Pot still is done, comments???

Simple pot still distillation and construction with or without a thumper.

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barrelcreator
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Pot still is done, comments???

Post by barrelcreator » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:09 am

Built to fit in my keg rack. 1 and 1/4" column. steps down to 3/4" right before condensor then down to 1/2 inside condensor.

Would love comments on design, thermometer placement, etc. I havent cleaned it up or polished it yet. Thanks.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3173/237 ... 1206889197" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2026/237 ... 1206889422" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3178/237 ... 1206889138" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

Heres the reflux in action.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2014/237 ... d0.jpg?v=0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

Dnderhead
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Post by Dnderhead » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:25 am

looks good looks like it would be good for doubling (short column)
I do not use thermometer on pot still

barrelcreator
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Post by barrelcreator » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:31 am

Yeah column small on purpose to double or for single flavorful runs. Leak tested good but still need to run a wash through before I know its behavior.

barrelcreator
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Post by barrelcreator » Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:16 pm

So just ran it for the first time???????????

It didnt really give any more than a couple drips a seconds until 197 degrees? It wanted to run at 201 degrees. At this temp my run was at 32% alc. Is this right??? Any advise. Whiskey at 30% isnt very impressive. Thanks.

hoochinoo
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Post by hoochinoo » Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:18 pm

Nice rig.

I am also going from reflux still to try a pot still for fun.
Burner on wheels.

HookLine
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Post by HookLine » Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:46 pm

Looks good.
Be safe.
Be discreet.
And have fun.

As-Ol-Joe
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Post by As-Ol-Joe » Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:11 pm

Sounds like you may be running your rig to hot.
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The Parent site is REQUIRED READING!!!

barrelcreator
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Post by barrelcreator » Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:50 pm

Thats the problem, the flame is literally barely on and it likes to stabilize at 201 and higher. At that heat, I get like 3 drops a second, I should be able to run it with three times the heat and that would allow me to get a steady flow. Im all about going slow but two drops a second???

Can you heat a wash up to quick? In other words, if the flame is pretty high until the rapid climb on the thermometer (starts usually at approx. 130) is to much will the wash not stabilize at the right temp.

I usually turn the heat up pretty good until this climb then as it gets to about 140 I will back off the heat and at least in my reflux still it works great.

What do I do with a gallon of whiskey at 30% alcohol? Thanks in advance.

new_moonshiner
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Post by new_moonshiner » Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:08 pm

If it was me i would run a ice slurry water or close to that and if you can increase the flow if its boils off and youre not getting it at the end sounds like its not being condensed , i see condensation and nice stream starting @ 65C fore shots i know but its way more than a couple drops a sec..faster ya run then colder the water ,ie faster flow rate as long as ya condenser can handle the power input thers no reason you cant get a nice stream ..throw some boiling chips in there too if you dont already have some in there.. I'm big on the chips ..learned that one the hard way :D
Last edited by new_moonshiner on Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

trthskr4
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Post by trthskr4 » Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:11 pm

Were you steaming from the drip end? If losing alot of vapor maybe condensor not cooling efficiently. I'm no expert though. Did your pot shake or rumble, maybe thermo off? My keg "talks" to me when it gets up to temp and after just a couple runs I've learned the "language" pretty good.

As-Ol-Joe
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Post by As-Ol-Joe » Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:26 pm

Sounds like you may be heating up to fast. I use the kitchen stove on about setting of 7, when temp hit 100, then I drop the heat down to 3 1/2.
The temp falls off for a moment then starts a slow climb. I will start getting fores at 168. It normally settles in at ~180 and stays in the 180-190 for several hours.

Redistill your 30%.
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barrelcreator
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Post by barrelcreator » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:06 pm

Thanks for all the responses guys. Let me answer some of the questions. The column seems to take it all even at high temps the tip on the condensor is actually cold to the touch and the condensor seems more than good.

Ome to think of it . it was shaking or rumbling a little every now and then, can someone maybe explain thermo off? It wasent running out at a steady stream like the first water run. It was coming out in short spirts. So the column is 1 1/4", it steps down to 3/4" then to 1/2" through the condensor. At the end of the condensor it drops to 1/4" ID. too small at the end? My reflux is 1/4" OD and flows fine.

What are boiling chips?

I will run the new wash at a much lower temp to get it up to temp. Im assuming it will stabilize at a lower temp if I do this.

new_moonshiner
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Post by new_moonshiner » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:12 pm

the reflux can be 1/4 on the take off tube but i dont think I would run that on a pot still with a keg ..1/2 inch at least but thats just me , the reflux also has the top of the condenser open or a hole or something letting it vent if needed correct ? boiling chips are objects placed in the still can be anything from copper mesh to copper fittings , they let bubbles form on them making the boil alot easier to start ..also if you use 1/2 or bigger you can roll up a small piece of copper mesh and insert it in the end and stop that surging .. but whatever you do Dont put anything in that 1/4 tubing .

trthskr4
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Post by trthskr4 » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:24 pm

Ome to think of it . it was shaking or rumbling a little every now and then, can someone maybe explain thermo off?
Thermometer off, not reading properly, reading too high. If it rumbles it's boiling.

1/4" is small. I wouldn't be cooking on the grain with it that small. Hell I don't think I would be cooking anything in a potstill with it that small.

Mine steps from 2"-1"-1/2" not that that should really mean anything to you but I figured just in case a whole kernel of corn gets through the copper mesh it'll still roll out the end sideways. Hey I guess it could happen, no matter how much you chew corn when you eat it a couple always seem to get through intact.

barrelcreator
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Post by barrelcreator » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:10 am

Good point. Ill undo it and take out the last reducer and run it out the end 1/2" Thanks.

hoochinoo
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Post by hoochinoo » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:50 pm

Based on the impression I got from reading the data you provided.
- You may be expecting the pot still to behave somewhat similar to when you run your reflux still.
- Your initial spec did not specify that your final output line was 1/4", I think that is small for your rig. If it works on the reflux, well, you are now operating in a new still environment. I expect that your output flow will be much faster flowing than the reflux.
- Hopefully your condenser water supply is cold enough. What source do you use?
- I also am not clear as to how you are heating up the boiler. For when I heat up my valved reflux system, I initially do apply high heat at the beginning and then reduce it as the time goes on. I think you will have to "play" with your new system and discover how it is behaving. You would have to create that equilibrium and the comfort zone.

Hope this helps.

p.s. I like to tow your rig on its wheels behind my tractor through the parade in our small town during the harvest festival. 8)

Hawke
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Post by Hawke » Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:31 am

My reflux is almost identical to yours. My first run, I left the reflux valve fully open, was getting 93 -94% abv output @ 79C. The hearts came out very neutral. Cut some down to 100 proof, a little sting on the tongue, otherwise would have thought I was drinking water......'til I tried to stand up. :lol:
Just got a second boiler and going to do a pot for it.
I also use one of those 60,000 btu turkey burners, a little tricky getting it turned down enough to hold temp.
Notice my thermometer is on the front. (points directly into the bridge)
Image

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