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Kimbodious' rig

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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:17 pm

Bog standard TPW recipe, 5kg raw sugar, 80g Lowans Bakers Yeast, 200g-ish woollies own label tomato paste and a sprinkle of citric acid. I top up my pail-style fermenter to about 5cm below the rim. I stir the wash to billyo creating as deep a whirlpool as I can, I steadily pour the yeast down the throat of the whirlpool and using the ladle back paddle the current to collapse the whirlpool onto itself. If I get any floaties I stir and back paddle until all the floaties are sunk.

I reckon that procedure helps practically guarantee a really thorough fermentation that and coupled with our ambient temperatures 27min - 34max - ah the tropics!

Please don't ask what the hygrometer SG readings are coz I've never bothered.

I worked in laboratories in a sugar mill for seven years and measured everything to the nearest poofteenth. In reaction to that I just now focus on the process and let the product do the talking.

Beats me how I ended up managing laboratories in a sugar mill when I am so much your arty 70's punk hippy sort?! :confusion-shrug: probably that's why I don't work there anymore - what a pity... all that molasses. You know there are at least three types of molasses... Dropping in purity from A.Mol, B,Mol and finally to F (final) molasses from which there is no more commercially available sugar (~ 35% sucrose). Guess which one all the rum is made from? :smile:
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby bigfoot » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:42 pm

I'm doing the same as you for tpw, same yeast, everything. 'Cept temp obviously.
I know exactly what your talking about re collapsing the whirlpool - ask my resident ants that have moved in lol.

Not sure what percentages are involved with you washes, but my last SG for tpw was 1.085 and finished at 1.010 which worked out at about 9/10% which I thought was reasonable until seeing your numbers...
I need to try 2 heating bands and see of I can up the temp.
Bf
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:49 pm

I started with a HBS demijon that was 2/3rds full, filled that to 5cm from the cap and filled the next demijon to nearly the 2/3rds level.

Jeez for a 55l wash you'd have to suspect a leak somewhere?

I'll get an ABV of that second demijon for you.

I did find a leak last time :eek and wrapped Teflon joint tape round and round the fitting until it stopped leaking! Interestingly, the fluid leak was before the Liebig, it was very hot and had no flavour?!
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby bigfoot » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:21 pm

I'm not doubting your numbers, I'm stuffing up somewhere. I did have a leak last run, the needle valve was leaking but I thought I got it pretty quick.
What abv numbers are you seeing from start ? Collecting too?
Cheers bf .
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby S-Cackalacky » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:59 am

bigfoot wrote:Not sure I'm doing something very wrong with my strip runs. I'm getting 5 litres from 55 litres - over about 4 hours. If I were getting double - then time would not be so much of a concern. What type of yeast gets you that volume?
Bf

Has little to do with the yeast as long as it's capable of eating all the sugars. The volume of output will be more to do with the amount of alcohol (ABV) going in. This is determined by the OG of the wash before fermentation begins and assuming that it finishes at 1.000 or below. Sounds like you either had a low OG, or the ferment didn't finish. Did you take OG and FG readings of the wash?
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby S-Cackalacky » Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:11 am

Sorry, I see that you posted OG (SG) and FG in a later post. In that case, yes, sounds like a bad leak somewhere.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:22 pm

My very 'orrible one-fingered diagram of my modular build VM. Red bands are triclamps, blue lines are coolant plumbing, you get the picture? Shotgun condenser on top of the column, 3/4" SS gate valve after the tee.. 2 X 600mm 2" packed tubes below the tee etc ...

Anyway my questions about plumbing the coolant (based on current set up for my reflux still)...
is it preferable to split the plumbing as shown? or
is it suitable to link the two condensors (in through the PC and out through the RC)?

If it is better to split is it necessary to have needle valve like control of the coolant to the RC or are these VM things not as tricky as the CM reflux to control.

Thanks!
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:47 am

Hey Bigfoot,
Did you end up buying one of those Chinese 2" sight glass lantern-style? If so any issues/ tips recommendations? Was it simply bling or has it helped with your stilling?
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:09 pm

Sold my Keggomax CM reflux still and ordered the last components for my modular VM build, happy days!

Oops I need a thermometer. Any recommendations for digital thermometers (with 0.1C resolution)? The thermoport is going to be close to 2.1 metres off the ground - am considering a wireless set up. Are there any wireless digital thermometers with 0.1C resolution?
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:27 pm

Waiting game, isn't that what we do? Waiting now for a couple of orders from China and a local one. Earlier order from China not 100% satisfactory, one part missing, in its place some tiny random SS screw in "T". Hoping the rest come through okay. Still got to sort out some 3/8" bsp plumbing fittings plus the thermometer
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:22 pm

Hehe, who was it who recommended a couple of 600mm lengths for the column - wow it is going to be tall! Just waiting on China Post for the final part, the "tee". Even without the tee I am nearly reaching the laundry ceiling! Not really such an issue as I'll be running the still in the regular place on our verandah.

Decided I'll go with a Jaycar $20 digital stick thermometer for monitoring the changes. Most digital thermometers offer to be +-1C in accuracy but display readings to 0.1C?! WTF?
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:17 pm

Vickie, new modular VM still taking shape. Wooden plug is where the thermometer will go.
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50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby Otago Elvis » Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:14 pm

Awesome mate :handgestures-thumbupright:

She looks Mickey Mouse :obscene-drinkingcheers:
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby bigfoot » Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:22 pm

kimbodious wrote:Hey Bigfoot,
Did you end up buying one of those Chinese 2" sight glass lantern-style? If so any issues/ tips recommendations? Was it simply bling or has it helped with your stilling?

Yes - a great bit of kit.
Any information is good in my books and obviously being able to see what is happening at various stages has its advantages.
The good thing about this size - I can fit it in the column in different locations and see what's happening.
Ie I put it at the bottom of the column and the amount of fluid being refluxed back into the wash was mind boggling...next I'm going to place it under the boka and see how much that is returning - I'd love to put the boka coil into the glass but diff sizes. I could also place some scrubbers within and see the reflux from diff mediums...
It's a heavy piece of kit ( maybe 4kg), not overly cheap at $75 but I'm thinking of getting a larger unit from same.
Bf.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:57 pm

Yeah, it has been a fun project. I have bought a part each pay fortnight, selling the Keggomax to fund the purchase of the big ticket items. It was the pot still I bought from Maheel that started this build. I realised that with a modular design and using his beaut Liebig I could have either a VM column still or a pot still depending on which pieces I bolt together.

Bigfoot you taunt me with your tempting promotion of the un-budgeted for sight tower, would you see me getting divorced? LOL Might just let my finger slip in a month or so's time when browsing tasty Chinese stainless steel devices on eBay. I wonder how long before she'd notice anyway?
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby bigfoot » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:16 am

kimbodious wrote:Yeah, it has been a fun project. I have bought a part each pay fortnight, selling the Keggomax to fund the purchase of the big ticket items. It was the pot still I bought from Maheel that started this build. I realised that with a modular design and using his beaut Liebig I could have either a VM column still or a pot still depending on which pieces I bolt together.

Bigfoot you taunt me with your tempting promotion of the un-budgeted for sight tower, would you see me getting divorced? LOL Might just let my finger slip in a month or so's time when browsing tasty Chinese stainless steel devices on eBay. I wonder how long before she'd notice anyway?


If you have cheap access to post - we could send mine back and forth - so she gets used to seeing it around...then when you do pull the trigger..."NEW? - it's been here for 6 months...here look at this photo with it in the background." " now you've falsely accused me of something I didnt do, I am going to go out and buy a bloody site gla...I mean...sweetheart, take you out for dinner...."
Bf
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:11 pm

Well I do amass brownie points by being her sound engineer at gigs, tho she does pay me in beers and mostly has to be the sober driver at the end of the show.
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:07 pm

Plumbing hooked and leak-tested, it leaked. All better now by using thicker-walled hose. Just waiting on some triclamp fittings for the Liebig side of the gate valve and phase 1 is complete (phase 2 involves bling).
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50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
kimbodious
 
Posts: 473
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Location: The deep North of Queensland, Australia

Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Tue May 03, 2016 7:29 pm

Polly (2" modular pot stil project) finally completed. Gotta love a modular system for ease of cleaning and packing away. I included a 600 ml bottle to help people get an idea of scale.

Stripping run yesterday, from 46 litres of TPW, I achieved 10 litres of low wines in 3 hours from when the foreshots first appeared.
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50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
kimbodious
 
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Location: The deep North of Queensland, Australia

Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby S-Cackalacky » Tue May 03, 2016 11:11 pm

What you did with your modular pot still is what I would like to do with a 3" CCVM. I envision receiving a carefully ordered list of parts, tri clamping it all together and running with it. My biggest concern at this point is finding a suitable adapter for my existing PVC liebig. The liebig currently has a 1/2" union fitting to attach to the lyne arm of my pot still.

It would be a big help if I could manage to hang on to the money I'm saving for parts. I always seem to find other things to spend it on. BTW - to keep the SOH from questioning my purchases, I take the cash I save and buy a prepaid Visa or Mastercard to use for ordering the parts. She works Monday thru Friday, so as long as the parts are delivered on a weekday, she's none the wiser. It's not that she objects to me buying things. It's just that, if she knows about it, she sees it as license to buy something of equal or greater value. I don't know if it's a psychological disorder, or just some weird game of tit-for-tat.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Wed May 04, 2016 7:56 am

Yup, married life is all about compromise craft and concealment, LOL
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
kimbodious
 
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby S-Cackalacky » Wed May 04, 2016 10:52 am

Indeed it is.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby Swedish Pride » Wed May 04, 2016 7:59 pm

Ha!
Good to see I'm not the only one keeping the missus in the dark of all my purchases, I've a slightly different method though.
As she is home with the kids all day I get my stuff delivered to work :)
Don't be a dick
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Wed May 04, 2016 8:40 pm

My wife has eight guitars yet I have only two stills - where is the equity there? We own two Dalmatian dogs. We refer to my distilling set up as 'The Spotted Hound Distillery'. My wife, a graphic artist, must be somewhat in support of my distilling hobby because she is working up designs for a logo and bottle labels.
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50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby S-Cackalacky » Thu May 05, 2016 8:08 am

You're a lucky man. My wife still won't drink my product for fear of going blind.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby bigfoot » Thu May 05, 2016 4:31 pm

My missus says, I can only ride one motorcycle at a time, so there is no point in having two...so I tossed all but 1 pair of her shoes in the recycling bin.
Im still recovering from that one.
Bf
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Thu May 05, 2016 10:05 pm

The Cinnamon liqueur will save the day Clacker.
Bigfoot, what were you thinking? LOL

I guess I am lucky but we did come to an agreement of one $50 item (or equivalent) per pay fortnight, plus I get to sleep indoors from 2017 unless by special invitation
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50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Sun May 08, 2016 2:32 pm

Part of my setup is a 45 degree bend with a 3/8" NPT port. The port is where my digital thermometer goes. I found a piece of wooden dowel which was a neat fit and drilled a hole for the thermometer. But the wood swelled with heat and steam, contracted again etc until the seal continually weeped. I go searching in the shed and find a 3/8 by 1/8 NPT SS nipple, amazing incredibly lucky find amongst 46 years of accumulated treasures (junk), I trimmed off the 1/8 bit and shined it all up but puzzled how I was going to make a seal or grommet for the stem of the thermometer? Have another look around on the workbench and find some packs of those disposable earplugs with the flared ends? Can't hurt to give that a go?
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50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Mon May 09, 2016 9:20 pm

Modular stills project completed! Here is my VM still in final form and also broken down in to components. I have included a 1.25l soft drink bottle to help give you an idea of scale. Thanks for your advice support and patience through this project!
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50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
kimbodious
 
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Mon May 09, 2016 10:00 pm

Components you see here (all 2" except the gate valve and Liebig)
2 X 600mm straight sections
1 X 45 degree elbow with 3/8" NPT port
1 X 2"x2"x2" tee
1 X Big Baby dephlegmator
1 X 3/4" gate valve
1 X Jaycar digital thermometer
1 X Maheel Liebig 3/4" - 1/2"
7 X triclamps + gaskets
2 X encaps 2" - 1/2"
1 X endcap 2" - 3/4"
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
kimbodious
 
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby S-Cackalacky » Mon May 09, 2016 10:34 pm

Kimbo, what is the adapter on the top end of the liebig? Looks like sanitary to female threaded. Is the male connection on the liebig the male side of a copper union fitting?

BTW - Congratulations on the completion of your build.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Tue May 10, 2016 8:26 am

SClacker, it is indeed a 2" sanitary triclamp flange with a 1/2" threaded socket. The male connection on the Liebig is as you say the male side of a brass union fitting - easy peasey! The triclamp fitting ($18 AUD) came from the place that has a name that sounds a bit like hillwagon.
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50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby S-Cackalacky » Tue May 10, 2016 11:00 am

Thanks Kimbo! I know the "hillwagon" of which you speak. That was the last piece of my CCVM puzzle.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Tue May 10, 2016 12:26 pm

Glad to help out, looking forward to see pics of the finished still!
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
kimbodious
 
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby S-Cackalacky » Tue May 10, 2016 10:48 pm

Well, be patient. I was forced to spend the money I had saved for parts on other things. The only things I really have at the moment are parts for a new controller, connectors, 10 gauge cable, and csst for the RC. I think this time around I'll buy bits and pieces as I have the money.

Your build has been an inspiration. All said and done, mine will be a bunch of parts tri clamped together. The only part that I will need to fabricate myself will be the csst RC - and maybe bustin' up some lava rock for packing.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Wed May 11, 2016 7:27 am

The pace of my project was dictated by available funds. I purchased the small cheaper components one per pay fortnight. The bigger ticket items were purchased only after I sold off some treasures. I tried to save money by purchasing from China which brought its own frustrations. I have 10 litres of low wines, another 10 litres to strip out by the weekend. I think I'll set up the fermenters for another lot so that I'll have 30 litres low wines for Vickie's first run.
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
kimbodious
 
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Wed May 11, 2016 7:32 am

Would you still require the gate valve with your CCVM?
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50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
kimbodious
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:56 pm
Location: The deep North of Queensland, Australia

Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Wed May 11, 2016 7:49 am

I've got a CCSM still, also with a csst reflux condenser, that is built and water tested, but hasn't been licensed yet, so it's never seen ethanol. I built it without the gate valve on the recommendation of dad300 on the Artisan Distillers list. Dad built the first one of this design I'd ever seen, and he swears the valve was redundant.
Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller http://www.kelleybarts.com/zymurgy-bob-books/making-fine-spirits/

You can make whisky in a reflux still, you can make vodka in a potstill,
and you can eat chicken noodle soup with a crescent wrench. But..
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Wed May 11, 2016 8:07 am

Wow interesting! Would I need a longer piece of column above the outlet than the tee? I do have a 305mm section ?I could add.
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
kimbodious
 
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Wed May 11, 2016 9:24 pm

We're not going commercial anytime soon but my graphic artist wife has the logo sorted (jpg, not print quality).
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50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
kimbodious
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:56 pm
Location: The deep North of Queensland, Australia

Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby S-Cackalacky » Wed May 11, 2016 10:54 pm

Great looking logo Kimbo. The output control of a CCVM, minus a mechanical valve, is in the name - CCVM (Condenser Controlled Vapor Management). The RC is slid below the side leg of the sanitary tee for reflux and then moved up for opening the side leg to release the refluxed distillate to the PC. So, the RC is the valve.

Another great advantage is in turning it into a traditional pot still. Simply slide out the RC and cap the open end of the column with a sanitary cap and tri clamp.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby S-Cackalacky » Wed May 11, 2016 11:11 pm

kimbodious wrote:The pace of my project was dictated by available funds. I purchased the small cheaper components one per pay fortnight. The bigger ticket items were purchased only after I sold off some treasures. I tried to save money by purchasing from China which brought its own frustrations. I have 10 litres of low wines, another 10 litres to strip out by the weekend. I think I'll set up the fermenters for another lot so that I'll have 30 litres low wines for Vickie's first run.

I think I might follow your buying method. I've been trying to save up the whole sum of money before buying anything. That would be all well and good if little spending emergencies didn't pop up. I think I have enough saved right now to buy the main section of column tube (36" X 3" ss sanitary tube). This will be the packed section.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Thu May 12, 2016 8:04 am

It was the only way I could manage it. Little by little piece by piece I could see it all coming together. I will end up with an extra 2x2x2 SS tee, would that be useful for your project, or will you keep to 3" right through?
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50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby S-Cackalacky » Thu May 12, 2016 11:00 am

It'll be 3" all the way through until the 90 degree elbow to the PC. After the 90, I'll use a 3" to 2" reducer and then one of those fittings like the one you used for connecting your liebig. It will have the same 2" to 3" reducer to transition from the keg ferrule to the column. The only other thing will be a shorter section of ss tubing above the tee to hold the condenser. I don't remember what I sourced for that - either 6" or 8" - long enough to lift the RC above the side leg of the tee and still have it knock down any vapor that might try to escape. I had also thought about a sanitary sight glass just before the tee to be able to monitor for flooding. That may come later as an upgrade.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Sun May 22, 2016 10:28 am

First proper run with the VM still today and I flooded the bloody column! I have now backed off the power controller to a really really low point on the range. It is astonishing at how low you need to run the power controller at for the VM reflux column still compared to my old CM reflux column still or the pot still. I think I will remove the topmost centering ring just in case that is exacerbating the flooding issue.
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
kimbodious
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:56 pm
Location: The deep North of Queensland, Australia

Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Mon May 23, 2016 9:03 pm

I can tell you that my first VM was an utter disaster apart from the learning that came out of it. I could not get enough reflux action so was pulling off 80% ABV at best :shock: I had cracked a soldered joint on my Liebig through some extra zealous tightening of a compression fitting. The leak that followed meant that I could not throw as much cooling water around as I needed. Nonetheless I still managed to flood the column several times even sending fluid out over the top of the dephlegmator. Besides that, the way I had the gate valve on a 45 degree elbow after the tee meant that fluid pooled behind the gate valve to come out in a torrent every time I cracked the gate valve open. By midday I'd shutdown everything, poured whatever product back in the keg and sealed it up to strip it out some time in the near future.

I have come up with a design that avoids having to use the 45 degree elbow. I am also planning to use my spare 2"x2"x2" tee for a sight glass (?!) between the takeoff and the dephlegmator. I've had the solder joint on the Liebig repaired but haven't pressure tested it.

I have included a pic of my proposed new set up. The red ring shows where I'd put a sight glass. Only problem is with this design there is no immediate provision to install my thermometer. Is it absolutely critical to have a thermometer on a VM anyway? I would very much appreciate to benefit from your comments and suggestions please based on your far greater level of experience and knowledge than this newbie, please!
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50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
kimbodious
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:56 pm
Location: The deep North of Queensland, Australia

Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby S-Cackalacky » Mon May 23, 2016 10:51 pm

Kimbo, I'm sure others with more reflux experience will come along with better advice. Sounds like you may have solved the valve problem and that's a step in the right direction. As to the flooding - maybe you're giving it too much heat. I've heard others say that they were surprised at how little heat it took to maintain full reflux. I would imagine that learning to drive a reflux still is far different than a pot still. Patience and persistence my friend. S-Cack.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby Aussiedownunder » Tue May 24, 2016 7:42 am

Talking about wife
I hope when I am gone the wife and kids don't sell my stuff for the price I told them I payed for it :crying-yellow:
If its free pick it up
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Tue May 24, 2016 7:49 am

Thanks S-Cack, very much appreciated. Will you have a thermometer in your CCVM?
I wanted to make the best VM I could with the fund$ available. My wife has been really supportive of the project and sewed me a double layer polar fleece shroud to insulate the column.

I read everything I could and I reckon I have ended up overthinking everything. I'd put centering rings 4" down from the top of both sections of packed column. I will take out the centering ring that is so close to the takeoff just in case that is a) restricting the return of the reflux and b) restricting the vapour flow in some way (I don't really understand). I have read that it may help if I put some scrubbers nearly up as far as the takeoff in the tee (something about increasing turbulence in the vapour flow?). I don't really want to spend any more money for a sight glass kit but I'd read that it might help to have greater distance between the reflux condenser and the takeoff and I already had that spare tee. If I don't need that extra height I'll leave out the extra tee and decide if I'll buy a SGK sometime in the future.

I'd also tried a split system for the cooling water (not helped by the leak I'd created) but now I will re-route it back to the standard in through the PC out up to the RC and out to the "drain" or in my case the pool.

Thanks again for your support.
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
kimbodious
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:56 pm
Location: The deep North of Queensland, Australia

Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby S-Cackalacky » Tue May 24, 2016 11:20 am

Kimbo, I'm sure you'll get the kinks worked out. I don't have plans for including a thermometer with the initial build. I'll see how it runs without one and take it from there. Like you, my budget is tight. For that same reason, I'll put off including a sight glass unless I find that there is some great advantage to having one. A 3" sight glass is quite expensive.

Speaking of sight glasses - I've read at least one account of someone building a plated column using the lantern style sight glasses. That's another idea for a future upgrade of my build and should also work for yours. That said, instead of buying one 3"x36" ss spool for the bottom packed section, I'm thinking of 2 18" (or 3 12") spools so I can remove one (or 2) spools and add plates if I want. It'll add to the initial cost, but may be worth it in the end. I'll be using a boat load of tri clamps.

Anyway, thanks for starting this thread. Your build has been an inspiration to move forward with my own build.
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