Yummy's VM Flute modification

VM CM LM Flutes Plate

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Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby Yummyrum » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:07 am

As I distill outdoors on gas ,I find my CM Flute never runs smoothly .
So I took the Ball valve and PC off my 2" VM and attached it to a spare 4" module I had .
I now run the CM deflagmator as a Reflux condenser and also re-purposed the Flute PC as an auxiliary reflux condenser .The reason for that was because the Flute deflag was never good enough to allow as much reflux when using the 1 meter packed column as I wanted .

So its all a bit dodgy looking until I can build a new dedicated Reflux condenser but it works amazingly well . Previously I would tweak the coolant flow and several minutes later the flow would change .Now I turn the ball handle , and I mean turn not the fiddly nudging I expected and instantly .....well 3 seconds later , the flow changes .

Because the reflux ratio is solely dependent on the valve position I am no longer plagued with flame changes and coolant changes I used to previously experience .The product is more consistent .

VM  only setup.jpg


Here's the 1 meter packed section version.... actually not quite . I originally tried it like this with the window section where it is shown but when pushed to flooding , I couldn’t tell until gushes of liquid overflowed out the PC .
I then swapped the window section so it was directly above the packing . This gave me a visual of how high the fluid bed was and also a bit of space to calm the splashes .

Converted to VM.jpg


The 1.5" ball valve is a perfect match to the 4" and allows good reflux ratio control on both the Packed section and the Flute .
Only downside I can think off is you can't strip the tails out with it.....but I don't do that .....I hate tails . :thumbdown:

VM section.jpg
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Re: Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby bluefish_dist » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:19 am

A vm really does run well. I found a similar result with takeoff sizing, a full 1:1 reflux is not needed for most applications. That allows a smaller valve which tends to be a lot cheaper.

If you did want a lower reflux rate with the valve you have you could make it into a two cups style design and reduce from 4-2 and then use a 2” T and expand back 2-4 for the condenser. From what I have read the higher velocity at the valve can help as it increases turbulence.
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Re: Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby shadylane » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:09 am

When it comes to copper porn, your the man Yummy :thumbup:
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Re: Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby WillieP » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:42 am

Thanks Yummy for starting this thread.
I appreciate you posting pic so I could see the way you have your rig set up.
I've stomped on a couple of other threads, which I felt bad about.
I'm in the design phase of a 3 inch perforated plate build. A lot of what I read seems to say that a traditional CM ran flute can be 'fiddly' to run. (coolant temp, coolant flow, coolant temp fluctuating, vapor tube size, volume of water jacket, vapor speed, sizing between wattage input and RC size, etc)
My question is can a VM ran flute produce the same quality of product that a CM ran flute can? I don't read about VM heads on plated columns.
If this can be done, is there a reason to not use a CCVM head? I currently have a 2 inch packed column (30 inch) that has a CCVM head on it.
Next, could someone please explain why it is said that a VM head has issues with tails compression? (Or point me in the right direction to read on it)
It sounds like if there is not a difference in product, that the CCVM head is easier and less expensive to build, and easier to run. Yet I don't see pictures of such animals here on HD. ?????
Just looking for insight from the veterans. I PM'd DAD300 but haven't heard back yet.
Thanks for hearing me out,
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Re: Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby still_stirrin » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:31 pm

WillieP wrote:...could someone please explain why it is said that a VM head has issues with tails compression?

Just the opposite.

The VM is very good at compressing tails to the end. It keeps the hearts clean until the production just stops. I consider that as "compressing the tails" at the end when the proof falls rapidly.

Or...what exactly do you mean by, "issues"????
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Re: Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby bluefish_dist » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:45 pm

When comparing a vm and a cm, the biggest difference is a cm can run at 0 reflux. A vm can not do that, you always have some reflux. IMHO a vm is easy to drive and unless you want really low reflux rates can do everything needed.

I have run lots of runs with a vm head over perf plates. Runs fine. I am working on reconfiguring to run a short packed column with marbles instead of plates to see how it compares.

In regards to tails, a vm does fine in compressing them. A vm won’t run deep into the tails due to the fact that they need alcohol to function. No alcohol, no takeoff.

Why not many ccvm’s, I think it’s because it’s a relatively new design. When I started hanging out here, most were building boka’s. Now I would expect in a year or two most will be ccvm’s. They are easy to make with no tools and about as simple to run as a pot still.
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Re: Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby WillieP » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:51 pm

SS,
From Yummy's original post:
"Only downside I can think off is you can't strip the tails out with it.....but I don't do that .....I hate tails"
I don't have enough experience to know. Just trying to learn. That's why I asked.

Thanks, WillieP
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Re: Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby OtisT » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:12 pm

bluefish_dist wrote:Why not many ccvm’s, I think it’s because it’s a relatively new design. When I started hanging out here, most were building boka’s. Now I would expect in a year or two most will be ccvm’s. They are easy to make with no tools and about as simple to run as a pot still.


One disadvantage to the CCVM over a valved VM is height. The Typical CC VM design I see requires an additional 18” or so over a valved VM. I would build one in a heartbeat if I hade more height in my stilling space.

3’ keg boiler
3’ packed column
0” for a sight glass :(
8” column below VM port
6” tee
8” column above tee
2” above column for my cooling hoses
+1 shoe horn to make it fit in my 8’ high space

I save a foot+ by using a VM valve. Limited space is why I have been playing with a 2’ packed section recently, to see if could make it work so I could build a CCVM and still use a sight glass. I’m not as happy as I want to be with only 2’ of packing. It limites the power I can apply and my draw rate to get the fractioning I expect.

I’m considering cutting a hole in the ceiling, like I’ve seen someone here do in an old post. Probably cheaper to buy a 2” valve. :crazy:

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Last edited by OtisT on Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby bluefish_dist » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:52 pm

Otis, had not considered height. It is an issue, on my 8 ft column I used all 12 ft right up to the ceiling. Even made a Thor’s hammer condenser to save height. If running something other than a neutral it’s not nearly as big of a deal. On my 6” plated column I had 24” of condenser above the takeoff. Not a big deal as it wasn’t that tall due to only being 2 or 3 plates.
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Re: Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby WillieP » Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:25 pm

SS, Yummyrum,
My apologies, I miss understood the "Only downside I can think off is you can't strip the tails out with it.....but I don't do that .....I hate tails" statement. I took that to mean that the tails would not compress correctly. My Bad. I get that they will compress properly.

Bluefish attempted to explain, "In regards to tails, a vm does fine in compressing them. A vm won’t run deep into the tails due to the fact that they need alcohol to function. No alcohol, no takeoff." Unfortunately, I'm to ignorant (or dense) to understand. No alcohol, no takeoff...I'm lost. So you have distilled the majority of the alcohol out of the charge in your boiler, meaning that the % of alcohol has decreased and the % of water has increased. The boiling point of the mixture has increased closer to the boiling point of water, but there would still be vapor being produced, right? If there has to be alcohol for a VM to operate, how do you do a vinegar cleaning run? Told you I was lost.
OK, so... lets say I have a CCVM and I do want to run deep into the tails. (running a rum and I want to try to find the rum oils) Would I be able to run the majority of the run with the CCVM head installed and then at the end, pull the CCVM head, cap it and run the tails out in pot still mode? Maybe I'm just off on a tangent, but I hate not getting it.
Ok, so... the good news is, yes you can run a CCVM head over a plated column and still make a quality product. That is the answer I was very much hoping for. DAD300 got back with me.
Thanks for all your patience.
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Re: Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby bluefish_dist » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:58 pm

When you get to the end of the run, most of your alcohol has been removed, so most of the vapor left in the still is water. You can see this in a pot still with the abv decreasing during the run. On a vm, due to relying on the alcohol being heavier than the water vapor output slows as abv drops. This means when you do your cleaning run you have to run more power to push some water out your output. Same goes if you want to harvest tails. Just reduce reflux and up power to push out the tails. That will lower the abv, but it will get you more volume at the tails portion of the run.

Personally I find a temp/abv that I like for a product and then hold that for the whole run. Once the output drops way off I stop. That usually corresponds to the boiler getting close to the bp of water. I usually leave the wash/wort at 1-2 proof.
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Re: Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby Setsumi » Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:11 am

+ on bluefish.
If you want tails with vm or ccvm put in more heat.... But if you are on tails with reflux you got most, just do your cuts accordingly.

Your tail vlavour will be in just less volume, which means the good and bad will be in smaller cuts but you will have them.

But on plates you will have tails smearded more than on a long packed column or so the theads say and I believe.
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Re: Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby WillieP » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:04 am

Thank you all for taking the time to help me understand.
I want to ask all the questions I can think of BEFORE the build.
Cheers, WillieP
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Re: Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby Yummyrum » Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:21 pm

I would agree that there is no real differerence in product taken off with similar power input and takeoff rate .But if anything its better with VM because the product is more stable and consistant , issues I’m sure would be less of a problem if I went electric.

Regarding tails . When making nuetral with a packed section I’ve never observed the phenomena of output starting to fall .
I do collect in jars and taste each one for onset of tails before switching off . Now it is blatantly obvious when they start to appear as they are very compressed and have a very nasty taste .Also at this time the head temp starts to rise by 0.1 deg . I used to start increasing reflux ratio to compress even more but don’t bother anymore as the gain in clean spirit din’t warrant the extra time or energy .

And although I normally stop collecting as soon as I detect tails , if I do continue , tails definitety continue to come over and they are revolting .

In the Flute once past good hearts the still still produces ever increasing jars of tails but they are not quite as concentrated as from the packed column due to the 4 plates .

I don’t worry about running the last tails out for Rum oils collection as I haven’t ever found these elusive beasts but iff’n you did want to then removing a CCVM condenser and capping the top would be a quicker way to do it than continueing to run in reflux mode
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Re: Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby WillieP » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:28 pm

Yummy,
Makes perfect sense.
Thanks for going over it for me.
Cheers,
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Re: Yummy's VM Flute modification

Postby The Baker » Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:10 pm

If you are heating with gas, and especially in the open, it is a big advantage to have a simple shield around the keg.
It will save on gas, and make the heating more even, especially because it stops random breezes reaching the keg.
Probably the shield should reach below the flame....

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