Re distilling Heads and Tails

Reflux still design and discussion

Re distilling Heads and Tails

Postby MaKa » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:32 pm

So I've been thinking about this for a couple of days. I'm running a FSD Neutraliser (5 plates and 500mm packed section). If I throw my heads back in for a redistill assuming I have enough, I should start to get enough of those lighter components to concentrate them more at the start of the run. I.e. The first cut or two will be very loaded with heads to the point of discarding them. Cuts after that i'm guessing would go back in the next spirit run. Assuming this would also be similar for tails.

Does anyone have any opinion or idea on this? If I tried this would I be wasting my time or is it worthwhile firing up the still to try this out.

Cheers,

MaKa
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Re: Re distilling Heads and Tails

Postby bluc » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:59 pm

Feints run? Did it all the time on pot still. Not sure its worth it on bubbler runs? Havnt done one yet with bubbler maybe someone will chime in... :-B
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Re: Re distilling Heads and Tails

Postby r1zzla » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:09 pm

Maka
I have a Neutraliser too, if I'm making neutral (from TPW,Kale etc) I tend to take the hearts and put heads and tails into a 'neutral feints jar'. When running generations of Rum, WBAB, BWKO etc, after 150ml of foreshots, I put the next 500ml into the same neutral feints jar. After that anything not hearts goes in to the Rum/BWKO/WBAB feints jar - which goes into the next run of the same wash.

When there is enough in the 'neutral' feints jar(40L at 40%) I run the Neutraliser with 6 plates and 600ml packed section SLOWLY, after 1hr in full reflux, next 2L at 1.2L/hrm, then reduce power/ increase reflux to 2L/hr for hearts, after hearts, reduce reflux to keep output up to 1.5L/hr until well into tails then RC off and strip rest.

Harsh cuts from this run gives a clean Neutral at 95%ish.
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Re: Re distilling Heads and Tails

Postby MaKa » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:19 pm

Cheers r1zzla,

Good to know you get something usable out of it. The theory says you can buy wanted to touch base in case someone has spent a bit of time doing it and worked out the electricity wasn't worth it or the hearts volume was too small.

40 litres at 40% abv is a big run!

I think you got your power/reflux movements opposite there. Reflux less for more product
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Re: Re distilling Heads and Tails

Postby db1979 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:31 pm

If you add heads into a normal wash then you'll simply lose more hearts. Only option is as r1zzla has said, do an all feints run. This is because esters in the heads forms an azeotrope with the ethanol of hearts and this means ethanol and esters (what makes up heads) keep coming off the still until all the esters are gone. Bubblers help by concentrating the heads but if you add more heads you'll just lose more hearts. Run it slow on an all feints run.
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Re: Re distilling Heads and Tails

Postby db1979 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:32 pm

MaKa wrote:I think you got your power/reflux movements opposite there. Reflux less for more product

The lower flow rates are his collection rates, which means increased reflux.
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Re: Re distilling Heads and Tails

Postby MaKa » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:19 am

That all makes sense. I didn't realise that there was another azetrope between the components of the heads and ethanol.

Basically I have been making very harsh cuts. For a TPW I have only been collecting about 1/3 of the total ethanol content for my hearts. This means that I am either having a very low yield for each wash or I need to look at doing some things to increase the recoveries. I have been retaining my heads and hearts with the view of doing this but I wanted to see how far I could push it.
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Re: Re distilling Heads and Tails

Postby coffe addict » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:44 pm

All azeotrope means is the concentration at which one liquid can't be separated from another liquid by simple distillation.
So azeotrope is possible when almost no tails are left in the boiler.
From my personal experience it isn't worth the effort or cost of running feints from a neutral run. It's more cost effective to put a new wash on.
Ymmv
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