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Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

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Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby JRs Distilling » Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:26 am

Hello Folks,

I am very new to distilling and built a 2" reflux tower over a 9 gal. pot. It works pretty well, I have gotten a couple 86% runs with it. After finding this site and doing some reading, can some one tell me if there would be any advantage to adding a bubble ball above the boiler and below the packing of the tower? Does the bubble ball have any thing in it or is it empty?

I did a search and did not find the answer to this question. I am sorry if it was discussed before and if some one would direct me to that post that would be great too.

Thanks, JRs
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby DrWho » Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:21 am

:text-welcomewave: to MD.

A couple of threads down is the Stretched Bubble Ball thread. Has a bunch of good info in it. There are several others here on the Hybrid form.

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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby FullySilenced » Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:23 am

I would read the hybrid stuff ... seems more what your looking for...
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby Kapea » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:39 am

You're gonna convince me to buy a torpedo for my column yet.

Has anyone tried putting the torpedo top half on the bottom half too, kinda like a window into the boiler? One window on top to look at the bubble plate, another window underneath to look at the boiler. How much of a view into the boiler do you suppose a 2" sightglass on the bottom might allow?

Will the angle of the bottom window allow for drain-back to the boiler, or will condensate puddle on the bottom window? I'm thinking (and I blame punkin for the idea) of building a one plate - two sightglass torpedo (with 2" SGKs) to attach to the top of my half barrel sanke keg boiler. Either my VM column or potstill head will be mounted to the torpedo.

If condensate puddles on the lower sightglass, might that cause heads to smear across hearts too? If so, might a plain 4" x 2" concentric reducer be a better idea?
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby timmyjane » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:20 pm

Before I added a torpedo I was having a hard time getting higher than 91%. 48in packed column Last run with stretched torpedo I took out 18inches of column and couldn't get off 95 at 1200ish watts.
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby Bushman » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:19 am

Now I might have to consider adding one on my rig, another advantage is it will raise my product collection higher off the ground and since height is not an issue in my out building seems like the next progression.
Last edited by Bushman on Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby DuckofDeath » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:00 am

When I addd a torpedo it almost doubled my collection rate. Now I almost have a full dash hahaha
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby mort4 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:12 am

Just did a couple runs with a torpedo under my column. The most notable thing for me was the compression of heads and tails. With a noticeable bump in speed/abv.. More hearts in less time. :grin:
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby timmyjane » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:00 am

Running below a 2in column, how much power are people running? I've noticed when I get above 1450 or so things start going downhill.
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby Prairiepiss » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:53 am

timmyjane wrote:Running below a 2in column, how much power are people running? I've noticed when I get above 1450 or so things start going downhill.


3000 watts is what I run. But mine is a little different then the SD stuff.
1450 seams awfully low. Even for just a 2" packed column. What are you using for packing?
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby timmyjane » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:43 am

Stainless scrubbies. Takeoff is fast just seems that if I apply more than 14-1500 abv starts dropping quick and tails say hello.
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby Prairiepiss » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:00 am

What kind of reflux column do you have on top of the bubbler?
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby DrWho » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:58 am

timmyjane wrote:Stainless scrubbies. Takeoff is fast just seems that if I apply more than 14-1500 abv starts dropping quick and tails say hello.


Go with lava rock. Beats SS scrubbies all to heck. Check out my posts in this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=211&start=20 :grin:

I used the black rock and whacked it with a hammer to reduce the size. Then screened it for the desired size of the pieces.

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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby timmyjane » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:26 am

Prairiepiss wrote:What kind of reflux column do you have on top of the bubbler?

VM/LM
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby Hawk » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:49 pm

Putting a torpedo or a couple plates will compress the heads to the point that I ran 5 gallons of heads and tails diluted down to 10 gallons that I got nothing but heads. I gave up at gallon 3 of collection today. Guess I won't be saving my heads and tails anymore.

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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby Hawk » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:05 pm

minime wrote:
Hawk wrote:Putting a torpedo or a couple plates will compress the heads to the point that I ran 5 gallons of heads and tails diluted down to 10 gallons that I got nothing but heads. I gave up at gallon 3 of collection today. Guess I won't be saving my heads and tails anymore.

SD Hybrids make my world go round!


Why would you mix heads and tails together? They're from opposite ends of the spectrum. Tails go into your next run to extend the alcohol and add flavor. Heads should be accumulated until there's enough for a neutral run. That's what I do anyway.


Well I know now lol. Yet I find that I really had nothing to work with. It tasted good but the feeling of heads was there so I scratched the whole batch. I was going for a neutral run. Now I have a bunch of any killer.
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby Prairiepiss » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:40 pm

I mix my heads and tails. And they clean up fine for me. I get some good usable neutral out of them. But then again I make tight hearts cuts from the first runs. And purposely leave some good hearts in the mix. Knowing I will recover it later.
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby Kapea » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:22 pm

No one has any thoughts on installing a lower sight glass on the bottom half of a SD torpedo? Specifically - do you think condensate will pool in the sightglass arm of the reducing T? (Heads smearing?)
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby Kapea » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:47 am

I would like to see what's happening in the boiler.
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Re: Putting a bubble Ball on my reflux tower?

Postby Hawk » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:31 am

Kapea wrote:I would like to see what's happening in the boiler.


If you had the torpedo top on the top of your boiler and then your tower on top of that, you might get to see into your boiler. Id just put a 2 inch long ferrule on the top of your boiler though and add a SGK. Your view might be skewed having it as part of the tower. I am speaking of the 4 inch side down. with the 4 inch side up, youd see nothing in the boiler. The angle is just not in your favor.
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