CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PSII.

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CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PSII.

Postby Prairiepiss » Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:22 pm

CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PSII.

I’m posting this thread in an effort to incorporate all the modifications that can improve the output of a CM still. In one easy to find thread. Lets face it the two main suppliers of good quality reflux stills. Both sell CM stills. Mile High and Brewhaus. Not everyone wants to or has the ability to build a still. That’s where these company’s step in and provide a decent still for those customers. I didn’t say it was the best. But they can produce a good product. If used in the best way possible. With more and more of these popping up every day. I felt we should provide those owners with the needed information to get the most out of their investment. So if we could please just keep this thread about improving of a CM still. So those who need the help don’t have to wade through a bunch of non relevant information. To get what they need to do so. So lets get to it.

Little about what a CM still is.

Cooling Management
This is (unfortunately) a very common design. The cooling management still features cooling of the column before the product takeoff. This condenses a portion of the vapour and sends it back down the column as reflux. It is controlled via the manipulation of cooling water to the reflux condenser. If water flow is reduced, the reflux ratio drops and output increases. If cooling water is increased, the reflux ratio is increased. It is possible to completely stop output by increasing water flow (total reflux). The CM designs has a lot of variations.
One good thing about CM is they achieve great tails compression. However, there are several implicit drawbacks to the CM, however. The most irritating is that to control the reflux ratio, you have to tweak the level of coolant flow to the reflux condenser. It is a very, very fiddly design to run. Coolant settings are not predictable, either - a hotter day could mean your water supply is warmer, or the still charge could be different. If you are recirculating your water, then it will get warmer, requiring constant attention. Heads compression is poor compared to other reflux designs. While these stills can make very palatable neutral, I have not heard reports of them performing as well as a VM or LM. I think this is not so much the stills fault, but more the difficulty of tuning them exactly with cooling flow. Regardless, reliable reports of CM stills achieving aezotrope purity are pretty few and far between.

I would strongly recommend avoiding these designs if you are building. The CM is generally regarded as an inferior design.

Commercially available cooling managment stills*:
Essencia Express, Still Spirits Reflux / Super Reflux, Spirits Unlimited Eurostill, All of Mile-Hi's designs (at time of writing), Brewhaus Essential Extractor series.


Taken from Kiwistiller’s thread Basic Overview of Common Reflux Designs
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=13360

I will add this. I can achieve 95% with my CM. And it is a 2" X 32" column. So if I can do it. So can you.

So now we have that out of the way. Lets get to the modifications.

First one that should be done is to reroute the Coolant Flow. This will give you better control over the reflux ratio and product output. Basically you need to separate the two condensers. So the flow is not routed through one into the other. With the water flowing through the product condenser then into the reflux condenser. You get a temperature flux making it hard to adjust the flow. For the optimal reflux ratio and product output. By adding a simple manifold with two valves on it. One a ball valve for the product condenser. And the other a needle valve for the reflux condenser. The product condenser doesn’t need a fine adjustment. As long as you have adiquit flow to knock down all the vapors. It will work. A little extra wont hurt it. The reflux condenser however needs a fine control over the water flow. Using a needle valve gives you the fine control you need. Here is a simple diagram for a coolant water flow manifold. Based on what I use. You could make it as basic or as complicated as you like. Your choice. I use a 1/2" ball valve and a 1/4" needle valve on mine. a 3/8" needle valve will work also.



CM Cooling manifold.jpg


Now there are a few different designs out there as mentioned earlier. And hose routing is different between them. I have made a diagram for the two most used designs you can buy premade.
The first is a Mile High new style Jacketed column condenser. It has a jacketed area around the column that the water flows through. Cooling the outside of the column walls. Which is another problem I will cover later with another mod. Hose routing for this style should be as follows.

From the water tap or a recirculation pump to the input of the flow manifold.

From the ball valve on the manifold to Product condenser port A on diagram. Then out Product condenser port B to the drain or recirculation reservoir. If using a recirculation pump and reservoir.

From the needle valve to the Reflux condenser port C on the diagram. Then out Reflux condenser port D to the drain or recirculation reservoir.

The reason you want the coolant flowing from the bottom of the reflux condenser up and out the top is. You want it to be flooded at all times. If the flow was reversed it mite lead to a siphoning action pulling all the water out of the condenser. By it flowing up it has to fill it to the point of the outlet before it can leave. This maybe contradictory of the way it really should flow. But unless you can devise a system to make sure the condenser stays flooded at all times. The way I described it is the easiest and best way to do it. Especially for a new still operator.

The second is the older Through tube reflux condenser style. Mile High’s first version was this type. Along with the one Brehaus sells the Essential Extractor PSII. These styles can have two or more through tubes. I have seen one with six. Can’t remember who made it? But anyway the reflux condenser on this style is comprised of tubes that are routed through the column. So one end of the tube sticks out one sid of the column and the other end the other side of the column. Some the tubes are criss crossed. Some are inline. My diagram shows a four tube inline setup. For ease of making the diagram. This style the water flowing through the tubes causes the vapors to condense on the tubes. And fall back down the column. The drip is not really centered but can drip in the center. So this style will also benefit from the mod I will go over later. Here is how the water should be routed for this style.

From the water tap or a recirculation pump to the input of the flow manifold.

From the ball valve on the manifold to Product condenser port A on diagram. Then out Product condenser port B to the drain or recirculation reservoir. If using a recirculation pump and reservoir.

From the needle valve to the lowest most Reflux condenser tube in the column the. Out from the other side of that tube to the next higher tube. Out from the other side of that tube to the next higher tube. So on and so forth until you get to the upper most tube. Then out the last tube to the drain or recirculation reservoir.

And again for ease to keep the tubes full is why I described it this way. Although the tubes have been described as not having the same problems of not staying flooded. And yet others say they are worse.

CM diagram jacketed.jpg

CM diagram tubes.jpg


Another modification to increase the efficiency of the reflux condensers. Add some copper mesh packing loosely within the reflux condenser area. This does two things.

One it causes turbulents in the vapors. Helping to keep them from bypassing the condenser.

Two the mesh makes contact with the cooling surface of the condenser. This creates more cooling surface. Making the mesh like a heatsink.



One of the problems with this design is the reflux forms on the walls of the column. Then runs back down the column walls bypassing the packing. This defeats the purpose of the packing. You want the reflux to fall back down the middle of the packing. So it can mingle with the rising hot vapors to be re vaporized. Thus creating the scrubbing action that the packing is there for. So on to the next modification.

Centering Ring
In order to get the reflux to mingle within the center of the packing. We need to get it there. So making a simple centering ring to redirect the reflux flow to the center of the packing. This can be done by making a simple funnel out of a sheet of copper. Or a flattened piece of copper pipe. You want the larger end to be just a touch bigger then the inside diameter of the column. So when you slide it into pace it will stay there. And fit snug so the falling reflux doesn’t bypass it. The smaller end will depend on the column diameter. Recommended sizes are.

For a two inch column 3/4" to 1”. One inch being the best. And not to go smaller then 3/4". Or it could choke the still out.
For a three inch column 1 1/4" to 1 1/2". Same reasons as above.

The centering ring can be made from whatever you want. I made mine from a 1 1/2" to 1” reducer. That I expanded or flared the 1 1/2" side out to fit snug in the column. I have included the placement of these centering rings in the diagrams. Placement may be different for each still. But you can move them to find the optimal location. You can also add more then one. Place them throughout the column if you like.



Another quick and easy mod is to just add a packed column extension. I know Mile High sells them. And I think Brewhaus does to. By adding 12" to the column length your purity will climb. And it will make hitting that magic number that much easier.



The last thing I would like to mention is the rubber plug used to cap off the top of the column. It also houses the thermometer. Replace it with something other then a synthetic material. A large natural cork plug will work. As long as it is not a composite cork made by gluing a bunch of little pieces together to make a big one. I’ve seen the use of a large cap made from wood. Just make sure the wood is safe to use. Not treated or a poisonous variety. A copper pipe cap can also be fitted to it. It doesn’t mater what it is made of as long as it is safe for use in hot high ABV vapors. And remember it needs to be sealed tight. You don’t want the alcohol vapors escaping.



Ok one more last thing. To extend your product output to reach your collection jar. Please use a safe material to do so. I would like to detour you from any synthetics. A piece of soft copper tube can be fitted over the end and clamped on. Then it can be bent to reach what ever you want it to. Or you can get a stainless tube and a compression fitting to extend it out. Just please stay away from the plastic hose that everyone seams to think they can use.


A note on running in pot still mode.
These are purely my observations. Take it as you will. I have found by leaving the packing in during pot still operation. No reflux condenser operation. I only get like maybe a 5% gain in ABV. Over removing the packing. And that's on a good run. So I feel its a waste of time pulling it out just for a pot still run. Others may disagree. Those are just my findings. Your mileage may vary.

Speaking of packing. These commercial available stills come with two kinds of packing copper mesh and Ceramic Raschig Rings. Again this is only an observation on my part. I have no proof on this one. Would like some feed back on it from those that do. But it is my understanding if both types are used in the same column. The two different types will hamper the columns ability to equalize with a proper temp gradient. Since the copper mesh and the Ceramic Raschig Rings handle heat differently. The gradual temp gradient from bottom to the top will be broken with the change from one packing to the other. I'm not going to say one is better then the other. What I am trying to say is it is better to stick with one kind of packing throughout the whole column. And a little copper in the vapor path will help remove sulfides created during fermentation.


This information was comprised of info I have gathered from many different threads around HD. And some real world experimenting with my own CM still. I would like to thank all those that helped me learn all of this. But that is so many. So I will say Thank you to HD.

And feel free to point out other things I mite have missed or forgotten. I would like to update it so it is a one stop shop. For those that need it. Forgive my crappy paint pics. Its all i have to work with.

Mods I placed it here in the novice section because. I thought it should be available to the new members. And they would come across it easier here. If you think we need to move it that's fine.
Last edited by Prairiepiss on Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Prairiepiss » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:14 am

Second note. I have found by leaving the packing in during pot still operation. No reflux condenser operation. I only get like maybe a 5% gain in ABV. And that's on a good run. So I feel its a waste of time pulling it out just for a pot still run. Others may disagree. Those are just my findings. Your mileage may vary.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Usge » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:58 pm

P, I vote that this for a sticky (and also to the reading lounge). Good job!
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Prairiepiss » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:41 pm

Thanks Use. That's what I was going for.

I added some more info on packing. Would like some feedback on in packing. And what I posted. If anyone has some input on it?
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby bez » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:56 pm

i am going to change mine to the way you suggest, i should have some results this weekend to post for you. I agree this needs to be a sticky GREAT write up!!! :thumbup:
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Edel » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:36 pm

Prairiepiss, great post. I'll use this as a reference a lot as I've just purchased the EEII. After I get more comfortable with runs I'll try and add in mods as I go. Bayou-Ruler has nice mods on his and I hope to make some of those mods and also some of what you've posted here. I'm getting off into the weeds a bit, I just wanted to thank you for the post. :D
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby WalkingWolf » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:39 pm

Usge wrote:P, I vote that this for a sticky (and also to the reading lounge). Good job!


I agree Usge that this should be stickied (sp?). For whatever reason(s), many entry level stills end up being the Brewhaus PSII (or the subsequent MileHi model -- torpedo (?)). Just in the last couple of months I have directed several new members to BayouRuler for advice as he seemed to me to be one of our members that ran this rig and had figured out how to operate it and get a respectable product. Up to this point I had not found information this comprehensive and specific to this still. This particular design, while not ideal, can be "adjusted" to perform quite well, apparently. With my lengthy preamble aside, I'm essentially giving a "second" on Usge's motion to sticky this post so as not to lose such useful information for the novice user. Considering how many times we have to answer the same things over and over. I would also ask that BayouRuler, if he hadn't already, read through this infomation to see if he may have additional insight to add.

However, I would recommend rewording the title a bit. I think most of the folks that will utilize this information will still be several weeks (months?) from truly understanding the whole LM, CM, VM designations and therefore may simply overlook this thread. I think something along the lines of "Brewhaus PSII improvement modifications" so the new stiller, with a potentially limited stilling vocabulary, would still clue in on the product name.

Just my thoughts -- Good work PrairiePiss (we might even renew your membership for next year :P )
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby rad14701 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:52 pm

Topic moved to Column Distillation and Design from Novice Distillers and stickied...
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Prairiepiss » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:03 pm

Cool it got sickyed. And WalkingWolf I sent Bayou-Ruler a invite to come give us his input. Thanks for the heads up. :thumbup:
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Prairiepiss » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:29 pm

Would like to add some things.

Insulation. I didn't include this one because its a universal mod for all reflux stills. But we mite as well add it to the list. Basically you insulated the column. Many different types of insulation are or have been used. Most common being the black foam pipe insulation. And the foil looking bubble wrap insulation. It doesn't make your still look pretty. But it can help the efficiency of the column quite a bit. Especially in colder or windy running conditions. It will help the column equalize and maintain equilibrium during a run.

I would also like to add a little bit about PM or Power Management. These stills can also be controlled as a PM. By means of adjusting the amount of heat you put into it. Somewhat like a pot still. With mine I have found a sweet spot on my controller. I set it to that spot after it gets to running temp. I then get the coolant flow set so I have the output I am wanting. Then I can fine tune it with the heat controller. I get a faster response out of changing the heat input then coolant adjustments. So if you are having problems getting it dialed in with the cooling flow. Try adjusting the heat setting a little. Up or down depending on what you need. More heat less reflux faster takeoff. Less heat more reflux and slower takeoff. And throughout the run I just bump the controller up just a touch every once in a while to maintain the desired output.

So I would say these stills can be ran without a heat controller. But having one will make things a lot easier.

Sory not the best post.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Bayou-Ruler » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:42 am

Prairiepiss already has the bases covered pretty good but here is what I did to my Brewhaus rig to improve it.

Eliminate the Rubber Bung:
To eliminate the rubber bung I had a 2'' Short Weld Tri-Clamp Ferrule added to the top of the column. I used a 2.0" Tri-Clover x Female Pipe Thread: 2.0" x 1/4" FMPT fitting with a 1/4 inch x 1/4 inch King Nipple fitting to hold my thermometer probe. I drilled out the 1/4 inch opening in the King Nipple with a 5/32 inch drill bit, this allowed my temperature probe to snugly fit into the opening. After gently compressing the King Nipple against the temperature probe it formed a vapor tight seal. No sealants were used on the probe.

Eliminating the Chemical Tolerant distillate collection hose:
To eliminate the Chemical Tolerant distillate collection hose I used a 1/2 inch x 3/8 inch compression union to connect a length of 3/8 inch copper tubing to the condenser. Thus eliminating the "Chemical Tolerant Hose".

Insulating the Column & Boiler:

To insulate the column and boiler I used Reflectix insulation and Shurtape Metal Foil Tape. Both are available at most hardware stores.


In addition to these modifications I also replaced the standard 12 inch condenser with a 24 inch one and also added an additional 2 x 18 inch column section. I did not like the PVC ball valve that came with the water control system so i also replaced it with a quality brass ball valve which allows for finer water control.

I also did not like the water pump that came with the rig. I replaced it with one from LOWES. I can't recall the brand but it cost me $60.00 and was well worth the money.


Keep in mind that if you contact Rick Morris who owns Brewhaus America they will normally make any modifications that you want done to the rig at no additional charge other than the parts need for the modifications. This is really nice for someone who is not a pipe fitter or stainless steel welder.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Prairiepiss » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:55 am

Thank you for your input Bayou-Ruler. It's much appreciated. :thumbup:
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Bayou-Ruler » Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:03 am

Prairiepiss wrote:Thank you for your input Bayou-Ruler. It's much appreciated. :thumbup:


You are welcome Prairiepiss. :esmile:
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby KY1792 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:10 am

+2 for the repeat, I ran that PSII for over 3 years with the above modifications and loved every drop, albeit it took twelve hours for a gallon but she sure am good.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Edel » Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:45 am

I have the Essential Extractor and I have the water pump in a 50 liter cooler that runs to the condenser. I was looking around at my junk a started looking at an immersion wort chiller that I'm not using. Would it be worthwhile to hook my input and output to this thing and drop it in the cooler? Or would it not make a difference? I'm not running anything for the next couple days so I'm just sound boarding.
I am currently wanting to weld a 2" tri clamp adapter to my column so I can get rid of the rubber on top. I'm wondering if I can just use this wire welder I have access to add it on. I'd rather not take it to a pro to modify my "water distilling column" unless I can help it. I wish I had Brewhaus make the mod for me before I ordered it, didn't think of it then. Maybe I'll send it to them at some point if I don't see a way to do it right. Anywho, just thinking out loud today :)
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Prairiepiss » Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:25 pm

You could run the output of the still through the chiller to dump back into the cooler. So it cools it off before returning. Just circulating it though the chiller won't be enough. Larger water mass is the best option.

A wire welder can weld stainless. It's not the best tool for the job but will work. But you have to get the correct wire and gas for the job. You would be better off having someone tig it.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Edel » Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:59 pm

Prairiepiss wrote:
A wire welder can weld stainless. It's not the best tool for the job but will work. But you have to get the correct wire and gas for the job. You would be better off having someone tig it.


Yeah, that's probably what I'll have to do. It's just a cheap Craftsman welder and just wire, no gas. I do have a stick welder/generator at work but that might melt what I'm working on. Thanks PP.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby cornbred » Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:15 pm

Great thread for people like us with the CM's. Wish I would have been able to read this starting out. Pretty Work!!! :thumbup:
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Junkaboy » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:45 am

Thank you for this valuable post.

I own a 2" Brewhaus PS II, connected to a 50L beer keg, and on my first attempts at getting it to reflux properly I only got 88% abv max.
After reading up here on HD, I did a few changes and I am collecting at an amazing 94% abv :shock:


I did this:
- I ran two separate cooling lines (one for collum and one for the condenser) each with a recirculating pump.

- Placed the copper mesh packing starting from the top part of the columm, making sure to pack good around the 3 cooling pipes, but leaving the vapor exit unobstructed.

- Added 2 tablespoons of CaSO4 into the boiler

- Used lower heat. I use a propane burner, so I turned it on medium at first, then once I felt that the columm started o get hot, I turned it way down to s slow cook.


I charged the boiler with some of the 88% stuff I had and topped with water up to 23 liters, measured and it read 24%.

It's running atm, and I am collecting 100mls every 3m42s, thermometer steady at 77 C, distillate coming out at 28-29C and reads 94,5% on my densimeter. Already got 3,6 liters collected, expect at least another one.

Maybe I need a little ajustment on the abv reading because of the temperature, but still much better result then I had before.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby rad14701 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:39 pm

Junkaboy, the proof will be in the pudding when you do a freshly fermented low %ABV wash... You should see pretty much the same results once the rig is at equilibrium and fine tuned... The improvements you are seeing are nothing to sneeze at... :thumbup:
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Prairiepiss » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:46 pm

I'm glad it helped you Junkaboy. And Congrats. You will be driving that thing better in no time. :thumbup:
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Junkaboy » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:18 pm

To follow up, I was correct about the wrong reading I was getting due to high temp on my spirits. I got 92,5% abv on my reflux run.
I consider that to be a great success given that my collum is still not insullated and my cooling water is not very cold (abour 25C to start with), thus I can not "lock" my rig in full reflux.

So, I ran it today again, and this time I placed a small bag of botanicals (junipers, cardamom and coriander seeds) on the small space on top of the tower, right after the colling pipes. Got a very nice and aromatic gin out of that.

Now I need to take it one step further. I wonder what would be the best way to using it in pot still mode.

I have about 130 liters of smoked malt mash finishing fermenting and soon it will be ready... I wanted to get it to come out with a nice flavour and preferably around barrel strength (60 - 65% abv).

- Should I use half columm, or the whole thing?
- If I was to use only the top part, should I pack it with the copper mesh or leave it empty?
- Should I run it all once, gather all the distillate and run a second time?

Thanks
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Prairiepiss » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:35 pm

- Should I use half columm, or the whole thing?
That's up to you? I leave mine long with not much difference but mine is only 30" total. Don't know how long yours is total?
- If I was to use only the top part, should I pack it with the copper mesh or leave it empty?
As I stated earlier. I found leaving the packing in didn't make a big enough difference to warrant the time it takes to take it out and repack it. So again up to you.
- Should I run it all once, gather all the distillate and run a second time?
This again is up to you. Some do a stripping run the a spirit run. Some do one slow single run. You can always do a slow single run. And if you don't like the outcome you can treat that as your stripping run dilute down to 40% or below and run it again for a spirit run. These kinda things you will have to experiment with. To find what works for you.

And don't forget the reflux condenser is not used in pot still mode.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby cornbred » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:43 am

PrairieP helped me out with this a couple months ago so I thought I would share.

If you are running a PSII High Capacity, the correct amount of packing is crucial to achieve 95% abv. Between ten and eleven feet of copper mesh per roll is the magic number. If my packing is incorrect (usually too loose in my experience), my initial temperature stabilizes at 174.5 degrees and my abv will be 91% abv. If my packing is correct, my still stabilzes at a lower temperature of 172.8 and my abv will maintain 95% through most of the run.

I have also noticed if my packing is not right, I cannot reflux the column as easily either. The column equalizes and is alot easier to manage when the packing is correctly installed.

The only other mod I have done since pulling my extractor from the box was insulating the column and half the boiler with reflectix. The packing was the game changer for me.

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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Bayou-Ruler » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:34 am

cornbred wrote:PrairieP helped me out with this a couple months ago so I thought I would share.

If you are running a PSII High Capacity, the correct amount of packing is crucial to achieve 95% abv. Between ten and eleven feet of copper mesh per roll is the magic number. If my packing is incorrect (usually too loose in my experience), my initial temperature stabilizes at 174.5 degrees and my abv will be 91% abv. If my packing is correct, my still stabilzes at a lower temperature of 172.8 and my abv will maintain 95% through most of the run.

I have also noticed if my packing is not right, I cannot reflux the column as easily either. The column equalizes and is alot easier to manage when the packing is correctly installed.

The only other mod I have done since pulling my extractor from the box was insulating the column and half the boiler with reflectix. The packing was the game changer for me.

CB




Thats what the instructions that come with the unit say, approximately 10' for a 3" column and 45-48" for a 2" column.............
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby cornbred » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:04 pm

Bayou-Ruler wrote:
cornbred wrote:PrairieP helped me out with this a couple months ago so I thought I would share.

If you are running a PSII High Capacity, the correct amount of packing is crucial to achieve 95% abv. Between ten and eleven feet of copper mesh per roll is the magic number.[ If my packing is incorrect (usually too loose in my experience), my initial temperature stabilizes at 174.5 degrees and my abv will be 91% abv. If my packing is correct, my still stabilzes at a lower temperature of 172.8 and my abv will maintain 95% through most of the run.

I have also noticed if my packing is not right, I cannot reflux the column as easily either. The column equalizes and is alot easier to manage when the packing is correctly installed.

The only other mod I have done since pulling my extractor from the box was insulating the column and half the boiler with reflectix. The packing was the game changer for me.

CB








Thats what the instructions that come with the unit say, approximately 10' for a 3" column and 45-48" for a 2" column.............




It also says to roll loosely and to the point where it won't fall out. I tried 10 feet and started trimming to make fit. I should have been rolling copper tighter instead. Guess I should have followed instructions better.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby thomasjst » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:32 pm

Good post prairiepiss,i made a custome centering reducer out of stainless that is tri clamp to fit my column it reduces on both sides the iner is 1"1/4 for beter flow,as i can see a trap in just one sided reducer.and you can put your packing right to it to get the flow back to center of packing like you stated.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Prairiepiss » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:50 pm

That's a nice centering ring. :thumbup:
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Wormbiscuit » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:40 pm

Yee Haw Cowboys! These mods kick some serious butt! I just finished a run 'bout an hour ago. I consistently get 92 to 94% with my Mile Hi. I would like to thank the Bayou-Ruler for tips with the re-circ pump and reflectix insulation...I will now try to split the water controls to the reflux condenser & liebig/product condenser for greater control. I haven't attempted a "pot still" run with the column yet. Good to know that I don’t have to remove all the packing. I always back flush the column and packing after a run…how many runs until I should replace the copper mesh?
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Postby Prairiepiss » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:37 pm

Wormbiscuit wrote:Yee Haw Cowboys! These mods kick some serious butt! I just finished a run 'bout an hour ago. I consistently get 92 to 94% with my Mile Hi. I would like to thank the Bayou-Ruler for tips with the re-circ pump and reflectix insulation...I will now try to split the water controls to the reflux condenser & liebig/product condenser for greater control. I haven't attempted a "pot still" run with the column yet. Good to know that I don’t have to remove all the packing. I always back flush the column and packing after a run…how many runs until I should replace the copper mesh?


I would suggest that you try running it in pot still mode both packed and unpacked. At least one time. What works for me mite not work for you. It's always good to experiment to find the best way for you.

Copper packing should last a good long while. As long as you rinse it good and let it dry good. I rinse mine with the hottest water I can. It helps it dry out faster. Make sure to not block the column so air can move freely through it to help it dry.

And wait till you split that cooling flow. You will love that. :thumbup:
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