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Fast Boil, Rolling Boil, maybe a Simmer?

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  • dreamofgilgamesh
    Dear Group, almost ready for a dry run with my still (well a water one anyway) I have a question about how hard the boiler should boil. My column is 3ft high
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 19, 2006
      Dear Group, almost ready for a dry run with my still (well a water one
      anyway)
      I have a question about how hard the boiler should boil. My column is
      3ft high with a Nixon Stone type head with a condenser coil made of
      20ft of 3/16 brake pipe.

      Now i understand that the slower the boil rate the higher the chance
      of a purer product, is that right. And i can understand that too hard
      a boil could result in a lower product, the column choking or vapour
      passing by the condensor.

      Now, when i do the test run i'll be able to look into the boiler at
      some stage (which incidentaly is a 25ltr Burco type with a 3kw element
      connected to a Farnell controller)

      Should i be aiming for a gentle boil (rolling boil in the catering
      trade) Would that be a good rate to try for the first wash run or is
      it a trial and error thing?

      Many Thanks
    • dreamofgilgamesh
      ... Hang on! Sudden flash of light after reading back posts. No matter what i set the Farnell to (apart from off) the boiler will still boil. It only alters
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 19, 2006
        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "dreamofgilgamesh"
        <dreamofgilgamesh@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear Group, almost ready for a dry run with my still (well a water one
        > anyway)
        > I have a question about how hard the boiler should boil. My column is
        > 3ft high with a Nixon Stone type head with a condenser coil made of
        > 20ft of 3/16 brake pipe.
        >
        > Now i understand that the slower the boil rate the higher the chance
        > of a purer product, is that right. And i can understand that too hard
        > a boil could result in a lower product, the column choking or vapour
        > passing by the condensor.
        >
        > Now, when i do the test run i'll be able to look into the boiler at
        > some stage (which incidentaly is a 25ltr Burco type with a 3kw element
        > connected to a Farnell controller)
        >
        > Should i be aiming for a gentle boil (rolling boil in the catering
        > trade) Would that be a good rate to try for the first wash run or is
        > it a trial and error thing?
        >
        > Many Thanks
        >
        Hang on! Sudden flash of light after reading back posts. No matter
        what i set the Farnell to (apart from off) the boiler will still boil.
        It only alters the volume of steam/vapour going up the pipe, have i
        got it?

        Ok then, so how much volume of vapour? half power i.e 1.5kw? 1/3rd
        power, 1KW or all ahead warp factor 10, 3KW?

        Many Thanks
      • Harry
        ... wrote: . My column is ... of ... boil. ... 1/3rd ... Water takes a lot more power input to boil and maintain a boil, so any
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 19, 2006
          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "dreamofgilgamesh"
          <dreamofgilgamesh@...> wrote:

          . My column is
          > > 3ft high with a Nixon Stone type head with a condenser coil made
          of
          > > 20ft of 3/16 brake pipe.> >

          > >
          > Hang on! Sudden flash of light after reading back posts. No matter
          > what i set the Farnell to (apart from off) the boiler will still
          boil.
          > It only alters the volume of steam/vapour going up the pipe, have i
          > got it?
          >
          > Ok then, so how much volume of vapour? half power i.e 1.5kw?
          1/3rd
          > power, 1KW or all ahead warp factor 10, 3KW?
          >
          > Many Thanks
          >



          Water takes a lot more power input to boil and maintain a boil, so
          any settings you work out will not really apply to a water/ethanol
          mix. The purpose of a maiden voyage with water is to check for
          leaks, steam out any crap & prove the thing actually works before
          putting a potentially flammable solvent (ethanol) in it. A
          condenser (any type) only has to be able to easily handle the
          distilling input wattage, not the full boilup power. Yours will do
          that, but at full power you will get steam bypass.

          Having said that, generally the process is thus...Fire up & run full
          power until the boiler thermometer hits ~60 degC (you do have a
          thermometer in the boiler, yes?). Then reduce the power to normal
          operating (ie distilling) power input. For most columns of 50 mm
          diameter that's at about 1,000 watts, give or take, for etoh/water
          mix. The exact wattage can be worked out by trial & error, or you
          could approach it a bit more scientifically by studying Mike
          Nixon's "Vapor Speed 101". The file is in the Distiller's group
          files section, right down the bottom of the list.
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/files/Vapor Speed 101 -
          Mike Nixon.htm
          or TinyURL... http://tinyurl.com/p7sha


          Slainte!
          regards Harry
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