• Advertisement

Telescopic Condenser Modification.

These are various style condensers for many different applications.

Re: Telescopic Condenser Modification.

Postby sasquatch » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:55 pm

The column was the one I build in the thread "valveless VM like dad300"
Its a long thread so here is the specs.

3 inch column with four feet from bottom of take off port down to my boiler cone.
Top of cone has a two inch to three inch connecter to column.
!45 to 150 liter boiler.
38 inch's of pumice packing.

So there was a 10 inch void or gap from top of packing to the bottom of the 2 inch take off port.
So that means the flooding was serious.
Run with a propane tiger torch on a old semi split rim as the base and a shroud that turned out to be very effective in delivering and saving heat.

On a stripping run the condenser was putting out 4 minute liters.
Saved all head, hearts and tails together and it averaged at 55%
Water wide open and heat right down but I was still seeing a small amount of huffing.
Water was coming out cold.
If the heat was turned up the huffing would increase so I was right on the limits of what the condenser can handle.

It just seems to be missing something.
Packing it stopped the huffing but it slowed the volume out put.
One liter per 46 minutes varying from 93% to 96%.
Is that normal for a three inch column?

I agree that I need to run this baby a few more times and experiment with its limitations.

skow69 wrote:
"It sounds like that your pumice is just so efficient that you can't get off azeo."

That comment interests me. Can you explain a little more?
I want to do a run with SS scrubbers and see the difference from the pumice.
User avatar
sasquatch
 
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:24 pm

Re: Telescopic Condenser Modification.

Postby ZeroGee » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:38 am

Dead on, skow69! Speed is the inter-relationship between column diameter and height, heat and packing (HETP) and can be calculated relatively easily. These calculations have been discussed at length in other earlier posts.

Sasquatch - Like skow69, I also tend to doubt the 4 gallon per hour, near-azeotrope (95.63% ABV) claim you've made. To produce 4 gallons of azeotrope requires more than 20 gallons of mash even at at 20% finish content or over 26 gallons at 15%. That would demand a 30+ gallon boiler for safety's sake (you claim a 40-gallon boiler). Even with an 80-inch tall, 4-inch column, it would require a maximum of 5 kW of operating heat plus additional heat-up energy and the concomitant level of cooling. A 60-inch high by 3-inch column requires a maximum of 2.78 kW. More than the maximum heat produces column flooding.

Pumice has long been replaced because of irregularities in density and the high levels of mineralization that impact the flavor of the finished product. The replacement of pumice by less expensive stainless or copper scrubbers or internal column plates has resolved this issue many years ago.

I could be wrong (wouldn't be the first time) -- however, like some of the other members, I'd like to see some pictures of your rig. Perhaps you've come up with something new.

ZG
Age, in and of itself, does not confer wisdom.
Instead, it provides a list of mistakes you hope, profoundly, never to repeat.
User avatar
ZeroGee
 
Posts: 1037
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:22 am
Location: Pacific NW - Lower Mainland
Equipment type: Stone & Nixon all copper 2" offset valve-head LM reflux column with a 60L SS electric boiler.

Re: Telescopic Condenser Modification.

Postby sasquatch » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:59 am

ZeroGee wrote:
Sasquatch - Like skow69, I also tend to doubt the 4 gallon per hour, near-azeotrope (95.63% ABV) claim you've made.


Still some confusion here.
I never claimed that.
I claimed the condenser was putting out a Liter every 4 minutes in a stripping run that finished after collection at around 55%. That's with heads, hearts and tails from start to finish.

So that's 15 liters per hour in wide open stripping mode.
At 4.5 L per gallon that is 3.3 gallons per hour.

Pumice is free here.
I live very close to the source.

ZeroGee, i live only a few hours north of you if you took the coast highway past the mtn. party town. Right were the massive land slide was a few years ago. That slide area is where the pumice is from.
If you want I can get you some pumice if you want to try it out.

One problem I see with pumice is that if the still pukes it carries the fine pumice dust with it and makes the spirits a little cloudy until it settles. A guarantee sign that puking is happening.

Another thing I did with the pumice is I placed it in water first and only used the pumice that floated.
I have tried two different sizes of the stones and there was differences but I still have to do more runs to figure them out.

I will post a pic but there is nothing special or different besides the telescopic condenser.
Just a large boiler with 3inch pipes.
User avatar
sasquatch
 
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:24 pm

Re: Telescopic Condenser Modification.

Postby sasquatch » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:12 am

Still.jpeg
User avatar
sasquatch
 
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:24 pm

Re: Telescopic Condenser Modification.

Postby punkin » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:19 pm

There is about 3.8l to a US gallon.
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: 11364
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:09 pm
Location: Northern NSW Orstrailya

Re: Telescopic Condenser Modification.

Postby sasquatch » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:30 pm

punkin wrote:There is about 3.8l to a US gallon.


I was using the Imperial gallon measurement of 4.54609 so even more confusion.
User avatar
sasquatch
 
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:24 pm

Re: Telescopic Condenser Modification.

Postby ZeroGee » Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:52 pm

Yes, there's some confusion. First, there are 3.7854 liters per gallon, so, at 1 liter every four minutes, that's 15 liters per hour - or - 3.96 US gallons (close enough to call it 4 gallons). I could have been more specific.

Thanks for the picture of your rig -- well done! I'm assuming from the flame shield near the bottom of the boiler that you're running a propane burner - a bit hard to control for a reflux still. Seeing no vapor control valve on the output pipe, I also assume you control the output ABV by raising or lowering the cooling coil at the top of your column. A good idea for propane heat.

You should consider insulating your column with something like Reflectix, a bubble-wrap-like insulator commonly used to insulate hot water tanks. You can get it at Home Hardware on the roll. This helps maintain a steady column temperature during distillation so you're not constantly adjusting the burner and coil.

I didn't see a thermometer on your horizontal output pipe near the column. If you're not using one, get a 1-inch piece of 1/4" OD tubing (1/8" ID), drill a 1/4" hole into the top of the output pipe about 2 inches from the column and solder the tube in place. You can then insert a digital sensor (with a couple wraps of Teflon tape to hold the sensor tip near the center of the pipe). If you can, get a wireless digital thermometer so you don't have to climb up and down to read the temp and make adjustments. This is about as close as you can get to fine heat control (174 to 176F) without electrical elements. You can get a digital thermometer at WalMart or Canadian Tire.

To run a reflux column, you need a certain vapor flow rate through the column: 12 to 18 inches per second. The larger the column diameter, the larger volume of ethanol/water vapor up the column. More than 18 inches per second and the column floods, less than 12 IPS and nothing much happens. Ideally, column height should be 20 to 30 times the diameter; this stabilizes vapor flow and condensation rate.

Once you get your flow rate established, cooling is relatively easy because the ethanol vapor is very close to its condensation temperature.

Concerning pumice: if the rock floats, it's likely the air bubbles are sealed and the condensate has limited surface area in which exchange heat. If it sinks, there are too few bubbles. If you manage to get a good flow, you're likely to have to deal with sulfur and other minerals that lend a bad taste. That's why natural pumice isn't much used in the distilling process. But "free" is a powerful argument. SS scrubbers are cheap and can be cleaned in the dishwasher to be used over and over, so they're close to free.

Use your alcometer to test the total final output after it has cooled to around 70F (20C). You might be surprised.

ZG
Age, in and of itself, does not confer wisdom.
Instead, it provides a list of mistakes you hope, profoundly, never to repeat.
User avatar
ZeroGee
 
Posts: 1037
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:22 am
Location: Pacific NW - Lower Mainland
Equipment type: Stone & Nixon all copper 2" offset valve-head LM reflux column with a 60L SS electric boiler.

Re: Telescopic Condenser Modification.

Postby sasquatch » Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:37 pm

Thank you for your detailed post.
I appreciate the comments.

Your assumptions are correct about the propane, cooling coil, thermometer etc.

I will take your advice and add a thermometer.

The pumice i am using is 66% silica and 16% alumina, with a pH of 7.0, MOHS hardness of 5.5, creamy white colour and a liquid absorption capacity of 40%.
Its naturally inert.
No off gassing or smells.

I am going to do a few modification and try a run with the SS scrubbers.
I hope this week.

I have a question about the 18 inches per second.
I assume the problem is there is to much going up and can't handle whats going down, so choking happens. correct?
Just theorizing here.
If there was a plate that removed what the reflux coil dropped and the liquid by-passed the column direct to boiler, would 18 inches of rise per second still be the limit?
User avatar
sasquatch
 
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:24 pm

Re: Telescopic Condenser Modification.

Postby Harry » Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:46 pm

sasquatch wrote:I have a question about the 18 inches per second.
I assume the problem is there is to much going up and can't handle whats going down, so choking happens. correct?

Harry: correct.

Just theorizing here.
If there was a plate that removed what the reflux coil dropped and the liquid by-passed the column direct to boiler, would 18 inches of rise per second still be the limit?

Harry: If you do that (bypass to boiler) then you destroy the entire purpose of refluxing (see #1)




Note#1:
The purpose of refluxing...it provides DESCENDING hot liquid to strip WATER from the rising vapor, thus providing a stronger, purer ethanol vapor to go up. No reflux = no distilling (purifying). Without refluxing liquid the vapor will remain at the strength it came off the boiler (about 55% abv).
A packed column is a two-way reaction chamber. Both streams depend equally on each other.


Note#2:
Looking at your rig I see a heavy product condenser full of water, and No bracing. That will put undue stress on your clamps & seals. Eventually they will leak Please don't let that happen around a flame-heated rig...B O O M :cry:

This is a common error in home builds. I can't for the life of me understand why builders don't just add simple removable braces & pipe clamps to stabilize the rig (see pic)
Now compare that to your rig's pic




bracing.JPG
bracing.JPG (11.69 KiB) Viewed 6006 times








.
.


Slainte!
regards Harry
http://distillers.tastylime.net/

Winning the hearts & minds; one post at a time.
(you will be assimilated. resistance is futile.)
User avatar
Harry
 
Posts: 2428
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Paradise aka Cairns Qld Australia
Equipment type: 25 Lt 1500W elec. boiler, 2" x 40" packed column VM, x-flow O/head HX, crimp-path Liebig HX, VM proportioning valve, all in copper.
Various experimental gear.

Re: Telescopic Condenser Modification.

Postby ZeroGee » Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:17 am

If you plan to use scrubbers for packing your reflux column, there are a few tricks of which you should be aware.

Stainless steel or copper scrubbers work best in small diameter columns – 2 to 6 inches in diameter. Above this diameter, reflux plates are more efficient. However, the packing efficiency is measured in Height Equivalent [of a] Theoretical Plate (HETP) – or – how much scrubber packing (in height) is the equivalent of a reflux plate. This can vary somewhat according to the density of the packing, but is usually considered to be around 5 inches for each theoretical plate. Three to five plates are considered best for quality and speed.

Shoving scrubbers up the pipe with a broom handle can work, but the density of the packing can be highly irregular and contain areas where intermittent flooding can occur. Ideally, the packing should be arranged for the proper density outside the column and carefully inserted into the column without disturbing the arrangement. How to do that?

Although this will vary from person to person, ideal packing can be tested in the column by inhaling through the column with the packing in place. The inhaled breath should meet some resistance, but not so much as to be very difficult or impossible to breathe in. The vapor has to rise through the packing while the condensate is falling back.

There are two relatively simple methods to accomplish this:

Using a high density polyethylene (HDPE) sheet such as a roll-up kitchen cutting board.
    These are available in most big box and restaurant supply stores. These are generally 12 to 16 inches in length and 8 to 12 inches in width. A 3-inch column has an internal circumference of 9.42 inches and you’ll want about an inch of overlap, so a 12 by 16 inch sheet would be the best selection. This size will produce an HETP value of 3. To increase the HETP value to 5, simply tape another sheet to the outside of the first to increase the overall length to a bit over 26 inches.

    Once the sheet is made up, arrange the scrubbers (after expanding them to about the same density and size) and roll the sheet(s) up to a bit less than the diameter of the column; too tight and you’ll over-compress the scrubbers. Insert the rolled-up sheet into the column and, using a dowel with a firmly attached wood or metal plate somewhat smaller in diameter than the column, carefully pull out the sheet while holding the scrubbers in place. The bottom of the scrubbers should be about an inch above the bottom of the column.

    To remove the scrubbers, use a length of stiff wire (coat hanger?) with one end bent into a hook to grab and pull out the scrubbers one at a time.

Using a section of 1/2-inch to 1-inch mesh, welded, stainless steel, hardware cloth.
    Do not use galvanized steel hardware cloth. Again, a 3-inch column has an internal circumference of 9.42 inches and the hardware cloth may or may not overlap at the edges. Arrange the scrubbers along the hardware cloth to the proper density, leaving a one inch gap at the bottom, roll up lengthwise to a little less than the internal diameter of the column and insert the unit fully into the column. The combination of spring-back of the hardware cloth and expansion of the scrubbers will hold the unit firmly in place.

    The scrubbers and hardware cloth may be simply pulled out as a unit.

Of the two methods, the SS hardware cloth is preferred because of simplicity and undisturbed density of the scrubbers during insertion into the column. In addition, for gin makers, a cloth or wire screen herb basket can be suspended from the bottom edge of the hardware cloth into the raw boiler vapor for distilled-style gin.

I hope this helps…

ZG
User avatar
ZeroGee
 
Posts: 1037
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:22 am
Location: Pacific NW - Lower Mainland
Equipment type: Stone & Nixon all copper 2" offset valve-head LM reflux column with a 60L SS electric boiler.

Re: Telescopic Condenser Modification.

Postby sasquatch » Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:39 pm

Harry,
Note#1 is the simplest explanation of what is happening in a column that I have read.
You flicked the light bulb switch in my head and I see the light now.

I was always thinking pot style refluxing where you simply had to do separate runs to bring up the %.
My understanding of refluxing was that the column just kept repeating this process and as doing so the % rose.
Thank you very much for the enlightenment.

Note#2
I will brace it. Most of the time I would put a stand on the ground and connect it to a part of the rig as a third leg. I really want to build a permanent spot for the set up to make everything easier and safer when I use it.

You are also right about Cairns being a paradise. I love that town. got my first couple dive tickets there.


ZeroGee:
"usually considered to be around 5 inches for each theoretical plate. Three to five plates are considered best for quality and speed."

So to high a column would create more plates which might not be the best idea for efficiency.
Interesting.

5x5 would be 25 inch of packing. I have run the column at 33 and 38 inch so far.
Is that starting to effect the speed and effectiveness?

And thanks for the packing tips. It will come in useful.
User avatar
sasquatch
 
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:24 pm

Re: Telescopic Condenser Modification.

Postby ZeroGee » Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:32 pm

Please don't misunderstand. Ideal column height is 20 to 30 times the column internal diameter. Column diameter has no relationship to packing height.
sasquatch wrote:ZeroGee:
"usually considered to be around 5 inches for each theoretical plate. Three to five plates are considered best for quality and speed."

So to high a column would create more plates which might not be the best idea for efficiency. Not true.
Interesting.

5x5 would be 25 inch of packing. I have run the column at 33 and 38 inch so far.
Is that starting to effect the speed and effectiveness? Definitely! Insufficient space for full reflux.
A 3-inch column is best served by a height of 60 to 90 inches from the bottom of the column to the center of the vapor takeoff. HETP remains constant but column diameter and relative height do not. An HETP value of 5 (25 inches) is the same whether the column diameter is two or four inches. The volume of the packing changes with the column diameter, but not the height.
User avatar
ZeroGee
 
Posts: 1037
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:22 am
Location: Pacific NW - Lower Mainland
Equipment type: Stone & Nixon all copper 2" offset valve-head LM reflux column with a 60L SS electric boiler.

Re: Telescopic Condenser Modification.

Postby sasquatch » Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:28 pm

ZeroGee wrote:A 3-inch column is best served by a height of 60 to 90 inches from the bottom of the column to the center of the vapor takeoff.


Lets say the column was that high. Say 90 inch's.
What would be the ideal packing high and void space on top of the packing to the center of the take off?

It seems to me that the void space is just as important as the packing. Is that a correct assumption?

Also does the void space from the bottom of the packing to the top of the boilers liquid level make any difference?
User avatar
sasquatch
 
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:24 pm

Re: Telescopic Condenser Modification.

Postby ZeroGee » Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:02 pm

sasquatch wrote:Lets say the column was that high. Say 90 inch's.
What would be the ideal packing high and void space on top of the packing to the center of the take off?
Packing height has nothing to do with column height. A 3-inch column works best in a height range of 60 to 90 inches with a vapor flow rate through the column of 12 to 18 inches per second and a heat range of 1.855 to 2.780 kW (in electrical terms). These are the column relationships. This is a fairly wide range of variables that work well together.

The ADDITION of scrubber packing to the column enhances the degree of reflux provided by the reflux condenser at the top of the column. Generally speaking, the addition of three to five reflux plates to the column works best to provide the greatest degree of alcohol separation. Around 5 inches of scrubber packing provides the theoretical equivalent of one reflux plate. The addition of 15 to 25 inches of scrubber packing is the equivalent of 3 to 5 reflux plates. The column can work without plates or packing, but at a considerably slower rate having only the column wall for heat exchange. Plates/packing increase the surface area on which rising vapor and returning distillate can mix and enrich the vapor with ethanol while removing water.

If the column is too short - less than 60 inches - the column is more likely to flood, demanding a reduction in heat and slowing the process. If the column is too long - more than 90 inches - more alcohol condenses and slows the process. If the heat/vapor speed is too low, less vapor reaches the condenser and slows the process. If the heat/vapor speed is too high, the column is more likely to flood and slows the process.

The plate/packing simply provides more surface area for reflux/heat exchange without interfering with the column/heat/vapor speed relationship... and speeds the process. However, too much packing can slow the vapor speed, induce flooding and slow the process.

I hope this helps...
User avatar
ZeroGee
 
Posts: 1037
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:22 am
Location: Pacific NW - Lower Mainland
Equipment type: Stone & Nixon all copper 2" offset valve-head LM reflux column with a 60L SS electric boiler.

Re: Telescopic Condenser Modification.

Postby sasquatch » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:56 am

It must certainly does help. Thank you very much for taking the time to explain it.

Besides for some modifications to the condenser it sounds like my ladder is to short.
User avatar
sasquatch
 
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:24 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Condensers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests