Power Output vs Dephlegmator Temp Ratio

edited March 5 in Usage

Here's the setup:

26 Gallon bain-marie(water), 2x 5500w heating elements. 4 plates Crystal Dragon setup.

I followed the operation guide, and was wondering how do I know I'm putting too much or too little power? From the tests we've done, reducing the power output to 20% when it's time to start collecting and rising the temperature of the dephlegmator to 60c-65c gives us a controllable stream. Do the numbers seem OK? How can I know I'm using the ideal power output and dephlegmator temp ratio?



  • edited March 6

    I assume this is 4" column? What output rate are you seeing in L/hr running the way you do? 20% power for you would be 2.2kw. You could probably increase this.

    The way I run my 4" Crystal Dragon setup is at about 3.5kw adjusting the deph temp to be about 60c (like you have done)
    I then tweak the power and deph water flow slightly up/down to achieve a collection rate of about 3 liters/hr.

  • Yes it is indeed a 4" ProCap column. I never calculated the L/hr, will do next time. I tried one time to crank the power output past 30%, but my vapor temps went like 85c and ABV dropped near 75%, even if my deph was at 60c. I'm still trying to figure out the lag time between setting changes. Speaking of ABV, what is your ABV% takeoff rate with those setting of yours? I guess I can put it that way: what's the best "abv- deph temp-power output" ratio.


  • Don't most folks just do this?

    Work out the maximum power they can use whilst running in full reflux. Use a value of 80% or 90% of max during hearts. Run the still output by controlling the dephlegmator temperature.

    (Possibly use lower power during the heads phase.)

  • ^ Isn't that the definition of vapor management?

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

  • No seems to me Myles is suggesting a combination of cooling management and power management. IE running a plated column.

    Vapour management is controlling the amount of vapour that you allow to pass by use of a valve.

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

  • edited March 13

    Or the positioning of a reflux condenser coil in the vapor path.

    But your point is understood @punkin. You are right.

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

  • edited March 20

    What are you trying to produce? If its vodka or rum? If its vodka start collecting for next batch and dilute to wash strength for the next run when it gets bad? If not some tails should be there.

    Do not try to "rape" the column if it does not produce 90 + % or what you are trying to archive, that will only give you a very slow outtake, not worth it if its vodka, it can still be 40% + and will fit into next batch, diluted to 10% if you ask me.

    And PS you will see when then plates overflow if you have sight glasses, its probable at 2000W per ProCap or less, I have asked SD and they did not give me an accurate answer, a Baby Dragon seems to cope with 2400W uninsulated but max maybe 1800W pro ProCap suppose.

  • edited March 20

    I have 3 kW and I wanted a Baby Dragon.. difficult I suppose, it might just work but I suppose its 2 kW per cap.

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