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2.5" (formerly known as 3") Bubble Column



  • image

    I'll take 30 of them in 2" with teflon gaskets both sides and backing nuts. If it was possible to make the nut portion wider that would be good too, more surface to seal.

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  • I don't think a production stovetop one will ever be worth the cost of building, the column can only be so high, liability, etc... I could see a lighter weight 3-4" crystal dragon(go for half the weight) on a short wide keg (like an american 1/4bbl) with a EGK... if you want less than a 20L charge, you should buy a home water distiller from sears or a chemistry lab setup....

  • I'd suggest an informal poll of customer's wives before investing in developing any "stovetop" equipment. :)

    Where's the 12" bubble plate column?

  • @punkin said: image

    I'll take 30 of them in 2" with teflon gaskets both sides and backing nuts. If it was possible to make the nut portion wider that would be good too, more surface to seal.

    That part could be a good solution for what I'm doing.

  • The girls are working on that 2" fitting now but the custom teflon gaskets might be a BEAST.

    And how did I manage to get this fitting to have it's own page in this thread? :))

    @grim although I talk about Granny running it we all know it will be GrandPa or Uncle Dave that assembles it, ferments for it, runs it and lets GrandMa take the credit ;))


    Such fond memories... one of my first stills about a year after settling in China.

    new in China.JPG
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  • If I use a 2" baby dephlegmator with the 2.5" column it would need a 2.5 x 2" reducer UNLESS one end of the baby was 2" and the other was 2.5". Built in reducer :)

    ...still playing with it...

  • @Lloyd Maybe a higher durometer for the silicone seal / gasket would work if teflon is an issue...

  • @punkin said: image

    I'll take 30 of them in 2" with teflon gaskets both sides and backing nuts. If it was possible to make the nut portion wider that would be good too, more surface to seal.

    Is this fitting perhaps available in the US?

  • Mort they are available - I got 2 a while back before other products became available on this site. You have to be careful how you use them though.

    I mated mine to Female threaded sockets that are soldered onto a 2" copper tube as a keg connector. Because 1 thread is tapered and the other is not these are intended to be a semi-permanent fit. The stainless thread cuts into the copper one.

    If you intend to take these joints apart on a routine basis you will probably end up damaging both threads. How are you intending to use one.

  • Thanks Myles...I planned on installing it (relatively permanently) in something like a stock pot or milk can lid. Do you think it would work on thin material like that? I'm trying to come up with a small boiler@ 20 liter. That would be of course if there were backing nuts/gaskets for it.

  • Oh you can use it in that application but the problem is always going to be the strength of the lid. I tend to recommend going straight to a small keg, or if you need to use a pot and lid - then look at a pressure canner instead of a stock pot.

    For a small 20 litre boiler you might be able to find a bulkhead compression fitting instead in 1" or a bit bigger.

  • I will probably use a 3/4" or 1" bulkhead adapter. I had the idea of using one of the old SD 2" x 3/4" cones I have as the riser for this little pot still I'm building for a friend, in which case that triclamp fitting would be handy if it came in two inch. The larger bulkhead adapters are pretty pricey.

  • edited May 2014

    Wow, those cones are collectors items already.

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  • I hope this comes back to life with the introduction of the procap. A 3" Crystal Dragon would be an option for some.

  • edited June 2014

    I agree, but maybe change the title to 2.5" Bubble Column as that's the optimum size for a single ProCap.
    The parts are slowly coming together. A couple more weeks and we should have the first one built. A week or so to run it a few times and I'll post pictures and collection data.


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  • 20L with a taper?


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  • @Lloyd @punkin

    Any thoughts on doing a 3gallon 10-11L boiler to go with these?

    Id be interested in a small boiler with a 2" opening (plus an extra bend or 2) so I can make up a small pot still setup for Absinthe, as atm my 50L milk can needs about 12L in it and the recipe I want to have a go with i'd need about 10L of high proof neutral

    Not sure If I need more then 1-2L of Absinthe to start :p

  • Yep, the 20L boiler has been a really big problem so far.
    Its about the right size but with options like a drain spigot and 2" ferrule on a strong lid the price seems to escalate beyond what I'm comfortable with for this project.
    Trying very hard to source the best little Mama's boiler but no luck so far. Of course this could be easily done if money was no object but I'm trying to shake this project down to the cheapest possible entry point for beginners (and for Mama).

    Telling you, its harder to crack this nut than the bigger stills. But if we get this right then we can create a whole new market of hobby distillers. Scaling up is easier than scaling down. Many thousands of people are waiting for us to do it (they just don't know it yet :) )

    Baby Dragons everywhere. Two and a half inches big. At least one zillion apartments could use a Baby Dragon to stovetop a fine bottle of booze.

  • Hi all, this is fantastic. A great stepping stone from a home made unit or the other main stream units most lads start out with. Also most pepole I know who enjoy the hobby do small runs, 20L ferments and 25L boilers.I've been looking at up grading my home made unit for a 4" crystal but I would have to up grade every thing else.But a 2.5" unit would be killa.

  • @jasse gets it.
    Lots of folks do 20L (5 gallon) ferments. A 4" column is too enormous for that.

  • std 5 gallon bucket in ss comes to mind... but adding to it would be a pain..

  • Here is a pic of two small stove top boilers; one 28L and the other is 10L.

    I use an old weight-belt or a solid house brick to stop them from tumbling over at the end of the run. The 28L cubic boiler can also be used as a Thumper to a keg boiler.



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  • a square or rectangle box! now that's thinking outside the cylinder!

  • I thought Lloyd might be interested in the cubic boiler (made by Manu) for the small scale kitchen still idea. My cook top has one of those long-burners so the shape works well. (I also secure it with wire up the top incase the weights slipoff). Avoiding the over-hang of the extractor fan is the thing.

    You know; I thought if I ever lost my job and couldn't buy so much bottled gas; the stove top unit/s would keep me going at my home or somebody elses. (fortunately work keeps going on)

  • Rectangle box with flat bottom, large enough to cover two/four areas of an induction stove! :-bd

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  • edited July 2014

    A cubic boiler is more expensive to produce than round?
    God I wish I could find the best low-cost perfect 20L boiler!
    But what is a perfect boiler? Does it have a drain and refill port? Can the lid accept and fully support a 2+" column with a heavy condenser hanging off the side?

    Its easy to say this might work. Its much harder to think and work your way though to a solution that solves the problem for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people.

  • edited July 2014


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  • edited July 2014

    Is 20 liters too big for stove top? A boiler will weigh 10 pounds easy, assuming a 15 liter fill, you are talking at least 40-50 pounds, that's a pretty heavy load. I know mama can handle an 8 quart stock pot full of potatoes, I've seen her do it.

    Is it feasible that someone would carry it from a work surface to the stove? Or at a minimum, whats the post-run weight of the boiler - can the average person carry it from the stove to the sink to drain once done? If it will be carried, won't it need sturdy handles?

    Will someone actually use the drain port with the boiler sitting on a stove? What are they draining into? A smaller container? Won't it make a mess? If they can't lug it, a drain is going to be important. Maybe some kind of hose connection to allow them to drain to another container on the floor where it is more manageable. Feels like handles and a drain are going to be important.

    Rectangle boiler is interesting.... You could offset the column towards one end, with the condenser balanced over the other (the parrot rotated out 90 degrees). This would be the most stable arrangement, as the other end of the boiler would create a base of sorts. Keep the center of gravity low and wide and you'd significantly reduce any tipping risk.

    Although here in the states, by code most newer construction requires a hood over the range, and some of the fancy new hood designs project quite a bit over the burners (making for an impossible height restriction). I could imagine a pretty nifty looking offset column using an "S" made of triclamp pipe, and maybe a Tee with a stand under the column, but now we're getting really expensive.

  • edited July 2014

    500 x 500 x 200mm high = 50L!!

    too big,


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  • edited July 2014

    23L total base part volume? you would never want to fill it to 23L tho,

    Seems about right to balance weight vrs being too big

    ~450 x 250 x 200, you could put that in the pot draw!


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