MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

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zio_gessi
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MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by zio_gessi » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:49 pm

Hi guys, after reading and looking a lot of still i started building my new still:

the pot is a 100 lt inox 316 with a copper column 2' diameter +/- 25' long .
i tig weld (not me .. a friend) without any flux a SS 2' nipple to the closing cap of the drum
closing cap of the SS drum
closing cap of the SS drum
CAM00818.jpg
and this is the column that i brazed my self:
CAM00814.jpg
CAM00819.jpg
.. so here i learned how reflux column works (but i have a lot to learn) and being interested to make flavoured product i want only a little reflux , so i thought that a little external coil would act like a dephlegmator.

so my question is : since i have not yet weld the external coil you see on the column in your opinion where is the best place to weld it , at the bottom , at the middle or at the top near the take of nipple?

...to be continued ... sorry but now i'm on the job!!! :shh:
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firewater69
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by firewater69 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:10 am

I have a similar rig and it makes a fine whiskey, however your coil needs to be at the top, above the packing. My still head is only 16" tall, I have an extension but rarely use it. I pull 170-180 proof quite easily.
IMG_20141126_214315.jpg
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by Pikey » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:38 pm

Yes I've thought about that myself and it's good to hear that it works. :thumbup:

I had thought maybe 2 or 3 turns would be ok, since we only need to cause a little reflux, but certainly as firewater says, I had never considered anywhere but at the top of the column.

I had not thought either about fixing it to the column, as I may want too run as a normel pot sometime. That could be achieved I suppose by just not passing water through that coil. Are you intending to run the water to it after it passes through your product condenser, or to use a separate supply ? Both have their advantages and disadvantages as far as I can see - If separate, you could adjust the reflux by slowing the water flow, but that would affect the product cooling if you did that when they were in series.

Anyhow great idea lads - Great to see it works.

I don't suppose it will do very magnificent results on "Neutral" - but good to be able to produce "Barrel strength" in a single run. 8)

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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by firewater69 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:57 pm

I run my PC water from a separate tank, I feed the RC water in the top and use a cheap needle valve on the water output side to control reflux. My coil is 3/8 o.d. x 0.319 i.d. ( I work in the air conditioning industry, we use different sizes than plumbing) it's held in place by spring tension due to wrapping the coil around a 2.0" dia bar, it makes the coil fit tight around my 2.125" o.d.column. I wouldn't go any smaller on the coil or you could have trouble holding total reflux. When running in pot mode just don't run water to the RC.
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by acfixer69 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:35 pm

Sorry but got to say this is a bad plan for anyone to follow. Reflux needs to start at the top and with a diffusing media below it then mix with the rising hot vapor to do anything. With coil above boiler is total waste of energy. Also putting the cooling coil on the outside of the column just causes channeling down the walls of the column and minimal interaction with the rising vapors.

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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by firewater69 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:08 pm

The coil on the outside is no different than a water jacket style RC, other than it's less efficient.
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by zio_gessi » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:17 am

hi guys, thanks for yours opinions, so I will weld the coil at the top of the column....
this is an experiment.... i want to explain better what i learned about a dephlegmator and what is my "target" :

during the run the alcool start high proof and decrease as the vapor temperature raises ( ok everyone here know )
my idea is to start the water in the dephlegmator coil when the proof is near 58-55 abv .... trying to purify the last part of the heart from the coming of the tails .... I hope I explained myself

before with the copper pot still you saw in my first presentation post i tried with a rag put on the helmet and with little warm water i kept it wet to get the effect i speak before but is very difficult because the water fall on the "pot" cooling al the still...
more photo cooming soon

i will appreciate any comments , cheers.
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by zio_gessi » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:24 am

to answer to pikey : i will run the water direct from the source but with a valve to adjust the flow for a 88-85° C out temperature.
i have to study how put a termometer at the end of the coil
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by zio_gessi » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:27 am

firewater69 wrote:I have a similar rig and it makes a fine whiskey, however your coil needs to be at the top, above the packing. My still head is only 16" tall, I have an extension but rarely use it. I pull 170-180 proof quite easily.
IMG_20141126_214315.jpg
happy to ear that "makes a fine whiskey !!!! it's just what I would like to do!! :mrgreen:
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by zio_gessi » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:29 am

...and another question : i have to feed the water from the bottom of the coil ( like a condenser) or from the top ??
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by Yummyrum » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:19 am

zio_gessi wrote:...and another question : i have to feed the water from the bottom of the coil ( like a condenser) or from the top ??
Technically , it should be the top ..... because the hotter vapour is coming up from the boiler and the counter flow theory would suggest that the cooler vapour is at the top....and so should be the cooler water .
......but , you may find it makes not a big dfference in reality .
Having said that , top feeding can be problematic depending on the setup . Things like self syphoning and gas buildup and air locks can occur . .

This is why many folk feed deflagmators from the bottom , despite it being contray to ideal operation . .....its one of those " in practice "scenenario's

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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by Saltbush Bill » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:46 am

zio_gessi wrote:but with a valve to adjust the flow for a 88-85° C out temperature.
i have to study how put a termometer at the end of the coil
That will get really interesting and very confusing really quickly...you would be better of watching the flow leaving the still and using your senses to taste/smell the good from the bad that is leaving your still.

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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by MoonBreath » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:20 am

Better have a handle on reservoir temp or that thermometer (and your reflux) will be all over the place ifn you gotta chase it.
Prolly want that outside coil good n cool..
24" with loose copper mesh packing right balance for that configurations success...Outside coil will only do so much, but should be enough for what you want to do.
Runnin the coil without the mesh will disappoint you.
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by zio_gessi » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:10 pm

Saltbush Bill wrote:
zio_gessi wrote:but with a valve to adjust the flow for a 88-85° C out temperature.
i have to study how put a termometer at the end of the coil
That will get really interesting and very confusing really quickly...you would be better of watching the flow leaving the still and using your senses to taste/smell the good from the bad that is leaving your still.
oh yes, i only mentioned 88-85° because i read somewhere that it was the correct temperature of the outlet water... sure i'll watch the flow ,the quality and the prof of the shine
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by zio_gessi » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:17 pm

as acfixer69 and moonbreath have suggested i'll try some loose copper mesh

but please what means "......Better have a handle on reservoir temp or that thermometer (and your reflux) will be all over the place ifn you gotta chase it.
Prolly want that outside coil good n cool....."

and "... just causes channeling down the walls of the column..."

thank's
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by Saltbush Bill » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:01 am

As Ive already said ..worrying about water temperatures and thermometers is only going to confuse hell out of you as a newbie and with that still..........learn to run the thing using your senses, ears , eyes, smell, taste and feel. Some time in the future you may become a good distiller that way ....not a distiller who has to rely on gadgets and temps to run a still. There seem to be people here who like to make things sound like rocket science when in fact its not.
Crank it up and do a run....then you will be learning :thumbup:

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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by firewater69 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:43 am

Saltbush Bill wrote:As Ive already said ..worrying about water temperatures and thermometers is only going to confuse hell out of you as a newbie and with that still..........learn to run the thing using your senses, ears , eyes, smell, taste and feel. Some time in the future you may become a good distiller that way ....not a distiller who has to rely on gadgets and temps to run a still. There seem to be people here who like to make things sound like rocket science when in fact its not.
Crank it up and do a run....then you will be learning :thumbup:

Great advise!!!
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by zio_gessi » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:09 am

ok well, i'll do!
thank's
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by MoonBreath » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:08 pm

You outa be able to run that lil still blindfolded :lolno:
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by Pikey » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:01 pm

zio_gessi wrote:
..... but please what means "......Better have a handle on reservoir temp or that thermometer (and your reflux) will be all over the place
lol - It's nothing to do with fitting handles - It's an Americanism - which means "to measurea and understand...." - or something like that !

zio_gessi wrote: and "... just causes channeling down the walls of the column..."

thank's
Jusr means that the water will condense on the walls and run down them, whereas if you have packing (loose) - the condensate will run along the strands ane rain down the column in a more evenly distributed way - giving better reflux.

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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by Saltbush Bill » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:05 pm

Pikey wrote:Jusr means that the water will condense on the walls and run down them,
Dont you mean the spirit Pikey?

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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by zio_gessi » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:32 am

hi guys, one step more : the condenser is done
CAM008281.jpg
CAM00830.jpg
CAM00831.jpg
it looks not beauty like most i see here but i hope it will do the job !
what a "pain" making the coil....

it is 10 mt long 9 circle , the copper pipe is 14 mm out, the drum is a 60 lt lubricant oil type

i hope to be ready in few days for the first cleaning run, i already clean all the cooper with vinagre and then water.... as suggested , i buyed some copper pack for the column....
i will see !!!
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by HDNB » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:00 am

you are going to want to "smooth out" that coil. it needs a continuous downward spiral with no low spots.

if you have low spots, condensed spirit (right bill? :moresarcasm: :wink: ) will pool in the low spots and it will smear oils through the whole run, spoiling your spirit.

I ran this style RC for a few years. it works. it works much better with copper packing inside the coil, as they have mentioned ^^^. turned out after many runs and getting the right amount of heat (more) i used the RC less and less...until i never used it at all.
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by The Baker » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:40 am

Drop a ball bearing through the coil to check it is level all the way.

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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by MoonBreath » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:44 pm

The Baker wrote:Drop a ball bearing through the coil to check it is level all the way.

Geoff
Never thought about that.
Old school. :thumbup:
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by zio_gessi » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:29 am

thank's for the imput guys , i'll try to remake/adjust a better spiral , so Yesterday i did the first cleaning run!!!! 8)

it seems to run good!! 1 gal source water , 1/2 gal heads / feints .
i run it for 3 hours !

even the condenser coil seems to be ok but i 'll try to adjust the "low spots"
CAM00842.jpg
CAM00844.jpg
now , i'm ready to try my first corn mash !!
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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by Appalachian spirits » Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:18 am

Anneal the copper tubing, crimp one end flat, fill will salt making sure its completelt ful. Tap or vibrate the tubing to settle it tight. Crimp other end when full and wind around a piece of pipe or other uniformly round object.

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Re: MY NEW POT STILL "WITH PARTIAL REFLUX" need suggestion

Post by zio_gessi » Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:30 pm

The Baker wrote:Drop a ball bearing through the coil to check it is level all the way.

Geoff
good idea !!! I'll try it
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