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Ban marie or standard direct heat still ???

These are simple stills with no column. Doublers and puke boxes are allowed.

Ban marie or standard direct heat still ???

Postby udiraz » Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:25 am

Hi

I am considering buying a new larger still.
I can choose between standard pot still and bain marie still.

Well, I distill fruits - mostly grapes and apples.
With the bain marie still I will be able to make great real grappa from the grapes leftovers, which is really nice.
I can also do Arak with aniseed inside the still, which is also really nice for me.

My question is - is it possible and practical to distill wine (brandy) with bain marie still without adding all kinds of oils and chemicals to the water ?
I mean - will it be as useful to me as a standard pot still, plus the added value of grappa and other spices that I can put inside ?
I can only assume that the distillation will be slower on plain brandy, but will it be just a little slower, or too slow to be practical ?

Thanks a lot,
Udi.
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Re: Ban marie or standard direct heat still ???

Postby Tracker » Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:23 am

Hi udiraz,
a water filled bain Marie will heat up to 100 C. Anything you wish to distil will produce product at less than that.
If you wish to add extra heat you can substitute other heating media instead of water e.g. oil, glycol etc.
This may provide for a faster product take-off rate if your heating reservoir is small.
My limited knowledge of physics and distillation tells me that if your heat bank is of sufficient size and you are not in a hurry, water should do the job but there are others here who have practical experience in these matters and I would defer tom their opinion or sadvice.


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btw, welcome to the forum.
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Re: Ban marie or standard direct heat still ???

Postby myles » Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:50 am

Bain marie (water bath) boilers are the standard option in many parts of Europe for fruit brandies. Low pressure and usually restricted to 0.5 bar. (It isn't unusual to see the PSV replaced with a 1 bar version later) The slight preasure gives you a small increase in temp in the bath and thus a more beneficial temperature gradient.

Most of the thermal transfer fluids are replcements for water as opposed to aditives to it. Glycol for example is used in heating applications typically at 100%. You add glycol to water to stop it freezing.
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Re: Ban marie or standard direct heat still ???

Postby Mud » Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:45 am

Bain marie. They're common in industry and work with no problem.
Specialization is for Kiwi.
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Re: Ban marie or standard direct heat still ???

Postby udiraz » Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:53 am

Mud wrote:Bain marie. They're common in industry and work with no problem.


Thanks.
Do you guys say it from hands-on experience ?
The still I think of is this one:
http://www.coppercrafts.eu/index.php/al ... anho-maria

I don't think I can control the pressure in the water chamber, so I am not sure this is relevant.


My question - will I have to fill it with glycol (or any other chemical/oil) instead of water to distill my brandy ?
Will take MUCH longer, or just a little longer to distill the same volume of wine into brandy ?

I think, that another advantage of bain marie, is that if I do two or more consequent runs, the water will be already hot in the water chamber, and will keep some heat for the second run, does that make sense ?

Thank you very much for your patience :-)


Tracker wrote:Hi udiraz,
btw, welcome to the forum.


I already post some messages here, including an introducing myself...
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Re: Ban marie or standard direct heat still ???

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:44 am

udiraz,

While an atmospheric pressure bain marie is a good start, it really needs a bit of help to make it right. Two of the ways to help it are either to pressurize the water so it boils at a higher temp (and I'll admit to worrying about safety in a home-made pressurized system), or to add/replace the water with a higher boiling liquid. The best solution I've heard of, however, and it's on this forum, is a water-filled bain marie with the water chamber vented to a steam injector tube in the boiler wash.

That way, when the bain marie water boils nearing the end of the run, the steam carrying the energy that's not transferred through the pot bottom condenses inside the wash, giving complete energy transfer, but with a tiny bit of wash dilution right near the end of the distillation run.

I hope this helps, and welcome to the forum.

edit:PS
I also like to distill with solids in the wash, like pomace for grappa, for instance, so the idea of some kind of bath heating has always appealed to me. When I can pay for the welding, I think I'll go for the bain-marie-steam- injection setup.
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Re: Ban marie or standard direct heat still ???

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:56 am

Myles, speaking of glycol, the closed-circuit heat-exchanger system I've set up for the new distillery will use a 10% propylene glycol (DowFrost) mixture, for a couple reasons. First, it's way cheaper than 100% glycol, and every bit as important is that 100% glycol doesn't have nearly the specific heat (and therefore heat-moving capability) as water, or even 10% glycol. For us, the glycol will be strictly as an antifreeze.

Last week we tested the vodka still, and ran it with water in the boiler, and at ~85% of the 4500w element, for about an hour. Happily, the coolant returning from the radiator was cold to the touch. Made me happy.
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Re: Ban marie or standard direct heat still ???

Postby myles » Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:17 pm

ZB I absolutely agree with you about glycol/water mixes in cooling circuits. I was refering to glycol use in heating circuits above 100 degrees C, when it tends to be 100% glycol.

I have used glycol myself at upto 130 degrees C but it is better to keep below 120 to extend the life of the glycol.

Combined water bath and steam injection is what I will be using on my own strip boiler. :D the stainless drums are being manufactured at the moment.
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Re: Ban marie or standard direct heat still ???

Postby just sayin' » Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:51 am

I like the steam injection idea. Is there an automatic vacuum break in the steam line to stop syphoning contents of the pot into bain marie jacket as it cools?
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Re: Ban marie or standard direct heat still ???

Postby myles » Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:43 am

just sayin' wrote:I like the steam injection idea. Is there an automatic vacuum break in the steam line to stop syphoning contents of the pot into bain marie jacket as it cools?


I will have a vacuum break on the jacket itself.
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