CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PSII.

Vapor, Liquid or Cooling Management. Flutes, plates, etc.

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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Prairiepiss » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:45 pm

You only need one hose to feed it and one to drain. Just put a y on the feed hose. One side install a needle valve and a short hose to the reflux condenser. And the other out a ball valve and a shot piece of hose going to the product condenser. Then a y hooked to the drains then to a hose to drain it outside.

I recommend separating them. You get much better control. And less fluctuation.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by holzy0815 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:55 pm

i have a couple y adapters kicking around, guess a trip to hardware store in my near future to find a needle valve

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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Prairiepiss » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:00 pm

You will like it much better. :thumbup:
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Resasi » Sun May 13, 2012 6:26 am

PrairiePiss (PP) this is a great thread/sticky and lots of great ideas here thank you for directing me.

I am thinking of two separate water sources/ inputs for the condenser and for the mid column controller. For the condenser and wondering if I could make a re-circulating system with water drawn from the bottom of a large outside 55 gal waterbut and returned to the top, using the butt as a large heatsink, but have no idea if it could remain cool enough for a complete run. The column cooling I may yet remove/modify so for the time being will have to do more research on what position and form it should take.

As I have never run my column I do not know what sort of capacity/throughput it is capable of achieving and therefore how long it will be running. Our initial plans call for an initial 10 gall batches of wash with two five gallon runs at any one time.

My column is 8cm x 120cms but on taking a closer look I see that my attempts at column temp control is set much higher than I originally thought. I will attempt to take some pictures and post these, but at the moment due and ankle injury and more or less couch bound for the next couple of weeks.

As far as packing goes I see that there is a variety of ways this can be done. I was thinking of a combination of copper RRings and copper. Would there be any advantage to varying the packing within the column to achieve greater efficiency or is this unnecessarily complicating the issue?

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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun May 13, 2012 6:48 am

Sticking to one type of packing will work best. When you have two types both will act differently to temp changes. This will hamper the columns ability to get it natural temp gradient needed. I would stick with q copper or stainless scrubby. The others promote channeling if the liquid and are least efficient then the mesh scrubbys.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Resasi » Thu May 17, 2012 11:45 am

Thank you PP will now look for the copper mesh.

Frustrating day, found two large SS milk churns on ebay and was bidding at the final when I got called in for the morning face cancer removal.
Lost the churns, at a very low price, a lump out of my face and chunk out of my ear.

Still looking for a suitable boiler.

Forgot to ask, although the column is approx 3'' wide the base of it is mounted on an approx 11/2'' intake tube that goes through the boiler mounting plate.
Is this restriction going to effect the operation of the column?

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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Prairiepiss » Thu May 17, 2012 12:41 pm

Not enough to worry about. There are many running 4" plated columns on a keg with a 2" connection.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Resasi » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:58 am

Have located some suitable copper mesh roll in Washington with Amphora, ordered and it is now en-route.

I noticed that the gent who runs Mile High uses both those copper rolls in the bottom then rings on the top which he maintains give him a better result, your explanation of temp gradient within the column however has a more logical sound to it.

Within, and at the top of my column I have a copper cooling coil about four or five inches long, the water flow of which is controlled by a finely graduated tap. This is just prior to the take off point, and above which is the hole for my temp probe.

It is my understanding that the temp within the body of the column is the one which needs to be controlled, by my coil at the top, and the amount of heat applied to my wash in order to achieve the optimum multi million micro condensations and evaporations taking place within the column? Or have I got that wrong?

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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Prairiepiss » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:21 am

Sounds like you got it.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Resasi » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:27 am

In the process now of building the boiler.

Have just edited out quite a large chunk of questions, all to do with wash temps, thermometer on boiler, and fast boiling, because more careful searching on the site has answered those, questions.

It;s like the X files, the answers are out there.

Any advice on the rolling of, dimensions of, my intended copper scrubbers to avoid flooding in the column would be very welcome though. Been looking, it may be there but just haven't found it yet,

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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by RevSpaminator » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:37 pm

I've read some discussion about whether or not to remove the copper scrubbers/mesh/whatever when operating in pot mode. But these columns are made out of stainless, so unless I've missed something, wouldn't you want to leave the copper no matter what mode you operate in?
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:47 pm

Yes if your going to remove the packing to run in pot still mode. You should at least keep one or two copper scubbers in the column.

And how tight to roll them. Well its kinda trial and error. You want it tight but you also want to be able to breath freely thoughtless column.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by jimmycrackedcorn » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:36 pm

i read this post a couple weeks ago. great idea. it gave me an idea for a mod on your mod. i run a garden hose to a valve and connected it to my reflux condenser. i use a tub of ice water and a submersible water pump connected to my product condenser. my ice lasts a lot longer and i have better control over both condensers. thanks for the idea prairie.

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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Prairiepiss » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:16 am

Ice water can be bad. You may want to look around. There are a few threads about it. Shock cooling.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Resasi » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:12 pm

Having read the thread on rolling copper condensers I have begun to worry that the condense and the top of my column will be insufficient for purpose.

The build is a little rough, ss column and no high polish. The reflux condenser is around 8'' long.

Was thinking of packing the outlet pipe within the condenser jacket with packing to make it more efficient
Attachments
Reflux column with base cap and top removed. This gives a rough idea on the outlet size with its water jacket.
Reflux column with base cap and top removed. This gives a rough idea on the outlet size with its water jacket.
Just to give an idea if reflux condenser length, the bracing below was to help support the tap to control flow to the condenser at the top of the column.
Just to give an idea if reflux condenser length, the bracing below was to help support the tap to control flow to the condenser at the top of the column.
Looking in from the top with the top cap removed
Looking in from the top with the top cap removed

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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:39 pm

Your reflux coil will be plenty. Maybe even to much? What are you going to be using for heat? Mine is only 4" long made with 8' of 1/4" pipe. I almost have to turn it off to get product. and your product condenser outer shell is overkill too. I'm guessing it will be fine too. A little loosely packed scubbers wouldn't hurt. Try it without first and see. You van always add a little as you go.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by CuWhistle » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:17 pm

I've just split my input and output cooling water to individual control of product and reflux condensers. As it required some extra soldering in areas that contact the vapours I have cleaned again with a vinegar run and a sacrificial spirit run. I did not have the scrubber packing in place and I have found that the cooling water flow through the reflux pipes needs to be nearly off or the product flow is very slow.

It makes sense to separate the two but is it normal to have very little flow through the reflux condenser? Nearly none at all. I guess I'll see what happens with a full batch in a day or two but I was just wondering if it is to be expected.

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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by rad14701 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:54 am

CuWhistle wrote:It makes sense to separate the two but is it normal to have very little flow through the reflux condenser? Nearly none at all. I guess I'll see what happens with a full batch in a day or two but I was just wondering if it is to be expected.
This is one of the main reasons for splitting the water flow into separate circuits... You can now control the amount of reflux as well as making sure you are knocking down 100% of the vapor hitting the product condenser... Now it should be easy to see how knocking down the distillate vapor was causing excess reflux which in turn needlessly extended run times... Experiment until you get optimal coolant flows through both circuits and you should be a happy camper... :thumbup:

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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by CuWhistle » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:40 pm

Thanks rad. This little mod made a huge difference to the amount of water required, particularly on the reflux side. I look farward to the weekend to give it a real run.

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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Resasi » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:25 pm

Thanks PP, that's a relief. I was not looking forward to trying to take it out and install a double, or even triple coil, fascinating as it was to see how they were made.

Presently looking for off-cuts of SS to make up an approximately 40Lt boiler. Had thought of trying to replicate your double element heating system with the one simply as a booster to heat the wash up to the boil, then continuing with a second controllable element.

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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Bushy » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:53 pm

Got a stainless kegomax still. First couple of runs i was getting 88%.
Then i upgraded the packing and put a centering ring ( copper reducer ) just below the cooling jacket.
Am now getting 95% every time.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Prairiepiss » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:17 pm

Glad it helped you bushy. :thumbup:
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by HolyBear » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:58 am

Just wanted to say thanks to Mr P and all who contributed to this cm mod link. These mods work!!! Here's proof!!! (Well, actually abv :crazy: )
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Beerswimmer » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:01 pm

Image

Mine is the MileHi kind with the jacket on the top. I added insulaton to the column and have a Y to run cold water to both the leibig and the jacket.

So if I have a reducer ring near it it should help with the purity, right? I have both copper mesh and the rings, MileHi says to use the rings at the top so I will.

Glad to read this thread! I was only able to get near 90%, over it only once. I do really like this still, I run it in pot mode to do my rum spirit runs. Now my buddy says he wants some neutral, so I'll have to try it in full reflux again.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:38 pm

Beerswimmer I bet if you replace the rings with all copper mesh it would work even better. And a valve on the reflux condenser side of the y. Those two things will give a big boost. :thumbup:
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:39 pm

wacabi1 lookin good man. :thumbup:
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Beerswimmer » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:24 pm

Prairiepiss wrote:And a valve on the reflux condenser side of the y. :thumbup:

Not sure what you mean by a valve. A valve in order to limit the flow of cold water to the condenser? I was planning on running it full bore, or at least as much water as I can pump through it to keep it as cold as possible. Or is this not ideal? I have very cold water where I live, and it's free.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:34 pm

That's one of the mods I mention in the first post. You need to be able to adjust the flow through the reflux condenser. That's how you adjust the output of the still. Full flow through it will give you 100% reflux and you won't get any product. If you put a valve before the reflux condenser. One that has a fine adjustment like a needle valve. Would make adjusting easier. But you open it up all the way and get 100% reflux. Then adjust the flow down till you get product out. The more flow to the reflux condenser the slower you will take off product. And the higher ABV it will be. Lower flow through the reflux condenser will give you a faster take off rate and lower ABV.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Beerswimmer » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:14 pm

Yep, gotcha!! 8)
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by jsanders » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:27 am

I redid the insulation on my column yesterday and also changed out the rubber hose at the end of the condenser with a copper line. I used a 1/2" to 3/8" compression fitting. I like it a lot better but I'm worried about bending the copper up during storage, what little time that will be. Can I disconnect and reconnect the compression fitting as much as I want so I can take the copper off?

As a side note, I've had a couple good runs over the past 2 days. I'm just running sugar wash at full reflux but it just runs smooth as butter.

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