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Re: Reflux

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  • rye_junkie1
    ... Both of those rigs on that sight are VERY outdated. The through tube model has some serious design flaws and the Valved version is over engineered and
    Message 1 of 22 , Apr 3, 2009
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      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Rasputin Paracelsus <rasputin@...> wrote:
      >
      > DON'T BUILD THE ONE ON THE LEFT AS PER DESIGN!! Definitely, if you're
      > going to go that way, take the advice given below!
      >
      > I did that, just before joining this list, and since then have got all
      > kinds of good advice on why that was the wrong choice (you can search
      > the messages for the earliest appearance of me to see the threads). I'm
      > going to have to do some redesigning, so spare yourself in the first place.
      >
      > R
      >
      > sexgods2000 wrote:
      > > hi. i looked for good plans for ages before building my still. go to http://www.moonshine-still.com/ and ave a look at these plans.The plans can be downloaded in pdf format.
      > > I built the internal reflux design from this page but slightly modified it and it works great. puts out approx 92 to 94% alc.
      > > The only mods i did was i moved the bottom cooling tube to the top in the main column and i fitted two 1500w elements to the boiler. I use both elements to heat the wash and when at the right temp i umplug 1 and let it tick over with the 1 element.
      > > i have seen stills built exactly to this plan on that site and they still work very well. good luck


      Both of those rigs on that sight are VERY outdated. The through tube model has some serious design flaws and the Valved version is over engineered and unnecessarily expensive to build. You would be much better off building a scaled up version of the BOK mini still:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/BokaKob%20Mini%20-%20Still/
      Or going all in with a X flow Head that will allow for Liquid management(LM) and Vapor Management(VM) on the same head.
      http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/BAPHS/index.htm
      It is a tough build and takes some skill and patience but it will most likely be the only one you ever have to make. Will work as Pot or reflux rig as well.

      Mason
    • Rasputin Paracelsus
      I was going to add also to my previous post that the moonshine site design recommends Raschig rings. While I have found these to work well, they are *much*
      Message 2 of 22 , Apr 3, 2009
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        I was going to add also to my previous post that the moonshine site
        design recommends Raschig rings. While I have found these to work well,
        they are *much* more expensive than structured copper packing (or
        scrubbers of whatever type), and from what I gather from the
        homedistiller.org site, less efficient.

        R

        rye_junkie1 wrote:
        > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Rasputin Paracelsus <rasputin@...> wrote:
        >
        >> DON'T BUILD THE ONE ON THE LEFT AS PER DESIGN!! Definitely, if you're
        >> going to go that way, take the advice given below!
        >>
        >> I did that, just before joining this list, and since then have got all
        >> kinds of good advice on why that was the wrong choice (you can search
        >> the messages for the earliest appearance of me to see the threads). I'm
        >> going to have to do some redesigning, so spare yourself in the first place.
        >>
        >> R
        >>
        >> sexgods2000 wrote:
        >>
        >>> hi. i looked for good plans for ages before building my still. go to http://www.moonshine-still.com/ and ave a look at these plans.The plans can be downloaded in pdf format.
        >>> I built the internal reflux design from this page but slightly modified it and it works great. puts out approx 92 to 94% alc.
        >>> The only mods i did was i moved the bottom cooling tube to the top in the main column and i fitted two 1500w elements to the boiler. I use both elements to heat the wash and when at the right temp i umplug 1 and let it tick over with the 1 element.
        >>> i have seen stills built exactly to this plan on that site and they still work very well. good luck
        >>>
        >
        >
        > Both of those rigs on that sight are VERY outdated. The through tube model has some serious design flaws and the Valved version is over engineered and unnecessarily expensive to build. You would be much better off building a scaled up version of the BOK mini still:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/BokaKob%20Mini%20-%20Still/
        > Or going all in with a X flow Head that will allow for Liquid management(LM) and Vapor Management(VM) on the same head.
        > http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/BAPHS/index.htm
        > It is a tough build and takes some skill and patience but it will most likely be the only one you ever have to make. Will work as Pot or reflux rig as well.
        >
        > Mason
      • Rasputin Paracelsus
        Greetings all, I ve noted the structured copper packing available from several places (in my case, most conveniently from Smiley s in Ottawa for $15.00 a 30
        Message 3 of 22 , Apr 3, 2009
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          Greetings all,

          I've noted the structured copper packing available from several places
          (in my case, most conveniently from Smiley's in Ottawa for $15.00 a 30'
          roll).

          I have a question: according to the description, it is sufficient for a
          3' column. I was thinking of a 4' column and so was wondering whether
          one can get extra; the answer is no, but I was told that many people use
          the same amount for 4' (since it's apparently 6" wide, this would mean
          rolling up 3'8" at a time instead of 5'). I'm wondering whether the
          additional looseness would result in a greater loss in efficiency than
          gained by the height... does anyone have theory or experience to answer
          this? (and of course, a compromise option would be to make it 3'6" tall...)

          (I suppose I could buy scrubbers to supplement; I know many of you use
          them, though I've read conflicting reports about their suitability as
          they're not necessarily food-grade...)

          Many thanks,

          R
        • gff_stwrt
          Hi, Mason and folks, Could you tell us to what dimensions (maximum) you would scale up the mini still (slant plate) designed by Bokakob? Thanks, The Baker ...
          Message 4 of 22 , Apr 4, 2009
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            Hi, Mason and folks,

            Could you tell us to what dimensions (maximum) you would scale up the mini still (slant plate) designed by Bokakob?

            Thanks,

            The Baker



            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rye_junkie1" <rye_junkie@...> wrote:

            snip

            > Both of those rigs on that sight are VERY outdated. The through tube model has some serious design flaws and the Valved version is over engineered and unnecessarily expensive to build. You would be much better off building a scaled up version of the BOK mini still:
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/BokaKob%20Mini%20-%20Still/

            snip
            >
            > Mason
            >
          • abbababbaccc
            1 meter packing height and 2 column diameter. You can go higher on packing and it will speed up the distillation. Slainte, Riku
            Message 5 of 22 , Apr 4, 2009
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              1 meter packing height and 2" column diameter. You can go higher on packing and it will speed up the distillation.

              Slainte, Riku

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "gff_stwrt" <gff_stwrt@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi, Mason and folks,
              >
              > Could you tell us to what dimensions (maximum) you would scale up the mini still (slant plate) designed by Bokakob?
              >
              > Thanks,
              >
              > The Baker
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Rasputin Paracelsus
              Hello Mason, Guess I m being dense... but I wonder could you clarify how the Xflow head would allow for LM and VM? This sounds intriguing. Thanks! R
              Message 6 of 22 , Apr 4, 2009
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                Hello Mason,

                Guess I'm being dense... but I wonder could you clarify how the Xflow
                head would allow for LM and VM? This sounds intriguing.

                Thanks!

                R

                rye_junkie1 wrote:
                > Both of those rigs on that sight are VERY outdated. The through tube model has some serious design flaws and the Valved version is over engineered and unnecessarily expensive to build. You would be much better off building a scaled up version of the BOK mini still:
                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/BokaKob%20Mini%20-%20Still/
                > Or going all in with a X flow Head that will allow for Liquid management(LM) and Vapor Management(VM) on the same head.
                > http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/BAPHS/index.htm
                > It is a tough build and takes some skill and patience but it will most likely be the only one you ever have to make. Will work as Pot or reflux rig as well.
                >
                > Mason
                >
              • rye_junkie1
                ... Hello R, Not being dense at all. Take a look at Marc s photos in this group. http://d.yimg.com/kq/groups/468252/sn/91653950/name/P1010013.jpg And
                Message 7 of 22 , Apr 4, 2009
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                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Rasputin Paracelsus <rasputin@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hello Mason,
                  >
                  > Guess I'm being dense... but I wonder could you clarify how the Xflow
                  > head would allow for LM and VM? This sounds intriguing.
                  >
                  > Thanks!
                  >
                  > R

                  Hello R,
                  Not being dense at all. Take a look at Marc's photos in this group.
                  http://d.yimg.com/kq/groups/468252/sn/91653950/name/P1010013.jpg
                  And
                  http://d.yimg.com/kq/groups/468252/sn/921855481/name/New+Still+Head+with+new+lines.jpg
                  He has some great photos on the build as well as some other innovative stuff.

                  Mason
                • Rasputin Paracelsus
                  Thanks, Mason! My first look at these suggests I m going to have to digest this for a while, go back to Compleat Distiller material and see how all those tubes
                  Message 8 of 22 , Apr 4, 2009
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                    Thanks, Mason!

                    My first look at these suggests I'm going to have to digest this for a
                    while, go back to Compleat Distiller material and see how all those
                    tubes work...!

                    Much appreciated!

                    R

                    rye_junkie1 wrote:
                    > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Rasputin Paracelsus <rasputin@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >> Hello Mason,
                    >>
                    >> Guess I'm being dense... but I wonder could you clarify how the Xflow
                    >> head would allow for LM and VM? This sounds intriguing.
                    >>
                    >> Thanks!
                    >>
                    >> R
                    >>
                    >
                    > Hello R,
                    > Not being dense at all. Take a look at Marc's photos in this group.
                    > http://d.yimg.com/kq/groups/468252/sn/91653950/name/P1010013.jpg
                    > And
                    > http://d.yimg.com/kq/groups/468252/sn/921855481/name/New+Still+Head+with+new+lines.jpg
                    > He has some great photos on the build as well as some other innovative stuff.
                    >
                    > Mason
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    > New Distillers group archives are at http://www.taet.com.au/distillers.nsf/
                    > FAQ and other information available at http://homedistiller.org
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Harry
                    ... , Rasputin Paracelsus ... Checkout this thread, 20 or so messages...
                    Message 9 of 22 , Apr 4, 2009
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                      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Rasputin Paracelsus <rasputin@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Thanks, Mason!
                      >
                      > My first look at these suggests I'm going to have to digest this for a
                      > while, go back to Compleat Distiller material and see how all those
                      > tubes work...!
                      >
                      > Much appreciated!
                      >
                      > R
                      >

                      Checkout this thread, 20 or so messages...
                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/message/44258

                      Slainte!
                      regards Harry 
                      Owner :  Y! new_distillers    Y! Distillers    The Alcohol Library    
                      Forums Info:  FAQ    Policy    Settings 

                    • Rasputin Paracelsus
                      Hello Harry, Thanks for the pointer! In the mean time, I had a look at the various photos in Marc s album, and it s beginning to make sense to me now. I do
                      Message 10 of 22 , Apr 4, 2009
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                        Hello Harry,

                        Thanks for the pointer! In the mean time, I had a look at the various
                        photos in Marc's album, and it's beginning to make sense to me now. I do
                        have a few questions about some details in the design, but I'll wait
                        until I've reread the details in the how-to before asking about them :)

                        Best

                        R

                        Harry wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                        > <mailto:new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>, Rasputin Paracelsus
                        > <rasputin@...> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Thanks, Mason!
                        > >
                        > > My first look at these suggests I'm going to have to digest this for a
                        > > while, go back to Compleat Distiller material and see how all those
                        > > tubes work...!
                        > >
                        > > Much appreciated!
                        > >
                        > > R
                        > >
                        >
                        > Checkout this thread, 20 or so messages...
                        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/message/44258
                        >
                        > Slainte!
                        > regards Harry
                        >
                      • mavnkaf
                        If you got any more questions R , about the HJ LM/VM Cross flow still, let me know! Cheers Marc
                        Message 11 of 22 , Apr 5, 2009
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                          If you got any more questions "R", about the HJ LM/VM Cross flow still, let me know!

                          Cheers
                          Marc

                          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Rasputin Paracelsus <rasputin@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Hello Harry,
                          >
                          > Thanks for the pointer! In the mean time, I had a look at the various
                          > photos in Marc's album, and it's beginning to make sense to me now. I do
                          > have a few questions about some details in the design, but I'll wait
                          > until I've reread the details in the how-to before asking about them :)
                          >
                          > Best
                          >
                          > R
                          >
                          > Harry wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                          > > <mailto:new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>, Rasputin Paracelsus
                          > > <rasputin@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > Thanks, Mason!
                          > > >
                          > > > My first look at these suggests I'm going to have to digest this for a
                          > > > while, go back to Compleat Distiller material and see how all those
                          > > > tubes work...!
                          > > >
                          > > > Much appreciated!
                          > > >
                          > > > R
                          > > >
                          > >
                          > > Checkout this thread, 20 or so messages...
                          > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/message/44258
                          > >
                          > > Slainte!
                          > > regards Harry
                          > >
                          >
                        • Rasputin Paracelsus
                          Hello Marc, Harry, Mason... The thread that Harry pointed me to was actually very helpful; Mason was asking almost the identical questions I had come up with.
                          Message 12 of 22 , Apr 5, 2009
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                            Hello Marc, Harry, Mason...

                            The thread that Harry pointed me to was actually very helpful; Mason was
                            asking almost the identical questions I had come up with. Just a few
                            clarifications, then, if I may:

                            1. The vent allows for equalization in the event of pressure blips, and
                            is mainly to allow for leaving the system technically open during full
                            reflux, while offset to minimise any escaping of alcohols etc during
                            that time? (I would think a very small risk in any case as one has to
                            get past the condenser first.)

                            2. My main concern would be about pooling at the bottom, since a
                            purchased T is mainly horizontal unlike Harry's design plan; I
                            understand Marc added the extra take-off to address that. I had two
                            thoughts about this: a) bore and file holes which are then enclosed in
                            slightly larger diameter pipe--this would ensure we don't get solder
                            puddles at the joint b) maybe flatten the T slightly in the middle using
                            a rubber mallet say--this would cause a bit of a V slope... Or am I
                            worrying unduly about details?

                            3. Is it intended that one take off heads per #5..#8 as the labels
                            suggest? For a neutral spirit run based on wine, I would think that the
                            volume of heads would be very small. 40 L of wine would result in about
                            8ml of methanol I understand (.02%), probably hardly enough to make the
                            beak work... or is this more for when we're in potstill mode? (Riku has
                            recently suggested that a beak is hardly useful for reflux.)

                            4. Recap: when I read the original design, I wondered about affixing a
                            narrower sleeve inside the main column so that the reflux would fall
                            down the centre of the column as per Compleat Distiller, but I gather in
                            practice this is not really necessary (or at least that there are
                            varying feelings about it).

                            5. Last thing (famous last words!)--to what extent is it desirable to
                            have separate cold water intakes for the product condenser (simple
                            liebig or should it be more sophisticated?) and the X-flow?

                            Excellent diagram! Thanks so much!

                            R





                            mavnkaf wrote:
                            > If you got any more questions "R", about the HJ LM/VM Cross flow still, let me know!
                            >
                            > Cheers
                            > Marc
                            >
                          • Harry
                            Comments inline... ... Cast your mind back to how a reflux still works... During initial boilup the column has air in it. At boiling point the mixture of
                            Message 13 of 22 , Apr 5, 2009
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                              Comments inline...

                              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Rasputin Paracelsus <rasputin@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Hello Marc, Harry, Mason...
                              >
                              > The thread that Harry pointed me to was actually very helpful; Mason was
                              > asking almost the identical questions I had come up with. Just a few
                              > clarifications, then, if I may:
                              >
                              > 1. The vent allows for equalization in the event of pressure blips, and
                              > is mainly to allow for leaving the system technically open during full
                              > reflux, while offset to minimise any escaping of alcohols etc during
                              > that time? (I would think a very small risk in any case as one has to
                              > get past the condenser first.)


                              Cast your mind back to how a reflux still works...
                              During initial boilup the column has air in it. At boiling point the mixture of ethanol & water vapours (the steam) goes up the column and drives out the air. This is called "purging", and is necessary to make the column safe to operate. Air in the system mixed with ethanol is a dangerous situation. Ethanol is fuel, but it won't burn on its own without air (oxygen).
                              Now, that air has to find an "out" from the system because the product outlet/s are closed off to effect and maintain several hours of equilibrium. Thus the initial reason for a 'vent'. It's for purging.

                              The second reason is to provide a safety release should there be an over-pressure situation develop, like someone running low boiler fluid and internal heating elements, which could be potentially disastrous, particularly on initial startup when there's still air in the system.

                              The third reason for a vent is to allow for pressure equalisation during normal running. Any hint of pressure in the system is automatically nullified by the vent to atmosphere.


                              The fourth reason for a vent is to provide a visual aid in determining whether the still is being overdriven (escaping steam) or the water flow is obstructed (again escaping steam). So the vent is a far more important tool than most people realise.

                              There's no particular reason for the vent to be offset. A properly running still will have no vapors getting past the cooling tube cluster. It's offset in mine because in the original concept design there were baffle plates throughout the shell to guide the steam from one end to the other providing maximum contact with the cooling tubes, and the vent was located at the furthest end. But subsequent testing revealed the baffles to be an unnecessary complication in a device this small, so they were eliminated. The vent just stayed where it was.


                              >
                              > 2. My main concern would be about pooling at the bottom, since a
                              > purchased T is mainly horizontal unlike Harry's design plan; I
                              > understand Marc added the extra take-off to address that. I had two
                              > thoughts about this: a) bore and file holes which are then enclosed in
                              > slightly larger diameter pipe--this would ensure we don't get solder
                              > puddles at the joint b) maybe flatten the T slightly in the middle using
                              > a rubber mallet say--this would cause a bit of a V slope... Or am I
                              > worrying unduly about details?


                              Yep you're overthinking it. Actually you need a small pool (a 'sump')for the LM side to operate efficiently. What happens is the column top becomes a "dam wall" in the T, and the condensate (liquid) flows around this obstruction and finds its own level as liquids do. When the sump fills up sufficiently, the excess spills over the dam wall and returns to the column as reflux. Very simple yet very effective, and governed by the needle valve takeoff rate setting.


                              >
                              > 3. Is it intended that one take off heads per #5..#8 as the labels
                              > suggest? For a neutral spirit run based on wine, I would think that the
                              > volume of heads would be very small. 40 L of wine would result in about
                              > 8ml of methanol I understand (.02%), probably hardly enough to make the
                              > beak work... or is this more for when we're in potstill mode? (Riku has
                              > recently suggested that a beak is hardly useful for reflux.)


                              "Methanol" is but one possible component of the fraction known as 'heads'. Some washes (like sugar wash) don't have any methanol at all, but all washes have heads. I suggest you re-read Tony's site to acquaint yourself with the makeup of the various fractions and the washes in general.


                              >
                              > 4. Recap: when I read the original design, I wondered about affixing a
                              > narrower sleeve inside the main column so that the reflux would fall
                              > down the centre of the column as per Compleat Distiller, but I gather in
                              > practice this is not really necessary (or at least that there are
                              > varying feelings about it).


                              I admit to being a non-believer in the 'centering' theory. My observations have been that so-called 'channelling' is a non-issue for these small columns if they are balanced (power to column volume) and run correctly (it's not black magic). I worked on the readily seen natural phenomenon of raindrops running along the underside of twigs & branches rather than falling straight down. To me, the copper packing acts just like those twigs with the same net result.

                              Very recently, observations by a researcher in another group using a glass copper-filled column sort of proved my point. He observed that channelling was minimal and that any liquid at the column walls tended to wick back into the packing fairly quickly, like after just a few inches of travel downward.

                              But if it makes you feel more at ease, by all means use a centering device. The head will operate effectively with or without it.

                              >
                              > 5. Last thing (famous last words!)--to what extent is it desirable to
                              > have separate cold water intakes for the product condenser (simple
                              > liebig or should it be more sophisticated?) and the X-flow?


                              For this design it's an unnecessary complication and further expense (more fittings). The water thru-put is around 6 litres per minute. That's sufficiently fast to carry away any heat in either or both condenser/s, whether they are plumbed in series or parallel. There's no restriction to flow like in a coil condenser, so there's no need for separate lines. And it's not a CM setup (poor design) so it doesn't need flow throttling.

                              >
                              > Excellent diagram! Thanks so much!
                              >
                              > R


                              Slainte!
                              regards Harry
                            • Dave Lorimer
                              Thanks for the info, re copper gauze, The contact info seems to have been cut off, Phone number? Address? Thanks Dave ________________________________ From: Ed
                              Message 14 of 22 , Apr 5, 2009
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                                Thanks for the info, re copper gauze, The contact info seems to have been cut off, Phone number? Address?
                                Thanks
                                Dave


                                From: Ed Barcik <edbar44@...>
                                To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Sunday, April 5, 2009 8:41:18 AM
                                Subject: [new_distillers] Re:Structured copper packing


                              • Rasputin Paracelsus
                                Ah, interesting. I ll check it out. Is there a particular gauge that is recommended for our purposes? R (and yes, contact info would be great :)
                                Message 15 of 22 , Apr 5, 2009
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                                  Ah, interesting. I'll check it out. Is there a particular gauge that is
                                  recommended for our purposes?

                                  R

                                  (and yes, contact info would be great :)

                                  Ed Barcik wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                • Rasputin Paracelsus
                                  Thanks, Harry. Pretty much answers it all!! You re right, I didn t think of some of the vent aspects--I m used to the purging being done through the liebig
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Apr 5, 2009
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                                    Thanks, Harry. Pretty much answers it all!!

                                    You're right, I didn't think of some of the vent aspects--I'm used to
                                    the purging being done through the liebig condenser at present so it
                                    didn't occur to me that that would be shut off in a VM set-up.

                                    I'm aware of the various other components of heads... so far, with what
                                    I've been doing, I haven't seen much evidence of anything, but then I'm
                                    only just getting to the point of accumulating enough stripped product
                                    to worry about that. (I only did single one-shot runs in the past...
                                    meaning, the two or three runs I did in the fall...)

                                    Should be good to go!

                                    Best

                                    R

                                    Harry wrote:
                                    > Comments inline...
                                    >
                                    > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Rasputin Paracelsus <rasputin@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >> Hello Marc, Harry, Mason...
                                    >>
                                    >> The thread that Harry pointed me to was actually very helpful; Mason was
                                    >> asking almost the identical questions I had come up with. Just a few
                                    >> clarifications, then, if I may:
                                    >>
                                    >> 1. The vent allows for equalization in the event of pressure blips, and
                                    >> is mainly to allow for leaving the system technically open during full
                                    >> reflux, while offset to minimise any escaping of alcohols etc during
                                    >> that time? (I would think a very small risk in any case as one has to
                                    >> get past the condenser first.)
                                    >>
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Cast your mind back to how a reflux still works...
                                    > During initial boilup the column has air in it. At boiling point the mixture of ethanol & water vapours (the steam) goes up the column and drives out the air. This is called "purging", and is necessary to make the column safe to operate. Air in the system mixed with ethanol is a dangerous situation. Ethanol is fuel, but it won't burn on its own without air (oxygen).
                                    > Now, that air has to find an "out" from the system because the product outlet/s are closed off to effect and maintain several hours of equilibrium. Thus the initial reason for a 'vent'. It's for purging.
                                    >
                                    > The second reason is to provide a safety release should there be an over-pressure situation develop, like someone running low boiler fluid and internal heating elements, which could be potentially disastrous, particularly on initial startup when there's still air in the system.
                                    >
                                    > The third reason for a vent is to allow for pressure equalisation during normal running. Any hint of pressure in the system is automatically nullified by the vent to atmosphere.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > The fourth reason for a vent is to provide a visual aid in determining whether the still is being overdriven (escaping steam) or the water flow is obstructed (again escaping steam). So the vent is a far more important tool than most people realise.
                                    >
                                    > There's no particular reason for the vent to be offset. A properly running still will have no vapors getting past the cooling tube cluster. It's offset in mine because in the original concept design there were baffle plates throughout the shell to guide the steam from one end to the other providing maximum contact with the cooling tubes, and the vent was located at the furthest end. But subsequent testing revealed the baffles to be an unnecessary complication in a device this small, so they were eliminated. The vent just stayed where it was.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >> 2. My main concern would be about pooling at the bottom, since a
                                    >> purchased T is mainly horizontal unlike Harry's design plan; I
                                    >> understand Marc added the extra take-off to address that. I had two
                                    >> thoughts about this: a) bore and file holes which are then enclosed in
                                    >> slightly larger diameter pipe--this would ensure we don't get solder
                                    >> puddles at the joint b) maybe flatten the T slightly in the middle using
                                    >> a rubber mallet say--this would cause a bit of a V slope... Or am I
                                    >> worrying unduly about details?
                                    >>
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Yep you're overthinking it. Actually you need a small pool (a 'sump')for the LM side to operate efficiently. What happens is the column top becomes a "dam wall" in the T, and the condensate (liquid) flows around this obstruction and finds its own level as liquids do. When the sump fills up sufficiently, the excess spills over the dam wall and returns to the column as reflux. Very simple yet very effective, and governed by the needle valve takeoff rate setting.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >> 3. Is it intended that one take off heads per #5..#8 as the labels
                                    >> suggest? For a neutral spirit run based on wine, I would think that the
                                    >> volume of heads would be very small. 40 L of wine would result in about
                                    >> 8ml of methanol I understand (.02%), probably hardly enough to make the
                                    >> beak work... or is this more for when we're in potstill mode? (Riku has
                                    >> recently suggested that a beak is hardly useful for reflux.)
                                    >>
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > "Methanol" is but one possible component of the fraction known as 'heads'. Some washes (like sugar wash) don't have any methanol at all, but all washes have heads. I suggest you re-read Tony's site to acquaint yourself with the makeup of the various fractions and the washes in general.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >> 4. Recap: when I read the original design, I wondered about affixing a
                                    >> narrower sleeve inside the main column so that the reflux would fall
                                    >> down the centre of the column as per Compleat Distiller, but I gather in
                                    >> practice this is not really necessary (or at least that there are
                                    >> varying feelings about it).
                                    >>
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I admit to being a non-believer in the 'centering' theory. My observations have been that so-called 'channelling' is a non-issue for these small columns if they are balanced (power to column volume) and run correctly (it's not black magic). I worked on the readily seen natural phenomenon of raindrops running along the underside of twigs & branches rather than falling straight down. To me, the copper packing acts just like those twigs with the same net result.
                                    >
                                    > Very recently, observations by a researcher in another group using a glass copper-filled column sort of proved my point. He observed that channelling was minimal and that any liquid at the column walls tended to wick back into the packing fairly quickly, like after just a few inches of travel downward.
                                    >
                                    > But if it makes you feel more at ease, by all means use a centering device. The head will operate effectively with or without it.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >> 5. Last thing (famous last words!)--to what extent is it desirable to
                                    >> have separate cold water intakes for the product condenser (simple
                                    >> liebig or should it be more sophisticated?) and the X-flow?
                                    >>
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > For this design it's an unnecessary complication and further expense (more fittings). The water thru-put is around 6 litres per minute. That's sufficiently fast to carry away any heat in either or both condenser/s, whether they are plumbed in series or parallel. There's no restriction to flow like in a coil condenser, so there's no need for separate lines. And it's not a CM setup (poor design) so it doesn't need flow throttling.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >> Excellent diagram! Thanks so much!
                                    >>
                                    >> R
                                    >>
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Slainte!
                                    > regards Harry
                                    >
                                    >
                                  • rye_junkie1
                                    ... Heres a link guys. The company name is PPE. http://www.ppe.com/09cat/0219.pdf Mason
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Apr 6, 2009
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                                      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Rasputin Paracelsus <rasputin@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Ah, interesting. I'll check it out. Is there a particular gauge that is
                                      > recommended for our purposes?
                                      >
                                      > R
                                      >
                                      > (and yes, contact info would be great :)
                                      >
                                      > Ed Barcik wrote:


                                      Heres a link guys. The company name is PPE.
                                      http://www.ppe.com/09cat/0219.pdf

                                      Mason
                                    • Zapata Vive
                                      2. My main concern would be about pooling at the bottom, since a purchased T is mainly horizontal unlike Harry s design plan; I understand Marc added the extra
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Apr 6, 2009
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        2. My main concern would be about pooling at the bottom, since a
                                        purchased T is mainly horizontal unlike Harry's design plan; I
                                        understand Marc added the extra take-off to address that. I had two
                                        thoughts about this: a) bore and file holes which are then enclosed in
                                        slightly larger diameter pipe--this would ensure we don't get solder
                                        puddles at the joint b) maybe flatten the T slightly in the middle using
                                        a rubber mallet say--this would cause a bit of a V slope... Or am I
                                        worrying unduly about details?
                                         
                                        4. Recap: when I read the original design, I wondered about affixing a
                                        narrower sleeve inside the main column so that the reflux would fall
                                        down the centre of the column as per Compleat Distiller, but I gather in
                                        practice this is not really necessary (or at least that there are
                                        varying feelings about it).
                                         
                                        I worried about these myself, and addressed it with a small coupler (I probably described it in that thread, but didn't got back to see.  I used a simple 2" coupler, and brazed a flat plate of copper in the middle (made the plate just like you make the endplates for the condenser shell).  Then I used a 1" T fitting to poke through the middle of the plate, and cut the two upper ends so it'd fit in the coupler.  This is like one of the boka designs (if you aren't familiar with his designs off the top of your head, look at some of them and you'll immediately recognize what I'm describing).  The product pools on top of the plate, eventually spilling through the T arms, and dripping out centered in the middle.  My LM takeoff comes through the side of the coupler where the pool is instead of up top like in the original design.  After I built it, I've seen Riku suggest that 3/4 would have been more appropriate for better centering than the 1" I used.
                                         
                                        So, that is how I addressed it, and now that I have it, I think I'm going to put the LM takeoff up in the T as in the original design.  Something that I learned the hard way, is that with the product pooling in the vapor path, it comes off MUCH hotter than if you take it off the side of the x flow condenser.  Meaning that I need a larger product liebig to cool it off.  Also, after having my head built, I really have none of the concerns that I used to as you mention in #2 above.  So my workaround is going byebye as soon as I bother to get a piece of pipe swaged to build the x-flow dam, unless someone has worked up a bit of genius DIY for that fabrication?
                                         
                                        I do have a good idea for recentering the reflux though.  Bare copper wire from the hardware store.  Wrapped in a spiral just tight enough to fit inside the top of the column, bend the bottom of spiral leading back to center.  From tests at the kitchen sink pouring water in, it WILL follow the copper, even with much more flow than I would have expected.  Very simple, very cheap, and doesn't mess with even the less appreciated design aspects of the original.  So simple I don't really care if centering is a problem or not.  Harry doesn't think it is, Riku does.  I'll put a $.25 piece of wire in there to ease my mind.
                                         
                                        I'll share some pics of the wire recentering device for all to see, I was rather proud of how simple a solution I came up with after doing it the hard way first.  Just need a name for it, with an unbelievable acronym.... how about ZERO (Zapata's Ethanol Recentering O-ring)?  Yeah, that's contrived enough for me!
                                         
                                        Also, one other tip, someone (mason maybe?) recently commented that they made their LM takeoff 3/8 instead of 1/4".  I think I will do this as well, mostly for high speed stripping.
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        Sent: Sunday, April 05, 2009 8:39 AM
                                        Subject: [new_distillers] Re: X-flow details (was Reflux)

                                        Hello Marc, Harry, Mason...

                                        The thread that Harry pointed me to was actually very helpful; Mason was
                                        asking almost the identical questions I had come up with. Just a few
                                        clarifications, then, if I may:

                                        1. The vent allows for equalization in the event of pressure blips, and
                                        is mainly to allow for leaving the system technically open during full
                                        reflux, while offset to minimise any escaping of alcohols etc during
                                        that time? (I would think a very small risk in any case as one has to
                                        get past the condenser first.)

                                        2. My main concern would be about pooling at the bottom, since a
                                        purchased T is mainly horizontal unlike Harry's design plan; I
                                        understand Marc added the extra take-off to address that. I had two
                                        thoughts about this: a) bore and file holes which are then enclosed in
                                        slightly larger diameter pipe--this would ensure we don't get solder
                                        puddles at the joint b) maybe flatten the T slightly in the middle using
                                        a rubber mallet say--this would cause a bit of a V slope... Or am I
                                        worrying unduly about details?

                                        3. Is it intended that one take off heads per #5..#8 as the labels
                                        suggest? For a neutral spirit run based on wine, I would think that the
                                        volume of heads would be very small. 40 L of wine would result in about
                                        8ml of methanol I understand (.02%), probably hardly enough to make the
                                        beak work... or is this more for when we're in potstill mode? (Riku has
                                        recently suggested that a beak is hardly useful for reflux.)

                                        4. Recap: when I read the original design, I wondered about affixing a
                                        narrower sleeve inside the main column so that the reflux would fall
                                        down the centre of the column as per Compleat Distiller, but I gather in
                                        practice this is not really necessary (or at least that there are
                                        varying feelings about it).

                                        5. Last thing (famous last words!)--to what extent is it desirable to
                                        have separate cold water intakes for the product condenser (simple
                                        liebig or should it be more sophisticated? ) and the X-flow?

                                        Excellent diagram! Thanks so much!

                                        R

                                        mavnkaf wrote:
                                        > If you got any more questions "R", about the HJ LM/VM Cross flow still, let me know!
                                        >
                                        > Cheers
                                        > Marc
                                        >

                                      • rnevo
                                        ... Befor sending my order to P.P.E , Is there any preference between the two proposed meshes ?. Heavy knitted copper wire .0025 x .020 Medium knitted copper
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Apr 21, 2009
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                                          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "rye_junkie1" <rye_junkie@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Rasputin Paracelsus <rasputin@> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > Ah, interesting. I'll check it out. Is there a particular gauge that is
                                          > > recommended for our purposes?
                                          > >
                                          > > R
                                          > >
                                          > > (and yes, contact info would be great :)
                                          > >
                                          > > Ed Barcik wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Heres a link guys. The company name is PPE.
                                          > http://www.ppe.com/09cat/0219.pdf
                                          >
                                          > Mason
                                          >

                                          Befor sending my order to P.P.E ,
                                          Is there any preference between the two proposed meshes ?.
                                          Heavy knitted copper wire .0025" x .020
                                          Medium knitted copper Wire .002 x .010

                                          Rami
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