Starting over

Reflux still design and discussion

Starting over

Postby Fatherjack » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:50 am

Hey all not been on here for some time. Quick update on Journey so far

Copper t500
Mac diy 2" pot
Mac ssg neutralizer

Still have macs pot still with no boiler
Recently have been given a 50L boiler with SS reflux 2" still. The still seems extremely well made but no signs of being commercially produced is packed with small ceramic noodles & peas with some larger glass beads. It has opening at top of column for bung with thermometer & the cooling water passes through bottom of column to bottom of PC then out of top of PC back to top of column

Why does the cooling pass through bottom of column first ?
Thermometer should run at 78 ?
Better idea than rubber bung for thermometer?

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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:27 pm
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equipment: 50l keg boiler
Mac pot still

Re: Starting over

Postby Zak Griffin » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:16 am

Get a photo up mate...

These old style home made reflux stills that cool the entire column aren't really ideal. For a reflux still to work properly, the fractions have to be able to stack in the column. Cooling the entire column doesn't help this.

Thermometer should sit stable. Get a silicon or Teflon bung.
Zak Griffin
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Re: Starting over

Postby warramungas » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:27 pm

Get a pic up mate so we know what you're dealing with. Stainless steel or will spirits (SS)?
Ceramic beads/marbles went out with the dinosaurs but are still ok for those stills with water tubes through the column as you can't pack it with mesh. Some here swear by lava rock of some sort or another which would be better than marbles for sure if mesh wont do.
50 liters sound like the perfect size for a mac pot still. Might be a good starting point again anyway if you got rid of your ssg.
Your HBS should be able to help with the bung for your thermometer. The should stock silicon bungs if you decide to use it.
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4" x 4 plate bubble cap still

Re: Starting over

Postby Fatherjack » Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:43 am

Here pic of still I’ve been given. Cooling configuration is my question
If I connect water supply to red pipe it would in flow wrong direction?
If connect to bottom pipe surely cooling water would be heated quickly as it passed through bottom of column?
Both pipes pass straight through column, no coil etc
Any info on running this one would be appreciated, it appears very well made, the welding is impressive & previous owner had reported great results
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Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:27 pm
Location: NZ
equipment: 50l keg boiler
Mac pot still

Re: Starting over

Postby scythe » Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:48 am

If your handy with a welder cut that lower water line and go around the column instead of through it.

Water in at the bottom and out at the top.
It won't pick up that much heat in the 0.2sec it will pass through the column.

But it will cause some vapour to condense.
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Re: Starting over

Postby RC Al » Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:05 pm

Good to see you still with us :)

An easy mod to that column to make it work better would be to drop a coil in from the top to make some actual reflux, as it sits even if full of packing those 2 water connections wont give you much reflux and it would behave more like a pot still

A clamp added to the top would be cool to seal it off without the use a silicone bung or similar, if you add a clamp to the top it could then become a ccvm with the addition of an extension and you could gain a little packing height back into the column

PS dont run it by the thermometer, on my little still with the probe in the same place, all it really tells me is that its either near production temperature (the last few degress shoot in quickly on mine) or when it starts to shoot up that the run is nearly done. Run it by output speed by timing your cut jars :handgestures-thumbupleft:
Last edited by RC Al on Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Starting over

Postby Fatherjack » Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:46 pm

Thanks for your replies
I’m going to talk to the welder about cutting it & adding coil
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:27 pm
Location: NZ
equipment: 50l keg boiler
Mac pot still

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