A little re-torted

Vapor, Liquid or Cooling Management. Flutes, plates, etc.

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MidnightThunder
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A little re-torted

Post by MidnightThunder » Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:46 am

Hey members! Here's my project of the past few years finally shaping up and ready to produce. I'll let the pics do the talking 😉
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20200831_175231.jpg

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still_stirrin
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Re: A little re-torted

Post by still_stirrin » Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:48 am

Where are the bubble caps located....under the sight glass?

Good looking system with the potential of modular design.

My only concern is your product condenser....it looks like it may be undersized for the vapor production potential. OK, if running VM, then you’ll be pushing the proof offstill up and the Liebig may work for you when in high reflux ratios. But, if you’re opening the VM valve to do lower purity runs, then I suspect the Liebig will have a hard time keeping up with the vapor production coming from the boiler. I would consider replacing the Liebig with a shotgun product condenser to help manage that potential.
ss
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
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My stock pot gin still: stock pot potstill
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Expat
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Re: A little re-torted

Post by Expat » Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:52 am

Build is looking good overall.
still_stirrin wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:48 am
My only concern is your product condenser....it looks like it may be undersized for the vapor production potential. .......
I would consider replacing the Liebig with a shotgun product condenser to help manage that potential.
Looks likely that is a shotgun. Perhaps MT could provide the details. Otherwise I agree with you SS.

Two seperate things which bother me. Most impactful, your column isn't nearly tall enough. Unless I'm missing something you've got one bubble plate and about 6" of copper bits as packing. Additional height not shown?

Other thing is the fourth pic shows silicone seals, highly recommend that you replace these PFTE seals.
Last edited by Expat on Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A little re-torted

Post by MidnightThunder » Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:06 am

Hey SS, yes my plan is to build a larger diameter, multi-tube condenser from 1.5" copper jacketed in 2" with plenty of length and turbulation to allow full vapor flow and output. The plate is between the top of the huge 12" to 6" reducer and the bott of the 6" to 4" reducers, with no viewable method. The still is intended primarily to be used for high proof neutral spirit as I like making flavored liqueurs using azeo and raw fruits and ingredients. Some additional photos and upgrade info are in my other post that features all my builds. The addition of more packed section is noted to be on the way, as I make more of it from copper refrigeration tubing.

About the silicone seals, I thank you for the suggestion to replace them, and I realize not everyone here is comfortable using them. I have less concern regarding these than I do considering all the nasty congeners in store-purchased liquor. The product off my still is far more pure than bought and bottled liquor even if tainted with a miniscule amount of chemical from the seals. It's a trade-off of convenience that I am okay with. If I upgrade them to anything better, I will start using 14g solid copper wire as single-use crush gaskets.

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by Tummydoc » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:19 am

Hopefully you mean 0.5 inch tubes in a 2 inch jacket. For azeo in a 4 inch column your gonna need lots of height, but it will put out at a rate I already envy! Thats gonna be a fun toy for years.

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by Expat » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:56 am

MidnightThunder wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:06 am
About the silicone seals, I thank you for the suggestion to replace them, and I realize not everyone here is comfortable using them. I have less concern regarding these than I do considering all the nasty congeners in store-purchased liquor. The product off my still is far more pure than bought and bottled liquor even if tainted with a miniscule amount of chemical from the seals. It's a trade-off of convenience that I am okay with. If I upgrade them to anything better, I will start using 14g solid copper wire as single-use crush gaskets.
Such might be your comfort level, however please reread rule #8, plastics have no place here. What you choose to do in the privacy of your own home is your business, but don't post and defend it here.

http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 0#p6726670
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Re: A little re-torted

Post by Chauncey » Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:44 am

Rule i now I believe. Theyre letters.
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Re: A little re-torted

Post by Tummydoc » Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:44 pm

Chauncey wrote:Rule i now I believe. Theyre letters.
Numbers in expat's link

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by acfixer69 » Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:06 pm

Do as you wish but respect our rules it is not up for debate. It's a great looker but needs insulation.

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by ravi » Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:19 pm

wow!
This thing looking like space craft, nice!!1

enjoy hobby!

cheers
In search of Dream whiskey.................

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Chauncey
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Re: A little re-torted

Post by Chauncey » Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:24 pm

I on the bottom link 8 in the threads
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RC Al
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Re: A little re-torted

Post by RC Al » Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:58 am

It is very pretty and can be made to work, im sure many would have done a few things different though

Im having a little scream on the inside with that 2" ss valve sitting next to what could be a ccvm head with little or no work

But it is very sexy :)
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Re: A little re-torted

Post by MidnightThunder » Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:07 am

RC Al wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:58 am
It is very pretty and can be made to work, im sure many would have done a few things different though

Im having a little scream on the inside with that 2" ss valve sitting next to what could be a ccvm head with little or no work

But it is very sexy :)
I've seen the CCVM and read about it shortly after my first VM build, but I can't say I personally would want to remove the valve's from my VM's. To me it seems climbing to the top of the still to raise or lower the coil sounds like a hassle. A genius solution to buying expensive valves no doubt, just not my preference.
acfixer69 wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:06 pm
Do as you wish but respect our rules it is not up for debate. It's a great looker but needs insulation.
Not doing any insulation on it. Way too pretty and polished to do all that plus I overengineered it in the design phase to run just fine without it. I use a custom copper packing I developed that has a large mass, to keep column temps stable without insulation and the boiler has 9kw of electric heat to it so heat loss from the boiler is not an issue. Thanks but it's staying exactly how she looks.
ravi wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:19 pm
wow!
This thing looking like space craft, nice!!1

enjoy hobby!

cheers
Thanks! Bringing distillation into the space-age haha. Maybe I should change it's name to "The Rocket Distiller"

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by Bushman » Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:15 am

still_stirrin wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:48 am
Where are the bubble caps located....under the sight glass?

Good looking system with the potential of modular design.

My only concern is your product condenser....it looks like it may be undersized for the vapor production potential. OK, if running VM, then you’ll be pushing the proof offstill up and the Liebig may work for you when in high reflux ratios. But, if you’re opening the VM valve to do lower purity runs, then I suspect the Liebig will have a hard time keeping up with the vapor production coming from the boiler. I would consider replacing the Liebig with a shotgun product condenser to help manage that potential.
ss
That was my first impression after looking at the pictures. I don’t think I have seen that exact design before.

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NineInchNails
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Re: A little re-torted

Post by NineInchNails » Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:16 am

From what I can see, it looks like like a pot still.

If you want to make neutral spirits, you'll need a packed column. I like to use copper mesh and pack it relatively tight. I use 5'-6' and my column is 3".

I see you have two elements. When stripping using both elements, you would really benefit from a shotgun condenser that can handle 100% of that power in comparison to a simple Liebig that can do the same job because the Liebig would have to be quite long. My shotgun condenser is made from 2" copper pipe, 2 copper Tri-Clamp ferrules, seven 3/8" copper pipes and the overall length is 29". That's plenty to handle 2 elements running full blast.

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by MidnightThunder » Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:53 am

NineInchNails wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:16 am
From what I can see, it looks like like a pot still.

If you want to make neutral spirits, you'll need a packed column. I like to use copper mesh and pack it relatively tight. I use 5'-6' and my column is 3".

I see you have two elements. When stripping using both elements, you would really benefit from a shotgun condenser that can handle 100% of that power in comparison to a simple Liebig that can do the same job because the Liebig would have to be quite long. My shotgun condenser is made from 2" copper pipe, 2 copper Tri-Clamp ferrules, seven 3/8" copper pipes and the overall length is 29". That's plenty to handle 2 elements running full blast.
Here's it's full description:
4" copper packed column 8" high over a 6" Pro-Cap plate with 2" gate valve takeoff and 9kw of power to blast through stripping or spirit runs. Should produce 2-3 gallons of azeo an hour with taller packing. Boiler holds about 18 gallons total and runnable with 15 gallons.
Yet to come is a slant plate attachment above the VM tee and a larger bore condenser for better RR adjustment, plus a taller packed section.

It's a VM, just haven't bought a real 4"section for packing which will be filled with a packing of my own design called CHP.

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by NineInchNails » Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:17 pm

You'll love VM. Do you have a digital thermometer or temp sensor in the output of the vapor path (out of the reflux)? If not, I would. As you run you'll want to monitor the temp and you'll know when you are throughout your run. I'd put it just before the valve, not through the column itself. I like to monitor both the output vapor temp as well as the boiler temp sometimes, especially upon heat-up.

Vodka is my drink and my vodka is the best vodka I've ever tried. Amazing to me how is just smells like water. It bewilders me how there's no hangover.

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by MidnightThunder » Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:54 pm

NineInchNails wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:17 pm
You'll love VM. Do you have a digital thermometer or temp sensor in the output of the vapor path (out of the reflux)? If not, I would. As you run you'll want to monitor the temp and you'll know when you are throughout your run. I'd put it just before the valve, not through the column itself. I like to monitor both the output vapor temp as well as the boiler temp sometimes, especially upon heat-up.

Vodka is my drink and my vodka is the best vodka I've ever tried. Amazing to me how is just smells like water. It bewilders me how there's no hangover.
Hey NineInchNails, yes I do love VM. I have been running a 2" VM with 1"takeoff path and condenser for the past 5 years and love the designs simplicity during operation and ease of making cuts. That's what this still is modeled off of proportionally, with its 4" column and 2" takeoff. I am hoping that with 36" of packed CHP above the 6" procap plate, it will output 2-3 gallons an hour of azeo. From what I've read about 4" columns and based on my own experiences with the 2" column, this shouldn't be to high of a goal for this still. And you're right, the vodka produced from these stills is tasteless and produces zero hangover. Truly the ideal drink.

Here's the photo of the almost completed, MEGA-Liebig. 1 1/2" copper inside of a 2" copper jacket. Just have to drill and tap the input and output ports with a 3/8" NPT tap. Wanted a clean condenser that looked appropriately sized for the rest of the still. =D
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Re: A little re-torted

Post by NineInchNails » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:41 pm

Have you used the calculator to make sure that Liebig will knock down the amount of input power you intend to use?

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by Tummydoc » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:48 pm

1.5 inch seems like a huge vapor tube. Are you loading it with scrubbers or at least a turbulator (twisted copper sheet insert) to get vapor contacting cooled metal? I would be worried that unaltered you'll get vapor channeling down the center without condensing.

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by Chauncey » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:23 pm

That would worry me as well thats a huge tube.
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Re: A little re-torted

Post by MidnightThunder » Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:23 pm

Tummydoc wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:48 pm
1.5 inch seems like a huge vapor tube. Are you loading it with scrubbers or at least a turbulator (twisted copper sheet insert) to get vapor contacting cooled metal? I would be worried that unaltered you'll get vapor channeling down the center without condensing.
Yes, I will be making a pretty intricate turbulator to make sure no vapor makes it through undisturbed and ultimately uncondensed. It will probably be something of a cross that is twisted longitudinally.
Chauncey wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:23 pm
That would worry me as well thats a huge tube.
It is intentionally a huge tube as I wanted it to look congruous to the other dimensions of the still, and also as I didn't want to reduce the vapor path much, since in a VM this can theoretically limit your lowest RR and limit the amount of vapor that takes the output path. Keeping it large diameter was critical as even this has half the area of the rest of the takeoff branch. I don't have too many worries though as vapor should move through it slowly, so with a proper turbulator, it will knock down some heat.

Also, I have heard doubts about large diameter Liebigs based on the theory, but never actually seen any test done with one to confirm that they don't have sufficient cooling power, so I hope to bring a little additional research to the forums.
NineInchNails wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:41 pm
Have you used the calculator to make sure that Liebig will knock down the amount of input power you intend to use?
Haven't checked, but I don't doubt it will knock down everything it sees. With this VM design, it will only see at most 1/5 of the total vapor produced, which would be 1800 watts at full power. Pot still mode will be a surprise if it holds up to 9kw, but I'm not really expecting it too. So long as it functions on the VM head properly and allows a higher takeoff rate due to the increased diameter reducing restriction, I will be pleased by it's performance.

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by Tummydoc » Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:50 pm

You've got it covered. Keep us posted on how it performs. Certainly easier build than a shotgun.

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by MidnightThunder » Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:05 pm

Tummydoc wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:50 pm
You've got it covered. Keep us posted on how it performs. Certainly easier build than a shotgun.
Will do! I'll post updates in this thread after performing cleaning runs and the first spirit run

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by Chauncey » Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:05 pm

Functional art.
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Re: A little re-torted

Post by MidnightThunder » Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:52 pm

Chauncey wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:05 pm
Functional art.
How's this for functional art?
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Just playing around with the modularity of all my rigs. May configure this setup to house a giant bubble-cap in this head, to function like an inline thumper, and eventually mount the full column on top to have the additional 6" Pro-cap plate and packed column, similar to The Fu-man bubble plate. If this comes together, it should likely produce more azeo than I can even use up for flavored liqueurs. Think I'll call it the Robo-Still =D

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by Chauncey » Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:57 pm

Thats awesome!
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Re: A little re-torted

Post by Tummydoc » Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:15 pm

Rosie from the Jetsons!

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by Yummyrum » Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:53 pm

Classic MT :clap:
Looks like it should also do the dishes and fold the washing :ebiggrin:

Have you got council approval for the renovations to the ceiling :mrgreen:

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Re: A little re-torted

Post by MidnightThunder » Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:53 pm

Here she is after a vinegar cleaning run, fully assembled minus the packed column section, with 3 buckets bubbling away in the background.
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Gonna do the first bucket as a sacrificial alc cleaning run, and use the other two as the first full run on this column. The charge should be about 11-12 gallons from both, with about a 10% abv yield. Probably only gonna reflux this on one plate to keep some flavor and not have much column holdup since it's not a huge yield.
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I made up 3 cups of caramel and added it to a pretty basic neutral sugar wash recipe with nutrients added, and it seems to be bubbling away. The cleaning run is the same sugar wash just without the added caramel.
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