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New-be still design questions!

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  • Ian
    Gidday! :) I ve been thinking about this for the last couple of days. I want too have a go at building my own still (ive got a still sprits super reflux )
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 2, 2006
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      Gidday! :)
      I've been thinking about this for the last couple of days.

      I want too have a go at building my own still (ive got a still sprits "super reflux") that I'm not very happy with!!

      Ideally.. I want 90-95%.. On the first run! every run!!

      A large boiler, I've been told this helps stabilize tempeture fluctuations and obviously bigger runs!!..(the ability too choose 1-3 washes at once would be nice!)

      A coil large enough too not restrict water flow as I'd like too use a submersible pump (water restrictions)

      Something I don't have too keep a constant eye on!, Checking on it every 10min or so would be fine!! But sitting in the shed all day watching a guage dosent excite me

      I have some large nice looking 3" 316 stainless Flanges,
      So I would like too run a 3" column.. From what ive read it will slow the vapor speed down and will increase the purity?

      Is there any huge downside of using stainless? I would like too play with dad's tig welder And believe stainless would be easyer for me too obtain

      People have said that "copper tastes better" .. If I run copper packing/Copper condencing Coil will this be enough?

      Is there any way too estimate the ideal length of the column? The reason I have 'offset' the offset head was for height reasons? If the column is going too be 1200/1300 tall.. + 2 Kegs onto of each other? ill have too place it under an open man hole so the thermometer doesn't hit the roof!!

      Will driping the booze back into the reflux column so low be a disadvantage?

      Thanks again!! Love reading these groups!!



      http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e296/i8ian4t/idea.jpg

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Derek Hamlet
      I am no expert, I d like to take a shot at a couple of your questions. Since I m leaving town this afternoon I ll never see the flames cast in my direction.
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 2, 2006
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        I am no expert, I'd like to take a shot at a couple of your
        questions. Since I'm leaving town this afternoon I'll never see the
        flames cast in my direction.
        1. If you plan on using stainless, then you really ought to consider
        pure copper mesh packing and if possible copper for the bits that
        make up the condenser. It takes out the bad tasting stuff (i.e.
        sulphur products).
        2. If you wish to recirculate the water then a coil will not
        work. The friction in the coil is much greater than your average
        pond pump can overcome effectively. A X flow condenser is my
        recommendation here. Harry has generously shared his plans for this
        thing and it can be found somewhere in the alcohol libary. It's
        fiddly to build, but, well worth it.
        3. 3" vs. other diameters. The only downside I can see to 3" is
        price. Mine column is 2" copper. Expensive, but, it allows for the
        almost undending supply of 2" bits to make a X flow condenser.
        4. Achieving 95% product. That's no big deal. A well constructed
        and properly setup still will do that easily. Be aware though that I
        don't believe it can produce 95% throughout it' run. As the %
        alcohol in the wash diminishes the product %age of the alcohol will also drop.
        For me, it is a tradeoff between cost of energy and time vs. qunatity
        and strength of product. I almost always shut it down at around 50%
        abv. A Parrot Beak is an easy to build and worthwhile addition to
        your distillery for monitoring the strength of your product.
        Some people go to great lengths to do temp. corrections when reading
        their alcometer. That's interesting, but, how important? I just go
        with the reading, know that it's reading a tad high and estimate corrections.
        Happy building.
        At 03:55 AM 7/2/2006, you wrote:

        >Gidday! :)
        >I've been thinking about this for the last couple of days.
        >
        >I want too have a go at building my own still (ive got a still
        >sprits "super reflux") that I'm not very happy with!!
        >
        >Ideally.. I want 90-95%.. On the first run! every run!!
        >
        >A large boiler, I've been told this helps stabilize tempeture
        >fluctuations and obviously bigger runs!!..(the ability too choose
        >1-3 washes at once would be nice!)
        >
        >A coil large enough too not restrict water flow as I'd like too use
        >a submersible pump (water restrictions)
        >
        >Something I don't have too keep a constant eye on!, Checking on it
        >every 10min or so would be fine!! But sitting in the shed all day
        >watching a guage dosent excite me
        >
        >I have some large nice looking 3" 316 stainless Flanges,
        >So I would like too run a 3" column.. From what ive read it will
        >slow the vapor speed down and will increase the purity?
        >
        >Is there any huge downside of using stainless? I would like too play
        >with dad's tig welder And believe stainless would be easyer for me too obtain
        >
        >People have said that "copper tastes better" .. If I run copper
        >packing/Copper condencing Coil will this be enough?
        >
        >Is there any way too estimate the ideal length of the column? The
        >reason I have 'offset' the offset head was for height reasons? If
        >the column is going too be 1200/1300 tall.. + 2 Kegs onto of each
        >other? ill have too place it under an open man hole so the
        >thermometer doesn't hit the roof!!
        >

        Derek
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