....


I just read something in the manual and it's in big RED letters.

NEVER USE AN OPEN FLAME HEAT SOURCE WHEN DISTILLING INDOORS.

.


The thought of fire during distillation has never entered my mind, maybe I should have thought about it, I use gas on my small still and haven't had a problem. My still holds 2.4 litres so the flame is always set very low. Maybe I should get a fire extinguisher.





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Old 05-02-2020, 05:09 PM #27
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I imagine a still could also be used to remove most of the alky from QWET, and re-use it.

I know a couple shiners. They swear by the bubbler. There is a field of corn planted next door. Deer gonna love it.
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:44 PM #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringodoggie View Post
NEVER USE AN OPEN FLAME HEAT SOURCE WHEN DISTILLING INDOORS.
See Murphy's Law, CYA. No oxygen no fire. The most likely sources of fires in a metal system would be uncondensed alcohol from an overheated condenser, or spillage from an overfilled receiver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringodoggie View Post
This is the setup I bought...
Hopefully, there aren't any soldered parts on that, because the Chinese can't be trusted with lead. The product of the first distillation may not burn. Not sure what strength you're looking for, or how well this could separate heads and tails.

I like distilled water, Red Star distillers yeast and 5 gallon buckets in the basement in the winter. Many buckets can be run and stored for later. A lot of used 60's-70's labware like rotavaps and 24/40 jointed glass and heating mantles was both for sale and cheap 15-20 years ago so that's how I roll. It's small scale, not like a 22 liter setup that's either not cheap or not for sale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by troutman View Post
I then dried the Azeotropic Ethanol with molecular 3A sieves for about a month and redistilled carefully and got 98+% Fire Water.
I use lime (used box furnace: $25), which gives 99.5%, and removes acids, aldehydes, and ketones.

The Vigreux has low separating power (theoretical plates), and a reflux ratio more than double the number of plates is not going to help much. I use a packed column, and am going to pull the trigger on a pound of 304 stainless mesh to see how that performs in it. With that, maybe the column has 30 plates, which calls for a reflux ratio at least that high. That's what I meant by slow.

The most important things to me are to get a good active ferment, not too warm, the yeast cannot be removed too completely before heating, and the first distillation should be fast - not with a column.
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Old 05-09-2020, 02:05 AM #29
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Well, I am fucking thrilled. I previously ran a few tests with water just to check for leaks and to check the cooling coil setup but today was my first alcohol distillation attempt.

I used a half gallon of that apple juice stuff that I made. I drank the first half gallon and had this sitting in the closet. It was done fermenting.

So, I put the half gallon of apple stuff in the distiller and ......

Unfuckingbelievable...

I didn't know how much to expect in return so I took small samples at first. The first sample was only 2 ounces. The second was also 2 ounces. Then, I took 4, 6 ounce samples. I wasn't sure what I was getting so I took a dropper full of the fist take (The Foreshot, I guess they call it) and took it in the next room, squirted it in in a beaker and put a match to it.

WTF!!!! I was totally fucking surprised when it burst into flame. Fucking awesome. I had no idea. I was expecting something, maybe 20% or 30%.

I tasted the 3rd sample. WOW! Tasted like a decent vodka only stronger. Made me shiver when I drank it. LOL

I tasted the 4th sample and it was very smooth. Not a whole lot different than the Skyy vodka I normally drink.

The last 2 were basically water with a little aftertaste.

I have a hydrometer for beer but I found out it doesn't work for distilled spirits so I ordered a proof hydrometer off Amazon and it will be here is a few days. When I inserted my beer hygrometer in the sample, it sunk to the bottom like a rock. LOL

I do have a Spectrometer that measures brix. The first 2 samples were about 18 or 19. The 3rd was 17 and the 4th was 8.5. The last 2 measured about 3 and 0, respectively. Not really sure how brix relates to ABV.

I guess it is tradition to never drink the first run from a new still. So, I will probably use this to clean some pipes or whatever. But, I made a fresh batch of sugar wash and it is in the fermentor right now. So, it 5 to 10 days, I'll be distilling another batch.

Then, it's onto the corn whiskey and rye.

@Joe, no solder on this still. The few joins are compression joints.

I am going to grab those second and third samples and see if they will burn.

I was reading that you should expect 3 to 6 cups of alcohol from a gallon of sugar wash. Sound right to you guys?

Total fun. And, I was not too paranoid about doing it on a gas stove. The small amounts and the setup I had seemed safe enough. Still, I had a fire extinguisher on hand.

Total fun day.




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Old 05-09-2020, 03:20 AM #30
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No idea on that one, elec oven top not big/hot enough?

Little more on the term "Now you're cooking!"

That's short for "Now you're cooking with gas!", which didn't smoke like the wood fire did. That would tip off the revenuers.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringodoggie View Post
I think this might be an important question.....

I have the still all assembled and I am doing the vinegar wash run and then a test run called the 'sacrificial run". I guess this makes sure every thing is cleaned and seasoned for the first real batch.

I just read something in the manual and it's in big RED letters.

NEVER USE AN OPEN FLAME HEAT SOURCE WHEN DISTILLING INDOORS.

I was planning on doing this in my kitchen on a gas stove. No?

Am going to need to buy a portable heat source. All I have is a small electric hot plate. I don't think it's big enough for this 5 gallon pot.

Really? Can't do this indoors with a gas stove?

Thanks

.
EDIT: Never mind. I did a little reading on the subject and it doesn't sound quite as bad as making BHO inside but it still doesn't sound like a great idea. LOL Induction cooktops will not work with my stainless steel still pot. I do have an electric ceramic cooktop but it's the standard 7" or so around. My still pot is 13". I can't seem to find a large diameter, electric hot plate. LOL Hard to believe I didn't read about this while I was reading the other stuff about distilling. I wonder what most people use? @G.O.Joe has been doing it forever, what do you use? Or, are you just using a smaller pot? LOL

Well, at any rate, gas stove is out and I'm on the search for a large format hot plate. LOL

Again, thanks


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