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Re: some reflux still questions

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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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