Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

VM CM LM Flutes Plate

Moderator: Site Moderator

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby phoebe » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:40 am

Could someone email me the contents of the WIKI page?

This has been our only source of how to build the BOKA. We finally got all the parts and we just started building the thing..
But now the WIKI is offline. We totally based our design on that WIKI. I don't even know the length of the column :(

Please.. Thanks in advance and we will drink our first beverage on the person who emails me the contents :).
phoebe
Novice
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:32 am

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby Husker » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:08 am

I am posting the entire wiki article, and trying to fit it into forum 'syntax'.

This will be posted into the new users reading lounge, at: viewtopic.php?t=36050 I am currently working on this now, and when done, it should contain all pix, files, and links that were on the wiki page (minus the few intra-wiki links, but most of those are just to pages defining some terms).

It is a work in progress right now, but will be done shortly. The wiki is up, for a short time. I am monitoring activity. Usually, in the evening, stateside, is where our extreme site pressure overloads the site, so I am hopeful that the wiki can stay up while i work on this. DO NOT try to suck too many pages off the wiki, just because it is up. If I start to see a ton of repeated activity, I will drop the wiki.

This one page, is the page which people most seriously want to have accessed. 95% of the wiki is not much looked at, however, we get site sucking robots that hit it, and bring the entire site to a crawl.

H.
Hillbilly Rebel: Unless you are one of the people on this site who are legalling distilling, keep a low profile, don't tell, don't sell.
User avatar
Husker
Admin
 
Posts: 5007
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:04 pm

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby n1cod3mus » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:29 pm



i would just like to say thanks, this was the main source of information on building my mini boka, only reason i'm building a mini boka is height restrictions in my place.

anyway thanks for the information store, really useful.

I am documenting my build as I go, including my mistakes, and i will be making an Instructable so others can follow my build process and avoid the mistakes I made. I will be putting your guide in as a source of information if thats ok.
Elizabeth : "so your just going to sit on the beach drinking rum?"
Jack: "welcome to the caribbean love"
n1cod3mus
Bootlegger
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:45 am
Location: walton-on-thames, london, UK

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby Husker » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:23 am

I have put a mod edit into the OP of this thread, linking to a mirror of the wiki page I made in the reading lounge, for times when the wiki is taken down.

I have re-enabled the wiki at this time, and will be monitoring the wiki usage, and the Server's health closely for a while. With the moon-fakers show now complete for this season, I am hopeful that are 2x to 4x extra peak visitor volume will return a the normal shortly.

H.
Hillbilly Rebel: Unless you are one of the people on this site who are legalling distilling, keep a low profile, don't tell, don't sell.
User avatar
Husker
Admin
 
Posts: 5007
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:04 pm

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby phoebe » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:02 am

Thank you very much, Husker! It was a great help!

We are still building, since our solder equipment turned out not to be up for the job en we had to buy other equipment :D
phoebe
Novice
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:32 am

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby syn » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:29 am

So I'm having a hell of time printing the template up-sized to 3" (+150%) enlargement... problem is it blows up to the right size but only prints the top left side, using the poster option (epson drivers) only stretches that... really cant figure out how to get this scaled correctly, any ides? maybe a postscript option?

Thanks!
syn
Novice
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:34 am

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby Usge » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:19 am

First, you have to remember that the 2" template is not 2" around. It's 2.125 around (OD). You need to scale it to 3.125 (OD of 3" pipe). If you scale it by 150% you are going to get the wrong answer (2.125 x 1.5 = 3.1875). To find the % to scale it, divide the new size target size by the template size (3.125 divided by 2.125 = 1.4705) That should get you closer to proper scale to start with.

As to the printer problem, it may be because acrobat has its' "own" page setup dialog you have to navigate first. If you don't..it will use whatever the default is (usually single page, portrait). The kind of issues you are describing are related to print driver settings...between the two. Since you'd have to use the page setup and print driver settings to create the PS file in the first place...I'm not sure that's going to help. It sounds like to me the only reason you are seeing the upper left side of it is because the rotation page setup setting is mismatched between the two (acrobat and epson print driver). That and it's probably using the print area from the acrobat page setup (page) and placing it upper right on to your poster space in the epson driver. Anyway, if you play with it a bit changing one thing at a time and observing the output...might give you a clue what's going on. Used to go through the same thing all the time working with printers.
User avatar
Usge
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3241
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:22 am

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby syn » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:56 pm

Thanks for the reply... I'm now using photoshop, same issues but i can manipulate the image, I'll post a success story if i have one! :shock:
syn
Novice
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:34 am

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby Vashine » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:07 pm

Hello I'm excited to get started in this build, I have built a pot still and I'm interested in trying something new however I have a few general questions...first off this still from what I read is a versistile still correct, it can make different aproducts such as whisky or vodka, if I read correctly, what variables are changed in the still that decide what the final product will be...the packing hight?..also what is the product turn out per hour, is it simalir to a pot still or will it take longer to do a complete run? Thanks guys I'm really excited to begin doing this! Tomm I'm going out to buy the necessary parts to begin build my coil
Vashine
Novice
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:41 pm

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby talon » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:10 pm

Great write up, you spent a lot of hours to pull this together! Really informative. I have a question for you guys, I was going to build two heads for my keg using tri clamps, one reflux and the other a pot still. Do you think the boka makes as good a whiskey as a true shorter pot still head? I know there minimal reflux with the packing out of the boka, but the height of the column to me would still cause more reflux. Thanks again for pulling this altogether in one place.
talon
Novice
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:38 am
Location: Colorado

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby Usge » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:56 am

A detuned boka does not have the flexibility of a potstill head on that end of the spectrum. That said, if you like the flavor/taste of single run whiskey, the boka can do a decent job with that. Where the boka falls down is stripping runs (ie., double runs). You just can't push most bokas hard enough (even full stripped out and wide open) to get a proper strip run compared to a potstill head. And the harder you push the boka, the more likely it is to reflux even more. The height of the tube has nothing to do with it. It's the constriction of the lynearm/valve/plate setup designed for dripping off runs that limits it's throughput by comparison. This in turn limits the flow-rates you can run...before it backs up into the plate and overflows/reflux.

So, if you like single run spirits, this can work well for you. You can tune whatever proof you want with the valve and twiddle with it along the way. The end result however is not the same as doubling runs on a potstill head. That's not bad or good...just different. If your setup uses a tri-clamp to attach your column, it's a no-brainer to build a 2nd potstill head and just clamp up which ever you want to use for a given run. Even if your goal is "neutral", having a potstill head around for quick stripping runs so you have plenty of volume to sustain high proof runs is handy.
User avatar
Usge
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3241
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:22 am

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby ELT » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:08 pm

What are your thoughts on a 3 inch wide Boka (5ft total height including 1 ft for condenser) with a 3/8" output and corresponding needle valve being used for double run whiskey distillation? I've decided on LM as what I want to build and the Boka seems like a good start for this hobby. My target is high end rums, whiskeys and vodkas. I understand one machine for all 3 is a hefty request but can it be done with a Boka? Thanks in advance for the assistance, Folks!
ELT
Novice
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:32 pm

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby Usge » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:10 pm

ELT, I would refer you to this thread by member Odin:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=39091

He makes whiskey using a full reflux method. But, he doesn't double run it. He just uses a portion of feints from the first run, to flavor the 2nd. And, he's looking for people to also try his method to confirm his findings.

As far as what determines a "high end" whiskey, rum or vodka.... and what you like, that's entirely subjective...that's up to you. I recommend trying everything. What's the worse that can happen? You end up with a kick ass boka and a potstill head? Or, you may end up really liking the boka for doing everything once you find your own methods and efficiencies. That's hard to say. I will say this...if I had any distilling advice to give...nothing good ever came cheap or easy. There just aren't any shortcuts to this. Make the whiskey, rum or vodka you like. Not the one that is easiest to make for the sake of it being easy. Where ever that leads.
User avatar
Usge
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3241
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:22 am

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby HookLine » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:28 pm

My target is high end rums, whiskeys and vodkas. I understand one machine for all 3 is a hefty request but can it be done with a Boka?


IMHO, if you have full control over the output ABV, from 0 - 95.6% (azeotrope), then you can make anything you want.

A Boka slanted plate design gives you that degree of control.

The variables that affect output ABV are:

- ABV of still charge
- heat input level
- take-off rate/reflux ratio (from both active, or forced, and passive reflux)
- the amount of packing
- the amount of column insulation.
Be safe.
Be discreet.
And have fun.
User avatar
HookLine
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 5637
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:38 am
Location: OzLand

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby ELT » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:16 am

Thanks for the replies! To me a high end product is top notch ingredients and not rushed. Quality over quantity - I would love to be on par with the top shelf commercial whiskeys and rums.

I will research the referred thread and post my results (once my boka is built in a few weeks).
ELT
Novice
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:32 pm

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby ELT » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:21 am

Usge wrote:ELT, I would refer you to this thread by member Odin:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=39091

He makes whiskey using a full reflux method. But, he doesn't double run it. He just uses a portion of feints from the first run, to flavor the 2nd. And, he's looking for people to also try his method to confirm his findings.

As far as what determines a "high end" whiskey, rum or vodka.... and what you like, that's entirely subjective...that's up to you. I recommend trying everything. What's the worse that can happen? You end up with a kick ass boka and a potstill head? Or, you may end up really liking the boka for doing everything once you find your own methods and efficiencies. That's hard to say. I will say this...if I had any distilling advice to give...nothing good ever came cheap or easy. There just aren't any shortcuts to this. Make the whiskey, rum or vodka you like. Not the one that is easiest to make for the sake of it being easy. Where ever that leads.


Thanks again! That thread is exactly what I was looking for.
ELT
Novice
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:32 pm

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby Usge » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:35 am

Let me kick up some mud. You can make anything you want on a potstill as well (you want it higher proof, run it again). However, 90% made on a potstill by running it several times and watering down in between would "taste" different and be a lot more work than the same 90% made on a boka in a single run . And conversely, 65% made on a potstill spirit run would taste different than 65% made by various detuning methods on the boka. The same 90% would taste different if you just used a CM head with no packing.

Whether or not those taste differences are preferable or not, or significant enough that you'd even care, would be totally subjective based on personal taste....and you ain't gonna know till you try it/compare it. If you happen to like the taste/flavor results you get from flavored single run refluxed spirits...then the gain in efficiency is all the more advantage for you. It's a you got chocolate in my peanut butter argument. Adding an up and over potstill head doesn't "replace" the boka...it adds to it. It also gives you a decent stripping head for when you need/want to up your still charge and alc volume a bit for doing azeotrope or higher proof runs.

The boka was not designed to run in potstill mode — despite the fact that you "can" unpack it, open the valve and run it using heat, you've still got the reflux condenser and plates which you can't remove. The original design doesn't even have a product condenser on it...and you'll find it gets rather warm when you start pushing it. So, if you plan on doing flex runs with it, you might want to consider adding a product condenser or cooling of some sort to the original design. Beyond that, the slant plate design...will only go so far take off rate/heat wise before it starts returning reflux back down to the pot. So, within the completely detuned mode (no packing, valve wide open)...it operates in a fairly narrow range on the low end of the spectrum of heat/flow control compared to a proper potstill. Whether that's bad or good...entirely depends on whether or not you like the results of it or not. (totally subjective). In that regard...you might also find the dicussions about making whiskey with them in a full refluxed state, then blending back fractions afterwards...interesting.

You can make whatever you want on any still here. But, the levels of operational efficiences are different for different categories. And the resulting flavor/taste of the distillate will be different...even starting with the same wash and distilling to the same proof.
User avatar
Usge
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3241
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:22 am

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby ELT » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:59 am

This sounds like a great start for me, though! I was looking for a good start and the Boka seemed to have more opportunities to learn the hobby than a simple potstill. What I end up with as a product vs what I want it to become will be the answer to my next build. I also didn't include all of my build thoughts in my first post. Please let me know your thoughts on the mods to the basic Boka (or my interpretation of the wiki for building it):

3 inch diameter 60" Type L copper pipe connecting to a 15.5 gallon keg boiler with 3/2 reducer and tri clamps on both 3" and 2" connection

plates soldered in 18 inches down from the top

condenser will mount to a 3 inch copper cap which will not be soldered (for overpressure protection). 2 extra holes will also be in it for OP protection.

condenser will consist of two 1/4" independent windings (inner and outer) with water supply and return y-valved from 3/4" tygon tube and 872gph submersible aquarium pump (Rio Plus 2500 leftover from a 200 gallon saltwater aquarium). overall length expected to be 12 inches from top of the main copper pipe leaving 4-6 inches below it before the plates

below the plates will be 36" of 100% copper mesh (removable if needed depending on method of production and target product)

digital thermometer per the Boka plans below the top plate in the vapor path to measure changes in temperature (seems more important than the exact actual temp)

takeoff will be 3/8" copper with a 3/8" SS needle valve.

After the needle will be a 30 inch Liebig condenser (1 inch or 1.25 inch diameter copper with the 3/8" internal passing thru it). Independent cooling water - not the reflux condenser return water. Is 30 inches too long? Maybe 18 inches? It won't be to knockdown vapor - more to cool the distillate before entering the parrot for ABV measurement.
ELT
Novice
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:32 pm

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby Usge » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:51 am

ELT...I'm not trying to discourage you from your plans.

Use DWV copper for the 3" column. It's much lighter, cheaper (unless you got a steal on the L) and will be less strain on your connection to the keg (particularly at height).

You don't need 3 or 4" clearance between the top plate and the bottom of your reflux condenser. 1" or so should be fine. Build the condenser first...measure how far down it goes...then tape the template for slot cuts on 1" below that.

I would recommend a bit more packing length. (42-46"). You "can" run it shorter (I have one 26" packing) but they are harder to control. If you can make your condenser a couple inches shorter, and you start your top plate a couple inches higher...you'll probably be close to 40-41" of packing with your original length..which would be better than 36" (imho). Other's can chime in.

So long as the pump can push the water up to the height you need it while maintaining the flow you need...it's good. That's the main concern. A secondary concern would be to watch how much weight you are putting at the top of your column with your connections and hose. That's easily manageable...but something to keep in mind.

Your thoughts on the liebig are spot on. You don't need it to knock down vapor...just cool the distillate. If you need additional cooling...one trick I use is to put my copper parrot in a pot of water filled about half way.
User avatar
Usge
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3241
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:22 am

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby ELT » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:34 pm

Thanks for the tips. Funny enough around here I can find the Type L 5ft for $145.00 out the door and can't even find a source for 3" DWV (even 2 local plumbing supply shops don't offer it). On Ebay folks have DWV for $2.50 an inch - $150 plus $5 in shipping. I'll compensate for the weight by supporting the water hoses independently from the boka tube.

thanks for the plate height thoughts - I'll set the total of the plates plus condenser at 16 inches and use 42 inches of packing with a 2 inch gap just below the plates. Tighten things up a bit. 18 inch Liebig for distillate cooling with it's own support.

the pump with all heights factored in should push about 9gpm into a 3/4" line. I'm estimating 5gpm of that will make it through the condenser. I'm heating with a Banjo BG14 - max if 120000 btu input on 30psi propane but have no interest in running it that hot.

Should be a good start. Please keep the constructive criticism coming - soon I may need to start a build thread to keep the feedback coming.
ELT
Novice
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:32 pm

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby Usge » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:44 pm

1 gpm usually more than enough to knock down everything for a single run spirit run. If stripping run...or open potstill mode run...might need a bit more. So, you look like you are well wtihin range with your pump.
User avatar
Usge
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3241
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:22 am

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby jholt91 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:28 pm

What was condenser height? I missed it! I've got 48" total to work with. How long should my reduced section be, and what size should I reduce to. 2" 2 reducer LM . But I only have 48" of pipe to work w/. 2"that is.
jholt91
Novice
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 10:30 am

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby TDS » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:15 pm

Hey all, I have a quick boka question...

Read a lot but the math seems a bit fuzzy...

My question is, If I have a "double helix" condensor, 10ft at 1/4 inch,
Will that be enough to sit on top of a 5 foot column of 2 inch?
It's set in a 2 inch cap so I could just slide it on top of a Boka
It will save me some work.
Here is a picture of it.
IMG_1087 (375x500).jpg

Thanks for the help.
:twisted:
"You know, you can just buy that stuff right up the road" he said.
I just smiled, and said quietly, "No you can't".
User avatar
TDS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 548
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:07 pm

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby Usge » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:38 am

So long as it flows enough water through it, ie., it's not kinked, should be fine. Take an empty plastic gallon container, hook your condenser up to your water source. Let fly, and simultaneously turn a timer on. See how much you collect in 1 min. If you don't have any problems..this typically will be close to 1 gal which way more than enough to do the job on your bok. Push the water pressure for this test, but be careful not to get so much backpressure to blow the hose off at the connector (ie., use a clamp on it where the hose connects to your barb or water source).
User avatar
Usge
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3241
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:22 am

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby TDS » Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:49 am

Thanks! My condenser is currently in use, it sits in an offset nixon-stone.
I know flows good just want to step up a bit.
If I can re-use my same condensor on a Boka
then that direction looks the best.
Cheers and Thanks again.
:twisted:
"You know, you can just buy that stuff right up the road" he said.
I just smiled, and said quietly, "No you can't".
User avatar
TDS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 548
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:07 pm

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby TDS » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:53 am

TDS wrote:Thanks! My condenser is currently in use, it sits in an offset nixon-stone.
I know flows good just want to step up a bit.
If I can re-use my same condensor on a Boka
then that direction looks the best.
Cheers and Thanks again.
:twisted:

Never mind, going to 3 inch and a new larger condensor.
Cheers!
"You know, you can just buy that stuff right up the road" he said.
I just smiled, and said quietly, "No you can't".
User avatar
TDS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 548
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:07 pm

Re: Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka

Postby raven_r_one » Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:34 am

This is FANTASTIC!

I've been contemplating a way to reduce the amount of time spent in the garage on the weekends and how to get better product with fewer runs.

Quite the wiki - you make it look EASY!

Two suggestions:

1 - when winding the copper coil, I found if I fill the coil with water (essentially run water in then hammer closed one end then the other) I can wind pretty tightly and then cut off the ends and poof - no salt or sand. It MAY not work for this particular application...
2 - I wish I better understood the min power requirements. Will this be jazzy with only 10 amps and 110 volts at my disposal?
raven_r_one
Bootlegger
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:05 pm

Previous

Return to Column Builds



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Tomc and 4 guests