New to the Still Design thing

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New to the Still Design thing

Postby crazyk78 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:19 pm

Hi All,

Firstly before I go on further, this design is not mine but I'm looking at making it. I got it out of the "Step by Step buide to building a home distillation apparatus"

My fist question is: (reference to below pic)
1) the condenser tube head noted in this design is 3", is this necessary? Can you use 2" the same as the main reflux tube? If so would this then mean I need to make the condensing tube section longer?

2) The coil condenser tubes that are 1/4", how long a piece would I need, is there a formula? the book says to make about 10loops and put it inside the 6" section of 3" tubing. I'm sure this design works, but is that enough? Ive read quite a few posts on here and people tend to have an inner and outer condensing loops.

3) can you have too many condenser coils?

4) how far from the condenser head tube inner wall should the condenser coils sit? what I mean is that if the ID of the tube is 45mm the gap to the coils should be 3mm so the condenser coils have an OD of 39mm?

5) Lastly, I'm from Melbourne Australia and am not sure where to find all the hardware required. I've been to Bunnings and they only have domestic 1/2" stuff.

Thanks in advance for your replies.
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Re: New to the Still Design thing

Postby mozzie26 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:09 am

Does not have to be that complicated, have a look at the Boka designs on this site.
Get the copper suply's from Plumbing suply places like Tradelink, Reece etc.etc...

Glen.
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Re: New to the Still Design thing

Postby mozzie26 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:14 am

BTW this is the start of my Boka.

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Re: New to the Still Design thing

Postby crazyk78 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:55 am

Hi mozzie, thanks for your reply.

I'll look into the boka design. I found another design in this thread that I'm going to look at too. viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8439

The thing I want to know is that when it is at 100% reflux, does the part that's holding the fluid just overflow back down into the reflux chamber? ( blue line on picture below)
Do you think that this design could be improved by putting another reflux tube in with a valve ( Red bit) Is this necessary?
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Re: New to the Still Design thing

Postby Ayay » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:08 am

The blue line is best! Red is the long way around and wastes height. Go blue.
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Re: New to the Still Design thing

Postby crazyk78 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:19 am

Thanks Ayay.

Something I've been reading a bit about it "pressure bomb".

Will the cap on top of the condenser need to have a hole in it for pressure relief?

Also in their design,they do not show a thermometer. should it have one and where should it be placed?

Thanks
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Re: New to the Still Design thing

Postby rad14701 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:56 am

There is no need for a cap on a LM or VM reflux column unless you intend to use it to center then reflux condenser in the top of the column... There are cheaper ways to accomplish the task, however... A cap would require a vent hole...
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Re: New to the Still Design thing

Postby Ayay » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:57 am

Yes, the column must be open to the atmosphere via a vent hole of some sort. Many coils are attached to a cap and hang from it. My coil is supported internally and I don't use a cap. Vapors are like a fog in that they prefer to float as low as possible and do not rise unless more vapors are pushing from below. If for some reason they don't all get condensed (too much heat or not enough coolant), they must have an outlet otherwise pressure will build up and there is no warning of a dangerous situation.

The thermometer needs to be above the top of the packing, in the vapor, and clear of the reflux stream.

How about this?...
Design.jpg

The reflux tube will centre the reflux.
The column need not be reduced in diameter, but OK if you already have the bits.
The packing can go almost to the top of the column.
A hat is needed to direct the condensates into the dam.
The condenser coil can be enclosed in a larger tube, or the same size tube as the column. (Condenser enclosure/shroud/tube is not shown).
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Re: New to the Still Design thing

Postby crazyk78 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:16 am

Great Ayay,

Thanks for the sketch.

I might try to incorporate the tube for the overflow in my design.

Tricky part is that the throat will be 1" so putting a tube in there might close up the gap too much for the vapour to go past.
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Re: New to the Still Design thing

Postby crazyk78 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:03 am

Alright...I've done a bit more work and have a few questions.

Will my sketch below be ok?

I have found that I can get a 2 1/2" condenser tube. Is that ok / better?

I will keep the reflux column at 2"

Can someone advise what the red dimension should be? How much reflux fluid should be held in the dam?

What do you think of my thermometer shield also. will that work without impeding the gas flow? It's quite simple to do this.

Thanks heaps guys.
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Re: New to the Still Design thing

Postby rad14701 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:05 pm

crazyk78, the height of the throat is what determines how much liquid reflux resides in the reflux cup... On my small scale version of this design I calibrated the cup to hold one ounce of spirits... You don't want too much and you don't want too little... Just make sure the take off port is always totally below the overflow level during reflux...
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Re: New to the Still Design thing

Postby Ayay » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:07 am

CrazyK your design will work. A hat will be an improvement i think? Condensates going straight through and missing the dam may not be a bad idea.
A 3/8" reflux pipe inside a 1" pipe should be OK because the vapors will find their way. It's not a turbine!
There are many places where you can reduce the height if your ceiling is a factor.

rad14701 wrote:crazyk78, the height of the throat is what determines how much liquid reflux resides in the reflux cup... On my small scale version of this design I calibrated the cup to hold one ounce of spirits... You don't want too much and you don't want too little... Just make sure the take off port is always totally below the overflow level during reflux...


Rad, my current thinking is the take-off port and the reflux outlet can be at the same level. Anything not bled-off will go to reflux regardless of their relative levels. My main concern is to keep the dam as small as possible so as to reduce the 'smearing' inside the dam at the crucial transitions between cuts.
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Re: New to the Still Design thing

Postby crazyk78 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:35 am

Thanks guys for the feedback.

Were there any thoughts whether the 2 1/2" condensor pipe will be ok?

I think I will incorporate a hat design type but I have another idea. If it works I'll post a pic for you to see.

If I do use the hat type design of sorts then I will not need to have the shield on my thermometer.

I did write another post asking users what the pros & cons of having the thermometer in the packing or out of the packing. I'm still out on this one.

Thanks again.
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Re: New to the Still Design thing

Postby rad14701 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:32 pm

Exactly, Ayay... Keep the volume to a minimum in order to reduce smearing...

I'm actually thinking about purchasing a more precise needle valve because my modified valve still doesn't give me the fine control of reflux that I desire...
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Re: New to the Still Design thing

Postby Ayay » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:23 am

The temperature of the vapors when they are above the packing is the final tally of all that's going on in the column. If the thermometer is inside the packing then it can contact the reflux liquids which are cooler having just come off the condenser, and besides, it won't be the final tally.
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Re: New to the Still Design thing

Postby Ayay » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:36 am

rad14701 wrote:Exactly, Ayay... Keep the volume to a minimum in order to reduce smearing...

I'm actually thinking about purchasing a more precise needle valve because my modified valve still doesn't give me the fine control of reflux that I desire...

I found that the finer the screw thread on the valve spindle the finer the control. A long thin taper on the spindle helps but the thread pitch is half the equation and unfortunately it's seldom specified. Good luck!
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