Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

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Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby Biggles » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:58 pm

Team I need some help.
I'm trying to do a molasses run using my Turbo 500. I took out all the saddles as advised but it just gets hot and steams out like it's blocked.
I had the same happen when I was doing a gin run using a botanicals basket and which I now understand blocked the column. But this time the column is empty?
Any advice, I was very much looking forward to this being cool as it's the first time I've tried molasses as carb base.
Cheers
Biggles
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby mattyb » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:21 pm

Have you got water going through your product condensor?
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby Biggles » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:30 pm

Yes mattyb water is running as I'd normally do. I was trying to run it at 60°C but it was hissing a spitting steam instead of product running out.
I've reduced how much is in the boiler to see if head room is an issue
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby Doubleuj » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:37 pm

Shut her down mate, they cannot run safely without the packing.
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby Doubleuj » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:40 pm

So the Condensers in the t500 aren’t good enough to knock down alcohol vapour without the packing.
Maybe it works for distilling water like their manual says but not booze.
Unfortunately you’ve probably warped the top plastic part now too.
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby The Stig » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:50 pm

:text-+1:
You would need the outgoing water around 20 - 30 deg to work and that’s never going to happen.
The T500 isn’t a pot still no matter what “they” say
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby Biggles » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:59 pm

Thanks Doubleuj I've erred on the side of caution and shut her off.
When it cools off I'll repack the saddles and run it again.
Then I'll get a pot still lid to save blowing up the house.
Thanks for your help.
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby Doubleuj » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:41 am

I’d suggest building a simple pot rather than buying the pot still attachment, it’s PC isn’t big enough to be very effective.
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby Biggles » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:57 am

Doubleuj are there tips for building a pot on this forum.
I'm handy with a welder not worked with copper though.
Cheers
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby The Stig » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:10 am

viewforum.php?f=7
Heaps of ideas in there.
If working with copper, its best to solder :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby Tesla101 » Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:26 pm

Biggles wrote:Thanks Doubleuj I've erred on the side of caution and shut her off.
When it cools off I'll repack the saddles and run it again.
Then I'll get a pot still lid to save blowing up the house.
Thanks for your help.


If you turn the column upside down and fill it with water does it leak from the black plastic part at the top? (On the bottom if upside down)
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby Biggles » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:46 pm

Tesla101 yes is the answer :angry-banghead:

How bad is that? Or is that a dumb question?
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby Tesla101 » Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:27 pm

Not a dumb question, but it's not good. Sounds like you've warped the plastic and now it won't seal.

It means that vapour can and will escape from there, which is a safety risk. Could lead to an alcohol fire, which would be really bad. Not worth risking your house and loved ones for.

If it's still under warranty you can try and see if your HBS will replace it under the warranty. Be aware that most HBS believe that it should leak and "it was designed to do that".
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby The Stig » Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:20 am

If going warranty route, do not tell them you took out the packing and ran it as a pot.
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby Tesla101 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:10 am

The Stig wrote:If going warranty route, do not tell them you took out the packing and ran it as a pot.


:text-+1:

If it was me, I'd tell them you followed the instructions for distilling water and after that it started leaking. ;-) ;-)
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby Biggles » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:08 am

Ok latest update to the dramas with the T500.
So you may recall I tried using a botanicals basket to do a gin run using the T500 (saddles out) as a pot.
Well that nearly blew up the bathroom. I resorted to putting the botanicals in after as a soak.
Well I went to the home brew shop yesterday and had a new reflux condenser on the counter. Then the sales chap - the owner- talked me out of it and suggested the alcohol line was blocked and I should at least try to clear that first before forking out $460 on a new one.
So I put my air compressor to work and kept cleaning, the botanicals from the gin run were way up in the column, blocking the alcohol line.
So once all cleared I cranked it back up and she ran like a new one.
Thanks team for making me think and thanks home brew man for not going for the easy sale.
I'm back in business and a little bit wiser!!
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby The Stig » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:57 am

Thanks for coming back with that little gem.
I can honestly say I’ve never heard of that :laughing-rolling:
Was the botanical basket one of the SS ones ?
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby Doubleuj » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:33 am

Yeah that’s a first for me too. Cheers for the update and glad to see you back on track.
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby bluc » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:10 am

Dam that could have ended very badly.... :shock:
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Re: Turbo 500 as a Pot Still- having trouble

Postby Biggles » Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:28 pm

The Stig wrote:Thanks for coming back with that little gem.
I can honestly say I’ve never heard of that :laughing-rolling:
Was the botanical basket one of the SS ones ?


yes Stig it was a SS Basket - It'll be an ornament for a little while - that's for sure
Last edited by Biggles on Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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