Modular CCVM build

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Sk8brew
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Modular CCVM build

Post by Sk8brew » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:05 am

I am starting a CCVM build for neutrals, mainly to make gin, and am looking for some advise. I currently have the setup shown below with a 10gal boiler that runs 2800W max on 240V. It has double walls to provide some insulation. My current potstill is a 2" column with a 1" over 3/4" Liebig condenser. I am looking to build a CCVM and would like to make it modular so I can use the PC for both columns. After much research, here is what I am thinking:

The boiler has a 2" cap soldered to the SS lid. From here I will use a 2"-3" reducer to a 3"SS column. The top of the boiler is 32" and the ceiling is 88". I think this gives me room for a 3"x40" column, leaving 16" for a 3" Tee and condenser above the tee. Is this enough?

On the output side of the Tee, I need to reduce down to connect to the Liebig. I could either do this at the 2" region or 1" region prior to the elbow, or to the 3/4" union. I am not sure what length is needed from the takeoff at the 3" tee before reducing down. My plan is to put a tri-clamp fitting in here to make it easy to switch columns (unless I connect to the union). Thoughts?

I posted in another thread, but will put it out here too. I read that for a 3"column, 3000W is needed. My boiler is 2800W. Will this be a problem, or is it still better to go with 3" than 2" to increase output rate?

Thanks for your help!
potstill_annotate.JPG

kimbodious
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Re: Modular CCVM build

Post by kimbodious » Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:17 pm

Sounds like a solid plan. 40” x 3” column would be better being a bit longer but you should still get the purity you want maybe by involving greater reflux.
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50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular 2" Pot Still
Modular 2" CCVM

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NineInchNails
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Re: Modular CCVM build

Post by NineInchNails » Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:59 pm

I have a 3" VM with 5' to 5' 6" of copper mesh packed column packed relatively tight. I run my 5500W element at 60%-65% power on spirit runs and take off at an interrupted stream and get 95% and smooth as can be. I noticed if I open it up just a bit more, it comes off with some bite/burn. It's worth while being patient and just run it slow.

Sk8brew
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Re: Modular CCVM build

Post by Sk8brew » Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:58 am

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2A275F0B-BB2C-475A-ACCD-824609EA7E35.jpeg (31.63 KiB) Viewed 174 times
I have made some progress on this build and am looking for some more advise. I have struggled a bit with cooling water flow on my pot still and am looking to use something better than either a ball valve or hose bib gate valve. Most of the needle valves I find are 1/4". Will this allow enough flow for both RC and PC (separate valves for each)?
How far below the tee does the reflux condenser need to go?
Should the water inlet of the RC go into the coil first or the straight section first? My thought is you should have the coldest water at the top of the coil, but I am not sure.

For what it is worth, tri-clamp is a bit more expensive, but damn is it easy to build.

kimbodious
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Re: Modular CCVM build

Post by kimbodious » Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:23 pm

I don’t have any inline water flow control on my 2” CCVM. The water is routed in through the bottom of the product condenser out through the top and then in to the reflux condenser. My reflux condenser probably on extends last the offtake on the tee by less than 10 cm in full reflux. I hope that info helps?
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular 2" Pot Still
Modular 2" CCVM

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NineInchNails
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Re: Modular CCVM build

Post by NineInchNails » Wed Sep 30, 2020 1:39 pm

I use 1/4" OD Polypropylene tubing (for higher temp resistance) and a 1/4" brass compression needle valve. That works just fine and I have no regrets. If I had to do it over, I 'might' have gone with 3/8" OD tubing & valve, but that wound just allow for more flow that I don't really need anyway.

I use the same size hose and same size needle valve to feed my shotgun condenser too. Both condensers are controlled independently of each other. Shotgun condensers do not require much water flow at all. If I were to use a Liebig condenser, I'd probably go with 3/8" OD tubing if I could find some in polypropylene. 1/4" PEX is 3/8" OD and would work good. 3/8" PEX is 1/2" OD, is unnecessarily large, but also has good temp resistance. I like to use John Guest ball valves on both of those tubes too.

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NineInchNails
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Re: Modular CCVM build

Post by NineInchNails » Wed Sep 30, 2020 1:44 pm

I'd consider making a double wound copper reflux condenser. It's a fun project and they work very well. I made mine out of 5/16" OD copper tubing. It has just a tad larger than 1/4". I was concerned larger dia tubing would be more difficult and I could potentially fail in winding and making it fit in my 3" pipe.

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Tummydoc
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Re: Modular CCVM build

Post by Tummydoc » Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:34 pm

Agree with kimbodius, no real need for a control valve to limit flow to the RC in a CCVM. only needed in a CM still.

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