Hi. Is the second run off a regular pot still equivalent to a first run using a Thumper (in terms of the taste and ethanol concentration achieved)? In other words, can using a Thumper take the place of that second run? Thank you in advance of your reply. J. Pepper.
I believe a thumper equates to roughly about 1.5x distillation. It's really it's own animal though.
You will produce a dramatically fuller flavor off a thumper compared to a spirit run from low-wines. If you use water in the thumper you'll get an extension of the hearts run, and if you use distiller's beer you will bump proof up a bit with less of an extension.
Thank you for the response, rtshfd. I'm going to have to revise my still's architecture sometime this summer to accommodate a Thumper and experiment a bit. Do you happen to know if filling the Thumper with an aqueous solution containing aromatic or flavor additives will provide the distillate with at least a hint of that flavor profile? Again, thanks. J. Pepper.
We use thumpers and really like the flavor profile they yield. You're definitely not going to skip a second run though, they're just not that efficient. Our stripping runs will yield about 30-40% abv, then we'll yield about 75% on our low wines run. You can absolutely use them to add flavors to your distillate, we run two thumpers in series and use the second thumper as a kind of gin basket for our botanicals. They're definitely not as efficient as a couple of plates and you'll be hard pressed to do a single pass anything but we've found them to be very versatile, and provide a flavor profile that we love. As with a lot of things in distilling, they're not THE way to make tasty product but they certainly are A way and if it fits with how you like to distill and yields a product you like then go for it.
Reply:On 6/2/2017 at 5:16 AM, rtshfd said:
Reply:On 6/15/2017 at 10:55 PM, PeteB said:
Are you doing a stripping run on a column, pot, or hybrid pot?
I've done doubler runs after a column and really appreciated the extra control of having a independent temperature control, whereas with a thumper you are adjusting your column temp to adjust the thumper temp/proof.
We currently run a thumper off our column and another thumper off our 500gal hybrid pot. We can elect to bypass the thumper on the hybrid and that has allowed us to taste the difference that it makes when we are running a single pass at 139* proof. It does have a significant cleansing effect on the spirit, but once again you just don't have the independent temperature/proof control that you get with a doubler, which is nice to have.
As far as charging the thumpers, we leave them charged with the tails of our previous run, but we are also running 6 days a week.
My big problem with thumper essentially came down to efficiency. A poor design could tax the energy needs of the system more than help it. What size system are we talking, whats its heat source, and how important are the energy efficiencies for you? You can also modify and design a multistaged thumper that is more efficient and thus more like a column if you were feeling saucy enough and had requisite skills.