Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby rad14701 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:00 pm

cousingary wrote:OK, thanks rad; I looked at your rig...extremely clean...great idea. Finally got a ss strainer today. How did you solder the nut to the pipe? Can't find a brass nut and the one that came with the strainer looks like pot metal or fake chinese brass (zinc over steel?) which I haven't tried to solder before.
Gary

I used a copper coupling without a stop soldered onto a tinned zinc nut which has since been replaced with a SS nut... They also make copper adapters that thread right on in place of the nut and coupling but I dont recall the exact size...
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby cousingary » Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:29 pm

OK, thank you; I sure appreciate all this expertise.

I found another smaller ss strainer for $5.00 US which looked easier for a first try and I also have a hole saw that size. I started the 1-1/2" nut to 1-1/2" copper coupling solder job (for an 1-1/2" column) but, while going through a bin of 1-1/4" parts left over from a radiant solar heating job, I noticed that 1-1/4" copper pipe virtually press fits onto the ss strainer neck.

Found some old "Stay-Clean" flux in my Weller soldering gun kit (anyone know a US source?). "For all Soldering Purposes including stainless steel, monel (?), and chrome." Jackpot. Just basic zinc chloride, but a real performer.

"Silver solder" (mostly tin with 1-2% copper, silver, and bismuth...MSDS looks OK), a little flux, and very little Mapp and it flowed beautifully. I am stoked. I will use the 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" fitting to resume the column. Is there any problem upsizing uphill?

Tomorrow is pay day...busy weekend ahead...have any members of this forum ever been killed by their wives? Just wondering.
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Re: Sorry, wrong thread

Postby cousingary » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:08 pm

Sorry, this post probably should have gone on the soldering thread. I do not know how to move it but, perhaps a moderator can fix this. Thanks...Gary
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby LWTCS » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:09 pm

cousingary wrote:have any members of this forum ever been killed by their wives?


I'm typing from the grave as we speak,

And I quote: "Just how much likker do you need?"
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby skinny » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:20 pm

Can't find 1.5" pipe. what would reducing to 1" mean for the performance or can i even do it at all?
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby rad14701 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:40 pm

skinny wrote:Can't find 1.5" pipe. what would reducing to 1" mean for the performance or can i even do it at all?

I wouldn't attempt 1" for a column because it's just too small... I'd consider 1.25" the absolute minimum... Look at the numbers below... A 1" column would be inefficient and would only be able to produce somewhere around 8oz/200ml per hour... It's also too small for fit a condenser in unless you were to use a cold finger... Keep looking for larger copper or stainless... Check plumbing supply shops...

1.00" = 0.79 sq in
1.25" = 1.23 sq in
1.50" = 1.77 sq in
2.00" = 3.14 sq in
3.00" = 7.07 sq in
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby The Baker » Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:57 am

LWTCS wrote:
cousingary wrote:have any members of this forum ever been killed by their wives?


Now I'm just a shadow of my former self.
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby skinny » Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:32 am

ok will do thanks for the info
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby skinny » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:45 pm

one more thing. I went to my local home depot and lowes and picked up the 1/2" brass unions but I don't know if they are the right ones. Can you give me an idea or a picture of what it should look like?
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby Zxlork » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:54 am

Do you think it would be wise to just increase the 1 1/2 inch pipe to 2"? Wouldn't this make for faster runs? I was thinking if I did a 2" I might be able to do a small coil inside the top 5" as a condinser insted of the 3/4" finger condinser you have. That and mabye increase the 5" finger to 7" or 8" what do you think?
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby kevenjoo » Wed May 12, 2010 10:19 pm

As I have seen you Hybrid Stove Top Still with his Build & Operation. I think this going really efficient. I hope soon I can build my own hybrid stove.
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby GingerBreadMan » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:09 pm

Quick update on this still, haven't posted here in a while.

I still use this still for spirit runs, it works very well. I have a new stove and the heating problems are no longer a problem. New technology in the stove probably solved the problem. Performance is good, today I did a spirit run of grappa and made 7 X 750ml bottles of 40% ABV (final output + dilluted with distilled water) in about 2 hours.

For stripping runs I now use a much bigger still, it's just a simple pot still that can hold a ~10 gallon charge. Generally I find I can strip the wash down to zero ABV with the bigger still and then use this still for the spirit run where I can choose to run it either as a pot still or do some fractionating distilling.

As well, I find this smaller still handy for experimental washes. Just finished a Quince + Plum wash, I only made about ~18L of this wash so bringing out the big guy wasn't worth it. I ran a stripping run and spirit run with it and it produced a nice little brandy. Next fall I'll get bushels of the fruit and scale it up.
I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it left.
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby bear chaser » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:46 pm

Im new to all of this But jumping in with both feet. I have just built one on your basic design, 11/4 " colum with a couple copper scrubers and cold finger with a lebig ,but my pot is a 50lt ss keg
ran it with vinager last nite ,worked great I was able to nock down aprx.75-80%of the vaper with the cold finger. Then at 7am I ran a 1gallon wposw wash at 10%avb I was very impressed when I started pulling 160prf on a single run, also depressed knowing Id have to toss it out.

I also started to run 4gallons through after cleaning out I again started pulling 160Prf after the fores but after collecting the first 600mls or so my
coolant pump crashed but only for a minut before I got it going again. shortly after that I notised a slight amber color in what was very clear product this continued for another 500mls still at that 160 area. then I had to shut down due to pump failer ( its done for )
I suspect the color is from some remaining sugar in my wash as the copper srcubers were very black as the colum temp did rise when the pump failed the first time. so I think Ill dump all but the fores back in the dunder and try to run it again :lol:
thanks GingerBread Man
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby rad14701 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:27 am

bear chaser, that off color could also be residual gunk being removed because your initial cleaning run of 1 gallon in a 15.5 gallon keg just wasn't enough... It could also have been due to loading up of the column packing with less than perfect vapors if you didn't re-establish an equilibrium for a while after the pump problems... That 1.25" column might prove a bit small mounted on a keg unless you really keep the heat down low...

You're getting there... Congratulations on a semi-successful first run...
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby bear chaser » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:58 pm

Thanks Rad I do have a few quistons but will post in another thread

just dont want to hijack jingerbreads thread
thanks to you both
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby Slowninja » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:18 pm

I believe i'm going to build this, with a 2" column 3' tall. Going to increase the size of the cold finger to 8-10" and add some verticle fins (as suggested earlier in the thread).
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby dillrepair » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:34 am

hi there. Avid all-grain brewer and wine/mead maker... new to distilling.... wanted to thank the Ginger Bread Man, and others here for inspiring me to build a still... I based my design directly from his, added a longer cold finger ~14 inches and adapted to work with one of my existing 4.5 gallon brew-pots and lid.
- was wondering what y'all consider satisfactory as far as cleaning a newly soldered copper construction... i tried to clean the flux off the individual assemblies before they were installed into the column (i.e. the cold finger, and the large 1.5 inch tee with reducing bushings).... then used mineral spirits sloshed around inside the column for a while once everything was assembled. finally i boiled vinegar and water 50/50 mix thru the still tonight for a few hours.... in your experience will this be sufficient to remove any nasty flux residues that could effect my first run? [url]i.imgur.com/uMouo.jpg[/url]

do you see any potentially serious problems with the design that i should be aware of? was it ok to use the existing pot lid?... i will be using flexible hose and pex connector valves or some economical alternative for the rest of the cooling lines.
EDIT after reading the safety thread i will be sealing the lid to the pot.


thanks much. -pattycakes
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby vickac » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:21 pm

Im still unsure of what to do with the 2 SS bowls. I read the link on soldering copper to SS and i found the post but it didnt show the pictures
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby MarcusDS » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:35 am

I'm not a distiller, home or otherwise (though I am considering it), but I am pretty well versed in heat and heat transfer. For the unstable low heat issue, see if you can find a huge cast iron skillet (I've seen some that might fit your pot inside), or even a flat cast iron griddle made for setting on an electric stove. Cast iron holds a LOT of heat (so make sure to only get a skillet or griddle as big as you need) and should even out your temperature fluctuations very nicely. Remember that you'll have to wait a good bit longer for temperature changes to equalize, and remove the pot from the cast iron if you want to cool it down quickly.

Since you know the proper settings without a cast iron 'buffer', you should be fine. The settings will be pretty much the same, just take a bit longer to get up to temperature. Hope this helps!
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby Rumdum » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:22 am

GBM man this is the info that I have been searching for many weeks. The condenser pictures and explanation is over the top especially for a newbie like myself. I think that info for the condensing arm should be with the Still Drawings because it is so thorough. I thank you for the short cuts. I have many many many reading hours on this forum and you have just filled in the missing piece of my distilling puzzle that I have been looking.
Thnx a million
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby Rumdum » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:27 am

GBM ....my bad. I just realized your Still pics are already on the another site. Yup more hours of reading.
Later
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby cabtoohell44 » Fri May 03, 2013 6:14 pm

Just started into distilling, found using a induction cook top works really well, easily controllable, no apparent cycling (yes it stayed in one spot) and very easy to insulate, just wrap a blanket or insulation foam around it. Great setup by the way.
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby jrome » Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:35 am

Just like the others here, thanks GBM for the post and for the solid instructions on how to make it.

I finished mine in May but only recently got around to using it. It works very well and because it uses a large stockpot, the misses doesn't mind it (she can use the stockpot for other things :-).

After I get some finished product, I'm toasting to GBM! :clap:
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby SnoSheriff » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:22 pm

@GingerBreadMan, where did all the pics go? Sounds like a very interesting build but I'd like to see pics
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby still_stirrin » Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:32 pm

SnoSheriff wrote:@GingerBreadMan, where did all the pics go? Sounds like a very interesting build but I'd like to see pics

Bye bye...because they were hosted on an external host. Exactly the reason why all photos should be resized and uploaded to the HD website.

Don't complain to/about me...I'm just a messenger.
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Re: Hybrid Stove Top Still - Build & Operation

Postby Alchemist75 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:49 pm

A sand bath would likely resolve 90% of the temperature fluctuations. Sand baths are slow to come to heat but once they do they're slow to lose it too, real slow in fact. The still I'm presently running uses a 17"x1" packed section with a 4.75" tube/shell dephleg with cross condensers inside. The boiler is bigger, 5 gallon capacity but it's akin to your design. I split the water at the tap with a T manifold so I can regulate the condensers separately which makes all the difference. My design incorporates a means of centering which is a big help too. I can, if I'm patient, pull 93% on the thing though 91 is more typical. I have a ceiling clearance issue which presently limits my hight but really I'm quite pleased with the rig. I have gas so that eliminates the heat fluctuations but I've used sand baths with lab gear so I already know that it would fix the problem. The perk of running short columns is that you can get great cut compression and high proof but retain the flavor. Half breed designs are kinda neat. Oh, and the comment about not running a 1" column isn't 100% accurate. I'm doing it without problems but then I'm patient, 7 hour spirit runs aren't so bad. Sure, 2" might speed things up and perhaps I'll upgrade one day but damn me if that 1" column hasn't made some fine spirit. 1" just means that you keep your heat down and run 4 drops a second, not much different than a spirit run on a pot still.
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