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Re: [Distillers] Still design

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  • DeanThomas
    Hi Robert, at the moment ive been able to aquire the parts i need reasonably cheap much of it because of my line of work. so far i have a boiler and a lid and
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 4, 2004
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      Hi Robert, at the moment ive been able to aquire the parts i need reasonably
      cheap much of it because of my line of work. so far i have a boiler and a
      lid and two choices of column diameters either 2 1/8inch or1 7/8 inch copper
      pipe. So far ive only spent $11 au.
      Im planing on useing a 50 litre keg for my boiler a stainless steel mixing
      bowl for the lid and the rest will be copper.
      I realise 50 litres is pretty big Ill probably only half fill it, and if a
      smaller alternative becomes available change to that.
      At first im planning on makin clear spirit and flavouring it. keeping things
      simple to start with, but eventually id like to start playing around with
      grains, ageing with Oakchips and maybe even barrels.
      Oak barrels can be bought in Australia in sizes ranging down to 5 litres.
      I dont want to spend to much money to start with hence the original reason
      for making my own still. Ive already sussed out the store bought products
      availabe and believe that i can atleast match them in qaulity ( with some
      practice) and as my enthusiasm grows so does my desire to design (read copy)
      and build my own contraption.

      thanks for your input

      Dean.
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Robert N" <dinks_c@...>
      To: <Distillers@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 2:29 PM
      Subject: RE: [Distillers] Still design


      > Hi Dean, sounds like you have been doing some reading on the subject. This
      > along with your skills as a fridgie should see you well on the way to
      making
      > a good product. Until I had actually done some distilling I found it hard
      to
      > understand how the process worked. The guidance that others gave me a few
      > years ago was the difference between frustration and a steep learning
      curve.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > A few questions if I may; what type of material do you propose to use to
      > build the still? What are you going to use as a boiler? Do you want to
      make
      > a clear spirit and add shop bought essences or do you wish to make grain
      > wash's and make whiskey rum etc.? Or a still that you can do both on. Is
      > this going to be a no/little cost unit or are you willing to spend some
      > money on parts. These questions will allow us to better guide you on the
      > way. Dean I would have to second "linw992003's" message and say that there
      > are better designs out there than the one you pointed to in the link.
      >
      >
      >
      > These newsgroups have been going for a number of years and people have
      > developed some great designs, which produce fine results every time they
      use
      > their still with the minium of fuss. Look to the designs of Nixon, Stone,
      > Mc'Caw, Tony Ackland, Bokokob, and others. Look through the files and
      photos
      > section of the yahoo newsgroups and you will see all sorts of creations.
      >
      >
      >
      > Yours in Spirit
      >
      >
      >
      > Robert
      >
      >
      >
      > _____
      >
      > From: deanthms [mailto:deanlil@...]
      > Sent: Saturday, 3 July 2004 8:39 PM
      > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [Distillers] Still design
      >
      >
      >
      > Hi guys, Im new to the distilling game and although i havent distilled
      > a drop yet I have done a lot of research and am Fascinated by the hole
      > deal.
      > the history the process the designs ETC.
      > I am in the process of designing and building my first still and have
      > come across a reflux still design at
      > http://www.thickos.co.uk/brewgod.html
      > which sounds perfect. and it sounds relatively easy to use. Basically
      > it sounds like you heat the mash and control the reflux via the flow
      > of water through tube soldered to the reflux tower.
      > I am a refrigeration mechanic and dont have a problem with the
      > construction and from what if learnt so far the design should work
      > well but some guidance would be appreciated.
      >
      > Thanks, Dean.
      >
      > P.S I stumbled accross Tony's site and it was the wealth of
      > information that got me started. thanks
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [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 Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • rodmacd2000
      I agree 100% with linw992003. Any still design with so-called reflux cooling tubes running through the bottom or middle of the column is a bad one done by
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 4, 2004
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        I agree 100% with linw992003. Any still design with so-called reflux
        cooling tubes running through the bottom or middle of the column is a
        bad one done by someone who doesn't understand the principles of a
        fractional distillation tower.

        I urge you to carefully read any or all of the following books all
        available online in pdf form for about US $10.

        "The Carriage Still" by John Stone at www.gin-vodka.com

        "Making Pure Corn Whiskey" by Ian Smiley at www.home-distilling.com

        "The Compleat Distiller" by Nixon & McCaw at www.amphora-society.com

        If you don't want to even spend $10 then read through Tony Ackland's
        terrific WEB site at homedistiller.org paying particular attention to
        Tony's personal experience and recommendations.

        A little time and very little money invested now before you begin
        construction will save you a lot of grief later IMHO.

        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "linw992003" <linw@x> wrote:
        >
        > > I am in the process of designing and building my first still and
        have
        > > come across a reflux still design at
        > > http://www.thickos.co.uk/brewgod.html
        > > which sounds perfect. and it sounds relatively easy to use.
        Basically
        > > it sounds like you heat the mash and control the reflux via the
        flow
        > > of water through tube soldered to the reflux tower.
        >
        > If you do some more reading I think you will conclude that the
        > aforementioned design is far from optimum. Most "good" forced reflux
        > designs only have reflux cooling at the top of the column (find
        > relevant discussions by Mike Nixon and McCaw and others). Indeed,
        most
        > columns are insulated to keep them hot rather than force cold water
        > around them. The reason for the top to bottom cooling is to allow
        for
        > a high wattage heater system. Most distillers who are after high
        > purity restrict the power input to remove the need to cool the
        column
        > as this design does.
        >
        > My personal advice would be to keep looking! It is difficult for
        > someone else to pick what design you should go for but you do need
        to
        > evaluate designs which use vapour and liquid management as well as
        > better cooling management designs. Indeed, the thread you have
        replied
        > to is a good start!
        >
        > Good luck and happy distilling.
      • Robert N
        Hi Dean, stick with the 2 1/8 pipe and the 50 litre keg. Never hurts to have too much head room in the boiler. Something to consider when building the still
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 5, 2004
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          Hi Dean, stick with the 2 1/8" pipe and the 50 litre keg. Never hurts to
          have too much head room in the boiler. Something to consider when building
          the still is how you plan to heat it. If electricity then try Lawrence and
          Hansen etc for a hot water heater replacement element. Fit castor wheels to
          the bottom of the keg, your back will thank you. You should build in a
          failsafe device in case of pressure build up. Never design the still with
          cooling tubes running through the tower, they are there for operators that
          use way too much heat. A design with the condenser above the collection
          point is best. This way you have direct control over the amount of reflux
          that is happening.

          The more heat you put into the boiler the greater the vapour velocity up the
          tower and the greater the condenser has to work. For a 2" tower you can get
          away with 2400 watts of energy, the downside is the amount of water it takes
          to cool the vapour at the top of the tower. I run 1800 watts and find this
          gives me better purity but the trade off is longer heating and running time.
          Some use a big element and use a triac or similar to reduce the wattage once
          the wash is boiling. One thing you are realising by now is that there is a
          lot of science that goes into designing a good still.

          Yours in spirit

          Robert


          _____

          From: DeanThomas [mailto:deanlil@...]
          Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 6:34 PM
          To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [Distillers] Still design

          Hi Robert, at the moment ive been able to aquire the parts i need reasonably
          cheap much of it because of my line of work. so far i have a boiler and a
          lid and two choices of column diameters either 2 1/8inch or1 7/8 inch copper
          pipe. So far ive only spent $11 au.
          Im planing on useing a 50 litre keg for my boiler a stainless steel mixing
          bowl for the lid and the rest will be copper.
          I realise 50 litres is pretty big Ill probably only half fill it, and if a
          smaller alternative becomes available change to that.
          At first im planning on makin clear spirit and flavouring it. keeping things
          simple to start with, but eventually id like to start playing around with
          grains, ageing with Oakchips and maybe even barrels.
          Oak barrels can be bought in Australia in sizes ranging down to 5 litres.
          I dont want to spend to much money to start with hence the original reason
          for making my own still. Ive already sussed out the store bought products
          availabe and believe that i can atleast match them in qaulity ( with some
          practice) and as my enthusiasm grows so does my desire to design (read copy)
          and build my own contraption.

          thanks for your input

          Dean.




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • shinershane
          This answers a lot of my questions :-] SS ... hurts to ... building ... Lawrence and ... wheels to ... in a ... still with ... operators that ... collection
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 5, 2004
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            This answers a lot of my questions :-]

            SS

            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Robert N" <dinks_c@y...> wrote:
            > Hi Dean, stick with the 2 1/8" pipe and the 50 litre keg. Never
            hurts to
            > have too much head room in the boiler. Something to consider when
            building
            > the still is how you plan to heat it. If electricity then try
            Lawrence and
            > Hansen etc for a hot water heater replacement element. Fit castor
            wheels to
            > the bottom of the keg, your back will thank you. You should build
            in a
            > failsafe device in case of pressure build up. Never design the
            still with
            > cooling tubes running through the tower, they are there for
            operators that
            > use way too much heat. A design with the condenser above the
            collection
            > point is best. This way you have direct control over the amount of
            reflux
            > that is happening.
            >
            > The more heat you put into the boiler the greater the vapour
            velocity up the
            > tower and the greater the condenser has to work. For a 2" tower you
            can get
            > away with 2400 watts of energy, the downside is the amount of water
            it takes
            > to cool the vapour at the top of the tower. I run 1800 watts and
            find this
            > gives me better purity but the trade off is longer heating and
            running time.
            > Some use a big element and use a triac or similar to reduce the
            wattage once
            > the wash is boiling. One thing you are realising by now is that
            there is a
            > lot of science that goes into designing a good still.
            >
            > Yours in spirit
            >
            > Robert
            >
            >
            > _____
            >
            > From: DeanThomas [mailto:deanlil@p...]
            > Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 6:34 PM
            > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: Re: [Distillers] Still design
            >
            > Hi Robert, at the moment ive been able to aquire the parts i need
            reasonably
            > cheap much of it because of my line of work. so far i have a boiler
            and a
            > lid and two choices of column diameters either 2 1/8inch or1 7/8
            inch copper
            > pipe. So far ive only spent $11 au.
            > Im planing on useing a 50 litre keg for my boiler a stainless steel
            mixing
            > bowl for the lid and the rest will be copper.
            > I realise 50 litres is pretty big Ill probably only half fill it,
            and if a
            > smaller alternative becomes available change to that.
            > At first im planning on makin clear spirit and flavouring it.
            keeping things
            > simple to start with, but eventually id like to start playing
            around with
            > grains, ageing with Oakchips and maybe even barrels.
            > Oak barrels can be bought in Australia in sizes ranging down to 5
            litres.
            > I dont want to spend to much money to start with hence the original
            reason
            > for making my own still. Ive already sussed out the store bought
            products
            > availabe and believe that i can atleast match them in qaulity (
            with some
            > practice) and as my enthusiasm grows so does my desire to design
            (read copy)
            > and build my own contraption.
            >
            > thanks for your input
            >
            > Dean.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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