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8" Dash for making Vodka and Gin



  • All good.

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  • @FloridaCracker said: I have a rum spirit run going on right now and I'm taking 7.8L an hour of 90%.

    Frame of reference for real world comparative between 4" and 5" for folks: I normally pull about 5L per hour at 94-95% (corrected) off a 10%-12% wash (I dont strip for biofuels). If I let the purity drop to 90% (corrected) i can pull 6L per hour or more on a strip.

    If i were to do it all over again I'd probably still go with a 4" solely because of parts price and availability. the 4" will certainly do 400L of 95% a month without issue. my next rig will probably have to be an 8" tho, due to production capacity. thats a ways off i think tho, and it'll be a free standing column with few windows and probably a 600-800L boiler.

    I've actually considered adding a vacuum to the thing to save energy costs. cant you pull off at above azeotrope under a vacuum?

  • Is that with regular caps or procaps mate?

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  • @Fiji_Spirits said: I've actually considered adding a vacuum to the thing to save energy costs. cant you pull off at above azeotrope under a vacuum?

    It gets a lot more complicated running negative pressure, but that's the jist of it.
    Everything will need to be sealed, including the receiver and you'll need to chill it right down so the distillate won't boil at room temp. You'd probably implode your boiler too.
    You'll want to get in an engineer for that one.

  • edited December 2016

    punkin: procaps mostly but 4 perf plates.

    I was thinking pulling just a small vacuum. not sure my boiler could handle a big one. Maybe a keg/packed column setup would be fun to play with. my problem will be getting cool water. best I can do is about 78F.

    this would be a cool project. been trying to find a way to cheaply purify to 99+%. molecular seives are the obvious choice (and I have 200kg) but the regeneration process is a whole big deal actually. the CAPEX on asmall vacuum still might be significantly less.

  • edited December 2016

    Sure, just know what your getting into and stay safe :)
    I wonder if you could just have a liquid ring pump sucking out the bottom of the condenser? So all your product runs through it.
    Liquid-ring pump @ Wikipedia
    Might be a good stripping concept.

  • From a pure efficiency standpoint, vacuum isn't going to give you anything if the trade off is chillers. If you were dealing with year round groundwater in the 50s, it would be another story.

    I think continuous stripping with condenser preheaters is going to yield more savings. Then take it to azeo with more plates, then run an extremely clean spirit though the sieve.

    If there was an easier way, commercial producers would be all over it.

  • edited December 2016

    yeah I agree. just seems like an interesting prospect. I've settled on molecular seives but the regeneration process is about like another distillation with regards to cost and complexity of equipment to do on commercial scale.

    I had an idea to use a gas drying system and setting it up for liquids. two columns of seives... one regenerating while the other dries product. basically a system like this:

    low dew point heatless desiccant air dryer for home natural gas compressor @ Alibaba

    I think it'll work with a few mods, but i'll need to provide some dried air instead of expensive argon, and find a way to deal with flammable off gassing.

    overall i think this is pretty fun stuff biofuel. I can work on my recipies all I want, have less licensing headaches, make good money, and get to do all the fun technical stuff too!! plus when i get bored of sitting watching the still, i can pay my guy $3 an hour to do it for me

  • Don't they break it with benzine??
    Pressure swing distillation is another one to look into.
    I think you start with a higher pressure then drop back to ambient.

  • edited December 2016

    @grim said: Modern Molecular Sieve Regeneration for Fuel Ethanol

    Vacuum, no?

    I'm not sure I understand the vacuum only method, as I'm under the impression that heat has to be applied to the column and that heat has to be even throughout to avoid premature sieve failure.

    the way I understand is with a wet method of drying (soaking seives in ethanol rather than running still vapor thru a seive bed): apply heat... flow dry air/gas thru bed to adsorb/move moisture out... cool sieves to safe level for use when dry.

    how can you flow enough air thru the this system to remove the moisture and still pull enough vacuum? where are they pulling the air from to dry the column?

  • edited December 2016

    You should call those guys up, they clearly know what they are doing, and it appears this whole process is incredibly more complicated than just dumping the ethanol into the sieve material. The thing that scares the hell out of me (that I didn't realize before) - is that a significant amount of heat is generated when the sieve adsorbs water. The other factor is why are they running these processes under such high pressures and temperatures - they wouldn't do this if there wasn't a major issue with running at atmospheric and ambient.

    Starting Up New Molecular Sieve Beds in an Ethanol Unit

    I bet they would love to chat:


  • edited December 2016

    Almost wonder how effective it would be to fill a SD gin basket with 3a sieve.

    Water capacity of 3a is something like 20 grams per 100 grams of sieve.

    Just rough napkin math, figure you are taking 95 to 99 - that's 4% of total water weight needing to be adsorbed from the distillate.

    Per kg of azeo, 40 grams of water to be removed, requiring 200 grams of sieve. That's 20% by weight of sieve of total azeo input.

    So let's say you filled up a 50l boiler with azeo, that's roughly 40kg, would require about 8kg of sieve (assuming perfect theoretical adsorption).

    More realistically, you are filling the boiler with lower proof, say 25l clean azeo and water, but with sufficient plates to generate azeo on the output - pre-sieve.

    This would be 4kg of sieve in the basket. Might be a touch small, but probably ballpark.

    Those of us in the states might be able to play games with the TTB - say, being able to distill a vodka with more flavor than would be expected, given the proof.

  • edited December 2016

    @grim. I think those guys are doing a vapor phase adsorption. I really think it needs to be treated as a separate process like filtration or something. I'd build a two column sieve "filter" and just run liquid thru as needed. Somehow seems cheaper and easier Han redesigning the whole distillation process from scratch.

    I considered vapor phase and there are simpler ways than theirs but the liquid immersion method seemed a lot easier and less technical. The idea was that jungle method ethanol fuel would be easier to deal with.

    I am toying with either microwave regen or just throwing a load of seives in a big ass pot and heating them up with propane then flowing dried air thru the pot to remove moisture. I won't get 100% regen. It I'll bet I get at least 60%

  • Start playing with the stuff and let us know how it goes, maybe the 60% is plenty good enough. The industrial guys will push to the limits because there is good financial payback. From what I can tell, the effectiveness is better at higher temps, which means pressure, and pressure means complexity. The same would apply on the regen effectiveness, the more they can eek out on the regen, the better.

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