- I built a reflux still with a column about 3 ft. I used small glass marbles as the medium (about 3/8"). It seems to be working way to well. I hear a "rattling" in the column as if the column is full of liquid and only the top is boiling. Do I need smaller marbles? Less of them?
I am actually getting "back pressure" in the pot.
- Stainless steel (or copper) pot scrubbers have an extremely high surface
area and are recommended for the columns of reflux stills.
A metre long x 50mm diameter (40" x 2") column is recommended to be
packed with 17 or so scrubbers.
SS scrubbers cost around $2 for 6 from 2 dollar shops. In their original
shape (not unrolled), pack them into the column using a broom handle
with a 40mm disk screwed across the end. Slide 1 into the column from
the bottom end then push gently until it reaches the (Nixon Stone)
condenser takeoff. The rest are then inserted 2 or 3 at a time until
resistance is felt. They always almost fill the column. To remove them
for cleaning, fish them out using a length of wire with a small hook
bent at one end.
The scrubbers eventually "knit" together, so before re-inserting them,
just cut them apart using scissors.
For tech type info look at Tony Ackland's site:
Home Distillation of Alcohol >Theory >Reflux Still Design Theory
>Packing HETPsLots of questions answered there.