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Offline Pharley  
#1 Posted : Sunday, March 12, 2017 10:20:49 PM(UTC)

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Over the weekend I did my first spirit run on my new PSII High Capacity. My column was packed with copper mesh.I used one heating element and wish I would have used a second to get things up to a boil.

The Wash:
Dissolved 14.5 lbs of white sugar in 2 gallons boiling water.
Brought volume up to 25 L at 100F per Turbo Yeast packet instructions.
Pitched Turbo Yeast 48 at 100F and stirred vigorously.
Put on a brew belt and left it in the bathroom to cook.

OG was 1.105
SG one week later was 0.990
I then transferred fermenter to the garage to settle The garage was around 40-45F for two days.

It took around 2 hours to get to a boil. As I could feel the column heating up to about half way I started the water. I had the water all the way up and I was still getting drips out of the condenser, about one drip/second. The temp at the top of the column was fluctuating between 68-72F. I had the water on full go for about 45 minutes (still a slow drip) then backed off the water to get a steady drip/stream. I collected the first 300 mL as fores as I wanted to be cautious on the first run. My ABV was fairly steady but it was only 83-84%. I ended up collecting for about 4 hours of a slow but steady stream.

Questions I have about the low %. Did I use to much sugar and overwhelm the yeast? Was I running to hard? Running to hard is the only thing I can think of as to why I couldn't stop the flow in full reflux.
Any input or advise would be greatly appreciated. I've spend most of a year reading this site and the HD site but you just don't know until you try it.
Offline admin  
#2 Posted : Monday, March 13, 2017 7:12:36 AM(UTC)

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Do you mean 168-172F, not 68-72F? At 68-72F there should be nothing coming from the condenser.

Was your cooling water extremely cold, or was is just cool? This can make a substantial difference.

Offline tntc  
#3 Posted : Monday, March 13, 2017 8:34:41 AM(UTC)

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Here is what helped me achieve 190 proof. Split the water lines, have a valve on condenser and the reflux lines so you and adjust water flow to each. I put lava rock in bottom tube( full) then have 5 copper mesh in top tube. Put sone smaller pcs around your cooling tubes at top. Before I used the lava rock I cleaned it and put in a bag, hit with hammer to make them smaller pcs then cleaned again.
I run propane so my method will be a little different. I don't turn any water on till I see the temp at top at 97f, only condenser water. Once it hits 100 f the temps will rise pretty fast, gets to 168f I will turn full open on the reflux water. Gotta play with heat some to go full reflux, make small adjustments to see how it reacts.
Turbo yeast is a dirty word to a few people, cause of taste, but I believe it's great to use when you first get started cause of the simplicity. With that said, you didn't have to much sugar to overwhelm the yeast. Looks like you had 15% wash.
It's all about finding right power to throw at rig to get it to perform to its best. It took me a few runs to get dialed in, after I found the things that helped most I made line to go by on my water control and propane knob. Very nice rig once you get it dialed in.....be safe and happy Stillin.
Offline Pharley  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, March 14, 2017 1:32:57 PM(UTC)

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Thanks for the catch on those temperatures Rick. Meant to say 68 to 72 C.
The temperature of my water bath was between 40 and 45°F and I use frozen water bottles to drop in to the tank when it was getting warm.
I was using the 120V, 1500 W immersion cartridge heater. Could it be that my heater was running the still too hard?
It looked like the water was flowing through the cooling lines pretty good .
Thanks for any and all help !
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