Column take off size

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Up in the Shed
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Column take off size

Post by Up in the Shed » Sat Aug 22, 2020 5:20 am

Hello

I have a 20 gallon boiler, 5500watt element, with a 2" TC fitting on top for the take off. I have used until now as a pot still and have great success.

My question....

As I choose a reflux column.... am I limited by the 2" TC for size? Can I go larger.... perhaps a 3-4" column... Seems it would be better fitted to my boiler size.... By using a 2-3" or 2-4" TC adapter? Or would that be counter productive?

At this time, I am not interested in changing the 2" TC take off. If its a bad idea, I can just go with a 2" column build, with slower speeds

Thanks for you help
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Re: Column take off size

Post by Expat » Sat Aug 22, 2020 5:28 am

Up in the Shed wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 5:20 am
My question....

As I choose a reflux column.... am I limited by the 2" TC for size? Can I go larger.... perhaps a 3-4" column... Seems it would be better fitted to my boiler size.... By using a 2-3" or 2-4" TC adapter? Or would that be counter productive?

At this time, I am not interested in changing the 2" TC take off. If its a bad idea, I can just go with a 2" column build, with slower speeds

Thanks for you help
2" is fine if you don't want to change it. For the boiler size 3" is probably optimal, just get a 2"-3" TC adapter.
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Re: Column take off size

Post by StillerBoy » Sat Aug 22, 2020 5:31 am

Up in the Shed wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 5:20 am
As I choose a reflux column.... am I limited by the 2" TC for size? Can I go larger.... perhaps a 3-4" column... Seems it would be better fitted to my boiler size.... By using a 2-3" or 2-4" TC adapter? Or would that be counter productive?
There are two school of thought on this adapter reduction.. some say there is no different, from personal experience there is some effect..

Personally, having both and run both in the 2'" x 3" vera straight and on 40" column, there is a different.. the different from slight glass observation and take off rate is about a 15 - 20% reduction in take off rate between a reducer vers a straight 3".. the different come with being able to increase the power some..

So if you are not looking for maximum efficiency, it is ok..

Mars
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– Albert Einstein

Up in the Shed
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Re: Column take off size

Post by Up in the Shed » Sat Aug 22, 2020 5:40 am

No Im not looking for maximum efficiency, but in another thread I was told that a 2" column would be pretty slow for a full boiler charge. Thanks for the advice. Seems the adapter will work. Worse case scenario.... at some point I change the 2" take off on the boiler to a larger one, and use an adapter to reduce to 2" for my pot still

Thanks
Up in the Shed

---20 Gallon EHERMS, 2" Pot Stil---

OtisT
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Re: Column take off size

Post by OtisT » Sat Aug 22, 2020 6:32 am

With that size of boiler and that amount of power, you could go with a 3” or a 4” column. The larger the column diameter, the more power you can apply, resulting in a faster production rate. I think using a 2” to 4” (or 3”) reducer off of the boiler is fine.

Normally you would double your rate going from 2” to 3”, or quadruple the rate going From 2” to 4”. Someone above said you may loose 15%-20% due to the reducer but that is still a lot faster than a straight 2” column.

Otis
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Re: Column take off size

Post by Bushman » Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:56 am

I have a 4” on my keg boiler and works great, I went from 12 to 17 hour runs on a 2” VM to 3-4 hours on my 4” CM. Anything larger is to much for a small boiler. Mash Rookie came to that conclusion when trying to run a 6” diameter column.

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Re: Column take off size

Post by Up in the Shed » Sat Aug 22, 2020 8:12 am

Thanks for all your advise. I honestly am still mildly confused with all the options for reflux design. I built my 2" pot still, and have the ability to do a 2" CCVM... But would like to go larger. But I think constructing it myself may be outside my skill set. Here in Canada its not super easy to buy a still, as everything is hush hush. Are most people building a still of that size 3-4" or buying?

As a side question, what is the simplest Reflux still in that size range? 3-4"
Thanks
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Re: Column take off size

Post by bluefish_dist » Sat Aug 22, 2020 8:25 am

Never had any problems running a 4” column on a standard keg 2” outlet. Just ran a 2-4 reducer.

Have a 6” opening now, but really only to make cleaning easier. Arm won’t fit in a 4” tc.
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Re: Column take off size

Post by OtisT » Sat Aug 22, 2020 8:50 am

Up in the Shed wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 8:12 am
As a side question, what is the simplest Reflux still in that size range? 3-4"
Thanks
Simplest to build or simplest to operate?

VM vs CM vs LM:
My opinion is that a VM style is the easiest to operate, especially for newer distillers. Less adjustments during a run.

I think VM and CM can both be easy builds, with LMs being a more complex build.

I personally like my VM with a gate valve, but lots of folks here are happy with their CCVM. The advantage of the CCVM over a valved VM lis that the CCVM is simpler to build and less expensive (no valve to buy).

The CCVM also allows for a larger vapor path to the PC without the major expense of needing to buy a large valve. (SS valves get really expensive as the size goes up.). This is not too important unless you plan to run really low reflux ratios.

Plated vs packed:
Packed is WAY easier to build, and WAY cheeper than a plated column. Of course you can buy your plate sections, then the cost is very high but there is no build component.

Condensers:
If you are building your own, I find coils much easier to build and cheeper than shotguns. Coils also offer high performance in a compact profile, just like a shotgun or shotgun style dephlag.

Otis
Otis’ Pot and Thumper, Dimroth Condenser: Pot-n-Thumper/Dimroth
Learning to Toast: Toasting Wood
Polishing Spirits with Fruitwood: Fruitwood
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