Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

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Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby Stew8 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:48 am

Was reading about alcohol burners and found this on eBay
What was interesting was the kettle, the opposite of shotgun condenser.
I’m considering building a new boiler and thought adding extra copper pipes vertically in the same way as the kettle shown in the photos.

Any thoughts?

I’ve taken screenshots so when this is eventually pulled from eBay you can see what I mean;
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Thompson-Ritchie-primus-stove-accessory-coppper-kettle-spirit-burner/362209345011?hash=item54555bfdf3:g:jFQAAOSw05taVfJ1

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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby yakattack » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:21 am

It would absolutly give you faster heat up times if you were over a fire for a heat source. But to be honest with how much extra work and how many potential leak points you are adding to a boiler that is going to contain hot alcohol over a fuel and ignition source it wouldnt be a modification I would make. That however is completely up to you what you do with your boiler.

If you do I would hover suggest a detailed build.thread with lots of pics.

Yak
HDNB wrote: The trick here is to learn what leads to a stalled mash....and quit doing that.
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby raketemensch » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:55 am

If you’re going for flavored spirits you’d be better off slowing down your heat up times...
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby Stew8 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:44 pm

Thanks for replies;
Yak - thanks it is much more or a risk I’ll need to either improve my soldering skills or use tank compression fittings $$$$
Given the direct flame in the joints the lower joints may need to be compression fittings.
I’m going to research it a little more as there is lots of info on shotgun cooling that is applicable to heating.

Rakete I’ll need to read on how heat affects flavour as I’m a real newbie. My shed sits at les than 10c (50f) for most of the year so Was thinking of a way to improve the efficiency of heating the wash almost to temperature and then backing off the heat during the run - low and slow

Thanks again :thumbup:
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby Stew8 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:51 pm

Flaring and then flattening a 1/2 or 3/4 in copper pipe may make it easier to solder in the floor of the boiler. Not sure what to do at the top yet... :eugeek: :eh:

http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=27342
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby nuntius01 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:55 pm

don't forget the cleaning aspect too
I'm just the bank and the mule

post your still pics here
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=66917
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby shadylane » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:04 pm

nuntius01 wrote:don't forget the cleaning aspect too


A fire tube boiler is efficient, but I'd hate to think about cleaning up the mess from burnt mash :roll:
And there would always be burnt mash above the liquid level in the boiler.
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby Stew8 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:54 pm

Thanks for highlighting the cleaning side of my things, and it would probably scorch above the ‘waterline’ being so hot.
Ideal for boiling water but not mash...
:thumbup:
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby zapata » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:09 am

But that is a freaking rad tea kettle! I'm gonna make one!

Btw, no need for comp fittings, as long as it isn't boiled dry, you'll never melt a soldered fitting in contact with the wash. It's the old boil water in a paper cup trick.

And "dimpled" holes in the base of the boiler would reinforce those joints so they have more to bond to than just the thin base metal.
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby fizzix » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:40 am

zapata wrote:But that is a freaking rad tea kettle!

I agree. A little research showed that's (likely) a turn of the 20th century tea kettle made by Thompson, Ritchie & Co. designed for quick heat-up. Especially for picnics and camping trips. Brits HAD to have their tea, even on the go.
Looks modestly steampunked!
Here's an article on that style of kettle: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1899-copper-kettle-thompson-ritchie-457918446
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby Kareltje » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:43 am

A lot of people think the serie Moonshiners is nog good, but there Mark and Digger build boilers with a horizontal pipe through them. But then of course you also need a horizontal burner. They wanted to avoid scorching and apparently it worked, because they repeated the trick.
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby Stew8 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:37 am

Thanks all for the info,
ZA@ I’d forgotten about the paper cup idea and the frustration of trying to fix leaks in heating systems that would not drain completely. What was new to me was dimpling, I’ve got to try a diy tool ....just for the hell of it. :thumbup:
Kareltje@ it was that same moonshiner episode that has got me thinking of how to do this. Looks like empirical experimentation is required :eugeek:
If only I did not have a day job getting in the way......
Fizzix@ thanks for the additional info
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby Stew8 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:52 am

Found a link on how to make a fire tube kettle which is an interesting read.
http://chestofbooks.com/crafts/popular-mechanics/Things-To-Make/Fire-Tube-Kettles.html

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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby Reverend Newer » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:06 pm

My favorite picture of internal flame tubes inside a 1000 gallon boiler....


photoz (57).jpg



Fat, stubby shotgun condenser too.
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby Stew8 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:11 pm

Did the fire tubes make a difference?
Using a soup can and the same volume of water and starting temperature on the same flame I took timings for the water to boil vigoursly.

Soup can 5:15
Soup can with single 22mm fire tube 4:15
Soup can with two 15mm fire tubes 4:08

Now it’s the first test and the cans are small so is purely indicative. It looks like they improve boiling time by around 20%.

My next test is in a real boiler, the plan is not to run the mash hard but to bring to temp quickly. Besides it’s given me something to do when doing a run :D


Two 15mm fire tubes
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One 22mm fire tube
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standard can for baseline
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby Stew8 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:34 pm

Here are some calcs all in cm

The interesting thing is the proportion of surface area increases significantly by adding a fire tube
35% more surface area with two 15mm tubes reducing boil time by 22% and 25% more surface area with the single 22mm tube reducing boil time by 20%


The detail below .....I hope my maths holds up to scrutiny. :egeek:

two 15mm fire tubes
Pot diameter 7.5
Pot height 11
Volume 0.485965113602171
Surface area cyl 259.181393921158
Area of base 44.1786466911065
Total 303.360040612264
Diameter fire tubes cm 1.5
Surface area 51.8362787842316

Number fire tubes 2
Total fire tube as 103.672557568463
Percentage of base 234.666666666667
Percentage of total 34.1747572815534

one 22mm fire tube
Pot diameter 7.5
Pot height 11
Volume 0.485965113602171
Surface area cyl 259.181393921158
Area of base 44.1786466911065
Total 303.360040612264
Diameter fire tubes cm 2.2
Surface area 76.026542216873

Number fire tubes 1
Total fire tube as 76.026542216873
Percentage of base 172.088888888889
Percentage of total 25.0614886731392
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby Kareltje » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:47 pm

An improvement of about 20 & is not bad. Not bad at all. :thumbup:
But I put a large tin can plus a thin aluminium blanket around my boiler and needed about 50 % less energy for a run.
Much easier than making pipes through my boiler.
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby The Baker » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:02 am

If it were laying down it would be a Cornish Boiler.
A large fire tube through the water in the boiler.
I think it has to work but is it worth while??

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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby Kareltje » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:24 pm

Well, there is not much design in it. I had a new copper 10 L boiler, that sat on a ring on the fire.
2018-01-26-09.JPG

As it took much more energy than my previous boiler, I thought about some kind of insulation. Of course one could use blankets of glass wool or stone wool, but I have my stil in my kitchen and don't like glass wool in my food.
In a take away where I often come, I asked for two large 20 L oil cans. I took out the top lid of one of them, cleaned it from the oil and made a opening in the bottom to fit my boiler. Then I found a sale offer of a blanket to shield a car window from the cold,made of aluminium foil with some plastic layers inside for only EUR 2.50, so I wrapped that around the oil can.
The other can I used later: both of them today alongside each other on this picture.
2018-01-26-02.JPG


(Sorry: on my own computer they are shown upright.)

My original idea was to capture the heat flowing upward alongside the boiler and so being lost.
It worked: as said I used 50 % less energy for a whole run. Saves me about EUR 0.35 each run!
Later I found another boiler and used the second can. The oil in it had dried and I tried to burn it away, which made the inside black as opposed to the shining inside of the first can. So I took some aluminium foil, wrapped it inside the can and kept it on its place with some magnets.
For my large boiler of 80 L I got a large carton box and stuck some alu foil on the inside.

The original car window blanket is almost worn out, as the plastic inside seems to melt, but it still works.
Today I did a run and I could safely touch the outside (which is an extra plus!).

Now I think that reflection of the heat of the boiler is the main effect, rather than insulation.

A 50 % reduction seems large, but during the run I was thinking. The boiler has a temperature of about 90 dgr C, give or take 10 dgr. The blanket could be touched, so I guess about 30 or 35 dgr C. In an environment of 20 dgr C, the difference in gradient is large: about 70 dgr vs 15 dgr. As the heat loss is proportional to the temperature gradient, this simple and cheap insulation makes a large difference.

Your method makes better use of the applied heat, insulation diminishes the loss.

I must admit: I never tested it again on my copper boilers. But even a smaller effect makes it worth and, as I said, it is safe to touch the outside.
I made a close mantle of alu foil around my new glass Erlenmeyer but that made hardly a difference. Maybe I made it fit too close, without a layer of air.

Edit: Does this answer your question?
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby Stew8 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:16 am

Really interesting and detailed post, :thumbup:
Thank you
I’m going to try insulating on my boiler asap, my ambient temp in ‘the man cave’ is about 7c. And expected to plummet shortly. I’ll let you know how things improve

The joys of living in the frozen north :shock:
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Re: Shotgun boiler (not condenser)

Postby Kareltje » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:28 pm

I did some measurements the past runs: letting the boiler and thumper cool down with or without the mantle.
Without a mantle they bot lost about 0,1 kJ/(min.dgr C) in which "dgr C" is the difference between the temperature inside and outside of the kettle.

The amount of kJ is calculated by the difference between starting temperature (100 dgr C) and end temperature at the moment of measuring multiplied by the contents of the kettle in kg and the specific heat of water, 4,2 kJ/(kg.dgr C).
This amount I divided by the total time and the mean difference between in and out.

With a mantle the loss was about 0,05 kJ/(min.dgr C). Give or take a few %.
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