New guy here. Been reading posts and am impressed with the information here. Here’s my question.
If you were doing a 300L vessel ethanol extraction and after you’ve drained the tanks what would be the best way to recovery that much ethanol per cycle. Falling film, rolling, something else that is more industrial? I have not been able to find much on industrial size systems.
in order to recover as much of that ethanol as possible, you’ll need a centrifuge or a press. I’m biased towards a centrifuge, but if you’ve been reading up around here you probably know that I’ve got my hat in the spiny thing ring.
a 100gal moonshine still is 1/4 the price of the a FFE with the same throughput. although it looks like I’ll have experience with my first FFE before I get the 100gal moonshine still up and running.
Are you getting the plated vodka column to go with that still for re-proofing after recovery? I could see that as another advantage vs FFE. Unless I missed something and it’s possible/practical to also re-proof in a FFE?
Thanks for all of the replies. FFE is probably the way we are going. And the 300L is a thing of the past, it’s too small, unless there are efficiency issues with using a 2000L+ vessel. It would be jacketed and wrapped of course.
you could probably approach it in such a manner that it was, but with agitation, indirect heat (baine marie style), and a vacuum assist, it should be a safe and controllable process. The Scots have been running big stills for some time now.
I certainly talked to professional distillers who were concerned about loading 190 into the still and firing it up. I saw nothing problematic at 5gal or 15gal scale without vacuum. Vac does add another level of complexity, but it’s one most of us are already familiar with.
Heating a vat of flammable solvent up to it’s boiling point and playing with the vapours IS inherently dangerous. Things can go wrong, and making sure you’re prepared for them is important. Adequate ventilation. Compliant electrical. Secondary containment in case of spills. Well marked exits. fire suppression.
Please do not use a gas burner if you go this route. I got away with charging my still with 170 proof on a gas burner countless times in college until I finally didn’t. Still fires are no joke, and the money I saved in gas by doing this was heavily offset by the money and time I spent repairing the back porch (not to mention the embarrassment). I was lucky. All it would have taken was oxygen to get into the boiler and I would likely be missing limbs or worm food from an explosion. Also make sure you keep the fire extinguisher in an easily accessible place. Somewhere where you don’t have to run through flames to get to it.