Running Just a Packed Column

Is anyone running a packed column, no bubble sections for Vodka/azetrope? What column size are you using width/height and are you using a SD Dephlegmator at the top of the column, before the product condensor?

Comments

  • It was done this way for years before trays got cheap enough for hobby stills.

  • Sure, I know that, but trays don't seem to be much improvement. If they are (at the hobby level and for Vodka), i cannot find their advantage.

  • edited May 6

    Trays do not offer an advantage with respect to the "What system makes the cleanest vodka" question within the context of ceiling height restrictions and other variables that hobby guys have to consider and I do apologize for the run on sentence......

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • edited May 6

    But if your after a vodka that has a bit more,,,,,complexity maybe is a good word? Or perhaps a bit more of a textured mouth feel rather than a more insipid, thin mouth feel,,,,then perhaps a plated column is a better tool? It's really up to the end users point of view.

    Not everybody prefers their vodka to taste like ethanol. And some evidently do.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • on a 2" system that goes drip, drip, drip... packing is just fine.... well, until you puke it, and you will puke it.... I even saw small commercial distilleries using a half dozen 2" x 6' column stills a few years back in Boulder, CO...

    Now, even before you consider the cost increase for filling a 4" or larger tube 6-10 foot long (and the weight of copper), cost is an advantage the first time you have to replace the 2" packing.. as well as height... also, as you get wider, distribution through-out the packing is impossible to achieve, but with plates it is...

    I encourage you to try both ways and do a write up... I am confident that 4-8 plates with a reflux condenser to keep them loaded and a packed section on top of that will be your favorite way... heck - I have 26 8" plates in a crystal dragon and am still adding some copper above the reflux condenser in a 8" x 20" section to see if I can tweak it just little bit better...

  • @CothermanDistilling said: 4-8 plates with a reflux condenser to keep them loaded and a packed section on top of that

    Ooops. I've got a massive mis-understanding. Is the assembly sequence supposed to be Plates, then Dephlegmator, then Packed Section, then Bend, then Product Condenser?

  • edited May 6

    No Dephlegmator (reflux condenser) at the very top....then your bend.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • well, here are some threads of doing it the other way... all you really need to do is keep the plates flooded, the packed section may not gain from that high of a liquid amount flowing down through it...

  • Modular, the options are endless.

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

  • Flidget, I still use a packed column for making neutral spirit. The column is 2 x 600mm sections of 2" stainless steel spool packed with stainless steel scrubbers. Modular is definitely the way to go for checking out reflux column configurations. I have tried CM, VM and now stick with CCVM for my neutral spirit and yes azeo from spirit runs from low wines. I have used the SD Big Baby shotgun condenser as a RC in the VM setup but now use it for the PC in my CCVM and pot still set up. I use a CSST coil for the RC in my CCVM. I am being lazy using all the acronyms, sing out if you need me to put it in to plain language!

  • @kimbodious said: I have tried CM, VM and now stick with CCVM for my neutral spirit and yes azeo from spirit runs from low wines. I have used the SD Big Baby shotgun condenser as a RC in the VM setup but now use it for the PC in my CCVM and pot still set up. I use a CSST coil for the RC in my CCVM. I am being lazy using all the acronyms, sing out if you need me to put it in to plain language!

    Hi, Not sure about these two - CCVM? CSST? Thanks.

  • No probs, CCVM condenser controlled vapour management reflux colum still; you control the amount of vapour exiting the offtake by either raising or lowering a moveable condenser coil near or even over the offtake. CSST - corrugated stainless steel tubing - very flexible and light and so easy for twisting into a coil for in my case the CCVM.

  • edited May 8

    Some pics would help him Kimbodious if you have some.

    Valveless VM column like “dad300” @ AD

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

  • I use a VM column to make the base spirit for my gin. No one has ever accused it of having insipid, thin mouthfeel. (maybe I'm doing it wrong?) ;)

    “Do I have to explain everything? Can’t you just be amazed and move on?”

  • CSST corrugated stainless steel tubing twisted to make Reflux Condenser, a moving one, for my CCVM condenser controlled vapour management reflux colum still. Two yellow zipties to mark settings for the RC. When the topmost zipties become visible at the top edge of the column, we should be at full reflux. When the lower ziptie become visible at the top edge of the column roughly 50% of the vapour is coming across to the PC.

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  • This is a diagram, I think by DAD300, about how moving the RC down over the offtake affects how much vapour exits

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  • Lastly, my condenser controlled vapour management reflux colum still. This still a so easy to run and the SD sightglass give me lots of reassurance when I am worried I might be flooding the column. I am getting about 1.8 litres per hour at azetrope or thereabouts. The SD Big Baby is the PC on both my pot still and this still.

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  • @kimbodious Wow impressive, a bit out of my league at the moment.

  • I bought a part each pay fortnight, ask Punkin, cost me a fortune in p&h but it was worth the time involved, meanwhile I was reading, learning.

  • @Kapea said: I use a VM column to make the base spirit for my gin. No one has ever accused it of having insipid, thin mouthfeel. (maybe I'm doing it wrong?) ;)

    Merly using an expression from one of the old gents from the ivory tower.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • Thanks Kimbodius that is the pic i was after, flidget there is not a lot too it once the insulation is taken away. It's a very cheap way to make neutral on a small scale.

    Yep, the beauty of modular. I have lots of customers who buy like that. I have a couple that have been buying like that for 5 years :))

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

  • It is fair to say I have so embraced the modular system of still construction that my still is my love-child.

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