2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Perforated & bubble cap plated columns

2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Postby db1979 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:36 pm

Recently I acquired a 5 L stainless beer growler (single walled) for use as a bain-marie boiler for my old 2" bubbler. I'm also going to use it as a 2" pot still for gin.
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It came with a non-standard threaded lid, so I got its lid welded to a 2" triclamp end cap. Got the end cap from Andrew at 5 star :handgestures-thumbupleft:
I drilled a hole in both before taking it to my preferred welder.
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Seeing as my 2" bubbler has its bottom plate as part of the column and the bottom downcomer extends down below it, I needed to have a spacer between the column and the boiler. Also the spacer can be used in the pot still config instead of using the plates.
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Gave it all a citric acid bath soak and a steel wool scrub and here it is as a bubbler:
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And as a pot still (with RC empty and flow turned off):
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The RC was made a bit crooked so it isn't vertical, but it works.
Still gotta:
1. make a base for the boiler (it's just sitting on timber offcuts at the moment),
2. modify the boiler so its cable enters on the side so it takes up less height, and
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3. some kind of stand to keep the growler off the element (I might just copy Professor Greens approach).
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When it's all done, it'll look like this:
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I'll also cut out some styrofoam to place around the growler to help keep it steady and keep water boiling away.
Big thanks to Professor Green for the inspiration on the boiler and Andrew at 5 star for the end cap.
Getting closer to making some gin :D
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db1979
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Virtually retired: 2" x 4 plate solid state bubbler (1" bubble caps, no sight glasses)

Re: 2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Postby Andrew » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:58 pm

Happy to be a part of it :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: 2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Postby j0sh2008 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:11 pm

Looks cool!!

I'm thinking of making something similar to run small test washes :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: 2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Postby Doubleuj » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:13 pm

Awesome work mate :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: 2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Postby Professor Green » Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:22 pm

That's a wee ripper db. Nice one.
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Re: 2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Postby woodduck » Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:26 am

That's a pretty cool looking rig db.

Hope she runs as planned. :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: 2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Postby db1979 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:12 pm

Thanks guys :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Realised the plumbing is going to be interesting as where I'm going to placing the still is going to be tight for space. This is made worse given I'll need to interchange between different heights and the fact that both my condensers are on opposite sides of the still, so I've cut the handles off the boiler.
15767355638470.jpg

More to come.
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Location: South of the big smoke in banana bender land.
equipment: Eve - 4" x 4 plate solid state bubbler (sieve plates), 330 mm packed section on a keg boiler with 2 x 2000 W elements.
Virtually retired: 2" x 4 plate solid state bubbler (1" bubble caps, no sight glasses)

Re: 2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Postby Chocko6969 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:20 pm

Get some feet welded on by your mate, will make a world of difference! :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Chocko

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Re: 2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Postby db1979 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:14 am

Thanks chocko but it'd be easier just to bolt them on with a water tight washer as it's just a simple stock pot for a bain-marie. At the moment I've got it sitting on a couple of pieces of pine stud, but I'd like to be able to adjust the height and level so I'm thinking of something with adjustable feet.
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Location: South of the big smoke in banana bender land.
equipment: Eve - 4" x 4 plate solid state bubbler (sieve plates), 330 mm packed section on a keg boiler with 2 x 2000 W elements.
Virtually retired: 2" x 4 plate solid state bubbler (1" bubble caps, no sight glasses)

Re: 2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Postby Chocko6969 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:30 pm

db1979 wrote:Thanks chocko but it'd be easier just to bolt them on with a water tight washer as it's just a simple stock pot for a bain-marie. At the moment I've got it sitting on a couple of pieces of pine stud, but I'd like to be able to adjust the height and level so I'm thinking of something with adjustable feet.


Fair enough too, I reckon Midway metals do something similar to these if you could manage to get them installed somehow?

Chocko

ADJFeet.jpg
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Re: 2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Postby db1979 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:12 pm

Heaps of progress since my last update.
I insulated the top of the inner boiler and the outside of the bain-marie boiler and built a trivet (thanks to Professor Green for the inspiration).
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The insulation at the top of the inner boiler is double layered and there's a small gap in the outer layer which works as a pressure equaliser.
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The trivet is similar to Professor Green's but it doesn't provide any side supports. My inner boiler is held in place by the layers of insulation, it's really sturdy.
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Did a vinegar and sacrificial cleaning run yesterday and today I ran the first lot of gin through her. She ran beautifully.

Future modifications include a thermometer so I can back off on the heat before the wash starts to boil and a water level gauge to make sure it doesn't run dry. And I've gotta add the feet to the boiler too.
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Last edited by db1979 on Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Location: South of the big smoke in banana bender land.
equipment: Eve - 4" x 4 plate solid state bubbler (sieve plates), 330 mm packed section on a keg boiler with 2 x 2000 W elements.
Virtually retired: 2" x 4 plate solid state bubbler (1" bubble caps, no sight glasses)

Re: 2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Postby Professor Green » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:57 pm

That's come together really nicely. :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: 2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Postby peter01010101 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:57 pm

DB this post has me revisiting some earlier ideas of having 4 x 2" plates under my 2" LM. I shelved the idea at the time because of reports that they just don't work, so I started on a 4" build instead.

I've recently completed my 4" bubbler and being a compulsive tinkerer, I'm looking to experiment with the leftover bits and pieces. :-B

After reading through this thread I headed back to both yours and WTDist's earlier threads about 2" bubblers. You both seem to have overcome the problems others reported with off-flavours, so this has encouraged me to give it a crack. I'll let you know how I go.

Your bain-marie setup has me thinking too. Was going to throw out my old BIAB kettle in the council cleanup, but now I may be able to re-purpose that too.
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Re: 2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Postby db1979 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:42 pm

Just be mindful that a 2" bubbler is quite slow, you'll be looking at 500 to at most 800 mL per hour. When I get into using mine again I'll be looking at overpowering the RC to push it to its limits. I'll probably also make a 2" packed section for it. I'll only use it for small experimental or trial runs though. Although seeing as it's bain-marie, I'm thinking about giving all grain with fermenting and distilling on the grain a go for whiskey and bourbon. Lots of fun coming up :handgestures-thumbupleft: good luck with yours!
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Posts: 1495
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:47 pm
Location: South of the big smoke in banana bender land.
equipment: Eve - 4" x 4 plate solid state bubbler (sieve plates), 330 mm packed section on a keg boiler with 2 x 2000 W elements.
Virtually retired: 2" x 4 plate solid state bubbler (1" bubble caps, no sight glasses)

Re: 2" bubbler/pot bain-marie conversion

Postby peter01010101 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:26 pm

Thanks for the reply DB. I'm aware of the speed limitations, as it's pretty much the speed of the 2" LM as it stands. I'm currently using an additional 500mm packed section (with copper scrubbies) which makes a nice clean neutral. What I'm hoping to achieve is the removal of the stripping run. I don't make a lot of pure neutrals, and when I do it's usually a small run of about 12L 40% low wines in a 25L electric boiler. If this works out for me I can run it on my 50L keg boiler with an unstripped wash of TPW or similar.

I'm not sure that a plated column will even work under a LM head, I can't really see why it wouldn't, but I guess there's only one way to find out.

If I'm being honest with myself, I like the planning and building of these things perhaps more than actually running them.
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All grain beer brewing setup.


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