Hey all. Long time! But I've been busy...
A friend and I put together a pot still head for my ten gallon milk can boiler, and its quite a treat. I'd post pics, but the house was messy. Dont worry.. I'll get them up next week when I run it the second time!
Anyhoo, its a 3 foot 1 1/4" pipe column, over to a 90 degree bend of two feet, and then into a 1/2" hard pipe that goes down to the worm bucket, in which is the worm, which is a 20 foot coiled (around a paint can) worm condenser. And oh boy does this thing knock down the vapor!
I use a two bucket system. The worm bucket has two holes in it near the bottom: One for the worm to exit, and one with a hose fitting (sealed with epoxy putty) for the coolant water to enter. By putting the coolant water in at the bottom of the bucket, I avoid the problem of dealing with a large head. My head is effectively a foot or so, so my Rio 600 aquarium pump pushes water through just fine.
The top of the worm bucket has a flexible 2" poly sink fitting in it, that makes a spillway back to the reservoir bucket. So the new, cold water (I ice the reservoir, not the worm bucket) enters at the bottom, slowly pushes up to the top and exits back into the reservoir, which is slightly below the worm bucket.
Since its winter where I am, I use snow to cool it down for now
Works well and is free! I got a decent yield of 22L of 120 (average) on a stripping run from 100L of 15% wash. I could have gotten much more, but it was the first time running the still, I was running it colder than I ought to have at first and I ran out of time.. next time she'll be up full blast. The spirit run yielded 15 quarts of usable spirit @ 150 averaged over the run, the first 7 being very sweet as is and are 160 when blended, the rest still drinkable, but will probably taste much better after oaking.
If you're wondering why Im doing so much, its because I have a lot of friends who are clamouring for my stuff
I could have worse problems!!
I still use my PDA-1, and intend in setting it up with a variable wattage electric element for virtually unattended spirit runs for grain neutral or high proof feint only runs on its own, smaller boiler. Turns out I just can't turn down the heat low enough on this ten gallon jobbie (It might work if I could insulate it, but I haven't tried that yet) not to lose a lot of alcohol out the top of the reflux column, but using a smaller boiler and electric hotplate i can get it tuned right in there and get better than 180 on a spirit run.
Hope this helps!