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Offline Woody in NoVa  
#1 Posted : Monday, March 24, 2014 3:12:37 AM(UTC)
Woody in NoVa

Rank: Newbie


Groups: Registered
Joined: 12/11/2013(UTC)
Posts: 7

I have been lurking on the forum for about a year.
Purchased a PSII 8 gal kettle with the bells & whistles.
Performed my first rum run this past weekend.
Prior to that run, I ran a water-vinegar test
I wanted to check the hose fittings and get familiar - only one problem, the pump ran intermittently/erratic. Replaced the pump w/ a 120 gph from aquarium supply in town.

I fermented a rum batch:
3 L black strap molasses
8 lbs Dark Brown sugar
2Tsp yeast nutrient - I used tomato paste (Contadina)
2 Tsp lemon juice
5 gal H2O

Heated H2o to approx 100 degrees F, emptied pot into fermenter that had the sugar, molasses, nutrient & juice.
Mixed well until sugar dissolved, waited for liquid temp to drop to 85 F, then pitched yeast.
I used Fleischman" All Purpose. ( not sure if that was a good choice but it was handy - wife bakes bread)
Used approx 3 grams. Mixed well again making sure to aerate well while stirring.

Then sealed fermenter & stored in closet - temps ran constant at 70 F (closet is on the floor above the furnace)
1 week went by. Did not disturb the fermenter, check outside temps daily - held steady at 70F
Opened up the fermenter after 7 days. Tasted the liquid - not sweet. Brown color (from molasses) held steady all week. Liquid was sweet on Day one. Day 7, no sweetness evident.

I took that as a signal that there was no more sugar - and to commence distillation.
Hooked up the 8 gal pot in Pot mode on stove top - gas range. Loaded the liquid from fermenter - tightened all the fittings - except for 2 (as I discovered later - on the condenser from/to the cooling reservoir) the hoses were snug so I did not apply clamps - a mistake as I found later.

Commenced operations at 11:30 AM with liquid temp at approx 68 F - Hi heat
Measurements 12:00 PM Temp at 75 F Hi heat
12:15 PM temp at 82 F Hi heat
12:30 PM temp at 90 F Hi heat
12:40 PM temp at 140 F, reduced heat to Low
12:55 PM temp at 160 F, heat at Low - captured 150 ml of distillate.
13:20 PM temp at 170 F heat at Low - total capture thus far was 300 ml.
I set the 300 ml aside as it had an acetone-like smell. Amount not included in run sampling.
I collected samples thru out the run in 400 ml beakers as they had wide mouths & clear measuring gradations.

13:30 PM temp had climbed to 180 F - changed heat to between Med - Lo setting
Took 100 ml of distillate taken in 10 minutes.

13:40 PM temp holding steady between 175 - 180 was checking every 3-5 minutes
Additional 100 ml taken - total of 200 ml

14:05 PM temp climbed a bit to 188 F - still getting steady stream-drip drip drip of clear distillate.
In fact all distillate had been clear.
Additional 200 mil taken - 400 ml Total.

14:25 PM temp steady at 188F, catastrophe struck - cooling hose attached to top part of condenser (running back to the cooling reservoir ) came off the condenser - H20 pumped out.
Was off line for approx 5 minutes - while I re-attached both cooling hosed with clamps this time.
Re-ignited heat to pot - temp didn"t drop appreciably. And I had an opportunity to add a bag of ice to the cooling reservoir, so the cooling h20 maintained at approx 55 F

However, while this was going on, I collected 150 mil of "˜cloudy" distillate. Which I kept separate from the rest.
Once they system "˜normaled" up, I collected clear distillate again.

14:45 PM temp had climbed to 190F heat steady - not fluctuating.
Collected 200 mil of clear distillate. Total: 600 plus 150 cluody

15:10 PM temp at 190 steady - heat setting steady/not adjusted - just letting it run.
Collected 150 ml of clear distillate. Total: 750 ml plus the 150.

15:30 PM temp at 190. Flow dropped appreciably.
Collected 150 ml of clear distillate. Total 900 ml plus 150 cloudy.

Shut down the heat. Ended the run. Did so as it seemed the smell of the last 2 collections of 150 ml ea. Had a weaker smell. I set those 2 sample aside - did not mix with the 400 & 200 ml samples. 150 ml also remained separate.

Summary: Rum run took approx.4 hours. 8 gal. Pot mode.
Collected: 300 ml of "˜Heads" ?? Set aside.
400 ml of Sample #1 Nice aroma
200 ml of Sample #2 Nicest aroma
150 ml of cloudy - sample #3 aroma evident
200 ml of Sample #4 aroma evident - still nice but not as #2
300 ml of Sample #5 - 2 collections at the end of 150 ml ea. Smell weakest.

Lessons Learned: hook up all the clamps.
I think I have a pretty good set up. If anyone can see any flaws in what I did, let me know.
I"m pretty sure I missed something. And I still have to figure out a way to measure ABV in each sample.
All suggestions are welcome. Thanks for reading.
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