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 Hound Dog » Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:56 am

valraven wrote: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)
Totally off subject here so forgive me... if you don't even have power near you, how are you on the web? Just curious about being off grid.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Getsmokin » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:24 am

Prairiepiss wrote:
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.
got a 5500 watt element with a controller for heat. I have made 2 runs since the mods the first one I didn't mess with anything after starting the hearts and the second one I tried upping the reflux to maybe compress the tails more, but no real change.

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

Post by T-Pee » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:33 am

Prairiepiss wrote:
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?
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.
The key is in bold I have found. PP is very right there.

tp

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

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:46 am

The faster you take off hearts. The more likely the tails will not compress as good.
The slower you take off hearts the more likely the tails will compress better.

Sory I don't have time right now to explain it in detail. I will try to het back on tonight and explain it better.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Getsmokin » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:54 am

T-Pee wrote:
Prairiepiss wrote:
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?
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.
The key is in bold I have found. PP is very right there.

tp
I am hearing that. But the first run I didn't mess with anything (and only did with the second because of how the first acted). But that's still good info to know.

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

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:10 am

At first after fitting a new still. Or changing anything in the setup. You have to play with it. So you can learn how it reacts. Try everything under the sun. To much heat. To much cooling. Not enough heat and or cooling. Find out what it takes to flood it. Change the packing density. On and on and on. Once you get a hold in what it will do. Then you will be better apt to run it for changing conditions. And where the best settings for a particular batch is.

Sory hit the button to soon.

After you have figure all the above out. That's when you can set it and not mess with it. Because if you don't know where to set it. It won't work right.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by T-Pee » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:45 am

A logbook is indispensable especially when running a CM. They are known to be fiddly but once you have them figured out they are also the most versatile and I'm not one that habitually keeps records.

tp

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

Post by tom sawyer » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:32 am

Good thread. I have a new Brewhaus PSII, 8gal kettle and 2" column with copper packing. I'm running initially as a pot still using the full column and packing. I'm used to my old pot still, and the spirit run from this new still (UJSM low wines) seemed to be 5-10% hotter initially which I assume is because of the column length and packing giving a little reflux. Thats fine, but my question is: am I going to get the same smearing of heads as my old unpacked pot still and will this ultimately result in me throwing away more of my ethanol in making my cuts? Or will the heads be compresed a bit too? And is there an effect on tails? Just wondering what to expect, I am airing my fractions now and will be making my cuts tonight. And when I say "throwing away", I'm going to save the heads for a reflux run but just wondered what to expect from this run. I'm getting better at making my cuts, its painful to discard so much ethanol but the result is certainly quality stuff. Now I can't stand tasting other people's shine, they either don't make cuts at all or they have a high tolerance for heads.

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

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:43 am

Generally adding packing to a pot still. Won't give am improvement of 5% to 10% ABV out. Normally a 5% ABV out improvement is quite a bit. But I don't know that I would say it was all the packing. Because it is a different still all together. But not knowing anything about the old pot still. And how it was ran. Along with what is used for heat and boiler? Did you run the same takeoff speed through both stills? It's hard to say what the difference will be? With out more info all around.

This is all assuming you did run the new still with no water in the reflux condenser.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by RevSpaminator » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:11 pm

Here is how I deal with heads on a CM Still. I start all my runs in reflux mode (even stripping). When I am satisfied I've removed as much of the heads as I can, I lower the heat and cut the flow to the reflux condenser. Once the vapor temp has finished adjusting to the change, I bring the heat back up, slowly, until I reach the desired flow rate. This makes it easy to get some smooth drink.

Beware, this does not guarantee 100% heads removal. As you start to collect from a spirit run, your first few jars should still be switched at the 1/4 ~ 1/3 mark. Then you'll have the first quart or so in smaller intervals to assist with remaining cuts. And remember, nothing beats taste and smell when it comes to making good cuts.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by tom sawyer » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:44 pm

Prairie, old still was a pot and bowl with 18" of 2" copper for a column, so maybe thats part of my difference along with the copper packing. Guess I just have to learn how this one acts. I started getting liquid at 80C though and it held under 81C for quite awhile. I subsequently checked that first jar and it tested 83% ABV. I didn't test my low wines, rather I tested one of the two runs that went into this pot and they were 35%. I typically strip down to 20% or less so low wines over 40% isn't likely with my 10% ABV washes. I don't think my low wines were high enough to give 83% ABV out of the gate without some reflux action. I didn't run water through the reflux condenser, in fact I removed those hoses for this run.

Edited to add, I haven't insulated the column itself yet. It seems to get hot pretty fast. I've been heating both stills with a 1500W hotplate so far.

Rev thats an interesting idea, maybe I can get a decent enough yield with that technique to avoid feeling like I have to save my heads for a full reflux run.

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

Post by RevSpaminator » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:11 pm

tom sawyer wrote:...maybe I can get a decent enough yield with that technique to avoid feeling like I have to save my heads for a full reflux run.
I'm not sure what you mean by "decent enough yield". This is about quality over quantity. My technique is focused on starting with good heads compression to clean things up and ending up with a smoother drink. Your mileage may vary.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by tom sawyer » Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:16 am

I've certainly learned its about quality over quantity, but it doesn't hurt to be able to maximize the quantity of quality.

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

Post by Prairiepiss » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:33 pm

The ABV of the foreshots. Isn't what should be looked at. The ABV of the hearts is what a run should be gauged by.

The only time you would get any kind of reflux. In a packed pot still. Would be at the very start. As the still is heating up. A packed column will take a little longer to get to operating temp. So there will be a small amount of induced reflux. From the cool packed column. Once the column comes to temp. There will be very little reflux if any. Because the packing and column get to hot. For it to actively create reflux. Like I said a packed pot still you will be luck to get a 5% increase. A 1% to a 2% increase. Is more realistic. From my experiments and research.

Without forced reflux. Packing has very little effect.

One of the best improvements you could make at this time. Would be get a good heat source. Hot plates are not good heat sources. And 1500w isn't enough to het the most out of your still. While using the cm function. A 2" cm will work best with 2000w to 2400w available. And for the obvious control issues. Outlined in the what kind of controller thread.

That one improvement would alone improve the cuts separation. By giving less smearing. From the heat surging from the hot plate.

Some like to use the cm still for flavored drinks. Adjusting it so you get a lower ABV. Then you would for a full reflux run. I for one do. This allows better heads and tails compression. While getting a finished product in one run.

Some would still rather to do a strip and spirit run.

Some like to collect only the best hearts. And save all the feints (heads and tails) for a full reflux run. To get two separate products. From a single product.

While some think they are a waist of time.

Personaly I like a single partial reflux run. For flavored drinks. Making very tight hearts cuts. Then a good sized all feints run in full reflux mode. For a good neutral vodka product. Getting the most out of my ferments.

But you won't know fully what will work best for you. Until you have experimented with all the different ways.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by tom sawyer » Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:46 am

The temp really didn't change much between foreshots and heads, the still jumped up to 80C and held there for quite a long time, then when it did start creeping up it went slow, then finally the temp jumped up pretty quickly. Just seemed like there was some refluxing going on. I can't believe I had 70% ABV in my low wines, in fact I know it couldn't have been that high. I'll definitely test my low wines throughly next time.

On a good note, I made my cuts Tuesday and the combined hearts were 75%ABV, diluted to 50% and have a gallon thats tasting very clean with no burn. So I'm happy with this result.

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

Post by T-Pee » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:40 am

tom sawyer wrote:The temp really didn't change much between foreshots and heads, the still jumped up to 80C and held there for quite a long time, then when it did start creeping up it went slow, then finally the temp jumped up pretty quickly. Just seemed like there was some refluxing going on.
What you saw was the cuts coming through I believe, not refluxing.

tp

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

Post by tom sawyer » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:51 pm

When I look at the graphs of temp vs liquid and vapor ABV, it seems like I wouldn't have seen a temp of 80C for so long when my low wines were in the 35% range. Maybe I'm not accounting for the fact that the graphs are based on pure ethanol in water, not real life wash. These washes were pretty clean though.

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

Post by EDragon » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:01 pm

Wondering if the Mile High dual purpose can be run on an electric element? I'm very wary about running a still near or on an open flame, especially when I'm trying to get higher ABV out of it, but I don't know if an electric element would pose any other problems. Also, I don't have the material to make a decent transfer tube beyond what is included if I do purchase it (maybe in a month or two, but one thing at a time), would it be possible (and safe) to just use a gallon jar seated so that the bottom of the condenser is in the bottom of the glass jar in the meantime?

I know these, particularly the last, are more novice questions, but I'm still a novice in most ways. :)

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

Post by Prairiepiss » Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:37 am

There are many examples of these and all other still designs being ran in electric. They also sell electric elements to run them. I wouldn't recommend getting theirs though. It's not the correct type of controller for the job.

For a 2" you will need from 2000 to 2400 watts. To get the most out of it. It will work at a lower wattage. But it will work better at the higher watts.

Not really understanding the whole gallon jar thing?

Get you a metal pot. Put this under your collection jar. So that if anything was to spill it would catch it. And keep it away from the flames. The pot will need to be big enough that you can change out your collection jars. Use smaller jars so if something was to happen. It's a smaller amount of alcohol. Would rather spill a half pint then a gallon of alcohol.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by EDragon » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:36 pm

This isn't directly related to these stills, but the same 'class' (CM short tower):
main obstacle, after exploring this design some, seems to be simply having enough coolant to make the CM condenser at the top of the tower actually work to help the reflux. This doesn't seem to be easy, and so maybe this makes the CM concept alone inferior to others, but I went through more than 10lbs of ice trying to keep it cool on a short run. Worked (could see the temp at the top of the vapor stream definitely cool off when ice was added each time) but lots of effort to keep it going like this and monitoring the temp of the vapor as well as the temp of the water going into and out of the condenser.

Hope this helps!
ED

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

Post by Full_moon » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:26 am

Can someone tell me a good needle valve. I have a mile hi that I have just run in pot still mode and putting together a separate water control system for the reflux condenser. I purchased a 3/8 needle valve from HD that wont completely shut off the flow of water. I have 1/2 in hoses and this needle valve fit perfect with a couple clamps but what the heck, is there a fix?


I exchanged the needle valve and now all is well.
Last edited by Full_moon on Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:07 am

If your valve won't close. It's bad. You can get valves at any hardware store.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Full_moon » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:23 am

ED--Edragon

You asked about a mile hi on an electric element. I am running an 8gal with a 4500 W heater element.
I origionally had a 5 gal pot still I ran on a broilking hot plat with a controller. It took about an hour 5-10 minutes to start producing in strip runs.
When I was setting up the MH, I had to use this hotplate while finishing up my controller, It still took the same time to produce with my 4.5 gal or so washes.
Now that I am using the 4500W element it takes 20 to 21 minutes to start producing on strip runs.
it used to take me 3.5 hours to strip out a 4.5 gal wash, now its about an hour and a half. I am only pushing the liebig about 1000 amps I think I can go more.
So this is FYI if you are considering electric.

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

Post by Prairiepiss » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:31 am

EDragon wrote:This isn't directly related to these stills, but the same 'class' (CM short tower):
main obstacle, after exploring this design some, seems to be simply having enough coolant to make the CM condenser at the top of the tower actually work to help the reflux. This doesn't seem to be easy, and so maybe this makes the CM concept alone inferior to others, but I went through more than 10lbs of ice trying to keep it cool on a short run. Worked (could see the temp at the top of the vapor stream definitely cool off when ice was added each time) but lots of effort to keep it going like this and monitoring the temp of the vapor as well as the temp of the water going into and out of the condenser.

Hope this helps!
ED
You need a bigger reservoir. Not ice.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Stijepovic » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:33 am

great advice, thanks!

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

Post by toetag » Sun Dec 21, 2014 2:29 pm

I'm goin to upgrade my pot still. I have a 15gal SS stock pot with a 2inx36in copper column going into a 3/8 in worm. I'm wondering what size the cross tubes usually are? I was goin to put in a 3/4in cross tube. If i cut it and fixed it in a slight V shape. Would i still need the funnel?

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

Post by rad14701 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:17 pm

toetag wrote:I'm goin to upgrade my pot still. I have a 15gal SS stock pot with a 2inx36in copper column going into a 3/8 in worm. I'm wondering what size the cross tubes usually are? I was goin to put in a 3/4in cross tube. If i cut it and fixed it in a slight V shape. Would i still need the funnel?
If you're going to the effort to build a CM why not use a reflux method better than the cross tubes...??? A torpedo reflux condenser would be far superior and not all that much harder to build...

If you're running a keg then the worm size is 1/2", minimum, not 3/8"... You're not gonna be running a small stock pot so you have to bump it up... 3/8" isn't an option...

Not sure what you mean about the funnel...

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

Post by toetag » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:37 am

I don't think the tubes for a coil or a torpedo will fit past the outlet tube going to the worm. I not trying to reach 94%. I'm just trying to get a little more pure corn whiskey with out running it twice. The funnel i'm talking about is the centering ring.

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

Post by googe » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:44 am

A pic or better explanation of your still would help mate.
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Re: CM Still Output Improvement Mods Mile High / Brewhaus PS

Post by Tokoroa_Shiner » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:59 am

Change the 90 that connects your worm to your column to a T. Drop a coil in there. And take out the centring ring. They do more worse then good
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