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Step 4: Winding the condenser coil

ok, so we need to make a condenser coil, now the original Boka still was a single coil, since then other distillers have found a double coil to be more effective.

a double coil is a smaller coil inside a larger coil.

ok so I had to work out how I would make the coil so that it would fit, i knew the diameter of the pipe I was using to make the coil, 6mm, and the internal diameter of the column, 50mm. the coil should be made in such a way that it fits inside the column but without touching the sides. I planned to wrap the outer coil around a pipe of 32mm copper pipe that and 6mm copper pipe x 2 = 42mm perfect.

the inner coil would then have to fit inside the PVC pipe with room to spare, the inner diameter of the PVC pipe is 30mm, so a piece of 15mm copper pipe fitted the bill, 15mm plus 6mm x 2 for the copper pipe = 27mm also perfect.

we start off by making the smaller coil, the inner coil, to do this we have to wrap the 6mm copper tube around a form, e.g. a 15mm copper pipe in my case. be careful when starting it off you need to leave enough to go out the top about 5 inches long. also when starting off take it slow, you don't want to kink the pipe, I did a little but it hasn't restricted the flow too much, if I find later it has I will have to make a new coil. when winding your coil make sure you leave a gap between turns, we want to allow the vapour to get between so it can cool on the coil.

Coil length, 8 inches in my case which is what everyone seems to say is best for this type of still, you can make it to 5 inches if you're making a smaller column but if you can make it 8 inches or more.

once the inner coil is to the length you want slide your PVC pipe over and start winding the outer coil around it when you get to the end leave 5 inch's and cut it, bend it so both ends of the coil are facing upwards using a bending spring you don't want to put a kink in it now.

you should be able to slide the copper tube out easily, the PVC pipe you may have to pull out with pliers.

check out this forum post on winding the perfect coil, click here
How did you manage to "legally" get the keg? I am having trouble getting hold of one. Thanks
<p>try having a look at </p><p><a href="http://siba.co.uk/classifieds/browse-categories/?category_id=5/for-sale/" rel="nofollow">http://siba.co.uk/classifieds/browse-categories/?c...</a></p><p>for a keg all legal 4.5 g to 18g and one of the keg sellers may even be close to you this is where im buying my stainless steel keg for huhumm a smoker to smoke fish .... honest :) some are even as cheap as &pound;25 a keg </p>
<p>try having a look at </p><p><a href="http://siba.co.uk/classifieds/browse-categories/?category_id=5/for-sale/" rel="nofollow">http://siba.co.uk/classifieds/browse-categories/?c...</a></p><p>for a keg all legal 4.5 g to 18g and one of the keg sellers may even be close to you this is where im buying my stainless steel keg for huhumm a smoker to smoke fish .... honest :) some are even as cheap as &pound;25 a keg </p>
I just bought it from a keg supplier, Crusader Casks
<p>Any chance you can post the pictures of the new medication? Hows your booze tastin'?</p>
<p>Hey, I used most of your design and instruction to build a version of this with an offset head. Anyway, I am having trouble understanding how the voltage controller works with my heating element. I see one on amazon that looks like it could be the same as yours: </p><p><strong><a href="http://tinyurl.com/oopep5c" rel="nofollow">http://tinyurl.com/oopep5c</a></strong></p><p><strong>Will that work?</strong><br><br>Question #2: Could it also be possible to use a temperature controller instead? So the temperature controller would turn your element on and off to make sure it stays in that temperature zone needed, example here: </p><p><strong><a href="http://tinyurl.com/ndx9w8c" rel="nofollow">http://tinyurl.com/ndx9w8c</a><br><br>Thanks for all of your help and instructions. I wouldn't have been able to figure out all the connectors and flange sizes on the first try without this instructable!!<br></strong></p><p></p>
<p>ok first question, yes that looks like it would do the trick.</p><p>2nd question, the problem with temperature controllers is they turn off the element until the temp drops below a threshold so you would have irregular flow and find it very hard to control the unit.<br><br>KIS - Keep It Simple ;-)<br><br>You will have to upload some pics of your still</p>
Hey man major question, I just finished my condenser. I used 13' of 1/2&quot; tubing. Now after all of that I wanted to text it so I ran some water through it. My water is getting stuck somewhere in it. It's about as even as I can get it and idk if this is a problem. It takes about a half a water bottle before and water will start to come out and to get the rest of it out I have to physically blow through the tubeing. Will this affect my distilling? I'm worried about shine getting stuck in there and making it gurgle.
well you will have pressurised water running through it so I would test it using mains water not a water bottle. you may have a slight kink in your pipe
Also great Instructable man! I can't def see all the time and work you but into to it. I did t just throw a pot sti together ha. Iv takein my time and have put a lot of work Into mine. I'm using a 2gal pot with a hot plate. And def a lager condensed in need. But that can't be detrimental as long as it's working right lol. I chose to go a small pot because I just don't have the momey to spend now on a keg and all that jazz. But I figured I'd get some practice on the basics even though I could of just waited and have no doubt that I coulda made something like this. I'm going to be using a thumper too but that's more for adding flavor than double distilling.
<p>if your condenser is too small it wont condense all the vapour which could lead to a leak of vapour and possibly a still explosion. also you lose valuable alcohol. and if it doesnt leak it will take much longer.</p>
Than**
I meant definitely a larger condenser that I need haha
Awesome instructable, I've just built my 1st keg still with the aid of this, only question I have is how did you wire the voltage controller, I have the same one as you have in the picture but no instructions to wire it up<br>
I asked the seller how to wire it and they said you wire it with the natural, you only have 2 points ;-)
I have already manage to blow one up... Electrics are not my strongest skills ? can you give me a bit more detail of the complete wiring please
<p>ok, with the heat sink at the back, the furthest connector connect the neutral from the cable with the plug on the end. the closest connector connect the natural to the element. simple. the live from the cable with the plug goes straight to the element.</p>
Thank you, hopefully this one won't go bang
<p>there is photos ;-) blue is nutral </p>
<p>I was following your instructable, but I have some trouble welding the plate inside of the tube. I'm using a silver based bar (strong welding), but I cant reach the correct temperature with the torch I have, and because of that the welding isn't good. What kind of soldering bar are you using? In the picture appear to be a tin (Sn) based with out lead, but if this is the case, is the Sn safe to use in this equipment?.</p><p>Thanks, and sorry for my bad english</p>
I'm using lead free plumbing solder, common stuff from most hardware stores.
<p>Hello, I have some doubts about the size of the pipe, you said 2&quot; or (54mm), but 2&quot; are not the same of 54mm. 54mm should by 2 1/8&quot; . So, what size of pipe whould I buy?</p>
they are the same, 2&quot; is the inner diameter and 54mm is the outer diameter, it just depends on how your plumbing shop refers to them.
<p>Oh I see, thanks for your reply. I will buy 2&quot; then.</p>
<p>hello!I have question .how you fit the thermometer ? the is no any leakage?</p><p>ant the pressure hole on top ,no leakage ,no vapur?</p>
thermometer, slides in to the hole under the plates and you seal it with a few wraps of PTFE tape.<br><br>no vapour does not come out the top, if your coil is run correctly then the vapour will be cooled and turned back to liquid before it gets there.
One more question <br>Where do the neddle valves go and what's the purpose of these? Are they left slightly open at any given stage during distillation? Can you explain pleAse
you put one on the output, you need to control the flow out so that it refluxes, you should be aiming for about 2 drips a second
Do you think I could combine the two designs, pot still and reflux in one <br>I'm thinking about using the same column and invent some sort of attachment for the condenser in pot still mode?
yes i have described a detachable head where the condenser is, if you make this column really short then make an extension column with an easy flange at each end, and use a tri clamp to connect the 2 that would work, thats what my column now looks like.
<p>Could this type of still be used to make gin?</p>
it could if you run it in pot still mode, with the valve fully open so it doesn't reflux. put the botanicals in a basket inside the column
<p>This is a great instructable. Do you have an update for your update? </p><p>I was also wondering if you have an easy way to remove all of the packing from the column for cleaning? Maybe a copper wire with a hook at one end?</p>
<p>I havnt done much on the new column so no update, other than the scrubbers get really dirty very fast. to get them out I have a grabber tool used for picking up screw, but you could use a stick with a barbed prong on the end.</p>
<p>great instructable love it easy to follow. I only thing I did different was the conection to the keg. I used a 4inch milk fitting on the keg so I could easily clean the boiler then made a cone to a 2 inch fitting and it works well. thanks for your instructable keep up the good work.</p>
<p>Has anyone had issues with a 2&quot; clamp? looks like it should be 2.5&quot; or so.</p>
the clamp size refers to the size of the pipe not the ferrule
<p>Very good, thank you.</p>
<p>For those who don't want to make their own flange. They actually manufacture copper triclover fittings that you can solder directly onto your pipe. They are a tad expensive, but you know it'll work, and you won't destroy a column trying to figure out how to flange properly.</p>
I would love to know where you get them? I looked around and couldn't find anything other than stainless steel
I found some on eBay. I any remember my search term though.
<p>and after saying that I did a search on ebay and found one listed, DOH! but it was &pound;17 plus postage from the US</p>
This a is very intertesing project. Unfortunatly a home still in the states is very illegal but I have another use for this. Can you tell me what the psi or kgpsi is for of these stainless steel kegs is? The idea is to build a dune buggy and use the ambient engine heat to aide in making woody alcohol to fuel it. I know it would take about three kegs for the different stages but what can these vessels take in terms of pressure? Thank you Karl.
<p>This won't work, It takes too long to heat the mash to get the reaction going. You just don't have enough heat from an engine to make it work well. You'd burn 100 times the fuel heating the engine, than you would make.. You'd be better off with a wood gasifier. </p>
What if you use a fresnel lens or a series of large maginifiying lensis and paint the target flat black? set a compass in it and plot ideal sun latitude? This all a theoretical but please let me know your thoughts. Thank's K.
That would get hot enough, maybe too hot, though. It could ignite the alcohol vapor. Also, it would still take a long time to get going. You over estimate how long it would take to heat that much fluid. And you could only run it during the day. Seriously, look into wood gasification.
mine says 4.14 BAR, you would have to heck with the manufacturer in your area for your keg.
Is that barometeric preshure? I don't want to make something I can drink I want to make ethanol that will power a large air cooled engine. ATF (alchol Tobbaco and firearms dousn't have a problem with that.
the process is the same either way, I would assume thats barometeric pressure as I said mine has 4.14 BAR stamped on the side of it.