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DistillateurQc

Cleaning Run

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Hi all,

We are a startup. About cleaning run (water in a 600L 28 plates column copper still), we are unable to get the steam come out of the condenser, after 12 hours of boiling. We have a 600 000 btu boiler. Is it normal? How long can it take?

 

Thank you

 

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I assume you mean no steam or water!

If you are you running cold water through the dephleg that could stop the steam getting past.

Boiler can't be working efficiently. If my math is correct 600,000 btu is about 175 Kw. That is a lot of heat for 600 litres.

I am intrigued, I will watch this space.

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9 hours ago, DistillateurQc said:

We are a startup. About cleaning run (water in a 600L 28 plates column copper still), we are unable to get the steam come out of the condenser, after 12 hours of boiling. We have a 600 000 btu boiler. Is it normal? How long can it take?

That is a massive boiler for 600 liters. Be prepared for short cycling.     Let just assume you're 500k BTU on the output side. You should be able to bring the contents of the kettle to a boil in about 40 mins.  Is your distillyer cold? Too much (as in an infinite amount) of passive reflux? Tell us more about your still. I'd like to know about column diameter. Can you post a few pics?

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Our boiler have 587K BTU on the output side.

Columns diameter is about 1 foot.

Please see attached pictures.After about 12 hours, the temperature at the upper dephlegmentor is abour 95 celcius and it just stay there. It dont come out through the condenser.

Please see attached picture.

Also, can you tell me how frequently you do water cleaning run?

 

Thank you.

IMG_1046.JPG

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Are you running coolant to your deph? And if you say no, are you 100% positive?  For this cleaning run, are you running vapor through both the shorter and taller column? 

 

 

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Do you have condensate in your steam line backing up?  Open one of the strainer valves in your return line and see if you have steam or just water...If not this, do you have pressure building up in there?  Pressure gauge?  If you hit this thing with that much  steam and it isn't a problem in the steam piping, I would expect you have a lot of pressure in the still.

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If the return is cold water, see if the float in your steam trap is stuck...I had that once.  Installed a new still and must have done something to the steam trap.  

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95C may very well be the max temp with that many plates, plus the exterior heat dissipation through the column wall. should be no prob with the ethanol at that temp, but not H2o. Wash it from the top down

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Is the water boiling in the still? If so, are the temp gauges in the lower parts of the column at 100C? If its the first time running the still, I would be looking at all the connections with a mirror for vapor leaks where the steam might be escaping. I would also check all the routing and piping valves to make sure the vapor is going the path it should be and not hitting a dead end with a valve going the wrong way. If you bypass the column and go straight from still to the condenser do you get steam? 

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No No No! Never open the manway of a running or very hot still!

There's the chance the boiler is under a little pressure or superheated and cracking the lid could be a one way trip to your nearest burn center (if you live).

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1 minute ago, MGL said:

No No No! Never open the manway of a running or very hot still!

There's the chance the boiler is under a little pressure or superheated and cracking the lid could be a one way trip to your nearest burn center (if you live).

Totally agree, a slight drop in pressure can make the contents boil rather rapidly. Been there, done that. Luckily I jumped very quickly but still ended with a small burn on my back. Another distillery near here ended up with 2 people hospitalized for some time.

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ouch, well don't do that I guess... We boil water in the still for mashing and cleaning and the manway gets opened regularly in the process but perhaps we should change that. 

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1 hour ago, JustAndy said:

ouch, well don't do that I guess... We boil water in the still for mashing and cleaning and the manway gets opened regularly in the process but perhaps we should change that. 

My suggestion is to leave your hatch open while heating your water or just leave it closed but not bolted down. The danger time is if a pressure buildup is suddenly released

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