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Vapor Cooling Problems

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  • stevieinnz
    I have just built a valved reflux still, The boiler is a 50 liter keg with 2 1500 watt elements. Column is 3 of 2 copper. My condenser tube is made of 2 1/2
    Message 1 of 11 , Apr 30, 2004
      I have just built a valved reflux still, The boiler is a 50 liter
      keg with 2 1500 watt elements. Column is 3' of 2" copper. My
      condenser tube is made of 2 1/2" copper and is 14" long.
      My condenser coil is 1/4 soft copper, wound to 1 1/4 inside
      diameter, 12" long with 40 coils in it. When boiling I drop to 1
      1500 element.I have done a test run with water and am having
      problems cooling the vapours.
      The problem is I still have quite a large amount of steam exiting
      the top of the condenser tube.
      Any sugestions would be really appreciated.
      Cheers
    • stevieinnz
      ... Sorry, I forgot to mention that I dont have any packing in the column yet, Does this make a difference, if so how would I do a stripping run without the
      Message 2 of 11 , Apr 30, 2004
        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "stevieinnz"
        <stevieinnz@y...> wrote:
        > I have just built a valved reflux still, The boiler is a 50 liter
        > keg with 2 1500 watt elements. Column is 3' of 2" copper. My
        > condenser tube is made of 2 1/2" copper and is 14" long.
        > My condenser coil is 1/4 soft copper, wound to 1 1/4 inside
        > diameter, 12" long with 40 coils in it. When boiling I drop to 1
        > 1500 element.I have done a test run with water and am having
        > problems cooling the vapours.
        > The problem is I still have quite a large amount of steam exiting
        > the top of the condenser tube.
        > Any sugestions would be really appreciated.
        > Cheers

        Sorry, I forgot to mention that I dont have any packing in the
        column yet, Does this make a difference, if so how would I do a
        stripping run without the vapor exiting the condenser tube.
        I also have heaps of water flowing, It is coming out as cold as it
        is going into the condenser.
      • jimpuchai
        ... Your still sounds fairly conventional except for the 2 1/2 in condenser tube. My guess is that there is rather too much space for the vapour to pass up the
        Message 3 of 11 , Apr 30, 2004
          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "stevieinnz" <stevieinnz@y...>
          wrote:
          > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "stevieinnz"
          > <stevieinnz@y...> wrote:
          > > I have just built a valved reflux still, The boiler is a 50 liter
          > > keg with 2 1500 watt elements. Column is 3' of 2" copper. My
          > > condenser tube is made of 2 1/2" copper and is 14" long.
          > > My condenser coil is 1/4 soft copper, wound to 1 1/4 inside
          > > diameter, 12" long with 40 coils in it. When boiling I drop to 1
          > > 1500 element.I have done a test run with water and am having
          > > problems cooling the vapours.
          > > The problem is I still have quite a large amount of steam exiting
          > > the top of the condenser tube.
          > > Any sugestions would be really appreciated.
          > > Cheers
          >

          Your still sounds fairly conventional except for the 2 1/2 in
          condenser tube. My guess is that there is rather too much space for
          the vapour to pass up the condenser without reacting with the coil.

          May I suggest you place two SS scrubbers inside your coil, one at the
          4 inch mark and one at the 10 inch mark away from the boiler. It may
          be a good idea to tease out another two scrubbers to a good length,
          and wrap one around the coil at the 7 inch mark and the other at the
          11 inch mark.

          You will see that the scrubbers are now steering the vapour to better
          interact with the condenser coils. If you have an effective
          condenser, the water flow should be in the 400ml to 800 ml per minute
          range and the water output temperature in the 50 to 70C range. These
          are just the typical figures to expect.

          A quick and cheap way to do a first "live" run is to invest in a cask
          or two of the cheapest and strongest plonk you can find. This has the
          advantage that the precise alcohol content is marked on the box as a
          percentage. A little math then gives you the volume to hope for.

          Much Luck,

          Jim Puchai.
        • jimpuchai
          ... exiting ... As an afterthought, it is possible that your coil is also too closely wound to allow vapour to pass around the tubing. Just tease the coils
          Message 4 of 11 , Apr 30, 2004
            > > > The problem is I still have quite a large amount of steam
            exiting
            > > > the top of the condenser tube.
            > > > Any sugestions would be really appreciated.
            > > > Cheers
            > >
            >
            As an afterthought, it is possible that your coil is also too closely
            wound to allow vapour to pass around the tubing. Just tease the coils
            apart a little, or reduce one turn from the top to make a little
            spreading room.

            Jim Puchai.
          • Steve
            ... for ... the ... may ... length, ... the ... better ... minute ... These ... cask ... the ... a ... Hi Jim I will get some scrubber s on Monday and let you
            Message 5 of 11 , Apr 30, 2004
              > Your still sounds fairly conventional except for the 2 1/2 in
              > condenser tube. My guess is that there is rather too much space
              for
              > the vapour to pass up the condenser without reacting with the coil.
              >
              > May I suggest you place two SS scrubbers inside your coil, one at
              the
              > 4 inch mark and one at the 10 inch mark away from the boiler. It
              may
              > be a good idea to tease out another two scrubbers to a good
              length,
              > and wrap one around the coil at the 7 inch mark and the other at
              the
              > 11 inch mark.
              >
              > You will see that the scrubbers are now steering the vapour to
              better
              > interact with the condenser coils. If you have an effective
              > condenser, the water flow should be in the 400ml to 800 ml per
              minute
              > range and the water output temperature in the 50 to 70C range.
              These
              > are just the typical figures to expect.
              >
              > A quick and cheap way to do a first "live" run is to invest in a
              cask
              > or two of the cheapest and strongest plonk you can find. This has
              the
              > advantage that the precise alcohol content is marked on the box as
              a
              > percentage. A little math then gives you the volume to hope for.
              >
              > Much Luck,
              >
              > Jim Puchai.

              Hi Jim

              I will get some scrubber's on Monday and let you know how things go.
              Thanks heaps.
              Cheers
              Steve
            • Steve
              ... has ... as ... go. ... OK so I couldn t wait until Monday so I went and paid retail (ewww) for a few scrubbers. I have expanded the coil and taken 5
              Message 6 of 11 , Apr 30, 2004
                > > You will see that the scrubbers are now steering the vapour to
                > better
                > > interact with the condenser coils. If you have an effective
                > > condenser, the water flow should be in the 400ml to 800 ml per
                > minute
                > > range and the water output temperature in the 50 to 70C range.
                > These
                > > are just the typical figures to expect.
                > >
                > > A quick and cheap way to do a first "live" run is to invest in a
                > cask
                > > or two of the cheapest and strongest plonk you can find. This
                has
                > the
                > > advantage that the precise alcohol content is marked on the box
                as
                > a
                > > percentage. A little math then gives you the volume to hope for.
                > >
                > > Much Luck,
                > >
                > > Jim Puchai.
                >
                > Hi Jim
                >
                > I will get some scrubber's on Monday and let you know how things
                go.
                > Thanks heaps.
                > Cheers
                > Steve

                OK so I couldn't wait until Monday so I went and paid 'retail'
                (ewww) for a few scrubbers.
                I have expanded the coil and taken 5 coils out of it, doing this
                stopped 75% of the vapor leaving the top of the condenser tube.
                After fitting the scrubbers I found there to be absolutly no vapor
                exiting the top of the condenser tube, in fact the top of the
                condenser was only slightly warm.
                It looks like my problem is solved.

                Thanks so much for your advice, I'm off to put down a wash.
                Cheers
                Steve
              • jimpuchai
                ... That sounds better. When running mash, make sure your cold water is flowing into the condenser coil at the end nearest the boiler. Jim Puchai.
                Message 7 of 11 , Apr 30, 2004
                  >
                  > OK so I couldn't wait until Monday so I went and paid 'retail'
                  > (ewww) for a few scrubbers.
                  > I have expanded the coil and taken 5 coils out of it, doing this
                  > stopped 75% of the vapor leaving the top of the condenser tube.
                  > After fitting the scrubbers I found there to be absolutly no vapor
                  > exiting the top of the condenser tube, in fact the top of the
                  > condenser was only slightly warm.
                  > It looks like my problem is solved.
                  >
                  > Thanks so much for your advice, I'm off to put down a wash.
                  > Cheers
                  > Steve

                  That sounds better. When running mash, make sure your cold water is
                  flowing into the condenser coil at the end nearest the boiler.

                  Jim Puchai.
                • Brandon Lee
                  Steve --how many feet of 1/4 copper pipe was used to make your wraps-- if u get much over 28-30 u start to restrict the flow of your water thru your
                  Message 8 of 11 , May 3, 2004
                    Steve --how many feet of 1/4" copper pipe was used to
                    make your wraps-- if u get much over 28-30' u start to
                    restrict the flow of your water thru your tube---just
                    for regular water pressure--check for bends or kinks
                    in the copper line -- do u have a single or double
                    rolled condenser--did u heat your copper before u
                    tried to roll it to form-- this almost eliminates
                    almost all of the kinking -- heat your copper red hot
                    then instantly drop it in a bucket of cold water-- it
                    will roll like wet noodles--keep it tight while
                    rolling it-- i do mine on my lathe but there are
                    several ways of doing if if this luxury is not to be
                    had--
                    good luck
                    regarde'
                    Blueflame456
                    --- stevieinnz <stevieinnz@...> wrote:
                    > I have just built a valved reflux still, The boiler
                    > is a 50 liter
                    > keg with 2 1500 watt elements. Column is 3' of 2"
                    > copper. My
                    > condenser tube is made of 2 1/2" copper and is 14"
                    > long.
                    > My condenser coil is 1/4 soft copper, wound to 1 1/4
                    > inside
                    > diameter, 12" long with 40 coils in it. When boiling
                    > I drop to 1
                    > 1500 element.I have done a test run with water and
                    > am having
                    > problems cooling the vapours.
                    > The problem is I still have quite a large amount of
                    > steam exiting
                    > the top of the condenser tube.
                    > Any sugestions would be really appreciated.
                    > Cheers
                    >
                    >





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                  • Michael Horowitz
                    Before first use of copper tubing, do you do anything by way of cleaning/flushing it out? assume no soldering of flux involved. - Mike
                    Message 9 of 11 , May 8, 2004
                      Before first use of copper tubing, do you do anything by way of
                      cleaning/flushing it out? assume no soldering of flux involved. - Mike
                    • jimpuchai
                      ... Mike Wash through with dilute vinegar. If actually dirty, let dilute vinegar sit in the pipe for a half hour or so. Rinse thoroughly. Jim Puchai.
                      Message 10 of 11 , May 8, 2004
                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Michael Horowitz
                        <mhorowit@c...> wrote:
                        > Before first use of copper tubing, do you do anything by way of
                        > cleaning/flushing it out? assume no soldering of flux involved. -
                        Mike

                        Wash through with dilute vinegar. If actually dirty, let dilute
                        vinegar sit in the pipe for a half hour or so. Rinse thoroughly.

                        Jim Puchai.
                      • David Lunsford
                        Take a long piece of string and tie a small piece of cloth in the middle, and a nail to one end, drop nail through hose, pulling cloth through, pull back and
                        Message 11 of 11 , May 9, 2004
                          Take a long piece of string and tie a small piece of cloth in the middle,
                          and a nail to one end, drop nail through hose, pulling cloth through, pull
                          back and forth if needed, like cleaning a gun barrel, rinse with vinegar,
                          then water....Dave









                          At 01:47 AM 5/9/2004 -0000, you wrote:
                          > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Michael Horowitz
                          ><> wrote:
                          >> Before first use of copper tubing, do you do anything by way of
                          >> cleaning/flushing it out? assume no soldering of flux involved. -
                          > Mike
                          >
                          > Wash through with dilute vinegar. If actually dirty, let dilute
                          > vinegar sit in the pipe for a half hour or so. Rinse thoroughly.
                          >
                          > Jim Puchai.
                          >
                          >
                          >
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