Stupid idea?

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Choady
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Stupid idea?

Post by Choady » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:13 am

So before I fell into a deep slumber lastnight I had an idea that I cant figure out...If circulating through the liebig with water diluted with methanol or alcohol would cool of the product faster? Prolly a stupid question but I aint ever been accused of being smart! Thanks for the input y'all.
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Yummyrum
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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by Yummyrum » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:53 pm

One things for sure. You don’t want to be having Methanol anywhere near your distilling area .I trust my condenser building skills but if a leak did happen and Methanol started leaking into the product , that would not be good.

There have been cases where young’n have accidentally drunk and died mistaking Methanol for Dads Moonshine . .... a good reason to not have it around in the first place :thumbdown:

However , whether an alcohol water mix is any better at removing heat from a condenser than plain water , I don’t know .

Maybe Propylene ( and not the toxic Ethylene) Glycol might be a better option iffn some sort of circulating heat exchanger thingy is what you are cooking up in your head

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acfixer69
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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by acfixer69 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:11 pm

Add to yummy that the alcohol would evaporate off. Maybe keep the reservoir a little cooler for a bit due to the evaporation but not much useful cooling effect.

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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by The Baker » Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:39 pm

acfixer69 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:11 pm
Add to yummy that the alcohol would evaporate off. Maybe keep the reservoir a little cooler for a bit due to the evaporation but not much useful cooling effect.
Closed cooling system?

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acfixer69
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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by acfixer69 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:48 pm

Open loop system pump to load and return to open reservoir.

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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by The Baker » Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:49 pm

acfixer69 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:48 pm
Open loop system pump to load and return to open reservoir.
Yeah but IF you had a closed system (refrigerators do...) you would lose no alcohol.

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acfixer69
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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by acfixer69 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:00 pm

Closed loop would need a pressure difference and a metering valve to the heat sink. There needs to have a change of state ie liquid to vapor , vapor to liquid. Way past ahome distillers needs.

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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by cob » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:08 pm

I have used a product called Water Wetter in my hotrods to help with overheating on low speed cruises.

it did not help as much as upsizing the radiator.

I would not use this product anywhere near my booze.
be water my friend

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NZChris
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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by NZChris » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:16 pm

It takes less energy to heat alcohols the same number of degrees as it does for water, so no, it's not a great idea.

If you use enough alcohol it might kill Legionella in your system, but it's probably safer and easier to use chlorine.

Choady
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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by Choady » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:01 pm

Thanks everyone for your input.
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Romans 8:31

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still_stirrin
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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by still_stirrin » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:41 pm

Choady wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:13 am
So, before I fell into a deep slumber last night I had an idea that I can’t figure out...If circulating through the liebig with water diluted with methanol or alcohol would cool of the product faster?...
Well, not a “stupid question”, but certainly unknowledgeable about the physics involved.

The latent heat of vaporization of water is 2256 kJ/kg and for alcohol it is 846 kJ/kg, meaning that water has 2.67 more “heat sink” capability before vaporizing. In other words, water will “absorb” nearly 3 times as much heat as alcohol before it changes state (liquid to vapor). A change of state is NOT something you want to occur with the coolant in your condenser....it is what you WANT (vapor to liquid) to occur with the distillate in the condenser.

There are other fluids that would function as the coolant media in an alcohol condenser, but the cost of water is much more “user friendly”. Even “anti-freeze” liquids, which aids in energy transfer between fluids, is more costly than water, be it from the tap, a stream, or a body of water (lake, pond, swimming pool, etc.). And compound the risk of biological contamination with exotic coolants, and water again is recommended, unless in the commercial environment where all waste is regulated critically.

So, at the hobby distiller level...it’s hard to beat water as the coolant fluid in any condenser. It’s readily available and very reasonably priced. It can easily be pumped through a recirculation system and is quite innocuous to the environment.

While “reinventing the wheel” seems like an opportunity...sometimes it is best to simply use the wheels that are already rolling successfully.
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NZChris
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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by NZChris » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:17 pm

It has nothing to do with the latent heat of vaporization of water as the vapor will never come off the still hot enough to vaporise water unless you have a serious pressure problem and are about to make the 6 o'clock news.

Look up 'specific heat capacity'.

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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by LWTCS » Sat Mar 28, 2020 5:25 am

Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.

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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by Chucker » Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:10 pm

The only reason to add anything to your cooling water would be if you were to recirculate through a chiller and you needed to suppress the freezing point. Beyond that there would be nothing to gain in that water alone has far better heat absorption properties, short of being able to reduce its temp to below the normal freeze point.

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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by DJR1967 » Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:12 pm

What about circulating water from an above ground pool through the condenser. My still is 100% stainless. I was considering circulating using my pool as a cooling sump. 6000 gallon heat sink and may help to heat the pool a bit. Comments?

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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by still_stirrin » Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:57 am

DJR1967 wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:12 pm
What about circulating water from an above ground pool through the condenser. My still is 100% stainless. I was considering circulating using my pool as a cooling sump. 6000 gallon heat sink and may help to heat the pool a bit. Comments?
Well, you could circulate the pool water through your still, but a better approach would be to circulate your condenser water through your pool. If your pool has chlorine in it, then circulating that in your stainless still could damage it. Chlorine does attack stainless steel and it will cause it to rust.

But if you had a heat sink submerged in the pool with a closed loop water system through your still, then you could transfer the waste heat to your pool. And it would actually be a benefit to help keep the pool water more temperate, as I’m sure you already have a water heater to help warm the water for comfort.
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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by The Baker » Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:59 am

Good one, still_stirrin,

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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by DJR1967 » Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:58 am

still_stirrin wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:57 am
[quote=DJR1967 post_id=7663258 time=1617509520 user_id=84121
[/quo

But if you had a heat sink submerged in the pool with a closed loop water system through your still, then you could transfer the waste heat to your pool. And it would actually be a benefit to help keep the pool water more temperate, as I’m sure you already have a water heater to help warm the water for comfort.
ss
I rarely keep chlorine very high at all except when the kids use it. If I were to draw water from the pool through the condenser and return back to the pool wouldn't that conserve the heat that the water picks up in the condenser by heating the pool?

I don't have a heater it's a 15' above ground pool and couldn't justify $1000 for a heater for a few months. Solar cover does a good job at keeping it around 85 or so

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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by JakeB » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:22 pm

DJR1967 wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:58 am
still_stirrin wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:57 am
[quote=DJR1967 post_id=7663258 time=1617509520 user_id=84121
[/quo

But if you had a heat sink submerged in the pool with a closed loop water system through your still, then you could transfer the waste heat to your pool. And it would actually be a benefit to help keep the pool water more temperate, as I’m sure you already have a water heater to help warm the water for comfort.
ss
I rarely keep chlorine very high at all except when the kids use it. If I were to draw water from the pool through the condenser and return back to the pool wouldn't that conserve the heat that the water picks up in the condenser by heating the pool?

I don't have a heater it's a 15' above ground pool and couldn't justify $1000 for a heater for a few months. Solar cover does a good job at keeping it around 85 or so
Yes but as Still_stirrin said, chlorine will damage stainless steel by causing rust. I speak from experience here. In my early days brewing beer 20 plus years ago, I cleaned a stainless pot using Sani brew. I rinsed the pot fairly well and put the lid on it. A couple weeks later when I went to start a new batch, I found the entire inside of that 304 stainless pot that had been Shiney and bright before was full of rust. I mean absolutely covered. I found out the hard way that chlorine is one of very few things that will damage stainless. Trust me, don't do it, except if using a closed loop as described by still_stirrin. Even if chlorine levels are low, why would you risk serious damage to your stainless steel setup? Your kitchen sink is probably stainless, and you might have used bleach to clean it a time or two. The difference is the sink is open to air which allows the chlorine to evaporate off. A small amount of liquid left in the condenser with chlorine in it will rust for sure, it could take a while before you even notice the damage.

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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by Kindafrench » Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:36 am

A big enough copper coil as a heat exchanger, dumped in your pool and a closed loop from the coil to your condenser, plus a small pump and you‘re there. Something to vent air out of the closed loop and a pressure release valve for security reasons should be added. If you build it as an closed loop but open/vented system all should be fine. Have a sight glas to be sure you‘ve for enough coolant in the loop. Running dry could start some serious problems.

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Re: Stupid idea?

Post by Timothy_W » Thu Apr 15, 2021 4:56 am

You're right. An air relief valve must be mandatory, even if there is no sight glass. Air in the system does not lead to anything good.

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