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Separate Boiler / Columns



  • It's just the what if thing that's stopped me from having it so it's got pressure by a mistake, if I could find a way that's 100% I'd do it.

  • edited October 2014

    Parrot done


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  • edited October 2014

    Test fit of PC, parrot.


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  • image

    split column flow2.png
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  • edited October 2014

    I tend to use L type 3 way valves with the input on the centre port. You get a better visual indicator (handle position) with a T type but they are more expensive. Again have the input on the centre port with the handle pointing to the column in use.

    You probably only need a PSV on the boiler as that will always be at the highest pressure in the system.

    I forgot you had those conical base sections available Lloyd - just what is needed. =D>

  • You may want to polish that up a bit Googe... i mean prior to the final build... :))

  • edited October 2014

    Wouldn't that act like a Thumper Lloyd?, or would there be enough pressure to hold the vapors at bay?. What's a psv Myles?, is that what you use on your stills?. I'll shine it up when it's done fully lol.

    Got all columns soldered up, just new column caps, vapor tubes and coolent lines.


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  • I believe that's called a manometer and I don't know exactly how much head it needs to keep a certain pressure at bay but it is cheap and appears to be foolproof.

  • Ah, I've heard of them, interesting, thanks for sharing, will have a think.about things.

  • edited October 2014

    Have been thinking about Myles idea of using a deflag and really like it, I've thought about doing it this way.


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  • edited October 2014


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  • The vapor does not seem to be able to go through both columns in series.

  • Thats the whole idea Lloyd, it is an "either / or" situation. Plated column OR packed column.

    I still thing an option is TWO dephlegmators googe. If you put one over each column, you can have 1 columnin use and 1 in full reflux at the same time. That way you can get away with smaller valves and just have them inthe coolant lines instead of the vapour path.

    There have been a few packed columns built with reflux condenser control.

    I inadvertently built a stripping rig that had condenser control, and am convinced that a dephleg deliberately used as a vapour control valve is a viable option.

  • edited October 2014

    As another option - which would require you to be very clever about the vapor path (and reflux) routing - you might be able to get away with a single reflux condenser. Since the reflux and vapor can run counter-current in the same tubing. An interesting approach might be to run the tube-in-shell condenser opposite, mounted horizontally, water through the tubing, vapor through the shell. Mount it above all columns and use a 3 way (or 4 way $$) valve to direct both the vapor and the reflux. Dial-a-column.

  • I think I might go the deflag way Myles. I don't really follow you sorry grim!.

  • @googe, grim seems to be approaching a method that is used on some big columns. All the vapour is condensed and a portion is then metered back into each column as reflux.

  • edited October 2014

    Sounds interesting Myles!, I just can't get a pic in my head of it!.

    Did a clean run on the plated, PC sections today, found 5 leaks and fixed them, worst leaks I've ever had!. It works well, getting excited!. Just ran it on the keg for the clean, will do the same eighths packed section,then I'll finish it off.

  • daddad
    edited October 2014

    Myles...I have seen that setup at Stranahan's.


    See the horizontal condensers over head?

    S Strip still.jpg
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    DAD... not yours.. ah, hell... I don't know...

  • Ah thanks @Dad that's it, I spent a couple minutes looking for a good photo but wasn't able to find anything that good.

  • Thanks for the pic dad. that looks like a good idea grim, I think that's something I need to look into, thanks.

  • edited October 2014

    You could technically run this as an LM style rig and save a condenser as well

  • Yes dad thanks. This is one way to deal with a potential problem that occurs when pushing vapour speeds to the max.

    It is possible to get into a situation where a conventional RC would flood the column. Sometimes you can't take too much as product whilst maintaining quality. Instead you can send the correct amount of reflux to the column and dump the surplus back directly into the boiler.

    This is usually when you are taking the product as vapour, not in a straight LM configuration. May not be relevant to too many folks. ;)

  • edited October 2014

    Got the vapor/drains done




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  • Have SD considered doing a single tube fixed 4 plate solution for the larger columns? A lot less fittings (2 flanges/unions instead of 8) and weight to deal with?

    One 4 plate on top of the boiler and for those interested in secondary columns or a taller primary just bolt more of the 4 plate sections on or add a packed section as needed.

    So the line-up of options would consist of a single plate section, 4 plate section or packed column section (same size as the 4 plate section). The single plate section could double as a botanical basket.

    Can you tell I've had my first coffee in a couple of weeks? :)



  • Did a vinegar then sac run with the boiler separate and using the drain. Forgot to fill the trap when doing the vinegar run and it ran like a.pita, flooded and carried on till I dropped the heat then all was good. It ran awesome on the sac run, very stable, plates looked very happy and active!. I didn't measure output but it looked to be running alot faster than when I have the column on the boiler. The rc is great, I did a 1.25" cold finger with a single scrubby around it, when taking off at 90% I could bump the heat up and the ABV didn't drop, usually does when I have this column on the boiler. was worried the drain might be to small at half inch but it works.great. Really happy with how it ran!.

  • Have done clean and sac runs. Loaded the plated section and equalized for 15 mins or so, then slowly opened the valve to the packed section, what came out was sweetish, smooth and no burn, so guessing it might be hearts. I'm not good at divining fractions in a neutral wash, will do a rum and see, I can diefine rum better. But it's running great, very active plate, stable and good abv. the packed section can be operated as a vm, cm. The plated section can be operated as a cm, with vm control!. So much playing to do!.

  • edited October 2014

    Tried to add it, didn't work!

  • Ok, working now lol

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