StillDragon® Community Forum

Welcome!

Be part of our community & join our international next generation forum now!

In this Discussion

Newbie trying to figure out Plates

Hello all,

just joined the forum, been reading up on flutes and plates. Wanting to put together a plated column with the StillDragon 4" tees made of stainless steel. Not sure if I want perfs or caps. Wanting to make whiskeys so I want some flavor carry through. Was wondering if anyone is using the StillDragon stainless steel perforated plates and how they are working, little confused about them because I've read other place that the plates have to be copper. Was also curious about the regular bubble caps vs. ProCaps.

Thanks

«1

Comments

  • others will chime in for sure..

    My $0.02 - if you want to run a 15-26 gal boiler, get a dash1, 4 regular bubble plates... if you are thinking about a 50-100 gallon boiler, do a 5" with 4 ProCap plates... your only regret will be not getting one sooner....

  • I have a 4" dash with 6 perf plates and it works great for me I am going to get the bubble caps later just because I want them too. If your worried about copper in the vapor path I put copper mesh in my dephl to help knock the vapor down and for the copper.

  • Cotherman- I'm only going the 15- 26 gallon boiler route, just a hobby for me. So your saying bubble plates are the way to go for some flavor?

    Chalmer- your running just the copper mesh at the top with no off flavor, I thought you needed more copper in the column, it's good to hear you don't. I take it with 6 plates, your primarily running vodkas? Have you tried to get flavor carry through?

  • 3 or 4 plates will make whiskey with flavor unless you run the dephleg really hard during take-off... I went from a 2" PDA-1 to a dash1 and it was night and day... I should have done it a year sooner... the first time the plates load, you will giggle..

    more... bubble caps in general can run at much lower power and up to nearly the same power as perf plates... Regular vs ProCap is a function of how many you can properly fit, the regular ones fit the 4" and multiple ProCaps start being the go to at 5"...

  • I have a rum thats about ready to run. Im going to strip it then a spirit run thru 4 plates. Hopefully I can get it done in the next few weeks. What I have been running is a ujssm and it still has some of the corn and malt flavor but not too much. Everyone that has tried what I make has liked it so far. The last run I did I was taking off at 5 to 6 liters per hour.

  • @flutefly if this is your first time at plates you'll find the bubble caps the way to go. Bubble cups are like driving an automatic, perf plates are like driving a manual. I'd suggest the 4 plate bubble cap route proposed by those above.

    Cheers,

    Mech.

  • Welcome to our extraordinary community, @flutefly. Need to ping @Sadi, he is our grandmaster on regular bubble sections and perforated plates even in a mixed environment in his 4" Crystal Dragon / Crystal Stripper. I'm sure you will find all the info here in our midst.

    Your Place to be >>> www.StillDragon.org <<< Home of the StillDragon® Community Forum

  • edited October 2014

    I thought you needed more copper in the column, it's good to hear you don't.

    Just put some copper in the bottom of the boiler. A scrubber big enough to fit in the column will do. You can use solid pieces but a scrubber will not damage the elements if it hits them while you are cleaning or moving the pot..

  • That's assuming you have a wash with sulfites in them that needs removing. A clean wash will not need it.

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

  • Thanks for all the input everyone, been reading through the forum, lots of info.

  • @punkin said: That's assuming you have a wash with sulfites in them that needs removing. A clean wash will not need it.

    On a hobby level, the chances of Sulphur in your wash?

  • edited October 2014

    Depends on the wash, but can you smell or taste in your distillate?

    There's a lot of detail here on all barley wash;

    The Impact of Copper in Different Parts of Malt Whisky Pot Stills on New Make Spirit Composition and Aroma (PDF) @ Wiley Online Library

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

  • Poor yeast husbandry and fermentation control are how you get sulfur problems.

  • @grim said: Poor yeast husbandry and fermentation control are how you get sulfur problems.

    or distilling wine that had sulfites added!.. but I would like to see a specific thread with adding copper to mostly stainless systems!

  • I think that would be an interesting thread and helpful to a lot of new people

  • edited March 27

    would a perforated plated modified to use a ProCap have any benefits over the standard down comer/ perforated plate combo?

  • likely would not work...

  • edited March 27

    @CothermanDistilling said: likely would not work...

    please elaborate? I was hoping to use ProCap plates and plug 2 of the holes with steel wool, creating a perforated plate, would this idea work with bubble plates and a downcomer?

  • What is wrong with the plates as we designed them? Tell us what behavior you are trying to cure and we may be able to help.

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

  • Absolutely nothing wrong! I am just wondering how different configurations would perform and if one could use a bubble plates as a perforated plates if the holes are plugged, my idea was to buy as many bubble plates as i could afford with the least amount of bubble caps to run a successful setup and to invest in more bubble caps later on, when i have more money available.

  • edited March 27

    I think we designed them to be at the peak. We have perforated plates if you want more affordable, the downcomers are more affordable than the ProCaps, yet your original question was swapping the standard downcomers that are designed to work on those plates with a more expensive ProCap which was not designed with that idea in mind.

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

  • thank you, back to the drawing board for me

  • Speed wise in the 4” the ProCaps are the fastest of StillDragon offerings. Yes they are even faster than rashig rings. The perf plates are cheap and work well enough but are slower.

    If one wanted cheap and fast, get the perf plates and drill the holes about 0.5mm larger. I have some perf plates from another maker with this size hole (~1.5-2.5mm) and i run them with the ProCaps in my column at the same speed.

    Honestly the ProCaps are just very well designed and work phenomenally well. They are really worth getting even one plate worth and using a packed column until you can afford more. It’s worth it in the long run.

  • @Fijispirits, How do you know how fast you can run? Sorry if this is an ignorant question.

  • By collecting a measure of distillate within a specific period of time.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • Not what I meant but then again I think there are too many variables involved for me to even phrase the correct question. I believe the answer is probably practice anyway!

  • with a given heat source, such as a single heating element, and no plates, measure the distillate in 36 seconds.. say it is 100ml multiply by 100 and you have the hourly rate that heat can produce, in this case 10L/hr.

    if you have electric heat and can exactly double it, do so and measure... say you get 300ml.. That is 30L/hr... but you notice is in not double, it is more... graph it on a chart, or do some math, and you will see that you lost 100ml of production capacity in the first element... this is your system's passive reflux. In the case of the one elment example, you refluxed 100ml, and captured 100ml so you had 1:1 reflux ratio... with 2 elements, you have a 1:3 reflux ratio..

    now put in you plates and such and your reflux ratio is (amount you reflux):(amount you capture)

  • edited March 29

    @fiji_spirits: do you run the perf. plates together with a ProCap or a regular downcomer?

  • also, to come back to one of my questions, could i successfully run a copper plate with holes plugged with steel wool as an over exaggerated perforated plate?

  • edited March 28

    I think you could. But to what end? Better finished product? Likely not. Faster collection speed? Likely not.

    There has been lots of experimentation over the past few years. Fact, that's much of what helped the StillDragon model. So not trying to damper your thought process. It's just that I don't think anyone has exactly tried what you are propossing? Therefore I don't think you'll get a straight answer. You'll likely need to supply the group with the answer to your question.

    May I ask how many batches of alcohol have you run over the course of your involvement with distilling?

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

Sign In or Register to comment.