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Re: [new_distillers] thermal seperation of column and condensor

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  • Mac McCaskie
    Thanks for the reply. 1. I have recently packed the rest of the column, originally the packing went up to the return, but the last 10 (?) was open. It is now
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 30, 2006
      Thanks for the reply.
      1. I have recently packed the rest of the column, originally the packing went up to the return, but the last 10"(?) was open. It is now packed.
      2. I want to argue the no "stable equilibrium" point. After I inserted the PVC, it was very stable. But, with the next run I will give it a go in hopes of demarcating the cuts (that will be my next puzzle, how to equilibreate and make the cuts properly.) I've been using a Suntronics controller and am very happy with it.
      3. Maybe, I will re-visit that with the designer (myself).
      4. I have gone back to all-copper, but I haven't made a run with it yet. Hopefully the extra distance will elimanate the original problem(?).
      ps, sorry, I wanted to use the proof because they are bigger numbers (you know how us guys are with big numbers :) ).

      mac

      Robert Thomas <whosbrewing@...> wrote: Hi dogknurd,
      You may have opened a can of worms here! I'll pitch in with a few:
      1. any of the column not packed is wasted. If you don't want to pack
      the whole lot (why not?) then pack the top not the bottom.
      2. If you have no reflux return then you won't get a stable equilibrium
      formed, which will lead to jumpy temps.
      3. I can't quite visualise your setup round the temp probe, but are you
      getting condensate dripping on the probe? The probe should really be
      measuring what is in the column head, as thereafter all sorts of other
      (cooling related) stuff happens (as you may have found).
      4. I would go back to all copper for stability and inertness, and
      relocate the probe in the top of the column (with a suitable grommet).
      Cheers
      Rob.
      p.s. do you get hydrometers/alcoholometers labled in proof, or does
      everyone do it just to confuse me? There are two types of proof: UK and
      US. Only one type of abv!


      --- "macmccaskie@..." <macmccaskie@...> wrote:

      > Hey,
      > I've done 3 runs on my still it took 9 months to build (I'm in no
      > hurry)
      > and have many questions, but I'll start with this one....
      >
      > The column is 4 feet of 2" copper packed with 2' of scrubbers
      > (recently
      > increased). The vapor exits at 90 deg into the condenser via a Tee
      > fitting. The thermometer is inserted into the Tee horizontally and
      > reaches into the vapor exit path. The term. is an electric with 1
      > deg
      > display, I don't know it's accuracy. A reflux return is fitted, but
      > I
      > haven't been using it.
      >
      > On the first run, the temp fluctuated wildly from 174F to 182F.
      > Originally the condenser was 4 inches away from the column. I
      > surmised
      > the condenser was cooling the top of the column (I have a very high
      > water flow thru the cross-flow condenser) and was contributing to the
      >
      > temp pulses.
      >
      > My solution was to cut the horizontal pipe and insert 8" of white PVC
      >
      > (schedule 40) as a thermal break between the column and condenser.
      > Rubber couplings were used to connect both ends of the inserted PVC.
      > It
      > worked well and the temps remained steady on the next two runs. Run 2
      >
      > produced 145 proof and run 3 gave 115 proof as I pushed it a little
      > harder for a faster strip run.
      >
      > However, the PVC deformed under the heat and weight of holding up the
      >
      > condenser. Also, I suspect the plastic dissolved and added it's own
      > flavoring to the output.
      >
      > Question: Should I use copper as a replacement for the PVC, or is
      > there
      > another more suitable pipe I can use? Or....other ideas?
      >
      > Currently I'm anxiously awaiting the delivery of a carbon filter
      > set-up
      > and packet of glasrens.
      >
      > Thanks much all...
      > dogknurd
      >
      >


      Cheers,
      Rob.

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