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Offline cheesy rice  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, November 01, 2016 6:09:20 PM(UTC)
cheesy rice


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Hello everyone! This is my first post and as you'll quickly figure out a newbie to this hobby.
Tonight I learned what I guess is gonna be my first lesson... know the thermometer on your pot!

Why won't it get any hotter than 100? In my case that's because it's a Celsius thermometer. Boy, did I feel like dipstick.

Offline heeler  
#2 Posted : Thursday, November 03, 2016 7:44:02 AM(UTC)
heeler


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Another lesson you'll learn is that the thermo is really just a guide. Learn to read your output or the drip if you will, you'll like the end result much better.
Offline cheesy rice  
#3 Posted : Thursday, November 03, 2016 7:34:03 PM(UTC)
cheesy rice


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heeler - Thank you, that's good advice that I will pay attention to. I'm reading as much as I can before I move from my test run to my first real run. The test run was really just water. I wanted to just see it in action and go through the movements. I might even do water again a second time as I have to admit my first time was pretty clumsy. My work area was too cluttered and I was banging stuff around and being impatient.

One big mistake was running out of ice way too soon. It sure didn't take long for the worm to get hot... REAL hot. Couldn't hardly even touch it. That's when I just shut it all down.

One thing I'm wondering... how quickly should the pot thermometer react to the flame being turned down? The thermometer I have seems to be REAL slow to react. Even when I turned the flame completely off the temp stayed about 100 degrees C for a long time. Could it be that I just have a cheap-o thermometer?
Offline heeler  
#4 Posted : Friday, November 04, 2016 2:11:13 PM(UTC)
heeler


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#1 As you go up (SLOWLY OR LOW HEAT) through the temp range you will learn when to start turning down the heat so you can catch it at that just right point and then set your drip right there. Not sure if you use gas or elec. but either way you still have to set the heat at the just right setting to collect. And as you go through the run your temp will continue to go up, that's normal, so monitor closely, no napping whilst stillin.

#2 You'll find that water will indeed take more heat to vaporize than your wash. And as you learn you don't want to boil as hard as you cook your wash like you did when you ran just water.

#3 Remember, when you run mash use the drip or little stream to judge weather your heat is set right. You can work the thermo into the equation at some point as you eyeball the drip and learn what temp the drip started at.

#4 Use a bigger container to hold the condenser water and then add the ice as you go. Like a big cooler of water and add a scoop of ice to maintain the water on the cooler side, not necessarily cold but cool enough to cool down the steam to condense back to a liquid. After you make a few runs you'll find out what works and what doesn't.

Hope this helps but still keep reading this site and others cause there's lots to learn about running your unit and making something that's worth drinking.
Offline cheesy rice  
#5 Posted : Saturday, November 05, 2016 8:09:27 AM(UTC)
cheesy rice


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heeler - I printed out your comments above and taped them up in the garage where I'm setting up my area.

I think it's back to square one on the still though. I did some research (which clearly I should have done beforehand) and have decided that the still I bought was just not the right way to go. You guessed it... one of those cheap (but not inexpensive) Chinese pot stills from Amazon.com (also found on ebay). It looks like I will be able to return it for a full refund.

The problems I have with it... the rubber seals and washers have a nasty chemical smell, the stainless steel (if it even is that) is really thin, I'm pretty sure the thumper is too small, and same with the condenser pot (too small). All in all I think I'm better off sending this thing back and using the refund money to buy something better quality or build my own.

UserPostedImage

Edited by user Saturday, November 05, 2016 8:13:27 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Added photo

Offline heeler  
#6 Posted : Sunday, November 06, 2016 4:59:37 AM(UTC)
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I suppose someone could make that little still work but go through Tech Support or Building a Still on this site you can find lots pics there to decide which to buy or build. I used a 7 gallon beer keg but you should def check out Brewhaus units too. Good luck with which ever you choose and most probably the folks here can help you make whatever you pick work.
Tim
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