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Re: [Distillers] Re: Can anyone post their experience with 3 inch / 76mm diameter columns

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  • joe giffen
    Hi Marc, I run a 3in. column. I would like to know why you are so obsessed by the use of one, I like the speed, but I am more interested in the quality of the
    Message 1 of 21 , Dec 3, 2006
      Hi Marc,
      I run a 3in. column. I would like to know why you are so obsessed by the use of one, I like the speed, but I am more interested in the quality of the product, I intend to go back to using a 2in.column and make it as efficient as possible,
      simply because with either I can make enough to keep me and my family in booze. If anyone on this group wants to make commercial quantities they should engage Harry or one of the Mikes privately. I would love to know what you wish to produce.

      Trid <triddlywinks@...> wrote:
      --- mavnkaf <mavnkaf@hotmail. com> wrote:

      > It seems after 2 weeks after posting a simple question I got some
      > posts(2)?, which I thank them. So it seems not one person's runs a
      > wide diameter column reflux unit in a regular way?

      ...or that most of us don't use a 3" column at all.
      Most people running a column that wide at home are making fuel, not beverages.

      Trid



      Regards
      Joe


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    • joe giffen
      Ditto But after listening to riku re.VM I now achieve 96%plus. ... Sorry, I have been away from pc for months. I run a 3 by 48 SS column, with a 2 by 3
      Message 2 of 21 , Dec 3, 2006
        Ditto
        But after listening to riku re.VM I now achieve 96%plus.

        mtnwalker2 <mtnwalker2@...> wrote:
        --- In Distillers@yahoogro ups.com, "mavnkaf" <mavnkaf@... > wrote:
        >
        > It seems after 2 weeks after posting a simple question I got some
        > posts(2)?, which I thank them. So it seems not one person's runs a
        > wide diameter column reflux unit in a regular way? Or are they
        > scared off by wrongly marked as a micro-distillery?
        >
        > Cheers
        > Marc
        >
        > Ps, Tel Us about
        >
        >
        > Hi Marc,

        Sorry, I have been away from pc for months. I run a 3" by 48" SS
        column, with a 2 by 3 triclamp adopter for a beer keg, and use
        propane. It has 3 cooling tubes through the top and copper packing. I
        breaks into 2' sections. I strip 2 50 liter runs which takes 4 to 4.5
        hours each turn on to turn off heat and avg. 62% and about almost 4.5
        gal. per run. I store on bakeing soda until ready to combine the 2
        for a full reflux run in which I also add more soda and some canning
        salt....It is very fast, 95%, and very pure- better than high priced
        store bought, and that without carbon filtering- though I have one.

        From some 2 years of reading and studying and listening, I couldn't
        be happier with any other. My first and most important lesson was
        extemly good insulation- I use 3.5" fiberglass. It does take a lot of
        very cold cooling water, but I have a gravity fed spring.

        I find it saves so much time over my sisters 2" by 3' column and with
        as good or better results IMOP that I can concentrate my time on
        flavoring, oaking, and ageing. With just a few runs like this, I and
        my family are set for a long time. At least so I first thought, as
        they have all found it makes cheap and very appreceated presents, and
        they seem to be entertaining a bit more now.

        Cheers




        Regards
        Joe


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      • mavnkaf
        Thanks guys for replying, I think mtnwalker2 has nailed it on the head for what I m after, a quicker runing process and a high % and clean vodka type product.
        Message 3 of 21 , Dec 3, 2006
          Thanks guys for replying,

          I think mtnwalker2 has nailed it on the head for what I'm after, a
          quicker runing process and a high % and clean vodka type product.

          At the moment I'm using a 25 litter hot water coffee urn as the
          boiler and using it's 2400 watt element on start up then swicthing
          to a 1100 watt for the main run which work ok but is a little too
          fast (vapour speed wise), for my 2.5 meter x 50 mm mini still. It
          still makes good 95% gear but it takes a good ten hours to get
          through a 20L of prestriped 40% sugar wash.

          Ten hours maybe ok for some, but if I can do it in a shorter time
          and still have a good clean product, by increasing the diameter of
          the column, with out it costing too much, I would like to try it.
          Getting a 76 mm stainless pipe is not a problem, welding is not too
          much of a issue either. Working out what column type and condenser
          that lends it self to 3" pipe will be interesting. I like the ARC
          idear but the mini still setup is very simple to make and easy to
          use.

          One of reseasons I'm curious about 3" columns is, say if I wanted to
          make my mini still more efficient I would have to buy a sutronics
          burst fire unit and make the controller, the costs might be around
          $70-$100 AUD all together. It has been pointed out to me that 2000
          watt element in a 3" column is like having a 750 watt element for a
          2" column. Sooo why don't I just put my very little money towards
          making a new boiler,element, column and the rest it??

          I'm not going make it this week or next week but maybe in the next
          six months, if I want to make it cheaply, it will take time, which
          is ok with me as I still have my mini still to play with. BTW good
          reminder about the insulation.

          Cheers
          Marc


          > >
          > >
          > > Hi Marc,
          >
          > Sorry, I have been away from pc for months. I run a 3" by 48" SS
          > column, with a 2 by 3 triclamp adopter for a beer keg, and use
          > propane. It has 3 cooling tubes through the top and copper
          packing. I
          > breaks into 2' sections. I strip 2 50 liter runs which takes 4 to
          4.5
          > hours each turn on to turn off heat and avg. 62% and about almost
          4.5
          > gal. per run. I store on bakeing soda until ready to combine the 2
          > for a full reflux run in which I also add more soda and some
          canning
          > salt....It is very fast, 95%, and very pure- better than high
          priced
          > store bought, and that without carbon filtering- though I have one.
          >
          > From some 2 years of reading and studying and listening, I
          couldn't
          > be happier with any other. My first and most important lesson was
          > extemly good insulation- I use 3.5" fiberglass. It does take a lot
          of
          > very cold cooling water, but I have a gravity fed spring.
          >
          > I find it saves so much time over my sisters 2" by 3' column and
          with
          > as good or better results IMOP that I can concentrate my time on
          > flavoring, oaking, and ageing. With just a few runs like this, I
          and
          > my family are set for a long time. At least so I first thought, as
          > they have all found it makes cheap and very appreceated presents,
          and
          > they seem to be entertaining a bit more now.
          >
          > Cheers
          >
        • surya9375
          Hi I dont have a 3 still but for high purity I dont think anything should be much different. Hey guys if I say anything wrong here. Please feel free to
          Message 4 of 21 , Dec 4, 2006
            Hi
            I dont have a 3" still but for high purity I dont think anything
            should be much different.

            Hey guys if I say anything wrong here. Please feel free to comment
            and correct me.

            However the differences would be (according to me):-

            1, Insulate the column properly. Even the 2" columns need this but if
            its not done I guess the effect would be more seen in a 3" column.

            2, Almost all docs state that in wider columns (like the 3" ) you
            should not use copper scrubbers and go for marbles and the likes. but
            I think the option of copper mesh did not cross them at the time. And
            I think that a copper mesh rolled with the right diameter should be
            the best.
            I think they were against copper scrubbers cause scrubbers had a
            particular diameter and if its smaller than the column diameter then
            they wouldnt stack properly and would leave empty spaces as well,
            leading to channeling. I guess you could buy 2, 1pound copper mesh's
            from Amphoria and take the second one and roll it over the first.
            Push this into the 3" column.

            3, Dont rush the vapour.

            4, The column height would definetely have to be taller in a 3" to
            achieve the same strength as in a 2" column.

            These are my pointers for now.

            Hey if things work out post it back to this site and let us know how
            things went.

            Regards
            Surya
          • mavnkaf
            Thanks Surya for your input, I m thinking a column height of about 1.5 meters to start with would be A good starting point . If I have to go higher, no
            Message 5 of 21 , Dec 4, 2006
              Thanks Surya for your input, I'm thinking a column height of about
              1.5 meters to start with would be A good starting point . If I have
              to go higher, no prob's. Thanks for your other pointers as well.

              Cheers
              Marc



              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "surya9375" <surya9375@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi
              > I dont have a 3" still but for high purity I dont think anything
              > should be much different.
              >
              > Hey guys if I say anything wrong here. Please feel free to comment
              > and correct me.
              >
              > However the differences would be (according to me):-
              >
              > 1, Insulate the column properly. Even the 2" columns need this but
              if
              > its not done I guess the effect would be more seen in a 3" column.
              >
              > 2, Almost all docs state that in wider columns (like the 3" ) you
              > should not use copper scrubbers and go for marbles and the likes.
              but
              > I think the option of copper mesh did not cross them at the time.
              And
              > I think that a copper mesh rolled with the right diameter should
              be
              > the best.
              > I think they were against copper scrubbers cause scrubbers had a
              > particular diameter and if its smaller than the column diameter
              then
              > they wouldnt stack properly and would leave empty spaces as well,
              > leading to channeling. I guess you could buy 2, 1pound copper
              mesh's
              > from Amphoria and take the second one and roll it over the first.
              > Push this into the 3" column.
              >
              > 3, Dont rush the vapour.
              >
              > 4, The column height would definetely have to be taller in a 3" to
              > achieve the same strength as in a 2" column.
              >
              > These are my pointers for now.
              >
              > Hey if things work out post it back to this site and let us know
              how
              > things went.
              >
              > Regards
              > Surya
              >
            • surya9375
              Some time back when I thought I had done quite a bit of reading I posted a few questions and Harry got back to me with the answers and a lot of links proving
              Message 6 of 21 , Dec 4, 2006
                Some time back when I thought I had done quite a bit of reading I
                posted a few questions and Harry got back to me with the answers and a
                lot of links proving beyond a doubt that I had a LOT more reading to
                do :-)

                One of those links was this

                http://homedistiller.org/static_menu.htm

                In this link under "Theory" you'll find "Reflux Still Design Theory"
                and "Coulmn height" underthat. If you work out the math You'll be a
                better judge to know how high is enough for you. You need to know the
                vapour through put that your boiler would give off.

                on average
                (excerpt from the link above)
                "No packing, purity = 62% , 15cm packing = 82%, 30cm = 88%, 45cm =
                90%, 60cm = 92%, 75cm = 92.8%, 90cm = 93.4%, 105cm = 93.9%. These
                won't be exact, and depend on a number of different factors, but it
                shouldn't be too far off."

                And they where talking about 2" wide coloumn at most. On 2" columns
                150cm is supposed to give you real good purity. I'm talking about 95.5
                and the likes. How much is too much is for you to decide.

                But when you widen the column to 3" the purity will fall. I think 1.5
                meters is a good place to start. I'm not sure but I think you will be
                going higher if you want a high purity cause the funny thing is that
                the first levels of purity are eaisly achived (with little hight
                increase). But from 90% it starts gets tough to push it furthur. You
                would need to put in more height per %.

                I guess you would already be knowing that commercial still that target
                at vodka (pure ethnol, no flavour) usually use columns that are 4" and
                wider. But they dont just use a mesh or something like we do. They use
                actual plates, that has water flowing through them, throughout the
                column that the vapour pushes through and bubbles upward to the next
                plate.

                Regards
                Surya.


                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "mavnkaf" <mavnkaf@...> wrote:
                >
                > Thanks Surya for your input, I'm thinking a column height of about
                > 1.5 meters to start with would be A good starting point . If I have
                > to go higher, no prob's. Thanks for your other pointers as well.
                >
                > Cheers
                > Marc
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "surya9375" <surya9375@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi
                > > I dont have a 3" still but for high purity I dont think anything
                > > should be much different.
                > >
                > > Hey guys if I say anything wrong here. Please feel free to comment
                > > and correct me.
                > >
                > > However the differences would be (according to me):-
                > >
                > > 1, Insulate the column properly. Even the 2" columns need this but
                > if
                > > its not done I guess the effect would be more seen in a 3" column.
                > >
                > > 2, Almost all docs state that in wider columns (like the 3" ) you
                > > should not use copper scrubbers and go for marbles and the likes.
                > but
                > > I think the option of copper mesh did not cross them at the time.
                > And
                > > I think that a copper mesh rolled with the right diameter should
                > be
                > > the best.
                > > I think they were against copper scrubbers cause scrubbers had a
                > > particular diameter and if its smaller than the column diameter
                > then
                > > they wouldnt stack properly and would leave empty spaces as well,
                > > leading to channeling. I guess you could buy 2, 1pound copper
                > mesh's
                > > from Amphoria and take the second one and roll it over the first.
                > > Push this into the 3" column.
                > >
                > > 3, Dont rush the vapour.
                > >
                > > 4, The column height would definetely have to be taller in a 3" to
                > > achieve the same strength as in a 2" column.
                > >
                > > These are my pointers for now.
                > >
                > > Hey if things work out post it back to this site and let us know
                > how
                > > things went.
                > >
                > > Regards
                > > Surya
                > >
                >
              • don1lia2joe3
                I run a 4 inch colum still for making alcohol using the FFS plans posted on the alcoholfuel list. It produces 5 gallons per hour of 195 proof alcohol but it is
                Message 7 of 21 , Dec 4, 2006
                  I run a 4 inch colum still for making alcohol using the FFS plans
                  posted on the alcoholfuel list. It produces 5 gallons per hour of 195
                  proof alcohol but it is all the alchols mixed together (as this is a
                  fule alcohol still)
                  The alcohol can then be run through a smaller (50mm) seperating
                  column to seperate the alcohols at an incredable speed. you have to
                  be on your toes though as you can miss the seperation point quickly.

                  Donald

                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "mavnkaf" <mavnkaf@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > After building a 2.5 meter 50 mm LM still with insulation, 1100
                  watt
                  > stillspirit element in a 20 L hot water Urn. I found the purity
                  > went up alot but I did not feel comfortable to increase the liquid
                  > off take too much. So the time taken was only about 2 hours
                  shorter
                  > than normal(10 hours).
                  >
                  > SO after talking to one of the Mike's I'm thinking about making a 3
                  > inch / 76 mm diameter column. Can anyone tell me about their
                  > experiences in making and running such a still.
                  >
                  > Also what type of still design a 76 mm column would it lend self
                  > to?
                  > LM,VM also the condenser type. I can make a shotgun condencer, and
                  > all ready have a 50 mm shotgun condenser that has about 6.3 meters
                  > copper 6mm tubing if its helpes? But happy to make one like
                  Stevo's.
                  >
                  > The maths, well I don't much, but I think it goes like
                  4.9x2000/750=
                  > 1306"/sec @ 3 inch column in a unpacked column which I'm told is,
                  >
                  > "which is right on the nose for all intents and purposes. It's not
                  > the length of the column that matters, but its diameter. All the
                  > best,
                  > Mike Nixon"
                  >
                  > So what I'm after is results and if possible a good starting lenght
                  > for such diameter. Any takers?
                  >
                  > Cheers
                  > Marc
                  >
                • abbababbaccc
                  Here are some observation from 3 columns versus 2 stuff: On average you loose ~1% ABV when moving from 2 to 3 if all other parameters are kept equal. In
                  Message 8 of 21 , Dec 4, 2006
                    Here are some observation from 3" columns versus 2" stuff:

                    On average you loose ~1% ABV when moving from 2" to 3" if all other
                    parameters are kept equal. In practise thise means that HETP is
                    increased by 50% using very rough estimation. This promotes the use of
                    higher column to fix things. For height I'd recommend at least 1.5
                    meters if you can afford it.

                    Packing, as mentioned mesh rolls are recommended to avoid voids in
                    packing.

                    Product removal, for neutral alcohol VM and ARC are the best.
                    Succesfull 3" columns have been built using both approaches.

                    Power, 2kW to the column works well.

                    Otherwise things are roughly the same as they are with 2" columns.

                    Cheers, Riku
                  • surya9375
                    Head on Rikku. I would just like to adda comment from a reply I got from Amphora Society when I enquired to purchase the copper mesh. ... If this is true then
                    Message 9 of 21 , Dec 5, 2006
                      Head on Rikku.

                      I would just like to adda comment from a reply I got from Amphora
                      Society when I enquired to purchase the copper mesh.

                      ------------------------------------
                      >One pound of mesh would be sufficient to pack one metre of 2 inch
                      >diameter column, so you would need two pounds to accomplish your aim
                      >of packing 1.5 metre. This would leave about 0.5 pound spare, but it
                      >should be noted that the top reflux condenser needs mesh inside if it
                      >is to function at full efficiency. It would therefore not be wasted.
                      ------------------------------------

                      If this is true then I guess you would need more than 2 pounds to have
                      enough for a 3" column.

                      Regards
                      Surya

                      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Here are some observation from 3" columns versus 2" stuff:
                      >
                      > On average you loose ~1% ABV when moving from 2" to 3" if all other
                      > parameters are kept equal. In practise thise means that HETP is
                      > increased by 50% using very rough estimation. This promotes the use of
                      > higher column to fix things. For height I'd recommend at least 1.5
                      > meters if you can afford it.
                      >
                      > Packing, as mentioned mesh rolls are recommended to avoid voids in
                      > packing.
                      >
                      > Product removal, for neutral alcohol VM and ARC are the best.
                      > Succesfull 3" columns have been built using both approaches.
                      >
                      > Power, 2kW to the column works well.
                      >
                      > Otherwise things are roughly the same as they are with 2" columns.
                      >
                      > Cheers, Riku
                      >
                    • abbababbaccc
                      Surya, This applies to reflux coil type condensers where you have large opening in the middle of the condenser. Filling this void with mesh slows down the
                      Message 10 of 21 , Dec 5, 2006
                        Surya,

                        This applies to reflux coil type condensers where you have large
                        opening in the middle of the condenser. Filling this void with mesh
                        slows down the vapor flow and improves condenser efficiency thus
                        preventing vapor from escaping. Although it is not always needed it
                        does not hurt to fill that void just in case.

                        Cheers, Riku

                        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "surya9375" <surya9375@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Head on Rikku.
                        >
                        > I would just like to adda comment from a reply I got from Amphora
                        > Society when I enquired to purchase the copper mesh.
                        >
                        > ------------------------------------
                        > >One pound of mesh would be sufficient to pack one metre of 2 inch
                        > >diameter column, so you would need two pounds to accomplish your
                        aim
                        > >of packing 1.5 metre. This would leave about 0.5 pound spare,
                        but it
                        > >should be noted that the top reflux condenser needs mesh inside
                        if it
                        > >is to function at full efficiency. It would therefore not be
                        wasted.
                        > ------------------------------------
                        >
                        > If this is true then I guess you would need more than 2 pounds to
                        have
                        > enough for a 3" column.
                        >
                        > Regards
                        > Surya
                        >
                        >
                      • mavnkaf
                        Thanks guys again for the very good info, this is the sort of information I could not find in the archive. Donald, your post was interesting but I m not going
                        Message 11 of 21 , Dec 5, 2006
                          Thanks guys again for the very good info, this is the sort of
                          information I could not find in the archive.

                          Donald, your post was interesting but I'm not going down that road,
                          the off take speed you mention is very fast! Thanks for your
                          thoughts.

                          Surya and Riku, both of you mention a reduction of purity, that part
                          I seemed to have missed in my reading, can some one point towards
                          some thing I can read about this issue? I wrong most of the time
                          but I don't think I seen it at home distiller?

                          To Riku, as I have mentioned, I like the ARC setup but where can I
                          find more detailed info that will match a 3" column to a 3 " set up?
                          I'm abit confused about the inside sencer tube compared to outside
                          one. I have got admit that I have not read/found all the reading
                          stuff relating to this subject, sorry.

                          As far the condenser goes, I already have a shotgun condenser that
                          has about 6 meters of 6 mm copper tube in it. Copper packing, I
                          think about 4-5 pounds will do it?

                          Cheers Marc

                          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > Surya,
                          >
                          > This applies to reflux coil type condensers where you have large
                          > opening in the middle of the condenser. Filling this void with
                          mesh
                          > slows down the vapor flow and improves condenser efficiency thus
                          > preventing vapor from escaping. Although it is not always needed
                          it
                          > does not hurt to fill that void just in case.
                          >
                          > Cheers, Riku
                          >
                          > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "surya9375" <surya9375@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Head on Rikku.
                          > >
                          > > I would just like to adda comment from a reply I got from Amphora
                          > > Society when I enquired to purchase the copper mesh.
                          > >
                          > > ------------------------------------
                          > > >One pound of mesh would be sufficient to pack one metre of 2
                          inch
                          > > >diameter column, so you would need two pounds to accomplish
                          your
                          > aim
                          > > >of packing 1.5 metre. This would leave about 0.5 pound spare,
                          > but it
                          > > >should be noted that the top reflux condenser needs mesh inside
                          > if it
                          > > >is to function at full efficiency. It would therefore not be
                          > wasted.
                          > > ------------------------------------
                          > >
                          > > If this is true then I guess you would need more than 2 pounds
                          to
                          > have
                          > > enough for a 3" column.
                          > >
                          > > Regards
                          > > Surya
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
                        • abbababbaccc
                          Reduced quality using larger columns have been shown in practise. I don t know whether anyone have actually written about it. My writings about ARC can be
                          Message 12 of 21 , Dec 5, 2006
                            Reduced quality using larger columns have been shown in practise. I
                            don't know whether anyone have actually written about it.

                            My writings about ARC can be found at
                            http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/Listings2.htm#Books%
                            20Listings - Simple low cost stills

                            The internal sensor pipe has several advantages and is thus
                            recommended. You can use plans for smaller diameter column and make
                            measures a bit larger in proportion. Just make sure you won't
                            encounter flooding, i.e. calculate things according to the power you
                            plan on using.

                            Cheers, Riku

                            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "mavnkaf" <mavnkaf@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > Surya and Riku, both of you mention a reduction of purity, that
                            part
                            > I seemed to have missed in my reading, can some one point towards
                            > some thing I can read about this issue? I wrong most of the time
                            > but I don't think I seen it at home distiller?
                            >
                            > To Riku, as I have mentioned, I like the ARC setup but where can I
                            > find more detailed info that will match a 3" column to a 3 " set
                            up?
                            > I'm abit confused about the inside sencer tube compared to outside
                            > one. I have got admit that I have not read/found all the reading
                            > stuff relating to this subject, sorry.
                            >
                            >> > >
                            > >
                            >
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