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E ARC Update

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  • morganfield1
    Hello Everyone, Just an update on my E-ARC activities. I first placed the thermostat sensor at the top of the column, but that placed it about 3 inches above
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 7, 2011
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      Hello Everyone,

      Just an update on my E-ARC activities. I first placed the thermostat sensor at the top of the column, but that placed it about 3 inches above the packing and above where the vapor turns and heads for the condenser. My old digital therm probe extended to just above the packing. I did a test run using both therms to see the difference between the two, and was quite surprised to find as much as 10 degree difference. Despite this, the thing worked great! I was able to hold 80% output (after removing foreshots and heads) using the solenoid valve. I was very pleased. Obviously, though, I needed to get the sensor probe down to the top of the packing.

      The sensor probe is about 3 inches long with a wire coming out and connecting to the thermostat. I wasn't sure if the coating on the wire would withstand the heat inside the column, so I had to protect it from the vapor while still getting the probe down inside the column. I did this by using a 3 inch piece of 3/8" tubing soldered to a copper cap, a hole being drilled in the cap for the tube to fit into. This tube, when the cap is placed on top of the column (I'm using an offset head, by the way), extends down into the column. The probe slides into this tube, and thus into the column. I fitted a 3/8 to ¼ inch compression fitting (the probe is ¼ inch in dia.) on the tube to hold the probe in place and seal the joint between the two. I used a ¼ inch O-ring in place of the compression ring so I wouldn't compress the sensor and also not make the probe an integral part of the cap. Teflon Tape could also be used.

      I did a whiskey run with the above mod, moving the probe down to just above the packing improved temperature readings (the two digital thermometers read the same). One thing that is troubling, though, is the buffering on the thermostat. The thermometer was much more sensitive to temperature changes than the thermostat, but it doesn't seem to affect the product. I was able to maintain a constant 80% takeoff.

      I still utilize the needle valve to slow the output down. I believe this helps maintain a better (if not total) equilibrium in the column. Experimentation with this valve seems to bear this out, as temperature fluctuation at the column head is less when the output is controlled.

      I have about $140.00 invested in this modification, and I'm glad I did it. If I could, though, I would look harder for a solenoid valve that is "Normally Open" (NO). This would allow easier foreshot and heads removal, but I couldn't find an NO with the seals I wanted, and would handle the temperature range I needed. Also, if your goal is 96% ethanol, the thermostat I have chosen is not sensitive enough, as it does not display in tenths of degrees.

      I hope anyone considering this modification will find this post useful. There are pictures of this mod under the Morgan's E ARC folder in the picture section. I apologize for the crude set up, but I had just gotten everything together when I took the photos.

      Tip one,
      Morgan
    • abbababbaccc
      Good old Nixon-Stone head, reminds me of my first still :) Do you run it on RLM or LM mode? Slainte, Riku
      Message 2 of 8 , Dec 8, 2011
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        Good old Nixon-Stone head, reminds me of my first still :) Do you run it on RLM or LM mode?

        Slainte, Riku

        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "morganfield1" <morganfield1@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello Everyone,
        >
        > Just an update on my E-ARC activities. I first placed the thermostat sensor at the top of the column, but that placed it about 3 inches above the packing and above where the vapor turns and heads for the condenser. My old digital therm probe extended to just above the packing. I did a test run using both therms to see the difference between the two, and was quite surprised to find as much as 10 degree difference. Despite this, the thing worked great! I was able to hold 80% output (after removing foreshots and heads) using the solenoid valve. I was very pleased. Obviously, though, I needed to get the sensor probe down to the top of the packing.
        >
        > The sensor probe is about 3 inches long with a wire coming out and connecting to the thermostat. I wasn't sure if the coating on the wire would withstand the heat inside the column, so I had to protect it from the vapor while still getting the probe down inside the column. I did this by using a 3 inch piece of 3/8" tubing soldered to a copper cap, a hole being drilled in the cap for the tube to fit into. This tube, when the cap is placed on top of the column (I'm using an offset head, by the way), extends down into the column. The probe slides into this tube, and thus into the column. I fitted a 3/8 to ¼ inch compression fitting (the probe is ¼ inch in dia.) on the tube to hold the probe in place and seal the joint between the two. I used a ¼ inch O-ring in place of the compression ring so I wouldn't compress the sensor and also not make the probe an integral part of the cap. Teflon Tape could also be used.
        >
        > I did a whiskey run with the above mod, moving the probe down to just above the packing improved temperature readings (the two digital thermometers read the same). One thing that is troubling, though, is the buffering on the thermostat. The thermometer was much more sensitive to temperature changes than the thermostat, but it doesn't seem to affect the product. I was able to maintain a constant 80% takeoff.
        >
        > I still utilize the needle valve to slow the output down. I believe this helps maintain a better (if not total) equilibrium in the column. Experimentation with this valve seems to bear this out, as temperature fluctuation at the column head is less when the output is controlled.
        >
        > I have about $140.00 invested in this modification, and I'm glad I did it. If I could, though, I would look harder for a solenoid valve that is "Normally Open" (NO). This would allow easier foreshot and heads removal, but I couldn't find an NO with the seals I wanted, and would handle the temperature range I needed. Also, if your goal is 96% ethanol, the thermostat I have chosen is not sensitive enough, as it does not display in tenths of degrees.
        >
        > I hope anyone considering this modification will find this post useful. There are pictures of this mod under the Morgan's E ARC folder in the picture section. I apologize for the crude set up, but I had just gotten everything together when I took the photos.
        >
        > Tip one,
        > Morgan
        >
      • morganfield1
        Hi Riku, I run it simple LM. There s a lip on the bottom edge of the pipe going thru the tee at the top of the column, which causes a resevour in the bottom
        Message 3 of 8 , Dec 8, 2011
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          Hi Riku,

          I run it simple LM. There's a lip on the bottom edge of the pipe going thru the tee at the top of the column, which causes a resevour in the bottom where the takeoff tube is. What I don't collect, drips back into the column. Very simple (and cheap!). I'd like to thank you again for your help with this, and many other of my endeavors.

          Tip one,
          Morgan


          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@...> wrote:
          >
          > Good old Nixon-Stone head, reminds me of my first still :) Do you run it on RLM or LM mode?
          >
          > Slainte, Riku
          >
        • Thursty2
          Gents, If I may join in: I too have built a 50mm Nixon/Stone with 1100mm column. My very first build. After researching the distilling subject all over the
          Message 4 of 8 , Dec 8, 2011
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            Gents, If I may join in:

            I too have built a 50mm Nixon/Stone with 1100mm column. My very first build. After researching the distilling subject all over the web, I decided N/S was the design for me. The building of it was easily accomplished, and it gives results I can count on. I don't understand LM, VM, RLM etc., and because the process I'm using is simple and gives excellent results, I can live with not knowing.

            Product from my N/S is taken at around a litre per hour from a 25 litre 18% (approx) dextrose wash boiling on 1350watts.

            After the slow take of the 100ml fores, I take 100 heads, then 3.5 - 4 litres mids. The tails are taken up to 84 - 86 degrees at which time I shut the run down. (Received in the mail yesterday one digital thermometer which reads to 1 dec place, to replace my whole numbers only thermometer).

            Rarely is the product polished now that the results are consistent.

            Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

            Cheers
            thursty2

            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "morganfield1" <morganfield1@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Riku,
            >
            > I run it simple LM. There's a lip on the bottom edge of the pipe going thru the tee at the top of the column, which causes a resevour in the bottom where the takeoff tube is. What I don't collect, drips back into the column. Very simple (and cheap!). I'd like to thank you again for your help with this, and many other of my endeavors.
            >
            > Tip one,
            > Morgan
            >
            >
            > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Good old Nixon-Stone head, reminds me of my first still :) Do you run it on RLM or LM mode?
            > >
            > > Slainte, Riku
            > >
            >
          • morganfield1
            Glad to have you, Thirsty, The N/S was, and still is, a good design, if not outdated. Like you say, it s easy to biuld, and if you watch it carefully, will
            Message 5 of 8 , Dec 9, 2011
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              Glad to have you, Thirsty,

              The N/S was, and still is, a good design, if not outdated. Like you say, it's easy to biuld, and if you watch it carefully, will give great results.

              LM, VM, etc. are different ways to get high quality ethanol. LM is liquid management, VM is Vapor Management, and you've probably heard this before. RLM, if I remember right, is Reflux Liquid Management where not only is takeoff regulated, but also liquid that is refluxed back to the boiler, but I could be misinformed about that (wouldn't be the first time!).

              Tip one,
              Morgan


              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Thursty2" <thursty2@...> wrote:
              >
              > Gents, If I may join in:
              >
              > I too have built a 50mm Nixon/Stone with 1100mm column. My very first build. After researching the distilling subject all over the web, I decided N/S was the design for me. The building of it was easily accomplished, and it gives results I can count on. I don't understand LM, VM, RLM etc., and because the process I'm using is simple and gives excellent results, I can live with not knowing.
              >
              > Product from my N/S is taken at around a litre per hour from a 25 litre 18% (approx) dextrose wash boiling on 1350watts.
              >
              > After the slow take of the 100ml fores, I take 100 heads, then 3.5 - 4 litres mids. The tails are taken up to 84 - 86 degrees at which time I shut the run down. (Received in the mail yesterday one digital thermometer which reads to 1 dec place, to replace my whole numbers only thermometer).
              >
              > Rarely is the product polished now that the results are consistent.
              >
              > Any comments or suggestions are welcome.
              >
              > Cheers
              > thursty2
              >
              >
            • Thursty2
              It would appear then, from what I do, ie., regulating the take-off flow with the needle valve, that I m using RLM - Reflux Liquid Management. In the beginning,
              Message 6 of 8 , Dec 9, 2011
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                It would appear then, from what I do, ie., regulating the take-off flow with the needle valve, that I'm using RLM - Reflux Liquid Management.

                In the beginning, setting the drip (take-off) rate, took some fiddling. I just cannot find a true (long) needle valve. The one I have has more a cone shaped needle and a rubber seal which has a "memory" when making fine adjustments - I have to turn past the point I want to be, then back off a fraction, then doh-c-doh a bit more. But I've gotten to know it's traits. Still looking though to find a better valve.

                Cheers
                thursty2


                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "morganfield1" <morganfield1@...> wrote:
                >
                > Glad to have you, Thirsty,
                >
                > The N/S was, and still is, a good design, if not outdated. Like you say, it's easy to biuld, and if you watch it carefully, will give great results.
                >
                > LM, VM, etc. are different ways to get high quality ethanol. LM is liquid management, VM is Vapor Management, and you've probably heard this before. RLM, if I remember right, is Reflux Liquid Management where not only is takeoff regulated, but also liquid that is refluxed back to the boiler, but I could be misinformed about that (wouldn't be the first time!).
                >
                > Tip one,
                > Morgan
                >
                >
                > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Thursty2" <thursty2@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Gents, If I may join in:
                > >
                > > I too have built a 50mm Nixon/Stone with 1100mm column. My very first build. After researching the distilling subject all over the web, I decided N/S was the design for me. The building of it was easily accomplished, and it gives results I can count on. I don't understand LM, VM, RLM etc., and because the process I'm using is simple and gives excellent results, I can live with not knowing.
                > >
                > > Product from my N/S is taken at around a litre per hour from a 25 litre 18% (approx) dextrose wash boiling on 1350watts.
                > >
                > > After the slow take of the 100ml fores, I take 100 heads, then 3.5 - 4 litres mids. The tails are taken up to 84 - 86 degrees at which time I shut the run down. (Received in the mail yesterday one digital thermometer which reads to 1 dec place, to replace my whole numbers only thermometer).
                > >
                > > Rarely is the product polished now that the results are consistent.
                > >
                > > Any comments or suggestions are welcome.
                > >
                > > Cheers
                > > thursty2
                > >
                > >
                >
              • Harry
                This is worth a try... http://www.artisan-distiller.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5127&start=0&hilit=needle Slainte! regards Harry
                Message 7 of 8 , Dec 10, 2011
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                  This is worth a try...

                  http://www.artisan-distiller.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5127&start=0&hilit=needle


                  Slainte!
                  regards Harry
                  ====================================

                  --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Thursty2" <thursty2@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > It would appear then, from what I do, ie., regulating the take-off flow with the needle valve, that I'm using RLM - Reflux Liquid Management.
                  >
                  > In the beginning, setting the drip (take-off) rate, took some fiddling. I just cannot find a true (long) needle valve. The one I have has more a cone shaped needle and a rubber seal which has a "memory" when making fine adjustments - I have to turn past the point I want to be, then back off a fraction, then doh-c-doh a bit more. But I've gotten to know it's traits. Still looking though to find a better valve.
                  >
                  > Cheers
                  > thursty2
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "morganfield1" <morganfield1@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Glad to have you, Thirsty,
                  > >
                  > > The N/S was, and still is, a good design, if not outdated. Like you say, it's easy to biuld, and if you watch it carefully, will give great results.
                  > >
                  > > LM, VM, etc. are different ways to get high quality ethanol. LM is liquid management, VM is Vapor Management, and you've probably heard this before. RLM, if I remember right, is Reflux Liquid Management where not only is takeoff regulated, but also liquid that is refluxed back to the boiler, but I could be misinformed about that (wouldn't be the first time!).
                  > >
                  > > Tip one,
                  > > Morgan
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Thursty2" <thursty2@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Gents, If I may join in:
                  > > >
                  > > > I too have built a 50mm Nixon/Stone with 1100mm column. My very first build. After researching the distilling subject all over the web, I decided N/S was the design for me. The building of it was easily accomplished, and it gives results I can count on. I don't understand LM, VM, RLM etc., and because the process I'm using is simple and gives excellent results, I can live with not knowing.
                  > > >
                  > > > Product from my N/S is taken at around a litre per hour from a 25 litre 18% (approx) dextrose wash boiling on 1350watts.
                  > > >
                  > > > After the slow take of the 100ml fores, I take 100 heads, then 3.5 - 4 litres mids. The tails are taken up to 84 - 86 degrees at which time I shut the run down. (Received in the mail yesterday one digital thermometer which reads to 1 dec place, to replace my whole numbers only thermometer).
                  > > >
                  > > > Rarely is the product polished now that the results are consistent.
                  > > >
                  > > > Any comments or suggestions are welcome.
                  > > >
                  > > > Cheers
                  > > > thursty2
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Thursty2
                  My perception of an ideal needle valve is a fat needle with a taper, perhaps 3 to 5 times its diameter, and an equally deep matching seat. It would have a fine
                  Message 8 of 8 , Dec 11, 2011
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                    My perception of an ideal needle valve is a fat needle with a taper, perhaps 3 to 5 times its diameter, and an equally deep matching seat. It would have a fine thread to open and close it. The valve in the drawing appears not to have those attributes, having instead a needle that is thin, and a short taper, with a shallow seat. But I'll keep looking.

                    I don't like the thought of taking the reflux outside the column into the cold and then re-introducing it back into the column's vapour path.

                    Thanks and cheers
                    thursty2

                    --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > This is worth a try...
                    >
                    > http://www.artisan-distiller.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5127&start=0&hilit=needle
                    >
                    >
                    > Slainte!
                    > regards Harry
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