Help with 200 litre still

Perforated & bubble cap plated columns

Help with 200 litre still

Postby Robbo2234 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:35 am

Hi,

so long story short, i was at HBS and mentioned about my still i built and owner said he has a 200 litre still that has been in a crate for years and would love some one to get it going... so that's me now! haha
i need some help with the column see below

Image

its a 4" column i am not sure about the ball valves on the side, what are they used for? should they be below the plate like in the photo? the photo below you can see a notch at about 3o in the plate clock that would line up with the ball valves. I think the plates have been installed to high.

Image

there is no documentation or a shipping label on the crates to see where it came from.

any info would be great thanks


and some more photos i took just in case
Image
Image
Image
Image
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Re: Help with 200 litre still

Postby bluc » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:50 am

Ball valves are to disable/enable plates. 200l boiler is bit big for this forum.
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Re: Help with 200 litre still

Postby woodduck » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:32 pm

Pretty sure those taps/pipes are your downcomers. That still has a plate tree so looks like it's not sitting in the right spot. You'll need to do some research in the plated colomn section to get your head around how they work. It would take me a week to explain it here :laughing-rolling:

And yes 200ltr is a bit big for hobby stilling mate. What size is the colomn? Looks like 4"?
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Re: Help with 200 litre still

Postby Robbo2234 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:55 pm

yep its 4"

yes 200l is HUGE! i was happy with my 50l CCVM, I dont own it i am just getting it set up for him, but i will have to put a run in it just to make sure it works! lol

glad to hear i am on the right track with the plates being in the wrong possition, i tried to google parts of the still to find out what there called, i will give downcomers a google, Thanks
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Re: Help with 200 litre still

Postby woodduck » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:38 pm

On closer inspection, poorly designed I reckon. It would be a bastard to run with those taps as it doesn't look like it has a vapour lock on the downcomers so you will have to regulate those taps to suit the reflux coming down.

Does it have any copper in it anywhere? If not you'll want to get some mesh in there to clean out the sulfur.
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Re: Help with 200 litre still

Postby RC Al » Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:14 pm

i recon retrofitting one of the caps as a downcommer would be the best option and use the valves as plate disablers - or drill and add a downcommer in the middle
The slot width on the caps looks way too large (5-6mm ish?), maybe replacing them with some copper ones with smaller slots wouldnt be a bad idea
Last edited by RC Al on Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help with 200 litre still

Postby Robbo2234 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:25 pm

I agree that modifications are required to improve, however I need to get it running first then I can justify expsnce to upgrade. But I will add some copper mesh above the plates.
So if addust the plates to line up with the manifold it should work?

I know the column is only 1 bit of the whole thing but its the only thing that I can't get my head around
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Re: Help with 200 litre still

Postby bluc » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:54 pm

Is a triclover on botom just get section of 4" pipe off andrew and grab some copper mesh at same time. Put it below your colum.
With wooduck is external downcommers not plate disablers Would try move whole tree down so top bubble cap is just below sight vlass window..
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Re: Help with 200 litre still

Postby scythe » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:12 am

Seems like it would be a hard column to run.
4" is a bit small for a 200L boiler, 6 or 8 would be better otherwise you will be there for days on a spirit run.

Those valves on the side would act as down comers returning reflux to the boiler but it is a bad design because you want the reflux to interact with the vapour as well and you cannot actually see how much reflux is passing through it.
You will need to restrict each ball valve just enough so that it drains at the same rate that your getting reflux build up on the plate.

So my guess to start with is have all valves close except the top one, then as the plates flood you open the valve under slowly.

You will need to align the notch in the cups (plates) with the ball valve hole.
My suggestion is to build the plate tree next to the column so you can align the notches correctly rather than inserting, checking, removing, adjusting, I setting and checking again.

Good luck getting it to run smoothly.

Improvements would be to blank off the ball valves and use an internal down comers, which would mean modifications to the current plates.

Definitely get some copper in there.
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Re: Help with 200 litre still

Postby wynnum1 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:25 am

With your images is it possible to do a google search using images and may find that still on the net.
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