Author Topic: Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil  (Read 369 times)

AnGhrúdlannBeag

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Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil
« on: December 07, 2019, 10:09:05 PM »
Just read on a Facebook group somebody suggesting that the Grainfather alembic attachment could be used during the boil to eliminate steam condensation while brewing.  Has anyone tried this? Do you think it would work without inhibiting DMS boil off? I have read a few posts where people use other condenser set ups and they have demonstrated that the quantity of liquid they boil off is the same... but is this a good guarantor that DMS is boiled off?

Pheeel

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Re: Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2019, 12:19:41 AM »
I don't see why it wouldn't work but I've no personal experience. But I think this could be done for cheaper
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AnGhrúdlannBeag

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Re: Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2019, 02:57:03 PM »
Cheaper using a condenser, or cheaper using extract fans and large pipe work? One of the things that would appeal to me about the condenser is the small space it takes up... storage space is always at a premium in our house!

Tom

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Re: Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2019, 03:05:45 PM »
You'd recover a lot of wasted steam energy in hot water for cleaning, long before your IC or Heat ex 'free' hot water. That's a plus.

Before you buy, though, the condenser will be designed for ethanol & water concentrations, which condenses easier than water steam, so the condenser might struggle to contain all of the steam. Someone versed in distilling will be able to advise you better, although probably not on a public forum! :D

I see no reason why DMS wouldn't be driven off in the same manner as an open boil.

AnGhrúdlannBeag

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Re: Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2019, 04:23:23 PM »
cheers! I better clarify, I have no interest in using it for alcohol distillation, it seems like it could be a useful tool to have lying around... €150 is quite steep though so still not decided! ... I wonder how efficient it would be in producing distilled water for diluting the liquor in high mineral water area? It might start to make sense financially if it could be used in different ways!

CH

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Re: Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2019, 10:07:17 AM »
Not suitable for the boil you’d be 4 hours at it to achieve gravity and DMS city. Look at fan with grainfather against open window

eanna

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Re: Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2020, 02:25:36 PM »
Before you buy, though, the condenser will be designed for ethanol & water concentrations, which condenses easier than water steam, so the condenser might struggle to contain all of the steam. Someone versed in distilling will be able to advise you better, although probably not on a public forum! :D

Nope, water steam condenses as easily or easier than ethanol + water steam. Consider it this way, your counter flow heater is taking away energy at close to 100 degrees as opposed to taking it away at at 80 degrees, and your energy in is constant. More energy removed per unit water used. Source - I do this legally.

I wouldn't go down this route personally. Pipes running around everywhere, adjusting flowrates,  buckets of almost boiling water overflowing, doing hop additions when the lid is 100deg c, all sounds bad to me. Your cleaning time would get eaten into.

AnGhrúdlannBeag

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Re: Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2020, 06:49:42 PM »
Thanks, I appreciate all the feedback. I think at this stage I’ll leave it based on the cost/risk of it not working.

I have also reached out to Grainfather customer service and they have said that they will get their technical team to look into it as they have gotten a good few requests about it. I will reply back here with what they come back with.

AnGhrúdlannBeag

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Re: Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2020, 08:49:12 AM »
So Grainfather sent a follow up email this morning and said that it could be used, but would not be very efficient and that they recommend this product on a third party site... https://brewshop.no/produkt/utstyr/bryggemaskiner/grainfather-bryggemaskin-1/dampkondensator-til-grainfather-forhandsbestilling

Pheeel

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Re: Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2020, 12:39:38 PM »
Nice but very pricey!
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AnGhrúdlannBeag

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Re: Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2020, 12:43:25 PM »
Yeah, but looking at it I think you were right about being able to make up something like it much cheaper... I’d say you could get all the parts and fittings on aliexpress for half that price!

Pheeel

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Re: Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2020, 05:47:11 PM »
I'd say so. I just crunched some numbers on Ali and came up with the following. Doesn't include P&P

I was basing the design on what I saw on the site so there may be a better ways of doing this (or I might be missing important stuff)

90 deg elbow €6
Clamps x6 - €12
3 way pipe - €12
Straight pipe x2 - €28
Spray Ball - €15
Hose barb - €2
Robobrew lid - €15
Weldless 1.5" TC fitting - €12.50
----------------
Total €102.5

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Pheeel

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Re: Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2020, 07:25:01 PM »
This is the basic idea. Not sure the spray ball is the best option TBH
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AnGhrúdlannBeag

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Re: Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2020, 07:29:36 PM »
I’ve seen guys who built their own referencing these ones on homebrewtalk forum ... https://www.mcmaster.com/#3178k46/=19so93t

armedcor

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Re: Grainfather alembic attachment as condenser during boil
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2020, 07:56:30 PM »
That lid is very nice piece of kit. Uses about 36 litres in an hour of boiling though. I feel bad enough with the amount of waste using my chiller, t-500 and alembic :/