Liebig tube sizes

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Old Bloater
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Liebig tube sizes

Post by Old Bloater » Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:47 pm

For my first reflux still I need to decide on my liebig condenser construction. I've spent a lot of time reading up on people's various designs and just before I start mine I'm after opinions of tube sizes. I'm going with about 1200mm long and a spiral on the inner core to promote turbulence but torn between a 12mm core with outer tube of 22mm or 15mm core and outer 28mm.
Has anyone any strong opinions either way plesse.
I think the column looks like it needs to be 54mm and a similar height but presume this isn't the right forum for that particular advice.
Thanks

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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by zapata » Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:40 am

I have a preference for US nominal pipe sizes of 3/4" over 1/2". Not sure whether your pipes are true or nominal sizes, or ID/OD etc, so mines a true measurement shell of 22.22mm OD, 20.59mm ID over a tube of 15.875mm OD, 14.45mm ID. There is just enough room between the two for a spiral of heavy copper wire.

I'd think a 12mm is probably a bit small, and 28 a bit big. Splitting hairs maybe, but does the 15 not fit inside the 22? Doesn't need much room at all, with the wire wrap on mine contacts both tube and shell.

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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by Deplorable » Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:59 am

3/4" over 1/2" is plenty efficient. That was the first, and last, liebig I built before redoing everything and building a modular all copper CCVM with a 20" long 2" diameter shotgun condenser.
I will likely dismantle and repurpose all of the copper from my Liebig for something else is the future.
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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by Demy » Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:30 pm

I use 1/2 internal and 3/4 external and it works very well for me.

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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by OtisT » Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:19 pm

Once you pick your diameter size, the length you will need is dependent upon how much power (heat) you will be using. If you are running electric, what is your max wattage?

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NZChris
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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by NZChris » Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:21 pm

You shouldn't need a large Liebig for a reflux still as the product is already condensed when it enters and only needs cooling.

Mine is 3/8" OD Stainless Steel tube with an 11" water jacket that I was given from another distiller's useful junk stash. The water flow is a trickle.

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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by tiramisu » Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:57 pm

When I use the calculator on the site it say I would need 120" of 1/2" jacketed tubing with 2 litres per minute to knock down a 5kw stripping run.

Yet no one seems to post 6 foot Liebig condensers.

What am I missing? Am I using the tool wrong?

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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by OtisT » Wed Nov 11, 2020 4:16 pm

tiramisu wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:57 pm
When I use the calculator on the site it say I would need 120" of 1/2" jacketed tubing with 2 litres per minute to knock down a 5kw stripping run.

Yet no one seems to post 6 foot Liebig condensers.

What am I missing? Am I using the tool wrong?
I’ve not used that calc before, but imagine it is fairly basic and does not consider all the factors that impact performance. It probably has some static efficiency percentage to cover all the variables. A respected member here on HD just posted that their just over 4’ (jacket) liebig with a 1/2” vapor path knocks down 5500w when stripping. No mention of their input water temp or flow rate in that post, but guessing it is closer to 4 lpm of cool water. Don’t recall who it was, but I will search tonight to see if I can find that post for you. To an extent, more flow should equal shorter jacket length. There is a point where vapor dwell time and efficiency comes into play here so there are limits to the flow/length relationship.

One approach to sizing is simply to go with what folks are using that works successfully for them, and ask them questions to ensure you have an apples to apples comparison for sizing. One of my favorite quotes I read from someone on HD was “those who say something can’t be done should not stand in the the way of those doing it.” - unknown. Some folks will give you useful data, and others will just drive you batty with partial info. I can’t tell you how many times someone’s answer to sizing is “my 1/2” liebig knocks down all the power I can throw at it” with no other details. Drives me freakin nuts just reading that kind of unhelpful comment.

Some things you need to know for liebig comparisons:
* vapor path diameter and jacket length. Sounds like you are going with a 1/2” VP and looking for the correct jacket length.
* what is your Max power coming from your boiler. Power in determines how much heat you will be removing with the PC, which also give you the amount of vapor which impacts vapor dwell time. If you strip, then you want a condenser that will take all the power you have plus a little to spare. Things like hot days vs cold days or insulation of your system will impact how much heat gets to your PC.
* water source. Is it a consistent flow (pressure) of fresh/cool water or are you using a recirculating system? The former is easy to deal with, the latter takes more in determining your solution. ( reservoir size, starting temp, any cooling potential like a radiator/fan, max duration of your stilling run, etc., etc, etc.) If you plan on recirculating, you have more homework to do.
* flow rate through your PC. Any relevant limitations? For example, I have some 1/4” copper tubing coils in a dimroth condenser that can only pass 3.5 liters per minute at full city water pressure. It don’t matter how big I can make that coil if I am limited to a 3.5 lpm flow. (Luckily, 3.5 lpm is just barely enough to handle 5500w in my dimroth).
* efficiency. Added turbulence in the jacked is thought to increase efficiency of a liebig. If you don’t plan on adding a copper wire spiral inside your jacket, take that into account when comparing.
* materials. Most here will be talking about copper liebig, though some stainless ones are used. Copper is best for efficiency sake.

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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by Saltbush Bill » Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:18 pm

tiramisu wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:57 pm
Yet no one seems to post 6 foot Liebig condensers.
There are plenty of larger size liebigs around ....maybe not a lot of photos.
This one is 6 foot total.......3 foot 8 of cooling jacket. Crimped inner tube.....NO spiral wire.
1inch outter / water jacket.......3/4 inner tube.
Knocks down 15L an hour if need be.....probably more if I had more water flow to feed it.
For some reason shotgun condencers seem to be the current trend.......mostly they are overkill for the purpose and a whole lot harder to build than a good liebig.
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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by tiramisu » Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:30 pm

Thanks for the responses. I can't see any reason why I shouldn't go with a 6' Liebig on the reflux. It's a heck of a lot cheaper and easier than a shotgun. The pricing and availability of large diameter tubing makes it a bit of an expensive luxury for the product condenser. I can make a 6' Liebig for under 100$ cad with parts from home depot.

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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by GreenEnvy22 » Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:36 pm

You can double up the vapor path as well and have half the length.
I did mine as 1/2 inside 3/4.
It comes from the 2" column as a 3/4" pipe, which goes into a 3/4-1/2-1/2 tee.
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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by NZChris » Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:05 pm

tiramisu wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:30 pm
Thanks for the responses. I can't see any reason why I shouldn't go with a 6' Liebig on the reflux. It's a heck of a lot cheaper and easier than a shotgun. The pricing and availability of large diameter tubing makes it a bit of an expensive luxury for the product condenser. I can make a 6' Liebig for under 100$ cad with parts from home depot.
Are you sure sure you need a product cooler that big for your reflux still? What type of reflux still is it? 6' is more likely to be necessary for a pot still.

The product condenser given to me for my 2" Bokakob is overkill and it's only a foot long.

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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by OtisT » Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:59 am

NZChris wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:05 pm
tiramisu wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:30 pm
Thanks for the responses. I can't see any reason why I shouldn't go with a 6' Liebig on the reflux. It's a heck of a lot cheaper and easier than a shotgun. The pricing and availability of large diameter tubing makes it a bit of an expensive luxury for the product condenser. I can make a 6' Liebig for under 100$ cad with parts from home depot.
Are you sure sure you need a product cooler that big for your reflux still? What type of reflux still is it? 6' is more likely to be necessary for a pot still.

The product condenser given to me for my 2" Bokakob is overkill and it's only a foot long.
Hi Chris. Your boka PC is cooling liquid reflux. If he has a VM or CM, his PC will be dealing with vapor which requires much more cooling energy to convert the vapor to liquid. I agree that while he is fractioning he does not need to match his boiler power, but if he strips on that same rig he will. His previous message mentioned stripping at 5500w.
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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by Winnipeg204 » Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:13 am

Like mentioned above, I want to try one of these y's with two 4' long liebigs.
HTB1UUasOpXXXXXxaXXXq6xXFXXXM.jpg_q50.jpg

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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by The Baker » Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:14 pm

Winnipeg204 wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:13 am
Like mentioned above, I want to try one of these y's with two 4' long liebigs.

HTB1UUasOpXXXXXxaXXXq6xXFXXXM.jpg_q50.jpg
Something like a DOUBLE BARRELLED shotgun??

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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by Clamsmasha » Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:37 pm

Hard to answer the original post without some specifics but I like build stuff that I can grow into if need be.

I have 4800watts and use an asthmatic aquarium pump recirculating 200lts from a drum.
I went with 40” jacketed 1” over 3/4” with copper braid spiraling through the jacket. I connect that to my old 2” x 44” packed section (Sans packing) via 2”x 1” Triciamp reducer and a 50lt keg.

No puking ever with the big riser and the condenser is probably working way below capacity.

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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by Winnipeg204 » Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:20 pm

The Baker wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:14 pm
Winnipeg204 wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:13 am
Like mentioned above, I want to try one of these y's with two 4' long liebigs.

HTB1UUasOpXXXXXxaXXXq6xXFXXXM.jpg_q50.jpg
Something like a DOUBLE BARRELLED shotgun??

Geoff
Is that a thing? Ive been lurking a full year now and never saw the term for that

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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by shadylane » Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:45 pm

Here's a 1" inside a 1-1/2" thats 36" long
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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by Yummyrum » Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:30 am

Love the clamp-on extension Shady :D

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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by The Baker » Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:41 am

Winnipeg204 wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:20 pm
The Baker wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:14 pm
Winnipeg204 wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:13 am
Like mentioned above, I want to try one of these y's with two 4' long liebigs.

HTB1UUasOpXXXXXxaXXXq6xXFXXXM.jpg_q50.jpg
Something like a DOUBLE BARRELLED shotgun??

Geoff
Is that a thing? Ive been lurking a full year now and never saw the term for that
Thought it up when I saw the picture of the fitting.

Looks like two shotgun barrels.

Geoff
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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by RC Al » Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:52 pm

almost done.jpg
What is wrong with a 6' liebig? nothing apart from the logistics of fitting it in your stilling area

Mines an OZ 3/4 over 1/2, which in usa copper would be 5/8 over 3/8, ours is OD yours is ID. The jacketed section is 5' 10"
SBB's above is actually a little different than listed as its oz copper too, so it would translate back to a 7/8* over 5/8 in usa size
(pls forgive correcting you man, sorry these mericans need the help with rest of world measurements lols)
*not a standard usa size at all, 1" OD

Mines been clocked at 12l/h with more left in the bag - im working on more gas atm. The 12l translates back to around 6000 watts - are you going to use more power than that? As said, the short of it is 6' is rather long and unnecessary if your cooling water flow is adequate, which is why you dont see heaps of them around. I 100% agree that there is a level of elitism that has crept in with platers and shotgun sizing too, most out there are waaayyy too big.

To go up to 2 tubes it seems intuitive to work out that you going to halve the vapour speed and get twice the efficiency out of it and as a bonus not have work out how to fit a long condenser where you want to use it, for a few extra $$ in fittings, I recon its worth it

PS have a good look at the flow area size between the tubes when selecting the in & out pipe sizing for the water, seen more than a few needlessly limited by a small fitting there, use M type copper 8)

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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by shadylane » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:48 pm

If 1 tube is good and 2 is better
Then three tubes must be the best :lol:

viewtopic.php?f=87&t=49639

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Re: Liebig tube sizes

Post by NZChris » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:56 pm

OtisT wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:59 am
Hi Chris. Your boka PC is cooling liquid reflux. If he has a VM or CM, his PC will be dealing with vapor which requires much more cooling energy to convert the vapor to liquid. I agree that while he is fractioning he does not need to match his boiler power, but if he strips on that same rig he will. His previous message mentioned stripping at 5500w.
Thanks for that, Otis. I should turn my large piece of 3" scrap copper pipe into something to play with and learn something new while I'm at it.

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