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Almost a still

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  • distiller@mafudesigns.com
    Hi again everyone, OK. Heres where I m at - I ve got all the bits, and they a ready to be put together, now I just want to check no-one thinks I should modify
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 17, 2001
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      Hi again everyone,

      OK. Heres where I'm at - I've got all the bits, and they a ready to
      be put together, now I just want to check no-one thinks I should
      modify anything before I actually solder it together on Thursday.

      I'm building a Nixon/Stone design, from the 'How to make pure corn
      whiskey' book by Ian Smiley. I've scaled up the size a little - here
      are the details:

      Column. Is made from 2" Copper, and is 1200 long. I've put a bsp
      tube join between the column and head, which is made from brass, so I
      caneasily remove the head. At the bottom of the column, there is
      another 2" brass bsp tube fitting, which goes into the stainless
      steel socket welded to the top of the boiler - so I can remove the
      comumn as well.

      Boiler. The boiler is a 60L 316 Stainless drum, which Jan put me on
      to (thanks Jan!!!!), and I'll put 2 1380 watt elements in it, both
      used to heat up, only one for boiling.

      Head. Again made from 2" copper. At the T, there is a 180mm
      horizontal section, going to the elbow, then a 370mm verticle section
      for the condenser to go in. On the top of the T, 50mm of tube, then
      a tube cap, with a 40mm 3/8" copper pipe, attatched to a series of
      compression fittings and adapters, eventually to hold the 3mm
      stainless steel probe of the digital thermometer. At the bottom of
      the elbow, anothe 3/8" 40mm copper pipe is soldered to take the
      product down through th needle valve, and eventually to the waiting
      mouths!

      All the brass has been treated to get rid of surface lead.

      I've put some photos in the files section, to show it all a bit
      clearer:

      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Matt/stillheadpart
      s.jpg> - The head

      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Matt/31660lssdrum.
      jpg> - The 60L boiler

      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Matt/columnbottomp
      arts.jpg> - The bottom of the column

      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Matt/headandcolumn
      .jpg> - A composite of two photos to show the entire column/head.

      All I want to check is that everything is 100% right, 'cause I can
      change it now, but I can't easily later!

      Thanks,

      Matt
    • distiller@mafudesigns.com
      Hi again everyone, OK. Heres where I m at - I ve got all the bits, and they a ready to be put together, now I just want to check no-one thinks I should modify
      Message 2 of 9 , Sep 17, 2001
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        Hi again everyone,

        OK. Heres where I'm at - I've got all the bits, and they a ready to
        be put together, now I just want to check no-one thinks I should
        modify anything before I actually solder it together on Thursday.

        I'm building a Nixon/Stone design, from the 'How to make pure corn
        whiskey' book by Ian Smiley. I've scaled up the size a little - here
        are the details:

        Column. Is made from 2" Copper, and is 1200 long. I've put a bsp
        tube join between the column and head, which is made from brass, so I
        caneasily remove the head. At the bottom of the column, there is
        another 2" brass bsp tube fitting, which goes into the stainless
        steel socket welded to the top of the boiler - so I can remove the
        comumn as well.

        Boiler. The boiler is a 60L 316 Stainless drum, which Jan put me on
        to (thanks Jan!!!!), and I'll put 2 1380 watt elements in it, both
        used to heat up, only one for boiling.

        Head. Again made from 2" copper. At the T, there is a 180mm
        horizontal section, going to the elbow, then a 370mm verticle section
        for the condenser to go in. On the top of the T, 50mm of tube, then
        a tube cap, with a 40mm 3/8" copper pipe, attatched to a series of
        compression fittings and adapters, eventually to hold the 3mm
        stainless steel probe of the digital thermometer. At the bottom of
        the elbow, anothe 3/8" 40mm copper pipe is soldered to take the
        product down through th needle valve, and eventually to the waiting
        mouths!

        All the brass has been treated to get rid of surface lead.

        I've put some photos in the files section, to show it all a bit
        clearer:

        <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Matt/stillheadpart
        s.jpg> - The head

        <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Matt/31660lssdrum.
        jpg> - The 60L boiler

        <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Matt/columnbottomp
        arts.jpg> - The bottom of the column

        <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Matt/headandcolumn
        .jpg> - A composite of two photos to show the entire column/head.

        All I want to check is that everything is 100% right, 'cause I can
        change it now, but I can't easily later!

        Thanks,

        Matt
      • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
        Matt, looks great ! Do you have an easy way to empty the boiler after you ve finished ? Tony
        Message 3 of 9 , Sep 18, 2001
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          Matt,

          looks great !

          Do you have an easy way to empty the boiler after you've finished ?

          Tony
        • distiller@mafudesigns.com
          Sorry again for the repeated postings of that previous message! Tony, ... Thanks! ... Um.. Ah.. The top comes off and I can tip it out? Doh! You re right, I
          Message 4 of 9 , Sep 18, 2001
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            Sorry again for the repeated postings of that previous message!

            Tony,

            > looks great !

            Thanks!

            > Do you have an easy way to empty the boiler after you've finished ?

            Um.. Ah.. The top comes off and I can tip it out? Doh! You're
            right, I should put a tap in it when I plumb the elements! Thanks!

            So what else have I missed??

            Matt
          • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
            Matt, ... Yeah - more than about 30L = 30 kg of boiling liquid gets fun to lift up to sink height (given that most these tall stills are sat on the floor).
            Message 5 of 9 , Sep 18, 2001
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              Matt,

              > > Do you have an easy way to empty the boiler after you've finished ?
              >
              > Um.. Ah.. The top comes off and I can tip it out? Doh! You're
              > right, I should put a tap in it when I plumb the elements! Thanks!

              Yeah - more than about 30L = 30 kg of boiling liquid gets fun to lift up to
              sink height (given that most these tall stills are sat on the floor). Next
              question - where will you drain the tap to - do you have a floor drain, etc
              ?

              > So what else have I missed??

              Will the 180mm horizontal section extend to the center of the 2" column, so
              as to encourage the returning liquid to drip down into the center of the
              packing, and not run down the walls ?

              Why have the 180mm section so long ? More likely to overbalance/tip the
              column. I'd say to keep it as short as possible.

              Have you made your condenser coil yet ? e.g. do you know if it will fit
              inside the 2" vertical section?


              Other mods (but not compromising your soldering) could include ...

              Insulation for the column (keep all that nice heat inside it). Source from
              a plumbing shop - approx. NZ$8/m

              Have you seen how the new StillMaker design (www.Moonshine-Still.com) has
              plumbed the cooling water up/down the column, so that its not trying to drag
              the column over sideways ? Maybe some temporary version of this (so that
              you can still disassemble for cleaning)

              How about a making a short (10" ?) unpacked column that you can insert
              instead of the tall packed one for when you want to do potstill/
              beerstripping runs ?

              Ensure that your electric's are plugged in via an RCD (residual current
              device) or other form of safety protection.

              Do you have some way of holding the whole lot up ? E.g. a bracket off the
              wall, or rope rigged off the ceiling, etc ?

              Tony
            • distiller@mafudesigns.com
              Tony. Wow! I guess I asked for it! ;-) ... lift up to ... floor). Yep! I m only *planning* on doing 20L runs, but..... ... drain, etc Yep - The laundry has
              Message 6 of 9 , Sep 18, 2001
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                Tony.

                Wow! I guess I asked for it! ;-)

                > Yeah - more than about 30L = 30 kg of boiling liquid gets fun to
                lift up to
                > sink height (given that most these tall stills are sat on the
                floor).

                Yep! I'm only *planning* on doing 20L runs, but.....

                > Next
                > question - where will you drain the tap to - do you have a floor
                drain, etc

                Yep - The laundry has a floor drain (thank goodness!)

                > Will the 180mm horizontal section extend to the center of the 2"
                column, so
                > as to encourage the returning liquid to drip down into the center
                of the
                > packing, and not run down the walls ?

                Thought about that, and the horizontal section won't fit through the
                T join. But, I have cut a half circle disk which will get soldered
                directly beneath, inside the T to have the same pupose. Unless you
                can tell me how to get around the pipe not fitting thought the T
                fitting, without weakening the fitting...

                > Why have the 180mm section so long ? More likely to
                overbalance/tip the
                > column. I'd say to keep it as short as possible.

                I was just following the design. Thinking about it, it doesn't
                really need to be so big - I guess dropping it down to about 100mm
                would make sense.... And how about a horizontal support from the top
                of the temperature 'head' to the condenser?

                > Have you made your condenser coil yet ? e.g. do you know if it
                will fit
                > inside the 2" vertical section?

                It will be made to suit! (i.e. not made yet!)

                > Insulation for the column (keep all that nice heat inside it).
                Source from
                > a plumbing shop - approx. NZ$8/m

                Definitley!

                > Have you seen how the new StillMaker design (www.Moonshine-
                Still.com) has
                > plumbed the cooling water up/down the column, so that its not
                trying to drag
                > the column over sideways ? Maybe some temporary version of this
                (so that
                > you can still disassemble for cleaning)

                Hmmm... Will play with that one for sure!

                > How about a making a short (10" ?) unpacked column that you can
                insert
                > instead of the tall packed one for when you want to do potstill/
                > beerstripping runs ?

                Already done! I just didn't show it in the photos - I have a 1200
                and a 200mm column. That was the other reason I made the head
                removable.

                > Ensure that your electric's are plugged in via an RCD (residual
                current
                > device) or other form of safety protection.

                For sure. All my workshop tools are used through these. I value my
                body/brain the way it is now.

                > Do you have some way of holding the whole lot up ? E.g. a bracket
                off the
                > wall, or rope rigged off the ceiling, etc ?

                Not yet... I want to get it built first!

                Thanks again for all the suggestions!

                Matt
              • slacker75@hotmail.com
                Matt, If you kinda slice the horizontal tube up so you get a lip, like in this terrible ASCII drawing: ______________________ / _____/ LIP----
                Message 7 of 9 , Sep 19, 2001
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                  Matt,
                  If you kinda slice the horizontal tube up so you get a lip, like in
                  this terrible ASCII drawing:
                  ______________________
                  /
                  _____/
                  LIP----> |____________________________

                  Then squeeze the lip a little bit in a vice so it deforms a little,
                  it should be able to slide through the T. If not, your little disk
                  idea seems good.

                  -Tone

                  > Thought about that, and the horizontal section won't fit through
                  the
                  > T join. But, I have cut a half circle disk which will get soldered
                  > directly beneath, inside the T to have the same pupose. Unless you
                  > can tell me how to get around the pipe not fitting thought the T
                  > fitting, without weakening the fitting...
                  > Matt
                • distiller@mafudesigns.com
                  Hi again, Thanks for all the help/suggestions - Now its all put together! OK, I tell not the whole truth... The column and head has been put together, and it
                  Message 8 of 9 , Sep 21, 2001
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                    Hi again,

                    Thanks for all the help/suggestions - Now its all put together! OK,
                    I tell not the whole truth... The column and head has been put
                    together, and it all looks good. The boiler has still to be plumbed,
                    and a the lid domed. But its getting there. You can see a photo
                    (rather crappy though):
                    <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Matt/columnbuilt.j
                    pg>

                    I shortened the horizontal bar to 40mm, as per Tony's suggestion, and
                    I ended up using the disk inside the column to angle the refux flow
                    back down the column.

                    OK - Now a couple of questions. I'm yet to buy the elements for the
                    boiler - I've seen two models - a 1000 watt and a 1380 watt. I'm
                    planning on putting two elements in the boiler - both used at heat
                    up, and only one once boiling. I was thinking of using one of each
                    type, so I can vary the wattage between 1000 and 1380 watts for the
                    boil, depending on the volume of mash and external temp. Does this
                    sound OK?

                    Matt
                  • distiller@mafudesigns.com
                    Hi again, I ve been building a Nixon-Stone design still from the Corn Whiskey book by Ian Smiley, and I ve posted questions/photos here before. I got a few
                    Message 9 of 9 , Sep 30, 2001
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                      Hi again,

                      I've been building a Nixon-Stone design still from the "Corn Whiskey"
                      book by Ian Smiley, and I've posted questions/photos here before. I
                      got a few more photos back today, and being film they are a bit
                      better than the digital's. So without further ado:

                      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Matt/column.jpg>
                      The finished column and head together

                      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Matt/head.jpg>
                      The Nixon-stone head

                      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/Matt/headinside.jp
                      g>
                      Inside the head from below, showing my modification - a angled copper
                      plate to direct the reflux flow down the center of the column - you
                      can also see the 'lip' I bent in the middle of it.

                      I've found a place to get the heating elements (2x 1380 watt), and
                      they should be coming soon, along with a new 30L fermenter and a few
                      other bits and pieces.

                      Now, if I can get a bit of time to go down to the workshop and finish
                      of the boiler.....

                      Matt
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