Purchasable still reviews?

Research sources, reviews and links to information relating to distillation.

Moderator: Site Moderator

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby pfshine » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:36 am

spiff wrote:Regarding copper.. you might want to read the thread http://ww.homedistiller.org/forum/viewt ... =1&t=42610 ...if you do I think you would agree that from the perspective of someone who hadn't bought a still yet.. is enough to make one try to avoid it.


Regarding that thread. I remember when that thread was started several years ago. I read it and dismissed it as the utter nonsense garbage that it is. If copper was all that bad don't you think that everybody here would shun it in favor of SS? I know I wouldn't want to pay more for a subpar metal. All said and done you make up your own mind about it and do what you want. I don't care if you make a paint can boiler with fishing weight boiling chips and a PVC boka glued in with JB weld. But if untrue things are said I must interject. Have fun and safe stillin.

Posted with ss
Life is a journey you take alone. Make sure you do what you what makes you happy
User avatar
pfshine
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 2909
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:59 pm
Location: Vegas

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby MDH » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:47 am

The condenser can corrode, but you can choose to make the condenser from stainless, and the rest of the still from copper, and you won't have any elevated copper levels in the spirit.
The still is always a translator, but never a liar. Mash and ferment quality is 99% of your performance.
MDH
Trainee
 
Posts: 982
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:33 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby spiff » Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:29 am

The problem I was seeing was when people were cleaning their setups... it would remove that protective pantina. That seemed like the instigating factor.. your copper pipes in your house are never cleaned so that layer insulates the water from any chemical reaction of the metal. People were saying that their copper was getting a black layer that was causing taste issues or particles, so they cleaned it.. which gave a whole other symptom of the coppery taste. It was several people reporting this.. Odin only brought up the leeching health concern.

So the issue seemed to be the cleaning of the copper.... if/when you ever get to a point where there is build up that needs to be removed, symptoms might be noticed then at that point. Who knows how long it might take to get to that point. But these clearly were issues that other members ran into per that thread...

The thread also got into why these were non-issues for commercial setups... the constant use, better cleaning chemicals, ect.
spiff
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:35 am

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby rad14701 » Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:50 am

Copper is fine for stills... Some folks do tend to get anal about cleaning and then complain about copper taste once they've removed the patina... Most household copper piping also forms a patina or gets coated with minerals... However, when it comes to distilling water, copper is not a good choice as the act of distilling water alone makes it more difficult for patina to form, or the buildup of minerals produces off smells and tastes...
User avatar
rad14701
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 20873
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:46 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby jdetechguy » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:55 pm

Danespirit wrote:Is that a 3" CM you bought?
A CM can be a bit fiddly to learn how to run...
Once you got a fundamental understanding of what's happening in your column, it's capable of producing a fine drop. 8)
The only remark I would have about that particular still, are the silicone gaskets...
Swap them for PTFE and you have a fine still there..
I see it has a drain valve at the bottom of the boiler, which is a good detail on stills this size.
The other port is capped with an end cap, which is for a heating element (again probably sealed with a silicone gasket)..
Do you run electric or gas..?
Btw...nice video tutorial they have made.

Yes, I bought the 3". I am going with electric. I have a cheapo SCR and could just hook it straight up. But, I bought an SSR and pot and will probably assemble that instead.

They show hooking up the water line to the end of the product condenser, from the top of that to the bottom on the reflux condenser, then out. I contacted them and asked it they every split the water to control the Condensers separately. They said that was a great idea, but they don't do it that way.

I may also just build a ccvm if I can find Dad's drawings.
jdetechguy
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:33 pm

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby jdetechguy » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:56 pm

Danespirit wrote:Is that a 3" CM you bought?
A CM can be a bit fiddly to learn how to run...
Once you got a fundamental understanding of what's happening in your column, it's capable of producing a fine drop. 8)
The only remark I would have about that particular still, are the silicone gaskets...
Swap them for PTFE and you have a fine still there..
I see it has a drain valve at the bottom of the boiler, which is a good detail on stills this size.
The other port is capped with an end cap, which is for a heating element (again probably sealed with a silicone gasket)..
Do you run electric or gas..?
Btw...nice video tutorial they have made.

Thanks for the gasket advice. I overlooked that.
jdetechguy
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:33 pm

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby jdetechguy » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:00 pm

spiff wrote:Thanks again for the replies.

Regarding copper.. you might want to read the thread http://ww.homedistiller.org/forum/viewt ... =1&t=42610 ...if you do I think you would agree that from the perspective of someone who hadn't bought a still yet.. is enough to make one try to avoid it. I'll still use copper wadding.. I just would rather avoid copper as the still itself.

JDtechguy... is this yours? http://moonshinedistiller.com/moonshine ... -13-gallon This is exactly the one I was looking at.. but people were ripping on it in another thread. Make me wonder how much personal preference is in play. It sounds like you like yours.. how long does it take you to finish a batch? And its still modular it appears so that if you wanted to put a different riser on it you could.

My biggest concern is the point of no return on timing... I'm presuming that once you start the process, it requires your attention to the end. For me, I wouldnt factor in the setup and stuff like that as that could be done separately if needed.

Still stiring..that's a work of art.. gonna have to study that later and try to wrap my head around what's going on there.

Spiff, I did not buy that exact one. I upgraded to the column with site glasses, just because I wanted to see the reflux. But it's essentially the same.

This still is completely modular and you could change up the riser. I am happy with it so far, but I just got it last week and have not done a run yet. I will say that all stainless parts are high quality.
jdetechguy
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:33 pm

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby Odin » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:59 am

A few years ago I did runs with my iStill 50 with a 2 inch column and got 3.25 liters of pure azeo per hour on a 30% low wines charge.

I then added a power manager and was able to push power from 2 to 2.8 kW, boosting production to 4.25 to 4.5 liters per hour on a 30% low wines charge. Above that I would get column flooding. Too much gases and liquids in the column.

I think I solved that problem, having just finished a first run with a new design upgrade. This new design upgrade allowed me to run at 4 kW all the time, giving me over 6 liters of pure azeo per hour on a 30% low wines charge.

Making the best vodka depends on the amount of redistillations in the column. The more you can get, the better. Each redistillation is as an elevator where the bigger, heavier molecules have the tendency to move down, while the lighter ones travel upwards. More redistillations equals more "elevators", equals better separation of various compounds. And better separation creates a finer, higher quality vodka.

Is hitting azeo enough? Not it isn't. Azeo is a prerequisite, but not enough. It just takes 14 to 15 redistillations to get to pure azeo, but up until 40 redistillations create the best possible separation. That is: more concentrated heads and tails and therefore more pure hearts.

As a side note, LM is not slow. LM has nothing to do with speed. At a certain diameter it is column packing (whether it be SPP, rashig rings, perf plates or bubble caps) that influences speed. LM, like VM or CM, is the column management system not the column production system (that's the packing). They allow, with more or less accuracy, to control reflux. One can put a LM management system on a bubble cap system and the only thing that changes is the way you control reflux. Production accuracy rather than production speed.

Just stating.

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.
User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 6182
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby der wo » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:04 am

Odin wrote:This new design upgrade allowed me to run at 4 kW all the time, giving me over 6 liters of pure azeo per hour on a 30% low wines charge.

But not 2". Or is it? How?
User avatar
der wo
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 3366
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:40 am
Location: Germany

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby Odin » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:39 am

Yeah, der Who. Just today. On my 2 inch diameter rig. How? Not ready to reveal that yet. Doing some final adjustments in the coming two weeks. Or better: come by and lets do a run together.

Regards, Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.
User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 6182
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby der wo » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:28 am

If it has no big downside (much higher HETP for example), it's a little revolution.
I cannot do any travels at the moment. But thanks, I would love to see this invention and some more details of your stills.
User avatar
der wo
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 3366
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:40 am
Location: Germany

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby Odin » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:11 pm

der wo wrote:If it has no big downside (much higher HETP for example), it's a little revolution.
I cannot do any travels at the moment. But thanks, I would love to see this invention and some more details of your stills.


The invitation is open and stays open. Whenever you have time ... come by.

And this is no small invention. It is a big one. A change from 2.8 kW to 4.0 kW is like increasing the current world reccord for 2 inch diameter columns (that was already 1 liter ahead of the pack) by another 30%. No small step.

Fun thing is ... 4 kW is the max on my 2 inch rig. No idea where this is going to end up. But finding it out will take me a bit longer, because:
1. I need to convert my little iStill 50 to professional 400 volts power;
2. I want an additional digital pressure gauge so I can detect any arrising column flooding at both ends of the column.

And I want to do some automated learning on this as well. Not in the coming few weeks, but definately in the coming few months, I will use the data I now started to collect for some self learning. Like this:
1. Power input during the run X kW;
2. No flooding eminent? => Power input increases to 1.1 * X kW;
3. No flooding eminent? => Power input increases to 1.2 * X kW;
4. Etc.;
5. Column flooding eminent? => Power input decreases from 1.4 * X kW to 1.35 * X kW.

That way, in pure mode, so when making vodka, there will always an optimal situation of the lowest HETP possible and maximum output at maximum purity.

Regards, Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.
User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 6182
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby skow69 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:25 am

That is astounding, Odin. I can't wait to hear the details.
Distilling at 110f and 75 torr.
I'm not an absinthe snob, I'm The Absinthe Nazi. "NO ABSINTHE FOR YOU!"
User avatar
skow69
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3226
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:03 am
Location: Cascadia

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby Odin » Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:45 am

It's all about bottle neck management. More info in a few weeks, when I have tweeked the design some more.

Regards, Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.
User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 6182
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby skow69 » Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:02 am

4kW into a 2" column is revolutionary.
Distilling at 110f and 75 torr.
I'm not an absinthe snob, I'm The Absinthe Nazi. "NO ABSINTHE FOR YOU!"
User avatar
skow69
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3226
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:03 am
Location: Cascadia

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby ga flatwoods » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:15 am

. I need to convert my little iStill 50 to professional 400 volts power;

How will the homedistiller get 400 volts?
Ga Flatwoods
The hardest item to add to a bottle of shine is patience!
I am, and have been, a site donor that chooses not to advertise it. What's your excuse?
Ga Flatwoods
User avatar
ga flatwoods
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 3156
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:40 pm
Location: SE GA Flatwoods

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby FreeMountainHermit » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:26 am

408v would be possible but you're going to need 3 phase input and a bank of transformers if near an industrial area.
Blah, blah, blah,........
User avatar
FreeMountainHermit
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1772
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 6:45 pm
Location: Two Dogs Holler, West Virginia

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby skow69 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:00 am

Possible, yes, but the money invested in your still would skyrocket.

You could custom wind a bigassed transformer and make 400 V single phase from your household 240 if that would work. It might weigh a ton, buzz a lot, and need it's own air conditioner, but it would probably work, and be a lot cheaper.

Does Odin's rig need triple phase or can we do it with single phase?
Distilling at 110f and 75 torr.
I'm not an absinthe snob, I'm The Absinthe Nazi. "NO ABSINTHE FOR YOU!"
User avatar
skow69
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3226
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:03 am
Location: Cascadia

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby ga flatwoods » Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:48 am

The Manual 50 is single phase 240v 30amp breaker.
GA Flatwoods
The hardest item to add to a bottle of shine is patience!
I am, and have been, a site donor that chooses not to advertise it. What's your excuse?
Ga Flatwoods
User avatar
ga flatwoods
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 3156
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:40 pm
Location: SE GA Flatwoods

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby Odin » Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:21 am

I guess if you have 210 volts and 20 amps, there is no problem running at 4 kW. I mean, they already heat-up at 4 kW, so no real change to the electrical system is needed ... The only thing - in pure mode - one would be doing is run at 4 instead of 2 kW.

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.
User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 6182
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby ga flatwoods » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:42 am

So, for testing the extreme ends you may need 400 volts but for now research shows that 4kw at 220 will reach the obtainable threshold. Correct?
Odin I am sure that what you are exploring is possible. The iStill Base 50 is already very productive compared to other units. A minimal modification on your end for limited additional production cost seems logical on your part. They are almost mini- commercial units now. Anything in addition is an added bonus I suppose. Efficiency is always a good selling point.
GA Flatwoods
The hardest item to add to a bottle of shine is patience!
I am, and have been, a site donor that chooses not to advertise it. What's your excuse?
Ga Flatwoods
User avatar
ga flatwoods
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 3156
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:40 pm
Location: SE GA Flatwoods

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby Odin » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:44 am

Yeah, some 4 kW is all you need. And the real fun thing of the new innovation - and how it pays out - is this: you can put a 26 gallon boiler under the column and distill with the same column and still be finished within 8 hours.

Regards, Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.
User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 6182
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby skow69 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:09 pm

ga flatwoods wrote:The Manual 50 is single phase 240v 30amp breaker.
GA Flatwoods

Well thank god Odin for that.

Odin, I can't wait to hear how you can drive a 2" column at 4kW without flooding. I don't want to spoil your surprise, but (if you don't mind giving us a hint) have you calculated the vapor speed?
Distilling at 110f and 75 torr.
I'm not an absinthe snob, I'm The Absinthe Nazi. "NO ABSINTHE FOR YOU!"
User avatar
skow69
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3226
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:03 am
Location: Cascadia

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby Odin » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:26 pm

For sure I calculated vapour speed, but that's the nice thing about pure mode and vodka making with advanced packing: the higher the vapour speeds, the more reflux, and the more reflux the lower HETP and the more control over cuts and factions and purity.

And more reflux leads to deeper liquid baths positively countering for the (potentially) higher chance of entrainment due to the higher vapour speeds.

In short: it is a win/win situation in pure mode.

:)

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.
User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 6182
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby spiff » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:00 am

Thanks JDE.. (guess you're into imports? ) I would like to know how things go when you use it for the first time.

I'm so weak.. ended up getting an 8 gallon SS with reflux riser. I'm hoping it'll fit on my stove top. If not, will be digging into NG solutions.. I'm picturing an NG self standing burner setup on a T from my stove gas line. It would be handy to be able to run this on the kitchen counter with close proximity to faucet, sink and exhaust fan.
spiff
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:35 am

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby skow69 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:28 pm

So, Odin, would you care to share that vapor speed number with us?
Distilling at 110f and 75 torr.
I'm not an absinthe snob, I'm The Absinthe Nazi. "NO ABSINTHE FOR YOU!"
User avatar
skow69
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3226
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:03 am
Location: Cascadia

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby skow69 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:30 pm

Spiff, glad you got a rig. Hope it works well for you. Let us know.
Distilling at 110f and 75 torr.
I'm not an absinthe snob, I'm The Absinthe Nazi. "NO ABSINTHE FOR YOU!"
User avatar
skow69
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3226
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:03 am
Location: Cascadia

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby spiff » Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:13 am

Thanks! Geez, I'm glad I went with the 8 gallon instead of the 13 gallon. This thing is huge and barely fits on my stove. Actually, it doesn't really. I had to send the stack back to get it shortened by an inch or the thermometer wouldn't fit on the top. Trying to heat any more than 8 gals on the stove probably would have took forever too.

It also overhangs the burner on the stove by quite a bit. I have a stack of old license plates that seem like they'll make good heat shields.. I'm worried about the plastic knobs on the stove top melting since the pot overhangs them. I expect it might scorch the enamel around the burner too since the whole thing kind of straddles the burner instead of sitting flat on top so it'll trap heat more. I'm hoping the license plates around the burner will avoid these problems. They're all doubled up.. thinking the 2 layers of plates will hopefully defuse any damaging heat.

But yeah, i love the quality of this thing (from Mile Hi).. can't wait to start using it.
spiff
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:35 am

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby skow69 » Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:19 am

Well, spiff, being oversized and trapping heat is more efficient than being undersized and letting the heat escape out the sides. Efficiency will prolly be important when you are trying to heat up 6 gallons on the stovetop. Doubled license plates should make an excellent shield. Just don't let them "nest". You need the airspace between them.

If you want to make something more stable or permanent, you can use vermiculite for filler in plaster of paris, and form into whatever shape works for you. It's flameproof, insulates, and supposed to be pretty tough. (So I'm tole. I haven't tried it yet, personally.)

When the stovetop discolors, my solution is (white) engine paint, although Chevy orange might be nice with the right cabinets.

Cheers.
Distilling at 110f and 75 torr.
I'm not an absinthe snob, I'm The Absinthe Nazi. "NO ABSINTHE FOR YOU!"
User avatar
skow69
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3226
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:03 am
Location: Cascadia

Re: Purchasable still reviews?

Postby spiff » Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:58 am

Thanks... yep, i was thinking the same thing.. its good to heat faster at the expense of possible damage. I'll just keep a stack of plates handy in case more than 2 are needed. I have them toasting on the BBQ grill right now... burning off the paint layer.. that would have been nasty indoors.

The only concern now is if the burner will get enough air to burn right.. I suppose so rod to make space would work.. I'll keep you posted.
spiff
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:35 am

PreviousNext

Return to Resources and Reviews



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest