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Column Head - Cooling Portion- Question

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  • crackher_crackher
    Hey guys, I am currently building a still reflux based on the design present in the website http://www.moonshine-still.com/ it is a very informative website.
    Message 1 of 16 , Feb 2, 2006
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      Hey guys,
      I am currently building a still reflux based on the design present in
      the website http://www.moonshine-still.com/ it is a very informative
      website. My question is one that I cannot seem to find an answer for
      else. On the top of the Cooling column (The part that contains the
      copper condensing coil in this case the 3" copper shell contains the
      tubing. is the top of this assmebly capped off. I would think that if
      it is not capped then vapor will be permitted to rise into the
      atmosphere, thus I would be losing vauble resources. Can anyone verify
      that this condensor shell is indeed left open to the stmosphere, or
      closed off???

      Thanks all..
    • Harry
      ... in ... informative ... for ... the ... the ... that if ... verify ... or ... Yes it is open to atmosphere, for safety reasons. No chance of pressurising
      Message 2 of 16 , Feb 2, 2006
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        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "crackher_crackher"
        <caschera@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hey guys,
        > I am currently building a still reflux based on the design present
        in
        > the website http://www.moonshine-still.com/ it is a very
        informative
        > website. My question is one that I cannot seem to find an answer
        for
        > else. On the top of the Cooling column (The part that contains
        the
        > copper condensing coil in this case the 3" copper shell contains
        the
        > tubing. is the top of this assmebly capped off. I would think
        that if
        > it is not capped then vapor will be permitted to rise into the
        > atmosphere, thus I would be losing vauble resources. Can anyone
        verify
        > that this condensor shell is indeed left open to the stmosphere,
        or
        > closed off???
        >
        > Thanks all..
        >


        Yes it is open to atmosphere, for safety reasons. No chance of
        pressurising and making a big 'bang'. If you have vapour coming out
        the top, it means your condenser ain't working right to knock down
        all the vapour. You need to...
        a) increase the coolant flow, or...
        b) get a bigger condenser, or...
        c) reduce the amount of heat you're driving into the column, thus
        slowing the vapour speed.


        Slainte!
        regards Harry
      • crackher_crackher
        ... present ... out ... Perfect thanks a lot Harry!! are there any other tricks that you would relay to a greenhorn.. i am think about using turbo yeast 48
        Message 3 of 16 , Feb 2, 2006
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          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
          >
          > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "crackher_crackher"
          > <caschera@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hey guys,
          > > I am currently building a still reflux based on the design
          present
          > in
          > > the website http://www.moonshine-still.com/ it is a very
          > informative
          > > website. My question is one that I cannot seem to find an answer
          > for
          > > else. On the top of the Cooling column (The part that contains
          > the
          > > copper condensing coil in this case the 3" copper shell contains
          > the
          > > tubing. is the top of this assmebly capped off. I would think
          > that if
          > > it is not capped then vapor will be permitted to rise into the
          > > atmosphere, thus I would be losing vauble resources. Can anyone
          > verify
          > > that this condensor shell is indeed left open to the stmosphere,
          > or
          > > closed off???
          > >
          > > Thanks all..
          > >
          >
          >
          > Yes it is open to atmosphere, for safety reasons. No chance of
          > pressurising and making a big 'bang'. If you have vapour coming
          out
          > the top, it means your condenser ain't working right to knock down
          > all the vapour. You need to...
          > a) increase the coolant flow, or...
          > b) get a bigger condenser, or...
          > c) reduce the amount of heat you're driving into the column, thus
          > slowing the vapour speed.
          >
          >
          > Slainte!
          > regards Harry
          >

          Perfect thanks a lot Harry!!

          are there any other tricks that you would relay to a greenhorn..
          i am think about using turbo yeast 48 fermented to ~18% based on a
          straight forward sucrose wash. I guess the only remaining variable
          is that i am planning on using scrubbers as a column packing...the
          supplier up here is out of Raschig Rings anyways.
        • ruggershiner
          ... Harry, I agree with everything that you said, but... He could close the top, leaving the takeoff valve open. This way he could make the adjustments that
          Message 4 of 16 , Feb 2, 2006
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            > Yes it is open to atmosphere, for safety reasons. No chance of
            > pressurising and making a big 'bang'. If you have vapour coming out
            > the top, it means your condenser ain't working right to knock down
            > all the vapour. You need to...
            > a) increase the coolant flow, or...
            > b) get a bigger condenser, or...
            > c) reduce the amount of heat you're driving into the column, thus
            > slowing the vapour speed.
            >
            >
            > Slainte!
            > regards Harry

            Harry,

            I agree with everything that you said, but...

            He could close the top, leaving the takeoff valve open. This way he
            could make the adjustments that you suggested (with feedback) until
            balance could be achieved. This will work, my rig is was set up this
            way.

            But...Don't forget to open the valve!!!

            Mark
          • crackher_crackher
            ... out ... down ... this ... Mark, when you say the takeoff value do you mean a value placed on the top of the condensor or the condensate ? I you have a
            Message 5 of 16 , Feb 2, 2006
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              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ruggershiner" <mnelson@...> wrote:
              >
              > > Yes it is open to atmosphere, for safety reasons. No chance of
              > > pressurising and making a big 'bang'. If you have vapour coming
              out
              > > the top, it means your condenser ain't working right to knock
              down
              > > all the vapour. You need to...
              > > a) increase the coolant flow, or...
              > > b) get a bigger condenser, or...
              > > c) reduce the amount of heat you're driving into the column, thus
              > > slowing the vapour speed.
              > >
              > >
              > > Slainte!
              > > regards Harry
              >
              > Harry,
              >
              > I agree with everything that you said, but...
              >
              > He could close the top, leaving the takeoff valve open. This way he
              > could make the adjustments that you suggested (with feedback) until
              > balance could be achieved. This will work, my rig is was set up
              this
              > way.
              >
              > But...Don't forget to open the valve!!!
              >
              > Mark
              >

              Mark, when you say the 'takeoff' value do you mean a value placed on
              the top of the condensor or the condensate ? I you have a pic that
              would be great.
            • Harry
              ... variable ... Copper scrubbers will work a lot better than Rashig Rings. Just make sure they re true copper, not just coated. Test em with a magnet.
              Message 6 of 16 , Feb 2, 2006
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                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "crackher_crackher"
                <caschera@...> wrote:
                >
                > Perfect thanks a lot Harry!!
                >
                > are there any other tricks that you would relay to a greenhorn..
                > i am think about using turbo yeast 48 fermented to ~18% based on a
                > straight forward sucrose wash. I guess the only remaining
                variable
                > is that i am planning on using scrubbers as a column packing...the
                > supplier up here is out of Raschig Rings anyways.
                >


                Copper scrubbers will work a lot better than Rashig Rings. Just
                make sure they're 'true' copper, not just coated. Test 'em with a
                magnet. If it sticks, they're coated. Then cut 1 strand with a
                knife & look at the cross-section. Some real cheapies are coated or
                coloured plastic.


                Slainte!
                regards Harry
              • Harry
                ... The one thing I don t like about that type of design is there s only 1 outlet to atmosphere, namely the take-off valve, and that is closable. If it is left
                Message 7 of 16 , Feb 2, 2006
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                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "ruggershiner" <mnelson@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I agree with everything that you said, but...
                  >
                  > He could close the top, leaving the takeoff valve open. This way he
                  > could make the adjustments that you suggested (with feedback) until
                  > balance could be achieved. This will work, my rig is was set up this
                  > way.
                  >
                  > But...Don't forget to open the valve!!!
                  >
                  > Mark
                  >


                  The one thing I don't like about that type of design is there's only 1
                  outlet to atmosphere, namely the take-off valve, and that is closable.
                  If it is left closed during boilup for equilibration purposes, you
                  have nowhere for the heated expanding air to be driven out. Thus an
                  over-pressure situation is possible.

                  Converse to that, when the run is finished, an unthinking person could
                  close off the outlet. What happens when the still cools? Implosion.

                  Either of these situations are easily avoided by a vent to atmosphere
                  at the column top, either leave it open, or at least put a hole in it
                  if it's capped.


                  Slainte!
                  regards Harry
                • Lindsay Williams
                  Hear, hear. Why tempt fate for no good reason? Cheers, Lindsay.
                  Message 8 of 16 , Feb 2, 2006
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                    Hear, hear. Why tempt fate for no good reason?

                    Cheers,
                    Lindsay.

                    >
                    > The one thing I don't like about that type of design is there's only 1
                    > outlet to atmosphere, namely the take-off valve, and that is closable.
                    > If it is left closed during boilup for equilibration purposes, you
                    > have nowhere for the heated expanding air to be driven out. Thus an
                    > over-pressure situation is possible.
                    >
                    > Converse to that, when the run is finished, an unthinking person could
                    > close off the outlet. What happens when the still cools? Implosion.
                    >
                    > Either of these situations are easily avoided by a vent to atmosphere
                    > at the column top, either leave it open, or at least put a hole in it
                    > if it's capped.
                    >
                    >
                    > Slainte!
                    > regards Harry
                    >
                  • Lindsay Williams
                    Hard to go wrong with the turbo and sugar. Just follow the instructions and you will find about 3 days will do it. I just thrash the water/sugar with a paddle
                    Message 9 of 16 , Feb 2, 2006
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                      Hard to go wrong with the turbo and sugar. Just follow the
                      instructions and you will find about 3 days will do it. I just thrash
                      the water/sugar with a paddle to get some oxygen into it then pitch
                      the turbo in at around 40C and thrash it some more! Seal it up and try
                      to run it at around 25C. My first bubble comes out in 2 min!!

                      Good luck and cheers,
                      Lindsay.

                      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "crackher_crackher" <caschera@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "crackher_crackher"
                      > > <caschera@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > Hey guys,
                      > > > I am currently building a still reflux based on the design
                      > present
                      > > in
                      > > > the website http://www.moonshine-still.com/ it is a very
                      > > informative
                      > > > website. My question is one that I cannot seem to find an answer
                      > > for
                      > > > else. On the top of the Cooling column (The part that contains
                      > > the
                      > > > copper condensing coil in this case the 3" copper shell contains
                      > > the
                      > > > tubing. is the top of this assmebly capped off. I would think
                      > > that if
                      > > > it is not capped then vapor will be permitted to rise into the
                      > > > atmosphere, thus I would be losing vauble resources. Can anyone
                      > > verify
                      > > > that this condensor shell is indeed left open to the stmosphere,
                      > > or
                      > > > closed off???
                      > > >
                      > > > Thanks all..
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Yes it is open to atmosphere, for safety reasons. No chance of
                      > > pressurising and making a big 'bang'. If you have vapour coming
                      > out
                      > > the top, it means your condenser ain't working right to knock down
                      > > all the vapour. You need to...
                      > > a) increase the coolant flow, or...
                      > > b) get a bigger condenser, or...
                      > > c) reduce the amount of heat you're driving into the column, thus
                      > > slowing the vapour speed.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Slainte!
                      > > regards Harry
                      > >
                      >
                      > Perfect thanks a lot Harry!!
                      >
                      > are there any other tricks that you would relay to a greenhorn..
                      > i am think about using turbo yeast 48 fermented to ~18% based on a
                      > straight forward sucrose wash. I guess the only remaining variable
                      > is that i am planning on using scrubbers as a column packing...the
                      > supplier up here is out of Raschig Rings anyways.
                      >
                    • w_upnorth
                      ... Well to start with I wouldnt try to push any yeast to its limit. I use Highg Alcohol Distiller s Yeast That if you beleave the label will go to 20%,and
                      Message 10 of 16 , Feb 2, 2006
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                        >
                        > are there any other tricks that you would relay to a greenhorn..
                        >
                        Well to start with I wouldnt try to push any yeast to its limit.
                        I use " Highg Alcohol Distiller's Yeast " That if you beleave the label
                        will go to 20%,and I am shure it will. With the perfect water, suger
                        and Temp control. My water is hard, My suger is cheep and my temp
                        comtrol sux. And yet I have found a way to push the yeast.
                        What I do is buy 4 5lb bages of suger of witch I am to lazy to weigh
                        out to 18lb, so I add it all to 24.4lt of hard water. No toping up to
                        25lt here. It will make apx 29.8lt of wash @ 17.8% abv. Then I let it
                        go till its done, depending on the season, 2 weeks to a month.
                        Then there is the how fast you can run curve that most ppl go thru.
                        Also the get every drop out of the mash sendrome.
                        Most ppl learn that if you push the still to the limit they can get 95%
                        and still have a foul taste,and or spend all weekend trying to get
                        every drop of alcohol. I have learned that I like quality over speed or
                        getting every last drop. By the way I toss the heavy heads and tales
                        and keep the light ones.
                        Hope this helps
                        W_upnorth
                      • w_upnorth
                        ... Well to start with I wouldnt try to push any yeast to its limit. I use Highg Alcohol Distiller s Yeast That if you beleave the label will go to 20%,and
                        Message 11 of 16 , Feb 2, 2006
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                          >
                          > are there any other tricks that you would relay to a greenhorn..
                          >
                          Well to start with I wouldnt try to push any yeast to its limit.
                          I use " Highg Alcohol Distiller's Yeast " That if you beleave the label
                          will go to 20%,and I am shure it will. With the perfect water, suger
                          and Temp control. My water is hard, My suger is cheep and my temp
                          comtrol sux. And yet I have found a way to push the yeast.
                          What I do is buy 4 5lb bages of suger of witch I am to lazy to weigh
                          out to 18lb, so I add it all to 24.4lt of hard water. No toping up to
                          25lt here. It will make apx 29.8lt of wash @ 17.8% abv. Then I let it
                          go till its done, depending on the season, 2 weeks to a month.
                          Then there is the how fast you can run curve that most ppl go thru.
                          Also the get every drop out of the mash sendrome.
                          Most ppl learn that if you push the still to the limit they can get 95%
                          and still have a foul taste,and or spend all weekend trying to get
                          every drop of alcohol. I have learned that I like quality over speed or
                          getting every last drop. By the way I toss the heavy heads and tales
                          and keep the light ones.
                          Hope this helps
                          W_upnorth
                        • abbababbaccc
                          ... present ... out ... d) stuff a potscrubber inside the coil to reduce vaporspeed and increase cooling efficiency. IIRC the coil in those instructions has
                          Message 12 of 16 , Feb 3, 2006
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                            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "crackher_crackher"
                            > <caschera@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Hey guys,
                            > > I am currently building a still reflux based on the design
                            present
                            > in
                            > > the website http://www.moonshine-still.com/ it is a very
                            > informative
                            > > website. My question is one that I cannot seem to find an answer
                            > for
                            > > else. On the top of the Cooling column (The part that contains
                            > the
                            > > copper condensing coil in this case the 3" copper shell contains
                            > the
                            > > tubing. is the top of this assmebly capped off. I would think
                            > that if
                            > > it is not capped then vapor will be permitted to rise into the
                            > > atmosphere, thus I would be losing vauble resources. Can anyone
                            > verify
                            > > that this condensor shell is indeed left open to the stmosphere,
                            > or
                            > > closed off???
                            > >
                            > > Thanks all..
                            > >
                            >
                            >
                            > Yes it is open to atmosphere, for safety reasons. No chance of
                            > pressurising and making a big 'bang'. If you have vapour coming
                            out
                            > the top, it means your condenser ain't working right to knock down
                            > all the vapour. You need to...
                            > a) increase the coolant flow, or...
                            > b) get a bigger condenser, or...
                            > c) reduce the amount of heat you're driving into the column, thus
                            > slowing the vapour speed.
                            >
                            >
                            > Slainte!
                            > regards Harry
                            >

                            d) stuff a potscrubber inside the coil to reduce vaporspeed and
                            increase cooling efficiency. IIRC the coil in those instructions has
                            huge opening in the middle.

                            - Riku
                          • Robert Lemmen
                            ... apart from the fact that the valve as the only opening is dangerous because it can be closed, i also think it has a too small cross section to really
                            Message 13 of 16 , Feb 3, 2006
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                              On Thu, Feb 02, 2006 at 07:59:34PM -0000, ruggershiner wrote:
                              > He could close the top, leaving the takeoff valve open. This way he
                              > could make the adjustments that you suggested (with feedback) until
                              > balance could be achieved. This will work, my rig is was set up this
                              > way.

                              apart from the fact that the valve as the only opening is dangerous
                              because it can be closed, i also think it has a too small cross section
                              to really count. the resistance of a valve is pretty big, so you won't
                              be able to push 1kw worth of alcoholic vapour through. plus you always
                              risk some kind of oscillation (think pressure -> boiling point -> vapour
                              output -> pressure). in my setup i have a cap on top of the condenser,
                              but is has a really large hole in it (1 cm), and this works fine. no
                              vapour escapes when the power is right, and i had multiple times when it
                              would have been really bad if that hole hadn't been there (e.g. the
                              coolant pipes coming off the still...)

                              cu robert

                              --
                              Robert Lemmen http://www.semistable.com
                            • grayson_stewart66
                              ... Definately have some outlet to the atmosphere. Not using a cap is a good practice. I use a cap to help hold my coil steady against the weight of the
                              Message 14 of 16 , Feb 3, 2006
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                                > > Either of these situations are easily avoided by a vent to atmosphere
                                > > at the column top, either leave it open, or at least put a hole in it
                                > > if it's capped.

                                Definately have some outlet to the atmosphere. Not using a cap is a
                                good practice. I use a cap to help hold my coil steady against the
                                weight of the water input/output hoses but have placed a half inch
                                diameter hole in the cap. If you're like me and just waste the water
                                to the flower bed, that hole is also good for making sure you use just
                                enough cooling water to get the job done. I tear off a piece of paper
                                just larger than the hole...place the paper over the hole and adjust
                                the cooling water till the paper just stops fluttering over the hole.
                                Easy way to guage minimal cooling water needed.
                              • Mark Nelson
                                The valve I was talking about is 2 (from a VM system) not a needle valve. Sorry for not being clear. I won t comment unless I have time to be very specific
                                Message 15 of 16 , Feb 3, 2006
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                                  The valve I was talking about is 2" (from a VM system) not a needle valve.
                                  Sorry for not being clear. I won't comment unless I have time to be very
                                  specific and detailed.


                                  apart from the fact that the valve as the only opening is dangerous because
                                  it can be closed, i also think it has a too small cross section to really
                                  count. the resistance of a valve is pretty big, so you won't be able to push
                                  1kw worth of alcoholic vapour through. plus you always risk some kind of
                                  oscillation (think pressure -> boiling point -> vapour output -> pressure).
                                  in my setup i have a cap on top of the condenser, but is has a really large
                                  hole in it (1 cm), and this works fine. no vapour escapes when the power is
                                  right, and i had multiple times when it would have been really bad if that
                                  hole hadn't been there (e.g. the coolant pipes coming off the still...)

                                  cu robert

                                  --
                                  Robert Lemmen http://www.semistable.com
                                • donald holcombe
                                  I been stuying this ... I like the wake you think now it makes sense or sents or scense....OOH it soundsOK. ... Definately have some outlet to the atmosphere.
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Feb 7, 2006
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                                    I been stuying this ... I like the wake you think now it makes sense or sents or scense....OOH it soundsOK.

                                    grayson_stewart66 <grayson_stewart66@...> wrote:
                                    > > Either of these situations are easily avoided by a vent to atmosphere
                                    > > at the column top, either leave it open, or at least put a hole in it
                                    > > if it's capped.

                                    Definately have some outlet to the atmosphere. Not using a cap is a
                                    good practice. I use a cap to help hold my coil steady against the
                                    weight of the water input/output hoses but have placed a half inch
                                    diameter hole in the cap. If you're like me and just waste the water
                                    to the flower bed, that hole is also good for making sure you use just
                                    enough cooling water to get the job done. I tear off a piece of paper
                                    just larger than the hole...place the paper over the hole and adjust
                                    the cooling water till the paper just stops fluttering over the hole.
                                    Easy way to guage minimal cooling water needed.






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