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Pot still....with a column?

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Pot still....with a column?

Postby Dave49 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:33 am

Not wanting to put this in the reflux still section, I thought I'd put it here! This is my still, which is a pot still, but, as can be seen, has a column! Now, I'm led to believe that as I don't use any sort of packing in the column, it isn't a reflux still, but a pot still. The column is 2" x 24". My question is mainly......if I shortened the column,by say, half, would it make any or no appreciable difference to my end product?
My only reason for this is so that I can mount the still at a higher level in my shed, which isn't possible with the column at it's present length. I would have thought, that, if anything, shortening the column would give more flavour to the end product, even if only theoretically? Am I right?
At the same time, I'm loathe to chop a nice bit of copper up!!

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Re: Pot still....with a column?

Postby S-Cackalacky » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:45 am

If you continue to use that long liebig condenser, why would you want to shorten the riser? On a pot still, the length of the riser has no appreciable difference in how it runs. The advice I received when I first started distilling was to build the liebig first and then size the riser accordingly to give a suitable distillate takeoff point. Also, if that fitting you have at the 90 degree turn at the top is adjustable, it should allow you to change the angle of the liebig for different takeoff points.

Looks nice. If anything, I would lengthen the riser to suit that long liebig.

Good luck with it and stay safe.
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Re: Pot still....with a column?

Postby Dave49 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:05 pm

Yes, the fitting is adjustable, and that is what I plan to do, but, the reason I want to shorten the riser, is so that I can put the still on the work surface that you can see behind in the picture, but as it stands, the riser will hit the roof of my shed!
I'm trying to free up floor space, while at the same time raise the take off/collection point so that I don't have to bend down to change my jars.
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Re: Pot still....with a column?

Postby punkin » Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:32 pm

I don't believe it will make an appreciable difference.
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Re: Pot still....with a column?

Postby The Baker » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:41 pm

Dave, you said, "at the same time raise the take off/collection point so that I don't have to bend down to change my jars."

Get a chair?

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Re: Pot still....with a column?

Postby Pa_bon » Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:48 pm

+1 S Cack. Just rotate the fitting on the high side of the 90 to an angle that gives the collection height you need. That is if collection height is the main goal. My $.02.
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Re: Pot still....with a column?

Postby Dave49 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:14 am

@Geoff, I already have a chair....I still have to bend to change the jar..... :roll:
@Pa_Bon, See that workbench the still is sitting on?....I want to free up that floor space, and the obvious (to me) place for my still is on the work surface above it, but the riser will then hit the roof.....so..... :|
The benefits are twofold, free up floor space, and raise the takeoff point.
I may have other options..... :idea:
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Re: Pot still....with a column?

Postby Pikey » Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:02 pm

Hi Dave, The simple answer is "I don't know". Some of the Scottish distilleries use " Old gin stills" which have a higher column, in the belief that there is a difference in flavour due to the passive reflux. I run a 39" column and I am convinced I get passive reflux which keeps my proof up. However I do run a 1" column without insulation. Your 2" does not have insulation either and I am pretty sure you will get some passive reflux too. but your cross sectional area is 4x mine, whilst your circumference is only 2x , so only half of your vapour in comparison to mine, will be in contact with the walls which is where any such action would occur.

I am likely to make a 2" column "Pot" soonish and will be making it as tall as I can - although it is possible I may try to "test" it both ways, just to find out the answer to that question !

Does a Leibig have to be vertical ? or could you angle it ?
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Re: Pot still....with a column?

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:42 pm

Dave49 wrote:Yes, the fitting is adjustable, and that is what I plan to do, but, the reason I want to shorten the riser, is so that I can put the still on the work surface that you can see behind in the picture, but as it stands, the riser will hit the roof of my shed!
I'm trying to free up floor space, while at the same time raise the take off/collection point so that I don't have to bend down to change my jars.


Well then, that's a horse of a different color. Building to fit your work space is a consideration you also need to take into account. I would measure carefully and remove as little of the length as necessary. Because the angle of the liebig is adjustable, you can raise or lower the takeoff to where you need it. Just don't adjust the angle so shallow that you might encourage pooling.

I wouldn't worry to much about differences in flavor with a long or short riser. At the hobby level there would likely be little to no difference. If you want to try a little passive reflux, put a 1/4th inch copper coil near the top of the riser and push a little cooling water through it. Never tried it myself, so I can't say that it will make a spit of difference, but it should basically accomplish the same thing as a very long riser.
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Re: Pot still....with a column?

Postby Pikey » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:41 pm

Yes I agree S-C - If you wrapped a bit of "Brake pipe" around the column a few times, towards the upper end and pushed the output from the Leibig through it, that may do a remarkable job - or not !
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Re: Pot still....with a column?

Postby Dave49 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:35 am

Thanks for the interesting input guys! I may add that my liebig has a crimped inner, as per this pic here:-
Image
Whilst I havn't gone for such severe crimping as shown, it does limit the angle to which my condenser can be run at, and avoid pooling.

@SC, I won't be trying for reflux, as that's what I'm trying to avoid. Flavour is my goal..... :8)
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Re: Pot still....with a column?

Postby Kareltje » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:20 pm

Of course will changing your still change the results.
That is not bad in itself, it is just a reason for you to behave differently.
The still is the boss, you are its servant!
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Re: Pot still....with a column?

Postby S-Cackalacky » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:09 am

Dave49 wrote:Thanks for the interesting input guys! I may add that my liebig has a crimped inner, as per this pic here:-
Image
Whilst I havn't gone for such severe crimping as shown, it does limit the angle to which my condenser can be run at, and avoid pooling.

@SC, I won't be trying for reflux, as that's what I'm trying to avoid. Flavour is my goal..... :8)

Yes, those crimps are a bit over-done. I did the same with my first liebig condenser. You can control the depth of the crimp by using vise grip pliers, or insert a metal rod into the tube while crimping. You're right - you might need a steeper angle to prevent the possibility of pooling.

About reflux - the method I described would only give some passive reflux. You would need to pack the column and provide a much more robust reflux condenser for full, neutral producing reflux.
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Re: Pot still....with a column?

Postby Pikey » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:28 pm

S-Cackalacky wrote:
........ If you want to try a little passive reflux, put a 1/4th inch copper coil near the top of the riser and push a little cooling water through it. Never tried it myself, so I can't say that it will make a spit of difference, but it should basically accomplish the same thing as a very long riser.


I might give that a go on mine S-C - If I o I'll report back in due course
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Re: Pot still....with a column?

Postby Swedish Pride » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:55 am

@DAVE49
I'd redo that liebig if I were you.
With crimping that severe you are in danger of plugging up the liebig if you get a severe puke.
Plugging up your liebig could ruin your day quite bad, I've had a close call with a blocked liebig, scared the shite out of me, gaskets leakign vapor allover the place as the pressure was building.
Luckily I don't venture away from the still when running and hit the kill switch so I could go and change my jocks.
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