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  • c2h5oh_x
    After a long hiatus I am back to my still construction project. My latest challenge was choosing and adapting a boiler. I finally settled on using a keg and
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 18, 2002
      After a long hiatus I am back to my still construction project. My
      latest challenge was choosing and adapting a boiler. I finally
      settled on using a keg and acquired a used 50L keg in excellent
      condition for the paltry sum of $20. Members of the group encouraged
      me to have a triclover union mounted, but my research led me to the
      conclusion that it would be logistically difficult for me to do. (or
      rather, to have done for me, as I don't have the tools) Also, other
      choices I'd made regarding hardware pointed to a certain final format
      for the still. I decided to cut a hole in the top of the keg and use
      a bowl to mount the column. A couple of calls to welding shops
      confirmed that the price of having a hole cut with a plasma cutter
      would be about $25. More then I'd spent on the keg! I decided to cut
      the hole myself with a hack saw. ( I used a keyhole saw-like handle
      to hold the hack saw blade) The short story. Maybe $25 bucks was not
      such a bad deal. It took me about 2 hours of cutting to make the
      hole. It turned out quite well. I'm confident that I got results
      comparable to what a plasma cutter could do. But TWO HOURS! Anyway,
      it's done now, so I don't have to think about it any more.

      I also completed my condenser assembly. As I mentioned in my last
      report, I had chosen a fairly large diameter tubing for the condenser
      coil. the choice proved somewhat problematic as it was very difficult
      to bend. I completed the bending regardless, but had to resort to
      using elbows to complete last bend at the bottom of the coil. (For
      the return... just look at the pictures)

      The last part I need to fabricate is a clamp to hold the lid firmly
      down on the gasket at the top of the still. I plan to use the handles
      of the keg as anchor points for this. It will probably simply be a
      large piece of plywood that fits around the column and over the lid
      and pulls down.

      This project has been a learning experience. Man, do I wish I had
      access to more tools. If I had access to a plasma cutter, TIG welder
      and a lathe, I could have easily created an all stainless still for
      approximately the same price or even less then I've spent on
      my "Franken-Still".


      For those interested, you can see pictures of my progress here:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/c2h5oh_x/Keg_Before.jpg
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/c2h5oh_x/Keg_During.jpg
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/c2h5oh_x/Keg_Finish2.jp
      g
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/c2h5oh_x/Keg_Finished.j
      pg
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/c2h5oh_x/Keg_Lid.jpg
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/c2h5oh_x/Condenser_Comp
      lete.jpg


      -CX
    • c2h5oh_x
      Slowly but surely, my still is progressing. All I need now is a couple of fittings to attach it to the cooling water and I m ready to test. Here are some
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 4, 2002
        Slowly but surely, my still is progressing. All I need now is a
        couple of fittings to attach it to the cooling water and I'm ready to
        test. Here are some pictures of a test fitting.

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/c2h5oh_x/All_Test_Fit.j
        pg

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/c2h5oh_x/All_Test_Fit_D
        etail.jpg

        The "hold down" mechanism might look s a bit light-weight, but it
        seems to do the job. There is actually quite a bit of tention on the
        sticks holding the lid down. If I find any leaks around the lid I'll
        try some of that "dough gasket" stuff I've heard so many people
        mention. Sounds like a great solution.

        On a side note, does anyone know of a source for ethanol resistant
        gromets? I need a gromet for the thermometer insertion point. Fight
        now I'm just using one I made out of RTV silicone but I want
        something that looks a bit cleaner and is easier to replace.

        -CX
      • BOKAKOB
        Here is what I would do: No need for grommets. Use teflon tape wrapped around the thermometer and friction fit it in the opening. You will have to remove it
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 4, 2002

          Here is what I would do:
          No need for grommets. Use teflon tape wrapped around the thermometer and friction fit it in the opening. You will have to remove it anyway after each run. The hold down clamp is clumsy and negates months of approaching finesse. You might use a suggestion shown below on the attached sketch. SIicone works better than dough.
          If you lightly sand the lip of the inverted bowl and spread silicone there it will work very well. Make sure to place this bowl on really flat glass, mirror or furniture surface covered with oiled waxed paper. Otherwise it will cure unevenly and will leak. It looks nice as is, especially that shiny bowl. Call this still "Silver Cardinal."

           c2h5oh_x <c2h5oh_x@...> wrote:


          Slowly but surely, my still is progressing. All I need now is a couple of fittings to attach it to the cooling water and I'm ready to test. Here are some pictures of a test fitting. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/c2h5oh_x/All_Test_Fit.j
          pg


          I can be wrong I must say.
          Cheers, Alex...



          Do you Yahoo!?
          New DSL Internet Access from SBC & Yahoo!

        • abbababbaccc
          It seems like all stainless still? I hope you have copper scourers as filling. Do you use RTV as lid gasket? I ve been using fermentation bucket airlock
          Message 4 of 7 , Dec 4, 2002
            It seems like all stainless still? I hope you have copper scourers as
            filling. Do you use RTV as lid gasket? I've been using fermentation
            bucket airlock washers for my thermometer sealing with good results.

            Greetz, riku

            --- In Distillers@y..., "c2h5oh_x" <c2h5oh_x@y...> wrote:
            >
            > Slowly but surely, my still is progressing. All I need now is a
            > couple of fittings to attach it to the cooling water and I'm ready
            to
            > test. Here are some pictures of a test fitting.
            >
            >
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/c2h5oh_x/All_Test_Fit.j
            > pg
            >
            >
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/c2h5oh_x/All_Test_Fit_D
            > etail.jpg
            >
            > The "hold down" mechanism might look s a bit light-weight, but it
            > seems to do the job. There is actually quite a bit of tention on
            the
            > sticks holding the lid down. If I find any leaks around the lid
            I'll
            > try some of that "dough gasket" stuff I've heard so many people
            > mention. Sounds like a great solution.
            >
            > On a side note, does anyone know of a source for ethanol resistant
            > gromets? I need a gromet for the thermometer insertion point. Fight
            > now I'm just using one I made out of RTV silicone but I want
            > something that looks a bit cleaner and is easier to replace.
            >
            > -CX
          • c2h5oh_x
            I totally agree with you on the regarding the esthetics of the clamp. I m not happy with the way it looks either. Your solution is excellent. I had a similar
            Message 5 of 7 , Dec 4, 2002
              I totally agree with you on the regarding the esthetics of the
              clamp. I'm not happy with the way it looks either. Your solution is
              excellent. I had a similar idea. But I have some future plans for
              this keg and I'm not quite ready to put more holes in it just yet.

              I have a friend that worked in the sanitary fittings industry for
              years and still has contacts. I just learned about this, otherwise I
              would have enlisted him sooner to help! Anyway, I am going to
              investigate the price of redoing the boiler "right" with a triclover
              fitting on top. I might have to sell off the current keg as a brew
              kettle and get a new one though.

              Regardless, the current incarnation should work well and I may find
              that it is adequate for the time being. (Though I do wish it looked
              better)

              Thanks for the suggestions and the sketch!.

              -CX


              --- In Distillers@y..., BOKAKOB <bokakob@y...> wrote:
              >
              > Here is what I would do:
              > No need for grommets. Use teflon tape wrapped around the
              thermometer and friction fit it in the opening. You will have to
              remove it anyway after each run. The hold down clamp is clumsy and
              negates months of approaching finesse. You might use a suggestion
              shown below on the attached sketch. SIicone works better than dough.
              > If you lightly sand the lip of the inverted bowl and spread
              silicone there it will work very well. Make sure to place this bowl
              on really flat glass, mirror or furniture surface covered with oiled
              waxed paper. Otherwise it will cure unevenly and will leak. It looks
              nice as is, especially that shiny bowl. Call this still "Silver
              Cardinal."
              > c2h5oh_x <c2h5oh_x@y...> wrote:
              > Slowly but surely, my still is progressing. All I need now is a
              couple of fittings to attach it to the cooling water and I'm ready to
              test. Here are some pictures of a test fitting.
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/c2h5oh_x/All_Test_Fit.j
              > pg
              >
              > I can be wrong I must say.
              > Cheers, Alex...
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > Do you Yahoo!?
              > New DSL Internet Access from SBC & Yahoo!
            • c2h5oh_x
              THe picture is a bit desaturated. The column is in fact copper. Copper scrubbers as packing. Right now the lid gasket is cork, but I m probably going to
              Message 6 of 7 , Dec 4, 2002
                THe picture is a bit desaturated. The column is in fact copper.
                Copper scrubbers as packing. Right now the lid gasket is cork, but
                I'm probably going to replace that with RTV.


                -CX

                --- In Distillers@y..., "abbababbaccc" <abbababbaccc@y...> wrote:
                > It seems like all stainless still? I hope you have copper scourers
                as
                > filling. Do you use RTV as lid gasket? I've been using fermentation
                > bucket airlock washers for my thermometer sealing with good results.
                >
                > Greetz, riku
                >
                > --- In Distillers@y..., "c2h5oh_x" <c2h5oh_x@y...> wrote:
                > >
                > > Slowly but surely, my still is progressing. All I need now is a
                > > couple of fittings to attach it to the cooling water and I'm
                ready
                > to
                > > test. Here are some pictures of a test fitting.
                > >
                > >
                >
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/c2h5oh_x/All_Test_Fit.j
                > > pg
                > >
                > >
                >
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/c2h5oh_x/All_Test_Fit_D
                > > etail.jpg
                > >
                > > The "hold down" mechanism might look s a bit light-weight, but it
                > > seems to do the job. There is actually quite a bit of tention on
                > the
                > > sticks holding the lid down. If I find any leaks around the lid
                > I'll
                > > try some of that "dough gasket" stuff I've heard so many people
                > > mention. Sounds like a great solution.
                > >
                > > On a side note, does anyone know of a source for ethanol
                resistant
                > > gromets? I need a gromet for the thermometer insertion point.
                Fight
                > > now I'm just using one I made out of RTV silicone but I want
                > > something that looks a bit cleaner and is easier to replace.
                > >
                > > -CX
              • travellerwiz
                Just thought I would throw you some Food for thought .. I came across a post either here or in the new_distillers group about using an igloo water cooler as
                Message 7 of 7 , Dec 4, 2002
                  Just thought I would throw you some "Food for thought".. I came
                  across a post either here or in the new_distillers group about using
                  an igloo water cooler as the boiler. You might want to check it out
                  if you are considering getting a new keg as a boiler. It really looks
                  like the perfect solution. All stainless steel inside and insulated
                  for both "Hot" or "Cold". I've been trying to source one out myself
                  but haven't had any success. Anyway take a look at it, here is the
                  link.
                  http://www.igloocommercial.com/6-1-1-2-2_industries_construction.cfm


                  --- In Distillers@y..., "c2h5oh_x" <c2h5oh_x@y...> wrote:
                  > I totally agree with you on the regarding the esthetics of the
                  > clamp. I'm not happy with the way it looks either. Your solution
                  is
                  > excellent. I had a similar idea. But I have some future plans for
                  > this keg and I'm not quite ready to put more holes in it just yet.
                  >
                  > I have a friend that worked in the sanitary fittings industry for
                  > years and still has contacts. I just learned about this, otherwise
                  I
                  > would have enlisted him sooner to help! Anyway, I am going to
                  > investigate the price of redoing the boiler "right" with a
                  triclover
                  > fitting on top. I might have to sell off the current keg as a brew
                  > kettle and get a new one though.
                  >
                  > Regardless, the current incarnation should work well and I may find
                  > that it is adequate for the time being. (Though I do wish it
                  looked
                  > better)
                  >
                  > Thanks for the suggestions and the sketch!.
                  >
                  > -CX
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In Distillers@y..., BOKAKOB <bokakob@y...> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Here is what I would do:
                  > > No need for grommets. Use teflon tape wrapped around the
                  > thermometer and friction fit it in the opening. You will have to
                  > remove it anyway after each run. The hold down clamp is clumsy and
                  > negates months of approaching finesse. You might use a suggestion
                  > shown below on the attached sketch. SIicone works better than
                  dough.
                  > > If you lightly sand the lip of the inverted bowl and spread
                  > silicone there it will work very well. Make sure to place this bowl
                  > on really flat glass, mirror or furniture surface covered with
                  oiled
                  > waxed paper. Otherwise it will cure unevenly and will leak. It
                  looks
                  > nice as is, especially that shiny bowl. Call this still "Silver
                  > Cardinal."
                  > > c2h5oh_x <c2h5oh_x@y...> wrote:
                  > > Slowly but surely, my still is progressing. All I need now is a
                  > couple of fittings to attach it to the cooling water and I'm ready
                  to
                  > test. Here are some pictures of a test fitting.
                  >
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/c2h5oh_x/All_Test_Fit.j
                  > > pg
                  > >
                  > > I can be wrong I must say.
                  > > Cheers, Alex...
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > ---------------------------------
                  > > Do you Yahoo!?
                  > > New DSL Internet Access from SBC & Yahoo!
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