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What is a Continuous System and How Does It Work?

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-01-18      Origin: Site

Well, as the title implies, a continuous distillation still has the ability to produce distillate indefinitely. As long as the distillery has the capacity to feed the apparatus, the distilling apparatus does not need to be turned off. By comparison, a batch system has to be drained, recharged, and reheated.

Furthermore, the time needed to heat the continuous still really is a fraction of the time needed to heat a batch still that is commensurately sized to process the same volumes. Additionally, the continuous system is frequently designed with heat exchangers that can recover heat. This heat recovery feature allows the system to use significantly less heat than the common batch systems typically in use. All of this amounts to a reduction in operating costs.

This cost savings can be further exploited by the fact that; if the startup cost is X, then putting on a second shift will reduce the cost associated with the second shift “startup” by 80%. And if a third shift is put in place, the cost associated with “startup” is further reduced by a fraction of the second shift “startup” cost. Does that make sense? In other words, the longer you run the system, the cheaper it is to run the system. This is a critical issue for an industry that really is predicated upon the economy of scale. In a nutshell, a continuous still can reduce operating expenses by at least 30%. That is an appreciable ROI.

How Does it work?

Well, basically there are two columns on the system. A beer column and a spirit column. The beer column is fed from the top side. Live steam is fed in at the base of the column. Once the live steam mingles with the injected beer, the heat transfers to the beer, and at that point the alcohol contained within the beer heats, flashes, and is then directed toward a reboiler where the spirit column is mounted. Low wines entering the reboiler are then reheated and a more potent alcoholic, low wines vapor enters the spirit column for further rectification, and finally drawn off of a designated collection port and directed toward the finished product condenser. The spent beer then continues down the beer column and is discharged from a drain port at the base of the beer column.

All of this happens automatically by employing an automated control panel with a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) that controls any number of variables in order to keep the continuous still running at a steady-state while maintaining the desirable set points needed to create the desired finished product. Target temperature control at various stages of the process is the key variables needed for optimal, steady-state operation. Needless to say, a good, automated controller is a requisite. Some designs can be operated manually. However, unless the design is optimally engineered, the still operator more often ends up being busier than a one-handed paper hanger and would have to make minor adjustments to the operation of the still for the duration of the run. Manual operation can not at all respond to adjustments as precisely as the PLC.


Is a Continuous Distiller Right for You?

If you're looking to increase production capacity, reduce operating costs, and free up some time for marketing, a continuous still is a great solution for your future expansion.

To learn more details about continuous distillation please contact kate@degonget.com

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