the modern distiller

column information

column information

Postby lookingforflavor » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:32 pm

I have looked through the pictures of different stills in this website. Many or most of you are truly masters. Not only of recipes and procedures but in the craft of making the stills themselves. Very impressive.

I desire to start designing my own still. We will call it a second generation as I am already outgrowing the first still I cobbled together.

My first in many questions is I have available a 5' pieces of 2" copper pipe. Im thinking of packing the upper half with ss scrubbers and the lower half with copper scrubbers. My goal is neutral alcohol.

1. With that tall of a column do you think the alcohol would be pretty high ABV or do you think a water jacket around the column would be helpful or necessary?
2. Would you advise shortening the column as it is unnecessarily tall?
3. if you think a water jacket is helpful how big would you make it? 4" 5" 6"?? bigger???

looking forward to your replies.
LFF
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Re: column information

Postby JayD » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:08 pm

I make my 2" boka's around 1500mm high including the condensor, no need for a water jacket around the column however insulation all the way around up to a base of the outlet will keep it stable as while you run it...I have always used S/S scrubers and achieved good neutral distillate.
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Re: column information

Postby myles » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:02 pm

It is plenty long enough. You can get by with 48" packed length with scrubbers in the 2" column, but use more if you have the ceiling height available.

Depending on your head choice you might wish to include a void between the top of the packing and your take off point. This is dependent on if it is a VM or LM or CM and also on whether you are going to be using high vapour speeds. So you may need to reserve a bit of column length for the void.

As for the copper scrubbers - if you do use them I would only put in about 4", and put them just above the boiler. Treat this section of packing as consumable as it will degrade over time and may need to be replaced occasionally.
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Re: column information

Postby lookingforflavor » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:08 pm

I do have the ceiling room as I use an out building. A pole barn about the size of a two car garage with a 12 foot roof. I hate to cut a good piece of copper only to find out later I wish I hadn't.

JD. it sounds like you recommend an insulation jacket instead of a cooling jacket. Do I understand this correctly. Right now I have a 1" copper 2' long going into a 1/2" copper pipe 2' long for a total of 4'. I have scrubbers the entire length and get 82% ABV. My take of is 3/8" about 10 feet long going through a 5 gallon bucket. Its also 20 F outside. LOL. My condenser is frozen solid when I start the still. Im thinking I want a cool jacket not a warm one. Insulating it will make it warm. I think I misunderstand here.

Myles. Im thinking of using a couple of reducers down to 3/8". Just running a 3/8" copper tubing straight off of the top of the column to my condenser. Your saying I only need 4" of scrubbers. I was thinking the more scrubbers the better as long as the vapor flows nicely. Im not looking to go fast. My current will do a pint in about 1 hour. The math says with a 2" I should be able to do a 1/2 gallon or so in an hour. If I only do a quart an hour that's good enough for me.

Please add more info.

thanks
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Re: column information

Postby myles » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:18 am

Slight misunderstanding there. I meant use 4" of sacrificial copper, and as much stainless scrubbers as you can fit in the column.

A 2" column should give you about 0.75 litres per hour on 1.5 kW. Your column needs to be thermally stable which is a lot easier if you insulate it. With an un-insulated column it can be a PITA if you have drafts.
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Re: column information

Postby lookingforflavor » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:19 am

OK. Got the 4" of sacrificial. That makes real sense.

You just turned on the light bulb. If the vapor is 173 F. You can tell where I'm from can't you, Don't know why we didn't convert decades ago?? Then the column will only heat to 173 F regardless. I was thinking the column temperature was hotter at the bottom and cooler at the top and it needed cooling. But that cant be. Insulation would require less Kw. Because Im not losing BTU to the air.

Hope I have this right.
well done.
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Re: column information

Postby myles » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:41 am

lookingforflavor wrote:OK. Got the 4" of sacrificial. That makes real sense.

You just turned on the light bulb. If the vapor is 173 F. You can tell where I'm from can't you, Don't know why we didn't convert decades ago?? Then the column will only heat to 173 F regardless. I was thinking the column temperature was hotter at the bottom and cooler at the top and it needed cooling. But that cant be. Insulation would require less Kw. Because Im not losing BTU to the air.

Hope I have this right.
well done.


The column IS hotter at the bottom and cooler at the top. It is the reflux condenser that provides most of the cooling - with some escaping from the column wall.

You establish a temperature gradient in the column, this changes during the run but it is supposed to change very slowly.

During the hearts phase it should remain stable to within 0.1 degree C. (Actual temperature does not really matter.) When it CHANGES you know that you are close to a transition point.
myles
 

Re: column information

Postby lookingforflavor » Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:56 am

you are going to make a scientist out of me yet.

dont give up.
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Re: column information

Postby Zombie » Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:13 am

lookingforflavor wrote:you are going to make a scientist out of me yet.

dont give up.


+1!!!
I never sleep anymore... :lol: :lol: :lol:

I may need to be "put down" soon.
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Re: column information

Postby JayD » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:49 am

k..here is a photo of a 3" Boka I have built, you can clearly see there is no water jacket on it, and yes for this design if you insulate the column they run stable as, the condensor is vented to amtosphere at the top of the mount plate and the only water jacket I have is on the optional liebig condensor cooling the distilate on the out put....this design works very well and I have made them as big as 4"
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Re: column information

Postby Zombie » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:15 pm

K.I.S.S. I wish I knew what that meant.
It's like some space monkey encryption or something I just don't get!!! :lol:

I guess distilling is really simple when you break it down but, why let the horse drink when you can teach it to cook a pizza?

I may need to be "put down" soon.
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Re: column information

Postby lookingforflavor » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:21 pm

you guys are a gas.

That's a good thing.

Later

LFF
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