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I've started to make a few mods on my 8" CD so I don't have to reconfigure the pipework between stripping & spirit runs & also so I can redirect the hearts through the basket either in pot still or column mode.
Normally, when making our gin I do a stripping run and then 2 spirits runs through the column. We use have a 50lt conical as a gin basket. I do the second spirit run with the basket in the vapour line - starting with it empty. Once I'm happy we're into the hearts, I put the column in full reflux & load up the basket.
I've now added a bubble T section (no plate) below the column with a 3 way valve off the T. I've added a second 3-way valve off the head of the column. Connecting the valves means I have a permanently mounted 2" bypass - I just have to switch the valves between column and pot still configurations. I didn't have any 2" pipe that I could configure to the right length (will have to get some made up) but for now, with a few elbows it looks a bit frankenbrew but it works well.
The 3-way valve at the bottom will also allow me to permanently connect to the bottom of the gin basket with a T at the top of the basket connected into the vapour line (the basket also has a condense line back to the pot). This will mean that by simply changing the valves I have 4 useful configuration options :
Option 5 means I will need to add a pressure gauge and a relief valve on the pot but I'll discuss that in a later post.