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RE: [Distillers] design

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  • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
    Glen, ... tower might sit. Does it matter if the lid on the boiler is flat say like a 25litre paint tin?(not that I was going to use one) and what about
    Message 1 of 10 , Oct 3, 2001
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      Glen,

      >What do people have to say about the shape of the boiler and where the
      tower might sit. Does it matter if the lid on the boiler is flat say like
      a 25litre paint tin?(not that I was going to use one) and what about putting
      the tower say to one side of the lid as opposed to the centre?

      I reckon the only time it would be important is if you're making a
      traditional pot still, where you're relying on the shape of the lid to
      provide extra surface area for cooling so as to induce a small amount of
      internal reflux, and then want to distribute this internal reflux evenly so
      as to get it working effectively.

      But in a reflux still, where you're generating a far greater amount of
      reflux, and from the top of the column, you're counting on it working its
      magic over the column packing (to do the equivalent of say 8-10
      redistillations), and not via the lid (where you might get less than half an
      effective redistillation if it had heaps of surface area ?)

      In terms of whether or not you're going to affect the vapour flow up the
      column etc, basic hydraulics tells us that the pressure in a container is
      equal in all directions - e.g. a car tire will go flat whether the hole is
      at the top or at the bottom - so in our case, the steam will head out the
      hole in the lid, no matter where we put it.

      Tony
    • distiller@mafudesigns.com
      ... This being the case, what if you are planning to use the boiler for both a reflux still and a pot still? In my situation, I am building a reflux still, but
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 7, 2001
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        --- In Distillers@y..., "Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)" <Tony.Ackland@c...>
        wrote:

        > Glen,
        >
        > > What do people have to say about the shape of the boiler
        > > and where the tower might sit. Does it matter if the
        > > lid on the boiler is flat say like a 25litre paint tin?
        > > (not that I was going to use one) and what about putting
        > > the tower say to one side of the lid as opposed to the centre?
        >
        > I reckon the only time it would be important is if you're making a
        > traditional pot still, where you're relying on the shape of the
        > lid to provide extra surface area for cooling so as to induce a
        > small amount of internal reflux, and then want to distribute this
        > internal reflux evenly so as to get it working effectively.
        >
        > But in a reflux still, where you're generating a far greater
        > amount of reflux, and from the top of the column, you're counting
        > on it working its magic over the column packing (to do the
        > equivalent of say 8-10 redistillations), and not via the lid
        > (where you might get less than half an effective redistillation
        > if it had heaps of surface area ?

        This being the case, what if you are planning to use the boiler for
        both a reflux still and a pot still?

        In my situation, I am building a reflux still, but have made the
        column and head removeable. I'm planning on making a very short
        column (maybe angled?) so I can also use it as a pot still.

        With this in mind, I am planning on getting the lid domed. Is this
        neccesary (I think so?) and will it effect the reflux column (I think
        not?).

        Matt
      • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
        Matt, ... The question you d have to ask then is exactly what do you want the product from the pot still to end up like ? Eg to replicate a favorite brand,
        Message 3 of 10 , Oct 7, 2001
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          Matt,

          > This being the case, what if you are planning to use the boiler for
          > both a reflux still and a pot still?
          >
          > In my situation, I am building a reflux still, but have made the
          > column and head removeable. I'm planning on making a very short
          > column (maybe angled?) so I can also use it as a pot still.
          >
          > With this in mind, I am planning on getting the lid domed. Is this
          > neccesary (I think so?) and will it effect the reflux column (I think
          > not?).
          >
          > Matt

          The question you'd have to ask then is exactly what do you want the product
          from the pot still to end up like ? Eg to replicate a favorite brand, will
          you be able to get exactly the same amount of internal reflux as they do,
          and provide the same physical room for the various congeners etc to collect
          in the vapour space and maybe come over vs. maybe return to the pot etc ?
          Unless its on a similar scale, probably not. All you can maybe hope for is
          to achieve something similar, but not exactly the same.

          So what you're probably after then is to get somewhere close say to a couple
          of their parameters (e.g. the amount of internal reflux happening (which
          they're doing via lyne arm angle & surface area), and an equivalent HETP (do
          they get say an extra half or full plate performance from the lid surface
          area ?). In the hobby sense, you can probably achieve these by selecting
          how much of the column/offtake you'd insulate (if at all), and its height
          and angle, and get the same result, without having to worry about the head
          shape (e.g. do away with the doming, and just make the offtake a little
          taller ??) Maybe even induce a small amount of reflux cooling via a cold
          collar or coil, just to be able to exactly dial up the amount of internal
          reflux ??

          Has anyone experimented with different lids on an otherwise consistent setup
          ?

          Tony
        • Shane Kirkman
          Having some leftover 50mm stainless after making a stillmaker still, I thought i would make a nixon-stone still after I run a few designs past you guys. see
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 29, 2002
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            Having some leftover 50mm stainless after making a
            stillmaker still, I thought i would make a nixon-stone
            still after I run a few designs past you guys.
            "see attachment jpg".
            Is this a bit basic or would B be a better option
            Could i also have some input on column length and
            condenser length.


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          • Tony & Elle Ackland
            ... Nah - looks great as it is. The only reason mine looks like B was because we used a T joint there. But its just dead space doing nothing but holding a
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 29, 2002
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              > Is this a bit basic or would B be a better option
              Nah - looks great as it is. The only reason mine looks like "B" was
              because we used a T joint there. But its just dead space doing nothing but
              holding a cork.

              > Could i also have some input on column length and
              > condenser length.

              Column Length - at least 1m. If you want to be able to run faster at the
              same purity, then going taller will help. 1.2m is nice, 1.5m if you really
              want the guarantee.

              Condensor Length - you want at least 10-12 foot of coiled tube inside
              there. Make the coil first, then just have that outer length to suit.

              Tony
            • mattdistiller
              ... was ... nothing but ... I don t know whether I would agree that it is dead space - I thought the idea of the extra height was so that the base of the
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 29, 2002
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                > > Is this a bit basic or would B be a better option
                > Nah - looks great as it is. The only reason mine looks like "B"
                was
                > because we used a T joint there. But its just dead space doing
                nothing but
                > holding a cork.

                I don't know whether I would agree that it is dead space - I thought
                the idea of the extra height was so that the base of the thermometer
                (or probe) was at the same height as the base of the condenser, so
                that you were measuring the temperature of the vapour at the same
                height as the vapour you were condesing. Otherwise, surely you would
                be measuring the temperature of vapour lower in the column than is
                actually being condensed/used? Feel free to correct me if I am wrong
                on this.

                > Condensor Length - you want at least 10-12 foot of coiled tube
                inside
                > there. Make the coil first, then just have that outer length to
                suit.

                Yep! I see you are using the photos of my still - I went seriously
                overkill on the condenser size - I think I could reduce it safely by
                a third. The reason I initially made it so big is that our cold tap
                water is 29 degrees C! So I went on the side of caution. However in
                reality, all that get used is the bottom 12 coils, and the inside
                bottom 1 coil.

                Matt
              • Tony & Elle Ackland
                ... Once the vapour has left the packing, its not going to be doing a lot more purifying. So it wont be changing composition, nor temperature. So hopefully
                Message 7 of 10 , Jan 30, 2002
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                  > I don't know whether I would agree that it is dead space - I thought
                  > the idea of the extra height was so that the base of the thermometer
                  > (or probe) was at the same height as the base of the condenser, so
                  > that you were measuring the temperature of the vapour at the same
                  > height as the vapour you were condesing. Otherwise, surely you would
                  > be measuring the temperature of vapour lower in the column than is
                  > actually being condensed/used? Feel free to correct me if I am wrong
                  > on this.

                  Once the vapour has left the packing, its not going to be doing a lot more
                  purifying. So it wont be changing composition, nor temperature. So
                  hopefully (?) all that vapour anywhere in that head is at the same
                  temperature.

                  Tony
                • Bennett, Mark E [TES]
                  The thing that I would pay close attention to in either of the designs is to how the refluxed liquid is distributed over the packing, the trick is get it as
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jan 30, 2002
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                    The thing that I would pay close attention to in either of the designs is to
                    how the refluxed liquid is distributed over the packing, the trick is get it
                    as even as possible. If you get this right your purity and flow rates will
                    be very good. If you get it wrong your purity will be poor for even very
                    low flow rates. For the column height the longer the better although you
                    need to keep the whole thing insulated. I personally run a 2m column and
                    have found that my output flow rate quadrupled for the same quality over a 1
                    m column.

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: mattdistiller [mailto:distiller@...]
                    Sent: Wednesday, 30 January 2002 3:56 PM
                    To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [Distillers] Re: design


                    > > Is this a bit basic or would B be a better option
                    > Nah - looks great as it is. The only reason mine looks like "B"
                    was
                    > because we used a T joint there. But its just dead space doing
                    nothing but
                    > holding a cork.

                    I don't know whether I would agree that it is dead space - I thought
                    the idea of the extra height was so that the base of the thermometer
                    (or probe) was at the same height as the base of the condenser, so
                    that you were measuring the temperature of the vapour at the same
                    height as the vapour you were condesing. Otherwise, surely you would
                    be measuring the temperature of vapour lower in the column than is
                    actually being condensed/used? Feel free to correct me if I am wrong
                    on this.

                    > Condensor Length - you want at least 10-12 foot of coiled tube
                    inside
                    > there. Make the coil first, then just have that outer length to
                    suit.

                    Yep! I see you are using the photos of my still - I went seriously
                    overkill on the condenser size - I think I could reduce it safely by
                    a third. The reason I initially made it so big is that our cold tap
                    water is 29 degrees C! So I went on the side of caution. However in
                    reality, all that get used is the bottom 12 coils, and the inside
                    bottom 1 coil.

                    Matt






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                  • klcampbell
                    G day Tony,the temperature will only be at the same temp.if the thermometer is in the moving stream of vapour.I made sure of placing my thermocouple and
                    Message 9 of 10 , Feb 1, 2002
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                      G'day Tony,the temperature will only be at the same temp.if the thermometer is in the moving stream of vapour.I made sure of placing my thermocouple and thermometer at exactly the same level within the vapour stream to get the right control of the system.(not the first few times I ran) but then I noticed a lag between the thermometer and the PID controller.It was at this time I purchased a digital thermometer which updates its reading every few seconds and now it precedes the controller by about half a degree if there is any change of composition of the vapour.
                      Regards,Ken.
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Thursday, 31 January 2002 4:34
                      Subject: RE: [Distillers] Re: design


                      > I don't know whether I would agree that it is dead space - I thought
                      > the idea of the extra height was so that the base of the thermometer
                      > (or probe) was at the same height as the base of the condenser, so
                      > that you were measuring the temperature of the vapour at the same
                      > height as the vapour you were condesing.  Otherwise, surely you would
                      > be measuring the temperature of vapour lower in the column than is
                      > actually being condensed/used?  Feel free to correct me if I am wrong
                      > on this.

                      Once the vapour has left the packing, its not going to be doing a lot more
                      purifying.  So it wont be changing composition, nor temperature.  So
                      hopefully (?) all that vapour anywhere in that head is at the same
                      temperature.

                      Tony


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