Whats my next move?

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banjo
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Whats my next move?

Post by banjo » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:50 pm

I've had a hybrid still i've been using for a while now & am ready to upgrade the pot. Ive been given a keg but its not like the ones in everyones photos. How will I want to mount it? its got a bung in the side, & tap in the indention in the top & drain tap on the bottom side. questions:

- Should I mount the still so its on the "top" & not worry that the still inlet is not at the top of the keg? or does that make some wierd pressure bomb?
- Should I mount it with a 90 degree turn & flip the keg upside down?
- Best way to seal the tap/bung hole I wont be using?
- Worth the effort?

Secondly, the stack of my still is 1.5". with small coils inside the top to generate reflux(not much). The liebig is 1/2" inside of 3/4" & is 20" long.
If mounted on the keg, will it be able to take the volume of output? currently I use about 5 gal of cold tap water per fill of wash in the current pot & it makes the water tepid/warm. Will I end up having to make a whole new still?

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rubber duck
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by rubber duck » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:48 pm

What you have there is an old golden gate. If you can weld it's worth converting, if not the local scrap yard will take it and you can get a sank keg for 2 bucks a pound.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck

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NineInchNails
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by NineInchNails » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:24 am

A standard keg would be easier to connect to ... all it takes is a Tri-Clamp adaptor.

I like how the keg you have has a hole and the bottom of the keg is contoured to the hole for excellent drainage. That would be great for connecting a ball valve to for a drain. Perhaps weld a stainless coupling to that hole.

The side hole could be welded shut. Perhaps a stainless Tri-Clamp end cap or a scrap piece of stainless plate could be welded over that hole.

For the top of the keg I'd just have a medium length Tri-Clamp ferrule welded on top of the hole (or a stainless coupling) that way you can easily attach your column.

When it comes to finding the best price on fittings ... keep shopping around. Some places want an arm & a leg for a fitting that you can find for a fraction of that price elsewhere.

banjo
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by banjo » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:04 pm

I like the bottom tap hole drainage idea. I had semi-planned on that already, I know the side bung has to be welded shut. Someone suggested that I try & trade for a sanke & I rather like the idea & how I wouldnt have to balance/off-set the weight of the still since its kinda heavy/awkward.
-Any thoughts on since the still inlet isnt really at the top of the keg affecting vapor flow?

WalkingWolf
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by WalkingWolf » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:15 pm

I think a sanke keg will be more convenient in the long run. No reason you can't make that one work though. Offset opening will not be a problem. Vapor will travel the path of least resistance. I have a stove-top still that has a 20" flat lid. The still is mounted close to one of the edges and I've never had a problem. Be sure to always leave head room in the still and you shouldn't have a problem.

Kentucky shinner
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by Kentucky shinner » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:21 pm

I agree.. sanke will be more convenient. I think you would be way a head to get a sanke...
KS

banjo
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by banjo » Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:47 pm

Fair nuff... I'm sure you're right, I think I would be happier with a Sanke style too. sure would be nicer to look at anyway. Now that thats settled, what about the volume coming off the still? will my current rig be able to handle the volume of distillate? Im also concerned about having to upgrade my cooling system/water flow.

WalkingWolf
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by WalkingWolf » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:05 pm

Is the "upside" of the T at the top of the liebig open to the atmosphere (surely not)? You have a basic pot still as I don't see anyway to stop the output. You will adjust the power input on the still to properly run the still you are using. In this case a 1.5" will have a slower output than something larger and will require a little less power input to maintain performance. Will the 1.5" be too small for a 15 gallon keg? You will probably grow tired of its speed and may want to upgrade at some point in the future. With that said, there is no reason you couldn't make top notch liquor with that unit on a keg -- it'll just take more time.

good luck

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LWTCS
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by LWTCS » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:28 pm

1.5 is a dern good producer. I ain't arguing,,,,just sayin.
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WalkingWolf
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by WalkingWolf » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:42 pm

Banjo -- you ran that rig -- it'll run the same rate as what you was running before. Multiply your time as you multiply your wash and you'll get a rough estimate of the time it'll take to run that size rig.

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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by banjo » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:35 am

WalkingWolf wrote:Is the "upside" of the T at the top of the liebig open to the atmosphere (surely not)?
Where it looks like it will be open to atmosphere is where I put a cork stopper with my thermometer in it.
WalkingWolf wrote:Banjo -- you ran that rig -- it'll run the same rate as what you was running before. Multiply your time as you multiply your wash and you'll get a rough estimate of the time it'll take to run that size rig.
ouch... That means on really low alcohol wash runs it could take anywhere between 7-10 hours... that means I either have to rethink my heat source or build a larger still.... I suppose I'll have to start saving for a flute ehh?

WalkingWolf
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by WalkingWolf » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:59 am

Kinda what I thought -- flute aint the only dog that'll hunt. There's other designs that'll get the job done at a fraction of the price. B u u u t, if a you found your reason to upgrade to the flute, then have at it.

good luck

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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by Kifi » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:32 am

Once you get your sankey keg still going, this keg pictured would make a killer thumper keg. Weld the bottom shut, and punch another 2" hole in the top and you're ready to go.....
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by The Baker » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:43 pm

NineInchNails wrote:A standard keg would be easier to connect to ... all it takes is a Tri-Clamp adaptor.

I like how the keg you have has a hole and the bottom of the keg is contoured to the hole for excellent drainage. That would be great for connecting a ball valve to for a drain. Perhaps weld a stainless coupling to that hole.

The side hole could be welded shut. Perhaps a stainless Tri-Clamp end cap or a scrap piece of stainless plate could be welded over that hole.

snip
I wonder of one of those round sight glasses now becoming available would fit (perhaps with a fitting to adjust it to fit the hole...) into the side hole.
Wouldn't cost a lot, you could see the level of the wash.
It may even be cheaper and neater than welding a cover onto the hole...
The Baker

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NineInchNails
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by NineInchNails » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:16 pm

I believe those sight glasses use a 2" stainless steel Tri-Clamp Ferrule. The catalog listed below shows the dimensions of Tri-Clamp ferrules (on page 24 and on). If you measure the holes that you have ... that should tell ya whether or not it would fit or if something else would need done.

http://www.cpesystems.com/data/WebSite/ ... rm-CAT.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

banjo
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by banjo » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:07 pm

I've already given it some thought & decided I need to go bigger. I need to make a larger higher output pot still. That 10ish hours would just kill me. not that i dont have the patience, but i dont have the time for a run like that... The MAIN thing I make is grappa, with my current rig I've had nothin but success. Everyone that tries the stuff has always been very impressed. I also like making flavored vodkas & eventually would like to make some irish style whiskey. I'm sure a flute would be a great producer & still maintain the flavor I'm looking for, but what other designs can i go that "big" with?

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LWTCS
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by LWTCS » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:34 pm

banjo wrote: but what other designs can i go that "big" with?
Tuneable thumper


http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... le+thumper
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.

banjo
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by banjo » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:35 pm

Thats pretty sweet... I've mulled over a bunch of designs & started reading about what all I can do. I like the idea of making a modular unit that I can swap out condensers & dephlagmaters. I do also like the idea of a plated still as I've packed my column with heavy copper mesh before & seen what the difference is. Just finnished the read on KS's original flute build & saw his results & like what he sees. Also saw OD's & LWTCS(Larry)'s... need to read OD's 2" plated column thread next as I've just started thinking about making a 2" plated quad-column idea... similar to Guitarmaster's Dual column build but 2 times over, with 2" & equalizing pressure between columns. It'd be a complicated build but really fun & lots of copper pron to look at..... my main idea there is that I can spend less on the 2" copper and fittings & such & still have the volume of a 4". UNLESS. . . somone tells me I'm going to spend twice as much gas heating the damn thing... I'll try & sketch up something & post a pic for approval & see what you guys think.. anyone else done this before?

I Have started putting out feelers for 4" columns(for fun) & have got 2 of the "golden-gate" style kegs sitting here. If one of my sources dosn't come back with a sanke style keg I've found where I can get stainless wire for my little wire welder & weld up the bung hole on the side & use the bottom for a drain. If its not that great I can braze a patch over it unless somone comes up with a reason (Harmful chemicals) why I shouldnt braze/wire it.

banjo
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by banjo » Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:19 pm

Ok... Now I'm to the point where I need some advise... Ive done some trade work & now have quite a bit of copper pipe, also a sanke style keg! I now have some fittings & 1/16" copper plate, about 5' of 3/4" & 1", 10' of 1/2" the biggest chunks are 3" copper thin wall, 2 pieces are around 37-39" one is bigger but somone started cutting it down & never got all the way through it, its 4' with a cut about 1/8" wide about a foot in from one side. the keg is a big victory as I won't have to battle with the multiple holes like the other keg, I may use the other as a fermenter or storage/racking.
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Question is, with what I have, what are my options? I was originally looking months into the future but with this in my lap I've got a real urge to sweat some copper. Do I go with a plain large pot still? dephlagmater? plates or not to plate? To thump or not to thump? - needless to say I'll be reading the forum constantly now. input is appreciated

Braz
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by Braz » Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:56 pm

With what you have on hand I think I'd try building a 3" plated "Magic Flute."

That's some good horse tradin' by the way.
Braz

banjo
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by banjo » Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:26 pm

Braz wrote:That's some good horse tradin' by the way.
HAHA,, you wouldnt believe... about an hours worth of time & $30 USD. it was just scrap to him anyway.

banjo
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by banjo » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:44 pm

Started a Build thread, 3" plated flute. http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 17&t=21066

banjo
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Re: Whats my next move?

Post by banjo » Tue May 17, 2011 1:01 pm

Started a 3" flute build, check it out http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 17&t=21066

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