My new upgrade. Help!

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fran151
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My new upgrade. Help!

Post by fran151 » Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:04 am

As some of you already know I started here with an interesting still. Since then I have read read read as recommended and constructed a new still. I have ran water through this and now need a lot of advice.
This is my baby:
20150904_170748.jpg
1. I need to get the top colder because there is significant steam coming out the top. Will doubling my Cooper coil do more than running my inlet line through a bucket of ice or visa versa? Can I do one of these or are both required?
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2. Does the hole where the thermometer is need a moonshiners biscuit even if steam isn't coming out? I am not sure how important this is
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3. Does the flame look alright? Would just one of them on be best?
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4. There is a film on top of the distilled water I am collecting.What could it be from? This keg was used but I cleaned it very well. My guesses: Is the cork I am using for the gasket the problem?
Here is the label:
20150904_173206.jpg
Will this film go away after I run vinegar and then cheap wine wash through?

5. What gasket options do I have and can you provide links to these items please? What are the pros and cons of synthetic vs cork?

6.Can you please tell me a time frame of how long it should take to run a gallon of water, gallon of vinegar and gallon of wine? I feel like my still is slow.

Any other help questions or comments would be great! You guys are so helpfull and I am so excited to be part of the family.
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bearriver
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Re: My new upgrade. Help!

Post by bearriver » Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:36 am

1 it was a water run. Don't worry about it, yet...
2 Yes, its important
3 it's fine
4 dust from your surrounding area or residue from the still being put together
5 flour, PTFE, or cork. PTFE is my preference...
6 Don't worry about it, alcohol will act differently.

All of your questions have highly detailed and well thought out answers within the links in my signature. I know beacuse Ive read it multiple times... Its all there. Please read all of it, if only for your safety and success. :thumbup:

The only thing you have to really worry about is that thermometer port. I solder a fitting to screw my thermos into, but I've also used a wine cork crammed into a hole with a thermometer running down the center of the cork. YMMV...

Posted from a mobile device... So bear with my poor grammer and brevity.

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thatguy1313
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Re: My new upgrade. Help!

Post by thatguy1313 » Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:56 am

+1 Bear. Alcohol will act very differently than the water run. Don't stress yet. I've never run with a thermo but I know it does need to be sealed in. Don't worry about the film on the water. It's part of the cleaning runs and it sounds like it's cleaning! Don't stress yet. Looks like you'll be just fine.
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still_stirrin
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Re: My new upgrade. Help!

Post by still_stirrin » Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:05 am

Suggestion for the thermometer port...make a thermowell.

I used 3/16" ID soft copper tubing and crimped one end closed and hit it with a touch of solder. Then, I inserted it into the port, fluxed it and hit it with a bit of solder. The thermowell completely isolates the interior (vapor flow) from the outside and the thermometer simply slides into the well from the outside.

Because of the close diameters between the thermowell and the thermometer's thermocouple shaft, I don't need anything inside the thermowell to improve conduction. The thermometer reads accurately and with quick response.

No need for any flour paste to seal the thermometer in place....clean.
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GrassHopper
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Re: My new upgrade. Help!

Post by GrassHopper » Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:21 pm

Fran151,
Nice job there on your new still. Looks like you have built yourself a fine Boka. You say you are having issues with vapor out the top? That was on a water run, right? It may run differently on a spirit run like Bearriver said. The temps and vapor speed will be different. How much packing do you have in your column (it's important )? Your RC (reflux condensor) looks to be adequate as long as you have decent water flow (how many liters per minute?). As far as your flame....if you get vapor it is getting the job done. You will have to adjust the flame to get the results you want. Running a Boka reflux is more difficult than just running a pot still. Not the best place for novices to start. But, you could always run your boka in pot mode to get some experience and then graduate to running the reflux mode. Many of the questions you have are already on various threads and you will find the answers by just doing the research. The guys here are more than happy to answer questions. Just not the same ones that have already been answered over and over that are easy to find. Using the HD google search function is your best friend. You'll find the link at the top of every page. Go ahead and do your vinegar run and don't sweat the small stuff yet. Keep us posted as to your results and then see what questions need answers.

rad14701
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Re: My new upgrade. Help!

Post by rad14701 » Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:58 pm

That composition cork may or may not be the source of film on the water but it is not recommended for use where it comes into contact with high temperature high proof alcohol... You don't know the bonding agent ingredients...

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fran151
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Re: My new upgrade. Help!

Post by fran151 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:41 am

Thanks for all your advice. Sorry it took so long for a reply. I have ordered a leadfree brass needle valve for $10, and a $6 ptfe gasket for the tri-clamp. I have been reading, reading and reading some more but the more I read the more I don't know what to believe. There are allot of opinions. Is there a patient reflux experienced mentor who would be willing to take me under there wing? Thank you in advance!
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rgreen2002
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Re: My new upgrade. Help!

Post by rgreen2002 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:53 pm

If it helps... I put a small wrap of PTFE tape around my thermometer. I measured how deep the thermo sits in the well and the pull it back about 1cm and wrap the PTFE there. When it goes into the thermo well a tiny amount of pressure on insertion will get the PTFE tape to take up the extra space...
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