Moving from a 50L to 100L Setup

I make Gin. Its a crude 50L keg = 2" tri-clamp into a 2" to 3" adapter - then into a 3" column - 90° bend, reduced to 1" another 90° bend and into a 1" liebig.

I run 2 x 2kW elements at full for heat-up (around 40 minutes) and then dial power to 3kW for the run, both to allow separation and as the liebig can just cope with 3.2kW or so unless I have a crazy flow rate.

So the 100L is a milk can, 4" tri-clamp on top.

I can install 2 x 3kW and use my current power installation just fine.

Am I best to stick to running 2 x 3kW for heat-up and then switch ones off for the run? That way I don't need change the liebig.

Or ditch the liebig and get a shotgun condenser and run 4.5 or more kW?

I guess what I am asking is what is the optimum running power (not heat-up as I am limited to 6kW) for a 100L boiler and 3" pot still? because if it's more than 3kW I need to swap out that liebig.

My rig is ugly so I have no problem upgrading things.. but I need to be able to justify the spend more than making her perdy.

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Comments

  • There's one definitive way to find out.

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

  • There's no rulebook, so none of us could state X is the optimum. all our situations vary as do our constraints and objectives.

    swapping out the liebig to a bigger condenser will not only allow you to throw more power at it, but also increase the take off rate ie reduce your run time.

    Only you can answer the questions of if you want to upgrade and why would you do it.

  • edited June 15

    By the sounds your total power and condenser are the weak points. Its all modular so in the end i think you will be swapping both but you can do it slowly or one hit. Totally depends on the cash flow - as most things. A 100 l boiler would be nice as thats what i need but cant drink all i make from my existing setup any way so hard to justify. My 50 l has 9 kw heating so thats over the top but sure kills the heat up time.

    Just chip away at it with a bit of a plan and buy well in every instance so no wasted purchases.

  • There must be some kind of equation or experience to be garnered from when gin flavour compounds "muddy or merge" with my current setup I can distinctly separate my flavours throughout the run and isolate the different flavour compounds.

    My fear is that I throw 6kw into a 3" column and I cant separate the earthy flavours that come at the end of a run and isolate them from the rest of my run.

    Yes i could buy everything and trial it but I want to avoid wasting money.

  • I'm suggesting (and others are too) that you plug it all into your new boiler as it is and see how you go before spending any money.

    Theory won't tell you what's going to happen, but it's simple as anything to see. Everyone,s rig is different and no-one has one the same as yours.

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

  • That's a solid suggestion. I just love to plan.

  • You will still be able to identify when various gin flavour compounds come throughout when running more power &/or a bigger condenser. The different flavour compounds will always come off at their desired point eg strong pine / juniper first and rich earthy notes at the end. With more power they will simply come through sooner.

  • that's not what I have learnt and read tbh.. more power to an extent gives sufficient energy to allow the heavier components that are normally seen toward the end of the run to merge with the lighter ones.

    And in this I may have answered my own question.. if I am not changing my column diameter why would I be able to use more power....

    I have run at 4kw in the past on my column and the earthier components did muddle and compromise the run... but then my column is very strange as you can see so if i got rid of the restrictive aspects (everything left of the SS male:male adaptor on the horizontal) it could change the whole ballgame.. and that is where I think I will start.. get me a female 90 degree elbow to TC adaptor (if they exist) and then into a long 2" shotgun from SD and take it from there.. minimal outlay and I can play with power.

    Edited by @Moonshine: Link removed b/c of forum rules

    Play with it: power settings. If you go too fast, taste becomes flat, one dimensional. Tune it down (by power management) and within just a few seconds, you may find the taste appealing again. Multi-faceted, interesting, complex. Playing with energy input, speed of run, and vapor speeds does not only allow you to make better tasting gin (lower speeds for better gin), it also allows you to go deeper into the Tails oriented department without the associated tastes becoming too overpowering. In other words: you can use more of the GNS to actually make more great tasting gin. End temperature based on gas temperature entering the column? Between 94.5 and 96 degrees C. The slower you go, on the last part of the run, the deeper you can go, without compromising on overal taste.

    I am happy to hear arguments to the contrary though.

    I can't test it specifically on my rig with 4kw but on my new boiler I dont want to find this out after spending the money on an upgraded shotgun and all the other bits i would need.

    (BTW I am available for graphic design work if anyone is interested)

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  • And do not forget to have the column stabilise before doing any take off.

    But having a look to your column you have no RC or am I missing something.

  • Its essentially a pot still

  • Just curious @needmorstuff , what flowrate cl/h do you have with your 50L?

  • around 4 litres an hour or so.. it's just changed though as my element contacts were dirty and after cleaning them up my heatup time went from 40 minutes to 25!

  • more like 5.5 litres per hour.

  • so in the end I have ordered a 100 litre milk can, 3" SS spool into a 2" 180 degree, then into a 2" shotggun and mini surge breaker with 12mm hose outlet. 2 x 3kw... i can dial down 1 element with a power regulator if needed..

    I just noticed on a run with my current configuration (with my clean contacts) that i had to reduce power to 3kw for the last part of the run to rid the distillate of the more earthier notes... this allowed me to go deeper into the last of the run. Temp at top of the column was around 94.5c when i turned it off.

  • N_D
    edited June 19

    @needmorstuff said: more like 5.5 litres per hour.

    Regarding that you say that you dont like to go to fast this sounds quite fast to me? We are running 50L boiler with 2 x3kw, temperature "controlled" by a PI regulator in the software. The power to the two heaters are controlled by SSR´s with PWM output from the controller. From running lots of Gain-Schedules to find the correct parameters we now can begin the run putting in desired temperature. If i start the run putting in 84 degrees celcius, power never goes over 54% and at start of collection power is around 20%, this gives us an average collection rate at 240cl/hour or less.

    This just made me scratch my head since i some runs experience the taste one dimensional and our rate is way lower than yours.

    How much do you charge your boiler with and at what abv?

  • 12.5l Ngs @ 96% topped.up to about 40litres

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