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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Stripping Run Question

I'm curious as to how most peoples stripping runs are running time wise. Our stripping runs go very smoothly, but they always seem to run for about seven hours. We are using a 300 gallon still. Most every class I have attended said that stripping runs would average about 4 or 5 hours. I am wondering if I am just being overly cautious and running too slow, or if others have had their runs last this long. The distillate usually starts coming off at 110 proof and we run it down to about 40. We get good yield and good ABV and even gas costs are not a big concern. Our last bill was so low it surprised me.

I'm curious if there is a way to trim a couple hours off the process, or if the old saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" comes into play. Quite frankly, everything is great except the amount of time....especially if I want to do two stripping runs in one day. Any feedback would be appreciated.


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Why not try to run it as hard as your condenser can handle? I don't see the downside.


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How much time between turning on the still and seeing the first distillate drop off the parrot?

On my old steam still, I could strip a batch in 120-180 minutes. On the one I'm using now it's an all day thing.


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In my opinion run a stripping run as hard as is convenient. But depending on your mash, it may produce foam and puke if it boils too hard.

Puking and not condenser overload is my limiting factor with rye.

Pete


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It is all in the still design!


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I strip 900 gallons at 8.5-9% ABV down to <1% coming out of the still in 7 to 8 hours. After the hot break I incrementally ramp up the steam as much as I can. I take 1.5 hours to bring my wash to a boil in order to get the entire still hot; then another 1.5 or so hours waiting for the hot break.


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Never heard of a hot break...what is it for?


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Never heard of a hot break...what is it for?


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If you're pushing a foamy wash hard, antifoam helps. A sliver of soap in the wash does wonders, though commercial antifoams based on silicone or simethicone are available.


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an agitator helps speed things up a lot.

I saw a 150 gallon still with 250,000 but steam boiler and agitator do a stripping run in 2.5 hours. (Carl still)

side note turn the agitator up to 650-800 rpms


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In addition to running to the fastest the condenser can handle,we run down to the point we see waxy flakes coming from the parrot.


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A couple references in this string to the impact that the still design has on the efficiency and speed of the stripping run. Anyone have any specific recommendations with regards to still design or specific still builders that are better than others? To take it one step further, are there specific stills that effectively eliminate the need or benefits to doing a stripping run all together?


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How far are you all pushing your stripping runs? Are you running them until ALL alcohol is out or just to a certain proof/ ABV?


Reply:

an agitator helps speed things up a lot.

I saw a 150 gallon still with 250,000 but steam boiler and agitator do a stripping run in 2.5 hours. (Carl still)

side note turn the agitator up to 650-800 rpms


Reply:

It was when I was in Toronto, Canada at Still water distillery.

Super nice folks up there.

I could not tell you, I was not trying to be to nosey. I bet if you e-mailed them they would let you know. They had a 250,000 BTU three-phase electric steam boiler.

Take care.


Reply:On 8/1/2014 at 1:04 PM, Micah Nutt said:
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Pull back the throttle when the foaming starts, and stay with the still till u get through it. In my experience, rye is the worst to deal with. My rye foams pretty bad, but I can always get through it with heat management. It would puke all up in my column and cause a hazardous situation if I didn't manage it. Can take up to a 1/2 hour for me to get past it sometimes. That's just rye, as far as I've gotten to know it. 


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As Scrounge says cut the heat back as soon as foaming starts, then you should be able to increase again later. If your heat is way too high it can still foam even towards the end of the run when the protein issue should be well gone.

I have a lot more foaming problem with 100% malted barley wash than my rye, least problem is with apple and grape wine.

For anti-foam I use pure soap, about 2 grams per 100 litres


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Foaming on a molasses wash is pretty bad. I use a silicon anti foam which really seems to help. I'm assured that none of it passes through to the distillate. My understanding is that it's pretty common practice in larger distilleries even if they don't admit to it.


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Anti-foam here, too. Sometimes I add not quite enough, just dial it back until the foam breaks and gently bring it back up. I think multiple foam-ups happen when different proteins break down?

Stripping time is just a matter of size and power, our 90 gallon stills strip in 3 hours with 12 psi of steam passing through.