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21896Re: [Distillers] Re: New Still

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  • Zarklan Zhaphedoix
    Jul 16, 2004
      To answer a couple of questions all at once: The condenser is a 5 Gallon stainless steel pot. The column top is 1.5-2� inside the bottom of the condenser. The reflux and take off pipes are �� tall.

      Quite a bit of ethanol would have to be collected before there was any ethanol to be refluxed or taken off. I guess some of this can be solved by cutting slits in the take off tubes with a dremel but as part of the design this is in inherent problem. Another solution might be to put a filler, like marbles, in the bottom of the condenser decreasing the required volume to reach the take off tubes.

      Initially what I wanted was a rack mount type still. I wanted an appliance. I built a base to support the boiler and the still head. The base is in the background of the still head pics. It is plywood and constructed with epoxy glue and drywall screws. It is sturdy. I haven�t installed brackets yet because I am still working on how to heat the boiler. Ideally the base will hold the condenser head level.

      justin_dittmann <justin_dittmann@...> wrote:Answer 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
      watch ;)

      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.

      Cheers, Justin

      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Zarklan Zhaphedoix
      <fermentsindarkness@y...> wrote:
      > I am working on a still and have posted pictures at
      > the following address:
      > http://zzhaphedoix.photosite.com/Workinprogress/
      > 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.
      > -ZZ
      > __________________________________
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