StillDragon® Community Forum

Welcome!

Be part of our community & join our international next generation forum now!

In this Discussion

MAINTENANCE NOTIFICATION: There will be a few more service interruptions, which we will try to keep as short as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

My Evolution

image

Thought I should get aintog and put the bits I had been accumulating (thanks @punkin) together and get the training wheels on.

Replaced the 65mm x 1mtr packed column with 5 x 4" bubble plates.
I don't have enough ceiling height to run the column and any plates so it is 1 or the other - can't be bothered moving outside to run column and 5 plates as much as I would like to.

Stripping run seemed an appropriate time to practice before we hit the big lights.
Main thing I notice different than the column is the distillate is a lot "oilyer" (louched when I added a bit of water to test).
The bit I really like is I can see the moment it starts to puke, with the column I had to listen for the rumbling sound, by then you had to be quick on the power off or you got sprayed with hot wash.

Performance is a little different, after heatup - 1 kw max for the 1st hour then I could start inching up to 3.5kw.
I noticed the bottom plate was very easy to flood, ~3kw seems to be about the max you can throw at it early on.
Might have to look at a ProCap36 plate for the bottom one.
Anyone got any idea of the max power you can push at a 4" ProCap36 plate???

«1

Comments

  • edited January 2015

    Don't have procaps...........but reckon flooding is related to wash AND power. I've flooded during full warm up and as well as mid run when adjustment to the deflag water. Other times I have chucked far too much power without any problems. Sometimes it's the bottom plates with excess power or foaming other times top plates with playing with water flow. l have pushed over 6000w without flooding and l have flooded with 2000w.

    Fadge

  • edited January 2015

    I don't think you could flood a procap plate with any sane amount of power. Have a look at @CothermanDistilling s clean in place video.

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

  • @punkin said: I don't think you could flood a procap plate with any sane amount of power. Have a look at CothermanDistilling s clean in place video.

    Also, Smokey Quartz is now collecting vodka @ 50 lph now that he has the big parrot. That is alot of vapor being called into suspension!

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • On an 8" column?

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

  • Yes.

    Not sure what the abv is on his final charge is? But 50 lph still translates to a shit ton of input with an appreciable RR suitable for vodka.....no flooding.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • What's the abv output at 50 lph?

  • He has to pull 95% to call it vodka.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • I'll see if I can get him to chime to fill in the details

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • yesterdays charge was a full 50L @ 10%.

    Todays charge is 1/2 full @ 10% (same wash). After warm up cut to 1.7kw and the plates have all loaded nicely, no flooding.

    Once I have compressed the fores off I'll wind it up to full power (5.4kw) and see what happens.

    Tell me guys - when does the excitement watching thru those site glasses wear off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    After running a column for some years and not being able to see what was going on this is a bit different.

    cheers all.

  • OK, so it is just me - 1l/m reflux flow 5.4 kw no problem.

    I'll just have to learn to run with smaller charges or keep the power down for the 1st hour.

    One thing I was surprised about is the amount of passive reflux (no water flow) that I can see dripping down from the reflux condenser.

    Yesterday I had about 2.5 kw, no coolant and all the plates staid loaded the entire duration. Shed temp = 28C/95% humid - same again today.

  • @dellae said: Tell me guys - when does the excitement watching thru those site glasses wear off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    After running a column for some years and not being able to see what was going on this is a bit different.

    I'm with you there brother! I've only been running stills with sight glasses for a year now. So much more understanding of the process with those little windows to look through. Running without them is like flying on instruments.

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • The Crystal Dragon lets you do all that from your seat across the other side of the shed. B-)

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

  • edited February 2015

    Sign me up for one when you figure out how to put thermo-ports in the glass mantles. ;)

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • How about Crystal Dragon gin baskets? (see chemical resistant laboratory sink drain fixtures)

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • @Kapea said: Sign me up for one when you figure out how to put thermo-ports in the glass mantles. ;)

    A clever bloke like you could probably put a single wire thermo sensor in the gasket. ;;)

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

  • I've been thinking more along the lines of IR sensors.

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • @Kapea said: Sign me up for one when you figure out how to put thermo-ports in the glass mantles. ;)

    +1 on that.

    Been busy today buying RTD(3 wire) probes and Displays - thought if I spent so much on this thing I might as well bling it.

  • Actually Thermo ports are doable in the glass...

  • How would you shield them from reflux drip?

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • Maybe a little copper umbrella half pipe kinda cover

  • Cool. I like it! It will be like a tropical foo-foo drink/skateboard ramp right in your column... :)

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • edited February 2015

    Maybe something like this that can be attached to a Crystal Dragon mantle's wider diameter:

    Pipe-Clamp-Lead-Thermocouple-Clip

    That will connect to a thermometer like this (what I use):

    Digital J/K Type Thermocouple Thermometer

    I know borosilicate glass is a good insulator, but I think you could adjust the instrument to read right with the programmable calibration.

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • edited February 2015

    God it would be ugly.

    Pretty sure someone here has already put probes through the glass. @grim maybe?

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

  • edited February 2015

    You can drill borosilicate, but I am not going to be the first guy to try it. I've drilled glass before, but only flat plate. If I was going to do it, it would be for CIP.

    The easiest approach for temp sensors is to use sealed sensors with integral teflon sheathed cable. Feed the cables through compression fittings at the top of the column.

    Or, make stainless or copper sandwich plates, and double up on gaskets and glass. Once you have the copper tube section, adding sensors or CIP is easy.

    Vapor temp above the dephlegmator is the only one that matters really...

  • For drilling I would recommend a glazier (is this the right word for someone, who does glass works as a professional?), the idea of CIP in a big Crystal Dragon is interesting.

    StillDragon Europe - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Europe & the surrounding area

  • SQD
    edited February 2015

    Hi Guys,

    Larry asked me to chime in here. Yes I have the ProCaps installed in my 8-tray 8" column on a 1000L steam-jacketed boiler. I like the extra volume the procaps allow. I installed them last fall and have done a couple of corn whisky runs, a vodka run, a rum run and am now in the middle of my second vodka run. But the the Procaps aren't perfect. The old caps were very predictable but the Procaps are very tricky to operate consistently. At first I couldn't get over 180 proof so I had to add a second column condenser and then had to add packing to both condensers in order to get a good reflux. In addition I had to add a second spirit condenser as the output distillate was way to hot(as to be expected with higher flows). So plan for extra condensers.

    With the extra condensers I can now reach 190 proof, barely. With the old caps I could get 195. At 190 proof my flow rate is about 25~ 35L/hr. However the flow rate can be dramatically different at lower proofs. I was doing a first vodka spirit run last week and in the middle of the run I was pulling 50L/hr at 180 proof. It held at this rate for about 2 hours and I was swapping out my 10 gallon milk cans every 40 minutes or so. It was crazy fast, much faster than the old caps. That was the fastest run so far. I generally need 3 spirit runs for my vodka.

    When I run I always have 2 or more plates completely flooded(see attached pic from today's run).

    But I can't seem to nail down consistent operation. Sometimes I can balance the column quickly other times not. And occasionally I get a runaway condition where all of a sudden the output 'takes off'. Nothing changed on my steam line or steam valve so the only thing I can think of is a pressure change in my town water which is what my condensers are on. With the older parrot a runaway resulted in a fountain of HOT spirit squirting out of the surge breaker holes and overflowing the parrot. Vapor and liquid everywhere, not very safe and downright scary. I've since upgraded to the new, larger 'pro' parrot and this has made the situation much safer. At least any runway is contained. The output from the 'pro' parrot during a runway looks like a firehose. Any alcohol resulting from a runaway is dumped into the next spirit or strip run. But today I had a runaway where I even had distillate coming out of the surge vent of the pro parrot..........

    In late spring I am getting a new 1.5" water line installed to my building vs the 3/4" one I currently have so I shouldn't have any more water supply issues. Hopefully this cures my runaway issue.

    Any questions feel free to ask

    image

    SQD.jpg
    600 x 800 - 88K
  • @Sunshine said: For drilling I would recommend a glazier (is this the right word for someone, who does glass works as a professional?), the idea of CIP in a big Crystal Dragon is interesting.

    You only need a nipple welded in to the reducer above the reflux condensor or into the bend for cip in the Crystal Dragons.

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

  • what about temperature guns that mechanics use to check hub temps on trucks , just point and pull trigger .... simple ....

    hey @dellae I built a glass topped boka ? .it was so cool to watch,,,,,,,,,, it was like the condenser had a hole in it ,,, then I added a 2 inch sight tower under it and watch in reflux even cooler ,,,,,,,,,,now I got a Ace ,,,,,way more cooler to watch.....

    if I had a 8 inch glass cd with pro caps I'd have to put my bed in the garage :bz

  • edited February 2015

    @grim said: Vapor temp above the dephlegmator is the only one that matters really...

    I do not agree. Seeing the temp increase as tails rise through the column gives you a whole lot more control over the process. Only seeing the temp of your product take off above the reflux condenser only allows you to react after the fact.

    I think you can get accurate temperature measurements without penetrating the glass. Kinda like detecting current amperage from the flux around a wire with an ammeter, only measuring heat on the column instead of EMR around the wire.

    It's only ugly until someone figures out how to make it purtier...

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

Sign In or Register to comment.