Advice before first time spd run

Hey guys. Over the last few weeks I’ve been cramming in research to learn how to distill. Even had a board member invite me over for some hands on learning. I feel confident in understanding the fundamentals, etc. but there’s some things i still feel intimidated by. As of now I’m running a simple spd setup, the 2l setup from open source (Chinese crap until I can upgrade). The only thing I’m missing is a good vacuum gauge/sensor, and the glass piece to add the thermometer at the head. I’ve been trying to get things running without throwing endless bills or investments at my employers. I’ve read up on breaking dabs distillation tek, as well as summits and best value vacs step by step teks. All of them have differences, and also use different hardware. For the setup I have which is simple boiling flask, head, cow and 3 recieving flasks. And at the moment, no vacuum gauge or any thing, running a Welch duoseal. My thought was to run the pump, let it vacuum for awhile, and basically just start off as the teks describe with their suggest temps, and just go for it. Slow ramp ups, observer output and colors etc. so my question is, flying blind like that, am I doomed for failure from the start? And considering my setup, is there a tek or follow along tek that you would suggest I try? I’m just nervous as I start my first ever distillation run.

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This was what I was going to follow as a real rough guideline and dial it in with experience. Am I way off the path of glory?

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You might wanna pick up at least a cheap vacuum gauge. How are you going to know if you have a major leak without one. Seems like you spent more on your chiller than my whole setup.

Why potential ruin a run when you can get amazon to deliever you a cheap vac gauge in 2 days? Just a thought. This is the reason i bought a digivac bullseye. Im going to leak test my whole system before even attempting to do this.

Im probably gonna try to distill some alcohol not vacuum distilled but simple distillation just to get a feel for what im about to get into.

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I have this guage on the way, as for the chiller etc, that was already here

I guess the best bet will be to wait for the guage then :slight_smile: any advice on the best follow along tek I can use for my setup? I know most the experience comes from doing it and observing, so I just want the best follow along for my hardware /setup and learn from there.

Here a picture on sort of how I plan to set up my vacuum. I do have a 1000mm kf25 stainless bellow hose for between the block off valve and the kf25 cross. And the blank off is actually where I’m putting a 1/8 barb/kf25 fitting.

There is a kf25 vent valve on the bottom side of the kf25 cross if your wondering.

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I’ve seen beakers vac setup and it’s almost like that. I fully understand the importance of the gauge and vacuum, just trying to get as far as I can before throwing another 400 dollar bill at them lol. But alas, I see it’s not something to try and get around. think that cheap gauge I posted will atleast let me know about a leak? Hopefully soon I can order a good guage like that bullseye and the valve to control

ive never ran mine yet so im not the one to be giving advice but id probably follow more of summits guide to making distillate than BVV. I dont think im gonna by pass my cold traps like he says. But the ramping on the PID makes sense. Just where they say bump from 60c to 140c without any stepping is the very first time i heard to operate like this.

No i dont this that vacuum gauge is gonna cut it. I think your gonna want something digital and something that reads microns. Ive seen tons of people have these on their systems in the past

Ahhh. Note, the guage I posted is one the guy I work with just ordered for the hell of it… I tend to research before I buy anything lol. Maybe I’ll try and grab that one to get us started. Not sure how to pipe that into my system, but I shall figure it out :slight_smile:

My advise buy a pirani gauge and controller second hand on ebay
Sure the are heavy for a glasware setup so best is to put them around Where your metal tubbing starts and a bulls eye for your glasswear but start with the pirani investment far more accurate

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yea ive seen beakers set up with the pirani gauge and it was real nice… Along with the nice valve to control vacuum and his vent accessories, it was sweet… I was just trying to get as far along as i could without dropping another bill on the bossman. but it seems it needs to happen before we run anything.

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sure bossman would rather dump $500 on the proper gauges then lose potentially a lot more in distillate.

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Gauge first
A. Vacuum controller to be able to higher or lower your vacuum is Nice but most of the runs i run are at full trothel vacuum the deeper the better
Now the gauge tells You If You have vacuum and how deep
If your system has a leak etc etc
And that is really important



He also does consults. Wheres my CC at!

OP im right there with ya. Have pretty much all thats needed minus a few small things. I read a lot about vac leaks on here, and thats bullseye is awesome. I love mine.

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i checked out the digital gauge on amazon you suggested… seems to have endless terrible reviews about internal leaks… But atleast i know what im looking for now. Where would u suggest to mount/insert a gauge of that type into the mix? Still by the pump? I know my condenser head has 2 ports for the chiller in and out, and another which i believe is for a vacuum gauge.

Yeah all those cheaper vac gauges you will find had bad reviews and my reason for stepping up to the plate and buying a bullseye, but Ive seen tons of short path videos with people using those exact gauges. I think BVV use to sell their kits with a similar vac gauge. I think you just run it Inline after your trap between the pump.

And with the amazon gauge. You can always return it once you get a good gauge. Fucking amazon takes back everything. Lol.

amazon would take the empty box back… anyways, thanks man. I will move forward accordingly!

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Yes that vacuum port on the condenser is for a vacuum line that you could have a vacuum monitor on before your cold trap and another monitor placed on your pump

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Do you have pictures or info of the crude you will start with?

i can add some pics this afternoon… Its just some decent trim we ran through a butane cls… winterized with etoh, buchner funneled and rotovaped… its actually fairly “clean” as it is before it goes to distillation

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