## flapper valve control of gas fired pot

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• I was thinking of an old percolating coffee pot and how that principle could be applied to my gas powered 15 gallon SS pot for control of temperature/vapor
Message 1 of 6 , Sep 27, 2013
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I was thinking of an old percolating coffee pot and how that principle could be applied to my gas powered 15 gallon SS pot for control of temperature/vapor flow. So if I put a 3/8 inch SS tube down into the tank with a flange on the bottom to look similar to the main part of a coffee pot percolator. Then on the top attach a flapper valve like you would see on the top of the exhaust on a tractor. When the boil became aggressive enough the  boiling fluid would go up to the top of the boiler and push the flapper valve open until the boil decreased enough and the valve would then close. To cause the flame to decrease I would attach a small mercury switch with a hot wire tied to one side and the other side tied to neutral which would be the ss.  By adjusting the placement forward or back the force to open the valve can be changed and this would control the amount of heat. When the flapper valve opens the circuit is open and the electricity stops. The circuit goes down to a gas solenoid valve on the gas line after the pilot light take off. Small battery or step down transformer could control the flapper valve/gas solenoid circuit. In my mind I believe that as the temperature rises from the decrease in alcohol the valve would function to keep the flow rate of alcohol vapor fairly constant. Anyway I studied a flapper type valve over the intake on a wood fired BBQ pit. As the temperature got to 180 degrees the valve would close and the air was cut off from the pit. As the temperature got below 175 degrees the air would open up. The neat thing was it would run all night long and stay in a close range and use less wood. So this is a different problem but the cycling on and off even if you need to leave some very low flame on the off cycle I think the thing has a solution for a mechanical means to achieve a stable gas flow into the reflux still. As the temperature rises to need more gas it is reflected in the temperature of the boil. The boiling not the temperature is what activates the valve and allows the temperature to change.

The temperature of the gas at the point of entry into the condenser controlling the water flow necessary to condense the gas back to liquid on a separate circuit.

I believe this is the first time this idea has been proposed so I claim it and it may be freely used for any personal or recreational use but I would have to be compensated for any commercial venture, thanks.

Bob C

Bob

• After reading your invention twice, I suggest you build it and iron out the issues and get back to us. I dont see how venting the rapid boiling
Message 2 of 6 , Sep 28, 2013
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After reading your "invention" twice, I suggest you build it and "iron out" the issues  and get back to us. I dont see how venting the rapid boiling alcohol/vapour will go when the level in the pot reduces in height. You will require some feed back to adjust for this. Also what do you do with the lost product?

All the best.

---In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, <distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

I was thinking of an old percolating coffee pot and how that principle could be applied to my gas powered 15 gallon SS pot for control of temperature/vapor flow. So if I put a 3/8 inch SS tube down into the tank with a flange on the bottom to look similar to the main part of a coffee pot percolator. Then on the top attach a flapper valve like you would see on the top of the exhaust on a tractor. When the boil became aggressive enough the  boiling fluid would go up to the top of the boiler and push the flapper valve open until the boil decreased enough and the valve would then close. To cause the flame to decrease I would attach a small mercury switch with a hot wire tied to one side and the other side tied to neutral which would be the ss.  By adjusting the placement forward or back the force to open the valve can be changed and this would control the amount of heat. When the flapper valve opens the circuit is open and the electricity stops. The circuit goes down to a gas solenoid valve on the gas line after the pilot light take off. Small battery or step down transformer could control the flapper valve/gas solenoid circuit. In my mind I believe that as the temperature rises from the decrease in alcohol the valve would function to keep the flow rate of alcohol vapor fairly constant. Anyway I studied a flapper type valve over the intake on a wood fired BBQ pit. As the temperature got to 180 degrees the valve would close and the air was cut off from the pit. As the temperature got below 175 degrees the air would open up. The neat thing was it would run all night long and stay in a close range and use less wood. So this is a different problem but the cycling on and off even if you need to leave some very low flame on the off cycle I think the thing has a solution for a mechanical means to achieve a stable gas flow into the reflux still. As the temperature rises to need more gas it is reflected in the temperature of the boil. The boiling not the temperature is what activates the valve and allows the temperature to change.

The temperature of the gas at the point of entry into the condenser controlling the water flow necessary to condense the gas back to liquid on a separate circuit.

I believe this is the first time this idea has been proposed so I claim it and it may be freely used for any personal or recreational use but I would have to be compensated for any commercial venture, thanks.

Bob C

Bob

• Basically what is described is a fairly simple negative feedback control circuit. However, you would be better off putting your sensor (the flapper valve) in
Message 3 of 6 , Sep 28, 2013
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 Basically what is described is a fairly simple negative feedback control circuit. However, you would be better off putting your sensor (the flapper valve) in the vapor path; the slight pressure from the vessel will lift it.However, as you suggest it the control would still be pretty rough. The burner is either low or HIGH. This means that you aren't going to get the fine control that you are looking for. What you need is a vapor flow sensor that feeds back into a solenoid valve controlling gas flow. You should be able to, with a very basic PID controller, maintain a very constant vapor flow.Of course, there is the issue of finding a vapor flow sensor made of materials conducive to a alcohol vapor environment...would be tough.RadicalEdSent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

From: ledaswan@... <ledaswan@...>;
To: <Distillers@yahoogroups.com>;
Subject: [Distillers] RE: flapper valve control of gas fired pot
Sent: Sat, Sep 28, 2013 9:47:50 AM

 After reading your "invention" twice, I suggest you build it and "iron out" the issues  and get back to us. I dont see how venting the rapid boiling alcohol/vapour will go when the level in the pot reduces in height. You will require some feed back to adjust for this. Also what do you do with the lost product?All the best.---In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, wrote:I was thinking of an old percolating coffee pot and how that principle could be applied to my gas powered 15 gallon SS pot for control of temperature/vapor flow. So if I put a 3/8 inch SS tube down into the tank with a flange on the bottom to look similar to the main part of a coffee pot percolator. Then on the top attach a flapper valve like you would see on the top of the exhaust on a tractor. When the boil became aggressive enough the  boiling fluid would go up to the top of the boiler and push the flapper valve open until the boil decreased enough and the valve would then close. To cause the flame to decrease I would attach a small mercury switch with a hot wire tied to one side and the other side tied to neutral which would be the ss.  By adjusting the placement forward or back the force to open the valve can be changed and this would control the amount of heat. When the flapper valve opens the circuit is open and the electricity stops. The circuit goes down to a gas solenoid valve on the gas line after the pilot light take off. Small battery or step down transformer could control the flapper valve/gas solenoid circuit. In my mind I believe that as the temperature rises from the decrease in alcohol the valve would function to keep the flow rate of alcohol vapor fairly constant. Anyway I studied a flapper type valve over the intake on a wood fired BBQ pit. As the temperature got to 180 degrees the valve would close and the air was cut off from the pit. As the temperature got below 175 degrees the air would open up. The neat thing was it would run all night long and stay in a close range and use less wood. So this is a different problem but the cycling on and off even if you need to leave some very low flame on the off cycle I think the thing has a solution for a mechanical means to achieve a stable gas flow into the reflux still. As the temperature rises to need more gas it is reflected in the temperature of the boil. The boiling not the temperature is what activates the valve and allows the temperature to change.The temperature of the gas at the point of entry into the condenser controlling the water flow necessary to condense the gas back to liquid on a separate circuit.I believe this is the first time this idea has been proposed so I claim it and it may be freely used for any personal or recreational use but I would have to be compensated for any commercial venture, thanks.Bob C  Bob
• I didn t read it as venting to the outside & losing product. The riser tuber with flapper valve could be entirely within the boiler, with a pass-through for
Message 4 of 6 , Oct 1, 2013
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I didn't read it as venting to the outside & losing product. The riser tuber with flapper valve could be entirely within the boiler, with a pass-through for the switch leads. But even if it is entirely within the pot, it doesn't solve the problem of decreasing wash level. In the coffee percolator that this is modeled on, you're not boiling it down appreciably - presumably when you're done making coffee, you have nearly the same amount of liquid as when you started. If you were boiling down the coffee, condensing & collecting the vapor outside the boiler, eventually you'd get to the point where it would stop percolating unless you lowered the riser tube along with the wash volume.

-j

---In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, <distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

After reading your "invention" twice, I suggest you build it and "iron out" the issues  and get back to us. I dont see how venting the rapid boiling alcohol/vapour will go when the level in the pot reduces in height. You will require some feed back to adjust for this. Also what do you do with the lost product?

All the best.

---In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, <distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

I was thinking of an old percolating coffee pot and how that principle could be applied to my gas powered 15 gallon SS pot for control of temperature/vapor flow.

Bob

• Thanks for the comments. ... when you re done making coffee, you have nearly the same amount of liquid as when you started. If you were boiling down the
Message 5 of 6 , Oct 2, 2013
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>you're not boiling it down appreciably - presumably
when you're done making coffee, you have nearly the same amount
of liquid as when you started. If you were boiling down the
coffee, condensing & collecting the vapor outside the boiler,
eventually you'd get to the point where it would stop percolating
unless you lowered the riser tube along with the wash volume.

This is a 3/8ths ss tube inside a boiler that is a 15 gallon SS beer keg. The foot print of that tube is a flange no larger than 3 to 4 inches that is positioned directly in contact with the bottom of the keg. I will go in and hammer a spot to make sure of a flat area. There is no loss outside as the device will be completely inside of the keg. I do not believe it would get to a point of non percolating as the wash is never over 20% by volume alcohol of the entire liquid. So if it is at 18% reduced alcohol at the end of the run it will still percolate but the temperature will have increased. Think of it this way: if you want to make a four cup volume of coffee in your coffee pot it will still make the coffee and percolate just fine but it does not take as long. Or you could make a ten cup in the same coffee pot. That just takes a little longer. Another way of saying it is that it takes a little more heat to cause the percolation to rise up the tube when the volume has lowered by 20% . Most percolation coffee pots have measure marks on the side so you can put the amount of water you want in for the number of cups you intend to make. Same thing I really don’t need to prove out whether a volume decrease still makes less coffee as that has already been proven.

With all that said it is the gas going up the tube that is lighter than the liquid in the surrounding area that creates the speed and inertia that carries the liquid up the tube. When there is a greater distance above the external liquid then less liquid and more gas would be the result. So it may require more heat, but then isn’t more heat required with the lessening of the ratio of alcohol to water anyway?  Maybe when you decreased the volume 75% or more the percolation would not reach the top but I would not need that amount of reduction and I believe it would still percolate but would be way to much heat required.

All that my intent is to enable a fool proof mechanical method to keep a steady volume of alcohol going up the column as the heat increases and the alcohol in the boiler decreases. That is until all the usable alcohol has been captured. The steadier the flow from the bottom the less tinkering on the top.  This is a gas fired system so I try to make it as fool proof as I can. Thanks again for all the critique.

Bob c

• I think your approach is novel and should be applauded. However, I really have to ask if you want to go to this much trouble to control your gas, do you
Message 6 of 6 , Oct 9, 2013
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I think your approach is novel and should be applauded.  However, I really have to ask if you want to go to this much trouble to control your gas, do you really want to be using gas at all?  I know it's not helpful in furthering your invention, which I honestly do think should be pursued as I could see it having a possible application for electric control as well.  So I apologize profusely.

But I've driven off gas and electric.  Gas because at one point I was stilling where I didn't have a handy 220v line and didn't want to install one or wait for the long 120v heatup time.  Gas in the beginning because I had a gas burner already and it was more convenient, familiar and cheaper to start there.  But once I went electric I realized that I should have done it long before.

If I HAD to use gas again, I certainly would.  But I would certainly be putting my budget and planning towards going electric rather than trying to make gas any better than a tank a burner and a regulator.  Trying to put electric controls on a gas burner rather than an electric element seems a bit like replacing a square wheel with an octagon rather than a circle.  Yeah the octagon would be better, but you could just use a wheel.  Reminds me of showing off a solar powered ice maker that kept beer cold when my friend pointed out that it was 35*F outside and I could just set the beer on the porch.
Just my \$.02
Now if you're developing it for some commercial application, or just for the time honored tradition of figurin stuff out, by all means go for it!  If you've got the parts lying around, even better!  The point of a solar powered ice maker isn't just to keep beer cold, it's to make ice from fire, even if it was the middle of winter...

On Wed, Oct 2, 2013 at 5:21 PM, <bob@...> wrote:

>you're not boiling it down appreciably - presumably
when you're done making coffee, you have nearly the same amount
of liquid as when you started. If you were boiling down the
coffee, condensing & collecting the vapor outside the boiler,
eventually you'd get to the point where it would stop percolating
unless you lowered the riser tube along with the wash volume.

This is a 3/8ths ss tube inside a boiler that is a 15 gallon SS beer keg. The foot print of that tube is a flange no larger than 3 to 4 inches that is positioned directly in contact with the bottom of the keg. I will go in and hammer a spot to make sure of a flat area. There is no loss outside as the device will be completely inside of the keg. I do not believe it would get to a point of non percolating as the wash is never over 20% by volume alcohol of the entire liquid. So if it is at 18% reduced alcohol at the end of the run it will still percolate but the temperature will have increased. Think of it this way: if you want to make a four cup volume of coffee in your coffee pot it will still make the coffee and percolate just fine but it does not take as long. Or you could make a ten cup in the same coffee pot. That just takes a little longer. Another way of saying it is that it takes a little more heat to cause the percolation to rise up the tube when the volume has lowered by 20% . Most percolation coffee pots have measure marks on the side so you can put the amount of water you want in for the number of cups you intend to make. Same thing I really don’t need to prove out whether a volume decrease still makes less coffee as that has already been proven.

With all that said it is the gas going up the tube that is lighter than the liquid in the surrounding area that creates the speed and inertia that carries the liquid up the tube. When there is a greater distance above the external liquid then less liquid and more gas would be the result. So it may require more heat, but then isn’t more heat required with the lessening of the ratio of alcohol to water anyway?  Maybe when you decreased the volume 75% or more the percolation would not reach the top but I would not need that amount of reduction and I believe it would still percolate but would be way to much heat required.

All that my intent is to enable a fool proof mechanical method to keep a steady volume of alcohol going up the column as the heat increases and the alcohol in the boiler decreases. That is until all the usable alcohol has been captured. The steadier the flow from the bottom the less tinkering on the top.  This is a gas fired system so I try to make it as fool proof as I can. Thanks again for all the critique.

Bob c

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