eBay column question!!

Simple pot still distillation and construction with thumpers and without..

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eBay column question!!

Postby Bootlegger » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:35 pm

I was looking thru eBay the other day and found a column already assembled for an ok price. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to waste my money before I took the leap and bought it. What do you guys think??

https://www.ebay.com/itm/172351558622
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Re: eBay column question!!

Postby yakattack » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:48 pm

I wouldnt. You can make a better one for cheaper.
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Re: eBay column question!!

Postby GrassHopper » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:53 pm

It will be okay for a pot still. They say it is a reflux still also and will double your ABV. Baloney. It will not doulble your ABV and is not a reflux still even if you stuff it.
But, for the money it is okay for a pot still. The liebig condenser is a bit on the small side and you will want double that size for a 15.5 keg.
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Re: eBay column question!!

Postby Desvio » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:21 pm

Liebig condenser is kinda small for a keg, hell for anything....
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Re: eBay column question!!

Postby still_stirrin » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:34 pm

I gotta' agree with Yak & Grasshopper....the price is a little high, but not unreasonable:

2" 90* elbow ---> $12
2" x 3/4" reducer ---> $23
3/4" x 3/4" x 1" tee ---> $8 (2 req'd) --->$16
3/4" elbow ---> $0.80
3/4" copper union ---> $5.78
2" type M copper pipe (1.5 ft) ---> ($48/5 ft) ---> $16
3/4" type M copper pipe (5 ft) ---> $8.75
1" type M copper pipe (4 ft) ---> ($15/5 ft) ---> $12

Materials cost (excluding solder & flux) = $94.33

So, at $140 (ebay with free shipping?), there's $45 labor/profit that you could recoup.

And definitely, this is just a potstil.

You can do it....build one, that is. It's a great learning process for improvements and upgrades (which are sure to follow).
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Re: eBay column question!!

Postby rgreen2002 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:36 pm

Agree! +1 with SS (Damn good to see ya back SS!!)

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Re: eBay column question!!

Postby Bootlegger » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:27 pm

Well I think y'all have talked me into getting the parts and building it myself. I have a little soldering experience having built a claw hammer still and that is my current rig only problem is it's one gallon (I know :shock: ) haha. Now my question is... what would be the best column height and Liebig length? I will put a union for easier cleaning and a future thumper and worm. I want to run it old school sometimes :D
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Re: eBay column question!!

Postby still_stirrin » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:11 pm

Bootlegger wrote:... what would be the best column height and Liebig length?

Riser height depends on if you like to bend over to pick up your collection jars from the floor. On a potstill (which I believe your Clawhammer is), the riser is usually only tall enough to improve your setup's geometry. That is, you won't really get the benefits of reflux from it.

Now, if you add a reflux condenser then your column height (and packing) will affect the purity of your product. Higher/longer columns (ideally 20-25 diameters in height) will get you the potential for azeotropic alcohol (95-96%ABV).

But I think you're really aiming for potstill operation with the potential future operation with a doubler (thumper). In that case, you really don't even need a riser....you could attach the 90* elbow to the top of the boiler directly. It all depends on what you have planned...to run, to produce, and how you run it.

The bill of materials list I built up a few posts was really a price comparison to the ebay potstill you were asking about. I got prices from Menards website for the materials as a basis.

As for the Liebig size, there is a calculator on the parent site which helps you size the product condenser (for a potstill) considering the input power. If you know what you want to power with, you can calculate (approximately) how long to make it.

A general rule of thumb here in the forum is a 36" long 3/4" over 1/2" will handle up to 5.5kW. I would feel comfortable with powering up to 4.5kW at least with a 36" long Liebig. Perhaps the 5.5kW is workable if you have enough water flow. Certainly, plan to use efficiency design practices with it however. Read a few of the build threads to get an understanding of how to improve the efficiency.

Hope this "rambling" helps you decide what and how you want to build.
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Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
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Re: eBay column question!!

Postby Bootlegger » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:01 am

Thanks SS. The calculator helped!! I will be running a 15.5g keg potstill and I'm definitely going electric after reading jimbo's electric conversion thread. I will be running a 5500w element with a homemade SSR controller as well. Man I can't wait to get this still together so I can start making more likker than I can now with my current rig!!
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