Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

VM reflux still plans - novice hoping for some quick advice!

Expand Messages
  • rohan_russell
    Hi all, as the title of my post suggests, I am about to embark on the exciting and nerve racking road towards building my very own reflux still with a VM head.
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi all, as the title of my post suggests, I am about to embark on the
      exciting and nerve racking road towards building my very own reflux
      still with a VM head. My main aim is to produce 'azetropic' neutral
      spirit (or as close to as possible). Using this amazing discussion
      group and the "compleat distiller" as my primary references, I have
      finalised what I believe to be a sensible plan. I wish to build a 1.6m
      2" column with a VM head that is almost identical to that shown in the
      compleat distiller. I do however, hope to make some small
      modifications. Essentially I would like to:

      1.Add an extra gate valve to allow for stripping runs (ala vapourmans
      stillhead posted at homedistiller.org)

      2. Use 2"-1" copper reducer fittings and a 1" copper tee to the
      product gate valve/leibig instead of the originally suggested
      'brass/copper flanges'.

      This head will be placed on top of aprox 1.6m (62") 50mm copper colum
      and attached to a 50L sankey keg using the 'stainless bowl/flange' method.

      I will install 2 elements (2400W + 750W) - the 750W obviously being
      for running the still slowly in the hope of producing the purest
      possible product.

      Before I begin my pipe cutting/soldering etc. I was hoping someone
      could have a quick look over my plan (posted in photos/rarcat/VM head
      ) and tell me if I have made any fatal errors or miscalculations. My
      main concern is that by substituting flanges for the copper reducing
      fittings I may somehow interupt the VM principle!

      Considering my limited budget, I would like to make sure I do this
      right the first time - I am very nervous at the moment so If anyone
      could find the time to check I am on track I would be very greatful...
      All going well, I will fire up the angle grinder and soldering torch
      and report back sometime soon with my results...

      Kind Regards
      Rohan
    • stevolate
      Hi Rohan I can t see how it would work. All the reflux liquid will fall back down the column and you will get no product. Better off to use the 2 plates as in
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Rohan
        I can't see how it would work. All the reflux liquid will fall back
        down the column and you will get no product.
        Better off to use the 2 plates as in the modified mini still design.
        That way you do not need all the adaptors, just the 2" pipe.
        If you use this design make shore you pre cut the slots it the bottom
        plate so the reflux runs down the centre of the column.
        e
        I have some photos in album Mini Still
        This link goes to Alex "bokakob" original drawing
        http://tinyurl.com/34948c

        Happy drinking

        Stevo


        > Hi all, as the title of my post suggests, I am about to embark on the
        > exciting and nerve racking road towards building my very own reflux
        > still with a VM head. My main aim is to produce 'azetropic' neutral
        > spirit (or as close to as possible). Using this amazing discussion
        > group and the "compleat distiller" as my primary references, I have
        > finalised what I believe to be a sensible plan. I wish to build a 1.6m
        > 2" column with a VM head that is almost identical to that shown in the
        > compleat distiller. I do however, hope to make some small
        > modifications. Essentially I would like to:
        >
        > 1.Add an extra gate valve to allow for stripping runs (ala vapourmans
        > stillhead posted at homedistiller.org)
        >
        > 2. Use 2"-1" copper reducer fittings and a 1" copper tee to the
        > product gate valve/leibig instead of the originally suggested
        > 'brass/copper flanges'.
        >
        > This head will be placed on top of aprox 1.6m (62") 50mm copper colum
        > and attached to a 50L sankey keg using the 'stainless bowl/flange'
        method.
        >
        > I will install 2 elements (2400W + 750W) - the 750W obviously being
        > for running the still slowly in the hope of producing the purest
        > possible product.
        >
        > Before I begin my pipe cutting/soldering etc. I was hoping someone
        > could have a quick look over my plan (posted in photos/rarcat/VM head
        > ) and tell me if I have made any fatal errors or miscalculations. My
        > main concern is that by substituting flanges for the copper reducing
        > fittings I may somehow interupt the VM principle!
        >
        > Considering my limited budget, I would like to make sure I do this
        > right the first time - I am very nervous at the moment so If anyone
        > could find the time to check I am on track I would be very greatful...
        > All going well, I will fire up the angle grinder and soldering torch
        > and report back sometime soon with my results...
        >
        > Kind Regards
        > Rohan
        >
      • rohan_russell
        Hi steve, Thanks for the prompt reply. Because I am still new to all this, I am not sure how to evaluate and reply to your concern, but as far as I understood
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Hi steve,
          Thanks for the prompt reply. Because I am still new to all this, I am
          not sure how to evaluate and reply to your concern, but as far as I
          understood it, the basic principles of VM rely on vapour density and
          thus should allow my design to function. From what I gather, at the
          take off a % of vapour flow in the column to move through the side
          arm/gate valve/ leibig and eventually (if we are lucky) an awaiting
          collection vessle.

          From reading the compleat distiller, I gather that when vapour passes
          the T junction of the column the vapour is split in a ratio
          proportional to column diametre : take off/gate valve diametre. Thus
          whilst most vapour is refluxed through the column, a smaller % enters
          the take off side arm. This ratio can also be controlled by the
          apature of the gate valve to control reflux ratios. When the vapour at
          the start of a run (containing a high % of ethanol) passes the side
          arm gate valve, it falls under gravity, into the awaiting leibig to be
          condensed and collected. This occurs because high % ethanol vapour is
          denser/heavier than air. As the % of ethanol in the vapour decreases,
          so does this effect, so that eventually, the output from a VM column
          decreases (automatically helping to avoid the collection of a large
          ammount of tails).

          If this is not correct, and my still design really wont work, then I
          have somehow missed the point of the "VM" concept entirely....

          Could someone who owns a VM still (and preferablly with a simmilar
          design to my preposal) help clarify this point? As far as I remember
          reading, the compleat distiller (in appendix 5 or 6) actually makes
          mention of using copper reducer couplings instead of flanges...
          Maybe the wernicke's encephalopathy has set in prematurely?

          Thanks in advance for the imput
          Rohan
        • abbababbaccc
          Stevo, I recommend you read the compleat distiller and have a look at Vapor Management principle. Cheers, Riku ... bottom
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Stevo,

            I recommend you read the compleat distiller and have a look at Vapor
            Management principle.

            Cheers, Riku

            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "stevolate" <stevolate@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Hi Rohan
            > I can't see how it would work. All the reflux liquid will fall back
            > down the column and you will get no product.
            > Better off to use the 2 plates as in the modified mini still design.
            > That way you do not need all the adaptors, just the 2" pipe.
            > If you use this design make shore you pre cut the slots it the
            bottom
            > plate so the reflux runs down the centre of the column.
            > e
            > I have some photos in album Mini Still
            > This link goes to Alex "bokakob" original drawing
            > http://tinyurl.com/34948c
            >
            > Happy drinking
            >
            > Stevo
            >
            >
            >
          • abbababbaccc
            Rohan, It seems you have done your homework well. I see no reason why reducers wouldn t work. Personally I have made few VM rigs and I usually just attach the
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              Rohan,

              It seems you have done your homework well. I see no reason why
              reducers wouldn't work. Personally I have made few VM rigs and I
              usually just attach the pipe to the column without reducers. A collar
              for guiding the reflux is beneficial in that case as it doubles for
              vapor trap.

              For liebig you might wan't to make it a bitover one meter in case you
              want to do stripping runs at 2.4 kW. Having a drop before the liebig
              is also beneficial as it introduced a chimney effect which increases
              output speed.

              Cheers, Riku

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rohan_russell"
              <rohan_russell@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi all, as the title of my post suggests, I am about to embark on
              the
              > exciting and nerve racking road towards building my very own reflux
              > still with a VM head. My main aim is to produce 'azetropic' neutral
              > spirit (or as close to as possible). Using this amazing discussion
              > group and the "compleat distiller" as my primary references, I have
              > finalised what I believe to be a sensible plan. I wish to build a
              1.6m
              > 2" column with a VM head that is almost identical to that shown in
              the
              > compleat distiller. I do however, hope to make some small
              > modifications. Essentially I would like to:
              >
              > 1.Add an extra gate valve to allow for stripping runs (ala
              vapourmans
              > stillhead posted at homedistiller.org)
              >
              > 2. Use 2"-1" copper reducer fittings and a 1" copper tee to the
              > product gate valve/leibig instead of the originally suggested
              > 'brass/copper flanges'.
              >
              > This head will be placed on top of aprox 1.6m (62") 50mm copper
              colum
              > and attached to a 50L sankey keg using the 'stainless bowl/flange'
              method.
              >
              > I will install 2 elements (2400W + 750W) - the 750W obviously being
              > for running the still slowly in the hope of producing the purest
              > possible product.
              >
              > Before I begin my pipe cutting/soldering etc. I was hoping someone
              > could have a quick look over my plan (posted in photos/rarcat/VM
              head
              > ) and tell me if I have made any fatal errors or miscalculations. My
              > main concern is that by substituting flanges for the copper reducing
              > fittings I may somehow interupt the VM principle!
              >
              > Considering my limited budget, I would like to make sure I do this
              > right the first time - I am very nervous at the moment so If anyone
              > could find the time to check I am on track I would be very
              greatful...
              > All going well, I will fire up the angle grinder and soldering torch
              > and report back sometime soon with my results...
              >
              > Kind Regards
              > Rohan
              >
            • rohan_russell
              Thanks Riku, I really appreciate the guidance. I will lengthen the leibig condenser as you suggested - the extra flexibility for stripping will be really
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                Thanks Riku,
                I really appreciate the guidance. I will lengthen the leibig condenser
                as you suggested - the extra flexibility for stripping will be really
                useful. I must admit it will be great to finally get building after so
                many months of indecision!

                On that note - thanks to all the regular contributors on this board
                who have unwittingly helped me in my own research... It has been
                torture at times tring to decipher the science (most of which I still
                only partly understand) and I can't wait to start focusing on the
                actuall distilling which in truth, is what got me interested in the
                first place!

                Regards
                Rohan
              • stevolate
                Hi Rohan Not shore what I was thinking last night. Bad night. Riku is correct. You do have the principles perfectly worked out. Happy drinking Stevo
                Message 7 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hi Rohan
                  Not shore what I was thinking last night. Bad night.
                  Riku is correct.
                  You do have the principles perfectly worked out.

                  Happy drinking

                  Stevo

                  > Hi steve,
                  > Thanks for the prompt reply. Because I am still new to all this, I am
                  > not sure how to evaluate and reply to your concern, but as far as I
                  > understood it, the basic principles of VM rely on vapour density and
                  > thus should allow my design to function. From what I gather, at the
                  > take off a % of vapour flow in the column to move through the side
                  > arm/gate valve/ leibig and eventually (if we are lucky) an awaiting
                  > collection vessle.
                  >
                  > From reading the compleat distiller, I gather that when vapour passes
                  > the T junction of the column the vapour is split in a ratio
                  > proportional to column diametre : take off/gate valve diametre. Thus
                  > whilst most vapour is refluxed through the column, a smaller % enters
                  > the take off side arm. This ratio can also be controlled by the
                  > apature of the gate valve to control reflux ratios. When the vapour at
                  > the start of a run (containing a high % of ethanol) passes the side
                  > arm gate valve, it falls under gravity, into the awaiting leibig to be
                  > condensed and collected. This occurs because high % ethanol vapour is
                  > denser/heavier than air. As the % of ethanol in the vapour decreases,
                  > so does this effect, so that eventually, the output from a VM column
                  > decreases (automatically helping to avoid the collection of a large
                  > ammount of tails).
                  >
                  > If this is not correct, and my still design really wont work, then I
                  > have somehow missed the point of the "VM" concept entirely....
                  >
                  > Could someone who owns a VM still (and preferablly with a simmilar
                  > design to my preposal) help clarify this point? As far as I remember
                  > reading, the compleat distiller (in appendix 5 or 6) actually makes
                  > mention of using copper reducer couplings instead of flanges...
                  > Maybe the wernicke's encephalopathy has set in prematurely?
                  >
                  > Thanks in advance for the imput
                  > Rohan
                  >
                • rohan_russell
                  Gday Steve, Glad we are all in agreement. Thanks for the help. Rohan
                  Message 8 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Gday Steve,
                    Glad we are all in agreement.
                    Thanks for the help.
                    Rohan
                  • tyler_97355
                    You design looks all correct. However, i would use a 2 inch tee and not a 1 inch. Depending on the amount of power you are using, your column might choke at
                    Message 9 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      You design looks all correct. However, i would use a 2 inch tee and
                      not a 1 inch. Depending on the amount of power you are using, your
                      column might choke at the reducer. That would be my only modification.
                      Good luck, and have fun.

                      -Tyler



                      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rohan_russell"
                      <rohan_russell@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Thanks Riku,
                      > I really appreciate the guidance. I will lengthen the leibig condenser
                      > as you suggested - the extra flexibility for stripping will be really
                      > useful. I must admit it will be great to finally get building after so
                      > many months of indecision!
                      >
                      > On that note - thanks to all the regular contributors on this board
                      > who have unwittingly helped me in my own research... It has been
                      > torture at times tring to decipher the science (most of which I still
                      > only partly understand) and I can't wait to start focusing on the
                      > actuall distilling which in truth, is what got me interested in the
                      > first place!
                      >
                      > Regards
                      > Rohan
                      >
                    • eric_yendall
                      Rohan Did you build and run the VM still you described? What has been your experience? Did you modify the design in any way from your original drawing e.g. did
                      Message 10 of 10 , Feb 12, 2008
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Rohan
                        Did you build and run the VM still you described? What has been your
                        experience? Did you modify the design in any way from your original
                        drawing e.g. did you take the advice not to go with 1" reducers? Did
                        you keep a gate valve below the reflux condenser?
                        I am following down the same path and your experience should be very
                        helpful to me.
                        Eric

                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rohan_russell"
                        <rohan_russell@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Gday Steve,
                        > Glad we are all in agreement.
                        > Thanks for the help.
                        > Rohan
                        >
                      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.