CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PSII.

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

Post by jtate-1 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:18 am

Thanks for the advice I will try that. Then my next question would be what temps that I read everywhere. should I not be concerned with what my column temps read because thats what I trying to regulate. Just seems like everything is to hot.
When I open my reflux condenser temp drops to the sixties and low seventies. as soon as cut the water flow it shoots to the 85 to 95 C temps. so at that high am I getting all the chemicals in my drink. everybody talks reaching that 77 78 C mark and hold it there for several hours and then when your temps hit low 90s shut it down cause your in to tails or collect for a all tails run down to 40%. I understand what I have read over and over but just can't seem to get those readings or am I just paying to much attention to details. I'm not that young anymore and not the sharpest tool in the shed just trying to follow what I have read in these forums.

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

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:36 am

Don't worry about temps. Use it only for a guide as to what mite be happening. Don't try to control temps. And if you are refluxing you shouldn't be shouting flow to the reflux condenser off. You need the flow to stay on to create reflux. Only turn the flow down so you get the takeoff rate needed. 1 to 3 drips a second for these stills. For a neutral type run. The temps will change a little but should level out as you are taking product off. I have never used a thermometer in my cm still.

You should go read the novice guide to cuts thread. Learn about making cuts. Cuts are best made by taste smell and feel. Collect in small jars. And make cuts afterwards. Letting it air out for 24 to 48 hours will aid in making cuts.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by jtate-1 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:48 am

Would like to say thank you Mr. Piss for your insight. Did all your suggestions and my still ran like a champ till 3am this morning getting 90 plus %. Open heat wide open and adjusted water flow and ran very predictable. I collected in half pint jars to figure out the cuts. Gonna let air for a day. Thanks for your help. JT

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

Post by Prairiepiss » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:30 am

Glad to hear it helped you out. Sounds like a good run. :thumbup:
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Shae » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:15 pm

I'm really not very handy. is there anywhere that sells a centering ring? I'm going to see how the other mods I can do (insulation, extension, plenty of packing, etc) work first, but in the event I need one of these rings, I'd prefer to buy one.

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

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:24 pm

Nope your not gona find one. I wouldn't worry about it. Do the other mods. And see what you get.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Shae » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:47 pm

Thanks! based on the other responses, I have high hopes.

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

Post by engunear » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:01 pm

Its a great post, but a thought about leaving packing in ... you need to think about what will happen if (when), during stripping, you get a foam-up and solids are carried into the packing. If your packing consists of scrubber pads, then getting all the solids out will be difficult and the solids will go moldy. Not what I'd want in my spirit. Now maybe this is not a problem with rashig rings or saddles. My recommendation would be to remove the packing, or build a second stripping head, preferably with a slobber box so its easy to keep clean.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Prairiepiss » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:38 pm

Well that's where you should learn your still. And what you can do with it. And what you can't.

But in all reality. A little mold in the bottom packing. Isn't gona do anything.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Pudge » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:13 pm

Prairiepiss wrote:Thanks Use. That's what I was going for.

I added some more info on packing. Would like some feedback on in packing. And what I posted. If anyone has some input on it?
We had made two separate runs on our milehi 2inch column, the first was packed 95% with Copper mesh, and only about an inch or so deep with ceramic, we documented temp progress up the column with an infrared, notating any changes on 5 minute intervals to "learn" our rig. On the next run we went closer to 50/50 Copper Ceramic. On the first run we achieved a flow out the condenser about an hour after reaching our desired kettle temps, on the second it was almost three...

So it goes without saying in my opinion that your observation of differing temperature gradients per packing media was spot on but it may even be to the extent that the difference causes almost two separate gradients. In other words it seemed that the process of the hot vapor heating the packing materials and rising vertically through the column stopped and held for about 45 minutes and started started all over again slowly once it reached the ceramic (we assume) because the temp readings up the column reached the point where we can easily assume that the vapor had worked its way through the copper and paused for so long that heating the ceramic and continuing to rise more than doubled the time it took for the same process through the lower parts of the column packed with copper. So I am now a convert to the doctrine of one or the other for packing media, or at least a ratio similar to our first run.

it is also worthwhile to note that we were not controlling the flow rates through the two different condenser jackets separately, but on both occasions they were held at slow consistent flow rates, so that should not have accounted for any difference in the rate at which the column temperature rose in intensity and extensity.

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

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:18 pm

Thanks for the input. Your findings are exactly what I expected would happen.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Pudge » Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:18 pm

Awesome thread, we had speculated on column insulation and separate flow management for the two condensers and now we will definitely make those mods. I was already encouraged by the results we yielded as flaming ignoramuses, now that we have some guidance on our rig more specifically we should be putting out more consistent solid results.

Thanks so much for the time and effort to collect all this info and expertise.

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

Post by valraven » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:07 pm

Thank you for a great post Mr Piss. I run a BH 2" column and am learning to use it over the last 9 months. I am at a dis advantage. I am using a 100 year old woodstove , rainwater barrel for cooling ( with cooling assistance from a small solar powered fan radiator. No such luxury as electric heating elements. I have found that with carefully built fire using good hard wood a constant heat could be attained. It was a bit harder to lower or increase heat during equalization but am learning to produce a decent product that is very much enjoyed by most of our friends. Our ancestors no doubt had to deal with these same difficulties.
Have made most of the improvements that you have recommended except the needle valve. The impurities in my cooling water have forced my to use a gate valve to prevent blockages. I have replaced the plastic hoses ( through pipes ) at the top of the column with copper tubing which aids in keeping the cooling water cooler longer.
1/2 " stainless (Swage Lock) compression fitting work on the soft copper tubing as well as the stainless on the BH column . With a small solar fan blowing cool air at the top of my column I get both water cooling and air assist cooling.
Thank you again for all your advice . val :thumbup:
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:07 pm

Wood burning stove. Sounds like you have your work cut out for you. Glad you are figuring it all out. Hope this thread helps you along the way.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by valraven » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:56 am

40 years of cooking on a cook stove and you better know how to bake , fry, simmer boil, etc. Distilling is just an addition to that art. lol
We were distilling 30 years ago using the most primitive equipment but have stepped up to the 21 century.
There are no power lines near us, but that has not deterred us from living the good life. Will post some pics of the still on wood power asap. Thanks again for all your advice and your patience Val (Making maple syrup now)
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Prairiepiss » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:29 pm

Ok I don't like you now. Maybe cause I'm jealous. :mrgreen:
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by T-Pee » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:45 pm

Me too, PP. Just too freaking cool. Right on par with finding a remote Cascades cabin with an outdoor hot tub made with local river rock and a wood-fired heating system while we were hunting deer one year.

tp

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

Post by valraven » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:25 am

Come out and sample the Maple whisky . I have been mixing maple syrup with whisky like they do in Vermont and its all just for fun. Also using the moonshine to make vanilla extract. Anyways sorry for getting off topic. All visitors are welcome. val
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by valraven » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:37 pm

Re centering ring issues

I have had a friend make a die for enlarging centering ring ( 1" 1/2 to 1" inch copper fitting ) The inside of 2 inch stainless column pipe is just under 2 inches . Using a 2 ton press the die opens the copper fitting to 2 inches (on the outside of the fitting ) It also gives me a 1/4 inch flat surface whick makes contact on the inside of the stainless pipe. If anyone would like to use my die or have me make on for them i will do it for cost . val
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by ncdiver2 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:58 am

So I inherited an incomplete cm 40 inches I placed the thru column reflux cooling at the top of the column and valved the cooling to separate reflux from product I have room would it help to add a cutoff valve from column to product condenser to be able to shutoff flow to the product condenser? In order to improve reflux? I have placed a centering ring at the joint just below the column cooling lines the product condenser I finished is a 24" leibig? double walled cooling jacket ? 1" inside 11/2 cooling jacket sorry learning the names here. So would a shutoff valve help or is it needed?
36" CM reflux with 30 "leiburg 24"pot with 40" leiburg and doubler

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

Post by Prairiepiss » Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:31 am

I'm not understanding what you are asking? You said you split the reflux condenser and product condenser cooling. So you could control them separate. So I would assume you added valves to control that?

Or are you talking about adding a valve in the vapor path from the column to the product condenser? If you are. DO NOT DO THIS. This would be a safety hazard. Allowing possible pressure buildup. Creating a pressure bomb. The vapor path needs to always be open to atmosphere. I repeat. DO NOT PLACE A VALVE IN THE VAPOR PATH.

If that was not your intentions. Please explain it better. So we can better help you.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by ncdiver2 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:37 am

yep you got it I added valves to the cooling lines and separated them so I can control them individually the second question was a type before you think thing I realized after I wrote it that by closing off the vapor path I would create a bomb that would solve any question of improving the still. So update no valve in the vapor path, I did run a sugar wash and a grain wash important safety tip not all turbo yeasts actually say turbo yeast on them and some suppliers put the "non" turbo yeast next to the turbo so you think ahhh this is what I want after pitching it though and it almost blowing the water out of the air locks I went to the makers site and low and behold turbo ran it anyway for the experience came out not to bad waiting on hydro and sp gages so cant tell numbers hopefully they will be in soon gonna do another run with plain bakers yeast and will see how it works. I will let you know
36" CM reflux with 30 "leiburg 24"pot with 40" leiburg and doubler

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

Post by Chucker » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:05 am

Thought I'd weigh in here with all of the CM discussion. When I did my first build and shakedown run I had no idea what all of this stuff was, only that I had access to a small, multi-tube ss heat exchanger that I reasoned could be coaxed to behave similar to a packed column if I could monitor the vapor temp at the column outlet. It was successful enough that I based my first real build on the concept. I found straightaway that it can be finicky with respect to cooling flow. I was able to solve this by adding a thermometer to the cooling water discharge as this is much quicker to respond than actual vapor temp so I can prevent crashing the outflow.
Running like this I am only able to get to a max of about 80% under ideal conditions. But I'm fine with that since I'm not interested in a completely neutral spirit. So in a single pass I will get a composite of about 70% out of 20 liters of wash. I can use temp and output rate to help guide cuts and get an output of about 1 l/hr. I've been very pleased with the results. I do have the cooling flows separated for the column and condenser, which is essential, as is fine control of the column water flow. With temp monitoring it's quite easy to run with limited interference.
I think it works as well as it does largely because the column is a multi-tube rather than a single. There is no packing but I may consider adding some up top to enhance reflux and see if I can influence purity a bit more. So, in the grand scheme CW units have some disadvantage process-wise, but they are easy to set up and clean and with the addition of another thermometer can be made easier to operate reliably.
Aside from welding the fitting through the milk can cover and improving its seal everything else is just tri- clamped together. The only other fab was the condenser. Granted, I've got an advantage having easy access to a lot of these components.
Total setup is a 40 liter milk can with ss tri clamp fittings to a 3" column, reducers and bends come round to a copper coil condenser. Both cooling flows are set up counter current which may seem odd on the column but is effective and functional. Heating is propane.
Maybe I'll get some pics if I can figure out how to post em.

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

Post by Getsmokin » Mon May 26, 2014 8:53 am

I have a question about getting a CM into full reflux, how do you really know its in full reflux? Vs maybe a little low on heat input? I also have a question about compressing heads on a MH CM but that probably belongs in a different thread.

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

Post by T-Pee » Mon May 26, 2014 9:43 am

I get the foreshots coming at a good rate, collect my 200ml and open the reflux valve leaving the heat setting alone.
When the output flow completely stops, you're in full reflux.

tp

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

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon May 26, 2014 3:47 pm

T-Pee wrote:I get the foreshots coming at a good rate, collect my 200ml and open the reflux valve leaving the heat setting alone.
When the output flow completely stops, you're in full reflux.

tp
Kinda what I do. Except I allow it to run in 100% reflux for a bit before I collect the rest of the foreshots. Only collecting enough foreshots at the very beginning to get a good flow established.

I can hear mine refluxing. Before I built fu man. I would listen and could hear the reflux. And feel the heat just below the reflux condenser. And temp of exit water temp of reflux condenser. Now I just look into fu man's eye. LOL
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by T-Pee » Mon May 26, 2014 7:42 pm

Prairiepiss wrote:
T-Pee wrote:I get the foreshots coming at a good rate, collect my 200ml and open the reflux valve leaving the heat setting alone.
When the output flow completely stops, you're in full reflux.

tp
Kinda what I do. Except I allow it to run in 100% reflux for a bit before I collect the rest of the foreshots. Only collecting enough foreshots at the very beginning to get a good flow established.
I just dump the fores 'cuz I'm also going to dump the very early heads into the fuel jar too. Then I put the still in full reflux and stack the mid and late heads which gives me a little time for the still to stabilize for the hearts takeoff.
This works unless I'm doing an apple brandy in which case I want the flavors that come with the early heads.

All this demonstrates that we operate our equipment in the manner that we have found the best for us individually. As they say, YMMV.

tp

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

Post by Getsmokin » Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:32 pm

Thanks for the info. Got another one for ya, so my MH cm when plumbed in series like the manufacturer says to do (before the cooling mods) would compress the tails very well, after splitting the cooling I can't seem to compress them much at all. Any suggestions?

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

Post by T-Pee » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:58 pm

More heat, more cooling maybe. Keep the % up and suddenly the ABV will crash.

tp

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

Post by Prairiepiss » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:09 pm

Getsmokin wrote:Thanks for the info. Got another one for ya, so my MH cm when plumbed in series like the manufacturer says to do (before the cooling mods) would compress the tails very well, after splitting the cooling I can't seem to compress them much at all. Any suggestions?
Not sure what you are using for heat? Or if you have any control over it?

A properly setup cm still. That the heat input and cooling input is set to the right amounts. The still should almost shut down at the onset of tails. Compressing them down good. That is if you aren't fiddling with the controls once you get past half the hearts.
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