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reflux still not working

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  • wwcook101
    I built a reflux still made from a 5 gallon can with removable lid. The lid seemed to be tight, as I observed no steam coming from the seal. I soldered a 3
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 3 4:37 PM
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      I built a reflux still made from a 5 gallon can with removable lid.
      The lid seemed to be tight, as I observed no steam coming from the
      seal. I soldered a 3 foot 2 inch dia copper pipe, filled it with
      copper pot scrubbers. Here where I may have gone wrong. Due to having
      a well and no city water, I went with a coil submersed in cold water
      as my condenser. I fired it up, it got up to temperature and proceeded
      to do nothing more than heat up my five gallons of cold condensor
      water. After about 1/2 hour the condensor water was boiling, and not a
      drop come out of the coil. I decided to blow air through the coild to
      make sure it was not blocked, and about 12 ounzes or so water came out
      of the coil so I know it was open. Why was the steam not pushing the
      condesed water out the coil? (this was only a water test, wanted to be
      sure it was not leaky)
      Im really baffled. I do have a digital thermocouple at the top of the
      stack, which measured 210 degrees.
    • jimpuchai
      ... having ... proceeded ... not a ... to ... out ... be ... the ... Congratulations. You made 12 ounces of distilled water. This would seem to be a much
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 3 8:16 PM
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        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "wwcook101" <wcook1@r...> wrote:
        > I built a reflux still made from a 5 gallon can with removable lid.
        > The lid seemed to be tight, as I observed no steam coming from the
        > seal. I soldered a 3 foot 2 inch dia copper pipe, filled it with
        > copper pot scrubbers. Here where I may have gone wrong. Due to
        having
        > a well and no city water, I went with a coil submersed in cold water
        > as my condenser. I fired it up, it got up to temperature and
        proceeded
        > to do nothing more than heat up my five gallons of cold condensor
        > water. After about 1/2 hour the condensor water was boiling, and
        not a
        > drop come out of the coil. I decided to blow air through the coild
        to
        > make sure it was not blocked, and about 12 ounzes or so water came
        out
        > of the coil so I know it was open. Why was the steam not pushing the
        > condesed water out the coil? (this was only a water test, wanted to
        be
        > sure it was not leaky)
        > Im really baffled. I do have a digital thermocouple at the top of
        the
        > stack, which measured 210 degrees.

        Congratulations. You made 12 ounces of distilled water. This would
        seem to be a much better first effort than most of us.

        If your coil is lying on the side in water and at a lower level than
        the boiler, you will get no output until the coil is nearly full.

        Look to your design again, and see if you cannot arrange a cooling
        system based on an old car or air con. radiator a fan and a small
        fish-tank water pump. You will get much better control this way.

        In general, distilling is easy, the trickier part is to control it to
        produce a consistent product.

        Luck,
        Jim Puchai.
      • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
        ... Did you have your condenser so that it both entered & exited the water via the top ? You should always try to have your coil so that it will easily &
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 4 12:52 PM
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          > a well and no city water, I went with a coil submersed in cold water
          > as my condenser.

          Did you have your condenser so that it both entered & exited the water via the top ? You should always try to have your coil so that it will easily & naturally drain empty - eg not try to fill it with liquid that then needs to be pushed out. Because pushing it will require some pressure in the rest of the still, and you do not want that - it is both dangerous & bad for quality.

          See if you can take the exit line for the condenser out the bottom of the container. Yes, it will be a bit of a pain working out how to seal it, but it will then give you a safe still that will work properly.

          Tony
        • William Cook
          The condensor enters the top of a 5 gallon bucket, makes about 20 turns in the bucket and exits the bottom. That was why I was wondering what I was doing
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 4 4:11 PM
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            The condensor enters the top of a 5 gallon bucket, makes about 20 turns in the bucket and exits the bottom. That was why I was wondering what I was doing wrong. It should work, but I get nothing. All it does is shoot water out about a foot if the heat is turned off for about 5 minutes then restarted. It has me puzzled.
            Is the 20 turn too many? I thought the more the better.

            Bill
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
            To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 3:52 PM
            Subject: [Distillers] RE: reflux still not working


            > a well and no city water, I went with a coil submersed in cold water
            > as my condenser.

            Did you have your condenser so that it both entered & exited the water via the top ? You should always try to have your coil so that it will easily & naturally drain empty - eg not try to fill it with liquid that then needs to be pushed out. Because pushing it will require some pressure in the rest of the still, and you do not want that - it is both dangerous & bad for quality.

            See if you can take the exit line for the condenser out the bottom of the container. Yes, it will be a bit of a pain working out how to seal it, but it will then give you a safe still that will work properly.

            Tony


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          • linw992003
            Does each of the coils have a correct downward slope? I can t see how they can as the law of gravity has not been defeated as far as I know. It sounds like
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 4 6:07 PM
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              Does each of the coils have a correct downward slope? I can't see how
              they can as the law of gravity has not been defeated as far as I know.
              It sounds like they slope but in the wrong direction allowing the
              build up of water. Every bit of tube must be lower than any other bit
              of tube before it. That way the water MUST run out.

              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "William Cook" <wcook1@r...> wrote:
              > The condensor enters the top of a 5 gallon bucket, makes about 20
              turns in the bucket and exits the bottom. That was why I was wondering
              what I was doing wrong. It should work, but I get nothing. All it does
              is shoot water out about a foot if the heat is turned off for about 5
              minutes then restarted. It has me puzzled.
              > Is the 20 turn too many? I thought the more the better.
              >
              > Bill
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
              > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 3:52 PM
              > Subject: [Distillers] RE: reflux still not working
              >
              >
              > > a well and no city water, I went with a coil submersed in cold water
              > > as my condenser.
              >
              > Did you have your condenser so that it both entered & exited the
              water via the top ? You should always try to have your coil so that
              it will easily & naturally drain empty - eg not try to fill it with
              liquid that then needs to be pushed out. Because pushing it will
              require some pressure in the rest of the still, and you do not want
              that - it is both dangerous & bad for quality.
              >
              > See if you can take the exit line for the condenser out the bottom
              of the container. Yes, it will be a bit of a pain working out how to
              seal it, but it will then give you a safe still that will work properly.
              >
              > Tony
              >
              >
              > Distillers list archives : http://archive.nnytech.net/
              > FAQ and other information at http://homedistiller.org
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
              > ADVERTISEMENT
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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              >
              > a.. To visit your group on the web, go to:
              > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/
              >
              > b.. To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > Distillers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
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              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • William Cook
              Yeah, all the coil turns are decending. I obviously am not going to get the magic answer here. So I am just going to scrap the coil, and design some sort of
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 4 8:36 PM
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                Yeah,
                all the coil turns are decending. I obviously am not going to get the magic answer here. So I am just going to scrap the coil, and design some sort of jacket for the condenser using a pump to recirculate limited water available. Cant be too difficult, just more $$$.$$ for a damn pump
                Thanks.
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: linw992003
                To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 9:07 PM
                Subject: [Distillers] Re: reflux still not working


                Does each of the coils have a correct downward slope? I can't see how
                they can as the law of gravity has not been defeated as far as I know.
                It sounds like they slope but in the wrong direction allowing the
                build up of water. Every bit of tube must be lower than any other bit
                of tube before it. That way the water MUST run out.

                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "William Cook" <wcook1@r...> wrote:
                > The condensor enters the top of a 5 gallon bucket, makes about 20
                turns in the bucket and exits the bottom. That was why I was wondering
                what I was doing wrong. It should work, but I get nothing. All it does
                is shoot water out about a foot if the heat is turned off for about 5
                minutes then restarted. It has me puzzled.
                > Is the 20 turn too many? I thought the more the better.
                >
                > Bill
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
                > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 3:52 PM
                > Subject: [Distillers] RE: reflux still not working
                >
                >
                > > a well and no city water, I went with a coil submersed in cold water
                > > as my condenser.
                >
                > Did you have your condenser so that it both entered & exited the
                water via the top ? You should always try to have your coil so that
                it will easily & naturally drain empty - eg not try to fill it with
                liquid that then needs to be pushed out. Because pushing it will
                require some pressure in the rest of the still, and you do not want
                that - it is both dangerous & bad for quality.
                >
                > See if you can take the exit line for the condenser out the bottom
                of the container. Yes, it will be a bit of a pain working out how to
                seal it, but it will then give you a safe still that will work properly.
                >
                > Tony
                >
                >
                > Distillers list archives : http://archive.nnytech.net/
                > FAQ and other information at http://homedistiller.org
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                > ADVERTISEMENT
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                > a.. To visit your group on the web, go to:
                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/
                >
                > b.. To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > Distillers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >
                > c.. Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                Service.
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                Distillers list archives : http://archive.nnytech.net/
                FAQ and other information at http://homedistiller.org


                Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                ADVERTISEMENT





                ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Yahoo! Groups Links

                a.. To visit your group on the web, go to:
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/

                b.. To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                Distillers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                c.. Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • abbababbaccc
                You could make it aircooled as well. The convector pipe head I presented earlier should work very well for you and take ~1000W. Another option is to use your
                Message 7 of 7 , Jul 26 8:20 AM
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                  You could make it aircooled as well. The convector pipe head I
                  presented earlier should work very well for you and take ~1000W.
                  Another option is to use your current worm and turn it into a spiral
                  still with column. Requires ~5 meters of 10mm pipe to cool off 300W
                  with natural convection, handles more with fan blowing to spiral +
                  larger dia. pipe.

                  Greetz, Riku

                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "William Cook" <wcook1@r...> wrote:
                  > Yeah,
                  > all the coil turns are decending. I obviously am not going to get
                  the magic answer here. So I am just going to scrap the coil, and
                  design some sort of jacket for the condenser using a pump to
                  recirculate limited water available. Cant be too difficult, just more
                  $$$.$$ for a damn pump
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