Am I hosed?

Putting older posts here. Going to try to keep the novice forum pruned about 90 days work. The 'good' old stuff is going to be put into appropriate forums.

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SloppyJoe
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Am I hosed?

Post by SloppyJoe » Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:44 pm

So I've been working on a small still... And I think I've screwed up.

My condensor is only 14" long.... I was concerned about it shortly after I put it together.. then today I was running some numbers through the condensor size calculator and it confirmed what I was thinking... should I not even bother with it and go ahead and fix it? or should I try it out? I'd hate to have a fully charged still and the condensor end up being the downfall. I was thinkin about running some water through it but that wouldn't be the same cause water vapor takes more cooling to knock down than etoh right?


suggestions? tales of experience?

byacey
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Post by byacey » Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:52 pm

Give it a try; worst that's going to happen is you'll have to cut way back on the amount of heat and go real slow. You might even end up with a superior product because of the slow distillation rate.
I'd sooner have a bottle in front of me than a frontal labotomy.

CoopsOz
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Post by CoopsOz » Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:48 am

I agree with Byacey, the condenser just has to match your heat source. You will just have to run it slower or you can increase the water flow through it. If the water doesn't stay in it long enough to get hot than it will be fine.
It is most absurdly said, in popular language, of any man, that he is disguised in liquor; for, on the contrary, most men are disguised by sobriety. ~Thomas de Quincy, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, 1856

SloppyJoe
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Post by SloppyJoe » Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:30 am

Yea I was noticing that if you run water through it faster it's alright. I saw some pumps that can run water through pretty quick.. I thought of gettin one of those so I don't have to run my tap water constantly...

I'll carry on. Just wondering though.. can you de-solder copper?

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Tater
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Post by Tater » Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:39 am

SloppyJoe wrote:

I'll carry on. Just wondering though.. can you de-solder copper?
-----Sure can reheat and wipe off while hot with a dry rag .May have to reheat when going back together as well .Ive done it several times with no problems :)
I use a pot still.Sometimes with a thumper

SloppyJoe
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Post by SloppyJoe » Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:55 am

Good.. A modification would be pretty simple then. they sell 6" pieces of repair pipe at the hardware store for about $5. I could pick one of those up and I'd be in business...

SloppyJoe
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Post by SloppyJoe » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:42 am

another thought...

Should I throw some stainless steel packing in there? will that help some?

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Post by showrguy » Tue Dec 04, 2007 1:29 pm

yes, it will...

BW Redneck
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Post by BW Redneck » Tue Dec 04, 2007 3:08 pm

Make it copper. Copper transfers heat faster than any other really affordable material.
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shadylane
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Post by shadylane » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:00 pm

Increase the water flow through your conderser or turn down the heat. You can also add a thumper between the conderser and still. It will disipate a little heat and and give you something else to play with. The thumper crowd seems to be in the minority here, but why be normal, I'm not.

Straight_Ehs
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Post by Straight_Ehs » Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:31 pm

not to be the nag, especially since i'm not familiar with your setup, but i'd be making damn sure that there wasnt too much vapour flow resistance with the copper packing (i.e. dont pack it too tight, make sure no gunk is building up between runs).

In most cases this would never present a serious issue, but you dont want your setup living up to the stigma by blowing up in your basement- it makes us all look bad :)

like everyone else said, turn it down and you'll be fine and end up with a higher proof to boot.

SloppyJoe
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Post by SloppyJoe » Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:58 pm

Good point.. I'd intended to ensure the packing isn't going to restrict the flow too much...

I figure I'll pack it and then blow in it, if I feel much resistance I'll loosen it up. Also clean it between runs.

theholymackerel
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Post by theholymackerel » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:45 am

A good rule od thumb for copper mesh packin': Pack it as tight as ya can and still be able to blow air through it.

leeb72
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Post by leeb72 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:34 am

I'm a novice but my condenser is 12" long by 2" copper and seems to be fine if I run slow. I will redo it sometime and make it bigger but works good for me.

SloppyJoe
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Post by SloppyJoe » Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:30 pm

I had planned on doing a run this evening but didn't... I just ran about a gallon of water through it to try to clean it out.. I don't feel that it was sufficiently cleaned and I'm going to run some cheap wine through it before i try to do a regular run.

I don't think I'll have much problem at all with cooling. I got a 250GPH fountain pump and was able to knock the water down pretty easily, and if what the home site says about water taking 3x cooling to condense than etoh, then I'll be fine.

Something I noticed was that my condensate usually stayed the same temp as my coolant. Which I felt showed me that I was doing the most cooling possible...

All in all.. I think I'm good. As soon as I get the whole thing cleaned out I'll be set.

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