Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Simple pot still distillation and construction with or without a thumper.

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Tom Kat
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Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by Tom Kat » Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:09 pm

20210329_190653.jpg
20210329_190653.jpg (27.87 KiB) Viewed 861 times


I made sure to cover the top of the boiler. Looking forward to trying it out.
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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by Durhommer » Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:32 pm

Nice work on that wrap
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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by Tom Kat » Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:33 pm

Thanks, the tape was really strong.
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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by still_stirrin » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:02 pm

I like it. Plus, it’s nice and shiny!
ss
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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by Oldvine Zin » Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:04 pm

I hope that you are running an electric element, fire and reflextix could cause it to melt and make a mess

Stay safe
OVZ

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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by still_stirrin » Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:55 pm

Oldvine Zin wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:04 pm
I hope that you are running an electric element, fire and reflextix could cause it to melt and make a mess...
If you’d look at his foto....you can see the element ferrule on the bottom of the boiler. Doh!
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by NZChris » Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:42 pm

Very pretty.

I wrapped mine after the first run, then wrapped the preheater before it's first run, but neither of them look as nice as yours. :thumbup:

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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by Tom Kat » Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:58 am

still_stirrin wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:55 pm
Oldvine Zin wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:04 pm
I hope that you are running an electric element, fire and reflextix could cause it to melt and make a mess...
If you’d look at his foto....you can see the element ferrule on the bottom of the boiler. Doh!
That's because I listened to an ole boy from Kansas who has been down the road before me!!!

I read a lot about what you have written on here about covering the top, I hope you caught that! :wink:
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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by Tom Kat » Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:59 am

Oldvine Zin wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:04 pm
I hope that you are running an electric element, fire and reflextix could cause it to melt and make a mess

Stay safe
OVZ
220 my friend....why waltz when you can rock and roll???
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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by Oldvine Zin » Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:05 am

still_stirrin wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:55 pm
Oldvine Zin wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:04 pm
I hope that you are running an electric element, fire and reflextix could cause it to melt and make a mess...
If you’d look at his foto....you can see the element ferrule on the bottom of the boiler. Doh!
Too bad that my eyesight sucks! Only saw a ferrule and no assumptions of it's use.

Stay save
OVZ

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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by Oldvine Zin » Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:06 am

Tom Kat wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:59 am
Oldvine Zin wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:04 pm
I hope that you are running an electric element, fire and reflextix could cause it to melt and make a mess

Stay safe
OVZ
220 my friend....why waltz when you can rock and roll???
:thumbup: :thumbup:

Stay safe
OVZ

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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by NormandieStill » Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:43 pm

Reflective insulation seems to be a popular choice for wrapping boilers, but as I've always been somewhat cynical about it's ability to actually contain heat, especially as in this use it's working against conductive and convective losses more than radiated losses. When your still is at temperature can you comfortably put your hand on the insulation?

I've got some fibreglass left over from a recent build that I was planning on using to wrap the still, although aesthetically it won't hold a candle to the reflective stuff, it should actually be pretty effecient.
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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by Toxxyc » Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:42 pm

I think those thick yoga mats will work well for insulating the kettle as well. Cheap as chips, and come in nice wide rolls. People sometimes use it as camping mattress bases to insulate the cold from below. Want to try that one myself.

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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by NZChris » Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:34 pm

NormandieStill wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:43 pm
Reflective insulation seems to be a popular choice for wrapping boilers, but as I've always been somewhat cynical about it's ability to actually contain heat, especially as in this use it's working against conductive and convective losses more than radiated losses. When your still is at temperature can you comfortably put your hand on the insulation?

I've got some fibreglass left over from a recent build that I was planning on using to wrap the still, although aesthetically it won't hold a candle to the reflective stuff, it should actually be pretty effecient.
I use a fibreglass product that has a reflective layer on my Bokakob and can run my hand up it to feel where the vapor has risen to during the startup.

You should be able to look up the specs for any insulation you find, the higher the better. I've always used whatever I found cheap, or free, or was given to me by friends who knew what I wanted it for.

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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by The Baker » Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:19 am

I'd really like to waltz.

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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by HDNB » Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:10 am

reflectix is awesome. no problem touching when the boiler is full smoke.

the insulator fellas at the petro-plant down the road would be impressed with your craftsmanship.
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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by Deplorable » Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:15 am

NormandieStill wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:43 pm
Reflective insulation seems to be a popular choice for wrapping boilers, but as I've always been somewhat cynical about it's ability to actually contain heat, especially as in this use it's working against conductive and convective losses more than radiated losses. When your still is at temperature can you comfortably put your hand on the insulation?

I've got some fibreglass left over from a recent build that I was planning on using to wrap the still, although aesthetically it won't hold a candle to the reflective stuff, it should actually be pretty effecient.
I use two wraps of reflectix on my column spools, and I'm still able to hold the column, but it still releases enough heat to see where the vapor is in the column.
Currently I only have one layer around the boiler, because that's all I had left of a roll. The top of the boiler gets insulated with a rolled up bath towel. That's where most of the heat loss is anyway. The reflectix just shields the boiler and column from the cold drafts. Before I switched from propane the boiler wasn't wrapped at all.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by NZChris » Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:25 pm

If you've got a mostly Stainless Steel still with a token amount of copper, you shouldn't be insulating the copper section because you need all of the passive reflux you can get in that area.

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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by Deplorable » Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:59 am

NZChris wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:25 pm
If you've got a mostly Stainless Steel still with a token amount of copper, you shouldn't be insulating the copper section because you need all of the passive reflux you can get in that area.
Not sure if that's directed at my comment, but the only SS in my pot still is the boiler and the sight glass. When I run my CCVM, there's an additional 20 inch SS spool. My packing is all copper mesh. Plenty of copper here.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by StillerBoy » Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:19 am

Deplorable: how much time do you save in a run by having the boiler insulated.. have you checked the running time vera insulated and not insulated..

I used to insulate, some yrs back, but not any more.. the saving in running time was very little.. power used equal to time run was very small like about 4 - 5 min per run different.. but I must state that I run in a stable ambient area indoor..

Maybe it has beneficial fact outdoors..

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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by Deplorable » Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:57 am

StillerBoy wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:19 am
Deplorable: how much time do you save in a run by having the boiler insulated.. have you checked the running time vera insulated and not insulated..

I used to insulate, some yrs back, but not any more.. the saving in running time was very little.. power used equal to time run was very small like about 4 - 5 min per run different.. but I must state that I run in a stable ambient area indoor..

Maybe it has beneficial fact outdoors..

Mars
I just wrapped my boiler after switching to electric. That being the only change, my time to boil 13 gallons of 56°f water was within a few minutes of the time used running a 100K BTU burner(50 minutes). I haven't run a distillation run yet with the electric element, so I can't say if it will have any impact. I run my still in the garage protected from breezes, but I can't say that there are no drafts. The door has to remain cracked running gas obviously, so on days when the wind is blowing, I'm sure there's a good draft in there.
My spirit runs are around 6.5 gallons of 35-40% low wines, so there is a good bit of head space in the boiler. That is the area that I hope to achieve some temperature stability. I don't know yet if it will make a difference, or if I am chasing a phantom. Especially given that the lions share of my runs are made with the pot still.
My two reflux runs on my CCVM were both pretty good without insulation on the boiler. My first attempt made 93%. My 2nd, running a little slower, and maintaining a semi flooded state throughout the run got me 95%.
So, I doubt the insulation is warranted in my situation, but I won't know without trying. I had the wrap available from leftovers of the roll I use to cover the windows in my RV for winter storage, so why not try.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by StillerBoy » Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:55 am

Deplorable wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:57 am
My first attempt made 93%. My 2nd, running a little slower, and maintaining a semi flooded state throughout the run got me 95%.
Thanks for responding..

Running in the semi flooded state made a hell of a different.. from 93 to 95% is a hell of an improvement in efficiency..

Once you learn how to get there, and learn what is sounds like, it become very easy going forward..

Mars
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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by SmokyMtn » Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:23 am

Don't you need an air gap for that work?

Reminds me of back when I was in school. Every field trip, the kids would have a 12 oz aluminum can wrapped in aluminum foil. Never understood what difference that made either.

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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by Deplorable » Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:38 am

SmokyMtn wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:23 am
Don't you need an air gap for that work?

Reminds me of back when I was in school. Every field trip, the kids would have a 12 oz aluminum can wrapped in aluminum foil. Never understood what difference that made either.
It's bubble wrap in mylar. It is an air gap. It's actually a pretty effective insulator, but, instructions on their website for use on a water heater, do actually call for a gap.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by AlWorms » Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:55 am

Toxxyc wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:42 pm
I think those thick yoga mats will work well for insulating the kettle as well. Cheap as chips, and come in nice wide rolls. People sometimes use it as camping mattress bases to insulate the cold from below. Want to try that one myself.
That's what I have on my Keg boiler. I believe it's EVA foam.

It shrinks and distorts a little bit, but the main outside on mine is OK and I covered the whole outside in duct tape.

I've left my boiler full of dunder after a stripping run, outside overnight (probably 18-20C ambient) and they next day, it was still too hot to put your hand in!

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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by Tom Kat » Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:27 pm

I ran a wash yesterday.

As many have stated, its probably not a good idea on copper parts in the vapor path but works great on my keg boiler.

YES you can touch the boiler at 200 plus degrees (F) and YES I think it warms up faster and IT APPEARS to retain heat well. I am impressed with the material. Are there other insulating materials that may work better for this reason or that reason? PROBABLY.

However...

I am happy as a clam with my decisions on this build, starting with the 220 VAC element that warms up 6 gallons in less than 25 minutes at half power. I think the refeltex was a good choice as well, I would do it again if given the choice, with no regrets or thoughts about what may or may not be marginally better.

BTW my Long Tom condenser worked like a boss, I am very happy I upgraded.
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Re: Don't be a fool, wrap the tool.

Post by Expat » Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:16 pm

Tom Kat wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:27 pm
I ran a wash yesterday.

As many have stated, its probably not a good idea on copper parts in the vapor path but works great on my keg boiler.

YES you can touch the boiler at 200 plus degrees (F) and YES I think it warms up faster and IT APPEARS to retain heat well. I am impressed with the material. Are there other insulating materials that may work better for this reason or that reason? PROBABLY.

However...

I am happy as a clam with my decisions on this build, starting with the 220 VAC element that warms up 6 gallons in less than 25 minutes at half power. I think the refeltex was a good choice as well, I would do it again if given the choice, with no regrets or thoughts about what may or may not be marginally better.

BTW my Long Tom condenser worked like a boss, I am very happy I upgraded.
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