the modern distiller

Work in progress...

Re: Work in progress...

Postby big woods » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:46 am

being new to potstills i was curious about your proposed tower height.
Do pot stills with a thumper require a shorter collum than other stills?
whats a good baseline for height with a 2" tower going into a thumper?
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby Zombie Killer » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:07 pm

A few things have changed. im not using the big pot anymore as that will be for mashing. i am going to use two 50L kegs one as the boiler and the other for thump keg. Have not made my mind up yet on column size yet. Im thinking max 2 feet out of boiler and as short a distance to the thump as i can make. I want to minimize the amount of heat loss between boiler and thump.
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby S-Cackalacky » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:24 am

Pretty much what ZK said. Riser length isn't terribly important with a pot still. Without a thumper, it just needs to be long enough to accommodate the condenser you're using. With a thumper, use as little piping as possible and insulate it if possible.

My small pot still uses 1" copper from the boiler connection over to the thumper input. It doesn't rise more than a couple of inches above the boiler or the thumper.

I use the same pot still riser and liebig for boiler only runs and move it to the thumper output when I run with the thumper attached. The riser is about 24" to accommodate the length of the liebig condenser.

Other than that, a little riser length can be used to help avoid pukes. Adds a bit of extra head space.
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby Zombie Killer » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:02 pm

Small update. getting some Ferrel's machined out of 316 stainless to attach my 2" still head. :) getting closer and closer to build time. priced out a bunch of copper fittings at Home depot for a liebig condenser.
on that note 1" over 1/2" 3' long should be good for running propane on a 50L keg ? thoughts. I have read so much about liebig condensers lately my head hurts.
Texada went in and out of the news. Its association with" illegal intoxicants" dates back to 1928 when the biggest whisky still north of Vancouver was busted in romantic Pocahontas Bay. ZOMBIE KILLER....................
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:14 am

The 1" water jacket dimension isn't important, but 30" of 1/2" cooled copper pipe will generally do pretty well for you, but some burners (like my Cajun Classic) can overwhelm it, at least while stripping.
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby Zombie Killer » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:25 am

So increasing the size of vapor/product line too 3/4 running inside a 1" water jacket is probably a better design.
Texada went in and out of the news. Its association with" illegal intoxicants" dates back to 1928 when the biggest whisky still north of Vancouver was busted in romantic Pocahontas Bay. ZOMBIE KILLER....................
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:31 am

I'd say so, yes. The big thing it would get you is that your liebig won't be as heavy a lever trying to pry the top of your boiler off, especially when it's full of water (the liebig, that is :smile: ).
Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller http://www.kelleybarts.com/zymurgy-bob-books/making-fine-spirits/

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and you can eat chicken noodle soup with a crescent wrench. But..
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby Zombie Killer » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:46 am

its settled then. ill go with 1" over 3/4. this will mean vapor will travel a path of 2">1">3/4".
liebig won't be as heavy
that honestly hadn't crossed my mind as part of the overall setup. thanks for that. I can now plan out a support system for the arm.
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:59 am

Actually, I kinda blew it. I was thinking about 3/4' over 1/2", but 1" over 3/4" is better than 1" over 1/2".
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and you can eat chicken noodle soup with a crescent wrench. But..
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby Zombie Killer » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:12 am

Does anyone see a issue with using a 50L boiler and a 50L thump ? Other than taking more time for thump too heat up I don't see any drawbacks. however I am aware of the thump to boiler ratio and realize this is well above the minimum requirements.
Texada went in and out of the news. Its association with" illegal intoxicants" dates back to 1928 when the biggest whisky still north of Vancouver was busted in romantic Pocahontas Bay. ZOMBIE KILLER....................
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby The Baker » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:58 pm

Zymurgy Bob wrote:Actually, I kinda blew it. I was thinking about 3/4' over 1/2", but 1" over 3/4" is better than 1" over 1/2".


Hi, Bob and all,
I will soon have my little pot still ready. Maybe I can get a picture but it is a direct copy of another one, yours I think. (nice.) It's tiny
I had planned to mount it on a stainless pressure cooker, around 5 litres or a bit less; but the friend who completed it after I had set up the pipes and reducers (but not the curved inlet pipe and the supports) angled it for a straight lid. The lid on the pressure cooker is 'angled', the hole is where the weighted safety valve was. So now it is going on top (in the middle!) of a six litre stainless pot.
And he improved the design by putting the water inlet and outlet on the top, 'so there would be no air bubbles'.
Which is a pain because of potential kinking of the tubes. I may have to support them or probably add fitting (s) so that they point downward where the hose connects.
It will be a good still for gin, later, I may even set up the pressure cooker later so that if I want to I can use it as the boiler and the six litre pot as a thumper; won't have to move the condenser. just add an inlet with the thumper pipe; stick a cork in the inlet when not using it as a thumper...
I have a stainless liebig, two inch outside and one and a quarter inch inside, five feet long, that I used to use with the gas fired pot still (maybe fifty litres? Four ring propane burner) that I will use with the twenty litre electric pot still when I get it going.
and I have another, seven feet or seven feet six long....! Overkill I know but the price was good. Free, just a weld needed on the small (!) one. They were used as pre-coolers in my friend's milking shed, before the milk went into his massive refrigerated vat, and they were left over when he re-modelled.
But I was wondering if those big condensers are that efficient; would it be worth poking a three-quarter inch copper pipe through the middle and running the water between the two-inch and the one-and-a-quarter pipes and then between that and the three-quarter? And of course the vapour through that. Actually simple enough to set up.
What do you experienced people think?
Geoff
P. S. I could even run the water through the three-quarter inch tube and the vapour outside of that, inside the one-and-a-quarter inch tube. That might be MORE efficient? G.
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby Zombie Killer » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:12 pm

Ok did a little reading/searching. one issue that i may face is not being able to force enough heat into the thump resulting in the wash being condensed in the thump and most of it not making its way to the product condenser. To overcome this i would have to run more heat on the boiler ( which i would prefer to avoid ). A couple thoughts i had was 1. keep the amount of pipe between boiler and thump as short as possible and 2. insulate the thump keg ? or am i just over thinking things here.
Texada went in and out of the news. Its association with" illegal intoxicants" dates back to 1928 when the biggest whisky still north of Vancouver was busted in romantic Pocahontas Bay. ZOMBIE KILLER....................
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby S-Cackalacky » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:33 am

Zombie Killer wrote:Does anyone see a issue with using a 50L boiler and a 50L thump ? Other than taking more time for thump too heat up I don't see any drawbacks. however I am aware of the thump to boiler ratio and realize this is well above the minimum requirements.

Others have done it without any problems. At some point in the future, I plan to have a 60L thumper and a 50L boiler.
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby S-Cackalacky » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:43 am

Zombie Killer wrote:Ok did a little reading/searching. one issue that i may face is not being able to force enough heat into the thump resulting in the wash being condensed in the thump and most of it not making its way to the product condenser. To overcome this i would have to run more heat on the boiler ( which i would prefer to avoid ). A couple thoughts i had was 1. keep the amount of pipe between boiler and thump as short as possible and 2. insulate the thump keg ? or am i just over thinking things here.

Your thoughts on pipe length and insulation are spot on.

Haven't tried this, but I wonder if pointing the condenser (liebig, shotgun, dimroth) upward during the heatup of the thumper would have any benefit. That is, condense the vapor and return it to the thumper until the temp inside the thumper is equalized. Just a thought.
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby Zombie Killer » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:50 pm

S-Cackalacky wrote:Your thoughts on pipe length and insulation are spot on.

Haven't tried this, but I wonder if pointing the condenser (liebig, shotgun, dimroth) upward during the heatup of the thumper would have any benefit. That is, condense the vapor and return it to the thumper until the temp inside the thumper is equalized. Just a thought.

Hmmm. wonder what kind of back pressure issues this may cause ?
I guess there is only one way too find out how the 50L>50L setup will work but too set it up and try. then i can add insulation if need be.
Texada went in and out of the news. Its association with" illegal intoxicants" dates back to 1928 when the biggest whisky still north of Vancouver was busted in romantic Pocahontas Bay. ZOMBIE KILLER....................
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby S-Cackalacky » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:14 am

Might require a cautious approach.
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby bigfoot » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:17 am

Might require a bomb suit - be bloody careful. Pressure can build so quickly...
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby Zombie Killer » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:52 pm

Oh no. I'm not intending too run the still with the condenser in a upright position. I can see too many ways things may get a little haywire.
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby S-Cackalacky » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:19 am

Just being devil's advocate - but, why would it be any more dangerous than running a reflux condenser on a column. Only real problem I can see is that the cooling lines would be backward with the condenser pointing up. But, with a CSST style dimroth, even that wouldn't be a problem.

You might need to use a slower heat up to avoid huffing and the possibility of spitting condensed product from the end of the condenser. That would be a good indication that you have reached the optimum temp in the thumper - that is, if it did actually manifest itself as a problem.
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Re: Work in progress...

Postby Zombie Killer » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:24 am

picked up 12" of 3/4' copper for $20. little by little things are coming together.
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