DIY build help

Just starting out and need some advise? then post it in here.

Re: DIY build help

Postby bluc » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:23 pm

Sweet :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: DIY build help

Postby woodduck » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:20 pm

Nice! You'll love the barrel, it just tastes better out of a barrel I recon. :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: DIY build help

Postby ozzy rum » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:47 pm

Afternoon all, i will be doing my last strip run tomorrow that will give me about 23lts for the spirit run.

Using a 50lt keg once i add the 23lts i want to add to make it up 35lts or should i just run the 23lts ?
And what should i add to make up the 10lts or so,, water or can i use left strip run dunder for the spirit run...
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Re: DIY build help

Postby RC Al » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:46 pm

Whatever you cut it with, make sure you end up at 40% or below for safety reasons
You can use dunder, wash or water, if you use wash make sure you account for the abv of the wash - use a cocktail calc online or use excel to work it out
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Re: DIY build help

Postby bluc » Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:24 pm

And make sure you will have enough liquid left in boiler at the end to cover elements..
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Re: DIY build help

Postby RC Al » Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:52 pm

He be on gassssss....
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Re: DIY build help

Postby ozzy rum » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:54 am

Morning all, well i did my 1st spirit run yesterday, took almost 9 hours and ended up with about 12.5 lts all taken in 350 mil cuts i stopped taking once i hit 20%, they all sitting covered breathing, tonight i will prep the barrel and will pick up a 10lt ss boiler to do the blending in.

And my lil cooling system i have setup for the cooling of the water worked a treat as well, all i have is a 200lt barrel (will up grade it to a 1000lt cube) with an old rad out of a ford built into a frame using a bathroom exhaust fan to draw cool air through the rad to cool the water.

In about 4 weeks i start a new wash with molasses from a diff place that i was put onto, by time i ready to do next spirit run the batch on the oak fingers x will b ready to bottle.

Any advice feed back please fire away...
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Re: DIY build help

Postby db1979 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:32 pm

I picked up a twin fan radiator at a wreckers for $50 and I run it off two 12v transformers (25 Amp, 300 Watts), one for each fan. It works great at keeping my water temp constant (just a few degrees above ambient). I run it off about 20 L of water and even stripping runs at 4000 W are no problem. You won't need 200 L if your radiator is running efficiently. Why the bathroom exhaust fan? Was the fan in it no good? You definitely won't need 1000 L if using a radiator. My 20 L of water is just to make sure there is enough water to fill all the lines, condensers and the radiator. I don't know what the minimum volume is but I know I could use less.
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Re: DIY build help

Postby ozzy rum » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:51 pm

I had the rad given to me the fans where already gone i did ask for em, so in a pinch i used the bathroom fan i had laying around, i do have my eye out for some thrmos to use...
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Re: DIY build help

Postby EziTasting » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:49 am

db1979 wrote:... keeping my water temp constant (just a few degrees above ambient)...



Just want to put this into perspective - while I agree that a radiator setup is a great idea and certainly improves the efficiency, your ambient temperature has a big impact on the overall cooling!
Where I live, 8-10 months of the year we are above 40C which then has a negating effect on the effects of the radiator! I couldn't imagine using only 20L of cooling water, I just don't think it would be sufficient in my case, perhaps that would also need to be taken into account...
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Re: DIY build help

Postby ozzy rum » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:33 am

Well all done and dusted for this run, the rum is in the barrel :D
Out of the 12.5 lts i ended up using a lil over 5lts for the barrel, now the waiting game begins :happy-partydance:
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Re: DIY build help

Postby db1979 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:20 pm

EziTasting wrote:
db1979 wrote:... keeping my water temp constant (just a few degrees above ambient)...



Just want to put this into perspective - while I agree that a radiator setup is a great idea and certainly improves the efficiency, your ambient temperature has a big impact on the overall cooling!
Where I live, 8-10 months of the year we are above 40C which then has a negating effect on the effects of the radiator! I couldn't imagine using only 20L of cooling water, I just don't think it would be sufficient in my case, perhaps that would also need to be taken into account...


Even at 40 degrees the RC will still knock down vapour sufficiently, it'll just need higher flow. What's most important on a reflux still is that the cooling water temperature is stable. If it changes throughout the run then the reflux ratio changes and hearts and/or tails will come on early (with increased smearing). The radiator provides stable water temp, unless the weather changes drastically through your run and ambient temperatures take a climb.

The closer the cooling water gets to 78.5 degrees the less efficient the RC will be. I'm not saying you could run a radiator upwards of 78.5 degrees, just that 40 is still within the realms of workable. I've never had mine over 34 degrees, but it's always stable.

The flip side is you don't want to be aiming for cold temperatures if you can't maintain them.
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Re: DIY build help

Postby EziTasting » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:55 pm

We did a spirit run (started late) and the cooling water got way too hot to touch...

Been looking for ways to affect the cooling water so that doesn’t happen. Have an Aircon radiator (minus compressor, degassed, balbla) but it uses 240V ... that electricity I need for the still!

Will concider a car radiator, I think...
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Re: DIY build help

Postby RC Al » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:23 am

Car fans will still require power too... Harder to supply power, I've got a pair of spal's (high end Italian jobbies) here that need 30+ amps, that's a not a small power supply, there are ways and means, but unless the fans are really cheap or free, 240v is easier and cheaper

Shrouding is the important thing, since there's no engine to dodge, the deeper/longer the better, anything over 65° is peachy

One of those 600mm floor fans ($100??) into some ducting would cover it, they aren't quiet, but neither are thermo fans. The fan could be used elsewhere during summer too, going to be a scorcher this year
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Re: DIY build help

Postby db1979 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:53 am

My fans aren't quiet either, but I wouldn't say they are a noise issue with the neighbours, no louder than an aircon unit from a distance. They've got shrouds.

On the matter of electricity, I run my fans from two transformers and combined with my fountain pump, the three only draw about 300 W. So at the moment I'm running my still in the shed with no built in electricity, I'm running a single extension lead to the shed and off of it I'm running my 2000 W element (only one at the moment), pump and fans. I run my element between 1600 and 1900 W, seems to be my stills sweet spot. So electricity isn't an issue with my radiator. In fact because I'm using a fountain pump and not a power hungry submersible pump (350 W plus) I think I'm ahead power wise. It did take a bit of stuffing around to source my transformers and I did take a risk with them but it's payed off.
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Re: DIY build help

Postby ozzy rum » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:30 pm

Afternoon all not sure where to post so i just ask here.

I am going to up grade the keg from gas to electric and looking for a good cheap place on the sunshine coast qld that dose stainless welding, i want a 4" ferrule put on as a view/fill/cleaning port.

Thanks ozzy rum
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Re: DIY build help

Postby ozzy rum » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:19 pm

After noon all been a lil wile, have a new place and not suited to using the gas burner indoors, have ordered a 2400w element for my 50lt keg, have ordered a voltage reg as well and looking into some insulation now.

2 Q,s is 2400w enough to run 50lt a pot still, 25lt strip runs and 35lt spirit runs about 10lts of water.

Element placement, i know it has been asked before and i have glanced over it but cant find the thread again.
How far from bottom should it be placed?

Cheers ozzy rum...
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Re: DIY build help

Postby dans.brew » Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:17 pm

ozzy rum wrote:After noon all been a lil wile, have a new place and not suited to using the gas burner indoors, have ordered a 2400w element for my 50lt keg, have ordered a voltage reg as well and looking into some insulation now.

2 Q,s is 2400w enough to run 50lt a pot still, 25lt strip runs and 35lt spirit runs about 10lts of water.

Element placement, i know it has been asked before and i have glanced over it but cant find the thread again.
How far from bottom should it be placed?

Cheers ozzy rum...


I have my 2400w element as close to the bottom curve in the keg as i could. You have it too high and you wont be able to do small runs.
2400w element would be the go for your 50ltr boiler but you will need to make sure your condencer can knock down all the vapour on your runs or you will need to use a power controler on both stripping and spirit runs instead of just spirit runs. :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: DIY build help

Postby hillzabilly » Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:52 pm

A 3600wt element would heat things up quicker and allow faster strip runs and with a power control will serve ya well.cheers hillzabilly ;-)
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Re: DIY build help

Postby RC Al » Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:38 pm

For a pot, power really depends on how long you want to wait to boil up, then its down to the power handling capacity of your product condenser, there would be a minimum wattage needed to get product out, boiler size and speed play in that - you could prob strip 25l on 100w, but it would take over a day to get to temp and then some really stupid amount of time to actually strip

The 2400w will get you going in about an hour on 25l -3600 will be about 40 min, 2400+3600 (6000) =25min time vs cost as usual

Element height - i've seen 10cm posted by somebody - their reasoning was to avoid scorching from the bottom
Last edited by RC Al on Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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