1''inch copper collumn for reflux still

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1''inch copper collumn for reflux still

Postby whit8 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:08 pm

I built a reflux still with 1'' copper tubing about 2 feet high. I tried distilling but it was inafective. Is it possible to use 1'' pipe for the collumn? The collumn is connected to a pressure cooker by a 2 inch peice of steal pipe.
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Re: 1''inch copper collumn for reflux still

Postby Hawke » Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:00 am

A 1" column will get you about 100ml per hour in a reflux rig.
1 1/2" is about the minimum. I wouldn't waste my time on anything less than 2"
It is the very things that we think we know, that keep us from learning what we should know.
Valved Reflux, 3"x54" Bok 'mini', 2 liebig based pots and the 'Blockhead' 60K btu propane heat
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Re: 1''inch copper collumn for reflux still

Postby plonker » Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:59 am

Hi whit8, I would be thinking of converting that 1" into a pot still.. I was finding even a 2" reflux is too slow..
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Re: 1''inch copper collumn for reflux still

Postby whit8 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:16 pm

I went ahead and converted it into a pot still and it is working a lot better. thanks for the tip.
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Re: 1''inch copper collumn for reflux still

Postby Alchemist75 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:27 pm

Yeah, I currently run a 1inch. At highest reflux it definitely pulls faster than 100 ml an hour, probably closer to 100 ml every 15 minutes. Not fast but I make 91% on it pretty reliably. I'm looking into online sources for a reasonable length of 2". I did 1" because I just couldn't justify buying 10" for $100. I don't need that much for the hight I'd be running.
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Re: 1''inch copper collumn for reflux still

Postby corene1 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:13 pm

Alchemist75 wrote:Yeah, I currently run a 1inch. At highest reflux it definitely pulls faster than 100 ml an hour, probably closer to 100 ml every 15 minutes. Not fast but I make 91% on it pretty reliably. I'm looking into online sources for a reasonable length of 2". I did 1" because I just couldn't justify buying 10" for $100. I don't need that much for the hight I'd be running.

I use these folks for copper supplies if the hardware store doesn't have what I need. Reasonable prices and quick shipping. https://www.supplyhouse.com/sh/control/ ... opper+tube
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Re: 1''inch copper collumn for reflux still

Postby Fruit Squeezer » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:39 pm

Talk to plumbers.
They either have some for scrap, or know a friend who does. I put the word out to a friend with an uncle who does boilers.
2" is pretty common on boilers. Got 4ft basically for scrap price with some green in it and cruddy on the outside.
10 minutes in a 5% solution of muriatic acid, and it had a show-room shine!

I started out tinkering with a pressure cooker for fun.
Anything that doesn't fit on your pinky, you should pour out and call a lesson.
Most pressure cookers are aluminum= bad.
Aluminum WILL carry over into your product= bad.
Pressure cookers have rubber seals=bad.

I'm not knocking you for starting out simple like I did. It's a great learning set, but the product IS tainted. Buy a stainless stock pot with a stainless lid. Build from there.

You HAVE to invest SOMETHING, to get something worth having!
I also recommend a hot plate to run a small pot on. No open flame reduces some worry of combustion, and provides better control.

1" would work, but you would have to run SLOW.
Get it to a boil, then dial the heat back at the first few drips. Otherwise you would just have a very smelly steam whistle. ;-)

Please read what not to do/ use, and ALL safety related threads!!! YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF, AND ANY FRIENDS YOU OFFER A SAMPLE TO !!!
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Re: 1''inch copper collumn for reflux still

Postby Fruit Squeezer » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:20 pm

LOL, just realized the original post was 10 years old.
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Re: 1''inch copper collumn for reflux still

Postby Alchemist75 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:21 pm

I woke the thread back up lol. Thanks for the tip corene. I've tried a few local plumbers but no one seems to have what I need. Finding it online however has been more fruitful.
I run a 5 gallon SS milk can, everything else is copper. no aluminum or synthetics past PTFE seals. I keep my gear meticulously clean to boot. I know my 1" x 17" is a might slow but I can pull a steady 91 at 4-5 drops a second and if I put another 15-20" on it I bet I could speed the take off noticably. It certainly isn't as fast as a 2" but it isn't as slow as some might imagine. It gives me good cut compression while preserving flavors nicely. Probably helps that I manage my packing well, got a good method to it all. I get hetp of about 4.25". Yes, a wider column is in my future but honestly, coming from the origins I did with this art, it's a massive improvement on all fronts. Not arguing that you should try building one but for all those naysayers who claim it can't be done, it actually can in a decent fashion. She works for now but part of the amusement of this stuff is the upward mobility and designing new builds. I'm having fun!
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Re: 1''inch copper collumn for reflux still

Postby Alchemist75 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:35 pm

I will say, based on observation, that the usual recommendation of the 1:20 ratio doesn't apply to such a narrow column. 17" packing gets 91, 3 more inches most certainly wouldn't get it to azeo. It'd be more along the lines of 1:40.
One thing to bear in mind about me too is that I only do 16 gallon ferments. Out of that I'll pull about 2 gallons +/- of low wines so my spirit run charge is small. Out of that 2 gallons of low wines I'll be able to produce just shy of 2 gallons of good, drinking strength stuff. Not bad. 7 hour spirit run? Better than I got on an 8 hour spirit run using my old gear for sure. Proportion, it's all about where you put your eyes :wink:
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