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Condensing (was a load of cobblers)

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  • joeatsalot
    ... But this raises an interesting point: A cooling coil does not actually condense ALL of a vapour just because it is below the boiling point of a vapourised
    Message 1 of 12 , Feb 28, 2006
      > Although does this not have some merit? assuming you have a mixture
      > of oil and ethanol vapours - the oil having a lower BP than the
      > ethanol, if you were to cool the mixture to slightly above the BP
      > of the oils, then logically it would only condense the ethanol
      > vapour. Say to 60 degrees, for arguments sake.
      >

      But this raises an interesting point:
      A cooling coil does not actually condense ALL of a vapour just
      because it is below the boiling point of a vapourised substance.
      Imagine condensing water vapour out of steam. Lots of water condenses
      on the cooling coil, but if the coil is at 30 degrees C, it cools the
      air to that temp, presumably leaving it with a high relative
      humidity. (100%?) A dehumidifier shows that if you cool the air to
      freezing temps you can get lots more water out.

      So just because the condensor is below the boiling point doesn't mean
      that all the alcohol is caught.

      This also makes me think of another issue. Since I get a few liters
      of spirit out of the still, a few liters of air must flow in to
      compensate. Isn't it scary to think of that air mixed with alcohol
      vapour in the still? (Unless, as discussed above, the fact that not
      all the alcohol is ever condensed means that the net flow is actually
      out of the still, not in???)
    • Campbell Ritchie
      ... SNIPP ... actually ... But the air will not start to flow back into the still until the boiler is turned off and the vapour collapses. That is why it is
      Message 2 of 12 , Feb 28, 2006
        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "joeatsalot" <joeatsalot@...> wrote:

        SNIPP

        > This also makes me think of another issue. Since I get a few liters
        > of spirit out of the still, a few liters of air must flow in to
        > compensate. Isn't it scary to think of that air mixed with alcohol
        > vapour in the still? (Unless, as discussed above, the fact that not
        > all the alcohol is ever condensed means that the net flow is
        actually
        > out of the still, not in???)

        But the air will not start to flow back into the still until the
        boiler is turned off and the vapour collapses.

        That is why it is important that your still is not sealed and is open
        to the atmosphere otherwise it will more than likely implode as it
        cools down.


        Cheers

        Campbell
      • donald holcombe
        I for one doubt the pressure differance atained would implode any of the stills I have seen. the theory does leave some room for thought. Campbell Ritchie
        Message 3 of 12 , Feb 28, 2006
          I for one doubt the pressure differance atained would implode any of the stills I have seen. the theory does leave some room for thought.

          Campbell Ritchie <ritchiec@...> wrote: --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "joeatsalot" <joeatsalot@...> wrote:

          SNIPP

          > This also makes me think of another issue. Since I get a few liters
          > of spirit out of the still, a few liters of air must flow in to
          > compensate. Isn't it scary to think of that air mixed with alcohol
          > vapour in the still? (Unless, as discussed above, the fact that not
          > all the alcohol is ever condensed means that the net flow is
          actually
          > out of the still, not in???)

          But the air will not start to flow back into the still until the
          boiler is turned off and the vapour collapses.

          That is why it is important that your still is not sealed and is open
          to the atmosphere otherwise it will more than likely implode as it
          cools down.


          Cheers

          Campbell






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        • Andrew Bugal
          Man, this may be perverse but I would love to see my 50 litre, heavy stainless steel beer keg, which is my boiler, slowly implode. Implode right? Not explode
          Message 4 of 12 , Feb 28, 2006
            Man, this may be perverse but I would love to see my 50 litre, heavy stainless steel beer keg, which is my boiler, slowly implode. Implode right? Not explode and hurt someone but implode as going up it's own ass.

            That would be a sight but unfortunately, as the still is designed, and always open to the air, not possible I guess. Hmmmmm.......unless I block...

            Bwyze

            donald holcombe <blackledge_02@...> wrote:
            I for one doubt the pressure differance atained would implode any of the stills I have seen. the theory does leave some room for thought.

            Campbell Ritchie wrote: --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "joeatsalot" wrote:

            SNIPP

            > This also makes me think of another issue. Since I get a few liters
            > of spirit out of the still, a few liters of air must flow in to
            > compensate. Isn't it scary to think of that air mixed with alcohol
            > vapour in the still? (Unless, as discussed above, the fact that not
            > all the alcohol is ever condensed means that the net flow is
            actually
            > out of the still, not in???)

            But the air will not start to flow back into the still until the
            boiler is turned off and the vapour collapses.

            That is why it is important that your still is not sealed and is open
            to the atmosphere otherwise it will more than likely implode as it
            cools down.


            Cheers

            Campbell






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            FAQ and other information at http://homedistiller.org



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          • J0n
            Message 5 of 12 , Feb 28, 2006
              > This also makes me think of another issue. Since I get a few liters
              > of spirit out of the still, a few liters of air must flow in to
              > compensate. Isn't it scary to think of that air mixed with alcohol
              > vapour in the still? (Unless, as discussed above, the fact that not
              > all the alcohol is ever condensed means that the net flow is actually
              > out of the still, not in???)

              Yes, there is a volume of air sucked back in to the condenser ... it's
              not a huge quantity, but it is there.

              I have seen it proved many a time by immersion of the condensate tube in
              the collection container - the liquid gets sucked back up into the tube
              .... I also think that this may draw more steam up the column by
              creating a slightly lower pressure area (purely a guess on my part) ...

              So, by sucking air back up into the condenser (i.e. not allowing the
              steam mixture to escape), one would think that the vapour within the
              condenser is allowed to remain saturated with ethanol vapour, so
              therefore only the very last volume of vapour within the still, just
              before shutdown, may exhibit the symptom which you describe ...

              Which, if true, would negate the claim of the manufacturer in question,
              unless the condenser were kept precisely at the required temperature to
              condense 99% of the ethanol vapour yet still be hot enough to maintain
              the fusels in the vapour stage.

              Active carbon is a far easier option imho!

              As for implosion .... many a time have I seen apparatus been cooled down
              rapidly without being open to the atmosphere (deliberately - wanting to
              see if there was significant negative pressure generated) ... it doesn't
              even create enough suction through the collector tube to collapse it
              (the silicone tube) - let alone create enough negative pressure to
              collapse the whole contraption.

              There were plans to install a vacuum relief valve, but after seeing the
              results of the experiments - it was deemed not worth the effort.
              Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com
            • Robert Hubble
              Donald, Almost certainly SOME stills, especially small ones could withstand the full force of cooling a sealed and boiling still, but no one who has seen the
              Message 6 of 12 , Feb 28, 2006
                Donald,

                Almost certainly SOME stills, especially small ones could withstand the full
                force of cooling a sealed and boiling still, but no one who has seen the old
                classroom demonstration would bet on all stills keeping their integrity
                during a sealed cooldown. The experiment is as follows: take a steel
                1-gallon paint thinner can, with screw top, put a cup or so of water in it,
                boil the water, take it off the heat, screw on the lid, and watch as the can
                crumples into a mashed wad. It's truly impressive, and if you do the math,
                completely understandable.

                Needing to put my money where my mouth is, I just measured a solvent can
                identical to the one I first saw collapse in a classroom 50 years ago, and
                it's 4" by 6.25" by 9.25" high. At a nominal atmospheric pressure of 14.7
                pounds per square inch (pardon me, oh metric ones, but the first ruler I
                found was in inches and mmHg seemed inappropriate), that's 3,522 pounds
                total force on the can. No wonder it collapsed!

                Guessing a stainless keg to be 24" high and 14" in diameter, that's over
                20,000 pounds force (~89kN), and if you double those dimensions to get a
                tiny commercial still, the force becomes over 80,000 pounds. For a really
                big soft copper still, unvented cooling would be a slam-dunk way to make a
                giant copper spit-ball.

                I think maybe my 5-gallon aluminum ex-pressure cooker boiler might stand up
                to the forces, but I'll never try, and it does suck like crazy when you turn
                the fire off.

                Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller




                >From: donald holcombe <blackledge_02@...>
                >Reply-To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                >To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                >Subject: Re: [Distillers] Re: Condensing (was a load of cobblers)
                >Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2006 02:52:00 -0800 (PST)
                >
                >I for one doubt the pressure differance atained would implode any of the
                >stills I have seen. the theory does leave some room for thought.
                >
                >Campbell Ritchie <ritchiec@...> wrote: --- In
                >Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "joeatsalot" <joeatsalot@...> wrote:
                >
                >SNIPP
                >
                > > This also makes me think of another issue. Since I get a few liters
                > > of spirit out of the still, a few liters of air must flow in to
                > > compensate. Isn't it scary to think of that air mixed with alcohol
                > > vapour in the still? (Unless, as discussed above, the fact that not
                > > all the alcohol is ever condensed means that the net flow is
                >actually
                > > out of the still, not in???)
                >
                >But the air will not start to flow back into the still until the
                >boiler is turned off and the vapour collapses.
                >
                >That is why it is important that your still is not sealed and is open
                >to the atmosphere otherwise it will more than likely implode as it
                >cools down.
                >
                >
                >Cheers
                >
                >Campbell
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >Distillers list archives : http://archive.nnytech.net/
                >FAQ and other information at http://homedistiller.org
                >
                >
                >
                > SPONSORED LINKS
                > Management team Food and drink Culture club Organizational
                >culture Culture
                >
                >---------------------------------
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                >
                > Visit your group "Distillers" on the web.
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > Distillers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                >
                >
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              • Andrew Bugal
                There are some interesting comments here. In the past, there has been discussions about how long the condensor coil should be. In other words, how long should
                Message 7 of 12 , Feb 28, 2006
                  There are some interesting comments here.

                  In the past, there has been discussions about how long the condensor coil should be. In other words, how long should the quarter-inch (8mm) copper tube be before forming it into a coil.

                  The popular belief was that one needed 6 or 8 feet of tube tightly coiled up to get a condensor coil that would really cool down the steam and convert it.

                  My still plans were from the Internet and the plans said use a metre (39.5 inches) of 8 mm tube to get about 10 coils and mount the assembly in the condensor column. This was demed as sufficient giving that you have a suitable pump (if using a holding tank) to pump water through the coil as cooler outside ambient air would be passing over the coil as well. Case in point - a pot still using air-cooled condensor coils only.

                  My setup works well.

                  Regards, bwyze

                  J0n <luthjej@...> wrote:

                  > This also makes me think of another issue. Since I get a few liters
                  > of spirit out of the still, a few liters of air must flow in to
                  > compensate. Isn't it scary to think of that air mixed with alcohol
                  > vapour in the still? (Unless, as discussed above, the fact that not
                  > all the alcohol is ever condensed means that the net flow is actually
                  > out of the still, not in???)

                  Yes, there is a volume of air sucked back in to the condenser ... it's
                  not a huge quantity, but it is there.

                  I have seen it proved many a time by immersion of the condensate tube in
                  the collection container - the liquid gets sucked back up into the tube
                  .... I also think that this may draw more steam up the column by
                  creating a slightly lower pressure area (purely a guess on my part) ...

                  So, by sucking air back up into the condenser (i.e. not allowing the
                  steam mixture to escape), one would think that the vapour within the
                  condenser is allowed to remain saturated with ethanol vapour, so
                  therefore only the very last volume of vapour within the still, just
                  before shutdown, may exhibit the symptom which you describe ...

                  Which, if true, would negate the claim of the manufacturer in question,
                  unless the condenser were kept precisely at the required temperature to
                  condense 99% of the ethanol vapour yet still be hot enough to maintain
                  the fusels in the vapour stage.

                  Active carbon is a far easier option imho!

                  As for implosion .... many a time have I seen apparatus been cooled down
                  rapidly without being open to the atmosphere (deliberately - wanting to
                  see if there was significant negative pressure generated) ... it doesn't
                  even create enough suction through the collector tube to collapse it
                  (the silicone tube) - let alone create enough negative pressure to
                  collapse the whole contraption.

                  There were plans to install a vacuum relief valve, but after seeing the
                  results of the experiments - it was deemed not worth the effort.
                  Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com


                  Distillers list archives : http://archive.nnytech.net/
                  FAQ and other information at http://homedistiller.org
                  Yahoo! Groups Links










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                • joeatsalot
                  ... tube in ... Interesting! It s good to know it really does happen in practice.
                  Message 8 of 12 , Mar 1, 2006
                    > Yes, there is a volume of air sucked back in to the condenser ... it's
                    > not a huge quantity, but it is there.
                    >
                    > I have seen it proved many a time by immersion of the condensate
                    tube in
                    > the collection container - the liquid gets sucked back up into the tube

                    Interesting! It's good to know it really does happen in practice.
                  • joeatsalot
                    Yeah! Go perverse! I would love to see a still explode, too. Hmm... in a large paddock perhaps? ... stainless steel beer keg, which is my boiler, slowly
                    Message 9 of 12 , Mar 1, 2006
                      Yeah! Go perverse! I would love to see a still explode, too. Hmm... in
                      a large paddock perhaps?

                      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Bugal <bwyze44@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Man, this may be perverse but I would love to see my 50 litre, heavy
                      stainless steel beer keg, which is my boiler, slowly implode. Implode
                      right? Not explode and hurt someone but implode as going up it's own ass.
                    • Andrew Bugal
                      Mate, Read my message again. I said IMLPODE NOT explode. Slight difference in direction. Regards, bwyze joeatsalot wrote: Yeah! Go
                      Message 10 of 12 , Mar 1, 2006
                        Mate,

                        Read my message again. I said IMLPODE NOT explode. Slight difference in direction.

                        Regards,

                        bwyze

                        joeatsalot <joeatsalot@...> wrote:
                        Yeah! Go perverse! I would love to see a still explode, too. Hmm... in
                        a large paddock perhaps?

                        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Bugal wrote:
                        >
                        > Man, this may be perverse but I would love to see my 50 litre, heavy
                        stainless steel beer keg, which is my boiler, slowly implode. Implode
                        right? Not explode and hurt someone but implode as going up it's own ass.







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                      • joeatsalot
                        I read your message right, and you read mine right. I meant I d like to see one explode as well as seeing one implode. I haven t heard of any exploding,
                        Message 11 of 12 , Mar 2, 2006
                          I read your message right, and you read mine right. I meant I'd like
                          to see one explode as well as seeing one implode.
                          I haven't heard of any exploding, though, so it might be less likely
                          than it seems. And I can't imagine a heavy SS keg imploding either,
                          though hopefully somebody in this group will try it and prove us wrong.

                          Cheers

                          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Bugal <bwyze44@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Mate,
                          >
                          > Read my message again. I said IMLPODE NOT explode. Slight
                          difference in direction.
                          >
                          > Regards,
                          >
                          > bwyze
                          >
                          > joeatsalot <joeatsalot@...> wrote:
                          > Yeah! Go perverse! I would love to see a still explode, too. Hmm... in
                          > a large paddock perhaps?
                          >
                          > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Bugal wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Man, this may be perverse but I would love to see my 50 litre, heavy
                          > stainless steel beer keg, which is my boiler, slowly implode. Implode
                          > right? Not explode and hurt someone but implode as going up it's own
                          ass.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Distillers list archives : http://archive.nnytech.net/
                          > FAQ and other information at http://homedistiller.org
                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
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                          >
                          >
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                        • Andrew Bugal
                          you are probably right mate. Guerss I better get the Darwin award dusted off. Bwyze joeatsalot wrote: I read your message right, and
                          Message 12 of 12 , Mar 2, 2006
                            you are probably right mate. Guerss I better get the Darwin award dusted off.

                            Bwyze

                            joeatsalot <joeatsalot@...> wrote:
                            I read your message right, and you read mine right. I meant I'd like
                            to see one explode as well as seeing one implode.
                            I haven't heard of any exploding, though, so it might be less likely
                            than it seems. And I can't imagine a heavy SS keg imploding either,
                            though hopefully somebody in this group will try it and prove us wrong.

                            Cheers

                            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Bugal wrote:
                            >
                            > Mate,
                            >
                            > Read my message again. I said IMLPODE NOT explode. Slight
                            difference in direction.
                            >
                            > Regards,
                            >
                            > bwyze
                            >
                            > joeatsalot wrote:
                            > Yeah! Go perverse! I would love to see a still explode, too. Hmm... in
                            > a large paddock perhaps?
                            >
                            > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Bugal wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Man, this may be perverse but I would love to see my 50 litre, heavy
                            > stainless steel beer keg, which is my boiler, slowly implode. Implode
                            > right? Not explode and hurt someone but implode as going up it's own
                            ass.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Distillers list archives : http://archive.nnytech.net/
                            > FAQ and other information at http://homedistiller.org
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
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