Ebay finds

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Re: Ebay finds

Postby blackmoor » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:50 am

Hi replied to me and changed the description to the web page:
The kit includes:

-column 120 cm
-boiler 30 or 50L
-glass tubes to pack column
-doble heater 2000W + 1400W
-2 thermometers
-2 ball valves
-silicone gasket (oring)
-silicone tube
-manual


-safe and solid construction
-aesthetic appearance
-stable work
-high-quality distillate
-stainless steel
-easy to use
-cooler made of 3 m spiral
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby blackmoor » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:22 am

And about the cooling circuit he says:

All parts are made of stainless steel - acid resistant, type AISI 304. Tube is corrugated DN12.
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby Danespirit » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:11 am

Well, that part seems fine then..
If the keg is refurbished and without dents, I guess it reasonable to ask 409-419 £ for it.
After all, he put some work in it too.
If you're willing to buy it, you should have in mind that the take-off side needs to be taken care of.
I'm thinking of the barbed hose connector I referred to in an earlier post.
It is absolutely unacceptable just to put some silicone hose on it..it's a big NO GO..!
As it probably is a 1/4" connector, I'd change it for a 1/4" male/male threaded fitting SS. It will fit inside a 13 or 15 mm copper pipe (add a 45 bend if you want to change the angle).
A few wraps of PTFE tape, will make a tight fit.
The alternative to that would be to build a mini Liebig like the one I build here: viewtopic.php?f=87&t=54834
It'll help to draw the heat of your product, as it comes out fairly warm..the RC and PC being one and the same device on this type of LM.
The valve is another problem. It's a ball valve and you would have a hard time adjusting the take-off rate especially when drawing the foreshots.
Also, it's hard to see if it's stainless...it should be, let alone the gaskets inside.
You will be better off if you change that for a needle valve, I bought a similar one to the picture seen below.
E-bay and from China, but I ripped it apart and inspected the internals..they lived up to the standards. It was dirt cheap, so it won't cost you an arm and an eye.
I almost forgot...a word of caution regarding the valve. Don't buy any of these cheap nickel plated brass things you also see on E-bay..! It may be tempting, but don't do it. I have some of them for other things and use one as a water flow regulator, but that's it. They will never be installed in the product path.
s-l225.jpg
1/4" SS 304 needle valve
s-l225.jpg (7.18 KiB) Viewed 788 times
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby blackmoor » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:44 pm

I asked about the valve if it could be changed and it also can be done:

The valves are chrome-plated so they do not react with alcohol, but I have columns with stainless steel needle valve like here: https://prostill.co.uk/en_US/p/Aabratek ... -valve/309

He offers me distiller with needle valve for 485 euro including shipping...
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby Danespirit » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:32 am

That's what I suspected...Chrome won't bring you home.
Sooner or later that Chrome WILL come off, the question is what's underneath..probably brass...of some sort.
That's what most manufacturers need, as it's easy to machine and plate.
Speaking of machining brass..often Zinc or even Lead is added, to bring down tool wear and get a better surface finish.
That stuff will be exposed to your product as soon as the thin Chrome layer is gone or scaled off. In particular, the valve seating will show sign of wear very soon.
That and probably some rubber material used as gasket will render that valve useless for install in the product path.
As I wrote above, I have a few of these Nickel/Chrome plated needle valves, but they are used for other projects..such as my waste oil burner etc.
For the extra price he asks (11 £) to get a stainless one, you can get two of the kind shown above.
How ever you decide, make sure the internals of that valve also meets the requirements for distilling.
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby blackmoor » Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:06 am

Thank you for your replies, I really appreciate them, making my expreience safer with this still.

I've come to the conclusion that i Will order it. About the valve, seller says it is a "Valve that has two female 3/8" thread".

Was looking at aliexpress for one, what do you think of this one?

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Brand-N ... 33858.html

And what kind of pipe would you recommend to get to the take out side of the valve? maybe 10 mm copper pipe with 3/8> 10 mm brass fitting, like this one from my country:

https://www.puuilo.fi/epages/puuilo.sf/ ... s/10064079
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby Pikey » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:50 am

Blackmoor, When you get it, if you take it to bits as far as you reasonably can and show us photies, then we can help you modify it as needed and set you on the right track for that still.
:)
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby Danespirit » Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:31 am

+1 Pikey that's an option.

Well, I just happen to have one of these valves laying around.
They are fine, but as they are made for high-pressure installations, they are also hard to turn. (compared to the one I showed you)
The inside is PTFE, so all good.
10 mm copper pipe should do the job. Just do a nice and wide 45-degree bend on the tube and let it go so far downwards as it takes to come to a convenient height.
You may even cut it 45 degrees at the end too...just for nice looks.
I must say, I'm not keen on these brass fittings in the product path.
I'd swap that for a stainless steel compression fitting, they are cheap and widely available on E-bay.
A little PTFE tape on the olive will make it absolutely sealed, even if the stainless doesn't bite into the copper pipe...makes the disassembling easy btw.. :idea:
Like the one here:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-8-NPT-Male-30 ... ie7vUETO-g
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby blackmoor » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:55 am

Waiting for the still arrive and started thinking. Should I order some copper mesh to be put in the column? Column packing material is glass, I think copper mesh could be better, i remember that befere I put copper in my airstill, the product smelled like rotten egg. But with copper, the smell went away,

Like this? how much should I order?

http://www.ebay.de/itm/Alcohol-Still-Co ... aPhY-2KcBg
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby HDNB » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:32 am

i would definitely use it. without copper my likker stinks too.

if the price is 4.65 pounds per metre, you may want to shop around a bit. brewhaus in america sells a big (sold by weight i think) package for like 14.00 usd. it has about 10 metres in it. maybe still dragon europe has a better buy?

i used the whole roll from brewhaus, in a fairly big column. there is room for more but i'm not making vodka, just keeping the smell out.
I finally quit drinking for good.

now i drink for evil.
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby Uncle Jesse » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:55 am

blackmoor wrote:Waiting for the still arrive and started thinking. Should I order some copper mesh to be put in the column? Column packing material is glass, I think copper mesh could be better, i remember that befere I put copper in my airstill, the product smelled like rotten egg. But with copper, the smell went away,

Like this? how much should I order?

http://www.ebay.de/itm/Alcohol-Still-Co ... aPhY-2KcBg


What are you making?

Whiskey? Glass is good. Neutral spirits? Go with copper mesh.
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby blackmoor » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:29 pm

Neutral/Vodka as high as it goes.
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby Danespirit » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:10 am

+1 On what the guys wrote.

My rig is all stainless steel.
That is, without my "brass Liebig": viewtopic.php?f=50&t=59501
Also, the extension pipe for my SS Liebig is copper.
All, my big sieve plates are also copper: viewtopic.php?f=50&t=64618
The copper helps to bind some Sulphur compounds that are in the boiler charge (the reason for the unpleasant smell you discovered).
I can clearly see the effect on my plates when I've just cleaned them up...they go from shiny to a dull brownish color in one run.
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby blackmoor » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:45 am

Pikey wrote:Blackmoor, When you get it, if you take it to bits as far as you reasonably can and show us photies, then we can help you modify it as needed and set you on the right track for that still.
:)


I have the thing now. But how can I upload images here?
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby rgreen2002 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:53 am

blackmoor wrote:
Pikey wrote:Blackmoor, When you get it, if you take it to bits as far as you reasonably can and show us photies, then we can help you modify it as needed and set you on the right track for that still.
:)


I have the thing now. But how can I upload images here?



viewtopic.php?f=7&t=66849
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby blackmoor » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:12 pm

So the package, that's...an original way to send something :
pönttö leikattu.png


Boiler:
pot.jpg


Heater element inside the pot:
Heater in pot.jpg


Included items:
included items.jpg


Glass packagin ( maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think that amount fills the column at even half level):
glass packing.jpg


Column bottom:
bottom of column.jpg
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby blackmoor » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:14 pm

Bend / arm pit from the column side:
bend from column side.jpg


Bend / arm pit from cooler side:
bend from cooling side.jpg


Why is the collection "tray" in the bend so brown, like in rust? any idea?
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby Pikey » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:38 pm

We seem to have two sets of questions here -
1) what is it ?

2) what's it made of ?

I think we need to go into those a little at a time.

1) - It seems to be trying to be an LM still a little like a boka with the "bent" top allowing the reflux to flow back into the column over the off-take valve which is where the product reflux is set.

[EDit - we have an "Offset LM" still fairly recently on a thread, which seems to correlate better than a "Boka" ]

Only the LM (Liquid management) still does not need a separate product condenser.

LM is not a bad reflux and can approximate a pot still fairly well :thumbup:

HOWEVER - I am concerned - The system seems to be sealed ! :shock: That cannot work - do NOT try to use it before we find out where the VENT is - if there is none, we must make one. Is there a small hole in the end cap where the condenser is ?

2) Stainless should not rust - although certain heating techniques when welding etc can denature it to cause this problem.

Is that rust ?

Are we content the boiler is stainless ?
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby blackmoor » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:14 am

The cooler is not sealed. It has a 2 mm between the cooler pipes.

Is there a way to determine that the boiler is stainless?

EDIT: Seller responded to my query about the rust:

It is not rust, all equipment is made of stainless steel, acid resistant type AISI 304. What you see is changes in the color of the metal resulting from temperature changes during welding.

So maybe it is all stainless...can't get more quarantee than that?

How should i clean the still before using it? HAve turbo mash 60 litres ready to go. After that I have to learn to make real mash :)
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby rgreen2002 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:24 am

blackmoor wrote:...How should i clean the still before using it? HAve turbo mash 60 litres ready to go. After that I have to learn to make real mash :)


I would assume that all welding has been freshly done and not cleaned IN ANY WAY.

As such, I would start with a LIGHT soap and water scrub(soap can leave a residue so use little... the rest of the cleaning will probably remove any issues). Consider maybe making the scrubber that Jes2xu made recently



Following that there is some minor variation:
1. Water distillation - Some people do straight water first...I sometimes do this. Here ends the variation...

Must do's:
A. I recommend doing a 50/50 water/vinegar distillation. I follow this with another scrub
B. A sacrificial alcohol run... your turbo yeast stuff will do just fine for this. Then consider heavily NOT using turbo yeast again. Also...DO NOT DRINK/TASTE/LICK,ETC... ANY OF THIS RUN...NONE!!
C I usually follow this run with a non-soap scrub and heavy rinse.

See here for full details: viewtopic.php?t=15489
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby blackmoor » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:28 am

Seller said this when I asked about cleaning the still before first use:

Before first use, pour container (keg) partially with water and treat the circuit with steam for about 15 minutes at the disconnected cooler (without connected hoses supplying water to the cooler) so that the steam could come out freely from the coil. That's enough.

You don't agree, right :D How much 50/50 vinegar/ water solution would you put in the still? I can't get from store more than 1 litre bottles.

Also was thinking of tossing the glass packing and ordering some copper mesh. Only how much do I need to fill the column? And should the copper be in the column before these cleaning runs?

Column inside width is 5,5 cm and length 100 cm.
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby Danespirit » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:55 am

Congrats on your new toy.. :D :thumbup:

The keg looks like it has been medium blasted...probably sand or glass was used, that's fine.
As a whole the still looks nicely machined and welded, it should last for years to come.
For the discoloration...that's a part of the welding process as the material gets hot.
He has not used any purging gas, so on the backside of all the welds, you'll find some black crap, which has to go.
The guys gave you excellent advice on the cleaning procedure.
Now DO NOT put any column filling in before the cleaning run..!
When you get the copper mesh soak it in some vinegar and water, just let it stay there for a couple of hours.
That will ensure you'll clean any stuff left from the manufacturing process.
If that cap where the water connections go in has no hole...make one (a 5 mm will do).
I know it's sitting in loosely there, so it's not a potentially dangerous issue...but safe is better.
No still regardless of type, should have the potential for a pressurized condition..!
Don't worry about escaping vapors...if your cooling water is sufficient at flow and cold, the condenser will knock everything that still can produce down.
When you've done the mandatory cleaning and you fill the column, fill it so you can still breathe through it with a little effort (that holds true for ALL kind of materials used).
After you've polished the parts you can reach for all the crap, fill the keg about 1/4 full with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution and let it run full blast.
Remember when you run your still: The element HAS to be covered by liquid at any time or it'll die on you.
Edited to add:
No one has mentioned the silicone gaskets he delivered with the still, they are a issue and should be replaced with PTFE.
You'll find some of them on E-bay, and you can even get a sheet, so you can make some yourself (one with a thickness of 1 mm will do).
As they are more rigid as the silicone, the threaded pieces have to be tightened a little harder.
Btw...304 SS ain't magnetic, so if the magnet falls of the parts, they are genuine. Lower grade alloys in SS, will be slightly magnetic.
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby Pikey » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:04 pm

Well blackmoor, you seem to have really fallen on your feet here ! 8)

With that still, you have absolutely no need ever to touch another "Turbo wash" - You have a piece of kit which will pull close to "Azeo" (96%ish) from any of the "neutral recipes" and will also be capable of making brandy, whisky etc by just detuning it - and a 11 gallon (imperial) electrically heated boiler, all for under £500 :D Follow Danespirit's advice on teh "take off" side and the guys' advice on cleaning - Oh and get a power controller to fine tune the electrical input - the chinese ones are cheap enough but get one at least 10 kw power, they tend to burn out if not over specified by a factor of 200% plus. This will help you to set the "Drips" with the reflux valve and give you complete control.

I have said on other threads that all the stills commercially available seem to be CM (Coolant managed) type and here you are with a pucker LM ! - Having said that - Class act - you found it yourself, made the contacts and asked the questions on here, understood the advice and made your own decisions. You have found something special.

I just hope the seller makes a go of his enterprise and I think we shall recommend this vendor's product to others wanting an off-the -shelf still which does not treat them like babies at a very reasonable price !

I'm sure we'll be talking to you a good deal more over the coming months and years, when we have this little beauty sorted :thumbup:

[Edit - and keep the AIrstill, I can't believe that with your drive, you won't be wanting to make "essences" for flavouring and even "essential oils" at some point soon :lol: ]
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby blackmoor » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:32 pm

Pikey wrote:Well blackmoor, you seem to have really fallen on your feet here ! 8)

With that still, you have absolutely no need ever to touch another "Turbo wash" - You have a piece of kit which will pull close to "Azeo" (96%ish) from any of the "neutral recipes" and will also be capable of making brandy, whisky etc by just detuning it - and a 11 gallon (imperial) electrically heated boiler, all for under £500 :D Follow Danespirit's advice on teh "take off" side and the guys' advice on cleaning - Oh and get a power controller to fine tune the electrical input - the chinese ones are cheap enough but get one at least 10 kw power, they tend to burn out if not over specified by a factor of 200% plus. This will help you to set the "Drips" with the reflux valve and give you complete control.

I have said on other threads that all the stills commercially available seem to be CM (Coolant managed) type and here you are with a pucker LM ! - Having said that - Class act - you found it yourself, made the contacts and asked the questions on here, understood the advice and made your own decisions. You have found something special.

I just hope the seller makes a go of his enterprise and I think we shall recommend this vendor's product to others wanting an off-the -shelf still which does not treat them like babies at a very reasonable price !

I'm sure we'll be talking to you a good deal more over the coming months and years, when we have this little beauty sorted :thumbup:

[Edit - and keep the AIrstill, I can't believe that with your drive, you won't be wanting to make "essences" for flavouring and even "essential oils" at some point soon :lol: ]


No, thank you! All of you who made this acquisition more easy. You asked the questions, and with those questions, I could ask questions from the seller which I could have never thought. So this really was a team effort :) And I have to say about the seller, he never felt like "you are too noob" or something like that. No, he always answered my questions and did not snort or anything.

There are some silicone washers, one for the keg/column and one for column/cooler. Any ebay link for suitable fitting?

Also how about the threads? on the boiler it has three threads, on for emptying the boiler, one for the boiler temp, one for cooler temp gauge, and of course one for column. The kit came with something for the treads...should I use that?
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby Danespirit » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:58 pm

The threaded fittings are the easy part, they are fixed with PTFE tape which is widely available.
Unless you are absolutely positive the stuff he delivered with the still is PTFE tape, I'd not recommend using it...such tape costs only a few bucks at your local plumbing supply or any DIY shop.
Well, I can't give you any link to E-bay as I wouldn't know the dimensions of the gaskets to look for.
However, just type the search term PTFE gasket or PTFE sheet and pick the appropriate one. Sometimes you'll see it's called Teflon, that's the product name for the stuff invented by DuPont.
A sharp blade and a piece of pipe as a guide are all it takes if you want to cut them out of a sheet.
I bought mine with free shipping and they only cost a few bucks.
Be aware of many of the gaskets are for ferrules and would have a ridge on each side. If that's the best you can find a knife and some fine emery cloth makes your life easier (PTFE can easily be cut).
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby blackmoor » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:23 am

Updates, got around to cleaning the column.

My version of the drill with scrubber :)

IMG_20170829_201730.jpg
drill scrubber


After cleaning the column bend from cooler side:

IMG_20170829_202338.jpg
Cooler side


And from the column side:

IMG_20170829_202351.jpg
Column side


Drastic improvement IMHO. Used vinegar as the cleaning solvent, nothing else. And of course rinse with water. The water was at first a little brown but then clear as crystal.

Same story with the column.

Do I need to scrub the boiler? or just use it as is? getting ready to do the vinegar run.

Also got the copper, but it is so small (seller says it is just the right amount for 1 meter column, 5 cm diameter. How do I roll that in the column? It's is just soaking on vinegar / water solution.

IMG_20170829_202715.jpg
Copper
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby Danespirit » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:05 pm

That looks neat..!
There is no short cut to success...you'll have to give the boiler a scrub, too.
You can use undiluted vinegar for it..
Soon you'll be ready for a cleaning run with a cheap and easy sugar wash...some crappy wine will do too.
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby blackmoor » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:22 am

Cleaned the boiler, got some black gunk off of it, with my trusty cleaner :)

Now getting ready to make the gaskets. Today got the ptfe plate from which I was going to make them...

But I cant, I dont have the tools to make them :( the plate is 5 mm thick and hard as steel! It is 5 mm because the original silicone gaskets are 5 mm too:

IMG_20170907_161424-opt.jpg


IMG_20170907_161455-opt.jpg


But I got to thinking: What if I just take the silicone gasket and wrap ptfe tape on them? That would be okay? Like the cardboard gasket that I've seen made here somewhere?
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby thecroweater » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:13 am

Yep that will work.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin
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Re: Ebay finds

Postby still_stirrin » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:15 am

blackmoor wrote:...But I got to thinking: What if I just take the silicone gasket and wrap ptfe tape on them? That would be okay? Like the cardboard gasket that I've seen made here somewhere?

As I've read through your thread, you have been given excellent advice and support through this venture. Thanks to all the respondants to blackmoor's questions. You've made it easy for him to succeed.

Now, in response to your question blackmoor, yes you can wrap a silicone gasket with PTFE tape making it an "easy gasket" as it is often called here on the site. It will work for you just fine. Since your connections for the column and stillhead are threaded, you need a shaped gasket which is slightly different from the typical Tri-clover (T/C) gaskets. Therefore, using the supplied gasket and wrapping with tape (the PTFE plumber's tape supplied with your kit) is an acceptable "make operable" solution.

Once again, you have done well to follow the guidance given here. As a corallary, I suggest reading the Spoon Feed thread and all it's attached links to further learn the "secrets" of this hobby.

Stay safe, responsible, and discrete.
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