Need Help Designing a Condenser

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Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby NADERHANNA1719 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:36 am

Hi Everyone,

I'm building a 30 gallon hobby still, which I'm running pretty hard until I settle on a Arak recipe.

I designed the boiler and head which were fairly easy, but I'm having trouble designing the condenser.

I was thinking of building a 10 gallon condenser with 1/2" copper tube worm inside, but space is an issue, as this is in my basement, so I'd like to go with a shotgun condenser, but I have several questions.

I'm building a pot still, similar to a traditional moonshine still, but I've only ever seen shotguns on column stills is there a reason for that?

If I were to build a shotgun still, how many tubes should I put in it, and what diameter?

I know you're going to say its related to BTUs not boiler size, but I don't know the BTU's. I'm using a homemade double ring gas burner & don't know the output.

If I do go with the traditional worm condenser is 1/2" inner diameter tubing ok for this size still and how many feet of tubing would suffice?

At this size should I consider 3/4" tubing?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Nader
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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby zapata » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:33 pm

Edit: Did you just start new thread after having one locked? Bad form bro. Edited to remove everything besides "dont kill yourself, your family, and anyone else nearby"

I gotta point out, a big gas burner in a basement sounds very dangerous to me, you need a ridiculous amount of ventilation (powered not passive). I wouldn't consider doing anything other than electric inside regardless of ventillation, though I'm sure with care it can be done relatively safely. Surely you also have CO detectors, fire extinguishers and enough PPE to get the valve shut off or flee in an emergency?
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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby StillerBoy » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:33 pm

zapata wrote:Did you just start new thread after having one locked? Bad form bro. Edited to remove everything besides "dont kill yourself, your family, and anyone else nearby"

+1 wrong place man

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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby shadylane » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:38 pm

Here's a shotgun condenser I built
viewtopic.php?f=87&t=49639
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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby Danespirit » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:16 am

Well,it doesn't look like good style, just to open another thread cause the first got locked.
However, there are plenty of distllers using 1/2'' pipe for a shotgun condenser. The length depends on the power input to your boiler. Furthermore,you have to decide wheter or not you are going to recycle the water I.e. reservoir or not. The third factor is the material used. Copper has roughly ten times the heat conductivity of stainless steel. Get these three factors sorted out before you build, and you'll have success.
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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby Appalachian spirits » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:25 pm

Ive used a 1/2" worm in a 24" x 24" barrel made from heavy walled pvc sewer pipe.(new of course). The problem ive had is flooding/surging. I have a 20 gallon pot on propane and its obvious 3/4" would have been a better alternative. Im currently building a 24" x 2" shotgun condenser with 5 , 1/2" tubes with crossflow baffles in the last foot and heat sinks in the first 6" . Thanks Jessee for the templates by pete pan i think.
My point is that if space is at a premium the shotgun is the way to go and after 20+ years of tweaking a traditional worm condenser it just makes sense to use the shotgun. Worms work great but tuning them is another story.
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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby MoonBreath » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:44 pm

Good choice 2×24"..5- 1/2"id good, or 7- 3/8"id, would be proper and gatling..I'm a gatling guy myself, gotta build em tho, not the norm...The square inch math will change you.
4- 1/2"id the norm..
I'd forego the extra interior mods..Extra weight, less square inch cooling and room for error on placement may create actually inefficiency compared to more volume, full flowing, basic design..Possibly more volume with baffling?
Perfectly placed extras add to the performance of any design.
Just make sure those mods Are properly placed.
Wanta add something, a 1/2" npt female adapter 1/3 up from takeoff and add a thermometer.
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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby pfshine » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:02 pm

I wrote a big ole post and had some erroneous numbers in it. I went to fix it and it got deleted. So what I wanted to say is don't discount coil condensers in shotguns. They are easy to build, you don't have to worry about internal leaks and are more efficient with more active cooling surface area. You also get extra cooling surface area with the 2" shell of the shotgun that now acts a little as an air cooled condenser. A 2" shotgun with a 1/4" double wound coil is more than twice as efficient as a 2" shotgun with five 1/2" through tubes.
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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby Appalachian spirits » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:04 am

Its a gatlin design with baffles evry two inches to create the crossflow, 2"spacing for first foot (cold end) heat sinks for the first 6" on the hot end. I used light guage copper for the baffles to cut down on the weight and the shotgun will be stand mounted to support it . I decided to try the baffles and heat sinks to maximize the cooling effect and this is virgin territory for me so it may be a home run or it could be a disaster. I have pictures of the build and will post them if i ever figure out how to resize them.
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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby OtisT » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:34 am

pfshine wrote:I wrote a big ole post and had some erroneous numbers in it. I went to fix it and it got deleted. So what I wanted to say is don't discount coil condensers in shotguns. They are easy to build, you don't have to worry about internal leaks and are more efficient with more active cooling surface area. You also get extra cooling surface area with the 2" shell of the shotgun that now acts a little as an air cooled condenser. A 2" shotgun with a 1/4" double wound coil is more than twice as efficient as a 2" shotgun with five 1/2" through tubes.


hi pfshine. I am trying to understand the condenser you describe, coils in a shotgun. Are you referring to a Dimroth condenser, which is a cooling coil (or double coil) inside of a tube? If not, please help me understand. Thanks.

I am currently designing a new Product Condensor for my VM so that I can strip faster. My 3/4" X 24" liebig just don't cut it anymore, maxing out around 3000 Watts. This is the same coil I use for reflux, and I know it knocks down all 5500 Watts with capacity to spare. [10" coil of 1/4" copper tubing. 2" outer tube. Feed cold into center return so coldest part is at the bottom for max liquid cooling.]
IMG_0752.JPG
Dimroth Product Condenser for my VM


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Last edited by OtisT on Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby OtisT » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:42 am

Appalachian spirits wrote: I have pictures of the build and will post them if i ever figure out how to resize them.


I found one easy way to resize pics is by sending them to myself in gmail from my phone (what I take pics on.) When I hit send, it asks what size of pics to send (sm, med, lg, or original size.) "Med" is the right size for posting. Hope this helps. Otis
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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby pfshine » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:19 am

OtisT wrote:hi pfshine. I am trying to understand the condenser you describe, coils in a shotgun. Are you referring to a Dimroth condenser, which is a cooling coil (or double coil) inside of a tube? If not, please help me understand. Thanks.

Otis


Yeah pretty much. You can make it however you want. But the way I was suggesting is inline. Like this
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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby Twisted Brick » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:03 pm

There are a number of threads here that discuss optimal worm dimensions as well as shell and tube (shotgun) condenser design. If you are up to the build challenge, a shotgun provides a ton of cooling capacity in a small package. This is why they are so popular. Also easy to set up, easy to run, easy to store. Here is the thread that documents how I built mine: viewtopic.php?f=87&t=67972
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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby Antler24 » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:34 pm

I use a 36" long liebig and am thinking about a smaller condenser, so I'm thinking about building what beer Brewers refer to as a "counter flow wort chiller". It's pretty easy to build, and is essentially a 12ft liebig, but didn't dimensions are less than 1ft square
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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby Appalachian spirits » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:24 am

Here are a few pictures of my gatlin condenser. Cross baffles on cold end and heat sinks on first 6 inches of hot end. Overkill yes but i like overkill :D i will post the rest when i finish it now that i finally figured out how to use a photo app.
All input appreciated, good or bad.

20 gallon pot still with lyne arm and thumper on propane burner
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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby MoonBreath » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:17 pm

I like it...We'll see how that badboy works.
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Re: Need Help Designing a Condenser

Postby Twisted Brick » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:11 pm

Interesting concept on the heatsinks. I love overkill.
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