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Re: some reflux still questions

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  • abbababbaccc
    I must say I second Lindsay s recommendation on VM. It s relatively easy to make and control + it contains the product cooling you were after. If you want to
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 1, 2005
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      I must say I second Lindsay's recommendation on VM. It's relatively
      easy to make and control + it contains the product cooling you were
      after. If you want to tinker a bit more ARC is another good option,
      although it does all the controlling automatically :)

      - Riku

      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Lindsay Williams"
      <lindsay.nz@g...> wrote:
      >
      > Alright, I'll have a go! The first comment is, "simple is good".
      > Balancing the interacting factors is hard enough for new reflux
      > distillers without adding unnecessary stuff. You are sort of
      > describing a vapour managed still which has the two condensers. I
      > would advise looking carefully at a VM design before committing
      > yourself to this described design. It seems quite prudent to start
      > with a known good design before inventing a new one.
      >
      > You also seem quite keen on "controlling temp", even with a
      > thermometer. At the end of the day, the vapour composition controls
      > the temp.
      >
      > Questions:-
      > No, a wide column is not inefficient per se. I guess you could
      make it
      > inefficient! A 2" column is regarded as being 'about right' for
      home
      > distillers. A 3" column is a very different animal in terms of
      capacity.
      >
      > Low power levels is REALLY bad - no vapour really kills the
      concept!
      > You have to have it boiling but just not too hard. Simple, really.
      >
      > Plates is not too great a way to describe a packed hobby column. If
      > you have read a lot, you will realise that the vast majority of
      reflux
      > columns are about a metre in length. The ceiling is one limiting
      factor!
      >
      > You don't need to calculate the power from an external source. Just
      > keep the wash at a slow boil.
      >
      > The refluxed distillate is about the right temp if the output is
      warm.
      >
      > In summary, my advice is to start by following standard designs
      before
      > branching out on your own. Blunt, but there you go.
      >
      > Cheers,
      > Lindsay.
      >
      > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "BEAU REBEL"
      <misfitrebel999@y...>
    • Andrew Bugal
      Thunderous applause. Lindsay Williams wrote: Alright, I ll have a go! The first comment is, simple is good . Balancing the interacting
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 1, 2005
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        Thunderous applause.

        Lindsay Williams <lindsay.nz@...> wrote: Alright, I'll have a go! The first comment is, "simple is good".
        Balancing the interacting factors is hard enough for new reflux
        distillers without adding unnecessary stuff. You are sort of
        describing a vapour managed still which has the two condensers. I
        would advise looking carefully at a VM design before committing
        yourself to this described design. It seems quite prudent to start
        with a known good design before inventing a new one.

        You also seem quite keen on "controlling temp", even with a
        thermometer. At the end of the day, the vapour composition controls
        the temp.

        Questions:-
        No, a wide column is not inefficient per se. I guess you could make it
        inefficient! A 2" column is regarded as being 'about right' for home
        distillers. A 3" column is a very different animal in terms of capacity.

        Low power levels is REALLY bad - no vapour really kills the concept!
        You have to have it boiling but just not too hard. Simple, really.

        Plates is not too great a way to describe a packed hobby column. If
        you have read a lot, you will realise that the vast majority of reflux
        columns are about a metre in length. The ceiling is one limiting factor!

        You don't need to calculate the power from an external source. Just
        keep the wash at a slow boil.

        The refluxed distillate is about the right temp if the output is warm.

        In summary, my advice is to start by following standard designs before
        branching out on your own. Blunt, but there you go.

        Cheers,
        Lindsay.

        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "BEAU REBEL"
        wrote:
        >
        > hello,
        > i have some distilling experience. mostly with crude
        > equiptment. i made a still out of a presure cooker while deployed
        > to afghan where we could not get any drink. i have a good
        > understanding of the concept and theory of the reflux still but have
        > some questions. i want to build a modified version of the valved
        > reflux still on moonshine-still.com. i want to make two seperate
        > condensors, one for refluxed distillate with a seperate thermometer
        > to control temp of return, and the other for take off. both having
        > there own cooling supply to be individualy regulated. it would
        > basicaly look the same, only with another condensor adjacent to the
        > other one, with a valve for each respective condensor to allow flow
        > into them. there would also be a small coil inside the cloumn to
        > keep the temp in there in check. i have soaked up as much info as i
        > can from websites, mostly moonshine-still, where igot the idea for
        > the design, and homedistiller, which is where my questions stem
        > from. the first one is, is a column that is too wide ineficent? i
        > would like to use at least 3". the second one, i know too much
        > power is bad, but what about low power levels? the third, can you
        > have too many plates, or too tall of a column? i would like to use
        > 6-8 plates. four, how do you calculate the the power out put of an
        > external heat source as oposed to an internal element? i want to
        > use a burner. and last, what is the optimum temp for refluxed
        > distillate? i know it cant be too cold. i would like to get
        > opinions about the design idea also. is a good one or not? thanks
        > for any input and answers.
        >
        > BEAU J. REBEL
        >







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      • BEAU REBEL
        ... make it ... home ... capacity. ... concept! ... reflux ... factor! ... warm. ... before ... lindsay, thanks for the advice. i couldnt find anything on a
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 1, 2005
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          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Lindsay Williams"
          <lindsay.nz@g...> wrote:
          >
          > Alright, I'll have a go! The first comment is, "simple is good".
          > Balancing the interacting factors is hard enough for new reflux
          > distillers without adding unnecessary stuff. You are sort of
          > describing a vapour managed still which has the two condensers. I
          > would advise looking carefully at a VM design before committing
          > yourself to this described design. It seems quite prudent to start
          > with a known good design before inventing a new one.
          >
          > You also seem quite keen on "controlling temp", even with a
          > thermometer. At the end of the day, the vapour composition controls
          > the temp.
          >
          > Questions:-
          > No, a wide column is not inefficient per se. I guess you could
          make it
          > inefficient! A 2" column is regarded as being 'about right' for
          home
          > distillers. A 3" column is a very different animal in terms of
          capacity.
          >
          > Low power levels is REALLY bad - no vapour really kills the
          concept!
          > You have to have it boiling but just not too hard. Simple, really.
          >
          > Plates is not too great a way to describe a packed hobby column. If
          > you have read a lot, you will realise that the vast majority of
          reflux
          > columns are about a metre in length. The ceiling is one limiting
          factor!
          >
          > You don't need to calculate the power from an external source. Just
          > keep the wash at a slow boil.
          >
          > The refluxed distillate is about the right temp if the output is
          warm.
          >
          > In summary, my advice is to start by following standard designs
          before
          > branching out on your own. Blunt, but there you go.
          >
          > Cheers,
          > Lindsay.
          >

          lindsay,
          thanks for the advice. i couldnt find anything on a vm still.
          i think i will just stick with the original design that i got the
          idea from with only one condesor head. the reason i am worried
          about temp control is because with my experince with the still i
          used before, i had to keep a constant eye on the thermometer. but
          i guess with a reflux design it sounds like it will pretty much
          control the column temp itself, is that corect, or will there need
          to be at least some sort of control in the column? the reason i
          want to go with a wide column is so i can run large batches, and i
          really dont want to run into an over power problem. i plan on using
          a gas burner. so as long as i can keep it at a good steady rolling
          boil it should be ok? do i need to moniter the boiler temp at all?
          the plates question i got from homeditillers.com where it talks
          about HETP. i am new to the reflux thing so i am trying to get as
          much information as possible. thanks again.

          BEAU J. REBEL
        • abbababbaccc
          Beau, If you are in a hurry to build something try Bokakob s EL head. The drawings should be available at homedistiller.org It s much easier and cheaper to
          Message 4 of 7 , Dec 1, 2005
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            Beau,

            If you are in a hurry to build something try Bokakob's EL head. The
            drawings should be available at homedistiller.org It's much easier
            and cheaper to build than the valved reflux head and gives the same
            quality. If you have patience read the archives and searh for VM (or
            ARC).

            - Riku

            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "BEAU REBEL" <misfitrebel999@y...>
            wrote:
            >
            > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Lindsay Williams"
            > <lindsay.nz@g...> wrote:
            > >
            > > Alright, I'll have a go! The first comment is, "simple is good".
            > > Balancing the interacting factors is hard enough for new reflux
            > > distillers without adding unnecessary stuff. You are sort of
            > > describing a vapour managed still which has the two condensers. I
            > > would advise looking carefully at a VM design before committing
            > > yourself to this described design. It seems quite prudent to start
            > > with a known good design before inventing a new one.
            > >
            > > You also seem quite keen on "controlling temp", even with a
            > > thermometer. At the end of the day, the vapour composition
            controls
            > > the temp.
            > >
            > > Questions:-
            > > No, a wide column is not inefficient per se. I guess you could
            > make it
            > > inefficient! A 2" column is regarded as being 'about right' for
            > home
            > > distillers. A 3" column is a very different animal in terms of
            > capacity.
            > >
            > > Low power levels is REALLY bad - no vapour really kills the
            > concept!
            > > You have to have it boiling but just not too hard. Simple, really.
            > >
            > > Plates is not too great a way to describe a packed hobby column.
            If
            > > you have read a lot, you will realise that the vast majority of
            > reflux
            > > columns are about a metre in length. The ceiling is one limiting
            > factor!
            > >
            > > You don't need to calculate the power from an external source.
            Just
            > > keep the wash at a slow boil.
            > >
            > > The refluxed distillate is about the right temp if the output is
            > warm.
            > >
            > > In summary, my advice is to start by following standard designs
            > before
            > > branching out on your own. Blunt, but there you go.
            > >
            > > Cheers,
            > > Lindsay.
            > >
            >
            > lindsay,
            > thanks for the advice. i couldnt find anything on a vm still.
            > i think i will just stick with the original design that i got the
            > idea from with only one condesor head. the reason i am worried
            > about temp control is because with my experince with the still i
            > used before, i had to keep a constant eye on the thermometer. but
            > i guess with a reflux design it sounds like it will pretty much
            > control the column temp itself, is that corect, or will there need
            > to be at least some sort of control in the column? the reason i
            > want to go with a wide column is so i can run large batches, and i
            > really dont want to run into an over power problem. i plan on
            using
            > a gas burner. so as long as i can keep it at a good steady rolling
            > boil it should be ok? do i need to moniter the boiler temp at
            all?
            > the plates question i got from homeditillers.com where it talks
            > about HETP. i am new to the reflux thing so i am trying to get as
            > much information as possible. thanks again.
            >
            > BEAU J. REBEL
            >
          • Lindsay Williams
            A VM still is simple to build and control. Have a look at Photos/Lindsay for some ideas. But, as Riku says, Alex s EL design is very good too. Don t get hung
            Message 5 of 7 , Dec 1, 2005
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              A VM still is simple to build and control. Have a look at
              Photos/Lindsay for some ideas. But, as Riku says, Alex's EL design is
              very good too.

              Don't get hung up over temp control. The wash will always boil at the
              temp dictated by the proportions of water to alcohol. Can't control
              this so why take its temp? You control purity (related to temp) by
              varying the amount of reflux. Like when you are running and see the
              temp start to climb, applying more reflux will stop and reverse the
              temp rise. More reflux forces more purity and thus keeps it at the
              etoh temp of around 78 deg C. But more reflux means slower take-off.
              Eventually, as the etoh gets exhausted, you will swap to tails taking
              mode and open up the speed by reducing reflux and letting the wash
              boil more vigorously. Of course, this phase will see the vapour temp
              rise quite quickly. So, yes, the column will pretty much take care of
              the temp with slow boil and highish reflux.

              You certainly will get a higher take-off rate with a 3" column. You
              will apply more power as well.

              Have fun! And ask more questions if you need.

              Cheers,
              Lindsay.

              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "BEAU REBEL" <misfitrebel999@y...>
              wrote:
              >
              > lindsay,
              > thanks for the advice. i couldnt find anything on a vm still.
              > i think i will just stick with the original design that i got the
              > idea from with only one condesor head. the reason i am worried
              > about temp control is because with my experince with the still i
              > used before, i had to keep a constant eye on the thermometer. but
              > i guess with a reflux design it sounds like it will pretty much
              > control the column temp itself, is that corect, or will there need
              > to be at least some sort of control in the column? the reason i
              > want to go with a wide column is so i can run large batches, and i
              > really dont want to run into an over power problem. i plan on using
              > a gas burner. so as long as i can keep it at a good steady rolling
              > boil it should be ok? do i need to moniter the boiler temp at all?
              > the plates question i got from homeditillers.com where it talks
              > about HETP. i am new to the reflux thing so i am trying to get as
              > much information as possible. thanks again.
              >
              > BEAU J. REBEL
              >
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