Otis' Pot and Thumper

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Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby OtisT » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:10 pm

Finished my metal work today on a new Pot and Thumper still. :-)

Pot and Thumper Set
IMG_0810.JPG
Pot and Thumper Set with Liebig


2" Column to 3/4" thumper arm to 2" x 3/4" thumper to 1/2" x 24" Liebig.
IMG_0811.JPG
Pot and Thumper assembled


2" Pot column to 2" x 3/4" Thumper with my new Dimroth Product Condenser
IMG_0814.JPG
Pot and Thumper with my new Dimroth


Inside my Dimroth
IMG_0826.JPG
Dimroth opened up


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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby jon1163 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:19 pm

I have a half barrel and quarter barrel keg and Thumper as well. I really like how you put the secondary elbow going into the thumper so that the thumper doesn't have to be the same height as the boiler... Nice touch man. I also like your condenser as opposed to the liebig saves a lot of room.
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby OtisT » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:47 pm

jon1163 wrote:I have a half barrel and quarter barrel keg and Thumper as well. I really like how you put the secondary elbow going into the thumper so that the thumper doesn't have to be the same height as the boiler... Nice touch man. I also like your condenser as opposed to the liebig saves a lot of room.


Thanks. Ya, I saw a lot of Pot/Thumper setups where the height had to be the same and I wanted to avoid that. Only a few extra fittings to make something that is more flexible.

I made the dimroth PC to avoid tripping over a liebig. I have a 3/4" ID x 24" liebig now and I needed more knockdown power. There is no way a longer liebig would fit in my stilling space w/o tripping on it, so I want with what I felt was the least expensive compact alternative. All of my still components use the same 3/4" horizontal Union connections so stuff if interchangeable.

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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby Yummyrum » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:07 pm

Top job Otis
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby MoonBreath » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:09 pm

Very nice work..Well thought out. :clap:
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby Antler24 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:59 pm

Real nice! I use a 1/2bbl boiler and 1/4bbl thumper as well. Also added an elbow so they don't need to be at the same height too. I like that condenser. I use a 36" long liebig and while it's not in the way, a smaller footprint would be nice. I been thinking about using a counterflow worth chiller for beer brewing and adapting it to fit my still. Let us know how that dimroth thingy works out lol
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby OtisT » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:48 am

Antler24 wrote:Let us know how that dimroth thingy works out lol


No supprise; The dimroth works Great! :-)

I just did a cleaning run and test with a 5 gallon, 12% wash. No Thumper, just the boiler and Dimroth PC.

5600 Watts the entire run. Collection @ 6 minutes per 1 Liter.

Cooling Flow data:
@ 1.5 lpm, some slight vapor leakage
@ 2.0 lpm, no vapor leaking, Hot water output and Hot distillate
@ 3.0 lpm, no vapor leaking, Warm water output and Warm distillate

I backed this off to 2 lpm for most of the run. I did bump the flow up to 3 lpm when I reached 208 because I started seeing a few puffs with the water heavy vapor.

I ran this down to almost pure water at 209F with no leakage.

Success! :-) Otis
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby MoonBreath » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:01 am

Did your likker ever run cool?...
I like the idea, maybe some bigger for overkill..Also you could mount a compact design parrot with 1/4" shot valve. :clap:
That is neat tho man..Good thinkn. :thumbup:
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby OtisT » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:00 pm

MoonBreath wrote:Did your likker ever run cool?...
I like the idea, maybe some bigger for overkill..Also you could mount a compact design parrot with 1/4" shot valve. :clap:
That is neat tho man..Good thinkn. :thumbup:


Yes, I did get cool distillate at lower powers. I started at and was getting cool distillate at 3500 watts before I went hole hog and cranked it to 5600. Next time I do a run I will increase power in steps to find out how high I can go and still get cool distillate. Otis
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby LWTCS » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:27 pm

Noyce...
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby Saltbush Bill » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:47 pm

Nice tidy job Otis :thumbup:
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby Pikey » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:25 pm

Nice Otis 8)

I looked at your first 2 photies and thought "Why not use that lovely Dimroth he made ? "

And sure enough there it was on photo 3 ! :)

I only run about 2 -2.5 kw and my little Dimroth(ish) has never let any vapour through at 1 lpm of cooling water.

I really am going to have to make a thumper though - I'm jealous now ! :lol:
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby Kareltje » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:53 pm

Nice set up, Otis!

Looking at your data: is the amount of cooling water really 12 times the amount of distillate? You might very well be right, I never measured it to now. But maybe I read the data wrong?
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby Pikey » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:45 pm

Don't think you read it wrong K - I sometimes use the "waste" cooling water to start a ferment in one of my big fermenters and I get 180 - 200 litres at 90 - 100 Ferenheit from 9-10 ltres distillate.

That Latent Heat takes a lot of overcoming.

[edit - the discharge water may be a little warmer than that - I've never measured it - but it is warm (ish) ]
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby OtisT » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:21 pm

Kareltje wrote:Nice set up, Otis!

Looking at your data: is the amount of cooling water really 12 times the amount of distillate? You might very well be right, I never measured it to now. But maybe I read the data wrong?


You are reading that correctly, though I have never thought of it in that way.

I typically associate cooling water flow and output water temp with the power I put in, and that varies greatly by condenser type. For example, my liebig can be passing 4 lpm to knock down all of 3000 watts and give me warm distillate, and the output water is only warm at best. That shows that the liebig is not very efficient because there is a lot of cooling potential still in that warmish water output. Compare that to the coil of my dimroth which is knocking down 5600 watts with only 2 lpm. As you would expect, I am using much more of the water's cooling potential which is evident by the fact my cooling water output temp is hot. (Getting my moneys worth for the water ;-) )

This dimroth Product Condenser is the same coil size I use in my VM column as a reflux condenser, so the numbers are no surprise to me. I simply wanted to prove it out, especially because Antler24 asked me to tell him how well it worked. I figured the cleaning run was a perfect time to test it. :-)

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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby Shine0n » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:26 am

Very nice Otis, I think that is alot easier to build than say a shotgun condenser and from your data, more efficient than a liebig, at least with the higher powers you put in.

Again, very nice and thanks for the idea and pics
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby OtisT » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:36 pm

OtisT wrote:
MoonBreath wrote:Did your likker ever run cool?...
I like the idea, maybe some bigger for overkill..Also you could mount a compact design parrot with 1/4" shot valve. :clap:
That is neat tho man..Good thinkn. :thumbup:


Yes, I did get cool distillate at lower powers. I started at and was getting cool distillate at 3500 watts before I went hole hog and cranked it to 5600. Next time I do a run I will increase power in steps to find out how high I can go and still get cool distillate. Otis


I need to correct this statement about performance of the Dimroth. I did a few more tests, and now the answer seems obvious but I got it wrong the first time. The cooler output I saw was because I had just started the collection and not due to power level. After a short while, the outer chamber heats up from the vapor coming in the top. Once heated up, all output is warm to hot, never cold. Through some testing I found that It's not the coil that is limited, it is the fact that cold product drips onto a hot chamber and heats up again before exiting the condenser. 100 Deg F, so nothing that will burn or break glass.

So.... this is a great compact condenser for stripping or fast production runs. If you want cold distillate, this is not the condenser for you.

Just to make this condenser more versatile, I may try wrapping and soldering a few feet of 1/4" tubing around the lower end of the main pipe, or possibly around the elbow lower section with a simply low flow in. I'm trying for something simpler than adding a mini-liebig to that final output pipe.

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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby ezlle71 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:41 am

Nice compact setup. Looks great. How about your Thump spear, is it long enough if you found another half barrel keg to use for a thump? Just curious.
If your unions ever get to leaking a bit. a wrap or 2 of teflon tape on the male side works great. Don't ask how i know :lol: Great job and good luck
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby OtisT » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:56 am

ezlle71 wrote:Nice compact setup. Looks great. How about your Thump spear, is it long enough if you found another half barrel keg to use for a thump? Just curious.
If your unions ever get to leaking a bit. a wrap or 2 of teflon tape on the male side works great. Don't ask how i know :lol: Great job and good luck
ez


Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I made the arm long enough to meet two requirement: Long enough so that I could use a second 15 G keg for a thumper and still have 2" between them for insulation, or long enough that I can elevate my primary boiler as much as 14" above my small thumper (for drainage) and still have 2" between for insulation.

I have used PTFE tape on the male end to prevent leaks. I usually run w/o tape with no issues. Occasionally I will get a drip or a few when vapor starts coming, but either heat expansion or possibly a liquid seal is formed and the leak stops.

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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby OtisT » Wed May 16, 2018 11:41 am

OtisT wrote:
OtisT wrote:
MoonBreath wrote:Did your likker ever run cool?...
I like the idea, maybe some bigger for overkill..Also you could mount a compact design parrot with 1/4" shot valve. :clap:
That is neat tho man..Good thinkn. :thumbup:


Yes, I did get cool distillate at lower powers. I started at and was getting cool distillate at 3500 watts before I went hole hog and cranked it to 5600. Next time I do a run I will increase power in steps to find out how high I can go and still get cool distillate. Otis


I need to correct this statement about performance of the Dimroth. I did a few more tests, and now the answer seems obvious but I got it wrong the first time. The cooler output I saw was because I had just started the collection and not due to power level. After a short while, the outer chamber heats up from the vapor coming in the top. Once heated up, all output is warm to hot, never cold. Through some testing I found that It's not the coil that is limited, it is the fact that cold product drips onto a hot chamber and heats up again before exiting the condenser. 100 Deg F, so nothing that will burn or break glass.

So.... this is a great compact condenser for stripping or fast production runs. If you want cold distillate, this is not the condenser for you.

Just to make this condenser more versatile, I may try wrapping and soldering a few feet of 1/4" tubing around the lower end of the main pipe, or possibly around the elbow lower section with a simply low flow in. I'm trying for something simpler than adding a mini-liebig to that final output pipe.

Otis


Moonbreath,
I did more detailed testing with the dimroth and need to update myself again. :-| I do get cold distillate with the Dimroth as long as I keep the power under 3500 Watts. The only thing I run hotter than 3500w are stripping runs, and with those having a warm distillate is not an issue for me. I recently did four pot runs with this condenser from 2200w to 3200w and my distillate was cold (under 70 F) for the entire run. I briefly bumped the power to 3500w and the lower section of the condenser started to get a little warm but never hot.

Good bye Liebig. This is now my go-to product condenser for all my runs. :-)

Pic of my 2” fraction column head being used for pot stilling with a thumper and my dimroth.
3DA3F734-3627-4EE0-8B69-DD31FE338457.jpeg
VM column as a pot with thumper and a dimroth PC
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby NEGaxSEGa » Thu May 17, 2018 10:53 am

OtisT wrote:
jon1163 wrote:I have a half barrel and quarter barrel keg and Thumper as well. I really like how you put the secondary elbow going into the thumper so that the thumper doesn't have to be the same height as the boiler... Nice touch man. I also like your condenser as opposed to the liebig saves a lot of room.


Thanks. Ya, I saw a lot of Pot/Thumper setups where the height had to be the same and I wanted to avoid that. Only a few extra fittings to make something that is more flexible.

I made the dimroth PC to avoid tripping over a liebig. I have a 3/4" ID x 24" liebig now and I needed more knockdown power. There is no way a longer liebig would fit in my stilling space w/o tripping on it, so I want with what I felt was the least expensive compact alternative. All of my still components use the same 3/4" horizontal Union connections so stuff if interchangeable.

Otis

Have you posted details about your pc somewhere? I'd love to read the technical details.
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby OtisT » Thu May 17, 2018 10:16 pm

NEGaxSEGa wrote: Have you posted details about your pc somewhere? I'd love to read the technical details.


I can share tech details with you here.

Otis’ dimroth product condenser

Vapor Input is a 3/4” copper union
Vapor chamber is a 2” diameter pipe
The Cu condenser coil is made from 1/4” Cu tubing (~11’)
Coil ID=1”, OD=1.5”. 26 winds (1/8” gap) over 10”, with a center return
1/4” needle valve

Cold water input goes into the center return and comes out the coil lead. (Opposite the flow of a reflux coil.)

Use a high flow rate so your cooling water output is still cool. Up to 3 liters per minute at higher powers. Cold distillate dripping on the lower section of the condenser housing is what keeps the entire lower elbow section cool.

I found that with proper cooling flow, distillate output temp remains cold up to 3000 watts of power. The entire upper section of the condenser will be hot when vapor is flowing in. The chamber pipe walls will be a gradient of heat. At 2000 watts the center is cool. As power is increased the heat extends lower. At 3500 watts the lower elbow section and distillate begins getting warm. The condenser was successfully tested collecting up to 5600 Watts without any vapor loss, but distillate was hot, ~100 F.

I’m not sure what else you may want to know. A pic of the condenser is a few posts above. Let me know if you need more. Otis
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby OtisT » Fri May 18, 2018 9:14 am

I’m want to add a vapor bypass valve to my thumper head, so I can bypass the thumper for pulling foreshots then engage the thumper once I am past the foreshots. After a few recent runs, I have decided That I want to eliminate the need for shutting down and swapping out parts during this changeout process.

I have searched for similar solutions and have found nothing positive or negative on the subject. Just wondering if I am a progressive thinking stiller or perhaps I am about to do something others have tried and have given up on because it don’t work? Any feedback you have would be appreciated.

I have a three way ball valve on order for this modification and have all the copper parts for the plumbing. Once that valve arrives I’ll post some dry-fit pics of the solution for feedback.

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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby NEGaxSEGa » Fri May 18, 2018 9:28 am

That's great, Otis. I really appreciate those specs. This is pretty much exactly what I was considering building a few months ago, but I never got to it. A friend gave me hours worm, but I want to come back to this soon.

So 10" of 1.5" tubing had been more than enough for you? I was thinking it'd have to be much larger than that.
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby OtisT » Fri May 18, 2018 10:23 am

NEGaxSEGa wrote:That's great, Otis. I really appreciate those specs. This is pretty much exactly what I was considering building a few months ago, but I never got to it. A friend gave me hours worm, but I want to come back to this soon.

So 10" of 1.5" tubing had been more than enough for you? I was thinking it'd have to be much larger than that.


The numbers you listed above are incorrect, so I want to make sure we are talking apples to apples here. The coil itself is made from 1/4" tubing. I made this one by making 26 winds around a 1" pipe so the ID of the coil is 1", and the OD of the coil is 1.5". This slides nicely inside of a 2" column/chamber leaving about 1/4" spacing on the sides. With 1/8" gaps between winds, the coil is roughly 10" long. [Math: (.25" X 26) + (.125" x 25) = just shy of 10"] It took about 12' of copper tubing to make the coil.

FYI, I have begun making my new coils slightly shorter, reducing the winds to 24. I needed this to help with my VM design, and it still works fine at full power.
IMG_1020.JPG
Full Coil - 10" of coil, 1.5" OD for 2" column


The coil is more than capable of knocking down 5500 W, assuming you have a good flow rate. As a reflux condenser, a flow of about 1.5 lpm should be all you need for 100% reflux at high power. As a product condenser, you need a higher flow rate, somewhere near 3 lpm for collecting above 3000 W. This higher flow rate is needed to ensure they distillate is cold off of the coil to keep the lower section of the condenser cool.

To get a good flow rate, I packed the first 3' of the tubing with salt prior to bending. If you are gentle, wrapping most of the coil unpacked will not crush the tubing enough to significantly restrict flow, but that first bend from the center return to the first coil is a bitch that can kink and cause a restriction. Having salt in that section helps keep that section from crushing. My max flow rate is around 3.5 lpm for a coil where I used salt in the first bend. Some folks rightly say you don't need to pack the tubing, but as you can see from the numbers I need all the flow I can get to enable full power stripping. Pics of the critical bend are attached.
IMG_1019.JPG
That first bend is critical for a good flow


If you plan to go bigger than 5500 W, I recommend a double coil with dual I/O, for increased flow.
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby OtisT » Sat May 19, 2018 12:40 pm

Thumper with Vapor Bypass

I am making a new Thumper Head with a vapor bypass valve. Photos are of the partial dry-fit.

This will allow me to bypass the thumper when pulling foreshots, then when past foreshots I can engage the thumper with the valve. No more need to power down and reconnect parts mid distillation.

Time for lunch. I'll solder this up tonight. :-) Otis
Attachments
IMG_1029.JPG
Thumper Head with Vapor Bypass
IMG_1030.JPG
Thumper head w/bypass - Top view
IMG_1031.JPG
Thumper head w/bypass - Side view
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby OtisT » Sat May 19, 2018 4:15 pm

All done. Cleaned the insides with acid. Needs a good sacrificial alcohol run yet.
IMG_1050.JPG
Thumper w/bypass

IMG_1051.JPG
Thumper w/bypass


IMG_1047.JPG
Old and New


Now, time to start something fermenting.....

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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby OtisT » Tue May 22, 2018 2:02 pm

So, I was not done. Doh!

Last night I read a thread about adding liquid to a thumper mid run, and I thought that would be fun to mess with at some point. Since I just created this thumper head to reduce mid-run equipment assemblies, I decided to add a port now that will also help make things easier during a run.
IMG_1065.JPG
My new liquid port

I replaced the elbow at the top of the down pipe with a Tee fitting. The 3/4" cap on the top is not soldered. That is where I add liquid using a funnel.

The bypass system works well with the simple liquid port. When the bypass is engaged the thumper chamber is open to the air at each end, so there will be no back pressure issues to cause a problem when funneling liquid down the top.

Yes, the cap will get hot. I will make a wood handle on cap that will allow me to handle it w/o an oven mitt.

I think I really am done now. :-) Otis
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby Pikey » Wed May 23, 2018 1:36 am

Really nice work Otis :thumbup:

Couple of ideas around the Dimroth, if you decide to make another at some point.

When you wind the coil around the 1", you might like to consider leaving the 1" in there. (Or adding a piece the right length). I did this with mine, on the basis that the central tube would prevent vapour from passing through the coil into the central gap. The wrapping cools the central tube as well, and it acts as "cold finger" and the vapour is kept in fairly close contact with cooling elements.

When your output water is done with, you might like to consider wrapping a short coil of your output tube around the top of the 2" for a few turns (I think I did around 5 turns), which tends to conduct heat away from the top of the outer casing as well and it doesn't get so hot.

(I really must "Knock up" (Uk version of the phrase) a thumper - they're so cool ! )
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Re: Otis' Pot and Thumper

Postby jon1163 » Wed May 23, 2018 8:21 am

Will not a port that ports down to the lower end of the thumper Inlet not fill easily because of back pressure from the liquid in the thumper? I would think you would want to create a port that will dump into the top of the thumper. If this works well yours might be a much easier way to do it
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