21870Re: New Still
- Jul 15, 2004Answer also posted in New Distillers. Alright, I'll have a go. It's
good fun to have a discussion on designs and stuff so I'm sorry no
one's taken the bait. This is my first foray into discussing still
designs so here it goes, I have a few design questions to ask:
Q.1 How much liquid are you going to need to collect in the bottom
of the condenser pot before you can actually control the amount of
reflux and rate of collection? Being such a big pot (guessing 19-
20L) you'll probably need quite a few hundred mls (maybe a litre?)
to cover the base of the pot so that you can have liquid ethanol
covering both the reflux return and collection ports, and that's
assuming the inlets are flush with the bottom. This large volume is
going to cool substanitally I would think which is not ideal to then
go injecting back into the centre of the column via the reflux
return as it will fall along way down the column before re-
evapourating, this may even serve as a sort of internal cooling in
the column. Eg. My N/S/M offset head would hold 30mls or less before
overflowing back into the reflux return tube so wouldn't cool very
much (I don't have a valve on this return).
Q.2 If you do need to collect such a large volume before you can
control take off/reflux how are you going to separate the foreshots
and heads as these will dilute into this initial volume, hence you
end up with up to a litre of contaminated liquor that you'll need to
run next time.
Q.3 You'll want to make sure the bottom of that top pot is perfectly
level, especially considering the reflux and collection tubes are on
opposite sides of the pot. If it's slightly off level you'll get
pooling on one side which will mean either no reflux, no collection
or neither until the level rises enough. This may also contribute to
the weight accumulating at the top of the column and may even
unbalance it. I would have put both collecting and refulx tube on
the same side right near each other.
Q.4 The condenser: 50ft of 3/8" copper will hold quite a bit of
water and is going to be pretty heavy when full of water flowing
through it (and this is going to be above your head most likely), so
I hope your column is going to be well attached and well supported.
I'm guessing, at least from a safety point of view your going to
need to brace that column at the bottom where it attaches to the keg
like you did to support the condenser. 50ft in my opinion this is a
massive condenser an it looks a tad inefficient, but I could be
wrong here (look at what others use, I use 5m of 1/4" wrapped in a
1" coil). Regardless of efficiency it's still going to he heavy
though. If the pot is full of ethanol and you power by gas and it
was to fall off that would be terribly exciting and I'd love to
Q.5 Is the top of the column flush with the base of the condenser
pot? If so this will confound the reflux/return problem of liquid
pooling in the bottom of the pot. I would guess if it protruded say
10mm into the pot this problem would be eliminated (I couldn't tell
from your photos).
Well, there's a start. Hope they are helpful questions and not too
offensive. I might post this response on Distillers as well and see
if we can fire anything up there. Is this your first still and if so
why didn't you go for a proven design for an first go to get you
started and then plan on building something different later on?
There are plenty of simple designs out there that are cheap to make
and work, that way at least you know you'll have one still that will
work from the first go. I would have personally gone for one of the
designs on this news group or homedistiller.org, at least for a
first go. Good luck with it anyway, hope it pans out.
--- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Zarklan Zhaphedoix
> I am working on a still and have posted pictures at
> the following address:
> The still is largely dumbbell shaped with one
> condenser at the top. Distillate is collected in the
> common condensation chamber and then diverted either
> back to the Cu++ mesh reflux column or to the take off
> path way. I am 80 or so percent done and welcome
> feedback. Do let me know what you think.
> Do you Yahoo!?
> New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - 100MB free storage!
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