Inverted V pot still build.

Pot still design and discussion

Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Lesgold » Fri May 08, 2020 7:04 pm

Hi everyone,

After finishing a CCVM build, I still ended up with an issue in relation to the other gear that I use. I have a Pure Distilling pot still attached to a 25l boiler that is used for small stripping runs and also for gin runs on a 5l boiler.
76BA044C-A7F2-45B0-9AAE-5D5845788838.jpeg

I really like the simple, compact design of the pot but unfortunately it’s helix condenser really struggles to keep the product at a reasonable temperature during stripping runs. Have decided to move it permanently to the little boiler for gin runs and build a bigger version of this design to fit either the 25l boiler or as a backup on the keg boiler. Stripped a gen 1 UJSSM today and really struggled to keep the temp down using 2000w. So I decided that changes had to be made. Had a 1m length of 2” lying round and my neighbour gave me some old 1/2”. The only materials I’ll have to purchase will be a couple of 1/2” elbows and 2x brass snap fittings. So the total cost will end up being $15 (not including consumables) And yes, I could have saved that material for my bubbler build but that won’t happen in the near future.

The first step was to ensure that I could make it with the materials I had on hand. Thought about what I wanted in the build and then got onto Sketchup and roughed it out.
9CE58421-BDD2-4DA7-BCF0-0BF706FB6E0F.jpeg

I won’t put the details up here but what I did was to maximise the size of the pot to use the length of 2” that I had. After a comment from bluc on another topic, I decided to build in a 300mm shotty to knock down the vapour. Left enough of the 2” as an off cut for plates etc. Decided to change the angle of the V by about 10 degrees to put a bit more angle on the shotty. The column will be cut to 375mm and the shotty will have a total length of 510mm. The beauty of this build is that no fittings (apart from water fittings) will be required. The difficult part of the design will be putting 7 tubes into the shotty and the join of the two bevels. This should be quite a quick build and should only take a day. Will probably just do a few little bits each day and tackle each issue as it comes up.
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Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby bluc » Fri May 08, 2020 7:16 pm

:D :whistle:
Is brass just for cooling water?
Last edited by bluc on Fri May 08, 2020 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Lesgold » Sat May 09, 2020 9:45 am

The brass snap fittings are for the water inlet/ outlet.
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Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Lesgold » Sat May 09, 2020 10:15 am

Time to start building. Annealed and flattened some 2” and then drilled and cut the shotty end plates.
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Drilled pilot holes and then ran the 1/2” drill bit through. The larger bit “wandered” fractionally but was close enough for what was needed. Trimmed the plates to just fit the 2”.
Cut the 1/2” tubes to 300mm, cleaned the ends and fitted them to the end plates. Made a temporary holding jig and soldered the plates to the tubes. With the shotty being totally concealed, I made sure that plenty of solder was used so that a good bead ended up around each tube on both sides. Don’t want any leaks in the future as the repairs would be a pain in the bum.
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Cut the column to a length of 375mm (to the sharp point) and the shotty tube to a length of 510mm. The included angle between the tubes was 50 degrees.
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The ends of the tubes were squared and the bevels sanded until a good fit was achieved. Next job will be to drill some holes for the water fittings and then solder up the shotty.
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equipment: Pure Distilling reflux and pot. 2” modular CCVM/ 1150mm column, 50l boiler with 2x 2400w elements.

Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Lesgold » Sat May 09, 2020 5:55 pm

Soldered the shotty into the 2” casing. Had a bit of a brain fade when I started to solder the first end. Heat was applied to the outside of the tube and when I thought the temp was correct, I touched the solder on the outer tube and it ran though without forming a bridge or bead on the join. Tried again and it continued to happen. After about a minute, I stopped and thought about it. Plenty of heat was on the outer tube but due to the small contact area, the shotty end plate was not getting up to temp. Passed the torch quickly over the shotty end plate without burning the flux and then slowly heated the whole area until conditions were right. This time I touched the solder onto the end plates and it bridged and flowed nicely. The first end had a lot of flux and solder on it but there was no way it was ever going to leak.
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The next end worked out nicely and created no issues. Now that the shotty is sealed, I soldered in the water fittings. Used a damp cloth to protect the soldering I’d just completed.
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I was now able to pressure test the shotty before totally sealing it in place.
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The next job will be to solder a spout onto some flat and solder it to the shotty.
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equipment: Pure Distilling reflux and pot. 2” modular CCVM/ 1150mm column, 50l boiler with 2x 2400w elements.

Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby RC Al » Sat May 09, 2020 5:59 pm

Trooping ahead nicely mate
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Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Lesgold » Sat May 09, 2020 6:15 pm

Thanks Al. Took your advice about using 7 tubes in a shotty for best efficiency. Didn’t put in any baffles in (which would have improved things again). Just little steps at this stage. I must admit that squeezing that number into the PC concerned me at the start but it was actually no harder than five. There is still a bit of “wriggle room” as far as making errors are concerned so I would definitely go this way in the future.
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equipment: Pure Distilling reflux and pot. 2” modular CCVM/ 1150mm column, 50l boiler with 2x 2400w elements.

Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Birdman85 » Sat May 09, 2020 6:20 pm

Once again.... I hate you and your amazing abilities. Nicely done mate, looking good.
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Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby bluc » Sat May 09, 2020 7:30 pm

:laughing-rolling:
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Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Lesgold » Sat May 09, 2020 8:29 pm

Birdman, you do my head in sometimes. :-B :crying-blue:
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Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Birdman85 » Sat May 09, 2020 9:29 pm

Lesgold wrote:Birdman, you do my head in sometimes. :-B :crying-blue:


You're the one doing my head in! :violence-stickwhack:
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Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Dunnonuthin » Sun May 10, 2020 12:33 am

Love it
Had a bit of a brain fade when I started to solder the first end. Heat was applied to the outside of the tube and when I thought the temp was correct, I touched the solder on the outer tube and it ran though without forming a bridge or bead on the join. Tried again and it continued to happen. After about a minute, I stopped and thought about it.

If it ain’t workin’, don’t keep doin’ it!
Stop.
Think.
What’s wrong?
Why?
Try something else, dumbarse!

Am curious to know how you got the V soldered. My instinct s was pulse be to tin each half, position them together, then just sweat the joint.
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Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Lesgold » Sun May 10, 2020 6:35 am

Yep. Good at doing dumb stuff. Should write a book on it. Trouble is, it would be a long read. Will solder the V together and post the results. This will be the other challenging part of the project. The two pieces fit well so in theory they will end up soldering together if I can get the process sorted. Birdman, I reckon this will be your best chance to get a giggle at my expense. I will however, try to prevent that from happening.
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equipment: Pure Distilling reflux and pot. 2” modular CCVM/ 1150mm column, 50l boiler with 2x 2400w elements.

Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Lesgold » Sun May 10, 2020 7:02 pm

Next job was a simple one. Cut some flat material, drill a hole for a spout and get back to some soldering. Decided to silver solder the spout in place to make the fitting of the end plate an easy task.
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A bit of a rough cleanup and it’s basically done.
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The column easy flange was constructed and soldered in place.
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And finally, what I thought was going to be an awkward task - The soldering of the V bevels. I thought that if I could make a holding jig that would keep both pieces in place, the actual soldering would be a simple task. Knocked up a rough jig to hold both pieces with torch access to all sides of the join. The jig was easy to make but it took about 10 minutes to accurately align the two components.
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Used capillary action and gravity to advantage to complete the soldering. A quick check to make sure the joint was waterproof, and a rough cleanup to remove flux and surplus solder followed. Sat the pot on my keg boiler just to see how it looked.
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The only issue that I could see was the water inlet. It would work well on the small boiler but the hose would come into contact with the keg if connected to this boiler. I removed the inlet and fitted a 90 degree bend. Problem solved. Final job will be to clean it up and run some vinegar through it.
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equipment: Pure Distilling reflux and pot. 2” modular CCVM/ 1150mm column, 50l boiler with 2x 2400w elements.

Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Doubleuj » Sun May 10, 2020 7:09 pm

:banana-explosion: :banana-guitar: :banana-jumprope: :banana-linedance:
This build definitely deserves dancing bananas, awesome work mate.
If you don’t build a bubbler it’d be a travesty
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Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Dunnonuthin » Sun May 10, 2020 7:44 pm

Nice build a Lesgold. Should do what you need with no fuss. :happy-partydance:
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Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Birdman85 » Sun May 10, 2020 9:14 pm

Beautiful work as usual Lesgold. You need to give it a coat of black heatproof paint to tie in with that sexy boiler.

Loving your process, slow, steady and precise. To make that jig is genius. Well done.

Definitely worthy of the dancing bananas
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Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Lesgold » Mon May 11, 2020 7:21 am

Love bananas. Acid bath and vinegar run later. Will post results. :handgestures-thumbupleft: :handgestures-thumbupleft: :handgestures-thumbupleft: Cheers
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Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby dans.brew » Mon May 11, 2020 8:02 am

Nice stuff Les. :clap:
Good job insulating that boiler.. looking smick!
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Re: Inverted V pot still build.

Postby Lesgold » Mon May 11, 2020 4:04 pm

Thanks Dan. Will organise a few photos and put some stuff up after dinner.
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