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Kimbodious' rig

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Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:58 pm

Ok so what you are seeing is a 50l beer keg with a 2200w electric element installed, all shrouded in a shed insulation wrap. On top of that is a Keggomax CM Reflux still. The box on the stool is a home made SSR power controller for the element. There are two modifications. First is separate routing of cooling water with a needle valve for fine adjustment to the reflux chamber condensor and a ball valve for coarse adjustment to the product condensor. Second mod is the water being input from the bottom of both condensors to make sure they are always flooded.

Today for the first time I am finally "boss of the still" after a few attempts where the still well and truly owned me. The new power controller makes all the difference! Running a Lemon Wash in the photo. Taste test after a few days of airing.
--
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 » Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:35 pm

Good for you K :handgestures-thumbupright:

How good is it when you have that "light bulb" moment and you realise....faaark, now i know how to drive this bus ?!?

Bravo Champ :clap:
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:26 pm

Thanks OE, found a really great thread started by Prairiepisx on another forum which was a really thick vein of info. Maheel here has been very helpful and supportive too and your good self. Reckon I'll wring whatever I can get out of this set up, polish my skills before building/ upgrading to a modular set up. I spent a fair chunk of my career working in Labs. Although I don't do that any more this distilling hobby just seems the most natural thing to be doing in part of my spare time.
--
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 » Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:18 pm

Got enough hooch now to do my first spirit run - gotta sort some plumbing leaks on the coolant side. Did sort the vapour/ distillare leak, beauty and only required a $4 part
--
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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Location: The deep North of Queensland, Australia

Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby Army of Tigers » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:15 am

Awesome K. Can you tell me a little more about the 'shrouding' of the boiler. I have access to some car windscreen type heat reflectors but am not sure if they have a plastic coating that will melt at 90-100deg C; and then stick like 'sh#t to a blanket' on my boiler. Do you have any advice on the best product. Cheers for any assist. AOT.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby the Doctor » Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:27 am

Nice rig mate... " Boss of the Still" ...feels good doesn't it.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:22 pm

Oops, I have been busy work wise. Work is another four letter word you know - but so is beer! The shrouding for the keg is shed insulation or thermal layer. I made it so there's about a 2cm gap between the keg and it. The idea is the platic-coated foil reflects the heat being radiated back on to the keg with the gap of air acting as an insulation from outside air temps. Only design change I'll make is to use real insulation tape and not the $2 shop "hundred-mile-an-hour" tape. I reckon if you maintain a slight gap between the thermal layer and the keg your windshield reflector should be fine.
--
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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Posts: 473
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Location: The deep North of Queensland, Australia

Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby coffe addict » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:43 pm

Hope this doesn't wonder too far from topic.
I use old wool blankets and hold them on with safety clips. This is easy on easy off and my technical assistant can clean if I spill. They are also fire proof and in unlikely event of a fire will just smolder. Four cheap secondhand blankets are very safe and very effective.
Very tidy setup and very jealous of the space you have to work with.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:31 pm

Hey CA, yeah I am in the Wet Tropics of FNQ so its warm enough year round to be able to run the still out on the verandah and run the fermenters without any extra heat source. Wool blankets however would be an issue in this climate, everything wants to grow here, including mould and woolen blankets if they got any organic matter spilled on them would become mould city!
--
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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Location: The deep North of Queensland, Australia

Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:36 pm

The five plumbing fittings on the still now involve compression fittings. The stubs on the still aren't all that long making it hard to get a complete seal with hose and clamps. I tested it out overpressurising with water and no leaks. I am wary of water leaks around electricity particularly my voltage controller. Gearing up for my first ever spirit run when I get a day to spare.
--
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 kimbodious » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:00 am

Close up of flow controls to reflux and product condensors.
--
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 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:02 am

Close up of plumbing detail - use of compression fittings and copper olives
--
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 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:03 am

Still photo - first spirit run
--
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 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:08 am

Although there is a wheelie bin in shot I am actually just running the tapwater back out to an inground pool. I try and time it so that I do a run when the pool requires a top up.
--
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 Otago Elvis » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:33 am

Nice work mate,

I can see you've put a lot of work and thought into setting up your rig.

Love the detail in the plumbing. Very organised.
:obscene-drinkingcheers:

I too have a pool, and living up north, evaporation is a killer. And i hate wasting water, so nice touch topping up the pond :handgestures-thumbupright:


Out of curiosity, how much water does this still use during a spirit run?
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:39 am

I'll stick a jug under the outlet once this is settled in to its run. The big kettle is boiling and I've got it in full reflux at the moment. Just as it was coming to the boil there was a damn drop in water pressure.

Thanks on the props for the plumbing - I was plagued with leaks until now :)
--
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 BennyHiggo » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:40 am

Love your work Kimbo ... I will be adding to my post having just done my most successful strip yet with the Keggo :grin:
Your plumbing is looking really tidy. I have fitted compression fittings as well thanks to you. Makes set up and pack up/clean so much easier. I've just used the type with a thread so I can put standard hose fittings on so it doesn't look as tidy as yours ...
Love to hear how your run goes. I got a great piece of advice during mine yesterday ... Wrap a cold wet tea towel around the top above the jacket and it will help keep the flow right down. Amazing how much it helps with reflux my entire run was at about 72• and 95%. Ball ache changing the tea towel every 5 minutes though!
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby BennyHiggo » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:41 am

Full reflux! Great work, can't get that with my rig yet .... Ordering a power controller today
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:46 am

Interesting... the temperature in the reflux chamber climbed to 76 and has now settled back around 48. I can hear the wash still boiling so I guess this is how full reflux looks?
--
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 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:50 am

Good to see you online Hippo - thought you'd enjoy some detailed pics of my rig. Note that I have used copper tails to connect the hose to the compression fittings. First up I couldn't get a proper seal around the tail so put a copper olive on the tail so that I could clamp above that - perfect seal now.
--
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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Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:56 pm
Location: The deep North of Queensland, Australia

Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby BennyHiggo » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:52 am

I would say that the vapour climbed up past your RC for a moment giving the high temp reading ... Surprised no fores came out. Now the vape is being knocked back down before it reaches your temp probe hence the lower reading.
Your hose set up is way better than mine. I didn't take a pic when set up yesterday but will do next time
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:56 pm

A tad under 5L per minute OtagoE. It was lower than that but the water pressure was fluctuating so I'd upped the flowrate and hadn't backed it off once things settled down. 11.25L from 31L of 40% Low Wines. I'll check ABV once the jars have aired for 48 hours.
--
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 BennyHiggo » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:05 pm

Great result mate! Well done. That's a great yield and I'm sure after cuts you are gunna be left with a huge amount of quality hearts! Let us know how the cuts goes. I'll be doing mine tomorrow night.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:11 pm

Mixing up neutral spirit with HBS cordials. Gin, Triple Sec, Tequila, White Sambucca, Herbal Liquer. Made up a straight 40% ABV "vodka" (no cordial), couldn't resist a sip of that one :) These will sit for a month and a bit while we are holidaying in the Deep South. The spirit run, my first, felt like it took forever (8.5 hours), but the results are worth it! See you over the lip of a glass sometime, until then cheers!
--
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 kimbodious » Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:16 pm

Ok so I have a heap of bottled alcohol of various ilks that I plan on tossing in the boiler with a TPW wash on a stripping run. Any tips trips and traps I need to look out for? I figure with the beer and sparkling wine I'd need to decant that to give it time to release all the bubbles - CO2, anything else?
--
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 BennyHiggo » Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:00 am

Agreed re the decanting...
Your spirit run sounds about right time wise mate.
My last one took a little longer than that. But I sat at full reflux for 20 mins or so after fores and then took off 1.5L heads in 2 hours before settling back in to 1.5L an hour for the next 5 hours or so. All up about 9 hours.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:47 pm

New addition to the harem - Jeanie - coz I had a thing for Barbara Eden and because my wife refers to the reflux still as my "mistress" - do you think she's a bit jealous.

Anyway it is a 2" pot still that Maheel have laying around. Only thing I've changed is to add some compression fittings and keeping with the clear tubing for monitoring the coolant flow.

Here is Jeanie warming up for a TPW stripping run.
--
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 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:01 pm

Wow this is different to run than my reflux still! Things ?I have noted
Very slow drip quite early one while boiler still sounded like it was heating up pre-boil
Backed off the heat once I heard the boiler change to the quieter mode and kept it that way until I collected about 150mls (fores)
Cranked the heat right up and boy this thing is fast to the order of 3-4 litres per hour
Big surprise was how warm the product was coming out, fast and hot, ooh-err ;)
--
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 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:38 pm

Second TPW stripping run with the modded Maheel pot-still. Running it slower this time - backed off the power controller to the sweet spot setting just as the wash was reaching the boil.

The fores dripped out very slowly at first and I was alarmed to see wispy vapour emitting from the outlet at the same time?! When I checked everything still felt moderately cool? I can only assume what I was seeing was the really highly volatile compounds boiling out at the quite low initial temps.

Just coming in to the hearts now by the smell of it and no sign of any vapour emitting.

Just to be on the safe side from the next run on I will follow Maheel's advice :bow-blue: and install a teased out SS pot scrubber up the Liebig to try and slow the flow of vapour down a bit.

What a fascinating hobby we have and how lucky we are to have such experienced people here willingly sharing their knowledge.
--
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 kimbodious » Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:43 pm

Jeanie, (modified) simple pot still; the power controller is connected but not in the photo. Complete with teased out SS pot scrubber up the Liebig to help slow down the vapour flow. Running my first Nutrigrain wash, by the smell of it the fores can't be that far away. Happy weekend everybody!
--
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 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:54 am

I am keeping all my discussion about my still equipment under this thread just so anyone considering getting their own still can watch the development of someone's system(s) and with a bit of a discussion about the decisions involved.

Going modular... My initial pot had a moment leaving me with just the liebig. I got some SS 2" pieces and now operate the pot still in the form you see in the post above. I enjoy being able to break down the pot still into components for cleaning and storage.

I am happy with the neutral product my Keggomax CM Reflux still produces from the TPW washes but I am not happy with how bulky and unwieldy it is for setting up, packing up and cleaning, particularly now after having a pot still that breaks down to practically nothing.

So I have consent from "she who must be satisfied" to pursue a modular system as long as it is relatively 'cost neutral' - meaning I'll have to sell the Keggomax to fund the upgrade. I have neither the makings or the aptitude to build something on my own; at 56yo I have come to terms with my limitations (except when it comes to drinking beer and spirits - doh).

My aim is to use, on a 2" system, the existing Liebig for both stills (pot and reflux). The Liebig is likely to be the only copper in the vapour path.

For the product side I am pretty much done for a 2200W boiler system. I have already have a 90 degree 2" elbow (will sneak through an order for an extra 45 degree 2" elbow - shh) and already have the 2" endcap with 3/4" reducer for connecting to the Liebig, plus the Liebig itself.

For the reflux side, I need a reflux condensor. For this I will install a shotgun condensor and will spend the little extra to get a larger version (funded by the sale of the Keggomax)

I am still deciding on the length required for a packed column (SS scrubbers) for a 2" system as described. Will a 500mm packed column be up to the job? Would a slightly longer column eg 600mm make all that much difference or should I be looking at something much longer?

Your input as always will be very much appreciated, thanks!
--
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 Maheel » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:11 pm

i would be ading at least another 600mm and looking to get out to 1200-1500mm tall before any reflux
this might be an easy option

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2-51MM-Sanit ... 6ZTXKVcafA
VM / Boka / ?
Shotgun Pot head
50L electric Kegs
and associated shed filling stuff......
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby Maheel » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:19 pm

what sort of reflux you thinking ?
VM / Boka / ?
Shotgun Pot head
50L electric Kegs
and associated shed filling stuff......
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:04 pm

Thanks for the link Maheel. Interesting, free delivery and tri lamps and gaskets included puts it a bit cheaper than what I can source locally. $51 AUD for their 600mm lengths. Has anyone purchased their components directly from the manufacturer like this.

As to what sort of still, I figure by going with the larger reflux condensor and by being modular I can look at configurations for LM and CM, but starting out as CM.

Thanks again for the link and tip?
--
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 bigfoot » Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:31 pm

I bought a 61cm length from that link. No issues, nice workmanship. I only received 1 tri clamp with my purchase not both ends, but that didnt matter as mine is a replacement piece for my boka/pot combo. Instead of unpacking the column to go to pot mode, I put this length in and donski.

Now - if anyone knows where you can get a sight glass to suit the same flange sizes relative cheaply, would be appreciated - as Id like toconsider adding a see through section to bottom side of boka???
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby Maheel » Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:25 pm

highly likely the local sellers are getting it from the same dealers in china
i have bought stuff from him and they are always "good" just the odd rough finish here and there but nothing bad
as good as i have seen from local importers anyway

you could also get a T off him a for a VM and the other parts for before the liebig
i think the 45mm T's have the same 64mm flange
then a 45mm / 64mm ferrule male or female threaded end cap to your 3/4 or 1" valve
a valve to suit
SS elbow reducer to your liebig 1" -> 1/2"


shotguns and site glasses are the only thing the ebay sellers dont seem to have....
VM / Boka / ?
Shotgun Pot head
50L electric Kegs
and associated shed filling stuff......
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby bigfoot » Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:49 pm

I think I've axtally found something here...
http://m.ebay.com.au/itm/2-51MM-OD-Flow ... nav=SEARCH

Any reason these wont work?
Need to make sure the ferrule sizes are what match. Od is not flange size.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:31 pm

Damn me, I am trying to be cost neutral or thereabouts with this build but ?I can see my budget blowing out.... let's see on the shopping list I already have

2 x 600mm 2" extensions,
1 X Big Baby shotgun reflux condensor
1 X triclamp with ferrule gasket

and now Maheel is showing me visions of a VM set up that will require

1 x 45mm tee
1 X gate valve (2"?) plus

Fittings from the gate valve to the Liebig (I already have a 2' endcap with a 3/4" threaded socket)

But I would end up with a pot still, a CM reflux still and a VM reflux still, hmm :confusion-confused:
--
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 kimbodious » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:56 pm

Final version of the 2" pot still, what you are not seeing is plumbing for condenser and power controller etc for the ekectric boiler. This is stage 1 of my modular build.
--
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 kimbodious » Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:38 am

Rainy day here in FNQ so spent a few hours on the verandah doing a stripping run (TPW) and watching the showers pass through. The new set up is much more ergonomical, no bricks stacked up on stools.

I have a mark on my power controller for the point where I have observed product just starts to emit. I simply set the PC at that mark right from from when I turn things on and leave it there for a very relaxed easy steady run. It only adds about 10 minutes to time taken to start getting product. When the stream of output starts to falter late in the run it is because not enough current is available to the element to keep the lower ABV (spent) wash on the boil, sure enough the tails are starting to make an appearance at that point.

I learned about this method when doing a stripping run on a very murky looking ?Nutrigrain wash. I figured to try a very gentle boil with all that crud in there. It worked very well, lovely clean rich smelling product and the keg element came out clean as a whistle out the other end.
--
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 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:45 am

Are you taking note of where you are in the run (jar number) when that slower output transition occurs? Is it a good indication of where to cut for tails, or are you just using it as an indication of when your run is near finished?

I'm in the process of a new keg boiler build. I might give your method a try after I find the controller's sweet spot.
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby bigfoot » Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:35 am

I thought with a stripping run, you'd be taking tails as well...
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:33 am

Well I do take the tails but not the really stinky stuff that turns up around the time the stream starts faltering. About 5l of product yesterday from 23l of TPW wash, looked about the right yield I'd expected. This time I didn't practise cuts by using jars but when I have the last couple of jars before the stream starts to regularly falter are tailsy but alright but when the stream is broken I don't bother even keeping it. Essentially all I am doing is practising doing spirit runs on stripping runs.
--
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 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:50 am

When I first tried the power controller it was on a stripping run TPW. I had all the time in the world that day and so played with knob positions (ooh) until I found the lowest setting where product come out. I marked that as my sweet spot. Over the next few runs new marks were made while I was tweaking the actual settings but now have clearly marked out the sweet spot not so much as a point, more as a range.

Really gentle, really good separations. At the beginning of the run the stream is faltering and is definitely still fores. As soon as that stream becomes constant I am safely into heads.

My newbie reasoning is I'll have an easier time with the spirit run if my low wines aren't all a smeared mess (by being rushed through). As I said on my little 2" system the differences in time involved is not remarkable.

Most folks monitor the run by measuring the ABV whereas this cheapskate lazy middle-aged bloke monitors the run by watching for the changes in the output stream. It just seems to be that if the boil is gentle enough the product stream seems to tie in very much with where the relative components and ABV are at?
--
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 bigfoot » Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:34 am

Sounds reasonable, but 1 litre of extra or under boiler charge and your sweet spot will be different?
I have been into the middle hearts on a spirit run and had fluctuating streams, but I get the consistency of the stream theory and have noted myself the slight change. Personally I'm pulling the alc from a strip to 30%, if it gets smelly it will be cut out on the spirit run.
But as you note, I'm a time poor middle aged arse lol.
Bf.
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bigfoot
 
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:20 pm

Ach I have been found out,.... "sorry dear those chores in the garden will have to wait because I have to watch the still" ;)

Yeah you are correct, the sweet spot is some point between two marked settings on the power controller.

I started out in the beginning by running the element flat out until stuff started coming out and then backing off the current from the power controller. I used to struggle, particularly with the reflux still, getting things to equalise from there on. Now I just set the power controller at a point in the sweet spot range and just let the boiler come up to desired operating range and all that adds is about ten minutes
--
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 bigfoot » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:39 pm

You must just have the boiler ticking over, which I would live to have the time to do...that very thin stream ties in with what all the ole timers say, including popcorn Sutton lol. The slower you can pull it the better product...which, being a man is not always the way lol.i dial my power controller back to 70% on spirit runs, I know I could maintain a boil at approx 40% but the time difference in final run is hours - quite a few hours.
If and when I upgrade stills, the driver will be time rather than product quality...
Bf
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Re: Kimbodious' rig

Postby kimbodious » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:36 pm

Yup, just ticking over, not sure about taking too long though. Yesterday 23L TPW, start to finish including the cleanup 4 hours and yielded around 5 litres of product, on a keg boiler 2200W element with a 2" pot still - ambient temperature would have been low to mid 30s (Celsius) - just in case that would make a difference? I have only tried running the element flat out once with the pot still on a stripping run and it was noticeably quicker but the product was warm/hot and someone reckoned I was pushing it for the Liebig condensor I have.

When we lived in Tassie we'd rush around just to try and keep warm - here in the Deep North of Far North Queensland we even talk slow just so we don't overheat, same reason as why I am typing this one-fingered on my iPad
--
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 Mar 07, 2016 7:18 pm

Slowly accumulating components for my modular VM build - one order per pay fortnight... when I get to sell a couple of treasures I'll order the big $$ items
--
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 bigfoot » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:43 pm

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?
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