Ripped off by a leaky lid

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speedfreaksteve
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Ripped off by a leaky lid

Post by speedfreaksteve » Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:24 am

Ran my still last night. Still didn't have a good gasket between the pot and the lid. Used some thin cardboard that I had laying around. Clamped it down with 5 visegrips. The lid is a slight mismatch with the pot. They're the same size.. but slightly different profile.

Anyways I realized how bad any sort of small leak in a lid can be! Instead of ending up with 1 gallon of 40% on a strip run, I ended up with 1 litre of 40% and 2 litres of 10%!

What a waste! But I guess its a learning experience. Going to remount my column on the proper lid and find a way to clamp things down better.

TRANSPLANTED HILLBILLY
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Post by TRANSPLANTED HILLBILLY » Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:22 am

get ya some spring clamps from a hardware store. vise grips will over tighten and distort the lid your trying to seal. Just for the grin, I know its messy, try the flour and water paste. Youll be amazed at how well it works. Mix it up kinda stiff but pliable and roll it out like a snake.
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birdwatcher
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Ripped off by a leaky lid

Post by birdwatcher » Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:05 am

You won't have this problem if you spring for a stripped out hot water heater for your boiler. Your still will simply screw onto the top of the boiler with addition of an inexpensive adaptor. The result is a water tight conection.

G
My sugar wash for ethanol is under the Tried and true recipes forum.

speedfreaksteve
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Post by speedfreaksteve » Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:47 pm

Yeah thats one option, but I primarily use propane. Electric is just too slow for me. I also like not having an integrated burner so that I can choose between using propane or electric whereever I use my still.

The water heater idea does sound good though, just not for what I do with my still. Doing the water heater thing would probably be a great permanent setup in a shop if you had like 3 of them going.

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Post by Uncle Remus » Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:09 pm

What ya ought to do Steve is find yourself a beer keg. You can cut a hole in the top and adapt a ss or copper bowl to fit. If you get a copper bowl you can simple cut a hole in the center the size of your column and solder it with lead free wire. If you use a ss bowl then you need to silver solder column to bowl. This way you got a decent size boiler and you can get into it and scrub it once in a while. I use the same keg for all 3 of my stills and have never had a leak at the bowl/boiler/column connection yet.
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Husker
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Post by Husker » Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:15 pm

I agree with UR. It seems that a stainless keg really rox when it comes to making a nice boiler. Pretty thick on the bottom, and handles a propane flame well. I have nowhere near the experience level as many posters (like UR), since I have only had this boiler working for about a month, but I do know that it really is a nice boiler.

The next keg, I think I will leave in the 2" opening, and use a "sanitary" stainless clamp instead of an inverted bowl, i.e. the bottom of the column simply clamped to the ring on the 2" sankey opening with the valve removed.

H.

birdwatcher
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Ripped off by a leaky lid

Post by birdwatcher » Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:17 pm

The water heater idea does sound good though, just not for what I do with my still. Doing the water heater thing would probably be a great permanent setup in a shop if you had like 3 of them going.


......true they are a permanent fixture in my basement. I have two for two separate distillations. 1. Stripping 2. Fractioning.

Depending on the type of still you have, you could have just one BIG one.

While they are a permanent fixture they look quite white and innocent, when the stills are unscrewed and hidden away. I have a raised stand for them next to a laundry tub. Very handy.

G
My sugar wash for ethanol is under the Tried and true recipes forum.

muckanic
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Re: Ripped off by a leaky lid

Post by muckanic » Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:14 pm

="birdwatcher". You won't have this problem if you spring for a stripped out hot water heater for your boiler. Your still will simply screw onto the top of the boiler with addition of an inexpensive adaptor.
What does "stripped out" mean - losing the outer insulation casing? Cleaning would still be a bit of a problem, I would imagine.

speedfreaksteve
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Post by speedfreaksteve » Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:20 pm

Well I reconnected everything to a proper lid and did a run. Was getting close to 90% through some of a run when I held the temp in the high 70's, so I guess that means no leaks now!

I am going to go the keg route as well. I happen to have a few different sized kegs kicking around my house coincidentally. I got some copper bowls off ebay and I have enough spare copper piping on hand. Just need to buy some fittings, even though 2" fittings are far from cheap.

Should be perfect, one 48L pot still for strip runs, and a my current 22L valved reflux still for everything else.

My main problem will be finding enough containers to store all the booze in!

sherriff Buffoerd pusser
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Post by sherriff Buffoerd pusser » Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:32 am

Steve you should check out Tri-Clover clamps at Mile Hi Distilling neat way to mount colounm to keg thats how I'm going to do a new inline. drawback is it will be hard to clean but I'm gonna try it.
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goose eye
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Post by goose eye » Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:08 am

dont no your style of cookin but have you tryed makein you a biscuit to temporary fix. i would rap it with a rag to if you can.

speedfreaksteve
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Post by speedfreaksteve » Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:06 am

The keg thing will be a winter project for me. I want to have everything in place before I worry about volumes like that. I still need to find a source for activated charcoal, and I want to see if I can make a half decent rye whiskey
. To me, there's no point in doing experiments 48L at a time.

goose eye wrote:dont no your style of cookin but have you tryed makein you a biscuit to temporary fix. i would rap it with a rag to if you can.
Huh???

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Post by TRANSPLANTED HILLBILLY » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:01 am

goose eye wrote:dont no your style of cookin but have you tryed makein you a biscuit to temporary fix. i would rap it with a rag to if you can.


Huh???
Biscuit = flour water mixture. same thing I said in the beginning.
If it was easy everybody would do it.

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speedfreaksteve
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Post by speedfreaksteve » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:23 am

Oh that explains it. I thought he was telling me to make some biscuits! I was going to ask for a good white gravy recipe to go with it... haha

I'm using a thin paper gasket. It works great. Still clamping it down with 5 visegrips, but pretty lightly.

goose eye
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Post by goose eye » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:43 pm

some of them store bought caned ones got oil so they dont much like to stick. you want the self risen flour . so im tole

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