Marrying a boiler to a still.

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Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby JamieC » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:03 pm

Its time for me to upgrade my still. I have a 1m custom made copper reflux still which turns out some nice neutral. With the packing removed and 500mm section removed, it tries to be a pot still, but not quite. So new build on the way. I have 2 x 50L kegs, TIG, enthusiasm and a plan. I am thinking welding the 2 kegs together to give me about 90L capacity. 1 x 3600w + 1 x 2400w element. I have a power controller already. Not sure whether to use weldless or weld in's. Which is less likely to burn the mash? If I was to guess, I would say weld in's as they seem to have more surface area.
Drain at the bottom, 4 inch tri clamp to take still head. Looking at 4 inch eliminator from FSD, but if I cant get that past the ball and chain, 4 inch pot with eliminator condenser and build up from there. Guess my biggest question is how big to make the boiler & which method of heating is the most mash friendly.
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby Doubleuj » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:48 pm

Go the bigger boiler if you can :handgestures-thumbupleft:
As for the weld in vs weld less, can't see much difference. I chose weld less so I can up grade the boiler and keep the elements
Oh, and for the record, I first read your thread title as "marrying my still" :laughing-rolling:
Thought, yeah, I probably spend more time with the still than my wife sometimes :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby hillzabilly » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:01 pm

For me ,an 18gal keg will be much easier ,yeah its slightly smaller than the 90lt you want but will have a lower mounting height than 2by 50s together,has a larger more stable base good for when ya have 5plates and a packed section swinging of it,as for the elements get the 5star element guards and weld 2inch ferrules where ya want them to go.With my 18gal I bought 3 by 2 1/2 inch stainless elbows and had them welded onto the base to give some height to allow ya drain.cheers hillzabilly :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby dogbreath vodka » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:14 pm

Just a thought.
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby JamieC » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:32 pm

Awesome ideas guys. Cheers. I am thinking cutting 1 third off the weld on keg to give me about 80L (Thanks Hillz) . Height restriction & stability. 4 inch weld in for the still and decent drain at the bottom. Always been a stick welder, my unit came with all the tig gear & I only tried it for the first time yesterday. What a cool thing. It still looks like crap, but i'm impressed.
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby aussiebrewer » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:34 pm

http://www.aussiedistiller.com.au/viewt ... =49&t=5659

Image
he used 3 halves with 110L usable, maybe use all 4 halves for 170L full capacity wit h SS plate top and bottom.
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby scythe » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:55 pm

If you are going to the effort making a custom boiler just get a sheet of stainless and make one properly.
Only have to be 2mm sheet.
Keep it the same height as a keg just increase diameter to increase capacity.
The wider it get the more stable it will be.
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby rumdidlydum » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:07 pm

:text-+1:
Thats the easiest way to do it :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby bluc » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:41 pm

scythe wrote:If you are going to the effort making a custom boiler just get a sheet of stainless and make one properly.
Only have to be 2mm sheet.
Keep it the same height as a keg just increase diameter to increase capacity.
The wider it get the more stable it will be.

Oh to be able to do that ~x( :mrgreen:
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby aussiebrewer » Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:44 pm

scythe wrote:If you are going to the effort making a custom boiler just get a sheet of stainless and make one properly.
Only have to be 2mm sheet.
Keep it the same height as a keg just increase diameter to increase capacity.
The wider it get the more stable it will be.

i think his point was he has 2 kegs and a welder and doesnt want to spend much more i would assume so he can make do with what he has

I have 2 x 50L kegs, TIG, enthusiasm and a plan. I am thinking welding the 2 kegs together to give me about 90L capacity.


the sheet rolled isa good idea though, cost more though
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby JamieC » Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:37 am

scythe wrote:If you are going to the effort making a custom boiler just get a sheet of stainless and make one properly.
Only have to be 2mm sheet.
Keep it the same height as a keg just increase diameter to increase capacity.
The wider it get the more stable it will be.

That would definitely be cool. Might just make a project out of that after i build the keg boiler. I also thought a old 80l copper hws might make a nice boiler too.
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby scythe » Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:40 am

That would be the good thing about such thin sheet, you could just manually coil it back on its self and use a ratchet strap to hold it while you tack it.
Also now i think about it 2mm would be overkill, could probably go as thin as 1mm.

Actually a sheetmetal shop near me is making some very large ducting out of stainless (about 900mm OD), so if you have connections you could probably get aomething similar if your lucky.
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby JamieC » Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:59 am

aussiebrewer wrote:http://www.aussiedistiller.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=5659

Image
he used 3 halves with 110L usable, maybe use all 4 halves for 170L full capacity wit h SS plate top and bottom.

Wow. Just read that thread. Nice, but jeez there must be some staino filler rod in it.
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby JamieC » Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:04 am

scythe wrote:That would be the good thing about such thin sheet, you could just manually coil it back on its self and use a ratchet strap to hold it while you tack it.
Also now i think about it 2mm would be overkill, could probably go as thin as 1mm.

Actually a sheetmetal shop near me is making some very large ducting out of stainless (about 900mm OD), so if you have connections you could probably get aomething similar if your lucky.

Hmm. Think i will make some enquiries today re staino sheeting.
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby Boardy62 » Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:05 am

Just remember with the size you end up with you have to be able to fill it regularly, I have 100 ltrs (120 total volume) and I need 40 ltrs to cover the elements,!(so A minimum wash size to run 55 ltrs to 60 ltrs) make sure your elements are as close to the bottom as practical! The most common large "fermentor" is around 180 litre in total, so wash you can put through the still is maximun 160/ 170 leaving 2 washes from one ferment I am now stripping one wash then combine that with the next run seems to be working ok, so bigger the boiler means bigger fermentors and associated problems with that. Also remember yo still need(maybe want!) a small batch still fo experimental washes otherwise you can waste a lot of ingredients on something ya don't like :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby Boardy62 » Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:12 am

:text-+1: k
scythe wrote:If you are going to the effort making a custom boiler just get a sheet of stainless and make one properly.
Only have to be 2mm sheet.
Keep it the same height as a keg just increase diameter to increase capacity.
The wider it get the more stable it will be.
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby aussiebrewer » Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:53 am

Boardy62 wrote:Just remember with the size you end up with you have to be able to fill it regularly, I have 100 ltrs (120 total volume) and I need 40 ltrs to cover the elements,!(so A minimum wash size to run 55 ltrs to 60 ltrs) make sure your elements are as close to the bottom as practical! The most common large "fermentor" is around 180 litre in total, so wash you can put through the still is maximun 160/ 170 leaving 2 washes from one ferment I am now stripping one wash then combine that with the next run seems to be working ok, so bigger the boiler means bigger fermentors and associated problems with that. Also remember yo still need(maybe want!) a small batch still fo experimental washes otherwise you can waste a lot of ingredients on something ya don't like :handgestures-thumbupleft:

:text-+1:
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby hillzabilly » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:56 pm

Have a look at viewtopic.php?f=14&t=10046 ,if ya have 2 kegs and a welder this could be another option ,I sure as hell wouldnt mind haveing a rig like that.cheers hillzabilly :D
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby JamieC » Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:21 am

hillzabilly wrote:Have a look at http://aussiedistiller.com.au/viewtopic ... 14&t=10046 ,if ya have 2 kegs and a welder this could be another option ,I sure as hell wouldnt mind haveing a rig like that.cheers hillzabilly :D

That's a hell of a setup. I do have a third keg that is my current boiler.
Would you run wash or back set in the thumper. Combo of both?
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Re: Marrying a boiler to a still.

Postby scythe » Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:01 am

You could also do a mix of the two ideas when making a boiler.
Cut 1 keg in half vertically and then use stainless sheet to join the 2 halves.
So it end up looking like one of those slim line rain water tanks.

Easier to make a curved or flat top for it out of sheetwhen joining 2 halves than it would be making a weird triangular-ish shape to join 3 halves.
And you only need to cut up 1 keg.
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