Modifications to my first still

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Modifications to my first still

Postby Flatlands_Hillbilly » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:03 am

Moving the discussion building from my welcome post to here as it has to do with my still, so I'm not bogging up the Welcome Center with it. As discussed there, I'm changing over the size of the tubing coming out of my stainless pot to 1/2" copper. I have a 6' length of 1/2" already and don't want to spend money on more tubing. Is it safe to run a 6' long piece of 1/2" to my work bucket and under the iced water line, let it be reduced to 3/8" tubing that is already ready to run?
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Re: Modifications to my first still

Postby still_stirrin » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:39 am

Will you listen to the response, or will you only hear the answer you want to hear?

Fact is, you shouldn't "cheap out" the build...or you'll be rebuilding again in the near future. Will 3/8" tubing work....maybe, but it will limit the speed of your still. And the 1/2" tubing change will be wasted by the worm tubing size.

3/8" tubing is "the bare minimum", but not the best solution to choose. 1/2" will give you 4 times the vapor capacity, so the vapor velocity through the tubing will allow proper heat transfer. Too fast and it will "chug-a-lug", or huff & puff, if you will.

There is a saying, "buy once, cry once" and in the long run, you'll be money ahead.
ss
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
What is a Proof & Traille hydrometer: Alcohol-meter
Enzyme info: SebStar
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All about mashing grains: Braukaiser
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Re: Modifications to my first still

Postby Flatlands_Hillbilly » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:31 pm

Oh, I'll listen. Can't listen if I don't ask first. Thank you for the answer. I wasn't sure if using the ice and reducing it past that point with the vapors already condensing and reducing in size. I think alcohol expands and contracts similar to water steam doesn't it. That's why I was asking. I have mash that's ready to run in 3 days and can't afford the 1/2" coil until next week. Sorry if the question annoyed, just wanted to see if could be safely done, at least for the time being to get this batch run, then I can wait until I get paid to get the rest of the coil I need. I have a 6' length. that's not enough to go from the top, then make at least 10 or 12 coils. It'd be enough to go from the top, curve down and halfway into the bucket before reducing into the smaller coil. I see your point though, and will wait until i can get the new coil. Thank you for the advice.
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Re: Modifications to my first still

Postby still_stirrin » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:10 am

Your mash will wait a week, no problem. A properly built still will give you better (safer) results. A 1/2” OD/ID soft copper x 25’ long worm is a wise investment ($40USD, I’d guess). I wouldn’t use anything less myself.
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Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
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Re: Modifications to my first still

Postby cranky » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:53 am

Personally for the money a liebig is a better investment and not such a pain in the ass to deal with.
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Re: Modifications to my first still

Postby cranky » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:18 pm

I stopped and picked another bucket of apples today. One more and I have a press load so MRS Cranky can make apple jelly. Took about half from the round the corner tree and half from the other tree. It should work out well. I did the math on our blueberries too, so far we have about 33 pounds of them. The park is pretty close to full production right now and for the next couple weeks. I don't know if we are going to pick more but I hope so. I have a 3 day weekend next week and a 5 day weekend the week after that and we hope to have the kitchen ready for jelly.
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Re: Modifications to my first still

Postby Flatlands_Hillbilly » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:33 am

Yeah, we're looking at a really nice apple harvest this year. Our tree seems to produce a bunker crop every other year. Damn birds got all our cherries. Family has a 240 acre farm of which most of it's in conservation programs. We got persimmons, apples, cherries blackberries and gooseberries all wild and in abundance. Oh, and I forgot about the 3 pear trees. We have a lot of nut trees as well, black walnut and pecan. Been making some neutral to use in infusing extracts. Wife wanted some berry blend schnapps, so I infused some black, blue and strawberries in a 1/3 pint of neutral shine for 3 days, strained it, added more shine to half pint and then the rest in a thick simple syrup. Came out better than store bought schnapps. Mighty proud of it, if I do say so myself. lol The farm's a very nice asset. If and when the world goes to shit, that's where I'm headed. Gonna try some persimmon brandy this year. Don't know how easy or should I say difficult that will be. Persimmons can be difficult to work with and dry if the weather doesn't cooperate. Anyway, got a friend that's wanting some out of this next batch, so he decided to speed the process up by donating a 20' 1/2" id tubing. And just to make clear, this wasn't a barter, I was making a batch with giving him a pint was already in mind. He's just being my best bud and pitching in when I need a hand. Don't want anyone thinking I'm breaking forum rules. I know it'd probably been easier to just have bought a still or a kit to put together if I wanted to build. But honestly, to me designing and building from nothing or something it was never intended to be is half the fun. I just want to make sure, I'm not doing something that's going to get myself blown up, so I appreciate all the advice on here. Thanks. Oh, lol I learned another safety lesson. Never solder in flip flops, no matter how small the job. Damned near burned my third and fourth toes off before I could get some water on it. LOL I created some new curse words, too. Thank God my grand kids weren't around to here Papaw scream like a school girl and hop like a fool. Lesson definitely learned.
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Re: Modifications to my first still

Postby Flatlands_Hillbilly » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:39 am

@still_stirrin
Thank you, sir for your advice. Really tired of losing alcohol. Got it together. The coil came in a pre-cut 20' length. matched the 1/2" ID I had, so just used a copper splice, sweated it in and gave it a go with water, figuring if it will give a good run with water that has a higher boiling point, should run mash and spirit run fine. At least I think my rudimentary knowledge in physics is correct there. lol I'll give it a go on Monday. I got the corn mash and 8 gallons of peach for a brandy to follow. Gotta get stocked for winter!
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Re: Modifications to my first still

Postby Twisted Brick » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:48 am

Flatlands_Hillbilly wrote: Gonna try some persimmon brandy this year.


Looking forward to seeing how it comes out. Got a generous neighbor with a persimmon tree.
“Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite, and furthermore, always carry a small snake.”

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Re: Modifications to my first still

Postby Flatlands_Hillbilly » Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:54 pm

It'll be after the first hard frost. If we don't get a hard frost, they won't be worth a crap. Tasteless balls of dung. Some reason they don't sweeten up until they freeze
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Re: Modifications to my first still

Postby Flatlands_Hillbilly » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:18 am

still_stirrin wrote:Will you listen to the response, or will you only hear the answer you want to hear?

Fact is, you shouldn't "cheap out" the build...or you'll be rebuilding again in the near future. Will 3/8" tubing work....maybe, but it will limit the speed of your still. And the 1/2" tubing change will be wasted by the worm tubing size.

3/8" tubing is "the bare minimum", but not the best solution to choose. 1/2" will give you 4 times the vapor capacity, so the vapor velocity through the tubing will allow proper heat transfer. Too fast and it will "chug-a-lug", or huff & puff, if you will.

There is a saying, "buy once, cry once" and in the long run, you'll be money ahead.
ss


Took me a minute, but got it all switched over. They were all out of 20' lengths of 1/2" inner coil, so I bought two 10'. Connected those two into the existing 6' length I had. I'm remanufacturing my Graham condenser, but the coil is working fine on its own. Flows perfect now and much easier to control the speed of my run with the temp of my fire. It also is giving me a much better yield of liquor to work with when it comes time to make cuts. Before, I'd start out with 8 gallons of mash and end up with 3 maybe 4 pints of good drinkable shine. I appreciate all the advice and time given to get me on the right path. Thank you,
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