FIG. 43.—Steam Generator.
forated false bottom to the tub, whereby the condensed water may be carried away, the steamed potatoes remaining behind.
Two hours of steaming should reduce the potatoes to proper condition, which may be tested by introducing a pointed iron rod through a suitable aperture, normally kept closed. If the rod passes freely inward, the potatoes are done and may be discharged into the crusher, shown in Fig. 44. In this Fig. the steaming vat A is shown mounted above the crusher. A pipe B with cock b leads to the steam generator. The steamed potatoes are shoveled out through the door a, which is usually held closed by means of the clamps or buttons a' a''.
The crusher consists of a hopper C whose bottom fits closely against two adjacent smooth faced rolls HI of iron. These are driven by gears D E. The shafts of these gears have cranks d d whereby it may be operated. These gears are unequal so that the rolls shall move at different speeds, and thus one will have a grinding action against the face of the other. A counter weighted scraper e bears against the face of the roll.
The crushed potato pulp passes between the rolls and into a bin beneath, having adjustable walls made of boards F, sliding in suitable guides f, from which the pulp may be shoveled into the mashing tank or "back." The crusher might, however, be arranged to deliver immediately into
the mashing tank, if the latter is provided with means for stirring the delivered pulp.
The pulp or paste thus made is now placed in a vat, holding about 650 to 850 gals., in which the saccharification takes place About 2200 lbs. of the crushed potatoes and 155 lbs of broken malt are introduced, and immediately afterwards water is run in at a temperature of about 97°F. to 104°F., the contents being well stirred with a fork meanwhile. The vat is then carefully closed for half an hour, after which boiling water is added until the temperature reaches 140°F., when the whole is left for three or four hours. The process of fermentation is conducted in the same vat. Alternate doses of cold and boiling water are run in upon the mixture, until the quantity is made up to 700 or 775 gallons, according to the size of the vat, and so as finally to bring the temperature to 75°F. or 79°F. Five and a half to six gallons of liquid brewer's yeast are then added, and fermentation speedily sets in. This process complete, the fermented pulp is distilled in the apparatus devised by Cellier-Blumenthal (see Fig. 15) for distilling materials of a pasty nature; the product has a very unpleasant odor and taste.
The process above described is the old method of pulping the potatoes by using steam. Under the modern method, however, and with modern apparatus: in preparing potatoes for distillation in large quantities, the steaming of the material is accomplished at one time and under a high steam pressure. The apparatus is also used for the preparation of corn, potatoes and other starch-containing substances.
There are many apparatuses which have been devised for the purpose, but the principle on which they work is practically the same in all cases. They comprise a closed tank, fitted with stirrers, agitators, or other means for mixing and
comminuting the contents, means for admitting steam under pressure, means for cooling the mixture to the proper mashing temperatures, and means for forcing the steamed material out of the tank.
The Steamer. One of the earliest forms of steamer was that of Hallefreund devised in 1871, and adapted for working on a large scale. A modified form of the apparatus known as Bohn's steamer and masher is illustrated in Fig. 45. This comprises a steaming cylinder A, having a securely closed opening D for the introduction of the potatoes. Centrally through the cylinder passes a hollow shaft B, which is rotated by the power pulley K. Hollow arms b project radially from the shaft B. These act as mixers of the mash and as coolers. The shaft B at one end is connected to a cold water supply pipe M as by a coupling C, the supply pipe being provided with a cock. E designates a discharge opening for the mash. A pipe F provides for the entrance of steam into the cylinder. G is a pipe through which malt is put in to be mixed with the pulp. L is a steam gauge and J a safety valve. H designates a water pipe. For the relation of the steamer to other apparatus, see Fig. 1.
In operation the potatoes are placed in the cylinder A and submitted to the action of steam at about 46 lbs. to the square inch, and at a temperature of from 266°F. to 275°F.
When disintegrated, the steam is blown off, and the potatoes crushed by rotating the stirring shaft. As the pulp must be reduced from 275°F. to 149°F., the mashing temperature, cold water is forced into the stirrer which chills the blades and quickly cools the mass.
In the vacuum mash cooker shown in Fig. 1, the steaming cylinder is partly filled with hot water at 140°F. to 150°F. The potatoes to be mashed are fed into the cylinder whole. The steamer is .then closed and steam a admitted while the mash is stirred until a pressure of 65 pounds is reached, when the dissolution of the starch is complete. The steam is then exhausted and the temperature reduced to 212°F. To reduce this temperature to the proper saccharifying point of 145°F., the hot air is exhausted.
Barley malt meal in the proportion of 6 to 10 per cent. is used. This has been previously mixed with cold water in the small grain masher. The malt is admitted to the cylinder and thoroughly mixed with the potato, when the mixture is withdrawn into a drop tub, where it is still further stirred. It is then cooled as described on page 15 and then fermented.
While the crushed potatoes are being cooled and stirred, a mixture of green malt with water is prepared in an adjacent vat, and when the pulp in the cylinder has been reduced to 149°F. the malt mixture is introduced into the cylinder through the pipe G, and thoroughly mixed with the crushed potatoes. The mass is now left to saccharify; the stirrer being operated at intervals throughout this period. This machine might be readily modified so that the steam should enter through the stirrers, by tubes attached to the arms, then the steam may be shut off and cold water sent into the arms themselves to cool the mash.
A variety of steamer used in various forms and modifications in all the larger distilleries, is known as the Henze steamer, Fig. 2. In this there are no stirrers. The cylinder is conical, and has steam pipes leading to the interior. At the end of its cone-shaped bottom it terminates in a blow-off tube, having in it a grate formed of sharp-edged bars. In operation, steam is introduced at a pressure of one to two atmospheres until the potatoes are cooked. More steam is then suddenly admitted at high pressure and the softened potatoes forced through the grating at the bottom and into the mashing apparatus in a finely divided state.
In steaming under pressure it is best that the safety valve be so regulated that the steam will constantly blow off as this action keeps the potatoes in motion and facilitates disintegration. Care should also be taken to see that everything about the apparatus is in good condition, as in working under the high pressures used in the last apparatus there is liability of explosion. Rust should be particularly guarded against.
With this apparatus a preparatory mash vat is used into which the contents of the steamers are blown out, malt and water to form milk having been previously let into the mash vat. Blowing out is accomplished in 45 or 50 minutes at 130°F. and about one-sixth of the charge in the steamer is retained in the steamer. The mash in the vat is stirred and cooled and the remainder of the mash blown in raising the tem perature to 145°F. when the mash is left to stand from half an hour to an hour. With heavy mashes, rich in sugar, even higher temperatures than 145°F. can be used for saccharifying.
The processes of crushing and saccharifying, above referred to, which are almost entirely used to-day, require steam. The following methods provide for the isolation of the fecula or starch, without steam and the production of a wash of a more watery consistency, therefore easier to handle in ordinary stills, and with less liability to burn.
Two operations are necessary by this method: First, rasping, or reducing the potatoes to a finely crushed and pulpy condition by means of a machine described in the chapter on Beet Mashing; and second, the separation of the fecula.
To this latter end the potato pulp is placed on a sieve, having side wails and net work of horse-hair, which is placed over a suitable tub. Water is run gradually through the pulp and sieve, while the pulp is rubbed up by hand. When the water comes through clear, then all the fecula of the pulp has been washed out, and the refuse left in the sieve can be thrown aside or used as a food for cattle.
For a mashing tub of say about 32 bushels capacity, the fecula from about 800 lbs. of potatoes is used. This is deposited in the mash tub with sufficient cold water to form a fairly clear paste. About twice as much water as fecula will bring the paste to proper consistency. This mixture should be constantly stirred as otherwise the fecula will sink to the bottom. About 40 gallons of boiling water are then added gradually. The mixture has at first a milky appearance, but at the last becomes entirely clear.
This liquid is mashed with about 45 lbs. of malted barley or Indian corn, ground into coarse flour. In ten minutes the mixture will be completely fluidified. It is then left to subside for three or four hours when it will have acquired a sweetish taste and be what is termed as "sweet mash." The fluid is then further diluted by the addition of sufficient water to give about 290 gallons of wash. Two or three pints of good yeast will bring this mixture to a ferment.
A less laborious method of accomplishing the same result is that at one time used in English distilleries. In this a double bottom tub is used, something like that shown in Fig. 41, the upper bottom of which is perforated, and raised above the solid lower bottom. A draw-off cock opens out from the space between the two bottoms.
Assuming that the tub is of 220 gallons capacity, then from 2 to 20 lbs. of chaff are spread over the perforated bottom and pulp from 800 lbs. of raw potatoes placed on that. This is thoroughly drained for half an hour, through the draw-off cock. The pulp is then stirred while from 90 to 100 gallons of boiling water are added gradually. The mass then thickens into a paste. The paste is mashed with about 65 lbs. of well steeped malt., and the liquid left to subside for three or four hours. It is then drained off through the perforated bottom into a fermenting back or tub. For this amount of material the back should be of about 300 gallons capacity.
The leavings left in the preparatory tub still contain considerable starch, and after they are well drained they should be mixed with from 50 to 55 gallons of boiling water. The mixture is then agitated and drained off into the fermenting back. The sediment left is again sprinkled with water, this time cold, which is drained off into the back. This completely exhausts the husks left on the upper bottom. By this process 200 lbs. of potatoes should produce something over 12^ gallons of spirit.
The objection to the last method described is that the spirit so obtained is unpleasant to taste and smell, but this would probably not be an objection for industrial uses. The only means of obtaining alcohol of good quality from potatoes is to extract the starch separately and then convert it into sugar. This saccharification of the starch may be accomplished by sulphuric acid or by the action of diastase.
By the first of these methods the potatoes are disintegrated in such an apparatus as the Bohn steamer described on page 118. A mixture is made of one-third potatoes, two-thirds water, and one-
tenth part of sulphuric acid. The mixture is steamed for six or eight hours under pressure. The mash is then cooled and the acid neutralized by milk of lime. It is then fermented.
By the second and preferable method, dry or wet potato starch is used, which is malted, and the saccharine solution fermented with yeast. The proportions and method for a vat of say 800 gallons capacity are as follows:
Two hundred and sixty-five gallons of water are mixed with 1100 lbs. of dry or 1650 lbs. of moist starch. This mixture is well agitated, and 450 gallons of boiling water run in, together with 165 lbs. of malt. The whole is then stirred energetically and left to saccharify for three or four hours. The saccharine solution thus. formed must be brought to 6° or 7° Baume, at a temperature of from 71° to 75°F. To this is then added 1 1/100 lbs. of dry yeast for every 220 gallons of "must." Fermentation is soon established and usually occupies about 36 hours. After remaining at rest for 24 hours the "must" is distilled. From each 220 lbs. of starch there should be a yield of about nine gallons of alcohol, at 90 per cent.
The fermentation of the potato mash is carried on as described in Chapter II. For the preparation of malt see Chapter VI.
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