Tubing and Thumper question

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Arlo86
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Tubing and Thumper question

Post by Arlo86 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:55 am

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Hello All,

I am building my first still from 18gauge (32ounce) copper sheet. Plans are for a pot still, thumper, and worm condenser. I have just completed the pot (15 gallons) and I am about to start the thumper. My original plan was for a 5 gallon thumper, but after reading many posts I am having second thoughts about the volume of the thumper. Also have read many opinions on pipe size from the pot to the thumper, and the thumper to the worm. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers
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Last edited by Arlo86 on Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jonnys_spirit
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Re: Tubing and Thumper question

Post by jonnys_spirit » Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:00 am

Well to start - you can't make a post like that without pics.. It may not specifically be in the rules but it should be...

I'd recommend thumper same size as your boiler with adequate drain and access valves and 2" plumbing or at least 1" and a vacuum release between thump and boiler.

Cheers!
-jonny
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Kareltje
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Re: Tubing and Thumper question

Post by Kareltje » Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:12 pm

I have a 10-L and a 15-L kettle and can use both as a boiler and the other as a thumper, depending on the what I want to do.

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jonnys_spirit
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Re: Tubing and Thumper question

Post by jonnys_spirit » Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:21 pm

Very nice piece of work Arlo! I'm thinking that's going to do you well for some stillin!

Cheers,
jonny
————
i make stuff i break stuff
water into whiskey into water
just getting started in home distilling - been drinking for decades
16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
————

Arlo86
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Re: Tubing and Thumper question

Post by Arlo86 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:11 pm

Thanks! I was a little embarrassed to post pictures of my initial soldering but I am getting a bit better as I go along. So if I go with two inch tubing from the boiler pot to the thumper, can I get away with not installing a vacuum release valve? As far as other attachments, I was going to put a 4-inch copper ferrule with a tri-clamp cover on the top of the thumper, as well as a ball-valve on the bottom of the boiler and thumper.

Cheers,
Arlo

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Yummyrum
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Re: Tubing and Thumper question

Post by Yummyrum » Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:07 pm

If you don’t have a way to stop vacuum when you shut down , you’ll just suck the contents of the thumper back into the boiler . Not really a problem unless you need to shut down mid run .

I just undo a tri-clamp connection after waiting a few minutes after killing heat ( so there not so much steam) .Fitting a vacuum release valve is a safer option .

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Kareltje
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Re: Tubing and Thumper question

Post by Kareltje » Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:16 am

When you have rather solid stuff, like fruitpulp or grainslurry, the sucking back could cause problems like blocking tubes. It really sucks powerful within a few minutes after the heating stops.

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Chauncey
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Re: Tubing and Thumper question

Post by Chauncey » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:28 pm

Yea i throw on some rotisserie gloves and break a triclamp asap. Especially if something like torrential rain starts. It can make a copper boiler collapse too so be careful. Im thinking of getting a an npt theaded cap to replace my regular cap on my refill tee and fitting a ball valve to it so i can just open the valve.
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Chauncey
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Re: Tubing and Thumper question

Post by Chauncey » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:31 pm

20200731_075234.jpg
The cap on the left is the one im thinking of fitting with a valve. Maybe connected to a blowoff tube that vents the steam away from me because steam burns no bueno
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Re: Tubing and Thumper question

Post by v-child » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:57 am

It's not the steam pressure that is the concern, it's the vacuum caused by the cooling of the boiler sucking the contents out of the thumper back though your system. Your system should not have much pressure at all as it is open to the atmosphere. So either add a vacuum relief valve or crack a line at the thumper to prevent emptying it into your boiler.

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Re: Tubing and Thumper question

Post by The Baker » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:55 pm

Or add a manometer.

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Re: Tubing and Thumper question

Post by seabass » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:16 pm

v-child wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:57 am
It's not the steam pressure that is the concern, it's the vacuum caused by the cooling of the boiler sucking the contents out of the thumper back though your system. Your system should not have much pressure at all as it is open to the atmosphere. So either add a vacuum relief valve or crack a line at the thumper to prevent emptying it into your boiler.
Except that if you're using some sort of diffuser on the end of the thumper, that suction can suck grain slop in and clog it a bit. That's the scenario where you want a fail safe for pressure.

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shadylane
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Re: Tubing and Thumper question

Post by shadylane » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:23 pm

The Baker wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:55 pm
Or add a manometer.

Geoff
That's what I'd suggest.
Also the manometer, will tell you how much liquid is in the thumper during a run.

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Re: Tubing and Thumper question

Post by OtisT » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:52 pm

v-child wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:57 am
It's not the steam pressure that is the concern, it's the vacuum caused by the cooling of the boiler sucking the contents out of the thumper back though your system. Your system should not have much pressure at all as it is open to the atmosphere. So either add a vacuum relief valve or crack a line at the thumper to prevent emptying it into your boiler.
I think Chauncey is thinking clearly. If you put a valve with an output on you still you sure as heck should be thinking about where steam would go if the valve is touched accidentally, or perhaps is not closed fully in advance of your boil. Safety first. Otis
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