Reflux from this design?

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winelegs
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Reflux from this design?

Post by winelegs » Thu Nov 05, 2020 4:29 pm

Had a little look around and the search terminology is not showing up anything.

SS pot still, doesn't matter the size, from 15l to 40l, with a diameter copper column of around 2-3 inches and 2 to 5 feet in height. Now instead of packing it with copper scrubbing material, what about creating out of 8mm (5/16) tubing a honey-like structure going from a few inches 2 or 3 times or a longer section of a foot up the middle of the column?

The theory is it will create lots of columns with narrow passages for more interaction between the up and the down vapours. Yes, it will give a path and wall descent but I would say more than copper scrubbing, which possibly leads to it dripping for the lowest point anyway?

Just trying to give something back to the wealth of knowledge I have soaked up.

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by LWTCS » Thu Nov 05, 2020 4:33 pm

If I understand you correctly, this concept has been coined "Gattling Gun" by a commercial builder/distiller and already protected property here in the US.

In any case, yes the concept does work.
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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by Bushman » Thu Nov 05, 2020 5:39 pm

Can you post a drawing? If I am hearing you it’s a pot still as you mention not a reflux and you are trying to create some passive reflux.

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by LWTCS » Thu Nov 05, 2020 5:55 pm

Bushman wrote:
Thu Nov 05, 2020 5:39 pm
Can you post a drawing? If I am hearing you it’s a pot still as you mention not a reflux and you are trying to create some passive reflux.
Yep, the concept is predicated upon passive reflux.
Picture an HX minus the shell.
Each individual (through) tube acts as a part that contributes to the aggregate diameter.
The space between each tube acts as a way to promote more surface area contact for potential passive cooling.
Stark Spirits runs one (among one or two others) and seems to be really happy with the finished spirit profile. Cool factor is,,,,,,,cool too.
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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by Expat » Thu Nov 05, 2020 6:08 pm

LWTCS wrote:
Thu Nov 05, 2020 4:33 pm
If I understand you correctly, this concept has been coined "Gattling Gun" by a commercial builder/distiller and already protected property here in the US.
We observe such constrictions here? :?:
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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by The Baker » Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:18 pm

I had an idea that patent restrictions were not as severe when the idea was used for your own use;
or for experimentation.

Dunno.

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by zapata » Fri Nov 06, 2020 12:19 am

Patents can actually be enforced against private use, in some areas. It's why the DIY version of the tilt hydrometer is in Germany and not the US.

But honestly, I'd be surprised if the basic concept is still patented, I was reading about a similar idea recently, I believe in a book from the 80s. Of course any improvement, detail, or spec could have updated patents. But, lemme see if I can find my source again, I wasn't particularly interested and skimmed it...

I think this is what I was thinking of from Handbook of Labratory Distillation:
(apologies for the bad OCR, I don't feel like fixing it. I think it's sufficiently readable)
All empty columns have a satisfactory efficiency only if the load is kept relatively
low. However, if a number of tubes are combined in parallel, the total load may be
raised to any required value. Such a column was patented in 1936 by Fenske [20].
If a narrow, vertical tube, say, 0.6 cm in diameter is used at a load of 10 nd/h, an
HETP of 1.73 cm may be found [21]. Such a tube, having a length of 1 111, would
produce a pressure drop of 2.7 nim Hg and would have a hold-up of only 0.4 ml.
Starting from such data, Kuhn [22] developed the so-called h a i r p i n countercurrent
principk (Fig. 251). The basic idea is that a small separating effect, occurring under
stationary conditions in a direction a t right angles to the axis of the tube (vector a),
is rnultiplied by means of a flow along the length of the apparatus, changing its
direction at the ends (indicated by arrows u1 and u2). I n order that a high efficiency
may be attained, the vapour velocities must be kept as sniall as possible and the
reflux ratio must be very high. For a reasonable throughput it is then necessary, as
already stated, to combine a large number of tubes in parallel (Fig. 252). The reflux
is produced for all elements collectively by means of a thermostat c and the distillate is taken from the ends of the tubes through superheated capillary tubes d (cf. also
Fig. 157).
Table 56 shows the throughputs, with various initial and final concentration%
xiid various differences in boiling point, for a multiple-tube column containing
100 parallel tubes (diameter 0.4 em, length 2 m). The values were calculated [22] for
a molecular weight of 100 and a boiling point of approximately 90°C.
Another ninltiple-tube column, containing 61 tubes of 0.2 cm diameter and 1.5 in
length, was eiiiployed for the separation of the isotopes 12C-13C, where the difference
in boiling point was only 0.03deg. C. The number of stages was determined Is>*
analysis of the products in the mass spectrometer. The hold-up of a tube 2 m long and of 0.2 cm diameter amounts to about 0.5 g [22]. The method has also been used
Ruccessfully for the separation of close-boiling isomers, such as the xylenes'(Fig. 263)
and the isomeric airipl alcohols. This type of column would appear to be promising for
many problems of separation requiring inore than 100 stages, since its HETP is
extremely small.
small tubes.png
So, obviously small scale. But a quick patent search for Fenske shows they were quite prolific, including several patents riffing on various versions of tubes in tubes for distillation.
Like this from 1937 and 1940, though the tubes here are specifically packed, I guess you don't have to:
This invention pertains to a method and apparatus for fractional distillation wherein high efllciencies are obtained by efiectively contacting the ascending vapors and descending reflux without serious channeling.

This is accomplished generally speaking by conducting the reflux down through the zone of contact in fllm form and in separate streams over a plurality of separately enclosed attenuated packing members.

The packing members being separately enclosed, for instance, by tubes having relatively small cross sections of any desired geometrical shape, the ascending vapors are brought into emcient contact with the descending reflux in a plurality of separate countercurrently flowing pairs of streams, or in other words in a plurality of separate fractionating units. The ascending vapors and/or descending reflux may be metered into each unit in a manner so that the rectified vapors produced by any one unit will be of substantially the same composition as the rectified vapors produced by any other unit.

In any case at least a very large part of the descending reflux is maintained in fllm form by virtue of its spreading out over the packing members.

While the capacity of the tower may be increased somewhat by increasing the cross sections of the packing members, to avoid serious channeling due to too large a cross section, the capacity preferably will be increased and decreased-by increasing and decreasing the number of packing members, the overall diameter of the tower being adjusted to conform thereto.
US2208573-drawings-page-1.png
US2037316-drawings-page-1.png
LWTCS, you have any specific info on what is currently protected? Seems if they were building packed "gatling guns" in the 40's then an unpacked one must certainly be "known to those skilled in the art".

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by The Baker » Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:23 am

Just from the layout of the excerpts this book is from WAY before the 1980's, could well be the 1880's.
In which case any patent would have long expired.
Looks interesting, I will see if I can make anything of it but maybe not.
It looks complex and I am no engineer.

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by shadylane » Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:25 am

Some body here, aught to build one for testing :lol:

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by The Baker » Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:32 am

Mentioned in home distiller Mar 5 2019.

"Gatling Gun Condenser"

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by Saltbush Bill » Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:43 am

From my understanding at least one pot still of that type is being used commercialy in Australia atm.
Myles also built one not so long ago and posted a photo of his on another forum. I nicked the photo to post here...hopefully he wont mind.
20201106_203645.png
20201106_203645.png (39.49 KiB) Viewed 767 times

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by The Baker » Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:48 am

The Baker wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:23 am
Just from the layout of the excerpts this book is from WAY before the 1980's, could well be the 1880's.
In which case any patent would have long expired.
Looks interesting, I will see if I can make anything of it but maybe not.
It looks complex and I am no engineer.

Geoff
Looks like I was wrong,the drawings are dated in the 1930's.
The style of the drawings seems unchanged from much earlier.

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by LWTCS » Fri Nov 06, 2020 6:18 am

@ Zapata et all,
I don't have specific info on any protections. Just grape vine is all .
And as you mention, any deviation can change the designation.

My point was to let the OP know that he didn't just think that concept up any more than Odin created corn flake faux whiskey.
Similarly, big oil has long since developed a bubble cap with an integrated downcomer.
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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by The Baker » Fri Nov 06, 2020 6:38 am

Saltbush Bill wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:43 am
From my understanding at least one pot still of that type is being used commercially in Australia atm.
Myles also built one not so long ago and posted a photo of his on another forum. I nicked the photo to post here...hopefully he wont mind.
20201106_203645.png
Thanks for the picture.
NOW I think I can see what it is all about.
The diagrams did nothing for me.

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by jonnys_spirit » Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:28 am

So this is essentially an air cooled dephlegmator/column section?

Cheers,
jonny
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i make stuff i break stuff
water into whiskey into water
just getting started in home distilling - been drinking for decades
16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by LWTCS » Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:50 am

jonnys_spirit wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:28 am
So this is essentially an air cooled dephlegmator/column section?

Cheers,
jonny
Yeah, similar to how the big scotch whiskey hats use surface area to enhance abv.
Not sure about Dephlegmator bit because that implies forced reflux?
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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by winelegs » Fri Nov 06, 2020 10:35 am

I'm so sorry guys, I haven't received and notifications for this thread!!

Thank you for all your responses, and that Gatlin gun thing looks mean. But no I was meaning to hang/suspend a certain length of pipes that may be soldered together down the main column. I have attached pictures, and no I'm not claiming to invent, nor do I expect it not to have been thought of before.

Regards
Screenshot (33).png
Screenshot (34).png

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by LWTCS » Fri Nov 06, 2020 10:43 am

Thanks for the clarification.
Beyond more copper surface area, what are you hoping to achieve beyond what a more conventional pot still can't already do?

Does the jacket have cooling medium ports?
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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by winelegs » Fri Nov 06, 2020 4:36 pm

No, I was just wondering if there would be more interaction with the vapour coming up and droplets coming down. From what I have understood is that the droplets can cling to the wall, here any clinging to the wall will be closer to the vapour coming up, filling the void and increasing surface area. The other thing I have read with using scrubbers is that the droplets can form a stream coming down through the mesh and drip from the lowest point of the mesh. Here the tubes could be from 4 inches to whatever size, but should get a lot more dripping from each tube, and could even fill each tube with a little fine mesh too.
I have no viewing glass to see, the only other way would be to build it and do a comparison. Which I will get around too if i is worth it.

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by LWTCS » Fri Nov 06, 2020 5:58 pm

With that outer wall, I would theorize that once the mass of copper inner tubes is brought to temp with a reduced ability to shed heat, the ability to boost proof ( compared to a more conventional pot still) should not be expected without an upward pointing lyne arm.
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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by jonnys_spirit » Fri Nov 06, 2020 6:10 pm

The open design with a helmet on top would be pretty cool. Say 15-20x 1/2 tubes on a 4” fitting with some area for good air flow. 48”tall? 60”?

Cheers,
-jonny
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water into whiskey into water
just getting started in home distilling - been drinking for decades
16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by Yummyrum » Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:50 am

Winelegs .
Googe had a similar thought here a few years ago .

http://www.coppercustomstillcomponents. ... f=79&t=891

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by winelegs » Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:16 pm

LWTCS wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 5:58 pm
With that outer wall, I would theorize that once the mass of copper inner tubes is brought to temp with a reduced ability to shed heat, the ability to boost proof ( compared to a more conventional pot still) should not be expected without an upward pointing lyne arm.
Yes, to be honest, I did think of that, but my column of 2 1/4" x 2' has a cross-section of15mm pipe, like the attached picture, and I'm also placing copper mesh up, below and above that cooling aid. When the water is flowing around that cross-section nothing is coming out, it is in total reflux. It must be sending the vapour back down as liquid somehow and I'm thinking it might be coming down the walls or trickling from the lowest point of the mesh, like a stream. So I'm thinking if I can make a place for interaction between the ups and the downs I've got a secondary level. The stuff coming down should cool the top half of the tubing and the stuff coming up will heat up the bottom half. In the ideal world slap bang in the middle.

The cooling by that cross-section is also so sensitive, just running at a trickle holts any vapour coming up and down to the condenser. Also, I am getting rid of that plastic tubing and those bloody jubilee clips and will run two elbow joints instead and a bit of bend pipe. It's always leaking and the clips don't take well for multiple takedowns. It gets so hot that the plastic pipe virtually melts.
Yummyrum wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:50 am
Winelegs .
Googe had a similar thought here a few years ago .

http://www.coppercustomstillcomponents. ... f=79&t=891
Omg, the waffle section is just awesome, yes going for something like this, only from 4" to 1' depth.
jonnys_spirit wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 6:10 pm
The open design with a helmet on top would be pretty cool. Say 15-20x 1/2 tubes on a 4” fitting with some area for good air flow. 48”tall? 60”?

Cheers,
-jonny
Hi jonny it has a top on, see picture, I just had a cut out so you could see inside. But yes that would then be like the Gatlin gun thing that someone was on about. Could even place a fan over that for water-free passive cooling, but air doesn't conduct any where near as good as water.
IMG_20201107_215253586.jpg

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by winelegs » Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:44 pm

Where's everyone gone aha

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by zapata » Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:05 am

I found another. I don't read German, but I was chasing a ref and could only find the 1948 German version of a book I was looking for. Turns out I can look at pictures in German just fine. Still didn't find what I was looking for, if it was in there it wasn't in the picturs :roll: but I did find this:
gattlin still 1.png
gattlin 2.png
From what I could gather, pretty much same deal. Decent rectification if you need low pressure drop and are willing to keep the loading very low, there is some complicated and clever way to distribute reflux evenly. So, like the other probably not much point for our needs.

So where did everybody go? Well I'm still here, but still don't see the point. Seems like a great idea for vacuum distilling small amounts of isotopes or something, but for booze? Whats this give you that packing doesn't?

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by LWTCS » Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:49 am

Packing on the large scale can be a real pita .
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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by Kareltje » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:20 am

shadylane wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:25 am
Some body here, aught to build one for testing :lol:
Well, if somebody there has done that, maybe he will be kind enough to tell us the results? :angel:

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Re: Reflux from this design?

Post by winelegs » Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:18 pm

Well I have soldered up some parts, just a few sections of 5 cm tubing. Could get a tight fit around the main base by wrapping copper screen around it and after doing it I'm not to sure how much a difference it will make. I kind of think with the springs and other packing the close-knit of material, vapour and reflux plays the most important interaction in the role. Oh well, I may run it, wait until I get enough low wines and do a comparison. I'm still crawling at the moment to be fully scientific.

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