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First impressions Dash 1

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First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:14 am

Finally I could place my hands on the Dash 1, who was waiting already a few weeks on me .
What a nice piece of equipment !!
As for distilling i still have a long way to go, but about welding-constuction, I have 25+ years experience.
Am I lucky I didn't start building one myself ! ..... and for that price !!
Made a cleaning run and a sacrificial run which is looking very promising.
I installed a thermometer just before the product condensator and one on top of my boiler and did some plumbing.
I have a 80 L panela-molasses-dunder (20 %) wash going on.
The dunder is the 5th gen. and I had it here 2 months airtight. What a wonderfull smell came from that dunder. I'm sure
it will help for flavor. I cooked the panela in the dunder.
The dunderpit I had just with a towel over it I tossed in the river.
It was smelling and looking too much "chemical Ali "
Tomorrow I buy 80 L of cane juice.
Later I will put more results, for now it is kids time, after being 6 weeks from home !
Here a few pics from the project.

wash.JPG

photo 1[1].JPG
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby FullySilenced » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:41 am

OOH Moscca what a nice set up you have... looks like your ready to make it happen.... Congrats!
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Hawk » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:02 pm

Looks pretty slick there man!
"You only have power over people so long as you don't take everything from them. Once you've robbed them of everything, they're no longer in your power. They're free again."

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i tantum flama unum
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Philter » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:31 pm

I like the way you have plumbed the still Mosca - gives me some ideas :)

Your boiler looks bigger than the standard keg size, and nicely polished too.
StillDragon Dash 2
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Swede's PWM / PID Controlled Boiler
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:10 pm

Thanks guys,

Tomorrow I'll make my first real run, 80 L rum wash !!
I made the set up so I can easily brake down and build up my still.
Takes 2 min. I remove the hoses on the still side, loosen the clamp under the dephlegmator so it stays rather balanced to dismantle.
Then I take of the column, flush it on both sides, let it drip out and place it in the sun till it's completly dry.
If I keep it on the boiler, there stays always water and vapour inside.

@ Philter : it's a new 26 gallon MileHigh distilling boiler
Arrived pretty damaged, 3 bumps and it felt on his top opening so on one side it was 1 cm lower.


M.
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Philter » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:54 pm

Fester wrote:
Philter wrote:I like the way you have plumbed the still Mosca - gives me some ideas :)


I saw that too. It's a really nice way to tame the tangle of hoses and those gate valves would be a nice addition to my personal Dash.
Very well done, Mosca.


This is what I love about this community - an idea or different approach, can be shared with so many :P

Moscca wrote:it's a new 26 gallon MileHigh distilling boiler
Arrived pretty damaged, 3 bumps and it felt on his top opening so on one side it was 1 cm lower.
M.


Shame about the damage, but still looks great!
StillDragon Dash 2
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:16 pm

Typed in all my conclusions, which takes me some time in English and when I pressed Submit it was all gone !!
This is not the first time, I had to log in again !
Is there a time limit of posting ?
:evil: :evil:


M.
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Azframer » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:32 pm

Moscca wrote:Typed in all my conclusions, which takes me some time in English and when I pressed Submit it was all gone !!
This is not the first time, I had to log in again !
Is there a time limit of posting ?
:evil: :evil:


M.

you and I are having same problem, I got some malware I think and trying to find it now.
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby FullySilenced » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:36 pm

i just hit the screen back button till i see the page come up again then resubmit it..

if i double post i delete one of them...
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:44 pm

I did that but the box was empty !

Will post tomorrow, Good night, thanks anyway !



M.
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:01 am

Ok, with 2 trial runs finished now I can only say … what a machine !!

Run n° 1:

Boiler charge 75 L
Heated up at 40 SCFH (I put a flow meter on the gas cyl, gives me better control)
20 min reflux
Took off the fore shots @ 93 % and then my alcohol meter jumped up and down between 80 and 90 %.
And me trying to tune, dephl. cooling water and gas up and down, with no much result.
Here I learned the first lesson: KEEP YOUR HANDS IN YOUR POCKETS.

At the end it was going better but then it was over.
No problem, I threw everything back in the boiler with some feints.

I had a night to think it over and decided to run with more heat.
On my first run I run at 20 SCFH. The stream of the down comers was regulary interrupted.

Run n° 2:

Boiler charge 80 L – after 55 min. full reflux on all the plates
Gas 23; Boiler temp 85 C.
20 min reflux and then dephl. cooling down.

Gas up to 26 SCFH
Cooling water 45 C ; temp above condenser 74 C ; Alcohol 93 %
I made some small adjustments to have a 91 % distillate.

This kept going steady on …. and my hand in my pockets.
What I see is that the breeze plays some role. During the breeze the off take slows down and you see the level on the plates rising a bit … but it stabilizes itself later.
Just make no adjustments !

I was taking off @ +/- 4L/h

The boiler temp creeps slowly up till 96 C at the end.
I let him do his thing, at the end you see it takes more time to keep that ABV up.
At ABV 85 % I turned down the cooling and 1 L further I had 20 % .


I took 26 X 400 ml off.

I could not really see when the tails were coming in, maybe it was the moment when my condenser temp started going up and down.
Most of the run he stayed steady 74 C.
At the end when the off take fluctuates, the temp. above the condenser follows that rhythm.

But something is still bothering me, the temp of the dephl. cooling being so low (around 43 C)
I read on the AD forum on one of Harry’s topics the temp should be between 80-85.
I also think I can run without using the bypass condenser cooling outlet.
There is enough water passing through the dephl. to cool the product condenser.
I seems that you only need it when you close the cooling of the dephl.
The first hour I was not using it, when I did later, I had to adjust the dephl. cooling a bit.
Here I saw that you can better fine tune the dephl. cooling with the valve at the produst cooler.
That gate valve is not precise enough, but I can’t find a needle valve here.

If somebody could let shine his light on this matter I would be most grateful.

I think tomorrow I can run my 80 L of cane juice




A very happy M.
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby FullySilenced » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:33 am

Whatever makes Coop's BOAT float :-o I am in favor of seriously .... ya think he may have a little perfectionist in him somewhere? Good job on the primer sir...
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:34 am

Thanks for the answers guys !
I will let this settle down a bit.
But something comes straight up is that I took off at 91% at 1 gallon/h, dephl. cooling temp. 43° C.
IMHO, if I want to reduce the take off I have 2 options :

- more dephl. cooling > less take off > higher ABV >> lower dephl. temp

- less heat input > less reflux > less take off >> lower dephl. temp

@ Cooperville : my depgl. is fed on top by the outlet of the product cooler. On this I have a bypass with valve to regulate the product condenser output.
I see that your dephl. has the cooling in from below and exit on top and separate from the product condenser.
What temperatures are you reading ?



M.
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:04 am

I do the same Coop, fine tune with my valve on the product condenser output.
More precise, especially with my gate valves.

With my first run I had temperatures in the 60°C

I replumbed the cooling so the outputs are separate, so I can see what is really coming through.

My 3rd run tomorrow will certainly clarify more.



M.
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:01 am

Here the results of my 3rd run of 80 L cane juice.

I had 2 main goals, taking off @ 3+ L and getting at higher dephl. cooling water temp.
Because I was trying to achieve those objectives, the run resulted harder then n° 2.
I started with a lower heat input and for a while I reached 55° C, but what I tried to maintain it there, I could not maintain the column in a good equilibrium.
My lower plates were sometimes not working (not bubbling). This then gave me a lower ABV.
I worked steadily my way up (power) to make the column work and came to the same stetting as my previous run.
I start getting a feeling for it, the plates need a certain amount of power to get good filled and bubbling to separate the fractions and to produce a high ABV.

That setting is with me 26 SCFH LPG for a 80 L charge.

Then I can fine tune my take off with regulating the amount of dephl. cooling.
But … no way to get 60° C.
@ 4 L take off > 43-45°C > 90-91 %
@ 3+ L take off > 40-41°C > 92-93 %
I think the only way to achieve higher cooling water temp. is to have a higher water temp. input in the dephl.
Even @ 4 L take off , the product condenser needs no extra cooling, the water going through the dephl. is enough.
So I’m considering 2 things :
- putting a smaller product condenser.
- rerun a part of the dephl. water outlet (with a valve to control)

This is all off course IMHO, correct me where I’m wrong !


Something else I was considering is that I may have too much water pressure, and playing a bit with this.



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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:36 am

Let me explain that I am not trying to take off at this high rate.
It was something that came naturally, when I was finding the drive for my column.
On my second run I found two settings for my heat input and cooling that my column was doing it alone.
My plates were always nice full, bubbling and I had a nice continuous pencil stream at my down comers, maching the take off.
I was taking at 500 ml intervals and when I starting to check the take off time, I was also surprised for the rate, although I read the topic on drilling the down comers to 4 mm.

I am not looking for max. purity, I want max. flavor.
And I was told that 90 % was the sweet point for flavor.

I see that most people have a 15 gallon boiler, mine is 26 gallon.
Can this be a reason my distiller tends to work nice at that rate.

Some other things I’m considering is to relocate my thermometer just above the dephl.
Now I have it above the product condenser and it is unstable to read due to cooling from the sea breeze.
Also I will bring the parrot a bit further away from the boiler since I distill with gas.

@ smaug : I didn’t know there was somebody rerunning his cooling water.
I made already some plan to do it and that I still can get the air out of my system-

Feliz Fiestas,

M.
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:18 pm

I was thinking of rerunning some water from the outlet of my dephl. again to the inlet of de dephl. with a control valve and a one way valve.
The inlet (on top) from my dephl. comes from my product condenser.
Don't ask my why, but I really see some sence in Harry's topic on AD that we running it to cold.
The alcohol vapors reach 78 degrees and then suddenly they come in comtact with the cold (40-45) temp of the dephl.
I think this disturbs the fine working of my column.
This is of course MHO of a beginner.


M.
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:09 pm

:idea: :idea:

Didn't think on that solution !!
In a few days will have 320 L to distill, so I will give this a try.
Thanks Smaug.
Will post the results.

By the way, my last distillation turned out to be MUCH better, even had a few bottles at Xmas with some friends, and that without oaking !!

I just was neglecting a bit the cutting, should put more time in making cuts,
Was putting all my attention to fermenting and distilling that I overlooked a bit the cutting part.



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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:59 am

Hi everybody !
Back at work, so have more time to spend behind the computer.
Especially since my iPad was stolen it is a strange feeling to have to go back to the office and to sit behind a computer.
I had now 6 weeks to try out my Dash 1 and it was a lot of fun.
Much easier to handle then I thought.
2 things I have to change:

- Better isolation: I live 200m from the see and the breeze is making my still to cycle.
- Constant water flow: as I see how very small adjustments have a great impact on the process.

In my quest to make the best r(h)um ever ;-) ;-) I have made a lot of progress.
I am trying out different mixtures for my ferments (molasses – panela – cane juice – brown sugar).
Besides I tried them also pure to see the flavor each produce.
Also did a water test. I was using bottled water at the end but went back to tap water.
I saw no change whatever.
Something I remarked that with pure brown sugar is that you have much less tails.
For the moment the 50-50 panela – molasses is my favorite.
Just filled my first 3 gallon, used oak barrel with this rum.
Another pleasant finding was my rhum. I bought a 50 $ bottle Jamaican rhum and there was no difference with mine!!!! Imagine!!
I was just not used to the fruited flavors of a pure cane juice rhum.
And the truth, I’m not so fond of it. Maybe I have to get used to it. Or used in cocktails.
I think it will get much better when it is a time on French toasted oak.

Thanks everybody for all the advice.
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby FullySilenced » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:28 am

Mini, I think he was actually saying why the heck did i spend 50 bucks on that rum..... :roll:
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:54 am

Just made my first run this time and what a difference.
I put 2 canvases of 4 m2 to cover the still from the sea breeze. Now it runs completely by itself. After the heads some small adjustments and … voila
Just waited to till the alcohol meter was lifting a bit, 5-10 min back in reflux, took again a few jars (400ml) at 91-93° and then when he starts lifting again it’s over.
Have to do some more plumbing, installing an automatic float vent, a water pressure regulator … so it will only getting better.

I run a panela-molasses ferment of 80 L. After the ferment I let it sit for 1 week, racked it in another vessel and let it sit for 2 more weeks. This was just something I wanted to try. As from what I can tell just now after distilling is that I have more flavors.
I was surprised how much sediment I still found the second time I racked it. (Beige color)
This will be standard procedure for my rum ferments.

Next week I’m going inland to visit La empresa asociativa campesina El Milagro, some artisanal producers for brown sugar and panela.
I’ m looking for what they call here “miel de caña”. This is syrup made from cane juice.
Also I will try to find better molasses, the one I have now is fermenting slow, I suspect there is something added to prevent fermenting.

Now I found a panela supplier where I pay 30 $ for 50 kg


More news later …



M.

Here some pics, of my aging rum, some cane I planted ang my new fermenter.
photo.JPG

photo 2.JPG

photo 1.JPG
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby DuckofDeath » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:26 am

Looks awesome! I agree with your letting the wash settle a little longer. I used to run mine but I now let it sit for an additional 3-4 days and let it clear even more. I love the color your rum has become, good work!
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:48 am

Thanks DoD,
I was wondering if I should rack it, I mean I leave it unopend it is good protected against infections with the CO2 on top, if I rack it in another vessel I loose the CO2 protection.
Don't know if leaving the yeast so long in it will be harmfull ?
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby DuckofDeath » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:48 am

I havent had a problem. I rack it into 6 gallon glass carboy's and then put a bubble lock on it. I havent gotten an infection yet. Knock on wood.
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:08 am

d1.JPG

d3.JPG


This is my new setup, way more simple then before.
I have only two valves now and a Watts pressure regulater.
I put an air bleeder on the dephleg., works really fine.
I ran it now with no thermometers at all because I couldn't fine SS fittings here. But is seems no problem at all. Maybe I leave it this way.
I ran it now with the short product condenser from SD and now my cooling water is between 50 and 60°.
I run it slower now, that can be also the reason for my hotter cooling water.
Next run I use the large model again to see the difference.


M.
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Stainless dude » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:20 am

Nice setup Moscca, the way your going you'll become the rum master... :obscene-drinkingcheers:
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:46 am

Coop , it's a Watts Brass & Tubular #FV-4M1 1/8 1/8" Auto Vent Valve
I bought it on Amazon, 13 $.

M.
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Re: First impressions Dash 1

Postby Moscca » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:29 pm

@ Fester : -1 for the socks :grin:
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