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Using a carter head to remove impurities in a wash

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Using a carter head to remove impurities in a wash

Postby flinderspeakstill » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:22 pm

Hi all,

My gin basket / carter head has been initiated. I did a run of old wine (12%) as a cleaning run and then a double distillation of a low wine (38%) to see how the equipment performed.
The still now works totally different to before. I now need slightly more pressure from the steam boiler to make it all work, but now it's a lot more controllable. Also require less reflux to make a decent flow, but doesn't seem to affect the alcohol percentage. Slightly higher efficiency than before.

My observations from the first run: the spirit came off a lot cleaner and almost 1% higher in alcohol than my previous runs performed in winter. Came off at 94%. The carter head collected approx. 3L of product that was only good for returning to the feints drum.

The second run was a little different . The collected product from the carter head had obvious oils in it and was of much better quality than the first run. Approx 4L collected. The product output was very clean and neutral, much less grapey than previous runs without the carter head.

So, is it possible that the carter head is capturing these impurities that would have otherwise gone through to the end product previously?
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Re: Using a carter head to remove impurities in a wash

Postby the Doctor » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:32 pm

I have been using the carter head packed with amorphous volcanic glass to run my vodka through...I agree there is definitely some effect.
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Re: Using a carter head to remove impurities in a wash

Postby FullySilenced » Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:09 am

Doc... Your using perlite?

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Re: Using a carter head to remove impurities in a wash

Postby the Doctor » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:27 am

yes mate I became interested when I heard that they were using glass to filter reyka vodka, we have been experimenting ever since. with pure glass beds and glass / carbon beds in the carter head.
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Re: Using a carter head to remove impurities in a wash

Postby kimbodious » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:31 pm

Am I correct in guessing condensation is occuring in the carter head with the lower purity product condensing at a greater rate? Towards the end of my one and only run, I didn't have a basket anymore in the carter head. The condensate I was drawing off the gin head smelled of tails yet the product at the output pipe didn't? :?:
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50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Using a carter head to remove impurities in a wash

Postby flinderspeakstill » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:33 am

Exactly what I was talking about. The run that I did had a little sumac spice in the wash. The carter head seemed to condense the sumac along with the yellowish colour, leaving the product nice and clean. I didn't have the basket installed either.
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Re: Using a carter head to remove impurities in a wash

Postby kimbodious » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:30 am

I guess this is the incidental reflux that happens in pot stills which would ordinarily return to the boiler but can't in the case of the offset chamber. I will test this out on the second of two stripping runs (neutral) with kale wash recipe.
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50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Using a carter head to remove impurities in a wash

Postby flinderspeakstill » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:30 pm

Incidental reflux, yes if the condensate can return to the pot, or it's acting like a plate with no downcomer if offset, so condensate is discharged manually. Could it be both?
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