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Thumper Question

This discussion was created from comments split from: Welcome to our Beginner's Talk Category!.

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  • Thumper question... How much, if any, water do you "pre-load" thumper with?

  • edited February 2017

    Hi @NorthState,

    As a general rule,,just enough to cover up the vapor inlet pipe. However the Carribean rum method will be a bit different. Though it is still up to the distiller to determine liquid levels. Results can vary.

    One assumes no more than a third full is a good place to start. You can read a bit more here.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • @Smaug said: Hi NorthState,

    As a general rule,,just enough to cover up the vapor inlet pipe. However the Carribean rum method will be a bit different. Though it is still up to the distiller to determine liquid levels. Results can vary.

    One assumes no more than a third full is a good place to start. You can read a bit more here.

    Thanks Smaug!

  • in my experience the slower you heat up the more your thumper will fill, when I'm heating up I go hard and fast to get the thumper on line as quickly as possible. I do fill mine 2/3 full (10-11 gallons) as I'm trying to strip as much as possible to get the most low wines I can. Doing it this way I can get 10 gal of low wines for a spirit run, I usually end up with close to 3 gallons of good sippin likker, 2.5 if I'm conservative with my cus but with rum and bourbon close to 3. Also depends if I plan to barrel age or drink white.

  • I have 13 gal. milk can still. I run 10 gal. mash about 15 % abv. My thumper is half gal. mason jar. It fills up in about half of run. Is there some rule on how big my thumper needs to be.

  • One third volume is what is usually bandied about.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • Is that one third of ten gallons or one third of my product. Thank You

  • Use 1/3 rd to half of your boilers capacity to size the capacity of your thumper.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • @draw57 said: I have 13 gal. milk can still. I run 10 gal. mash about 15 % abv. My thumper is half gal. mason jar. It fills up in about half of run. Is there some rule on how big my thumper needs to be.

    With gear that small, some of your problem is with heat loss. Once the thumper is up to boiling, in an ideal system, each gram of steam from the boiler condensing will vaporize about (actual number depending on the heats of vaporization for both the boiler liquid and the thumper liquid) a gram of the thumper liquid, so the liquid level in the thumper won't change much.

    On the other hand, if all the heat derived from condensing that gram of boiler liquid is radiated, convected, and/or conducted away from the thumper, you're just added a gram of liquid to your thumper. Your situation is somewhere between those 2 extremes, but you're gaining liquid after the thumper boil.

    Insulate the thumper and all the vapor tubes, for a start.

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

  • Thank you for your info. I do have a problem with heat. That is why I went to a thumper because I was getting foam in my product. Also due to too much sugar. Which I picked up because of all of the good info I get from this forum. I think I am going to make bigger one and put inline with the smaller one or the bigger first then the smaller one. I will be buying your book. Thank you again.

  • As ZB suggested its a parasitic boiler. You can control thumper volume with insulation and if you use cascading sizes you need the smallest one closer to the PC and the bigger one closest to the boiler.

  • Hello Myles. Where you been?

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • Took the words right outta my mouth, Punkin.

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

  • Sorry folks been busy in the desert so not about as much as I would like

  • Sam
    edited August 27

    I am in the process of trying to put together a thumper, I have a 50L boiler so was going to go with this 15L wine fermenter I found on ebay. I like the fact it has a 1.5" triclamp in the lid so it will be easy to fix standard triclamp tubes to.

    The tap at the bottom can be removed and I was thinking about putting in inlet from the primary boiler into that fitting, or would I be better off putting another fitting in the lid and have a tube running down the inside to the bottom of the pot?

    I am also planning on lagging it to stop heat loss. I had a thought that maybe I could put a camping stove under it and then when the primary boiler reaches the right temperature and starts feeding into the thumper turn the stove on to bring the thumper up to temp quicker, then once its at temp turn the heat off and let it run off parasitic heat from the primary boiler. Is this a good idea or could it be unsafe and cause issues?

    Also I am planning on using this set up to experiment with some different rum recipes so wouldn't have any low wines from previous runs to charge it with. Would people suggest just filling it with water or could I put some neutral in there?

    Ultimately I will experiment with how to use it but just wanted peoples opinions in case something I have suggested (like heating with the camp stove) is a bad idea and could cause safety issues.

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  • leave the tap - it makes it easy to empty. run the inlet tube down from the lid. Insulation is good. Run off parasitic heat, it won't take that long to come to temp. fill it with water or wash for the 1st run, then save some low wines to use for the 2nd run

  • Looks great mate. I wish I could get one.

  • I have a question. Never quite understood this.

    Why would I use a thumper instead of just using a simple plate? What am I getting from a thumper beyond additional rectification?

  • edited August 27

    @Fiji_Spirits said: I have a question. Never quite understood this.

    Why would I use a thumper instead of just using a simple plate? What am I getting from a thumper beyond additional rectification?

    A bit more versatile.

    *No need for forced reflux.

    • capacity for flavor infusions.

    • Can use thumper to strip grain in beer to virtually eliminate scorching.

    Is what comes to mind.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • @Smaug I hadn't thought about using it to strip grain.

    One of my frustrations is that for all grain mashes I cant distill on the grain as my boiler has immersion elements. At the moment I remove the grain before doing a stripping run to avoid scorching. How do you think it would go if I added the grain from the fermenter into the thumper during stripping runs?

  • @Smaug said: strip grain in beer

    So how would I do this? Put the mash into the thumper then run simple steam thru the boiler?

  • Yep.

    Primary kettle is your steam generator

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • Thumpers make magic when you are talking about funky rum

  • edited August 28

    Was toying with the idea of adapting my glass kegs for use as a thumper. Though not practical because of heat loss, it offers a visual observation capability.

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  • Glass is a better insulator than stainless, no?

  • @grim said: Glass is a better insulator than stainless, no?

    Yes.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • @richard. I love the glass Stainless keg. Just when you think you have seen how those things can be used in a thousand different ways someone surprises you.

  • @richard, out of curiosity, did you make or buy that glass keg? It's way cool

  • I make them and sell within breweries. It's a glass test keg, and with it you visually monitor the entire keg cleaning and filling process.

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