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Refracting Still-Head Design.

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  • harisaki2004
    Hi, after doing a efficiency calculation of (litres of Alc)LAL into (LAL out) I found a 10% angels share that must be going past my reflux condensor, even with
    Message 1 of 23 , Jun 4, 2007
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      Hi, after doing a efficiency calculation of (litres of Alc)LAL into
      (LAL out) I found a 10% angels share that must be going past my
      reflux condensor, even with a pot scrubber stuffed in the top.

      This is too much for the angels.!!

      Tonys site has a lovely drawing of a Refracting Still-Head Design
      Condensor, which gets away from making coils.
      http://homedistiller.org/details/stillhead.doc

      Now, can anyone let me know if:
      1. has any one made one besides, the author Tom
      2. is there a parts list and better diagram
      3. I ahve to do it myself.

      Best regards
      Hari.
    • Robert Thomas
      Before you worry too much about building a new condenser, check your calculations: The available alcohol can be calculated from specific gravity drop: but the
      Message 2 of 23 , Jun 4, 2007
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        Before you worry too much about building a new condenser, check your
        calculations:
        The available alcohol can be calculated from specific gravity drop: but
        the 2 gravity measurements must be (adjusted) at room temperature, and
        the calculation has a non constant multiplier (sorry if you are aware
        of this already). Also, having got that abv of the wash, you need to
        measure only the volume you put in the boiler (which usually is less
        than what was there before you started).
        Also, if you over aerate, some of the gravity drop is not due to the
        presence of ethanol AND loss of sugar, BUT ONLy loss of sugar (no
        ethanol is formed during aerobic growth).

        This is why in the UK beer brewing industry, it doesn't matter how well
        you measure gravity and volume, the Excise men require an accurate abv
        determination to be made (by distillation!) on every new beer/process
        or changed process. The "constant" multiplier changes changes quite a
        lot with actual abv and many process changes.
        cheers
        Rob.

        --- harisaki2004 <ledaswan02@...> wrote:

        > Hi, after doing a efficiency calculation of (litres of Alc)LAL into
        > (LAL out) I found a 10% angels share that must be going past my
        > reflux condensor, even with a pot scrubber stuffed in the top.
        >
        > This is too much for the angels.!!
        >
        > Tonys site has a lovely drawing of a Refracting Still-Head Design
        > Condensor, which gets away from making coils.
        > http://homedistiller.org/details/stillhead.doc
        >
        > Now, can anyone let me know if:
        > 1. has any one made one besides, the author Tom
        > 2. is there a parts list and better diagram
        > 3. I ahve to do it myself.
        >
        > Best regards
        > Hari.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >


        Cheers,
        Rob.



        ____________________________________________________________________________________
        Need a vacation? Get great deals
        to amazing places on Yahoo! Travel.
        http://travel.yahoo.com/
      • harisaki2004
        Thanks Rob, I have all the necessary equipment to measure LAL to the Tax office specifications. I can guarantee you the angels are having a good time, I can
        Message 3 of 23 , Jun 4, 2007
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          Thanks Rob,
          I have all the necessary equipment to measure LAL to the Tax office
          specifications. I can guarantee you the angels are having a good
          time, I can smell vapour at the top vent.

          Is there a parts list and/or better diagram available?
          Hari.

          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Robert Thomas <whosbrewing@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Before you worry too much about building a new condenser, check
          your
          > calculations:

          > lot with actual abv and many process changes.
          > cheers
          > Rob.
          >
          > --- harisaki2004 <ledaswan02@...> wrote:
          >
          > > Hi, after doing a efficiency calculation of (litres of Alc)LAL
          into
          > > (LAL out) I found a 10% angels share that must be going past my
          > > reflux condensor, even with a pot scrubber stuffed in the top.
          > >
          > > This is too much for the angels.!!
          > >
          > > Tonys site has a lovely drawing of a Refracting Still-Head
          Design
          > > Condensor, which gets away from making coils.
          > > http://homedistiller.org/details/stillhead.doc
          > >
          > > Now, can anyone let me know if:
          > > 1. has any one made one besides, the author Tom
          > > 2. is there a parts list and better diagram
          > > 3. I have to work out the design myself.!
          > >
          > > Best regards
          > > Hari.
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          > Cheers,
          > Rob.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          _____________________________________________________________________
          _______________
          > Need a vacation? Get great deals
          > to amazing places on Yahoo! Travel.
          > http://travel.yahoo.com/
          >
        • Robert Thomas
          Hi Hari, unfortunately your link to the homedistiler page is currently dead. I think (putting words in your mouth, maybe) what you want is a cross flow
          Message 4 of 23 , Jun 4, 2007
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            Hi Hari,
            unfortunately your link to the homedistiler page is currently dead.
            I think (putting words in your mouth, maybe) what you want is a cross
            flow condenser (aka shotgun). Basically they are a large tube into
            which the vapour flows. Going through that tube are many small coolant
            tubes with (usually) a common input and common outlet. The workmanship
            is hard to get right (leaks potentially everywhere), and you must know
            about hard (silver) soldering as with soft solder you'll start the next
            section only to find the previous has unglued.

            So, in summary, search here for cross flow (maybe one word) shotgun
            and Harry (I remember him posting lots of info: maybe in the Alcohol
            library?).
            cheers
            Rob.

            --- harisaki2004 <ledaswan02@...> wrote:

            > Thanks Rob,
            > I have all the necessary equipment to measure LAL to the Tax office
            > specifications. I can guarantee you the angels are having a good
            > time, I can smell vapour at the top vent.
            >
            > Is there a parts list and/or better diagram available?
            > Hari.
            >
            > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Robert Thomas <whosbrewing@...>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > > Before you worry too much about building a new condenser, check
            > your
            > > calculations:
            >
            > > lot with actual abv and many process changes.
            > > cheers
            > > Rob.
            > >
            > > --- harisaki2004 <ledaswan02@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > > Hi, after doing a efficiency calculation of (litres of Alc)LAL
            > into
            > > > (LAL out) I found a 10% angels share that must be going past my
            > > > reflux condensor, even with a pot scrubber stuffed in the top.
            > > >
            > > > This is too much for the angels.!!
            > > >
            > > > Tonys site has a lovely drawing of a Refracting Still-Head
            > Design
            > > > Condensor, which gets away from making coils.
            > > > http://homedistiller.org/details/stillhead.doc
            > > >
            > > > Now, can anyone let me know if:
            > > > 1. has any one made one besides, the author Tom
            > > > 2. is there a parts list and better diagram
            > > > 3. I have to work out the design myself.!
            > > >
            > > > Best regards
            > > > Hari.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Cheers,
            > > Rob.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > _____________________________________________________________________
            > _______________
            > > Need a vacation? Get great deals
            > > to amazing places on Yahoo! Travel.
            > > http://travel.yahoo.com/
            > >
            >
            >
            >


            Cheers,
            Rob.



            ____________________________________________________________________________________
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          • Harry
            ... ..........Correct link is here... http://homedistiller.org/detail/STILLHEAD.doc Basically it s a liebig condenser with an added cold-finger insert. It
            Message 5 of 23 , Jun 4, 2007
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              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Robert Thomas <whosbrewing@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Hi Hari,
              > unfortunately your link to the homedistiler page is currently dead.


              ..........Correct link is here...
              http://homedistiller.org/detail/STILLHEAD.doc

              Basically it's a liebig condenser with an added cold-finger insert.
              It overcomes the problem of coolant flow restriction seen in coil
              designs, but it has a very limited shell area for vapour and
              condensate. The still would need to be run fairly slow or liquid
              holdup (head flood) would be a problem.


              > I think (putting words in your mouth, maybe) what you want is a
              cross
              > flow condenser (aka shotgun).


              ........They're two different designs. Shotguns have a large
              chamber (shell) for coolant which flows around small tubes for
              vapour. They're mounted inline with the column, so the vapour tubes
              are parallel to the vapour path.

              Crossflows have a large chamber (shell) for vapour & small tubes for
              coolant mounted at rightangles to the vapour path.


              Basically they are a large tube into
              > which the vapour flows. Going through that tube are many small
              coolant
              > tubes with (usually) a common input and common outlet.


              ..............Yep. That's the crossflow.


              The workmanship
              > is hard to get right (leaks potentially everywhere), and you must
              know
              > about hard (silver) soldering as with soft solder you'll start the
              next
              > section only to find the previous has unglued.



              ..........Granted, they're not easy to fabricate. It takes a bit of
              skill in soldering.

              >
              > So, in summary, search here for cross flow (maybe one word)
              shotgun
              > and Harry (I remember him posting lots of info: maybe in the
              Alcohol
              > library?).

              ..........There is a design & instructions for a crossflow in the
              Library. It's in the eco-friendly still document.

              > cheers
              > Rob.


              Slainte!
              regards Harry
            • Harry
              ... office ... If you re smelling vapour, that s not good. I hope you have good ventilation and no naked flames. What you describe has three possible causes
              Message 6 of 23 , Jun 4, 2007
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                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "harisaki2004" <ledaswan02@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Thanks Rob,
                > I have all the necessary equipment to measure LAL to the Tax
                office
                > specifications. I can guarantee you the angels are having a good
                > time, I can smell vapour at the top vent.
                >
                > Is there a parts list and/or better diagram available?
                > Hari.



                If you're smelling vapour, that's not good. I hope you have good
                ventilation and no naked flames.

                What you describe has three possible causes (and remedies):
                1. Running the still too hard. Reduce the energy input.
                2. Running the coolant too slow. Increase water flow.
                3. Inadequate condenser for the amount of vapour. Get a better, or
                larger design.

                The condenser you linked to is basically a liebig with a cold-finger
                insert. This will allow better coolant flow (faster, more volume)
                than coil designs. It does have drawbacks in that there's not much
                vapour capacity, so you'll have to reduce the energy input and slow
                down the still. Everything is a trade-off. There are better total
                condenser designs around that handle large volumes of vapour.


                Slainte!
                regards Harry
              • harisaki2004
                Thanks Harry, I am running a VM still, ala The Compleat Distiller . Input of 750 watts. My current condensor seems to be wet on the bottom 100mm of 350mm
                Message 7 of 23 , Jun 5, 2007
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                  Thanks Harry,
                  I am running a VM still, ala "The Compleat Distiller". Input of 750
                  watts. My current condensor seems to be wet on the bottom 100mm of
                  350mm length. The open top part of the 2 inch diameter condensor I
                  have placed a thermometer and a pot scrubber. The temp. is usually a
                  constant 25C.

                  I like the idea of the Refracting Still-Head Design as I can get a
                  much better water flow than I currently have (2L / min). Can I
                  achieve the same cooling with the same surface area as a good coil ?
                  regards
                  Hari.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > If you're smelling vapour, that's not good. I hope you have good
                  > ventilation and no naked flames.
                  >
                  > What you describe has three possible causes (and remedies):
                  > 1. Running the still too hard. Reduce the energy input.
                  > 2. Running the coolant too slow. Increase water flow.
                  > 3. Inadequate condenser for the amount of vapour. Get a better,
                  or
                  > larger design.
                  >
                  > The condenser you linked to is basically a liebig with a cold-
                  finger
                  > insert. This will allow better coolant flow (faster, more volume)
                  > than coil designs. It does have drawbacks in that there's not
                  much
                  > vapour capacity, so you'll have to reduce the energy input and
                  slow
                  > down the still. Everything is a trade-off. There are better
                  total
                  > condenser designs around that handle large volumes of vapour.
                  >
                  >
                  > Slainte!
                  > regards Harry
                  >
                • Harry
                  ... 750 ... a ... ...............Then obviously your reflux condenser is easily handling the job. Therefore the vapour you re smelling is coming from
                  Message 8 of 23 , Jun 5, 2007
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                    --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "harisaki2004" <ledaswan02@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > Thanks Harry,
                    > I am running a VM still, ala "The Compleat Distiller". Input of
                    750
                    > watts. My current condensor seems to be wet on the bottom 100mm of
                    > 350mm length. The open top part of the 2 inch diameter condensor I
                    > have placed a thermometer and a pot scrubber. The temp. is usually
                    a
                    > constant 25C.




                    ...............Then obviously your reflux condenser is easily
                    handling the job. Therefore the vapour you're smelling is coming
                    from somewhere else.

                    It's possible that the slow water feed is letting uncondensed vapour
                    escape via the product condenser.
                    Can you increase the water flow to your product condenser
                    independent of your reflux condenser? You need to plumb it so
                    there's a Tee-piece (& valves) that branches from the water source
                    to each condenser. Flow to each condenser is regulated via the
                    valves.

                    If you have any other joins, like column-to-boiler, or boiler lid
                    gasket, then check all for leakages.

                    .

                    >
                    > I like the idea of the Refracting Still-Head Design as I can get a
                    > much better water flow than I currently have (2L / min). Can I
                    > achieve the same cooling with the same surface area as a good
                    coil ?
                    > regards
                    > Hari.


                    Better water flow to the reflux condenser won't fix your problem.
                    Your reflux condenser is only using a third of its capacity and
                    working fine.
                    You need to find the source of the escaping vapour. If it turns out
                    to be the product condenser, then better water flow to that
                    condenser, and better design so that vapour is forced into contact
                    with the cooling surface, will solve the issue. This can be
                    achieved with the aforementioned Tee-piece setup, and inserting a
                    long thin piece of mesh into the center tube to create vapour
                    turbulence, or alternatively repositioning the product condenser at
                    a 45° angle instead of straight down.

                    As far as that Refracting design goes, I've already said in a post
                    to Rob that it has limitations (see msg# 39563). In your case,
                    those limitations outweigh the gains of minimising coolant flow
                    restriction. All you would really achieve is to swap a working
                    reflux condenser for one with less area for vapour to inhabit, and
                    still not have tracked the source of your escaping vapour.

                    If you really want to change your reflux condenser to a less flow-
                    restrictive design, then try a proven design like a shotgun or a
                    crossflow. Both require skill to fabricate, but will handle a lot
                    more vapour than other designs of comparable size.


                    Slainte!
                    regards Harry
                  • harisaki2004
                    Good points Harry, My still is made of Stainless steel with triclover joints, so I find it hard to believe I have a leak. I am sure it comes past the copper
                    Message 9 of 23 , Jun 6, 2007
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                      Good points Harry,
                      My still is made of Stainless steel with triclover joints, so I find
                      it hard to believe I have a leak. I am sure it comes past the copper
                      reflux condensor, seeing the top is open to atmosphere, even if the
                      temp is 25C.

                      I have no fear with the product condensor as it is much larger than
                      the reflux and all the product drips from a long length of beverage
                      tube to a collection drum.

                      At 2L per minute (from a 1000L per hour fountain pump) I may be
                      better putting my cash towards a bigger pump and see what happens.
                      Also including as many pot scrubbers as I can fit around the
                      condensor itself.

                      So next run (with water to start with) I will be inspecting all
                      joints and see if the vapour / condensate is escaping.
                      regards Hari.




                      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "harisaki2004" <ledaswan02@>
                      > wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Thanks Harry,
                      > > I am running a VM still, ala "The Compleat Distiller". Input of
                      > 750 watts. My current condensor seems to be wet on the bottom
                      100mm of 350mm length. The open top part of the 2 inch diameter
                      condensor I have placed a thermometer and a pot scrubber. The temp.
                      is usually a constant 25C.
                      >
                      >
                      > ...............Then obviously your reflux condenser is easily
                      > handling the job. Therefore the vapour you're smelling is coming
                      > from somewhere else.
                      >
                      >
                      > Better water flow to the reflux condenser won't fix your problem.
                      > Your reflux condenser is only using a third of its capacity and
                      > working fine.
                      > You need to find the source of the escaping vapour. If it turns
                      out
                      > to be the product condenser, then better water flow to that
                      > condenser, and better design so that vapour is forced into contact
                      > with the cooling surface, will solve the issue. This can be
                      > achieved with the aforementioned Tee-piece setup, and inserting a
                      > long thin piece of mesh into the center tube to create vapour
                      > turbulence, or alternatively repositioning the product condenser
                      at
                      > a 45° angle instead of straight down.
                      >
                      > As far as that Refracting design goes, I've already said in a post
                      > to Rob that it has limitations (see msg# 39563). In your case,
                      > those limitations outweigh the gains of minimising coolant flow
                      > restriction. All you would really achieve is to swap a working
                      > reflux condenser for one with less area for vapour to inhabit, and
                      > still not have tracked the source of your escaping vapour.
                      >
                      > If you really want to change your reflux condenser to a less flow-
                      > restrictive design, then try a proven design like a shotgun or a
                      > crossflow. Both require skill to fabricate, but will handle a lot
                      > more vapour than other designs of comparable size.
                      >
                      >
                      > Slainte!
                      > regards Harry
                      >
                    • sn_cur
                      The document that this link downloads doesn t contain any diagrams, just text, with big blank spaces on the first and last (third) pages. Is anyone else having
                      Message 10 of 23 , Jun 10, 2007
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                        The document that this link downloads doesn't contain any diagrams, just text, with big
                        blank spaces on the first and last (third) pages. Is anyone else having this problem?

                        http://homedistiller.org/detail/STILLHEAD.doc


                        All I get is this text:

                        "THERMOMETER

                        COOLING WATER OUT

                        COOLING WATER IN


                        DISTILLATE
                        OUT

                        TO THE STILL


                        Refracting Still-Head Design



                        Particulars

                        This design is based on a Nixon/Stone set-up.

                        It is made of copper, using five different diameters of tubing in its construction (2", 1.5",
                        1", .75" and .5").

                        It consists of a 1.5 inch condensing tube (Red) that is jacketed with a 2 inch cooling tube
                        (yellow) and inserted with an additional 1 inch cooling tube (blue).

                        The internal (blue) and external (yellow) cooling units are joined together and utilize the
                        same water source. The internal unit in capped on the bottom and has a 1"x.5"x.5" tee at
                        the top. One arm of this tee is the cooling water inlet. The other tee has a length of .5
                        inch tubing running through it. This outlet tube runs from the bottom of this unit up
                        through the tee where it is soldered to the discharge hose fitting.

                        A key to the construction of this unit is the alteration of fittings. Normally, these fittings
                        have internal stops that prevent a tube from extended too far into the fitting. In order to
                        allow the tubes to pass through the fittings so as to create the external jacket these stops
                        are filed away.

                        The upper end of the condensing tube (red) is left open to prevent pressure build up."
                      • Tony Smith
                        If your file associations are setup to open this document in Wordpad it may not work. I open it in Microsoft Word and the diagram is there. sn_cur
                        Message 11 of 23 , Jun 11, 2007
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                          If your file associations are setup to open this document in Wordpad it may not work. I open it in Microsoft Word and the diagram is there.
                           


                          sn_cur <sn_cur@...> wrote:
                          The document that this link downloads doesn't contain any diagrams, just text, with big
                          blank spaces on the first and last (third) pages. Is anyone else having this problem?

                          http://homedistille r.org/detail/ STILLHEAD. doc

                          All I get is this text:

                          "THERMOMETER

                          COOLING WATER OUT

                          COOLING WATER IN

                          DISTILLATE
                          OUT

                          TO THE STILL

                          Refracting Still-Head Design

                          Particulars

                          This design is based on a Nixon/Stone set-up.

                          It is made of copper, using five different diameters of tubing in its construction (2", 1.5",
                          1", .75" and .5").

                          It consists of a 1.5 inch condensing tube (Red) that is jacketed with a 2 inch cooling tube
                          (yellow) and inserted with an additional 1 inch cooling tube (blue).

                          The internal (blue) and external (yellow) cooling units are joined together and utilize the
                          same water source. The internal unit in capped on the bottom and has a 1"x.5"x.5" tee at
                          the top. One arm of this tee is the cooling water inlet. The other tee has a length of .5
                          inch tubing running through it. This outlet tube runs from the bottom of this unit up
                          through the tee where it is soldered to the discharge hose fitting.

                          A key to the construction of this unit is the alteration of fittings. Normally, these fittings
                          have internal stops that prevent a tube from extended too far into the fitting. In order to
                          allow the tubes to pass through the fittings so as to create the external jacket these stops
                          are filed away.

                          The upper end of the condensing tube (red) is left open to prevent pressure build up."



                          Ready for the edge of your seat? Check out tonight's top picks on Yahoo! TV.

                        • sn_cur
                          ... open it in Microsoft Word and the diagram is there. ... Thanks for the tip, Tony. However I am running Mac OS X, and don t have MS Word, and the document
                          Message 12 of 23 , Jun 11, 2007
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                            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Tony Smith <tony9812001@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > If your file associations are setup to open this document in Wordpad it may not work. I
                            open it in Microsoft Word and the diagram is there.
                            >


                            Thanks for the tip, Tony. However I am running Mac OS X, and don't have MS Word, and
                            the document opens in 'TextEdit' on my computer. But I will try some different programs
                            and see if that works. Also, another distiller (Ric) has sent me the full image.

                            Cheers

                            sn
                          • scotwisky
                            Try Open Office http://www.openoffice.org/ it s a Microsoft Office replacement. It is cross platform and it s free. ... Wordpad it may not work. I ... have
                            Message 13 of 23 , Jun 12, 2007
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                              Try Open Office http://www.openoffice.org/ it's a Microsoft Office
                              replacement. It is cross platform and it's free.


                              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "sn_cur" <sn_cur@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Tony Smith <tony9812001@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > If your file associations are setup to open this document in
                              Wordpad it may not work. I
                              > open it in Microsoft Word and the diagram is there.
                              > >
                              >
                              >
                              > Thanks for the tip, Tony. However I am running Mac OS X, and don't
                              have MS Word, and
                              > the document opens in 'TextEdit' on my computer. But I will try some
                              different programs
                              > and see if that works. Also, another distiller (Ric) has sent me the
                              full image.
                              >
                              > Cheers
                              >
                              > sn
                              >
                            • sn_cur
                              ... Thanks for that, a nice find. I might also try the Ubuntu package. http://www.ubuntu.com/ Cheers sn
                              Message 14 of 23 , Jun 12, 2007
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                                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "scotwisky" <scotwisky@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Try Open Office http://www.openoffice.org/ it's a Microsoft Office
                                > replacement. It is cross platform and it's free.
                                >

                                Thanks for that, a nice find. I might also try the Ubuntu package.

                                http://www.ubuntu.com/

                                Cheers

                                sn
                              • toni smith
                                microsoft word actually comes in a version for macs now too. i know that cos my ex had it on her apple mac running OSX. toni
                                Message 15 of 23 , Jun 16, 2007
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                                  microsoft word actually comes in a version for macs now too. i know that
                                  cos my ex had it on her apple mac running OSX.

                                  toni

                                  sn_cur wrote:
                                  > Thanks for the tip, Tony. However I am running Mac OS X, and don't have MS Word, and
                                  > the document opens in 'TextEdit' on my computer. But I will try some different programs
                                  > and see if that works. Also, another distiller (Ric) has sent me the full image.
                                  >
                                  > Cheers
                                  >
                                  > sn
                                  >
                                • sn_cur
                                  ... Just tried openoffice.org, and works nicely. Thanks again sn
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Jun 24, 2007
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                                    --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "sn_cur" <sn_cur@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "scotwisky" <scotwisky@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Try Open Office http://www.openoffice.org/ it's a Microsoft Office
                                    > > replacement. It is cross platform and it's free.
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    > Thanks for that, a nice find. I might also try the Ubuntu package.
                                    >
                                    > http://www.ubuntu.com/
                                    >
                                    > Cheers
                                    >
                                    > sn
                                    >

                                    Just tried openoffice.org, and works nicely.

                                    Thanks again
                                    sn
                                  • harisaki2004
                                    Harry, Its been a year since I was online with Distillers and since then I have built a new shotgun head for the VM still. I am still smelling vapour coming
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Jun 19, 2008
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                                      Harry,
                                      Its been a year since I was online with Distillers and since then I
                                      have built a new shotgun head for the VM still.

                                      I am still smelling vapour coming from the top of the shotgun. I can
                                      smell heads and later tails.

                                      I have also calculated that I am loosing about 10% by mass. Very happy
                                      angels I have here!!

                                      The all copper 4" dia. Shotgun has 11 tubes of 1/2" x 8" long, which
                                      in general will take all the power I can throw at it. However when the
                                      power is low for refluxing I can initially smell heads.

                                      Questions.

                                      Are the 1/2 tubes too big, ie the diameter should be smaller?

                                      Will placing 3/8 tubes x 2" in the top of the shotgun tubes make
                                      unhappy angels?

                                      regards
                                      Hari.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > If you're smelling vapour, that's not good. I hope you have good
                                      > ventilation and no naked flames.
                                      >
                                      > What you describe has three possible causes (and remedies):
                                      > 1. Running the still too hard. Reduce the energy input.
                                      > 2. Running the coolant too slow. Increase water flow.
                                      > 3. Inadequate condenser for the amount of vapour. Get a better, or
                                      > larger design.
                                      >
                                      > The condenser you linked to is basically a liebig with a cold-finger
                                      > insert. This will allow better coolant flow (faster, more volume)
                                      > than coil designs. It does have drawbacks in that there's not much
                                      > vapour capacity, so you'll have to reduce the energy input and slow
                                      > down the still. Everything is a trade-off. There are better total
                                      > condenser designs around that handle large volumes of vapour.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Slainte!
                                      > regards Harry
                                      >
                                    • Harry
                                      ... .........Most likely they re a bit oversized. Unless there is some form of turbulence introduced to the rising vapour path, you will only get cooling up
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Jun 19, 2008
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                                        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "harisaki2004" <ledaswan@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Harry,
                                        > Its been a year since I was online with Distillers and since then I
                                        > have built a new shotgun head for the VM still.
                                        >
                                        > I am still smelling vapour coming from the top of the shotgun. I can
                                        > smell heads and later tails.
                                        >
                                        > I have also calculated that I am loosing about 10% by mass. Very happy
                                        > angels I have here!!
                                        >
                                        > The all copper 4" dia. Shotgun has 11 tubes of 1/2" x 8" long, which
                                        > in general will take all the power I can throw at it. However when the
                                        > power is low for refluxing I can initially smell heads.
                                        >
                                        > Questions.
                                        >
                                        > Are the 1/2 tubes too big, ie the diameter should be smaller?

                                        .........Most likely they're a bit oversized. Unless there is some form
                                        of turbulence introduced to the rising vapour path, you will only get
                                        cooling up to 1/8th inch from the tube surface. Therefore some vapour
                                        will bypass right up the center of the tubes (hence your vapour smell &
                                        10% loss). If I were building this type of condenser from scratch, I'd
                                        crimp the tubes along their length before soldering in place, to
                                        introduce turbulence and prevent bypass.


                                        >
                                        > Will placing 3/8 tubes x 2" in the top of the shotgun tubes make
                                        > unhappy angels?



                                        That will introduce turbulence to a certain degree. But a better option
                                        would be to get some heavy copper wire, crimp it in places down its
                                        length, then pass it down the tubes as rods. Put a hook on the top &
                                        bottom ends so that the wire rods stay in place in the tubes. This will
                                        partially fill the space with irregular shaped surfaces to create the
                                        turbulence while letting the two-way passage of vapours and condensate
                                        continue unimpeded.

                                        I wouldn't use a thin strip of mesh (as some would suggest) to do this
                                        because it will fill too much of the void in the tubing and you run the
                                        risk of liquid holdup and pressure in the narrow tubing.

                                        HTH
                                        Slainte!
                                        regards Harry
                                      • harisaki2004
                                        Harry, Great suggestions. Copper wire it is. Will let the group know next month how the percentage loss decreases. regards Hari.
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Jun 20, 2008
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                                          Harry,

                                          Great suggestions. Copper wire it is.

                                          Will let the group know next month how the percentage loss decreases.
                                          regards Hari.



                                          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "harisaki2004" <ledaswan@> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > Harry,
                                          > > Its been a year since I was online with Distillers and since then I
                                          > > have built a new shotgun head for the VM still.
                                          > >
                                          > > I am still smelling vapour coming from the top of the shotgun. I can
                                          > > smell heads and later tails.
                                          > >
                                          > > I have also calculated that I am loosing about 10% by mass. Very happy
                                          > > angels I have here!!
                                          > >
                                          > > The all copper 4" dia. Shotgun has 11 tubes of 1/2" x 8" long, which
                                          > > in general will take all the power I can throw at it. However when the
                                          > > power is low for refluxing I can initially smell heads.
                                          > >
                                          > > Questions.
                                          > >
                                          > > Are the 1/2 tubes too big, ie the diameter should be smaller?
                                          >
                                          > .........Most likely they're a bit oversized. Unless there is some form
                                          > of turbulence introduced to the rising vapour path, you will only get
                                          > cooling up to 1/8th inch from the tube surface. Therefore some vapour
                                          > will bypass right up the center of the tubes (hence your vapour smell &
                                          > 10% loss). If I were building this type of condenser from scratch, I'd
                                          > crimp the tubes along their length before soldering in place, to
                                          > introduce turbulence and prevent bypass.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > >
                                          > > Will placing 3/8 tubes x 2" in the top of the shotgun tubes make
                                          > > unhappy angels?
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > That will introduce turbulence to a certain degree. But a better option
                                          > would be to get some heavy copper wire, crimp it in places down its
                                          > length, then pass it down the tubes as rods. Put a hook on the top &
                                          > bottom ends so that the wire rods stay in place in the tubes. This will
                                          > partially fill the space with irregular shaped surfaces to create the
                                          > turbulence while letting the two-way passage of vapours and condensate
                                          > continue unimpeded.
                                          >
                                          > I wouldn't use a thin strip of mesh (as some would suggest) to do this
                                          > because it will fill too much of the void in the tubing and you run the
                                          > risk of liquid holdup and pressure in the narrow tubing.
                                          >
                                          > HTH
                                          > Slainte!
                                          > regards Harry
                                          >
                                        • harisaki2004
                                          Harry, I have done a few runs of my 50mm VM still since our last message and I must say with not a lot of success. I tried a piece of 1.5 mm dia copper wire
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Aug 8, 2008
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                                            Harry,
                                            I have done a few runs of my 50mm VM still since our last message and
                                            I must say with not a lot of success.

                                            I tried a piece of 1.5 mm dia copper wire with a zig zag in each of
                                            them in every tube with a little success and then I purchased some 0.8
                                            mm copper sheet which I cut into 10mm x 200mm strips. These strips I
                                            zig zagged with the pliers, every 15mm such that the strip would just
                                            fit down the 1/2" x 8" tubes.

                                            The results show these strips are as just as good as the wire. I
                                            thought they would be much better. The efficiency is about 90% of LAL.
                                            In the last run of 40.8 kg of 55%ABV I lost 1.8 kg, which is 4.55% by
                                            mass and 10% loss of LAL.

                                            Any ideas to improve the situation? I can still smell heads and tails
                                            coming from the condenser. I can assure you there are no leaks in the
                                            column.
                                            regards
                                            Hari.


                                            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "harisaki2004" <ledaswan@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > Harry,
                                            >
                                            > Great suggestions. Copper wire it is.
                                            >
                                            > Will let the group know next month how the percentage loss decreases.
                                            > regards Hari.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@> wrote:
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "harisaki2004" <ledaswan@> wrote:
                                            > > >
                                            > > > Harry,
                                            > > > Its been a year since I was online with Distillers and since then I
                                            > > > have built a new shotgun head for the VM still.
                                            > > >
                                            > > > I am still smelling vapour coming from the top of the shotgun. I can
                                            > > > smell heads and later tails.
                                            > > >
                                            > > > I have also calculated that I am loosing about 10% by mass. Very
                                            happy
                                            > > > angels I have here!!
                                            > > >
                                            > > > The all copper 4" dia. Shotgun has 11 tubes of 1/2" x 8" long, which
                                            > > > in general will take all the power I can throw at it. However
                                            when the
                                            > > > power is low for refluxing I can initially smell heads.
                                            > > >
                                            > > > Questions.
                                            > > >
                                            > > > Are the 1/2 tubes too big, ie the diameter should be smaller?
                                            > >
                                            > > .........Most likely they're a bit oversized. Unless there is
                                            some form
                                            > > of turbulence introduced to the rising vapour path, you will only get
                                            > > cooling up to 1/8th inch from the tube surface. Therefore some vapour
                                            > > will bypass right up the center of the tubes (hence your vapour
                                            smell &
                                            > > 10% loss). If I were building this type of condenser from
                                            scratch, I'd
                                            > > crimp the tubes along their length before soldering in place, to
                                            > > introduce turbulence and prevent bypass.
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > >
                                            > > > Will placing 3/8 tubes x 2" in the top of the shotgun tubes make
                                            > > > unhappy angels?
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > That will introduce turbulence to a certain degree. But a better
                                            option
                                            > > would be to get some heavy copper wire, crimp it in places down its
                                            > > length, then pass it down the tubes as rods. Put a hook on the top &
                                            > > bottom ends so that the wire rods stay in place in the tubes.
                                            This will
                                            > > partially fill the space with irregular shaped surfaces to create the
                                            > > turbulence while letting the two-way passage of vapours and condensate
                                            > > continue unimpeded.
                                            > >
                                            > > I wouldn't use a thin strip of mesh (as some would suggest) to do this
                                            > > because it will fill too much of the void in the tubing and you
                                            run the
                                            > > risk of liquid holdup and pressure in the narrow tubing.
                                            > >
                                            > > HTH
                                            > > Slainte!
                                            > > regards Harry
                                            > >
                                            >
                                          • Harry
                                            ... and ... 0.8 ... just ... LAL. ... by ... tails ... the ... Well my friend, there s only one option left in retro-engineering that shotgun. Fill the tubes
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Aug 8, 2008
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                                              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "harisaki2004" <ledaswan@...>
                                              wrote:
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > Harry,
                                              > I have done a few runs of my 50mm VM still since our last message
                                              and
                                              > I must say with not a lot of success.
                                              >
                                              > I tried a piece of 1.5 mm dia copper wire with a zig zag in each of
                                              > them in every tube with a little success and then I purchased some
                                              0.8
                                              > mm copper sheet which I cut into 10mm x 200mm strips. These strips I
                                              > zig zagged with the pliers, every 15mm such that the strip would
                                              just
                                              > fit down the 1/2" x 8" tubes.
                                              >
                                              > The results show these strips are as just as good as the wire. I
                                              > thought they would be much better. The efficiency is about 90% of
                                              LAL.
                                              > In the last run of 40.8 kg of 55%ABV I lost 1.8 kg, which is 4.55%
                                              by
                                              > mass and 10% loss of LAL.
                                              >
                                              > Any ideas to improve the situation? I can still smell heads and
                                              tails
                                              > coming from the condenser. I can assure you there are no leaks in
                                              the
                                              > column.
                                              > regards
                                              > Hari.
                                              >


                                              Well my friend, there's only one option left in retro-engineering
                                              that shotgun. Fill the tubes with copper mesh (scrubbies or
                                              structured). But do it LOOSELY so you don't choke the vapour path.
                                              Roll the mesh on a flat surface with your hand so you get a cigar
                                              shape just marginally larger than the bore size of your tubes. When
                                              pushed/teased into the tubes it will compress and hold in place. You
                                              can also stop them from falling down with a small piece of copper
                                              wire hooked through the top couple of strands.

                                              After this modification, I strongly suggest to increase the volume of
                                              water flow in/out the jacket. 6 litres per minute is not
                                              unreasonable for this type of condenser, heat exchanging a 1400W
                                              power input. Obviously with this volume going through, you will want
                                              to recirculate the coolant water, unless you don't mind using 1500
                                              litres of water in a spirit run.

                                              If the suggested mesh insert fix doesn't do it (as in it's still
                                              losing uncondensed vapour), then bite the bullit and make a new
                                              condenser. If you choose to again use a shotgun design (would you?),
                                              this time crimp the tubes for turbulence BEFORE soldering in place.

                                              The shotgun design as a total condenser (overhead or reflux
                                              condensers) is not truly satisfactory in my opinion. The big design
                                              fault is that the pathway travelled by the vapour is the same pathway
                                              travelled BACK by the condensate or liquid and in a small space. This
                                              can cause liquid holdup and more problems. Shotguns are simple to
                                              fabricate, but lacking in efficiency and performance as you have
                                              discovered. Even simple coil condensers are more efficient as the
                                              vapour and condensate occupy different areas.

                                              Now if you turn the shotgun concept 90° to the vapour direction, and
                                              reverse the vapour & coolant duties of the shell and tubes, you have
                                              a crossflow condenser, and that's a horse of a different colour. See
                                              my crossflow design in my Library...
                                              http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/BAPHS/ Page 10.



                                              Shotguns as a final condenser:
                                              Shotguns do perform better as final product coolers, where they
                                              replace the lower performing Liebig condenser design. But they must
                                              be angled at 45° to the vertical for correct product/coolant surface
                                              heat exchange. Think of them as a multi-tube Liebig and you get the
                                              picture. But again this usage is best where the final product is in
                                              liquid form before being fed to the final condenser. If fed as
                                              vapour, then you'll still get that old inefficiency problem because
                                              the length of the thing is too short and the vapour has gone through
                                              before full cooling/condensing can be achieved. The result will be
                                              lost product.


                                              Hari, I hope this helps you out some.

                                              Slainte!
                                              regards Harry
                                            • Harry
                                              ... and ... Page 10. Hari, I ve done more research into your problem and have discovered that I was on the
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Aug 18, 2008
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                                                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Well my friend, there's only one option left in retro-engineering
                                                > that shotgun.  Fill the tubes with copper mesh (scrubbies or
                                                > structured).  But do it LOOSELY so you don't choke the vapour path. 
                                                > Roll the mesh on a flat surface with your hand so you get a cigar
                                                > shape just marginally larger than the bore size of your tubes.  When
                                                > pushed/teased into the tubes it will compress and hold in place.  You
                                                > can also stop them from falling down with a small piece of copper
                                                > wire hooked through the top couple of strands.
                                                >
                                                > After this modification, I strongly suggest to increase the volume of
                                                > water flow in/out the jacket.  6 litres per minute is not
                                                > unreasonable for this type of condenser, heat exchanging a 1400W
                                                > power input.  Obviously with this volume going through, you will want
                                                > to recirculate the coolant water, unless you don't mind using 1500
                                                > litres of water in a spirit run.
                                                >
                                                > If the suggested mesh insert fix doesn't do it (as in it's still
                                                > losing uncondensed vapour), then bite the bullit and make a new
                                                > condenser. If you choose to again use a shotgun design (would you?),
                                                > this time crimp the tubes for turbulence BEFORE soldering in place.
                                                >
                                                > The shotgun design as a total condenser (overhead or reflux
                                                > condensers) is not truly satisfactory in my opinion.  The big design
                                                > fault is that the pathway travelled by the vapour is the same pathway
                                                > travelled BACK by the condensate or liquid and in a small space. This
                                                > can cause liquid holdup and more problems.  Shotguns are simple to
                                                > fabricate, but lacking in efficiency and performance as you have
                                                > discovered.  Even simple coil condensers are more efficient as the
                                                > vapour and condensate occupy different areas.
                                                >
                                                > Now if you turn the shotgun concept 90° to the vapour direction, and
                                                > reverse the vapour & coolant duties of the shell and tubes, you have
                                                > a crossflow condenser, and that's a horse of a different colour.  See
                                                > my crossflow design in my Library...
                                                > http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/BAPHS/  Page 10.


                                                Hari,

                                                I've done more research into your problem and have discovered that I was on the right track in retro-fitting your shotgun condenser.  I've just had discussions on this shotgun efficiency subject at the Homedistiller forum and I've posted the relevant info there.

                                                The thing we are looking for is called "Turbulators".  Go to this post/thread to see what it's all about...
                                                http://homedistiller.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7833&p=6760554#p6760534

                                                Slainte!
                                                regards Harry

                                              • harisaki2004
                                                Harry, Thanks for your kind thoughts and regards. For your interest I did start with the 10mm strips of copper sheet being twisted, with one full turn over 200
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Aug 19, 2008
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                                                  Harry,
                                                  Thanks for your kind thoughts and regards.

                                                  For your interest I did start with the 10mm strips of copper sheet
                                                  being twisted, with one full turn over 200 mm. I did not think this
                                                  would be enough twist to give turbulence and so I went for zig zag, as
                                                  suggested.

                                                  The zig zag reduced the smell and losses, more than the twist, but not
                                                  enough. I did think to increasing the number of bends in the zig-zag
                                                  and also putting dens in the copper strip.

                                                  I would do an experiment with some heads in the boiler and exchange
                                                  out different tube packing. I could use my sniffer/nose to check out
                                                  the difference.

                                                  I thought that this type of shotgun condenser was the ultimate. Other
                                                  distillers here I have read about use shotguns. I assume with small
                                                  tubes and success.
                                                  However, it seems I am the first with 13mm tubes.

                                                  If all else fails I can always build a new condenser.

                                                  Harry don't worry about the water flow it is greater than 7L per
                                                  minute and cold. Yes it does recirculate through a large heat exchanger.

                                                  best regards
                                                  Hari.



                                                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Distillers@yahoogroups.com> ,
                                                  > "Harry" <gnikomson2000@> wrote:
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Well my friend, there's only one option left in retro-engineering
                                                  > > that shotgun. Fill the tubes with copper mesh (scrubbies or
                                                  > > structured). But do it LOOSELY so you don't choke the vapour path.
                                                  > > Roll the mesh on a flat surface with your hand so you get a cigar
                                                  > > shape just marginally larger than the bore size of your tubes. When
                                                  > > pushed/teased into the tubes it will compress and hold in place. You
                                                  > > can also stop them from falling down with a small piece of copper
                                                  > > wire hooked through the top couple of strands.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > After this modification, I strongly suggest to increase the volume of
                                                  > > water flow in/out the jacket. 6 litres per minute is not
                                                  > > unreasonable for this type of condenser, heat exchanging a 1400W
                                                  > > power input. Obviously with this volume going through, you will want
                                                  > > to recirculate the coolant water, unless you don't mind using 1500
                                                  > > litres of water in a spirit run.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > If the suggested mesh insert fix doesn't do it (as in it's still
                                                  > > losing uncondensed vapour), then bite the bullit and make a new
                                                  > > condenser. If you choose to again use a shotgun design (would you?),
                                                  > > this time crimp the tubes for turbulence BEFORE soldering in place.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > The shotgun design as a total condenser (overhead or reflux
                                                  > > condensers) is not truly satisfactory in my opinion. The big design
                                                  > > fault is that the pathway travelled by the vapour is the same pathway
                                                  > > travelled BACK by the condensate or liquid and in a small space. This
                                                  > > can cause liquid holdup and more problems. Shotguns are simple to
                                                  > > fabricate, but lacking in efficiency and performance as you have
                                                  > > discovered. Even simple coil condensers are more efficient as the
                                                  > > vapour and condensate occupy different areas.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Now if you turn the shotgun concept 90° to the vapour direction,
                                                  > and
                                                  > > reverse the vapour & coolant duties of the shell and tubes, you have
                                                  > > a crossflow condenser, and that's a horse of a different colour. See
                                                  > > my crossflow design in my Library...
                                                  > > http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/BAPHS/
                                                  > <http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/BAPHS/> Page 10.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Hari,
                                                  >
                                                  > I've done more research into your problem and have discovered that I was
                                                  > on the right track in retro-fitting your shotgun condenser. I've just
                                                  > had discussions on this shotgun efficiency subject at the Homedistiller
                                                  > forum and I've posted the relevant info there.
                                                  >
                                                  > The thing we are looking for is called "Turbulators". Go to this
                                                  > post/thread to see what it's all about...
                                                  >
                                                  http://homedistiller.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7833&p=6760554#p676\
                                                  > 0534
                                                  >
                                                  <http://homedistiller.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7833&p=6760554#p67\
                                                  > 60534>
                                                  >
                                                  > Slainte!
                                                  > regards Harry
                                                  >
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