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Crossflow VM/LM still - Suggestions welcome

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  • landrover_ffr
    Hi all, Pre-ramble: I started constructing a StillMaker - Valved reflux design still out of some recovered copper tubing. Then a friend mine explained the VM
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 29, 2009
      Hi all,
      Pre-ramble: I started constructing a "StillMaker - Valved reflux" design still out of some recovered copper tubing. Then a friend mine explained the VM head on his still, so I thought I'd give that a crack. The thing was then getting to tall, so a x-flow shell and tube condensor seemed in order.

      I thought I'd throw my current plan out there to see if anyone had any thoughts or suggestions. Most of the components below are all fabed up and ready for silver brazing this weekend but any last minute suggestions will be greatfully recieved.

      The current plan as it stands:

      Column: 1.2m x 2.5inch copper tube (plus about 300mm that mounts to the keg)

      Packing: copper scrubbers (but will experiment)

      Top Condensor: Crossflow shell/tube (vapour sheel side)
      Tubes: 37x 125mm x 8mm(OD)
      Shell: 175mm length x 100mm(ID)
      Side Condensor/s: (could use either of both if nessarry)
      Liebig (counter flow): 750mm x 32mm(ID) copper with a 40mm(ID) copper
      jacket (not much water in there :(
      Shell/Tube (vapour tube side): 19x 250mmx6.5mm(ID) tubes inside a 64mm
      shell

      VM head: 32mm gate valuve mounted on a 32mm tee section (an adaptor takes the 64mm down to 32mm and back up again before the top)

      LM head (WIP): Modified Bokabob slanting plate design or a cup type mounted under the VM head?

      Boiler: 50 litre s/steel keg sitting on an lpg burner (2x 3.9kw max) - might add a double boiler or a sand bed for rum runs)

      Barring a little more silver brazing the above is almost ready for testing, but there is always room for changesand all the different "bits" are flare joined for dissasembly. They seem vapour tight but we'll see what happens when they get hot ;)

      I would like to produce;
      - Bourbon & Rum (lot's of good info on this fourum!)
      - Clean vodka (for making liquers)
      - What ever I can from "when good home brew goes bad!"

      My main questions are;
      1. Should the LM head sit above or below the VM head?
      2. Should I even bother with a LM head at this stage?
      3. Anybody see an major flaws in the design?

      I have many others but I'm guessing I'll find most of them out once heat gets applied to the bottom ;). I also have a fair bit of extra pipe to play with (about a metre each of the 100, 64, 40 & 32mm) so this is only a starting point, plenty of room for modifications!

      Thanks,
      Sid.
    • rye_junkie1
      ... LM can be taken off from the x-flow shell. Works great. http://d.yimg.com/kq/groups/468252/sn/921855481/name/New+Still+Head+with+new+lines.jpg Having both
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 30, 2009
        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "landrover_ffr" <sid.rains@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi all,
        > Pre-ramble: I started constructing a "StillMaker - Valved reflux" design still out of some recovered copper tubing. Then a friend mine explained the VM head on his still, so I thought I'd give that a crack. The thing was then getting to tall, so a x-flow shell and tube condensor seemed in order.
        >
        > I thought I'd throw my current plan out there to see if anyone had any thoughts or suggestions. Most of the components below are all fabed up and ready for silver brazing this weekend but any last minute suggestions will be greatfully recieved.
        >
        > The current plan as it stands:
        >
        > Column: 1.2m x 2.5inch copper tube (plus about 300mm that mounts to the keg)
        >
        > Packing: copper scrubbers (but will experiment)
        >
        > Top Condensor: Crossflow shell/tube (vapour sheel side)
        > Tubes: 37x 125mm x 8mm(OD)
        > Shell: 175mm length x 100mm(ID)
        > Side Condensor/s: (could use either of both if nessarry)
        > Liebig (counter flow): 750mm x 32mm(ID) copper with a 40mm(ID) copper
        > jacket (not much water in there :(
        > Shell/Tube (vapour tube side): 19x 250mmx6.5mm(ID) tubes inside a 64mm
        > shell
        >
        > VM head: 32mm gate valuve mounted on a 32mm tee section (an adaptor takes the 64mm down to 32mm and back up again before the top)
        >
        > LM head (WIP): Modified Bokabob slanting plate design or a cup type mounted under the VM head?
        >
        > Boiler: 50 litre s/steel keg sitting on an lpg burner (2x 3.9kw max) - might add a double boiler or a sand bed for rum runs)
        >
        > Barring a little more silver brazing the above is almost ready for testing, but there is always room for changesand all the different "bits" are flare joined for dissasembly. They seem vapour tight but we'll see what happens when they get hot ;)
        >
        > I would like to produce;
        > - Bourbon & Rum (lot's of good info on this fourum!)
        > - Clean vodka (for making liquers)
        > - What ever I can from "when good home brew goes bad!"
        >
        > My main questions are;
        > 1. Should the LM head sit above or below the VM head?
        > 2. Should I even bother with a LM head at this stage?
        > 3. Anybody see an major flaws in the design?
        >
        > I have many others but I'm guessing I'll find most of them out once heat gets applied to the bottom ;). I also have a fair bit of extra pipe to play with (about a metre each of the 100, 64, 40 & 32mm) so this is only a starting point, plenty of room for modifications!
        >
        > Thanks,
        > Sid.


        LM can be taken off from the x-flow shell. Works great.
        http://d.yimg.com/kq/groups/468252/sn/921855481/name/New+Still+Head+with+new+lines.jpg
        Having both LM and VM is useful. Pull your forshots and heads from the LM side and when you are ready for the middle run switch to VM for a near "set and forget" run.
        Harry recommended 140mm long cooling tubes and yours are 125mm but you should be fine with what I read to be 37 of them.
        You dont mention a collar to center the reflux over the packing. Some recommend one some dont. For my 2" column I found it helped.

        Mason
      • landrover_ffr
        ... Good idea. I d had though about building in a hot well originally but got sidetracked by the VM head. I might have to remove a couple of the tubes but
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 30, 2009
          > LM can be taken off from the x-flow shell. Works great.

          Good idea. I'd had though about building in a hot well originally but got sidetracked by the VM head. I might have to remove a couple of the tubes but shouldn't be a problem.

          > You dont mention a collar to center the reflux over the packing.
          Some recommend one some dont. For my 2" column I found it helped.

          I had been thinking of placing an LM head under the VM to handle the returning condensate. I might need to do something. Can I return the reflux down the centre of the VM tee?
        • Zapata Vive
          LM head under the VM head will make for hotter LM product than if you take it off the x-flow shell. Guess how I know that? Instead of removing tubes, you MAY
          Message 4 of 5 , May 1 12:07 PM
            LM head under the VM head will make for hotter LM product than if you take it off the x-flow shell.  Guess how I know that?
             
            Instead of removing tubes, you MAY be able to bend them up in the middle to make room for the well.  (I assume you are referring to the swaged pipe that sticks up into the x-flow "T"?)  Don't know if you want to do that, but IF it worked, it'd be a lot easier than removing tubes and plugging holes.
             
            For a collar to center revlux, I made an ultra simple invention.  Just get a piece of bare copper wire from the hardware store.  Form it in a circle so it will pressure fit inside the top of your column, and take an end or both and bend them back to the middle.  All reflux running down the walls will now roll out along the wire and drip in the middle.  Make sure there is at least a little free space above the packing so it doesn't contact the ring or it will just run over it.
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2009 9:23 PM
            Subject: [new_distillers] Re: Crossflow VM/LM still - Suggestions welcome

            > LM can be taken off from the x-flow shell. Works great.

            Good idea. I'd had though about building in a hot well originally but got sidetracked by the VM head. I might have to remove a couple of the tubes but shouldn't be a problem.

            > You dont mention a collar to center the reflux over the packing.
            Some recommend one some dont. For my 2" column I found it helped.

            I had been thinking of placing an LM head under the VM to handle the returning condensate. I might need to do something. Can I return the reflux down the centre of the VM tee?

          • rye_junkie1
            ... I m gonna have to try that. Recommended wire Diameter? Mason
            Message 5 of 5 , May 1 12:19 PM
              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Zapata Vive" <zapatavive@...> wrote:

              >
              > For a collar to center revlux, I made an ultra simple invention. Just get a piece of bare copper wire from the hardware store. Form it in a circle so it will pressure fit inside the top of your column, and take an end or both and bend them back to the middle. All reflux running down the walls will now roll out along the wire and drip in the middle. Make sure there is at least a little free space above the packing so it doesn't contact the ring or it will just run over it.
              >

              I'm gonna have to try that.
              Recommended wire Diameter?

              Mason
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