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Today I have done my first run on a 4 plate 2.5" Baby Crystal Dragon with a 50 litre milk can and 3kw element. Generally I feel like it started off OK, but then went a bit wrong. Nothing lost, but hopefully gained some knowledge and with some guidance hopefully i can correct where I went wrong.
I have been making myself plenty of wort to distill so I can practice my runs.
I have a corn and barley mash consistently coming out around 7%. The total wort i end up with is between 18litres.
Here is the process I did today. Please forgive me if I did anything terribly wrong :)
I put the wort into the milk can, turned on the element, the plates started to fill and bubble, before they started to bubble i turned on the pong pump to pass water through the dephlegmator and condenser. The dephlegmator connector was half open and the condenser connector was fully open.
After the plates were bubbling for a while i turned the PID controller down to half, the bubble plates seemed consistent and after a while the parrot was starting to fill up.
Spirit started dripping at 90%, after i collected about 300ml of spirit the bubble plates started to calm down, so i increased the power to the element slightly. At this point spirit started to trickle out slowly.
I collected 4x 150ml, then something somewhere must has gone amiss as it went from 86% to 72% very quickly without much spirit being collected.
The bottom plate at this point wasn't bubbling, but had liquid falling back down on it, the other 3 plates were bubbling fine.
I pulled back the element power, this started reduced the flow of spirit to 2-4 drops per second, but kept the spirit % more consistent.
I ran with this for a while, the bottom plate didn't start bubbling again, but seemed to be working ok, the 3 plates above seemed fine.
Oddly the spirit % seemed to increase, but only with a flow rate of 2-3 drops per second.
Did I do something obviously wrong?
I am looking for guidance on how i can improve the next run. Maybe it involves me being a bit more patient, or getting colder water to the dephlegmator and condenser?
Appreciate your help and feedback.