Tuesday, December 23, 2014

we mean it, man

I was just thinking about the queen...

And then I quickly perished the thought.  I mean, it's Christmas and going off on a rant about that hangared, royal bitch and her whole putrid family would be counter-productive to the peace, harmony, and good will feeling I should be relishing.

I think Johnny Rotten said it best.  "No future for you."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

another coil

Distilling basic alcohol is a relatively simple process.  Under the right conditions, you can turn water, sugar, and yeast into some high proof ethanol.  The trick is to refine the process using grain to produce something better than a low grade redneck vodka by allowing some of the flavor to get passed the distilling process.

Ethanol will vaporize around 174 degrees F. and running a rum or grain mash at this temperature will give you some high proof stuff but little character.

Running it fast and hot can help carry over some flavor, as long as your condenser can keep up with the higher temps.  Which got me working on the unit you see below.

Inside this three inch PVC pipe is about fifteen feet of tightly packed copper coil.  Cold water is introduced through the bottom hose and the warm water exits through the top.  It took a lot of trial and error to prove to myself which direction the water should flow.  Common sense says cold water at the top of the condenser should condense the vapour faster and lock in the flavor.  Some distillers introduce water through the base without a good explanation as to why.  I tried a few things and think I found the answer.

By using a 5 gallon condenser, I noticed higher proof and lower flavor when adding cold water to the top of the coil and more flavor when the water got hotter.  This got me to rig up a system introducing cold to the bottom while syphoning hot water from the top using a submersible pump.  I later added a ball valve to the syphon to adjust the flow.  The results were dramatic and proved that keeping the condenser fluid hot and progressively cooler towards the bottom produces the best flavors while keeping the alcohol percentage high.

Which brings me to this condenser pictured to the left.  It's a compact version of the 5 gallon bucket and coil condenser with the ability to regulate the coolant temperature by adjusting the water flow.  Slightly larger than a liebig with more coolant and 15 feet of copper tube makes this unit a nice addition to get the most from a hot running pot still.

I still haven't wrapped my head around why the coolant temperature has anything to do with flavor but I'm working on it.  Ideas?  Anyone?  

I wonder of Popcorn Sutton knew about this?

I plan to run this thing tonight to see if I'm on the right track.  I'll know in a few hours.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I don't do windows

On or about Thanksgiving Day my computer died. I tried to boot it up and all I got was the continuous sound of my hard drive spinning up.  I tried again and although the lights were on, it became painfully obvious no one was home.  I tried booting from a Linux os from a flash drive and that was also a no go.
This comp was over 10 years old and horribly outdated.  Any kind of repair would require an updated mother board and the processor, cooler, fans, power supply, graphics, video, RAM sticks, and lots of other stuff to make it run also needed replacement.  Yeah.. time to get a new putter, alright.

I needed a comp right away and settled on a refurbished Dell from Walmart for like $100.  It had what I needed to get online, including a keyboard, mouse, and a Windows 7 operating system.  Hell, the os is worth that!  Unfortunately, the os was pre-installed on the hard drive.  What's worse is having to use a Windows operating system and even though Windows 7 is considered the best Windows os on the market, it still sucks balls.

This Dell pos is just about as exciting as Windows Millennium and clearly wasn't designed to handle anything beyond XP and they installed Win 7 only because Microshaft doesn't support XP anymore.  There's no PS/2 so I can say goodbye to the trackball that's been working perfectly for the last 16 years and hello to the Microsoftporn laser mouse that will be dead in six months and an equally lame keyboard that arrived dead on arrival.  That hundred dollar deal is looking like less of a bargain with each passing moment.

Now comes the fun part of taking orders from Microshaft's award winning os that everyone goes lollypops over.  Setting this thing up is just as tedious as any other Windows os.  I should point out that Win 7 is a little kinder than previous versions from that Microsoft line.  Instead of the hip music and over the top graphics the older versions used to generate excitement for the lame shit they included in every os that no one ever uses, Win 7 is more like your elderly aunt asking you about sex.  Not because she wants to know about your sex life but because she doesn't know anything about sex and wants you to tell her.  I mean, this machine with it's high tech operating system, that's the envy of the civilized world, had to ask me what time it was to set the computer clock.  Really?  My phone knows what time it is.  My Packard Bell knew what time it was.  This os doesn't even know what time it is?  Well, that makes me feel secure.  I won't even get into how this machine feels the need to stop working whenever I go to my mail.

And security...  Holy shit!  Windows is like a virus magnet and the best malware, virus, security, identity theft software out there is never enough and eventually you'll be paying some guy a bundle to get the bugs out before your hard drive is toast.  It's no accident Internet Explorer is the only browser you can use to download a good browser.  Just using IE for the short time it took me to download Firefox made me feel scummy all over.  You can't get rid of it either.  Delete IE and you can say bye bye to your award winning microshaft os.  Unless, of course, you had the original disk and choose not to include it with the install.  Ya know, the disk I didn't get.  Bastards.

Just using this comp with this os makes me feel like I'm using someone else’s computer.  Each day this thing keeps telling me I need to download something to do this or that.  The same program I downloaded on day one that took an hour out of my afternoon.  And the constant updates... Do this, download that, and downloading updates before shutdown and after startup.  Like your senile aunt telling you the same lame thing twenty times a day.

Fuck this.  I'm swapping hard drives and ending this microshaft madness.
Just cause my other comp died doesn't mean I can't use it for parts so I tore into this Dell and got stuck at step one.  The hard drive is under the dvd rom and it felt like it was glued in place.  After 15 minutes I got out the screwdrivers and pried the thing loose, only to find the reason it was stuck was because some genius of a technician hot glued the dvd rom to the case.  Oh man, this is getting better and better.  The hard drive dropped right in place but that dvd was messed up and I couldn't tell if it was from the screwdriver or the hot glue.  No matter, it's getting swapped too.  That's when I found out these refurbished Walmart pieces of crap are cobbled together with the absolute cheapest parts on the market.  Two wires fell off the power connector on the dvd and the connector was one of those crimp-type pieces of shit no one uses because they have a 100% failure rate.  When I mean fell off, I mean they fell off with the slightest touch and the only way to fix it proper is to swap out the power supply along with the worthless connectors. 

Before I take this thing back I might need to think up a good payback for Walmart.  Maybe filling up a cart full of deli chicken and leave it near the changing rooms, or hide cold-cuts under the socks.  Or maybe I can go to the site I got this machine from and leave a few comments, detailing Walmart's business practices.

Anyway, I put the wires together, closed the case, and fired it up.  Much to my surprise, the Linux os, on the hard drive booted up in seconds and didn't seem to care it was in another machine.  No stupid questions, no demands to download or install anything.  Firefox came up fast and remembered what pages I had open before the crash and getting there was as fast as before, only it seemed I had an internet connection problem.  I clicked the icon and Linux suggested my internet connection on the computer was loose.  No demands, no stupid wizard with pages and pages of multiple choice questions followed by a lame question asking if any of this crap helped.  Just a simple suggestion that happened to be the only solution.

I feel like I got my computer back and this Dell isn't all that bad, once I got rid of that Windblows filth and got a proper operating system.

Here's something to consider... Sony Pictures, victim of the mega hack attack last week, uses Window machines.  NSA uses Linux.  Which computer system do you think is more secure?