A better way to run my still

Distillation methods and improvements.

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A better way to run my still

Postby Fiddleford » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:49 pm

Hello all. this is my second run on this still, I have ran into some issues. I noticed I'm only getting 2 drips a second off the still and the stove is pulling it's full weight nearly. I'm aware that a water bath isn't the best for still running but its the only option I have for now so I'm wondering if I pack my column it would increase my rate of output. My thinking behind this is that the column is being cooled off at enough of a rate to hinder my rate of production so my ideal is to pack it with copper or SS it may take longer to heat but it would stop any condensation from taking place inside the column .
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Last edited by Fiddleford on Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
All I need is my fiddle a guitar player and some folks from the Kam valley and I'm happy.

Be careful with high concentrations of sugar and high heat, if you get that stuff on you don't try and rub it off
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Re: Is packing necessary in a column?

Postby StillerBoy » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:26 pm

Fiddleford wrote:I'm aware that a water bath isn't the best for still running but its the only option I have for now so I'm wondering if I pack my column it would increase my rate of output.

First.. no it isn't the only option you have.. you can stop using the setup and set yourself up properly..

Distilling in the manner that you have setup for yourself is a nightmare to work with, as you have made yourself aware, so exercise the option of setting up properly..

As for packing the column on a pot still, no benifit will be gain as to the rate of or quality of production.. Production rate is related to the amount power used or applied to the boiler to heat the wash.. the manner that your are setup, you have very power input to the boiler..

Mars
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Re: Is packing necessary in a column?

Postby Fiddleford » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:51 pm

I don't have enough funding to get a new setup so I need to come up with new ideals for this setup. I would love for something else but I'm stuck with what I have I tried salt baths a water bath and a brine bath but to much energy is being used for me to be happy I have not tried an oil bath that may work, i will have to be careful but I'm already very careful. I could also use fire but I live in a apartment

The ideal of the rate of production is from the ideal that there is energy loss with the column due to its thin walls, so to contain that energy I put in copper pipes or SS pipes to contain the energy inside of the column. I see there is loss because when i pull the column off a whole lot of condensate is lining the column, if the packing ideal is complete rubbish I will scrap it and try oil next. I can get it for free
All I need is my fiddle a guitar player and some folks from the Kam valley and I'm happy.

Be careful with high concentrations of sugar and high heat, if you get that stuff on you don't try and rub it off
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Re: Is packing necessary in a column?

Postby Fiddleford » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:56 pm

I may even get rid of the column to reduce the amount of travel the vapor needs to go through
All I need is my fiddle a guitar player and some folks from the Kam valley and I'm happy.

Be careful with high concentrations of sugar and high heat, if you get that stuff on you don't try and rub it off
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Re: Is packing necessary in a column?

Postby acfixer69 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:58 pm

You definitely need to start over. Looking at what I can see that worm coil was a decent piece until it got crimped and flatten by bending it before annealing it. I don't see anything right in the picture with a corny in a stew pot on an electric stove.
This is a what not to do
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Re: Is packing necessary in a column?

Postby Fiddleford » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:02 pm

I plan on putting a propane burner under it, I got a stand made for it jut got to get the tank
All I need is my fiddle a guitar player and some folks from the Kam valley and I'm happy.

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Re: Is packing necessary in a column?

Postby Yummyrum » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:10 pm

Thanks for posting a pic with your question . Wish everyone would do that . :thumbup:
In direct relation to your question . No . Scrubbers would make it worse .
That “ condensation “ you talk about is actually passive reflux and filling your riser with it will make it worse .... if you have it uncovered and continue to run at such a low speed . When the column is covered the packing will basicalky be at the same internal temp as the riser/column so it won’t really change anything .

The single biggest problem you have that I see is the double boiler . To transfer heat like that you have to have a temp difference of around 20-30 degC to get the heat into the boiler . As water boiles at 100 degC and a typical wash starts at around 85ish and finishes close to 100 there just isn’t enough diference to make it work .

You could try using food grade Propylene Glycol ( note : I did not recommend highly toxic Ethylene Glycol radiator coolant ).
This has a much higher boiling point . Possibly a saturated salt solution might help but I doubt your mum will like that splattering all over her stove top rusting the shit out of it .

Bottom line is you need to rethink that skinny boiler . Direct heating with a gas camping stove might be a better option or piss it off and get a more squat boiler

Edit : yeah go with the propane
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Re: Is packing necessary in a column?

Postby Fiddleford » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:21 pm

I was thinking of using canola oil next a buddy a few doors down has hundreds of gallons of the stuff and he said he'd lend me some. its got a boiling point of 200C. I live a little more north then some may think, shits expensive for me and shipping's expensive.

Edit:Thank you for pointing out these faults in my system
All I need is my fiddle a guitar player and some folks from the Kam valley and I'm happy.

Be careful with high concentrations of sugar and high heat, if you get that stuff on you don't try and rub it off
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Re: A better way to run my still

Postby StillerBoy » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:46 pm

Here's a few things you can do..

Find the cover for the stew pot and attach the column to it.. that will give direct input of heat..

Or install an element to other pot (the inside the pot) and by installing 1500 watt element you will be able to distill without the need of a controller..

Plus you will need to rework the worm, as there seem to have many flat spots and kink in it..

Mars

Why do you keep insisting to not improve the setup.. oil will be even more dangerest on a stove top.. funding is not the issue, safety is.. always safety first..
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Re: A better way to run my still

Postby Fiddleford » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:54 pm

Its just a little wide there I unflattened it after I coiled it. the stock pot was my boiler originally the lid broke because someone threw something on it not knowing it was there. Internal elements are a no go.
All I need is my fiddle a guitar player and some folks from the Kam valley and I'm happy.

Be careful with high concentrations of sugar and high heat, if you get that stuff on you don't try and rub it off
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Re: A better way to run my still

Postby Alchemist75 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:12 pm

The smoke point of canola oil is 460 degrees which would theoretically work but I'll wager in practice you'll end up with smoke and oil vapors filling the room. I've distilled various oils in my lab equipment some of which have high smoke points. Oil fractions always showed up the collected distillates so I know that even though they might not burn, they do begin to vaporize at fairly low temperatures. Don't use oil. Water loses too much energy to be used in stripping runs. It's fine for slow, low spirit runs. Stick to the sand bath until you can either move away from using a bath or until you can get small bits of metal to fill the bath with instead. The best bath filler is copper bird shot, you don't even need a lot of it, just enough to fill the bottom of the bath a couple inches and for the boiler to set down into it a bit. Trust me here, I utilize baths with my lab set ups, I know them very well and I know just how tedious they can be. I know you told me once already but please remind me why you use the bath again? My memory isn't always so good, I think too much and one thing chases out another...
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Re: A better way to run my still

Postby Fiddleford » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:33 pm

I actually had more success with the water bath but I cant stand oily things in the house so I may ask the other tenets if they are fine with me running in the fire pit or the side of the house on propane, they know I make the stuff I just wanted this to be my last resort. I can't get bird shot I need a whole bunch of licencing I live in Canada I could cut up some of that small pipe have but i want to use that for reflux setups in the future. Quite frankly I'm done with the stove till I can get a proper rig like a trad copper pot. my neighbors are chill and they like me as long as I'm not to loud.
All I need is my fiddle a guitar player and some folks from the Kam valley and I'm happy.

Be careful with high concentrations of sugar and high heat, if you get that stuff on you don't try and rub it off
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Re: A better way to run my still

Postby Fiddleford » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:35 pm

I'm not one just to quit on something just because it doesn't work one way, I'll try another way and if the next way is going to make the house greasy f*** it.. I'll stick to the drawing board while I process some apples
All I need is my fiddle a guitar player and some folks from the Kam valley and I'm happy.

Be careful with high concentrations of sugar and high heat, if you get that stuff on you don't try and rub it off
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Re: A better way to run my still

Postby Alchemist75 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:37 pm

Oh wait, it's because your pot has a round bottom. I recall now. You could put just enough sand in it so that the cooker doesn't roll to the side. Maybe an inch in the bottom....if you can fire it in an outside clay furnace that'll be easier than using a bath for sure.
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Re: A better way to run my still

Postby Fiddleford » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:40 pm

I fabricated a stand a month ago for it
All I need is my fiddle a guitar player and some folks from the Kam valley and I'm happy.

Be careful with high concentrations of sugar and high heat, if you get that stuff on you don't try and rub it off
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Re: A better way to run my still

Postby Alchemist75 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:45 pm

Oh well there ya go, just use that. Sounds much easier.
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Re: A better way to run my still

Postby Alchemist75 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:48 pm

At the risk of sounding like a broken record: don't use oil. Sooner sand than oil, please just take that advice, it'll save you a mess and a potential fire hazard.
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Re: A better way to run my still

Postby Fiddleford » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:56 am

I'm going to go get a fire permit when I got the cash. I don't much like oil on everything
All I need is my fiddle a guitar player and some folks from the Kam valley and I'm happy.

Be careful with high concentrations of sugar and high heat, if you get that stuff on you don't try and rub it off
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Re: A better way to run my still

Postby Alchemist75 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:31 am

Aye, especially not in the air you breathe and your lungs lol. Glycerine might work but I know that too will vaporize past a certain point and probably somewhat before that. Glycerine vapor is quite flammable as well....
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Re: A better way to run my still

Postby Fiddleford » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:09 am

in that any might not be safe to have any nitric acid refluxing nearby eh ;)
All I need is my fiddle a guitar player and some folks from the Kam valley and I'm happy.

Be careful with high concentrations of sugar and high heat, if you get that stuff on you don't try and rub it off
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Re: A better way to run my still

Postby Fiddleford » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:10 am

I talked with my neighbors, turns out either their parents or themselves all make spirits to is a green light on that fire
All I need is my fiddle a guitar player and some folks from the Kam valley and I'm happy.

Be careful with high concentrations of sugar and high heat, if you get that stuff on you don't try and rub it off
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Re: A better way to run my still

Postby Alchemist75 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:20 pm

Hell ya! You could throw moonshine parties.
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Re: A better way to run my still

Postby Fiddleford » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:29 pm

I think I'm onto something here ;)
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All I need is my fiddle a guitar player and some folks from the Kam valley and I'm happy.

Be careful with high concentrations of sugar and high heat, if you get that stuff on you don't try and rub it off
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