Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Distillation methods and improvements.

Moderator: Site Moderator

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby BayouShine » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:24 pm

This thread has caught my interest over the last few days. I've been running copper scrubbies in my 2" CCVM for a while now. I figured marbles were a cheap option to experiment with, so why the hell not? I bought the 2lb sacks of marbles from Hobby Lobby for $3. They are a little over 1/2" dia. so I guess 14mm. It took about 2.75 bags to fill my 40" column. I left a roll of scrubbies on the top and bottom to hold the marbles in.

Here's what I was getting with copper scrubbers.
93.JPG
93.JPG (14 KiB) Viewed 1746 times


This is what marbles gave at the same takeoff rate.
95.JPG


The big difference for me is that I had to increase the power from 2000w with scrubbers to 2700w with marbles to maintain the flooding inside my sight glass.

I think I'll stick with the marbles for a few runs and see if I can find any difference in taste.
Last edited by BayouShine on Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BayouShine
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 367
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:20 pm
Location: The Armpit of Louisiana

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby Klein » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:40 pm

BayouShine wrote:This thread has caught my interest over the last few days. I've been running copper scrubbies in my 2" CCVM for a while now. I figured marbles were a cheap option to experiment with so why the hell not? I bought the 2lb sacks of marbles from Hobby Lobby for $3. They are a little over 1/2" dia. so I guess 14mm. It took about 2.75 bags to fill my 40" column. I left a roll of scrubbies on the top and bottom to hold the marbles in.

Here's what I was getting with copper scrubbers.
93.JPG


This is what marbles gave at the same takeoff rate.
95.JPG


The big difference for me is that I had to increase the power from 2000w with scrubbers to 2700w with marbles to maintain the flooding inside my sight glass.

I think I'll stick with the marbles for a few runs and see if I can find any difference in taste.


Just out of curiosity what was your takeoff rate?

I'm in the proses of building a 2" ccvm with the same packed column length.
Klein
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:03 am
Location: Canada

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby BayouShine » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:51 pm

Roughly a quart/liter every 30 minutes or so. If I go any faster, I lose azeo.

Edit: I just timed it. 26min for 1L at 95%.
BayouShine
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 367
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:20 pm
Location: The Armpit of Louisiana

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby joeymac » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:55 pm

Excellent reporting bayou. :thumbup: I'm surprised you got a scrubber to hold in all that weight!

Your results are nearly identical to my findings on my old 2x36" column which pulled off about 2.5LPM of 95%+ with an estimated 2500-3000w input.
"Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks" - God (Isaiah 5:22)
So evidently, God wants us to drink our whiskeys single barrel and our Bourbons neat.
joeymac
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 6:22 pm

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby BayouShine » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:30 pm

I say scrubbie, but it's the rolled up copper mesh. I guess it's about 4-5" long and stuffed into the ends fairly snug. It holds the marbles pretty well. There's also no rattling while the still is running.
BayouShine
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 367
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:20 pm
Location: The Armpit of Louisiana

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby T-Pee » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:36 pm

Just ordered 4.5# from Amazon for $14. I've gotta try this!

tp
User avatar
T-Pee
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4326
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:20 pm
Location: The wilds of rural California

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby BayouShine » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:55 pm

I'm kicking myself for not trying this sooner. Last run, I collected 4 gallons of 95% from 12 gal of 40% low wines and feints. The still locked on to 95% through 3 gallons before I had to adjust the power. I never saw anything close to that with the copper packing.
BayouShine
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 367
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:20 pm
Location: The Armpit of Louisiana

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby Fills Jars Slowly » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:48 pm

joeymac wrote:I''m surprised you got a scrubber to hold in all that weight!

I use two stainless scrubbers, shown in a picture further back in this thread, as packing retainer. I was surprised by not needing more support for the marble packing. The scrubbers probably could have held packing for a much taller 2" column than I have. Larger diameters might be different. I hold marbles in my 4" column with a copper wire mesh screen.
User avatar
Fills Jars Slowly
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:07 am

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby Bobbywolf » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:11 pm

I made a copper retainer to hold back the marbles. Lots of holes drilled, and then I soldered solid copper wires across the holes so the marbles wouldn't plug the holes. Finally I attached a tube for a handle for installing it.

My column has a SS triclamp ferrule on the inside of the pipe, so this retainer slips in, then rests on the ledge. Guaranteed no marbles will fall into the boiler.

20161112_021948.jpg


20161112_032313.jpg
Bobbywolf
Novice
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:33 pm
Location: Eastern Canada

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby joeymac » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:29 pm

well that's the prettiest packing retainer I ever seen :thumbup:

finishing up my new stainless 3" column this weekend. I'm going to TRY to tig in some thin welded stainless 2x2 mesh (12mm gaps) into the bottom of the tube sanitary flange. It might go good but it might not. The mesh wire is only .047" thick and the flange is probably 3/16" thick... heck, my thinnest tig filler rod is even thicker than the mesh at 1/16". :lol:
https://www.mcmaster.com/#stainless-steel-mesh/=16pq2o4
"Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks" - God (Isaiah 5:22)
So evidently, God wants us to drink our whiskeys single barrel and our Bourbons neat.
joeymac
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 6:22 pm

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby cob » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:35 pm

it was made for a different purpose, but this holds marbles.

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=12386&p=6811105&hilit=centering+ring#p6811105
be water my friend
cob
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 1576
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:38 pm
Location: little puffs of dust where my feet used to be

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby Spriit Tisler » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:48 am

I should try glass marbles before doing anything else. :roll:
Spriit Tisler
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:35 pm

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby Spriit Tisler » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:14 pm

Umm.. I checked through 8 different stores and online but they only had these toy glass beads with hefty price.

Has anyone used ceramic raschig rings sold as filtering media for pools and other stuff? Or raschig rings whatsoever?
Spriit Tisler
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:35 pm

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby joeymac » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:19 pm

Hobby lobby... Get about 3-4 bags for a couple bucks each.
"Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks" - God (Isaiah 5:22)
So evidently, God wants us to drink our whiskeys single barrel and our Bourbons neat.
joeymac
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 6:22 pm

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby still_stirrin » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:51 pm

joeymac wrote:Hobby lobby... Get about 3-4 bags for a couple bucks each.

:clap: :clap:

That's the place (I did post a link somewhere earlier in the thread). 12mm (or 14mm, I can't remember which) at $2.99 for 2 lb. bag. Getcha' a couple...so you can replace cracked marbles when they do. I haven't had very many crack, but I have had a few.

You'll see your purity go up as you increase the reflux ratio (use more input power/heat). Just make sure your reflux condenser can handle what you push, so it doesn't let vapor escape out of the top.

My 2" ID column is a meter (39") long and it takes about 3 lb. of marbles, but is capable of azeo with 2kW input power. I get a liter about every 20-25 minutes off the VM. The LM is a little slower than that, but not much...a liter every 25-30 minutes.
ss
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
What is a Proof & Traille hydrometer: Alcohol-meter
Enzyme info: SebStar
HD Google search info: HD Google-how to
All about mashing grains: Braukaiser
User avatar
still_stirrin
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 5126
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:01 am

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby spiff » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:28 am

I think I want to try this too. Would just leaving the bottom plate in to hold the marbles interfere with the marble advantage at all? I"m planning on filling my 6 plate flute with marbles using only the bottom plate and all 6 T's filled with marbles and then keep the foot of copper packing above that.
spiff
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:35 am

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby casper the Irish » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:19 pm

1. If smaller marbles were available, would the increase in surface area:
- improve purity
- increase flow

2. If glass was more conductive of heat (say, made of clay or stone) would it be more efficient, need less heat?

I was thinking how to test this, looking at pea gravel (irregular rough small 7mm stones) or beach pebble (smooth 12mm)
casper the Irish
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:06 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby Bobbywolf » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:04 pm

I have 7/16" (11mm) marbles as opposed to the 1/2" (13mm) most have and I have found it is very easy to flood the column. I would guess 7mm would pack down much more and create worse problems.

I nearly doubled my takeoff speed while holding 95%+, and no off tastes, than when I was using copper packing.

I certainly recommend marbles but wouldn't go smaller than mine due to flooding and possible blockage issues.
Bobbywolf
Novice
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:33 pm
Location: Eastern Canada

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby Badmotivator » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:54 pm

Bobbywolf wrote:I have 7/16" (11mm) marbles as opposed to the 1/2" (13mm) most have and I have found it is very easy to flood the column. I would guess 7mm would pack down much more and create worse problems.

I nearly doubled my takeoff speed while holding 95%+, and no off tastes, than when I was using copper packing.

I certainly recommend marbles but wouldn't go smaller than mine due to flooding and possible blockage issues.
That's good info and advice, but what column diameter and power were you running when you saw flooding? I'm thinking about small marbles for my 4" column at 4kW.
User avatar
Badmotivator
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 720
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:01 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby joeymac » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:26 am

on my 2" with 5/8" marbles, I was getting great takeoff rates and purity around 2.5-3kW (column uninsulated). I've finally got enough low wines together and getting ready to run my expanded 3" column sometime in the next few days also using 5/8" marbles. I plan to use between 4-5kW and insulate the top of my boiler along with insulating the bottom 36" of column. I have a small sight glass on top the tower now so I can really push it hard and then back off when shes either losing purity or ready to upchuck.

I'm not sure it matters, but i've measured 5/8" marble packing at a 42% open volume/flow area inside a 3" column. I have no reason to think it varies too much in a 2" or 4" column... maybe +/-5% or so.
"Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks" - God (Isaiah 5:22)
So evidently, God wants us to drink our whiskeys single barrel and our Bourbons neat.
joeymac
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 6:22 pm

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby casper the Irish » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:06 am

Bobbywolf wrote:I have 7/16" (11mm) marbles as opposed to the 1/2" (13mm) most have and I have found it is very easy to flood the column. I would guess 7mm would pack down much more and create worse problems.

I nearly doubled my takeoff speed while holding 95%+, and no off tastes, than when I was using copper packing.

I certainly recommend marbles but wouldn't go smaller than mine due to flooding and possible blockage issues.


I read that dia of packing stones should be a seventh of the column dia. Odin also sas the packing should conduct heat. Glass is a god insulator, stone is more conductive.

I run a 3" CCVM which I am told should be 80% flooded but my turkey boiler is maxed at 2.8kw
I have never been able to achieve flooding or puking! But flooding is good, it provides max reflux when kept to just below the puke
casper the Irish
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:06 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby captainshooch » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:25 pm

Just my 2 cents worth, anytime you run any still in a flooded state you are defeating the purpose, specially on a plated, or plated and packed combination. If that is what you want, then park the plated still and fire up a pot still.

A flooded still becomes a single plate at the flood point.
captainshooch
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:02 pm

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby Bobbywolf » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:14 am

For those wondering my boka is 3" by 48" tall. I run it at 2400w on spirit runs. I have no sight glasses, but when I run at 3200w I'm flooding to the point where she starts to spew.

With no packing, I can run it at full 4800w and I am able to knock it all down with the condenser, so that isn't the issue.

A sight glass just above my packing would be great so I can tune it to run just at the ragged edge for maximum efficiency, but I'm not paying that price for the last little bit of efficiency. 2400w works great, with a great product output. This is even lower power than with my copper packing, and I still get a faster takeoff than with copper.
Bobbywolf
Novice
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:33 pm
Location: Eastern Canada

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby thecroweater » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:00 am

if you are flooding to the point of puking and that is a deliberate aim it is fair to say you don't quite understand reflux distillation. I don't mean to upset anyone but this idea that it is in some way beneficial to have a column flooded or pukeing is very far from true, this madness needs to stop. By flooding a packed reflux column you have reduced your packing height and theoretical plates by this amount, this is simple physics and plain logic. A section of immersed packing can not reflux vapour and that section flooding is at best doing the job of one plate or thump box and that also is simple physics and plain logic. Now if you are flooded to the point of almost puking then virtually all your column is doing the job of one plate as opposed to the equivalent job of a hundred or more plates and very little to no refluxing above it. The AVB might not be really bad although nothing like a column in full reflux but there is going to be a shit ton of carry over and that is also Simple physics and plain logic. Enough with the story's of how much better the still runs flooded and puking, some of us are having a hard enough time just trying to swallow that marbles are equal to packing with hundreds of times the surface area, sheez :roll: .
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin
User avatar
thecroweater
Site Mod
 
Posts: 4577
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:04 am
Location: Central Highlands Vic. Australia

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby Saltbush Bill » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:15 am

captainshooch wrote:Just my 2 cents worth, anytime you run any still in a flooded state you are defeating the purpose, specially on a plated, or plated and packed combination. If that is what you want, then park the plated still and fire up a pot still.
A flooded still becomes a single plate at the flood point.


Couldnt agree more Captain :thumbup:
Anyone who thinks a flooded still is working to its maximum potential has a lot to learn.
You only need to flood the plates on a plated column and watch the ABV drop away to learn that.
User avatar
Saltbush Bill
Trainee
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:13 am
Location: Northern NSW Australia

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby Bobbywolf » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:52 am

thecroweater wrote:if you are flooding to the point of puking and that is a deliberate aim it is fair to say you don't quite understand reflux distillation. I don't mean to upset anyone but this idea that it is in some way beneficial to have a column flooded or pukeing is very far from true, this madness needs to stop. By flooding a packed reflux column you have reduced your packing height and theoretical plates by this amount, this is simple physics and plain logic. A section of immersed packing can not reflux vapour and that section flooding is at best doing the job of one plate or thump box and that also is simple physics and plain logic. Now if you are flooded to the point of almost puking then virtually all your column is doing the job of one plate as opposed to the equivalent job of a hundred or more plates and very little to no refluxing above it. The AVB might not be really bad although nothing like a column in full reflux but there is going to be a shit ton of carry over and that is also Simple physics and plain logic. Enough with the story's of how much better the still runs flooded and puking, some of us are having a hard enough time just trying to swallow that marbles are equal to packing with hundreds of times the surface area, sheez :roll: .


I'm not sure if that was aimed at me, but I absolutely agree. The whole idea is for the liquid to drop back down and make it down into the packing to be revaporized. I was simply stating that if I crank the power higher, I get flooding which is most definitely not the aim of a reflux still. I maintain that the marbles appear to work much better than copper mesh, but I will not advocate purposely flooding your column.
Bobbywolf
Novice
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:33 pm
Location: Eastern Canada

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby Saltbush Bill » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:36 am

My comment was not aimed at you , but at this.
casper the Irish wrote:I run a 3" CCVM which I am told should be 80% flooded but my turkey boiler is maxed at 2.8kw
I have never been able to achieve flooding or puking! But flooding is good, it provides max reflux when kept to just below the puke
User avatar
Saltbush Bill
Trainee
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:13 am
Location: Northern NSW Australia

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby FuelMaker » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:29 pm

thecroweater wrote: some of us are having a hard enough time just trying to swallow that marbles are equal to packing with hundreds of times the surface area, sheez :roll: .

I'm just spitballing here but I have to wonder if it's not so much the surface area as it is the volume of the entrained liquid - that the shape and smoothness of the marbles allows it to hold a thicker film of fluid than a thin copper scrubby strand. This would also help explain why SPP works so well, because it holds more liquid because of the shape of the triangular prizmatic coil peaks that hold a decent sized droplet in it.
"A little bit of oops goes a long way."
User avatar
FuelMaker
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:51 am
Location: Gig Harbor (ish), WA

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby thecroweater » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:58 pm

I don't know but I can say when I used structured copper packing I got 95.63% of pure neutral spirit every time with the slight exception of rum wash that had a very slight flavour. I get virtually the same result from scoria, you can't get better than that and I'm not convinced that marbles are equal to it. That is I have drank spirit from marble packed columns and didn't think it was quite neutral. Could be the way it was run but to my thinking a sphere is the least possible surface area for a given column and the smallest consistent void, so I think that has more to do with it. As I said many pages back etched/ scuffed marbles might have a better affect but might be difficult not to flood.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin
User avatar
thecroweater
Site Mod
 
Posts: 4577
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:04 am
Location: Central Highlands Vic. Australia

Re: Glass Marbles for Reflux Column Structured Packing

Postby Tomb » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:47 pm

still_stirrin wrote:My 2" ID column is a meter (39") long and it takes about 3 lb. of marbles
ss



That is weird....

For my 48" - 2" and used about 7.25 lbs (It was good I ordered 8lb, as I only have about a cup full left over.)

These are the 14mm (but measure between about 13.5 and 15.5mm)
From this I figure you should have needed almost 6 lbs?
(1.78lb per foot)

For fun, I took a 39" piece of 1.5" and it took 3.25lbs to fill.
Might you actually have a 1.5" column?

T
Tomb
Novice
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:07 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Research and Theory



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests