Heads Series, Episode 2: Different Types of Still Column Packing


Posted by Jeff on 11th February 2015

 
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Next video in the Heads series: |How to set up your Moonshine Distiller reflux still|

Products used in this video:
Copper Mesh
Ceramic Raschig Rings

Video Transcription

Howdy folks, Jeff from Moonshine Distiller here again. So, now that you’ve decided to buy our reflux still, you need to figure out what column packing types you want to include with it.

You’ve got two different types of packing. The first are raschig rings. They’re essentially little ceramic beads with a little hole in the middle. The second is copper mesh. Copper mesh has the added benefit of removing sulfides from your distillate vapors. These sulfides can cause a wicked hangover, and they will also make your distillate taste not so great. However, as the copper mesh reacts with those sulfides, it’ll slowly start to turn a black color like this. This tarnish can be easily removed with a solution of citric acid and water. A solution of about 1 tablespoon of citric acid and a quart of water should take the copper mesh about two to three hours to clean off. Once it’s done, it should be nice and shiny, like this. However, the citric acid does slowly eat away at the copper and will cause it to disintegrate over time. Once the copper mesh starts disintegrating, you’ll need to replace it.

The raschig rings, on the other hand, are made from ceramic and will last a lifetime (assuming you don’t wash them down the drain). They can be easily cleaned by putting them in an aluminum container and roasting them in the oven at about 300 degrees for fifteen or twenty minutes. That temperature should vaporize any leftover distillate matter that is left on or in the ceramic material.

How you pack the column is completely up to you. Some people choose to put just about a pound of copper mesh in, which should be just fine for five to ten-gallon batches, and fill the rest of their column with raschig rings. However, some people, who make sure they want to remove all the sulfides, will pack their column completely with copper mesh. The efficiency between the copper mesh and raschig rings is just about the same, so either way you do it, you can’t go wrong.

Thanks for tuning in!

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