Scored a big copper boiler

Boiler, burner and boiler modification talk.

Scored a big copper boiler

Postby Fishleg » Sun May 14, 2017 1:44 pm

Scored a big copper boiler today off gumtree for $60! Bloody bargain ay!!!

It's an old hybrid wood/electric hot water system, 370 litres capacity!!

Kind of don't know what to do with it though? I guess pull it apart and maybe blank off any fittings and remove any bits that are soldered on just in case there's lead containing solder. As a start.

Will the heating element be any good to use?

Once I get these things sorted I guess I'll just attach a 4" ferrule and start with a 4" pot for stripping? With the intention of building a 4 or 6 inch bubbler to stick on it later on
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby Doubleuj » Sun May 14, 2017 3:01 pm

:wtf: umm, I'm guessing it's a copper boiler inside a galvanised shell?
And what's with the eggs and nest looking stuff?
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby Fishleg » Sun May 14, 2017 3:34 pm

Correct.

That stuff inside is the insulation between shell and boiler. It's those bastard little foam bean bag balls. I managed to pour most of them into garbage bags but about a quarter of them got scattered all over my shed floor :angry-banghead:

All of the seams and spigots look like they've been brazed?
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby Fishleg » Sun May 14, 2017 3:45 pm

That is the element out of it. Pretty crazy looking contraption unfortunately I broke a fair bit of the ceramic insulators pulling it out. The housing looks like copper probably would have been ok to use. Too bad it's buggered now
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby bluc » Sun May 14, 2017 3:55 pm

How thick is the copper? Looks like it would be good if its strong enough to support ya still..
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby Lowie » Sun May 14, 2017 4:12 pm

Nice score mate. Project time me thinks :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby Doubleuj » Sun May 14, 2017 6:26 pm

:dance: awesome
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby warramungas » Sun May 14, 2017 6:42 pm

That looks fantastic!! Be a great boiler once its all dressed up for th party. My only concern would be I it could support 20 or 30 kgs of weight in the middle without buckling. Might need to reinforce it or put the still mount near the outside where there be more support from the side walls.
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby Doubleuj » Sun May 14, 2017 6:45 pm

warramungas wrote:That looks fantastic!! Be a great boiler once its all dressed up for th party. My only concern would be I it could support 20 or 30 kgs of weight in the middle without buckling. Might need to reinforce it or put the still mount near the outside where there be more support from the side walls.

I reakon supporting the still would be worth the effort, you could add copper gussets or pipe supports.
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby Fishleg » Sun May 14, 2017 7:40 pm

Yeah it's pretty thin and will definitely need some sort of reinforcement.

2 questions for anyone who can help, firstly what would be the way to go for powering this beast? Too big to run on gas? And if I were to go electric how many elements and what sort of power? Or go hillbilly style and run it on a wood fire? That would be cheaper but would be shit in summer time

Second, all the spigots on it look like they're brazed on. Do I need to worry about lead?
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby warramungas » Sun May 14, 2017 8:09 pm

Ye olde plumbum raises its head again. If you're worried get a test kit. Not sure where from.

For power I'd mount a minimum of 2x 2400 watt elements. Bigger if you have the power supply for it. If you fill it up it'll take ages to heat to boiling otherwise.
Attach a valve to the drain you already have there and uses weld triclamp ferrules for the elements. Copper might be difficult if you don't have copper ferrules or a skilled brazer/welder.

Very jealous of that sucker.
Last edited by warramungas on Sun May 14, 2017 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby Doubleuj » Sun May 14, 2017 8:11 pm

Go gas or electricity mate, that way you can control the heat.
What was the max volume? (You don't always need to run to the max of you boiler)
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby bluc » Sun May 14, 2017 8:13 pm

Would look sweet in a bricked in oven but as you say not very practical. Go with two or even 3 2400w elements unless you have 15a available..
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby Fishleg » Sun May 14, 2017 8:26 pm

Doubleuj wrote:Go gas or electricity mate, that way you can control the heat.
What was the max volume? (You don't always need to run to the max of you boiler)


370 litres full to the brim. I have a 150 litres fermenter as my main one and a 60l and a couple of 30l ones. So maybe at the moment the max I would fill it would be 200l
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby Zak Griffin » Sun May 14, 2017 9:24 pm

Good score mate.

Realistically faaaar too big for a hobby boiler though, I'd scrap it and build an 80L stainless keg boiler with the proceeds.
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby Fishleg » Mon May 15, 2017 7:23 am

Zak Griffin wrote:Good score mate.

Realistically faaaar too big for a hobby boiler though, I'd scrap it and build an 80L stainless keg boiler with the proceeds.

Maybe you're right. Logistically it would present many problems.
But I do like the idea of being able to strip 200 litres of wash in one go.....................

Got some serious thinking to do
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby maddogpearse » Mon May 15, 2017 2:01 pm

I say up it!! Wack a slobber box on, and build a big 6" pot for it then wood fire it! Get some serious heat into it for stripping hard and fast! :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby copperhead road » Mon May 15, 2017 2:59 pm

You could put brass strapping around it for support and 2 tone looks great :handgestures-thumbupleft:
Go big or go home, your just a big hobbyist :laughing-rolling:
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Re: Scored a big copper boiler

Postby TasSpirits » Mon May 15, 2017 6:14 pm

Fishleg wrote:Yeah it's pretty thin and will definitely need some sort of reinforcement.

2 questions for anyone who can help, firstly what would be the way to go for powering this beast? Too big to run on gas? And if I were to go electric how many elements and what sort of power? Or go hillbilly style and run it on a wood fire? That would be cheaper but would be shit in summer time

Second, all the spigots on it look like they're brazed on. Do I need to worry about lead?

I have a copper hot water tank cut down to around 140L, its .7mm thick and holds 4 plates, RC, blockhead and PC with no drama, it has a domed top rather than flat though. I run 1 x 3600w and 1 x 2400w for heat up( I will be adding 1 more element), then cut the 2400w once I'm up to temp. So far I have only done 120L strips and 100L spirit runs, need to insulate it as well. My guess is you would need to throw some serious power at it, maybe cut it down to a more reasonable size :think:
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