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How much Water? How longs a Piece of String?

edited March 2016

So as you can guess from the title I realise this is potentially a very open ended question with lots of variables. As such I'm after a bit of advice in respect to your experiences rather than an equation that would shame the likes of Einstein. We're going to be running a 50% gin charge (200L) with a simple riser column (no plates), heated with 2 x 5.5KW elements (adjustable power output) and an SD 2" large condenser. I appreciate that heat up times, and duration of time to capture heads/hearts/tails come into play but roughly what volume of condensing water are we going to have to use. We're planning on having a supply tank to accommodate and changes in water pressure. What volumes are you getting through folks with your set ups?

Tagged:

• I recirculate the same 10 litres indefinitely.

• @jacksonbrown said: I recirculate the same 10 litres indefinitely.

Is that all??? Assuming you are running a small still or running your condensing water through a chiller.

• edited March 2016

I would say, roughly, 2-5x the volume of your still depending on the temperature of your cooling water. The 4" PC might allow you to get away with a tank nearer to the left side, than the right side, because you can push the maximum recirculation temperature a bit higher, or run your water flow a bit slower. A chiller would push you closer to the left as well.

I've seen numbers below 1.5x - but I suspect that they are running very large condensers and using single-pass ground water that is very cold - mid 50F.

Likewise, if you are OK with warmer distillate temps, you can go to the left as well. But that's usually a compromise, not a design decision.

With a small still like that, no reflux, you could probably get away with a 1/2-3/4 horsepower aquarium chiller and a tote, and never have to worry about cooling.

• edited March 2016

@grim said: I would say, roughly, 2-5x the volume of your still depending on the temperature of your cooling water. The 4" PC might allow you to get away with a tank nearer to the left side, than the right side, because you can push the maximum recirculation temperature a bit higher, or run your water flow a bit slower. A chiller would push you closer to the left as well.

I've seen numbers below 1.5x - but I suspect that they are running very large condensers and using single-pass ground water that is very cold - mid 50F.

Likewise, if you are OK with warmer distillate temps, you can go to the left as well. But that's usually a compromise, not a design decision.

With a small still like that, no reflux, you could probably get away with a 1/2-3/4 horsepower aquarium chiller and a tote, and never have to worry about cooling.

Shifting to a larger diameter condenser could be an option - I guess that as well as increased surface area an increased diameter would also have some impact on the speed that the vapour enters the condenser (slower?) Aquarium chiller could be an option, have used those brewing. Not familiar with a tote.
Could you clarify what you mean about left and right side.
Keen to keep distillate temps low. I've been in one distillery where the spirit coming off was warm to touch, the air was heavy with fumes!!