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An experiment with CM/LM and a DASH-2

For some time I have been wondering what is the ABV in each plate of a 6 plate DASH-2. I decided to make a manifold which would allow me to collect liquid from each plate. The following is a summary of my progress and information collected during the first 2 runs.
I used Harris Stay Clean liquid flux and Harris Saty-brite 8 solder (8%) silver.

Collection cups and stainless tubing drain


I basically used a copper end cap as a collection cup that is placed directly under the downcomer of the plate above. Once full, it allows excess liquid to drop down to the lower plate and continue along the reflux path. From this collection cup, I attached a section of 3/8" OD 316 stainless tubing thru the sidewall of the bubble "T", then to a valve and a collection manifold that directs all the collected liquid to a PC, and on to the parrot.

Bubble "t's" drilled


Cup and tubing silver soldered to bubble "t"


Manifold and "t's" mocked up


Assembled section with cup under downcomer.


Assembled and ready for maiden run/tests.



The first 2 runs were for testing and cleaning and afterwards I decide to modify the collection cup by adding 3 downcomer deflector fins like the ones used in the Pro-Cap's. I felt the cups were dumping down right on top of the lower downcomer, and hence affecting the efficiency and results.



The first run was a gallon of neutral and approx. 8 gals of water for a charge of around 10-11% abv and for the second run, I added all the collected product plus one additional gallon of neutral ( but at a lower abv from a stripping run) for a charge of around 15-16%

The collection speed was kept at around 3 or 4 L/Hr and product temp at the parrot was between 69 ad 71F so I did not bother with temp corrections as my goal was more towards the difference in ABV between plates instead of exact value at any point.

The wash was brought to a boil and stabilized all the plates for approx. 15 minutes only since cuts were made during the stripping run. Then 100 mls of fores and 200mls of heads were collected thru the dephlegmator and u-bend and condensed with the top PC. into the parrot. The column was then placed in full reflux for a few minutes and from there on all product was collected as a liquid thru the collection manifold and into the lower PC and finally the parrot.

The first run results showed:

plate 6 90 ABV
plate 5 80 ABV
plate 4 60 ABV
plate 3 50 ABV
plate 2 41 ABV
plate 1 36 ABV

The second run results showed:

plate 6 90 ABV
plate 5 86 ABV
plate 4 76 ABV
plate 3 66 ABV
plate 2 66 ABV
plate 1 64 ABV

All samples collected were just over 200 mls each and the parrot was drained before switching to a different plate.

The results for plates 1, 2 and 3 on the second test lead me to believe that the collection cup was dumping directly into the downcomer, thus affecting the reflux in those plates and this is the reason why I decided to add the downcomer deflectors to all the collection cups and some more testing will soon follow.

Reassembled with downcomer mods


Here's a video of the start of the first test

It will be near the end of Jan before I can perform any more tests.


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  • You sir are a bloody legend, bravo =D>

  • =D>

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • love it, now to feed steam and beer in continuously...

  • Just wow, hopefully you are on SD payroll by now in the R&D department, seems to me you would gladly take payment in the form of bubble tees ;)

  • edited January 2015

    Good work. But tell me, could you not have got the same information with a thermometer?


    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • Thanks guys! I just seem to have way too much time on my hands sometimes :))
    Yes @punkin information was the driving goal but with intent to be able to draw at different ABV's as well :D

  • That and make Punkin scratch his head a lot an ask WTF?

  • You Da Man!!! ^:)^

  • You wanted to know, and you set about finding out.

    Superb effort.

  • With temp probes added,,, would be a superb tool for the classroom environment.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • edited January 2015

    Stilldragon U

    Is there a college hoodie?

    Fantastic thread. Hooch what is the ABV falling off the bottom plate? Maybe you can answer an outstanding question for us.

  • @Smaug where would you suggest might be the best place for the temp. probes? Sure it can be done very easy.

    @grim it was 36 on test one and 64 on test 2, however, because the cups were dropping down so close to the lower downcomer, this numbers are sure to be off. This is why I added the deflectors and the exact same tests will be done with the mods to confirms this. If you look at test 2, the lower three plates were almost identical, which is why I believe an improvement was needed. Also, since I was only able to reach 90 on the top plate on both test, makes me think the plates were not working as good as they normally do with staggered downcomers.

    I found this table on the net somewhere but I can not remember where, was just trying to find it again this morning.


    Maybe someone recognizes it and can tell me where the heck I can find it again. :-?

    plate abv.jpg
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  • Damn Captain absolutely amazing! Beautiful work!

  • I have a version of that reflux column statistic sheet for 1 to 8 plates with boiler charge to 45%, reflux ratio and condensate volumes in gm/hr. However, I am sure it originated in Riku's book.

  • Awesome.capt!, nice build and great experimenting ^:)^ it's great to see the different ABV on each level, something we've wanted to see for a long Time!.

  • Very nice work Captain, not only is your experiment a success but I admire the job you did soldiering the cups into the tees. Very clean and if you find yourself with extra time, send some my way!! Great job =D>

  • Thanks @googe and @stainless_dude . I can't wait till the next run of tests. DA:O

  • I just figured that by adding a return into the boiler and perhaps another valve I can disable the plates starting with the bottom one and working up giving me the ability to run any number of plates bet 0 and 6 without reconfiguring the still. Drawn in purple on this diagram.

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  • But will that completely disable the plate? Don't think so... will allow you to drain the cups back to the boiler before you take a sample...

  • It remains to be seen, if the cups catch almost all of the down flow, then the reflux in the lower plate should be minimal.

  • Interesting variation and I must admit, not one that I had considered.

    YES provide your cup and drain can divert enough reflux so that there is no vapour lock on the plates then they will be dissabled. You just need to divert enough reflux so the plate seal is not working and the vapour can pass through the cap unhindered. Everything will depend on the flow rate through the tube/valve between cup and boiler.

  • May have to leave one of the cap bolts lose so the plate can drain below the downcomer and expose the vents on the caps. Intersting.
    I have old style caps with the longer slots so it will only need to drain perhaps 1/2 of what it would need with the new style slots to open an uninhibited vapor path. I will definitely follow up on this.

  • This should work on a non-pro setup IF your collection cup is the downcomer as it controls the fluid level. Then you can even play around with fluid levels per plate and are getting close to what the pro's have.

  • captain...your return to boiler? What about returning it back into Packed section?

    DAD... not yours.. ah, hell... I don't know...

  • It is certainly an option, thanks for bringing that up @dad

  • @Unsensibel I will be taking a lot of baby steps while tinkering with this one but you have planted a seed in my mind for perhaps the next contraption. :-bd

  • If only I had a good TIG welder and practicing time... You're doing some beautiful work

  • Round two of testing will be done today. I have set up some thermometers as well so we'll have more info from these tests. I used the inexpensive SD thermometers for now, but I have plans to replace with some more accurate stuff in the near future.



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