• Advertisement

I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

If you are just getting started then you can ask questions here. We wish that you have done a little homework. Here is a link to some basic information.
http://www.artisan-distiller.net/presen ... Guide.html
Forum rules
All new users are confined to this section. In order to be promoted out of the Novice and into the regular Distiller, you have to demonstrate maturity, a certain level of distilling and fermenting knowledge. You must also prove that you are helpful to others and not have a propensity toward bad attitude.
You will be promoted out of this section once the demonstration is complete. I hope these goals are enough to allow you to grow out of the Novice Distillers.
If any of your first twenty-five posts is a link to another site or an advertisement of any kind you will be considered a spammer. The account will be deleted and all posts removed. Your IP address, e-mail address and user name will reported to http://www.StopForumSpam.com

I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

Postby Pikey » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:33 pm

I have these copper hot water tanks. one will become a still of around 100 Litres capacity.

They come with dual heating for the water. THere is a calorifier coil built in so that water from a boiler can be passed through and heat the water for showers, bathing etc.

They also have immersion heaters which are around 2.5Kw. Now it seems to me that an immersion heater of 2.5 Kw is about right for a still boiler. So I'm wondering whether I can just use one as my boiler element. However, there is one slight technical problem - let me show you pictures ;

Immersion heater (The third tube is thermostat - we can disconnect that)

resize immersion.jpg


They fit into the pot lid like this ;

- Oh - can I only post one pic in each post ???

Ok
Pikey
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:02 am

Re: I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

Postby Pikey » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:36 pm

Right so here's how they fit the lid ;

copper top resize.jpg


There must be a way of adding more than one pic - isn't there ?
Pikey
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:02 am

Re: I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

Postby Pikey » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:50 pm

And here is the lid with the immersion fitted ;

showing inserted resize.jpg


I have 2 choices here - easiest is to use the immersion as the main heater - But as can be seen, the top few inches of teh element will be sitting above the liquid level in the ethanol vapour.

I cannot decide whether that is a danger or not.

On the one hand - it would be a heating element bare, in high ethanol vapour. On the other, it is (assuming I can get a stainless or copper one) a good conductor of heat and the main part of it will be cooled as it heats the wash / mash.

So do we think it would be a way forward ? or do we think it would be a stupid thing to do ? :screwy:

I cannot make my mind up ! :? :doh:
Pikey
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:02 am

Re: I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

Postby punkin » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:27 pm

I think it will burn straight out. They are called an immersion heater for a reason. It will become more and more exposed as the run progresses.

You could get two ferrules welded near the bottom and just mount new elements.
Image

Identified Shit Stirrer, upgraded to sociopath.

To the fashionable nationalists



http://www.stilldragon.com.au for all your distilling needs in Australia and New Zealand
User avatar
punkin
 
Posts: 11318
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:09 pm
Location: Northern NSW Orstrailya

Re: I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

Postby Pikey » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:51 pm

punkin wrote:I think it will burn straight out. They are called an immersion heater for a reason. It will become more and more exposed as the run progresses.

......


Valid point, I could test that in a container of water outside the still before proceeding.
Pikey
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:02 am

Re: I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

Postby Kareltje » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:06 pm

Can't you turn the kettle upside down?
Although, looking at the length of the heater, you will soon get the same problem.

I have a still made by a friend and made of a 80-ltr hot water boiler. I don't know how it looked before he made the still, but now it has a ss bottom plate on what has been the top and he put two elements of a washing machine there.
DSC00492.JPG

The longest element is 30 cm long.

And there is another problem: if you have a heating element in the space above the fluid of your kettle, you in a way have an inverse column. In stead of lowering the boiling temperature and so augmenting the %, you get the reverse effect: higher temperature and lower %.
Interesting.

Edit: Apparently I can post 2 pictures in my post.
Attachments
DSC00493.JPG
Kareltje
 
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:45 pm

Re: I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

Postby Pikey » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:27 pm

Thanks for your post Kareltje

I never thought of washing machine elements, though they are used to slightly curved inclusions so yes - if (and when) I go down that path they will probably be the way forward.

I'm just intrigued to know at the moment - whether using the "Immersion heater" is likely to lift the roof off the village I live in, or whether it will be ok ? - I really can't make my mind up !

I'm feeling it will be ok unless the element blows through - in the actual vapour space above the liquid - when it would simply be a case of "goodnight Vienna" :oops:

[Edit - K - How did you add 2 photies ?

"Add Attachment" - etc etc

but when you come back - there is no more "add attachment" - WHat am I missing ? :lol:
Pikey
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:02 am

Re: I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

Postby S-Cackalacky » Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:11 am

I think what you're proposing, installing an immersion element from the top, is, above all, dangerous, and also impractical. The danger outweighs the impracticality. Exposing a hot element to alcohol vapor should raise red flags and set off all kinds of alarms in your mind. If you go ahead with this, you could very well be making a bomb.

Why aren't you considering installing the elements near the bottom and horizontal. This would assure that the elements are always fully submerged in liquid. I would guess that about 99.9% of boiler builds are done this way - for good reason.

One last point - have you checked that copper tank for lead? If it's old and has solder joins, it likely has some lead content. It might not be the best candidate for a boiler build.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
User avatar
S-Cackalacky
 
Posts: 428
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:13 pm
Location: The Mountains of Virginia

Re: I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

Postby Copperhead road » Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:40 am

S-Cackalacky wrote:I think what you're proposing, installing an immersion element from the top, is, above all, dangerous, and also impractical. The danger outweighs the impracticality. Exposing a hot element to alcohol vapor should raise red flags and set off all kinds of alarms in your mind. If you go ahead with this, you could very well be making a bomb.

Why aren't you considering installing the elements near the bottom and horizontal. This would assure that the elements are always fully submerged in liquid. I would guess that about 99.9% of boiler builds are done this way - for good reason.

One last point - have you checked that copper tank for lead? If it's old and has solder joins, it likely has some lead content. It might not be the best candidate for a boiler build.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.


GOOD ADVICE THERE CACKALACKY :8)
my pet is a CCSC copper flute, I feed it corn and it pisses likker like a pony....
User avatar
Copperhead road
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:51 am
Location: Brisvegas

Re: I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

Postby Kareltje » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:35 am

Which makes me think: why not lay the kettle on its side? More or less like a submarine still? If you keep the boiler at least half filled, the elements are covered and used over the whole length.

(Try again.
Upload01.jpg

Upload02.jpg

Upload03.jpg

I think you have seen this already.
If you then try again, you see this.
The tab Upload attachment is hidden behind the options.

In trying to upload a 4th, I see a red line on top of my post, saying 3 is the maximum.
Kareltje
 
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:45 pm

Re: I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

Postby Kareltje » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:39 am

So going on:
If you nonetheless press the barely visible tab Upload attachment, you get again:
Upload04.jpg

And you can go on: browse, add the file, place inline.
Upload05.jpg


And I just found out: if you between steps use the function View, you again see the full tab Upload.

Capice?
Kareltje
 
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:45 pm

Re: I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

Postby Pikey » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:59 am

S-Cackalacky wrote:I think what you're proposing, installing an immersion element from the top, is, above all, dangerous, and also impractical. The danger outweighs the impracticality. Exposing a hot element to alcohol vapor should raise red flags and set off all kinds of alarms in your mind. If you go ahead with this, you could very well be making a b***.


Thank you for your concern SC - I think if you read my post, you may see that I was looking at the issue of the element being exposed to hot ethanol, and in particular how hot it was likely to get, when I asked it. I think that irrespective of anything else, the possibility of the element "blowing" within the vapour space will be sufficient n it's own for me to abandon the idea - with the slight possibility of the suggestion Kareltje posts of using the actual still in "Submarine" configuration.

Just out of curiosity - I wonder whether there is actually enough oxygen left in an actively producing still, to produce a ""Bang" as vigorous as we might imagine, given an ignition source within the headspace ?

I don't like seeing the "b" word used myself on forums as it is one of the "Keywords" likely to attract attention from agencies whose attention could be better served elsewhere - but I guess I can be a little "Over-cautious" sometimes :)

S-Cackalacky wrote:
........One last point - have you checked that copper tank for lead? If it's old and has solder joins, it likely has some lead content. It might not be the best candidate for a boiler build.
.


We did the "Lead thing" last year;

http://www.artisan-distiller.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=9970

One of the great things about this forum is that we can treat each other like grown ups and don't have the site dogma against anything "new" - like silicone and brass, setting off the "Baying hounds".

I felt comfortable that posting this question here would enable logical and real discussion, which by and large it has.

The picture I posted was in fact of the "preheater", since it has the "Calorifier coil" reasonably intact - the actual pot (Picture lower down on the "Other thread") is at the moment still sealed but is similar enough for the principles to apply and Kareltje's suggestion to become a feasible possibility. My problem currently is that the ouhouse where I do my work , is also used as a store for all sorts of books, fabrics and electronics, so I need a window of decent weather to allow me to bring all that stuff outside, rack out a long wall and install the still, preheater and thumper within and upon the new racking, before replacing the "superfluous material".

That time is approaching and decisions about layouts, fill ports, pipes and pumps need to be made.

on balance, I'm inclined to keep the cooker vertical because of the potential Mods required to lay it flat.
Pikey
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:02 am

Re: I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

Postby Kareltje » Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:00 pm

Pikey wrote:
Just out of curiosity - I wonder whether there is actually enough oxygen left in an actively producing still, to produce a ""Bang" as vigorous as we might imagine, given an ignition source within the headspace ?

I felt comfortable that posting this question here would enable logical and real discussion, which by and large it has.


I share your curiosity, as you know. I was planning an experiment with a small plastic bottle in a bain marie with an outlet hose. When it was running I planned to light the outcoming vapour. All from a safe distance, of course.
But a story of Alchemist made me change my idea. He told of an explosion because his condenser was cooled too much, created a underpressure and sucked in the flame. Then I remembered the huffing of a watercooled condenser. Including the sucking in of air.
So I realised: even if my experiment with an open outlet would not result in an explosion, it would not prove anything for a common still with a forced watercooled huffing condenser.

I saw an experiment of Myth Busters on this subject, but they seemed to use an ignition. And as far as I know no one uses ignition inside his boiler. The experiment was not really clear to me, though.


I agree whole heartedly with your remark. No threading on eggs. No snowflakes. Just arguments or serious thinking! :8)
Kareltje
 
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:45 pm

Re: I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

Postby Pikey » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:12 pm

Kareltje wrote:
Pikey wrote:
Just out of curiosity - I wonder whether there is actually enough oxygen left in an actively producing still, to produce a ""Bang" as vigorous as we might imagine, given an ignition source within the headspace ?


I share your curiosity, as you know. I was planning an experiment with a small plastic bottle in a bain marie with an outlet hose. When it was running I planned to light the outcoming vapour. All from a safe distance, of course.
But a story of Alchemist made me change my idea. He told of an explosion because his condenser was cooled too much, created a underpressure and sucked in the flame. Then I remembered the huffing of a watercooled condenser. Including the sucking in of air.
So I realised: even if my experiment with an open outlet would not result in an explosion, it would not prove anything for a common still with a forced watercooled huffing condenser.

I saw an experiment of Myth Busters on this subject, but they seemed to use an ignition. And as far as I know no one uses ignition inside his boiler. The experiment was not really clear to me, though.

........


Yes I saw Alchemist's post but I run a vertically mounted Dimroth condenser with an open top and central connection to the column, so the vapour hits the coil half way up and at 90 degrees. I don't think i would get any "suckback" like one might with a Liebig. The possibility of an ignition source within the still is my only fear with that immersion heater, which might have an air/vapour mix at the initial or "Fores stage", whne the vapour would be pretty high abv anyhow. LAter, I'm pretty sure there would be little oxygen left as it would tend to be driven out by the vapours from the distil.

I think to deliberately incorporate an ignition source, a glow plug like used in diesel engines would perhaps work. I think a spark plug, or something like a Tessla coil, would tend to leak away voltage to earth because of the high humidity of the environment, so unless a transparent window of some kind could be incorporated, you'd never be sure they were working properly, (Unless of course it went "BANG" )

So what was the "MYthbusters" result ?
Pikey
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:02 am

Re: I don't want to do a dumb thing - but .....

Postby Kareltje » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:58 am

I found:
explosionlimits of ethanol are 3.4 and 19 %ABV in air.
Selfignition temperature is 400 dgr C.
So if the exposed part of your element will get hotter than 400 dg C, a fire will start if there is any oxygen left.

I saw only the second part of the Mythbusters episode, and I was so surprised that I am not sure if I remember coorectly.
They did all kinds of things I would never ever do. If my memory serves me well, they closed the boiler, to make sure there would be both air and alcohol vapour inside. And when the pressure was considered high enough, they caused a spark inside the boiler. Of course the still exploded! :screwy:
I was surprised, for most times the do very sound experiments and this looked very crappy.

To be sure I looked it up:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gblFI2gsdPY

and maybe the same one:
https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/2 ... nshine-run

Enjoy!
Kareltje
 
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:45 pm

Next

Return to Just Getting Started

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests