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22306Re: Still with stripper

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  • random9988
    Jul 31, 2004
      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc"
      <abbababbaccc@y...> wrote:
      > Nice work Johan! I finally had some time to go through the sketch
      > and here's few questions:

      Thank you everyone for the encouraging replies :)

      > How much power are you using? I understand that the 200W figure
      > depends on how much distillate you feed to the second column
      (i.e..
      > power of the boiler comes to play via RR)?
      >

      I used 700W total and I haven't checked exactly the production rate
      but It's about two drops per second, maybe more, I'll check next
      time. Yes the power on column 2 should be adjusted according to the
      feed. The more power you use the faster it can separate. When I
      tested this I didn't know how much the valve should have been
      opened, but it wasn't that hard to adjust, Maybe I use more power
      than needed for that column, but it's not much power anyway so that
      doesn't matter so much. Instead of having a valve at the bottom I
      think you could make a plate that removes about half the flux as
      product, remaining part reboils. It will self adjust the power
      depending on the feed then. Since I haven't tested that I can't say
      if it'll work.

      > From your drawing I assume that the control pipe of the first
      column
      > is sealed at the bottom and open at the top? Does it need to be
      open
      > at the top?

      The product enter a pipe that is soldered onto the column. It's an 8
      mm pipe. It's sealed at the bottom. So it will fill up with product.
      once it is filled remaining goes out via the liquid lock and speed
      is controlled with the valve so the RR won't drop too much. On the
      top of that is an air escape to prevent siphoning. I ought to take a
      picture of this but it's I've insulated all so much that it won't
      help much right now. When I disassemble the still I'll take a photo,
      if someone is planning to build this right now let me know, I'll
      take a photo right away then. I made the liquid lock with a hose,
      the needle valve is on the hose. The air escape is made with a T
      connector. The reaction time on this setup is good, When the mash is
      getting weak the product in the soldered pipe will boil and
      production rate stops. then it starts again, the cycles are just a
      few seconds, the weaker it gets the longer the boiling period gets.

      > The second column is actually pretty straightforward, but I'd like
      > to know a bit more about the operation. First of all how much
      heads
      > do you get from one run?

      I try to keep it at 10:1 at least, so 10 drops of product and one
      drop of head. I'm not sure how concentrated you can have without
      getting some in the product. Have to check that further. The longer
      the stripper is the higher the concentration can be, the more power
      you give column 2 the higher the concentration of heads can be. It
      seems to do okay even at 30:1 but I need to make more runs to be
      sure of that. I don't use a valve at the top, I use a pipe with
      passive air cooling, check the pictures, so it a little bit
      difficult to adjust.

      >Do you need to remove them at all or could
      > you just let them buzz at the top of the column?

      That's what you do in a way but I suppose you mean without removing
      any, I think you need to remove some continuously or have a buffer
      at the top to make that work. An interesting approach would be to
      have a small bottle at the top the act as a buffer. All reflux from
      c2 enter the bottle first and overflow from that returns to the
      still. When the run is over, empty the bottle. Or make a head that
      keeps a lot of reflux at the top and empty it at the end of the run.

      >Isn't there a
      > danger of overfilling column 2 if you withdraw the product slower
      > than you feed the second column (I guess this is one reason why
      you
      > need the buffer)?

      Check the pictures again, you can't overfill c2 because some of the
      reflux is fed to the boiler, the remaining comes out as product. If
      you feed it faster, the same amount of reflux will go to the boiler
      as before, and you get more product. The valve act like a power
      controller. taking a certain amount of reflux and feed that to the
      reboiler, overflow is product.

      >You mentioned that the second column couldn't cope
      > with high concentration of heads without the buffer, what exactly
      > happened? Did you get heads out from the product pipe? Did you try
      > to equilibrate the second column?

      I made sure that there where alcohol in c2 to begin with so it where
      warm and ready for feed. When I fed it with product from c1 the
      product from c2 still contained some heads. I can't turn off product
      in c2 completely and let it equilibrate for some time, If I would do
      that c2 will get more and more alcohol and the power will rise more
      and more. But if you use a buffer at the top of c2.. then you have a
      different situation.. now you got me thinking.

      > Could you actually give a short description how you run this thing
      > and what adjustments are required? I suppose once you get it
      > adjusted it runs by itself?

      sure, I fill the boiler with mash. I turn on power and cooling. I
      place a can at the product and a bottle for the heads. Then I don't
      have to do anything more, the valves has been set for previous run
      so I don't need to change them.
      When I check back and see that it's done (product rate has dropped a
      lot) I turn off power but not cooling!
      Even if I turn off power c2 still has got power to run since that
      column only needs warm mash to make the alcohol boil. After a while
      the temperature in c2 drops as well since the mash in the boiler
      cools down. A neat little thing is that some alcohol will be kept in
      c2 so next time you start up the still, c2 is ready for feed even
      before you start to feed it with product from c1.
      oh.. there is one thing I have to do more with my setup, the
      condensation tube for heads in my version of c2 can sometimes get
      become a problem because of air that it trapped inside the
      condensation tube. So I have to suck out the air manually.

      First time you run the still you have to adjust the valve for c1 to
      be what you think is approriate speed. then feed that to c2 and try
      to figure out what the setting should be on that valve.

      About the ARC head, as I said there are no tails, but apparently you
      can't feed the boiler with just about anything. I tried to distil
      some molasses mash to vodka, and it was okay until the end, then I
      got rum taste anyway. So keep to good mash for vodka. Good length
      and packing is essential. As you have probably seen some some
      Swedish fellows and I are trying to develop the idea a bit further.
      Maybe it's possible to achieve simple operation with one column
      only, we'll see

      > I guess I'll just have to build one sooner or later, I just want
      to
      > understand this more thoroughly before I start tearing down my
      > current rigs for spare parts :)

      Yep it would be interesting to get data from more people. You always
      seems to make some interesting changes to the setup so I'm looking
      forward to hear about the future designs. Don't forget that you can
      use only one condenser insted if you feed the vapour from c2 back
      to c1. Not sure but that could be an better design even though it
      increases height some.

      Using a stripper to remove heads is not my invention, it's something
      done in the industry for many years but I guess I'm probably one of
      the first to build a home version.

      //Johan
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