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Rotary Evaporation Distillation

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Rotary Evaporation Distillation

Postby Bushman » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:05 am

I posted this information on other forums but know that not everyone is a member of other forums. I am at our condo in the mountains and yesterday the owner of a distillery invited me back to watch their process of infusing flavor into alcohol. In the PNW they are well known for their flavored vodkas, gin, tequila (they buy from Mexico), whiskey, etc. When they first started they bought all their neutrals from other distilleries but are now distilling some as well. Below I will try to explain the process as I know it.

So here is the process as I understood it:
They were making grapefruit vodka the day I watched.

First they peeled the grapefruit and cut it into chunks removing the pith, then blended it so it would fit through a funnel and into their tubes with about 1/2 gallon or just under 2 liters of neutral.
image.jpeg

The reddish tube on the right is rotating and heating in a bath set at 30 C. Again they can run it at lower temps since it is under vacuum.

As the bath heated the neutrals and crushed grapefruit it starts to collect in through the Graham condenser. As the collection speeds up and the neutral in the bath starts bubbling they need to turn down both the ambient pressure (gauge on the machine) and watch the bath temps.
image.jpeg


They don't lose anything and they distill until no liquid goes through the condenser, then they stop as they do not want to clog the condenser with the material they are using for flavoring. They had 2 of these machines going at once and I did not time it but they were doing about 2 liters an hour per machine.

The product was very good and came out at 95% or 190 proof. From here they will proof it to 40% or 80 proof.
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Re: Rotary Evaporation Distillation

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:12 pm

Making a couple of logical leaps (guesses), there is a distillery up in the (North?) Cascades? Could you PM me with that locations?
Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller http://www.kelleybarts.com/zymurgy-bob- ... e-spirits/

You can make whisky in a reflux still, you can make vodka in a potstill,
and you can eat chicken noodle soup with a crescent wrench. But...
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Re: Rotary Evaporation Distillation

Postby Bushman » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:29 pm

PM sent.
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Re: Rotary Evaporation Distillation

Postby sugarcreek » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:46 am

What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk? ~Jack Handey
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Re: Rotary Evaporation Distillation

Postby Bushman » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:05 am

Nor in my budget but would love to own one as I love experimenting and I am sure the rotary part really helps in the prevention of scorching.
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Re: Rotary Evaporation Distillation

Postby sugarcreek » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:40 am

The rotation server primarily to increase the surface area of the liquid being evaporated. Since it's under a partial vacuum, it operates at a sub-scortching temp. I think I want one!
What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk? ~Jack Handey
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Re: Rotary Evaporation Distillation

Postby Bushman » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:04 pm

Here is the video I took:
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Re: Rotary Evaporation Distillation

Postby Buddy » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:09 pm

sugarcreek wrote:The rotation server primarily to increase the surface area of the liquid being evaporated. Since it's under a partial vacuum, it operates at a sub-scortching temp. I think I want one!


Somehow I can just imagine the fun involved returning it to China for warranty repairs. :wink:
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"It's only for medicinal porpoises."
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Re: Rotary Evaporation Distillation

Postby Bushman » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:56 pm

Buddy wrote:
sugarcreek wrote:The rotation server primarily to increase the surface area of the liquid being evaporated. Since it's under a partial vacuum, it operates at a sub-scortching temp. I think I want one!


Somehow I can just imagine the fun involved returning it to China for warranty repairs. :wink:

Guess I can't be positive where the parts are manufactured but the company is from Switzerland. The glass lab equipment is made and tested to be stronger than the glass we would normally buy.
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Re: Rotary Evaporation Distillation

Postby Buddy » Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:33 pm

Bushman wrote:
Buddy wrote:
sugarcreek wrote:The rotation server primarily to increase the surface area of the liquid being evaporated. Since it's under a partial vacuum, it operates at a sub-scortching temp. I think I want one!


Somehow I can just imagine the fun involved returning it to China for warranty repairs. :wink:

Guess I can't be positive where the parts are manufactured but the company is from Switzerland. The glass lab equipment is made and tested to be stronger than the glass we would normally buy.


Somehow from the ebay ad where it said
Item location:

CN,CN, China


I just fingered it was from China. :oops: Guess maybe only the seller is in China. :doh: Still knot sure where it would kneed to be sent for warranty repairs though.
Mama told me to never drink unless I was alone or with somebody.
"It's only for medicinal porpoises."
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Re: Rotary Evaporation Distillation

Postby Bushman » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:14 pm

Didn't ask the question, I know they have 2 of these machines at the site I visited and one at their other site and have been using them commercially I believe for years because they are noted for infused spirits and I bought my first bottle from them probably 4-5 years ago.
I like the rotary part as I think it keeps an even heating and unlike my smaller still for vapor infusion if I don't have it in a basket I need to watch scorching.
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Re: Rotary Evaporation Distillation

Postby Buddy » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:26 pm

Sounds like they have been pretty well tested then. I initially didn't realize that they were Swiss made, just looked at the ad that was posted and saw the China bit.
Mama told me to never drink unless I was alone or with somebody.
"It's only for medicinal porpoises."
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Re: Rotary Evaporation Distillation

Postby Bushman » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:16 pm

These are over $3,000 dollars. I looked at other types up on eBay and found others cheaper but also looked it.
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Re: Rotary Evaporation Distillation

Postby Buddy » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:53 pm

Yep, sometimes ya get what you pay for.
I think ya should get Mrs. Bushman one for Christmas. :wink:


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