Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Perforated & bubble cap plated columns

Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby bluc » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:42 pm

Ok sweet thanks fellas..
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby rumsponge » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:19 am

Does output rate change between heads hearts tails? Guessing no cause mac says dont touch the rc...


Output does drop slightly over the run, especially when the ABV in the parrot drops significantly towards the end of the run (tails) . You can increase heating power to compensate and/or (since you are likely in tails territory anyway) close the RC valve a bit more to collect your feints more rapidly.
cheers rs
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby coffe addict » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:52 am

With three plates mine slows through the run but once I'm at the back end of hearts I up the power slightly to hold tails back and keep an acceptable take off rate.
There's many ways to skin a cat and it's going to be slightly different on your still compared to any other still due to it being a unique build.
Finding it's sweet spot and a good run strategy is half the fun, though you probably won't think that till you've mastered it :laughing-rolling:
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby bluc » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:36 am

:laughing-rolling:
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby scythe » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:13 am

Coffee:
How does increasing power input hold tails back?
I would have thought increasing cooling or reducing power would slow tails down.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby bluc » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:56 pm

Wouldnt increasing power also increase boil off rate which would increase reflux? Or would the extra just push past the rc if you didnt adjust it? :-B
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby woodduck » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:10 pm

If the rc is set at a take off rate (not full reflux that would be different) it can only hold that amount of vapor back anymore power and it would push more vapor past as that amount of water through the rc is only capable of holding that much vapor. If you want more reflux you need more water through the rc to hold more back in conjunction with more power to push more vapor up the colomn.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby bluc » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:31 pm

Yea that was my thought also would just increase takeoff.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Dig Brinker » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:13 pm

Increase power to run out tails (or lessen reflux cooling) or increase reflux cooling/lower power input to hold off tails. Or throw back into full reflux to maybe collect another jar or two of hearts.
All written in the above pages :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby TBone » Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:42 pm

Borneogoat wrote:
woodduck wrote:To me if the dropping in % is not a wash problem it must be a reflux problem (more reflux means higher % alc) but not sure which one, leaking or not enough rc cooling. If his lph alcohol output doesn't change how can cooling water be affecting it? The reflux in the still is governed by the power input and the rc cooling. If the power stays the same but the cooling warms up there will be less reflux yes but only because the rc will be letting more vapor past it just like turning the rc tap off. I just don't think warm water would be enough to have this affect unless it is really warm, if I'm running on 2400w I need to have my rc nearly off (1/4 of a turn on a gate valve max) before I get any output to my parrot.

But in saying all this maybe his lph have jumped a bit without him noticing it?

Are you having to adjust your rc all the time through the run?

I would be checking my plates for leaks first as it's the simplest one to test :handgestures-thumbupleft:


I'm leaning towards an unnoticed leak(s) being possible. The LPH of my product is not changing and once my needle valve is in the sweet spot, the flow is steady. No fiddling with the RC valve unless the weather changes significantly. I use the lap timer on my phone to keep track of the flow: 320ml mark on my jars take about 8min normally (2.4 LPH). I also tried slowing things down to 320ml = 10min = 1.9 LPH. The slower rate increased the ABV, but only marginally and the effect faded after a jar or two. My cooling water last run started at 13C with a few bags of ice. By the end I had used 10x bags, most of the run was around 16-19C, and ended around 22C. All temps mentioned are the general temp of my reservoir, as opposed to the temp of my condenser outflows.


Any updates on this Mr Goat? Hows your runs going these days?
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby stillthinking » Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:17 am

Question on plated columns. Hope this is a good place to ask.

I am working on a 4inch pot column 650mm high that will evolve to plates and eventually will have a 4 or 5 plate drop in core. I’m not planning on using sight glasses just yet, it will come but it’s a commitment I’ll make later on.

Would it be easier to run perf plates or bubble plates blind?

Any advice here appreciated.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Sam. » Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:19 am

stillthinking wrote:Question on plated columns. Hope this is a good place to ask.

I am working on a 4inch pot column 650mm high that will evolve to plates and eventually will have a 4 or 5 plate drop in core. I’m not planning on using sight glasses just yet, it will come but it’s a commitment I’ll make later on.

Would it be easier to run perf plates or bubble plates blind?

Any advice here appreciated.


Good luck running a plated column still blind, I suggest going that extra bit and putting in glasses, they are there for a reason.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Birdman85 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:11 pm

Could you possibly compromise and start with just 2 glasses? 2nd and 4th plate until you get time to do the remainder?
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby dans.brew » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:24 pm

Birdman85 wrote:Could you possibly compromise and start with just 2 glasses? 2nd and 4th plate until you get time to do the remainder?

I would think if your going to do it you really want all 4. If you have a plate not loading properly or one flooding? It may not be plate 2 or 4.
The tell tail for tails coming through is fogging of glass or water dropplets on 1st plate.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby stillthinking » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:46 pm

So here’s another thought, incorporating sight glasses to a 4 inch column by soldering on 2.5inch (61.5mm internal diameter) ports with the ends flared to accept a 64mm (2 inch) glass disc, using a few wraps of ptfe gasket tape around the glass edge and a hose clamp over the end of the sight port. Or I could make a small slot cut to allow the sight port to close onto the glass and braze a nut and collar and tighten to the glass with that... does that make sense?

Would save on ferrules, tri clamps and gaskets and would allow you to use a very short sight port...
Last edited by stillthinking on Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby RC Al » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:02 pm

If you want the diy route, have a search for easy flanges
Easiest is a copper pipe joiner/union and a ferrule n tri clamp

4x 2" sightglasses are going to add to the cost of the build, but your building a tool, don't skimp in the wrong places. This cost will quickly be appreciated when you learn to drive it and not an area for an inexperienced operator to omit

I can see where your going with the sight glass idea, but i can also see many broken lenses as you try to make the leaks stop, if money is tight, you can't afford the gamble on an experimental solution that won't be saving you that many $$.

The proven safety aspect of using the existing methods is a consideration too
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby dans.brew » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:16 am

Im with RC Al.. sometimes the money saving route tends to be the problematic route and work out costing more in the long run.
I did however cut down in cost with my bubbler by making my own sightglass clamps with easy flanges (flattened copper pipe) and a big homemade washer on the outside clamping the sightglass into place.
It seems to work well, but was a bit more work to build.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby stillthinking » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:19 am

Cheers RC Al, Ive just finished my last easy flange on the rest of the pot build, i think I've done about 15 in total now so getting the hang of them :handgestures-thumbupleft: .

Not trying to reinvent the wheel, just toying with different ideas, one of the reasons I have been thinking about this method of sight glass is it gives the full 64mm viewing area, not just what can be seen past the tri clamp. I might mock up an example of this idea for a sight glass port and post a picture to the forum.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby woodduck » Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:25 am

I agree with everything said above. Save your pennies and wait till you can afford the sight glasses.

You'll find that the triclamp doesn't really impede on the view, it's normally about the same size as the inside of the pipe.
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Re: Running a Plated Column. the easy way

Postby Shano592 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:27 pm

Thanks to everyone for some great info over the last 11 pages. I have just assembled a newly purchased 3" bubbler, so it is time to relearn with a new toy!

First, as always will be the sacrificial alcohol run. I'll do all of the tempering, as has always been recommended.

I'm really looking forward to firing up the gin basket though. The Boka was good, once I worked out how to manage it. This will hopefully be exceptional in that regard.

But first, my boiler needs an upgrade or two. A three-inch ferrule needs to replace the two-inch one, and I bought another 2400W no-weld FSD heating element, which needs to be fitted up. So it's off to the engineer in the morning.
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