Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Perforated & bubble cap plated columns

Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Dunnonuthin » Sat May 02, 2020 11:04 pm

All sounds reasonable to me Lesgold. Although 1.5mm drill bits may be easier to get. 1.6mm is 1/16” correct? (1.588mm exactly) Either way, literally splitting hairs. I think most builders just mark out a 5mm grid and drill as close as they dare to plate edges. Gets them very close to the magic 8% mark.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Lesgold » Sun May 03, 2020 7:07 am

Yep. 1/16”. Do you have an opinion on down comber height. I’ve read that the shallower you go, the more the flavours will pass through. Cleaner neutrals will need a deeper bath depth.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Dunnonuthin » Sun May 03, 2020 7:44 am

No less than 10 no more than 25. Mine are very close to 21, planning an AG whiskey and rum after I finish the current neutrals. So my bath depth wasn’t based on a single purpose, it looked right proportionally and fitted within known parameters. I would really like to see the flavour difference between bath depths quantified. People say it differs, I understand the reasons why it’s claimed but really, by how much? You also hear it said you can’t tell the flavour difference between perforated plates and bubble caps. Are the baths the same depth on those comparisons? How many other minor variations are there in those comparisons are overlooked and the difference in the product is too small to notice?
This hobby is very easy to get overwhelmed in the details. But that’s why your doing this virtual build right?
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby RC Al » Sun May 03, 2020 8:28 am

10 would be too low, you will end up with vapor bypassing the fluid bed. Go have a look at some glasser bubbler vids, the plate is quite turbulent and much of the depth is just foam. Slot height plus 15mm is a good starting point. There will be an abv difference in the heights, but as usual our variations at hobby level are hard to detect. Many who build adjustable downcomers end up leaving them in one spot.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Lesgold » Sun May 03, 2020 9:01 am

Spot on. There is so much info out there and the opinions, ideas, variations etc can do your head in. I decided to do this virtual build for a few reasons. The first reason was purely selfish. I wanted to increase my very limited knowledge of bubblers and get my head around how they operate and then sort out materials, processes and skill required to make one. Being a visual learner, a picture tells a thousand words. Like you and many other people, I have spent a lot of time reading and researching in an attempt to piece together an image. Gathering snippets of information from a variety of threads helped me to learn a lot. To a certain extent, what I’m doing is creating a diary of thoughts. The beauty about doing it this way is that a comment from you or RC Al or other contributing members can straighten my twisted thinking or fine tune some of the aspects of the design. As you know, an alteration to a design created on computer can be as simple as a few mouse clicks. A stuff up in an actual build can be costly. I also wanted to contribute to the forum. Spent a lot of time asking questions early on and had a feeling that I was just taking up peoples time. There is nothing wrong with that but I reckon for a forum to be successful, you need people to contribute in any way that they can. Hopefully this virtual build will give interested people an extra bit of info as a part of their research into their own plated column build.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Dunnonuthin » Sun May 03, 2020 11:53 am

Dunnonuthin wrote:
What quantity of water would you be using in full reflux?
Too much? I’d have to measure it, but more than I like as I’m not recirculating it.

So I measured the flow rates. Still was not running but having scribed a mark in the gate valve spindle at the 12 O’clock position when fully off, I can replicate the settings. Due to the backlash in the cheap valves, you need to make fine adjustments in the OFF direction. That is, turn it ON a quarter turn further than desired, then carefully close the valve to the position required.
Full reflux uses 4.49L/min or 269L/hr
Partial reflux at spirit run settings was around 0.3L/min or 18L/hr

Using less water during full reflux would be desirable, but I’m wondering just how sensitive an extremely efficient RC is to adjustments? I feel mine is right on the limit of acceptable fine control with the gate valve.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Lesgold » Sun May 03, 2020 12:25 pm

Good to know. I would expect that 15 x 1/2” tubes would use a bit less than that. You are right though. If not recycling or reusing the water, it would add up quite quickly. Little bits of info like that are quite handy to lock away. Thanks for your continued input guys. Will get onto the plates tonight. One last question though. On the bottom plate, do you construct the down comber with a cap (like the rest of the plates) or is it better to build a J trap?
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby RC Al » Sun May 03, 2020 12:41 pm

Either type of trap will work fine, in any position in the column, cost would be the major driver there
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Lesgold » Sun May 03, 2020 1:23 pm

Thanks Al. I was causing you RC but that could lead to confusion. :)) A cap it will be.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Lesgold » Sun May 03, 2020 6:56 pm

Bloody auto correct.

Got a pictorial drawn of a perf plate. Was able to get 270 holes in the area available @ 5mm centres ( 1/16” drill bit) Did some quick sums and calculated that I needed about 285 holes for the plate area available (minus the downcomer) to achieve 8% hole area in relation to the available plate area. So that should work. The laptop chucked a wobbly before I could produce any other drawings so I’ll mention some of the major dimensions just in case. The plate was drawn at 106mm diameter. 3/4” down comber 70mm long into a piece of 1” tube made into a cup. (25mm long) The bottom of the down comber tube is beveled at 45 degrees. Down comber is 20mm above plate height. Will see if I can make some more progress tomorrow. (Sorry about the imperial/ metric cross over)
6BB02DB7-178D-4F04-8D79-9005672A8817.jpeg
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby RC Al » Sun May 03, 2020 11:41 pm

The hole pattern needs to be adjusted to the diameter of the still wall with an additional clearance of 5-6mm, so 86-88 mm diameter. This helps avoid the transference of precious heat directly to the walls

If you go to a triangle/hexagon pattern, you actually gain more holes for the same area whilst keeping the same distance between holes OR are able to get a larger distance between the holes for the same area. This pattern also seems to work better than sqare with the round edges.

The next step up is a Fibonacci pattern, it fits the circle the best
Image
Some clear area around the downcomer helps reduce bubbles directly entering to a degree, placing it close to the clear area on the edge helps reduce the number of holes it displaces

Slots and sawtooth patterns on the top of the downcomer is said to help bubbles collapse as they enter too
Last edited by RC Al on Sun May 03, 2020 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Lesgold » Mon May 04, 2020 7:06 am

Good stuff Al. Everything that you propose is easy to understand and implement except for the hole pattern. The obvious solution would be a full size printout where the tedious process of marking out has been done on CAD or some other ap. Do you know of anything that is readily available?
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Lesgold » Mon May 04, 2020 8:17 am

All OK. Have found a hex grid online. Will look at that later. One question RC Al. When looking at the plate area, are we looking for:
A) the total plate area inside the 4” module
B) the area of the plate minus the space take up by the down comber or
C) the area taken up by the perf holes only.

I know there won’t be a huge difference in the number of holes but it could skew figures slightly. May as well have some clarity for those who want precision.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby RC Al » Mon May 04, 2020 9:41 am

The whole plate inside the column

With the Fibonacci pattern, there are a few online generators, Photoshop will make them, or you can use a circle over an existing picture and resizing with a layer capable paint prog or even word these days, I dont fancy counting the holes that way though lols
Last edited by RC Al on Mon May 04, 2020 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Lesgold » Mon May 04, 2020 5:11 pm

Thanks Mate. I’ll get onto it shortly. I think I’ll go the hex pattern. There is no way that I’ll be looking at that Fibonacci pattern after a sip of UJ. I get dizzy just looking at it. Did some calculations. If using a 1/16” drill you would need between about 300 to 320 holes in the plate. If using a 1.5mm drill, you would need about 30 more holes. (The variation is due to different wall thicknesses in the 4” copper.)
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Lesgold » Mon May 04, 2020 9:35 pm

Pretty sad really. Used to teach Technical Drawing but when I gave the teaching game away about three years ago, I got rid of all my gear. Had to draw circle with a blunt pencil and a 20c compass but anyway, here it comes. Found a link to a site where you can draw a grid of any size. https://incompetech.com/graphpaper/hexagonal/ If you set the hexagonal grid to 3.8mm, it will give you centres for about 317 holes which is just about what is required for the perf. plate.
37120580-0EDF-46A0-976A-8AF7F9B414E5.jpeg

You will notice that the overall diameter of the plate is marked as the larger circle (106mm diameter) The second circle is marked with a diameter of 88mm and is the outer limit of the drilled holes. The smaller circle is the area allocated for the downcomer and includes about 5mm clearance.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby RC Al » Mon May 04, 2020 10:23 pm

Sorry, I meat one like this, 6 equalateral triangles make a hex, sorry I shouldn't have used the hexagon word, centres of the hexes work, but this pattern is easier to use to transfer or draw
Image
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Lesgold » Tue May 05, 2020 6:57 am

My bad. Got to learn how to read. An easy virtual build fix. I wouldn’t have been a happy camper if I made this mistake on a real set of perf plates. (1200 odd holes drilled). Using an online grid pattern printout and gluing it on to the copper sheet will make life easy on the mark out anyway. Print out a couple of sheets, mark out a couple of circles, cut them out and bobs your uncle. Will play with the grid size and get it sorted later. Thanks for setting me straight.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Lesgold » Tue May 05, 2020 9:14 am

Printed a grid pattern with the grid size set at 0.48cm from this site:

https://incompetech.com/graphpaper/triangle/

Used the same system as the earlier effort with circles marked.
FC4381AD-F17F-410D-88D6-C37A3714BA78.jpeg

My count was 311 small holes (give or take a few) in the available area. This grid could then be glued directly to the copper sheet, centre punched and drilled.
Will now attempt to post the basic plan of the plate.
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Last edited by Lesgold on Tue May 05, 2020 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bubbler - A Virtual Build

Postby Lesgold » Tue May 05, 2020 6:53 pm

The old laptop is struggling. Was able to squeeze out an exploded drawing of the plate and down comber but unfortunately it won’t let me produce a dimensioned drawing. Don’t think we need it though. There is enough info over the past few posts to get all the sizes required.
986D0C23-5C76-4F9F-B52D-33441D084ED0.jpeg
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