Boka Bob has arrived!

Reflux still design and discussion

Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby MarkA » Thu Jun 02, 2022 5:19 pm

My FSD 2" Boka arrived today :D

Many thanks to Andrew for coming through with great gear once again, I now have the
reflux still I would have bought first had I done my homework properly.

Also thanks to Carol, and the other contributors, for your boka thread, so much great
information on running the still, and what to expect. I don't know how many times I've
read that thread.

Let the fun begin :happy-partydance:
MarkA
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Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2021 5:06 am
Location: Albury, NSW
equipment: Still Spirits T500 with copper reflux column
2" sight glass
FSD 2" pot still with shotgun condenser
FSD 50L milk can boiler with 2- 2400w elements, 4" to 2" reducer
Liebig condenser
FSD 2" Boka

Re: Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby Carol » Thu Jun 02, 2022 6:05 pm

Hi Mark

Good that Boka Bob has arrived. Happy to answer any questions you might have!

It is great fun - and the bonus is a high quality product!

Cheers
Carol
Carol
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Posts: 349
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Location: South Australia
equipment: Still Spirits Air Still
FSD 2" Boka (aka Boris)
FSD 2" pot still ( aka Natasha)

Re: Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby Wellsy » Fri Jun 03, 2022 7:20 am

Congrats Mark
You are in for a real treat and perhaps a couple of wtf moments, remember to breath, stay with the still , and that you are doing this for fun and relaxation, and you won’t go wrong :)
Wellsy
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Re: Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby MarkA » Mon Jun 13, 2022 1:30 pm

Hi guys,


Not sure what I'm doing wrong with Boka Bob.

First run, got the column packed with 7 rolls of copper mesh. The rolls range from 115 gram to 122 gram. They are a snug fit,
won't fall out on their own. I've got a bit of copper mesh wound up and stuffed into the lower part of the condenser.

Using a 350w Ozito submersible pump in a bath for cooling water. Bath water temp is 16*c at the moment, distillate is coming off
at around 29*c, and very slow.

Power controller on the boiler (2000w) is currently set at 50%, and output rate is around 600ml per hour, with the needle valve wide
open. I was expecting a fair bit more than that from Bob.

I have a sight glass at the base of the column, just to see what's going on there, I can see liquid running down the inside of the
glass, as well as falling down the center now and then.

I'm getting puffs of vapour from the top, I can see them when I hold a mirror up there. If I turn the power down to reduce the puffs,
output drops as well.

At this rate, I'm looking at around 10 hours to spirit run 15l at 40%.

Distillate is currently coming off at 92.81%

Any and all suggestions as to what the problem could be will be very welcome.

Thanks
MarkA
Site Donor
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2021 5:06 am
Location: Albury, NSW
equipment: Still Spirits T500 with copper reflux column
2" sight glass
FSD 2" pot still with shotgun condenser
FSD 50L milk can boiler with 2- 2400w elements, 4" to 2" reducer
Liebig condenser
FSD 2" Boka

Re: Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby Carol » Mon Jun 13, 2022 2:20 pm

Hi Mark
Have you done the stripping runs with the pot still first?
I have three fermenters - do three stripping runs to get enough low wines at 40% for a spirit run.

Cheers
Carol
Carol
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Posts: 349
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Location: South Australia
equipment: Still Spirits Air Still
FSD 2" Boka (aka Boris)
FSD 2" pot still ( aka Natasha)

Re: Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby MarkA » Mon Jun 13, 2022 2:38 pm

Hi Carol,


Yep, this was 50l TPW stripped down to 14l, that came in at 42%. Added 1l water to make it 40%.

I've just changed from recirculating water in the bath to garden hose. Coolant water output is a bit higher
volume, and colder. I have power at 60% now, no puffs of vapour out the top, but distillate output
hasn't improved :( Valve is wide open, current output is just under 600ml per hour
MarkA
Site Donor
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2021 5:06 am
Location: Albury, NSW
equipment: Still Spirits T500 with copper reflux column
2" sight glass
FSD 2" pot still with shotgun condenser
FSD 50L milk can boiler with 2- 2400w elements, 4" to 2" reducer
Liebig condenser
FSD 2" Boka

Re: Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby Carol » Mon Jun 13, 2022 2:47 pm

Mark - i assume no problems with the stripping runs with the pot still.
On Boris - the valve only needs to be open a little bit to get the drip-drip-dribble I am looking for.
I only open it full at the end of the spirit run when I am into tails.

Any vapour leaks in the joins?
Carol
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Posts: 349
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Location: South Australia
equipment: Still Spirits Air Still
FSD 2" Boka (aka Boris)
FSD 2" pot still ( aka Natasha)

Re: Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby BigRig » Mon Jun 13, 2022 3:20 pm

It sounds like you dont have enough reflux, the spirit should be coming out cooler than 30c and you shouldn't be getting vapour escaping out the top.

Turn the water up full tilt.
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Posts: 502
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Location: Brisbane, QLD
equipment: FSD 4" Mac SSG, 50L Milk Can, 2 x 2400w elements, 35L Digiboil Boiler, Airstill.

Re: Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby MarkA » Mon Jun 13, 2022 3:55 pm

Hey Carol, Hi BigRig,

All the joins look good, no leaks that I can find with a mirror.

I've just turned the water to full tilt, actually just before I saw your post BigRig, thanks. I was also
thinking I'm not getting enough reflux, but I have plenty of liquid running back down the sight glass at
the bottom, and raining down the center of the glass. The condenser section is too hot to touch about
1/3 of the way up, above that is cool to touch.

At 50% power, and the valve open about 1/4 turn, I'm getting about 3-2 drips per second. Spirit is currently
coming off at 25*c. I was getting a very fast drip at 60% with valve open more, but not a dribble.

I have a small roll of copper mesh about 4" long in the bottom of the condenser coil, at Andrew's suggestion, and
as I saw in one of your photos Carol. Do I need more copper in the coil, say the full height, or do I need to move
it up, or remove it altogether?

Thanks guys.
MarkA
Site Donor
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2021 5:06 am
Location: Albury, NSW
equipment: Still Spirits T500 with copper reflux column
2" sight glass
FSD 2" pot still with shotgun condenser
FSD 50L milk can boiler with 2- 2400w elements, 4" to 2" reducer
Liebig condenser
FSD 2" Boka

Re: Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby BigRig » Mon Jun 13, 2022 5:07 pm

When i had mine i would keep valve closed, bring up to temp with full power. As soon as i saw 50c on the thermometer i backed the power off to say 50-60%. The temp on the thermometer would shoot up and then level out around 78c (takes a minute or 2). I would let it sit for 30mins in full reflux. In that time i would bump the controller up to the point where i would just see a slight venting from the top (use a mirror) then back it off a couple percentage point and leave it.

Once the 30mins was up i would slowly open the valve and collect fores, a couple jars of heads then open it up more for the hearts. Hearts collection was more than a drip.
BigRig
 
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:29 pm
Location: Brisbane, QLD
equipment: FSD 4" Mac SSG, 50L Milk Can, 2 x 2400w elements, 35L Digiboil Boiler, Airstill.

Re: Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby MarkA » Mon Jun 13, 2022 5:24 pm

Hey BigRig,

I started very similar to your run. It sure doesn't take long to get to 78c once the temp starts to rise. Almost caught me out.

I backed off to 45% and let it reflux for 45 minutes, then started taking off the fores. I left it at 45% though.

I've now removed the copper mesh from the center of the condenser coil, thinking that might have been directing the distillate
to the center, and missing the collection "cup" at the output valve. Looks like I might have been right, as the output has increased now.
With all this, the output is still quite warm though. I'm pondering putting the mash around the outside of the coil for the next run, to see
how that goes.

Thanks for the help guys, please let me know if you think of anything else.
MarkA
Site Donor
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2021 5:06 am
Location: Albury, NSW
equipment: Still Spirits T500 with copper reflux column
2" sight glass
FSD 2" pot still with shotgun condenser
FSD 50L milk can boiler with 2- 2400w elements, 4" to 2" reducer
Liebig condenser
FSD 2" Boka

Re: Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby Carol » Mon Jun 13, 2022 5:37 pm

Hi Mark
Looks like you are working Bob out! I hope you are keeping notes - that helps a lot!
My distillate was usually quite warm - would have to check my notes for temp.
I was running the pump in the swimming pool - so lots and lots of usually very cold water - output was warmish to touch but not hot.
From memory collecting 300ml-ish in the vegemite jars was about 15 minutes per jar sometimes a bit less.
I got into the habit of preparing the still the night before and then starting it as soon as I got up - minding it while I read the paper (one eye on the still - I had the pump set up so I could see ripples on the pool - audible and visual reminder that pump was working) and had my breakfast.
I allocated about 7-8 hours for the spirit run - so if i got started early I would be finished by 3 -ish. I found little jobs to do in the pool room (indoor pool) like sweeping and mopping tiles so I could do useful things and mind Boris at the same time.

Cheers
Carol
Carol
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Posts: 349
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Location: South Australia
equipment: Still Spirits Air Still
FSD 2" Boka (aka Boris)
FSD 2" pot still ( aka Natasha)

Re: Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby MarkA » Mon Jun 13, 2022 5:46 pm

Hi Carol,

Yeah, getting there, thanks. Bob and I are on nodding terms at the moment, but I'm sure
we'll be friends soon.

I do have lots of notes, and what I don't have in my notebook is in this thread :)

I started at 8 this morning, anticipating a 7-8 hour run. Now I'm looking at midnight-ish :(

Output from the condenser is around 17c, running on the garden hose. I'll try again with the pump
with the revised still setup next time.

Next run will be Wednesday, About the same volume low wines. I'll be much more prepared then,
and will start earlier. We'll see how that goes.

Thanks again for your help, much appreciated.
MarkA
Site Donor
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2021 5:06 am
Location: Albury, NSW
equipment: Still Spirits T500 with copper reflux column
2" sight glass
FSD 2" pot still with shotgun condenser
FSD 50L milk can boiler with 2- 2400w elements, 4" to 2" reducer
Liebig condenser
FSD 2" Boka

Re: Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby Carol » Mon Jun 13, 2022 6:00 pm

It is worth the effort Mark.
Once you get Bob worked out - runs are much easier.
Now that we have moved and do not have a pool - ( i did a few extra batches while we still had the pool so I have breathing space) I will back to the drawing board - working out water!

Cheers
Carol

ps you can always turn it off and come back to it again another day!
Carol
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Posts: 349
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Location: South Australia
equipment: Still Spirits Air Still
FSD 2" Boka (aka Boris)
FSD 2" pot still ( aka Natasha)

Re: Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby MarkA » Mon Jun 13, 2022 6:15 pm

Thanks Carol.

I have stopped and started a few times today, something I'm not used to. I'm on leave this week, but it
seems my whole week has already been mapped out, and I need to finish this run tonight to keep on track.

Output is up to just under 1l per hour now, so that's good.

The Ozito pump runs well in the bath tub. I thought it might splash a bit, but it was good.

Cheers
MarkA
Site Donor
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2021 5:06 am
Location: Albury, NSW
equipment: Still Spirits T500 with copper reflux column
2" sight glass
FSD 2" pot still with shotgun condenser
FSD 50L milk can boiler with 2- 2400w elements, 4" to 2" reducer
Liebig condenser
FSD 2" Boka

Re: Boka Bob has arrived!

Postby Carol » Mon Jun 13, 2022 6:23 pm

Output sounds about right - you might be able to tweak it a bit later - slow is good for now. Quality takes time. Onwards and upwards!
Carol
Mentor
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Location: South Australia
equipment: Still Spirits Air Still
FSD 2" Boka (aka Boris)
FSD 2" pot still ( aka Natasha)


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