Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

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Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby Northgamtns » Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:11 pm

Do I need to have fresh water constantly running in and flowing out of the worm my copper worm is in? I am using a 6 gal SS pot still, 1" copper, and 3/8" worm in a 5 gal bucket.
We make our own whiskey and our own smoke too, aint too many things these ol' boys can't do
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby elvis christ » Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:42 pm

I don't understand the question. Do you need to have water running through the bucket that the worm is in? Not necessarily, it helps, as the hot water will rise to the top of the cold water, and your condensing won't start to happen, until further down the coil. You can also just stir the water with your hand.

If you have your worm inside another pipe, then yes, you will need to have water flowing through the pipe that holds the worm.

Do I need to have fresh water constantly running in and flowing out of the worm my copper worm is in

:?
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby Northgamtns » Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:16 pm

Sorry I meant flowing out of the BUCKET my worm is in, but yes thats my question do I need to have it constantly as cold as possible? or can i just fill the bucket with ice in there around the copper worm and it be ok until the time it melts
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby Hawke » Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:05 pm

It all depends on the size of the bucket.
20 feet of 1/2 inch I.D. worm, in a 15 gallon 'bucket', will have enough capacity to do a run with just water.
If that same worm is in a 5 gallon bucket, it's gonna need help.
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby HookLine » Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:46 am

And if you are going to replace the water, it is better to bring the cold water into the bottom, and take the hot off the top. Better to have the coolant flowing in the opposite direction to the vapour.
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby Hack » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:19 am

I've used a 3/8" worm in a five gallon bucket before with my keg boiler. I didn't have to add any water, or circulate it. Now I run 5/8" copper in a six gallon bucket and even running over a gallon an hour collection rate I don't need to add water. The top few inches of water get hot, but the water at the bottom stays cold and the distillate comes out cold.

I built my worm bucket with an overflow tube, so I could add water if it got too hot and not make a mess. I'd say try your worm without circulating the water and keep an extra bucket on hand. As long as no vapor is escaping the end of the worm you're fine. I'll bet you don't even get close to overwhelming your worm and the distillate will come out cool.
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby elvis christ » Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:36 am

Something I was thinking about trying was ice, water, and salt in my condenser. You know, like when you're making home-made ice cream.
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby Tater » Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:32 am

Dont think ya want the salt water on your copper.
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby goose eye » Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:43 am

yup salt an copper aint friends

so im tole
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby elvis christ » Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:11 am

Ahhh, good point.
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby scarecrow » Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:32 am

Copper pipes are actually used to transport seawater. And they have about a 15-20 year life span. The oxide formed on the surface of copper should protect it.

I would be more worried about galvanic corrosion from dissimilar metals. Never have aluminium in contact with stainless or brass in the presence of salt water. I don't know how copper and silver solder go, but they are far enough apart on the galvanic table to be a concern.

The only effect salt water would have on copper is by abraison of solids passed through the copper pipes at high velocity, which we don't do.

Copper will also corrode under acid conditions in the persence of chlorine, but this is something we also don't do.

They used to nail copper sheets to the hulls of boats to give them protection from marine fouling.

That's my understanding of copper and salt water.

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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby Northgamtns » Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:13 pm

So maybe try just straight ice, and if it melts, and temp rises, I can just siphon off top part of water and replace with cold water and ice.
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby Hawke » Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:12 pm

You don't need ice. And, you don't want to disturb the temperature gradiant in the bucket. If you need to add water, the inlet should be at the bottom of the bucket, with an overflow at the top.
Here is how I set up my flake stand. (Worm in a bucket)
Notice the inlet at the bottom and the overflow at the top. Water is cheap and plentiful for me, but I don't like to waste it. When running, I trickle water into the bottom of this at a rate of about 1 litre per hour.
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby blanikdog » Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:28 pm

I used to do the same as Hawke suggested, but found that it wasn't necessary to run cold water into my 20litre bucket. After a twenty five litre run the water at the top is hot and gradually cools to whatever water temperature is. Nice steady cool, and the same water can be use many, many times. You don't need ice.

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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby Hawke » Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:38 pm

At the moment, my problem is an ambiant temp of about 105*F in the shop. Was about 115 yesterday. :shock: My well water is a steady 55*F. The weeds in the garden appreciate the extra water. :lol:
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby goose eye » Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:58 pm

hawke what you keepin the worm off the side with.is it that nut.
seen some barrels with valve there at water inlet to adjust water flow instead of havein to walk.
nice lookin coolin barel

scarecrow thanks for setin me streight
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby elvis christ » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:54 am

Question for Hawke: You said you don't want to disturb the temperature gradient in the bucket. Does that mean that I should refrain from stirring the water when there is hot water on top? I've been stirring the water every once in a while, to try to keep it at the same temp throughout.
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby goose eye » Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:07 am

you want it layered. cold in bottom up to hot so it pushin the hot out the over flow. ole boys wait to
add water til barell is hot 1/2 way down. dependin on how hot you cookin you ajust the water value
to keep it that way. the water comein out overflow could be 100+. this is on a one barel outfit
so mite not be true to you

so im tole
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby elvis christ » Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:26 am

Yeah, I'm not circulating any water (yet), I'm just using a 5 gallon bucket, so no overflow. I'll try to keep it layered next time.
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby Hawke » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:09 am

Goose, The outlet is soldered in and there are a couple of support rods soldered to the worm with 'feet' at the bottom. The nut is the union to the lyne arm.
It's not in the picture, but I use one of those in-line hose valves to control the water.

With the amount of water that I'm running, I get a bit of steam off the top during a run, while the bottom is cold.
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby plonker » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:34 am

Hey Hawke, I lived in the tropics for several years.. I like the sound of those temps..... :D
Sure beats 4 C or 40F
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby myles » Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:33 pm

I have not used the worm in bucket condenser as I use Libigs and a pump on a big rainwater store.

But I have read lots of people that say if the bucket is the same size as the boiler, it is a big enough heat sink to do an entire run without topping up. And do not stir. Have seen some nice setups that use the worm in bucket system - but they all have decent size buckets.

Copied this image from a different topic but think it is nice!!! Is this a good indication of reasonable proportions for worm to bucket to boiler????

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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby myles » Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:41 pm

Sorry forgot to include this one also:

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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby blanikdog » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:58 pm

I guess that that would make a difference, hawke. Once it reaches that sort of ambient temperature the last thing on my mind is distilling. :)

It's getting on towards bush fire season here. 'They' predict worse fires than last year when 173 people died and - from memory - thousands of houses destroyed. Something to look forward to. :((

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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby HookLine » Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:48 pm

Right in the peak of fire season here. So far so good.
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby blanikdog » Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:36 pm

HookLine wrote:Right in the peak of fire season here. So far so good.


A little off topic, but good luck stay with you, Hook.

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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby goose eye » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:03 am

myles ole boy wish you would of tole there pa they didnt need him dippin when he was young.
ole boys dont no bout nothin but there outfit but like they tole me an im tellin you
the likker comein out toward the middle an on to the end of the charge will be hot an i dont mean warm.
hot likker dont taste smell an feel the same like cold. how you supose to tell when backin is comein on.

im bettin that outfit in that picture they addin water.

so im tole
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby Hawke » Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:16 am

goose eye wrote:im bettin that outfit in that picture they addin water.

so im tole

Yep, in the first pic, you can see the overflow and water pipe that drops into the vat.
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby myles » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:38 am

I can see the sense in having a gradual inflow of water from the bottom to overflow the hot water from the top. That seems sensible.

Do any of you bother putting anything in your water to stop it going stagnant and smelly, or do you periodically flush it out and refill with clean water?

I quite like the idea of a worm in bucket condenser combined with a slow recirculation of water from a bigger water store.
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Re: Is fresh water needed for copper worm?

Postby HookLine » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:47 am

If you are running your still fairly regularly, the heat will keep the cooling water pretty free of living critters. Then just cover it when not running, keep out the light, dust, etc. Should get a few runs from a single barrel of water, with the occasional top up.
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