Tees or Glass?

Perforated & bubble cap plated columns

Tees or Glass?

Postby Lowie » Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:32 pm

Bought myself one of the new style glassers for my still during the lockdown knowing it might take a few months to get. Only really bought it cos I like to watch :))
Interested in peoples thoughts on these. Reckon I might replace all of my Tees over time.
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Re: Tees or Glass?

Postby RC Al » Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:12 pm

I would be leaving as much copper in the vapour path as possible
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Re: Tees or Glass?

Postby The Stig » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:13 am

Mixing “metals” (in this case glass) in a column isn’t a great idea .
The different materials will act differently with the amount of heat thrown at them .
Glass is an insulator and requires less heat than stainless.
If you’re mixing the materials in a column it’s going to become impossible to equalize
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Re: Tees or Glass?

Postby Lowie » Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:14 pm

The Stig wrote:Mixing “metals” (in this case glass) in a column isn’t a great idea .
The different materials will act differently with the amount of heat thrown at them .
Glass is an insulator and requires less heat than stainless.
If you’re mixing the materials in a column it’s going to become impossible to equalize


Good points and I had considered that, however glass (borosilicate I believe) has around the same thermal capacity (,my scientific method is touching and using an an infrared thermometer) as copper (close enough for me anyway) so I thought I would give it a crack. The stainless fittings are neither here nor there - many still builders use stainless tri coupling fittings for tee's so no real affect the heat. As for equalizing, absolutely no problem with that. If anything I do notice the bottom plate (two below the glasser) does dry up quicker than the rest when I'm getting into tails, but by then I'm finished anyway.
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Re: Tees or Glass?

Postby bluc » Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:40 pm

I reakon your all over it. I love the look of glassers. You gunna add more or swap over to all sight glasses :think:
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Re: Tees or Glass?

Postby The Stig » Sat Oct 10, 2020 2:53 pm

Lowie wrote: has around the same thermal capacity

When we got the first glassers in the first thing i did was try running one.
I was used to running copper tees in a 4 plate configuration same as the glassers.
All it kept doing was flooding the plates until i reduced to a single element running at about 75% power compared to the copper tees running 1 element flat out and the second on around 50% power.
Take my personal experience with a grain of salt
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Re: Tees or Glass?

Postby Lowie » Sat Oct 10, 2020 5:29 pm

It's all about experience and learning from each other as well as experimenting. What works for one may not work for another. I run a single 3500W element. Full power for heat up then dial it back to suit the run. I found putting the glasser in the line (I've tried every position on the column from bottom to top) that yes, it does effect the balance of the still but once you learn how to use it, no problem at all, key is having the ability to adjust the power output with a decent controller (I've been through a few of these too before I found a decent one).
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Re: Tees or Glass?

Postby Lowie » Sat Oct 10, 2020 5:32 pm

bluc wrote:I reakon your all over it. I love the look of glassers. You gunna add more or swap over to all sight glasses :think:


Dunno mate, might do 50/50. Good thing is, as you buy more of them, it's a good excuse to build a higher column for 6 to 10 plates! I'm currently building a new shed that has a 3.6M wall height (for a car hoist) that will be perfect for this :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Tees or Glass?

Postby scythe » Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:49 am

I think mixing column materials will work, it just won't work on the same settings that you have used on single material columns (like stig found out).
Alternating types might be move of a headache/ take longer to reach equilibrium than ones type then the other.
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