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Re: [Distillers] Re: Inclined heads - pictures, philosophy, free food

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  • Mike Nixon
    Héctor A. Landaeta C. wrote: Subject: Re: [Distillers] Re: Inclined heads - pictures, philosophy, free food Hola Gente! Guys I hate to tell you this but
    Message 1 of 31 , Dec 1, 2004
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      Héctor A. Landaeta C. wrote:
      Subject: Re: [Distillers] Re: Inclined heads - pictures, philosophy, free

      Hola Gente!
      Guys I hate to tell you this but you¹re inventing warm water. I¹m
      ransacking my tidbit box for the little plaque I took out of the ex-water
      distiller condenser I¹ve been using for 3 of my recent stills so as to tell
      you the distiller make. I gather the brand was ³Homestead² or something the
      like. It was made in the USA, out of copper and brass, originally chrome
      plated in the outside. It¹s about 3 inches in dia. By 60 cms. long, has a
      little more than 34 small dia. copper tubes where the vapor flows and gets
      condensed, has the cold water intake on the distilate out side (Andrew¹s
      right Harry), has like a 13 degree tilt and is more than 20 years old!
      Sorry about that, but it definitively shows you guys are thinking it right
      and have an impeccable intuition grasp. I¹m going to ask my ex-sister
      in-law for my digital camera so I can post a picture of it. The friend that
      gave it to me said that in the lab where he bought it from where some very
      capable engineers that thought wonders of the condenser¹s design. They said
      it was the best there was (for water, that is). I took a good look at the
      insides of one that got crushed on moving the former lab and there is some
      things you guys have to add to your design that would make it more
      efficient: at least 6 cooling water retarding baffles (mine has 9)
      intersped inside the cooling jacket (those are identical to the two end caps
      but have a bigger hole on the top side so as to retard the water flow
      through the jacket making the condenser more economical in water use and
      maximizing the heat exchange). The other is a condensate outlet not in the
      bottom but in the smack center of the end cap so as to let the spirit
      collect inside the condenser and help it do it¹s work. The bottom side
      outlet you must keep to empty the condenser once the wash is done. I have
      found there is no use for an atmospheric vent built into the condenser but
      you can add a ³T² connection vertically placed in the middle outlet and let
      the upper pipe do that work. Hope this descriptions are clear for you.
      Héctor Landaeta
      Colonia Tovar - Venezuela.
      Hi Héctor,

      Must admit to scratching my head over that pic you posted. Perhaps I'm
      missing something, but if the blue condensate collects as shown then the
      steam surely must have been introduced to flow around the copper tubes, not
      through them???
      I've posted your pic with extra colors and annotations to try and show what
      I mean (see http://tinyurl.com/4swly ). I've shown steam as pink ... a nice
      warm color :-)) I've also questioned where the water intake is, but I
      think Andrew already spotted that, and the answer is apparently "on the
      other side".

      Having all the "water holes" in the baffle plates on top seems odd. I could
      understand if the "water holes" alternated top and bottom, but whether it is
      steam or cooling water that flows around the copper tubes, having those
      slots all on top would surely only serve to prevent free flow in the body of
      the condenser (and if it's steam, then the condensate wouldn't be able to
      pool at the bottom end as shown).

      Any clues?

      All the best,
      Mike N
    • Robert N
      Hi Héctor & Mike, if I may respectfully add my 5 cents worth to this topic. Héctor when “welding” I am assuming you were quoted for a stainless steel
      Message 31 of 31 , Dec 3, 2004
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        Hi Héctor & Mike, if I may respectfully add my 5 cents worth to this topic.
        Héctor when “welding” I am assuming you were quoted for a stainless steel
        condenser and TIG welding. The torch used to TIG weld is cumbersome at
        getting into tight spots. Hence the need to weld the baffles into place on
        the through tubes before inserting them into the tube, just as Mike has
        stated. One thing for those trying it at home should do. After tack welding
        /soldering to each tube on each baffle, you really need to try it inside the
        outer casing so as to make sure things are aligned with the end plate that
        is the last to be welded. Anything with such a snug fit will always distort
        or move some as you are welding, and fixing the alignment is far easier to
        do as you go.

        The way in which I usually do such a fiddly job as this, is to start with
        the centre baffle, holding the baffle in a vice, either tack weld three
        tubes in a triangular pattern as Mike has intimated or you can weld all of
        them into place using a set square starting with the bottom tube and
        inserting each tube as you go. If you are using the triangular tack method
        and have several through tubes it maybe worthwhile to tack on alternate
        tubes on successive baffles.

        Once the centre baffle is completed, stand the tubes on its end, cut some
        timber or some other item to use as a template for the distance between each
        baffle. Sit it on top of the centre baffle; drop the next baffle into place.
        Triangular tack weld this baffle trying it inside the outer casing as you
        go. Weld the outer baffles last.

        Given that what we have basically done here is to take the “inclined head”
        or any shotgun style condenser and changed it from a laminar flow to a cross
        flow design, means we then have to allow enough space on each baffle for
        either the water or vapour to flow, depending on how you wish to use this
        condenser. Héctor, depending on the size you wish to make this it maybe
        easier to fit a threaded fitting at alternate sides of the outer casing
        using a pipe shaped into a “U” to link the flow to the next baffled section,
        as this would make it easier to inspect inside at a later date. For the
        internal option then it should be a matter of cutting out a section of the
        baffle on alternate sides before assembly to achieve the cross flow. The
        tricky part is to allow enough of a space for this flow to occur as any
        restriction in flow equates to a internal pressure increase, which is
        something we all wish to avoid, just ask Jim:-). Another option maybe to
        alternate between a tight fit between the baffle and outer casing and a
        loose fit around the through tubes then on the next baffle having a loose
        fit on the outer casing and a tight fit on the tubes. As to the amount of
        baffles, I would imagine no more than every 75mm (3”). Your thoughts?

        Yours in Spirit



        From: Mike Nixon [mailto:mike@...]
        Sent: Friday, 3 December 2004 2:21 PM
        To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [Distillers] Re: Inclined heads - pictures, philosophy, free

        Héctor A. Landaeta C. wrote
        Subject: Re: [Distillers] Re: Inclined heads - pictures, philosophy, free

        On 2/12/04 1:10 AM, "Mike Nixon" <mike@...> wrote:

        > Seems to me that the baffles would work best if the cooling water were to
        > be
        > directed as shown, the water holes alternating top and bottom, and the
        > drain
        > would not "operate" until the end when you turned it upside down (Andy's
        > question about valves noted of course!)

        Hola Mike!
        Yep but no, you actually have to make it stand on it¹s end to drain it of
        the cooling water completely. Remember that the drain¹s use is only to take
        out the remaining distillate out of the condenser not for the water. I seem
        to remember that when having the design quoted for construction in SS and in
        a bigger size that the engineer said the tricky part would be the welding of
        the baffles inside. Any Ideas as to how to do that in the real world?
        Héctor Landaeta
        Caracas - Venezuela.
        Now that's interesting Héctor .. that bit about the drain. I would have
        thought that any opening in the distillate collection region at the bottom
        would drain it immediately if not fitted with a valve.

        Concerning the baffles, I think that Brendan Keith hit the nail on the head
        when he suggested assembling the tubes and baffles first and then slipping
        them into the casing. With just end plates, it's easier to braze/weld the
        end plates to the casing first, and then thread through the tubes before
        soldering/brazing them in place. As he points out, they don't have to be a
        tight fit in there ... just act as turbulence/flow direction generators.
        Also, if the tubes are first all soldered/brazed to the end plates (before
        putting the assembly in the casing), each intermediate baffle could be
        firmly secured in place by just tack "welds" to three of the outer tubes ...

        three equidistant tacks would hold each baffle plate securely, even if the
        tack "welds" are made using just soft solder. That way, all the tubes and
        all the plates will be firmly held in place with a minimum of "welding".
        Such a job would most easily be done by using both silver and soft solders
        with copper... or silver solders of different melting points if using steel.

        So, first of all ensure that the holes in the end plates are a very close
        fit on the tubes, for soldering all tubes to those end plates is then dead
        easy if you first thread all the tubes through the stack of plates/baffles.
        Then sit the assembly upright on the bench. With one end plate and all the
        baffles at the bottom, hold the other end plate temporarily in place at the
        top by squeezing the tubes together in the middle with string or wire so the

        top plate is horizontal and firmly held in place by friction (a garotte is
        an easy way of doing that single-handed). Then flux and flow silver solder

        over the top end plate to secure all tubes simultaneously. Turn over and
        repeat. Then, holding the assembly horizontal, remove the garotte and push

        all the baffle plates to one end. One at a time, move the baffle plates to
        their places at other end and tack in place with soft solder. Finally,
        insert assembly into casing, then soft solder the end caps in place.


        All the best,
        Mike N

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