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

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  • 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 1 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
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      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 2 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
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        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 3 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
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          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 4 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
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            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 5 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
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              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 6 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
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                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 7 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
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                  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 8 of 10 , Mar 2, 2007
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                    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 9 of 10 , Feb 12, 2008
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                      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
                      >
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