Bumblebee

Perforated & bubble cap plated columns

Bumblebee

Postby Knackerbag » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:08 pm

Hey guys you will notice pretty quickly I have no idea what Im talking about and Ive never ran a still. I've designed Bumblebee to be as versatile as possible copying a lot of the builds on this forum. Bumble bee will start as a Pot Still (so I can get a start in the hobby) while I complete the other sections. I primarily would like to make a good whiskey but also want to try liqueurs, vodka, gin Ill pretty much have a crack at anything. In case you didn't know it Bumblebee is named after the transformer and it will be able to transform from a pot still to a bubbler. I am still undecided if I will make him as a glasser. I have no idea on why people make their condensors the size they do but I assume there is some maths behind it and I have just copied the the builds I have looked at 4" x 150mm RC, 2" x500mm PC. I have reduced from 4" to 2" at the tee piece I don't know if this is the best place to make that reduction. I have purchased 4 x50lt Kegs to start with, I want to use one as a boiler, one as a mash tun and the other two will become storage. The Boiler I have designed with advice and against advice on the forum, it is to have a 4" still mount, 4" fill port, 2x 2" element ferals, 3 x 2" sight glasses, a thermoport and a 2" drain (at the bottom front facing) Against a lot of advice I have still drawn the pressure gauge and pressure relief valve, I still think 7 plates, a packed section a gin basket raise the possibility of a blockage or at least some increased pressure to the vessel. I appreciate any advise or criticism you guys want to pass on and help me get the best start and not waste my money.
Thanks in advance.
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Re: Bumblebee

Postby Zak Griffin » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:54 pm

Good stuff mate :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Why seven plates?

And if you've got access to a fully stainless pressure gauge and relief, there's no reason not to I suppose. Plenty of guys run a LOT bigger stills without a pressure gauge though!
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Re: Bumblebee

Postby rumdidlydum » Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:01 pm

Sounds like a solid set off plans, can't wait for the build log. :handgestures-thumbupleft:
Just a couple of things to think about,
1- The parrot body you will want 1inch as you have indicated, but it's un necessary for the whole tube to be of that size from the pc condenser to the parrot, Most stick with 1/2inch or 3/4 as its cheaper. Also it helps if you can remove the parrot from the pc.

2- What materials are you constructing from? Copper, Stainless or a hybrid of the two?

3- The sections you have modular will work great as you can add or remove plates to try different things. For seven plates and a packed section you must have a fairly heigh distilling area :think: You could drop the one plate and make the last two modular :-B

4- On you RC how many and what size tubes are you going to construct from? There have been some great R and D on RC's in the past year. Defiantly worth reading up on before you decide which way you want to go.

5- The thermometer is good boiler accessory, as for the relive valve and gauge it's not worth the hassle due to there should be no pressure build up that would even warrant the need.
The cost of the relief valve that needs to be made from the right materials, the gauge will also need to probably range from 0 to 1.5psi and also be constructed from the right materials.
Yes by design the bubbler will have a small amount of back pressure but don't get this confused with a build up of pressure.
Also the last thing you want is a failed or leaking relief valve while you are doing a run.....

Anyway these are my thoughts you can mull over and refine you rig. Enjoy the build :O)

Don't forget plenty of pic's on you build page :D
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Re: Bumblebee

Postby Doubleuj » Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:12 pm

Good stuff mate. Why the 3 sight glasses on the boiler? Just to see if you have liquid left? If so, simple maths does the same (ie 45L charge at roughly 10% abv will leave 40.5l of Dunder)
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Re: Bumblebee

Postby warramungas » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:58 pm

Hope you've got a high ceiling!
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Re: Bumblebee

Postby Doubleuj » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:03 pm

So what about the design on the back of that page :laughing-rolling:
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Re: Bumblebee

Postby Knackerbag » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:36 pm

Zak Griffin wrote:Good stuff mate :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Why seven plates?
I've read mostly for whisky will use 5 and for nutrals 6 or more and the higher the better, please correct me if it's a waste of time.

And if you've got access to a fully stainless pressure gauge and relief, there's no reason not to I suppose. Plenty of guys run a LOT bigger stills without a pressure gauge though!

That's what I hear and read everywhere I'm just careful I guess but I'm also lazy so if that many say don't waste your time I probably won't.
Thanks Zak
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Bumblebee 4" Bubbler (early stages of production)

Re: Bumblebee

Postby Knackerbag » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:55 pm

rumdidlydum wrote:Sounds like a solid set off plans, can't wait for the build log. :handgestures-thumbupleft:
Just a couple of things to think about,
1- The parrot body you will want 1inch as you have indicated, but it's un necessary for the whole tube to be of that size from the pc condenser to the parrot, Most stick with 1/2inch or 3/4 as its cheaper. Also it helps if you can remove the parrot from the pc.
Ok cool so reduce to 1" straight after the condensor? I was planning on keeping the parrot modular as well as the piece before it so I could remove a section depending on how many plates installed.

2- What materials are you constructing from? Copper, Stainless or a hybrid of the two
It will be all copper after the boiler, I'm pretty handy and feel the can work with the copper but can't weld sadly. ( and I do think the polished copper looks sexy)

3- The sections you have modular will work great as you can add or remove plates to try different things. For seven plates and a packed section you must have a fairly heigh distilling area :think: You could drop the one plate and make the last two modular :-B
The seven plates was an idea I copied from another still build on here to give more options with plates being able to use any amount from 1-7 without having them all modular. I will probably need to mod the ceiling where the still will be if I kept the 150 riser and the single bubble plate as it will only just clear the ceiling.

4- On you RC how many and what size tubes are you going to construct from? There have been some great R and D on RC's in the past year. Defiantly worth reading up on before you decide which way you want to go.
Which section is that in I'm definitely keen to read up on the condensers, I was hoping for some advice on size and amount of pipes inside condensor as I see people using all different sizes and amounts but have no idea which way to go.

5- The thermometer is good boiler accessory, as for the relive valve and gauge it's not worth the hassle due to there should be no pressure build up that would even warrant the need.
The cost of the relief valve that needs to be made from the right materials, the gauge will also need to probably range from 0 to 1.5psi and also be constructed from the right materials.
Yes by design the bubbler will have a small amount of back pressure but don't get this confused with a build up of pressure.
Also the last thing you want is a failed or leaking relief valve while you are doing a run.....
I will probably dump the relief valve and pressure gauge.

Anyway these are my thoughts you can mull over and refine you rig. Enjoy the build :O)

Don't forget plenty of pic's on you build page :D

Thanks Rum yep will definitely be plenty of pics for you boys to get a giggle and mostly me needling help I would think more than showing off. :D
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Re: Bumblebee

Postby Knackerbag » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:57 pm

Doubleuj wrote:Good stuff mate. Why the 3 sight glasses on the boiler? Just to see if you have liquid left? If so, simple maths does the same (ie 45L charge at roughly 10% abv will leave 40.5l of Dunder)

I thought it would look cool and the more I can see what's going on everywhere i thought I would learn more.
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Re: Bumblebee

Postby Knackerbag » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:58 pm

warramungas wrote:Hope you've got a high ceiling!

It's about 2500 in the garage so I would need to make some changes to the ceiling in there lol.
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Re: Bumblebee

Postby Knackerbag » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:00 pm

Doubleuj wrote:So what about the design on the back of that page :laughing-rolling:

That was me working out my scale and spacing, I shit myself and thought I'd left a nude of me misses on the desk or something lol. :))
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Re: Bumblebee

Postby Knackerbag » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:37 pm

I picked up some copper today from the scrap yard, getting ready to make a start. What are your thoughts on being able to cut some size of this ?
Can I make the first riser shorter?
Will the packed section work ok being 400mm long?
Will the plated section be less effective if they are not as long? eg; the plates will be closer together?
I grabbed the 3/4" copper for the RC, but what size piping should I put into the 2" PC?

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Bumblebee 4" Bubbler (early stages of production)

Re: Bumblebee

Postby Zak Griffin » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:13 pm

My plate modules are 130mm tall, which is pretty standard...

The height of the spacer on the keg isn't important, it doesn't really need to be there at all... stick with 500mm for the packed section :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Bumblebee

Postby Knackerbag » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:21 pm

Zak Griffin wrote:My plate modules are 130mm tall, which is pretty standard...

The height of the spacer on the keg isn't important, it doesn't really need to be there at all... stick with 500mm for the packed section :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Thanks mate
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Bumblebee 4" Bubbler (early stages of production)

Re: Bumblebee

Postby Zak Griffin » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:26 pm

To elaborate, people have tested plate spacing (in the early days of hobby bubblers) and 100-150% of column diameter between plates was worked out as a pretty good rule of thumb...

With 2" sightglasses, if you have 180mm module and you're not going to see much unless you sit the SG at the bottom of the module.

Are you still thinking seven plates?
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Re: Bumblebee

Postby Knackerbag » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:53 pm

Zak Griffin wrote:To elaborate, people have tested plate spacing (in the early days of hobby bubblers) and 100-150% of column diameter between plates was worked out as a pretty good rule of thumb...

With 2" sightglasses, if you have 180mm module and you're not going to see much unless you sit the SG at the bottom of the module.

Are you still thinking seven plates?


I wanted 3" sight glasses so it sounds like that will dictate how closely together the plates will be able to be. It's so much seven plates that I want it's the flexibility to go between 1-7 and any number in between. I prefer whisky so mostly will just be 3-4 plates probably without the packed section. I just don't want to spend all this time and money and be limited in anyway, I want it to be good at everything.
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Re: Bumblebee

Postby Knackerbag » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:53 pm

First run in the Boka today which gave me way more time than I though it would to play in the garage. I built the workbench so I can build the bubbler and I cut up the copper I had to length. I need to grab some material for the parrot and also some 1/4" for the easy flanges.
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Bumblebee 4" Bubbler (early stages of production)

Re: Bumblebee

Postby googe » Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:03 pm

Nice progress!, won't be long now :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Bumblebee

Postby Zak Griffin » Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:45 pm

Not sure why you built the work bench hanging off of the ceiling? :think:

Looking good mate :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Bumblebee

Postby Plumby » Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:10 pm

How he manages to keep everything on the shelves has me beat. Must have superglued them on :laughing-rolling:
Looking good mate just remember to take plenty of pictures, we like build pictures
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