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separate boiler/columns

These are boilers with half columns, bubble, sieve or any other plates. These stills may make a particular type of spirits. Please feel free to discuss the benefits and features of these beautiful machines and their inventive builders.

separate boiler/columns

Postby googe » Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:26 pm

hi all, I'm wanting to start this soonish, will be long term though, moving to nz this year and it will be a permanent setup. just after some feed back if my plans are sound, any changes that could be made?. Will be 4" columns, single bubble caps, lava packing. Thanks for any feed back. Ruff plan....
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Re: separate boiler/columns

Postby manu de hanoi » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:13 am

Googe, you have something that looks like a reflux drain linking the bottom of the columns to the boiler.

If this is the case, it will be flooded and do not design anything else until you fully understand the following :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communicating_vessels

Should the liquid level reach the vapor inlet of the columns something really bad could happen - the still could explode in rum mode. I'm not 100% sure but I wouldnt take the chance. So raise the level of the columns.

Where are the condensers ? you must have condenser on top of the columns otherwise all you have is a very expensive potstill.

Moreover it's a waste of energy to return the liquid bottom of the packed column to the boiler instead of the top of the plate column.
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Re: separate boiler/columns

Postby googe » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:12 am

Thanks Manu, I appreciate the input :-). Sorry the diagram isn't very well done!, the return reflux line would go into the boiler above max wash depth and have an arm going down into the lower part of the boiler, into the wash. There will be a dephlagmater on each coulmn. Good point about the packed section return being a waist!. I could just run them as separate columns. You've given me more to think about, thanks again!.
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Re: separate boiler/columns

Postby googe » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:23 pm

Would this be better?.
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Re: separate boiler/columns

Postby manu de hanoi » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:30 am

why dont you just put them on top of each other ? you could switch the deflemators depending on the mode you use.
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Re: separate boiler/columns

Postby googe » Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:13 am

I've started this build now, has been alot of thinking and researching!. Not what my end goal wanted to be, but it's the next best thing. Inspired by vb's pro setups. Im going a vapor tube from boiler to a 3 plate single cap column, and a lava packed second ,column. Feed from a.tee off the main line to two valves, one for each column, pressure relief valve on the boiler. 4' columns, 2' shotgun condenser. All bolted to a bench with feeds back to boiler, or maybe separate collection tanks at a later date. Will be a work.in progress, slow build. I'm moving to nz at the end of the year, and this will be my permanent setup, no need to hide it so will make it well!.
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Re: separate boiler/columns

Postby zedzedtop » Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:33 pm

The advantage of scooting the column over is that it can be lower down - assuming the main boiler has a larger onion/dome that would otherwise require the column to be quite high. The bottom of the column still has to be above the liquid layer in the boiler. The return might want to include a trap to prevent foam getting to the base of the column. If you regularly run with large headspace in the boiler, you could also save on vertical space by offsetting and lowering the column.
'Bubble cap plates are better for batch distillation than perforated plates' - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: separate boiler/columns

Postby googe » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:25 pm

There will be a trap on each column zed, I'm not really sure what you mean about this though?,thinking out loud? I"f you regularly run with large headspace in the boiler, you could also save on vertical space by offsetting and lowering the column."
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Re: separate boiler/columns

Postby zedzedtop » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:52 pm

The point of off-setting is so the column can be lowered. If you're not currently running with much headspace, there would be no point in off-setting, as you wouldn't be able to lower the column. 'Large headspace' is beneficial because it allows for rising foam, more copper contact, and possibly convection-enhanced reflux.

The photo here of a Holstein illustrates the concept well.

I suppose another advantage would be the ability to peer into the bubble windows without getting blasted by propane fumes, if that is how you run it.
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'Bubble cap plates are better for batch distillation than perforated plates' - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: separate boiler/columns

Postby googe » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:13 pm

I get ya, yeah, this is just something I've wanted to try since I ever first laid eyes in a holstein. No way in my life time I could.afford one, so I'm just having a dream.
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Re: separate boiler/columns

Postby googe » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:08 am

Got the packed section ready to solder, will have a tri clamp at base for access.
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Re: separate boiler/columns

Postby googe » Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:22 am

All columns 90% done. Just have the vapors/coolent line to.go.
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Re: separate boiler/columns

Postby zedzedtop » Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:37 am

naz and shinny....
'Bubble cap plates are better for batch distillation than perforated plates' - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: separate boiler/columns

Postby just sayin' » Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:45 pm

Very pretty copper work there, Googe! Thanks much for sharing! Will be interested to see how she runs....
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Re: separate boiler/columns

Postby googe » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:28 am

Thanks fellas :)
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