Cheap and easy electric pot still

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Cheap and easy electric pot still

Postby Pikey » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:54 am

http://www.home-brew-online.com/equipment-c40/the-grainfather-alembic-pot-still-copper-dome-and-condensor-fits-on-t500-grainfather-p2303

£250 - for what is essentially a dog bowl, tank connector, a little bit of copper pipe and a simply constructed Leibig condenser. - £50 would cover the parts I reckon.

Cheeky buggers even want extra for the tea urn it sits on !

To use a tea urn, you need to bypass the thermostats , but a tea urn comes with it's own lid - so you don't even need the dog bowl.

It is advisable though to have an external power controller, to turn the power down when you get up to temperature.
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Re: Cheap and easy electric pot still

Postby Still Life » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:06 am

For the love of God that translates to $319US !!
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Re: Cheap and easy electric pot still

Postby Pikey » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:54 am

Still Life wrote:For the love of God that translates to $319US !!


Nice little earner ! 8)

Yes they certaiinly know how to charge - don't they ?

It wasn't meant that you buy one mate - just as a picture, for someone wanting to make their first to use as a base plan.
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Re: Cheap and easy electric pot still

Postby Desvio » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:39 am

It's a 25 liter coffee ($40 US) pot with a potstill head and some rigged wiring selling for $300+...

Someone could just buy the coffee urn and convert it themselves and save a bit of money no?
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Re: Cheap and easy electric pot still

Postby Pikey » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:31 am

Not quite Desvio - The "coffe pot" (tea urn over here) is NOT included in the price :wink:

My pot is the same idea - but I didn't take decent photos as I was doing it, so I bought another with the intention of taking better photos as I do the adaption - Thought I might post them on this thread as it goes. - If anyone would like to see it ?

From what I've read elsewhere, I think the T500 has got thermostats in the electrics like a coffee pot - but maybe at a different temperature ?

To me the giveaway is the output in "Reflux mode" which seems to go "drip drip drip trickle drip drip drip trickle drip drip drip" - etc a pretty sure signto me that the power is being controlled in an "On-off" manner. Then it says "When the distil is finished - nothing more comes out !"

Only way they could do this is to prevent the wash reaching 100C - isn't it ?

Does anyone have one of these T500s ? Can you confirm ?

With the reflux head it is a coolant managed reflux - there is an approximation of the design in a line drawing here : :roll:

https://www.bryggforum.nu//viewtopic.php?p=53037
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Re: Cheap and easy electric pot still

Postby thecroweater » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:42 am

Well for some proper shafting come to oz and buy it, almost $400 for the head and pox little condenser and then another $150 for the cheap urn. Fools and their money as the old folks would say
https://www.ibrew.com.au/collections/th ... ing-system
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Re: Cheap and easy electric pot still

Postby Pikey » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:05 pm

Nice video on that link of "how to operate" shows it being made up and he says to keep the output water at 60C

Thing is though, without them and the airstill (Tiny pot) the brew shops in my Co and Yours would not be able to sell "anything" distill - so in a way, these things are actually helping us out by bringing the hobby to a much wider participation base and demonstrating to the "Powers that be" that stillin can be both safe and profitable (Tax take from the profits of the shops) - so maybe these things are actually on OUR side ! :shock:
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Re: Cheap and easy electric pot still

Postby Still Life » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:35 pm

Pikey wrote:... so I bought another with the intention of taking better photos as I do the adaption - Thought I might post them on this thread as it goes. - If anyone would like to see it ?

Heck yeah.
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Re: Cheap and easy electric pot still

Postby Bushman » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:00 pm

There are a lot of posts about the grain father still do a search.
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Re: Cheap and easy electric pot still

Postby Pikey » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:43 pm

Thanks Bushman, That top fits both the grainfather and T500. I concentrated on the T500 and found that it has 2 heaters a 2kw and a 500W.

Phatfil has engineered a pot head to fit it using the original cap here ;

http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=46203


- A cheap and easy fix although I'm not entirely sure why he bothered using the triclamp at all. Highly recommended read for owners looking for "pot capability" though.

Pot hopefuls should be aware though that 2 kw is a lot of power to "knock down" and a power controller could be a welcome addition to tune your run.

Now a quick question I was unable to glean and answer to, for any owners out there.

Is the T500 capable of boiling water ? or is there a thermostat in there to prevent that occurring. This is an entry level still sold for use by total novices. In the interests of safety - If I were selling it, I would build in a temperature cut out around 96C - to prevent people wandering off and letting it boil dry.

So does anyone know whether they will actually "Boil water" ?
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Re: Cheap and easy electric pot still

Postby NZChris » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:38 pm

Pikey wrote:If I were selling it, I would build in a temperature cut out around 96C - to prevent people wandering off and letting it boil dry.

You wouldn't sell very many because 96C would shut your still down with 3% abv wash in the boiler ... and that is at sea level.

I've never heard any mention of a cut out on them.
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Re: Cheap and easy electric pot still

Postby Pikey » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:06 pm

NZChris wrote:
Pikey wrote:If I were selling it, I would build in a temperature cut out around 96C - to prevent people wandering off and letting it boil dry.

You wouldn't sell very many because 96C would shut your still down with 3% abv wash in the boiler ... and that is at sea level.

I've never heard any mention of a cut out on them.


I agree Chris - and to compensate for that - I'd try to convince them to use higher abv washes (TURBO ? ) - so the output looked good - and I'd tell them - "All you're leaving in there is those crap tails".

I take 3 litres of 30% between 96 and 100C - that's 0.8 Litres of pure ethanol !

I've never heard of a "Cutout" either Chris - but that video on the site crow linked to says "When its done it just effectively shuts down".

I'd just like someone to tell me - "yes it will boil water"
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Re: Cheap and easy electric pot still

Postby Pikey » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:01 am

See what this guy has to say at the end of his sales pitch - "There are no discernible tails - at all. In fact when you finish the run, the still just stops " T500 shown working. See minute 7 onward. That bit is around 7:30.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-3mb8zz0qk

To me "No tails" = no condensation over the last few degrees as above - Please somebody who has a t500 just try and boil a few pints of water in it and let us (me) know.
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Re: Cheap and easy electric pot still

Postby NZChris » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:12 pm

From the T500 user manual
"Do not boil dry. In the event the still is boiled dry, reset the cut-out button under the base of the still.
In the very unlikely event the electric cut-out fails, a fusible link gives an added protection. This
fuse will melt and cut the flow of power if the temperature exceeds a safe level. It cannot be reset
by the user and the boiler will need professional attention."
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"Boil it dry

Postby Pikey » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:47 pm

They also wrote in that fact filled document

"...STEP 8
Adjust the water flow to give an outlet water temperature of 55–65°C.
Monitor and adjust the water flow throughout the distillation process if needed.
Controlling the water outlet temperature is the key user control of the T500’s distillation process. This differs substantially from older technologies in which the user controls cooling water flow to achieve an ideal temperature at the top of the Column. The development work on the T500 showed an ideal water outlet range of 55-65°C. This can be lowered as low as 50°C, which will slow the Alcohol production rate. The outlet temperature can be raised to as high as 65°C, which will make the Alcohol flow faster, but at slightly lower strength and purity.As the distillation process proceeds the alcohol remaining in the wash is reducing, so the reflux ratio automatically rises to compensate and the rate of alcohol flow slows. This slowing is most noticeable after 2 hours of alcohol production.

You can confidently keep the Distillation Process running until the Alcohol flow stops. There are no recognisable “tails” from the T500. All the Alcohol produced, except the 50mls of heads, will be high quality.

STEP 9
When the Distillation is finished, turn the Boiler power off and disconnect from the power outlet.

Turn off the cooling water supply. The depleted wash left in the Boiler will be dangerously hot. Allow it to cool to a safe temperature before emptying it. Note: The spent wash is rich in nutrients and makes an ideal fertiliser for your garden.......2


On another thread 2 of our respected members concurred

T-Pee wrote:
Prairiepiss wrote:
Getsmokin wrote:Thanks for the info. Got another one for ya, so my MH cm when plumbed in series like the manufacturer says to do (before the cooling mods) would compress the tails very well, after splitting the cooling I can't seem to compress them much at all. Any suggestions?

A properly setup cm still. That the heat input and cooling input is set to the right amounts. The still should almost shut down at the onset of tails. Compressing them down good. That is if you aren't fiddling with the controls once you get past half the hearts.

The key is in bold I have found. PP is very right there.

tp


http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=25732&start=240

Page 9 of thread


So the writers of the manual and our own people agree - "There are no tails" - BUT for rather different reasons :shock:

That thread conatained a few who were sad to be leaving so much ethanol in the pot.

So if output shuts down at start of tails - How the hell are we to "Boil it dry...?"
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