Am I running good/right?

edited October 2018 in General

Hi guys. Bc Canada here.

I’ve been makin rum for a few years now. This past year I tuned into vodka as the wife .... and myself like the fruity drinks on hot summer days. Long story short. A buddy and myself made a still 25 years ago. We made some whisky and rum. Just from info form the old guys in our lives at the time. We made the hooch. And after trying some (it ripped the enamel off your teeth) we gave the still away. (Had no idea about aging) Well I’ll be darned, the dam thing fell into my lap 20 years later. If ever there was communication from a higher power, this was it. (Make shine) was the message I got. The only original part on it now is the beer keg.

I now have a 2” tri-clamp column filled with marbles and 1/2” copper wrapped outside. With the biggest thermometer you ever saw on the top (reminds me of those rappers with the huge clock around there neck) the column is a good 3-1/2 feet tall then comes down to the secondary condenser and then to a parrot. I wanted to ask you guys about the way I run, if there is any reason I shouldn’t run the way I do.

(Spirit run) I start her up and let her heat up. Once it’s close to temp I turn on the secondary condenser to collect the fores. Once the fores are done I turn on the column. It never fails, 15-16 min a litre @ 93-94% when it takes 19-20 min/litre I turn her off and am left with 8-10% ABV in the keg. the total run time depends on the batch but the timing of the jars is always the same.

My cuts by nose always seems to be a third out of 24 jars 8-heads, 8-hearts, 8-tails; with the fores already tossed into lawnmower and the heads and tails get used next time. I then mix it down with equal parts distilled water (that I make after my cleaning run), just before my spirit run and run it through my home made charcoal filter (I make charcoal out of any natural wood I can find in my yard). I run the product through the filter at least 3 times, sometimes slow, some times fast (its adjustable) and I see no difference in product. More of a convenience to my schedule than anything. The stripping runs are done without the main column, like a pot still, I've converted my burner to nat gas to run off the house, it’s turned on full for entire runs, I’m guessing I got lucky with my build as it’s as trouble free as they come, and efficient judging by stories I’ve been reading online. Thus the questions about how I run.


  • If you cool the column from the outside and use marbles? No optimal as you will get reflux but it will tend to run down along the side of the column and not meet all vapours going up. You should try using one or two rings inside the column to center the dowmflux.

  • edited October 2018

    It will still not be optimal and i could say more (cooling only the top, using stabiles steal Wool and even insulate the bottom of the Colomn but your column seems to be quite modest, i would try the rings first) ring should have approx 1 inch opening if the total is 2. The ring should not leave to much space left at the Wall.

  • Stainless steel wool i meant, we dont need to steal the wool

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