the modern distiller

Downcomer Location

For all the plate variations out there, bubblecap, valved, perforated etc.

Downcomer Location

Postby drinkingdog » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:03 am

On just about or all of the plated column builds the downcomer is placed on the side of a plate. Would there be any benefit to placing the downcomer in the middle of the plate then 45 over towards the side and then 45 down to empty out on the side of the plate. Since my projected 4 in plated column build is a modular I don't need to run all thread down the center. I would think it would create a better flow pattern on top of the plate if there is such a thing on a small 4 in plate. I was also thinking of soldering a coupler in the plate that way it would be easier to change the liquid depth on the plate by inserting different length nipples into it.
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby Googe » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:32 am

I designed one ages ago but never finished building it. Someone I know built much the same and tried it, from memory the centre downcomer was susceptible to flooding, it worked but not worth the effort. Using a reducer for your downcomer works well, you can just insert different length tubes for bath depths into the reducer.
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby Bushman » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:58 am

Also Mash Rookie on the HD forum built an external downcomer using glass to see how much was actually returning.
I started my liquid diet and so far it seems to be working! I've already lost two days.

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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby drinkingdog » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:01 am

It's really would be cheaper to build it like the original flute with the downcomer on the side of the plate and then just switch sides for the next plate up or down. I wouldn't have to add fittings in the way of 2 - 45 degree bends. If that is the way it should be done then all I have to do is solder up the center hole. I figured it was that way for a reason, but you never know when someone has tried something different and things turned out great. Even if the bigger commercial distilleries are doing it one way it could change when you down size things to the hobby level. I'm still not ready to drill holes yet just trying to get it all figured out.
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby 8-ball » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:29 am

I stuck my down comers in the center just cos I could if don't work its not the end of the world just buy/make some new plates
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby SBB » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:42 am

I always thought the main reason for down comers entering and leaving a plate on opposite sides was to get the liquid to travel across the plate. Video below shows what should and shouldn't be happening. Of course we probably wont get it perfect in a hobby size still, but this is the theory.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKNDVbQynqo
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby Googe » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:04 am

I'm thinking.bubble plates :doh: one track mind!. Can't see why it wouldn't work in the centre of a perf plate. That's true SBB, can't imagine why it wouldn't disperse from the centre out :confusion-shrug:
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby emptyglass » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:58 pm

If it came from the centre out, wouldn't you need lots of little downcomes at the edge to keep the effect working?
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby Bushman » Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:03 am

emptyglass wrote:If it came from the centre out, wouldn't you need lots of little downcomes at the edge to keep the effect working?

+1, that would be my thoughts as well!
I started my liquid diet and so far it seems to be working! I've already lost two days.

"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby drinkingdog » Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:56 am

The design I was thinking about had the Drane in the center but then it had a 45 degree bend over to the side then 45 degree bend down so that it would dump out on the plate below on the side of the plate. If it collected in the center and dumped out in the center you would not get any mixing taking place
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby emptyglass » Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:08 am

Hey mate, not trying to stop you from trying it, it would be interesting to see if it made a difference. But its a bit of work and cost.

I'd almost suggest you try it as per the norm, and then try your concept. Or vice-versa. That way you got a control product to base the results on. I'd hate for you to try it and find it didn't produce an advantage.
But if it did give an advantage, you can be assured that many will copy the idea :handgestures-thumbupright: .
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby Aussiedownunder » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:57 am

Ok I think I know the location now size on a 5 plate 4 in pref plate 1/2 in or 3/4
I see mac has 3/4 dropping to 1/2 seems easy
also j at bottom or cap
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby Aussiedownunder » Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:11 pm

Also in the bottom of your j trap or down commer bottom cap is there a need to drill say a 1 mm hole to let it drain after its all finished
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby cacticlayton » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:03 pm

If you drill a hole in your j-trap it would allow vapor to travel up it. 1/2" downcomers into a 3/4" cap work well for me but you could go bigger if you wanted to.
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby emptyglass » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:53 pm

Aussiedownunder wrote:Also in the bottom of your j trap or down commer bottom cap is there a need to drill say a 1 mm hole to let it drain after its all finished


Nahh, dosn't work mate, your still will run all stupid.
I spent ages trying to work out a way to drain them without disconnecting the still from the boiler, I havn't found one yet, so I gave up worrying.

A good rinse with water and a bit of a steam up works ok for me.
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby Googe » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:43 pm

Does the surface tension hold the fluid on the plate?.
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby cacticlayton » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:25 pm

My plate drain out pretty quick on there own, but the cups and j-traps will hold liquid. You just have to flip and rinse after your run.
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby Googe » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:46 pm

Thanks.mate, was wondering why they wouldn't drain!, there's holes everywhere :lol: .
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby SBB » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:07 pm

cacticlayton wrote:My plate drain out pretty quick on there own, but the cups and j-traps will hold liquid. You just have to flip and rinse after your run.


:text-goodpost: It aint that hard when ya think about it.
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby siegfried » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:46 pm

i cant see why they wouldnt work in the middle but the general consesus is that you want the returning liquid to spend the maximum time on each plate for improved seperation so having them on the outer and installing the plates with the downcomers opposed provides the opportunity to hold the returning liquid on the plate for the longest time before it can run to the lower plate
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby Mooqu » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:17 am

cacticlayton wrote:My plate drain out pretty quick on there own, but the cups and j-traps will hold liquid. You just have to flip and rinse after your run.



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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby emptyglass » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:30 pm

Life changed the day I installed a fill port and drain. It meant the only reason I had to take the still off the boiler was for j cup draining.
When I had a veiwing glass on my bottom j cup, I made a bit of tube that would go through the fill port and up the column a little to reach the cup, then I'd just blow the cup out. Worked ok, but I needed compressed air, as a good mouth blow would push it back up the downcomer. Comperssed air splashed it out enough.
I tried sucking, but gave up after my first mouthfull of the yukkiest tails ever tasted!
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby midcarolina » Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:11 am

emptyglass wrote:I tried sucking, but gave up after my first mouthfull of the yukkiest tails ever tasted!


Good thing we all know you are talking about likker......
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby emptyglass » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:36 pm

Yeah, I should have seen that one coming, lol
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby Yummyrum » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:04 pm

OK slap me if I'm not allowed to but here is a link to Gas ons spider .It picks up from the center and distributes to the edges of the plate below.

HERE
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Re: Downcomer Location

Postby Kapea » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:53 am

If you're not a registered member over there the photos don't show up.
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