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Mike Nixon - Vapor Management question

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  • rocky_creek1
    In your book it indicates that after the heads are out, the reflux ratio in a vapor management still isn t really important (say with a minimum 50% built in).
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 2, 2005
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      In your book it indicates that after the heads are out, the reflux
      ratio in a vapor management still isn't really important (say with a
      minimum 50% built in). I was going to build in a 90% fixed reflux rate
      in my next still but it looks like this would just waste power. I
      always use turbo 48 and get almost no heads even running wide open. I
      did notice in my present still with the same settings and half the
      power input the resulting 160 proof tasted better than the 140 proof I
      normally produced. I find very little detailed information beyond what
      is in your book about vapor management yet. I consider it the best
      system but lacking in detailed information. If money were no object,
      how would you go about it. I am in process of replacing my 2 column vm
      with a 4 column stainless vm system. I had previously considered 5
      columns but cut back to four because of power considerations.
    • Mike Nixon
      rocky_creek1 wrote: Subject: [Distillers] Mike Nixon - Vapor Management question In your book it indicates that after the heads are out, the reflux ratio in a
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 2, 2005
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        rocky_creek1 wrote:
        Subject: [Distillers] Mike Nixon - Vapor Management question

        In your book it indicates that after the heads are out, the reflux
        ratio in a vapor management still isn't really important (say with a
        minimum 50% built in). I was going to build in a 90% fixed reflux rate
        in my next still but it looks like this would just waste power. I
        always use turbo 48 and get almost no heads even running wide open. I
        did notice in my present still with the same settings and half the
        power input the resulting 160 proof tasted better than the 140 proof I
        normally produced. I find very little detailed information beyond what
        is in your book about vapor management yet. I consider it the best
        system but lacking in detailed information. If money were no object,
        how would you go about it. I am in process of replacing my 2 column vm
        with a 4 column stainless vm system. I had previously considered 5
        columns but cut back to four because of power considerations.
        ==========================
        Hi Rocky,

        Where on earth did you read that in the book? What is said is that the
        heads should be removed slowly while maintaining a high reflux ratio, for
        the boiling points of heads components are very close to that of ethanol,
        making them difficult to separate out. You therefore need a high reflux
        ratio in that phase. Only when all the heads have been extracted do you
        adjust the valve to set a product collection rate of around 10%. ie. 90%
        reflux ratio. Are you perhaps misinterpreting what is then said ... that
        once you set the valve then you don't need to mess with it again as the
        reflux ratio will remain the same throughout the main run? It only changes
        in reflux ratio occur towards the end when the concentration of ethanol
        reduces and less vapor makes its way into the product path ... in other
        words, the reflux ratio automatically increases at that stage until it
        finally reaches 100% when the ethanol content in the vapor will yield around
        41% by volume in the condensed product. If you are getting only 140 - 160
        proof (70 - 80% abv) then you are pushing your system very hard indeed. A
        VM still is quite capable of delivering product up to the azeotrope at 190
        proof (95% abv). Mind you, the purity you get with a VM system is usually
        better than can be achieved with an LM system running at the same power, so
        the quality of that lower proof may well be fine for your needs.

        Multiple columns are tricky, so sneak up on them with caution. It's not
        just the matter of getting the reflux ratio in each column correct, but you
        also have to achieve a balance between them, and maintain it. If the vapor
        feeds are not set up properly then you can get an unstable condition that
        will end up with one or more columns cutting out entirely.

        All the best,
        Mike N
      • Harry
        ... It s not ... correct, but you ... the vapor ... condition that ... I assume the reason people want multiple columns is to increase the amount of product
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 2, 2005
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          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Nixon" <mike@s...> wrote:
          >
          > Multiple columns are tricky, so sneak up on them with caution.
          It's not
          > just the matter of getting the reflux ratio in each column
          correct, but you
          > also have to achieve a balance between them, and maintain it. If
          the vapor
          > feeds are not set up properly then you can get an unstable
          condition that
          > will end up with one or more columns cutting out entirely.
          >
          > All the best,
          > Mike N



          I assume the reason people want multiple columns is to increase the
          amount of product taken in a given timeframe. However large
          diameter pipe is not easily found, so multi-columns is a viable
          alternative.

          The simplest way to achieve perfect balance is to connect all the
          column TOPS together BEFORE the condenser and use a single takeoff
          point for product.

          It's simple fluid dynamics. A system joined at one end (by the
          boiler) will always have pressure differences in the legs (columns),
          just like a garden watering system where the sprays are uneven.
          However, if you make said watering system a closed loop, then all
          sprays have equal pressure. The same is true for multiple columns.

          Join the multiple columns at the boiler, and again at the top, then
          run to a condenser. This setup will of course require more power to
          drive it, because of the additional volume to fill in the extra
          columns, but that's the whole point of the exercise, isn't it?


          Slainte!
          regards Harry
        • rocky_creek1
          OK - Misinterpetation on my part. Now, on your new design for vapor management, are you proposing a small outlet and moving the gate valve to the reflux
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 2, 2005
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            OK - Misinterpetation on my part. Now, on your new design for vapor
            management, are you proposing a small outlet and moving the gate valve
            to the reflux condenser? This would allow collecting tails and a good
            reflux ratio. Although it would not allow for heads separation.
          • Mike Nixon
            rocky_creek1 wrote: Subject: [Distillers] Re: Mike Nixon - Vapor Management question OK - Misinterpetation on my part. Now, on your new design for vapor
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 2, 2005
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              rocky_creek1 wrote:
              Subject: [Distillers] Re: Mike Nixon - Vapor Management question

              OK - Misinterpetation on my part. Now, on your new design for vapor
              management, are you proposing a small outlet and moving the gate valve
              to the reflux condenser? This would allow collecting tails and a good
              reflux ratio. Although it would not allow for heads separation.
              ====================
              No problems Rocky :-))
              In answer to your question ... in a word ... no.

              All the best,
              Mike N
            • rocky_creek1
              That s exactly what I m doing. currently with 2 columns and soon with 4.
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 3, 2005
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                That's exactly what I'm doing. currently with 2 columns and soon with 4.
              • Harry
                ... with 4. How are you managing reflux? Slainte! regards Harry
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 3, 2005
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                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rocky_creek1" <rocky_creek@d...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > That's exactly what I'm doing. currently with 2 columns and soon
                  with 4.



                  How are you managing reflux?


                  Slainte!
                  regards Harry
                • rocky_creek1
                  I for one built it in. Off of the 2 columns, I take off a half inch output from each column that comes together into a tee. From there, there is one valve to
                  Message 8 of 8 , Mar 3, 2005
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                    I for one built it in. Off of the 2" columns, I take off a half inch
                    output from each column that comes together into a tee. From there,
                    there is one valve to control reflux. In my next one, I will have 4
                    columns with a 3/8 output ( 1 1/8 opening into the reflux condenser)
                    and may not even have a valve. I'm thinking that my biggest problem so
                    far has been inadequate reflux condensing. So in my next one I am
                    doubling the id (2") of the condenser (liebig) but the opening is only
                    slightly larger .



                    y
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