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  • Centrifuge vs Water Heater Still

    Since I am not using either of these methods currently, I think it's time I invested in one or the other. Since I am only home on the weekends, I need to expedite the time it takes to get some wvo ready to go into my tank, or at least minimize my time involved with the process.

    I see pros and cons with both systems but I'd like to hear from some of you about what you like or dislike with your system. As of now I am leaning towards a Simple centrifuge set up like FastCote is using because of the minimal amount of filtering and it seems like it's a "set it and forget" set up, but that could change with what I learn here - so let's hear it...
    2001 F250 Crew Cab V3 Conversion

  • #2
    If you are going to rely on the centrifuge to be your only means of filtering, I don't think it will do that great of a job. The water heater alone would be your best bet IMO. Now if your current filtering setup does an OK job, and you are just looking for better results, then that is where the centrifuges shine.

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    • #3
      My still is pretty "set it and forget it" in my opinion. After the oil is dumped into the prefilter -flip a switch to move oil to hwt - hwt runs on a timer - after the oil settles and cools drain a few gallons off the bottem - flip a switch to cycle the oil through filter canister - after that pump to vehicle or storage. The most time consuming part of the process is dumping the cubies into the pre-filter barrel(which doesn't take more than 5 minutes usually). Other than that is is just a matter of flipping a switch and opening/closing a few valves (seconds). I know that some say that it is too time consuming but a 40 gallon batch only takes minutes of my time. You do have to allow time for heat and settle (not my time) but I have had good results with a 24 hour heat and settle process. I currently only process 40 gallon batches because I got a smoking deal on a 40 gallon hwt but with a larger tank you could process even more.

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      • #4
        Horsemover, is your system similar to CHenry's?
        2001 F250 Crew Cab V3 Conversion

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        • #5
          Originally posted by waytallwhitey View Post
          Horsemover, is your system similar to CHenry's?
          Pretty much identical. Initially I tried doing a few things differently but they didn't work out as well as I had hoped and I ended up going back to the tried and true. I was concerned at first with using the 40 gallon hwt and planned on it only being a temporary setup but honestly it is working fine and I will most likely keep it unless I stumble upon a larger one.

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          • #6
            Another vote here for the standard Frybrid/Clay Henry HWH still. I built mine off the same plans that Clay used and so far it's worked great. As Horsemover said, it's a good setup if you want to minimize your time involved with the filtering process. Pretty much a set it and forget it type deal.

            The majority of my time is pouring the cubes through the pre-filter, but that is largely due to my use of a 100 micron screen. One a good day, I can pour 40 gallons through it in 10-15 minutes, on a bad day maybe more like 30. Either way, it's not that bad. After that, it's switching valves and letting it do it's thing.

            I have considered centrifuges here lately to get that last bit of contaminants out of my oil, but haven't fully decided yet if I'd want to make the leap. Pretty good cost involved and it seems to me that centrifuges would consume more of my time. I guess I'd always be wanting to make sure it's running correctly, or hasn't stopped up, etc. I could be wrong though...no experience with one to really speak of...
            Greasin & Grinin
            Vegi oil powered since Aug 08
            2006 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Vegistroke converted 1/27/13!!
            2008 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Sold
            2005 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Sold

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            • #7
              Marv

              Its funny that you mentioned the good day/bad day thing with the pre filter screen. A good part of my oil comes from a place that frys chips in the oil. When I pick it up it is still clear and clean other than an occasional chip at the bottom of the cubie. I recently got a new source that frys a lot of wings. Never had an issue with the 200 micron screen until just the other day. It was 30 and snowing. That oil took a little longer than 5 minutes to pour. I may have to store the chicken wing oil in the heated garage until I use it or I guess I can just take a few more beers to the barn over the next couple cold months.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by HORSEMOVER View Post
                Marv

                Its funny that you mentioned the good day/bad day thing with the pre filter screen. A good part of my oil comes from a place that frys chips in the oil. When I pick it up it is still clear and clean other than an occasional chip at the bottom of the cubie. I recently got a new source that frys a lot of wings. Never had an issue with the 200 micron screen until just the other day. It was 30 and snowing. That oil took a little longer than 5 minutes to pour. I may have to store the chicken wing oil in the heated garage until I use it or I guess I can just take a few more beers to the barn over the next couple cold months.
                Well, this past weekend was a good example of this for me. I was using a nearly new 100 micron filter (5 gallon bucket style) and the temps were in the 60s (had been in the high 30s/low 40s overnight - all oil had been exposed to this temp overnight). I had about 6 gallons of oil that a friend at church gave me that was used to fry turkeys in. It was still perfectly clear and gold. Prior to pouring it through, I poured about 4 gallons of oil from my last filtering through the pre-screen (I always let the "crud" that I drain off settle and then pour the top 1/2 to 2/3 back through the process to try and reclaim a bit more oil) into the barrel, and it gave me a fit. I actually ended up walking away and came back 30 minutes later.

                After that, I decided to pour the turkey oil in and see what it would do. Before I did however, I set the other 6 or 7 cubes I had out in the afternoon sun for a few hours. The turkey oil went right through, no problem. After a couple hours in the sun, the regular oil I use worked much, much better as well. I was really surprised how much difference a few degrees and the condition of the oil can make when it comes to getting this oil to go through the filter. Even the regular oil wasn't that dirty - no large chunks or blobs of animal fat, but it still didn't like it the first time around.

                Something else I noticed, and others might want to consider, is how much crud you have in the bottom of your collection barrel.

                A few weeks ago, I noticed when draining the barrel at my source, the bottom 6 inches or so looked like jello. I grabbed a stick laying near by and tried to move it around. Needless to say, the stick snapped and I had to fish it out of the barrel. So, I knew I had to get over there and clean the bottom of the barrel out.

                Fast forward to Saturday, I went over there to see what I could do. Opened the crud drain and nothing...not even a drop came out. Surprised me. So, I grabbed my scoop and went to work. Some of the nastiest stuff I've seen came out of the bottom of that barrel...LOL. Big, nasty chunks of breading, food and grease had all settled at the bottom and turned into a jello/pudding mixture. After about 30-45 minutes, I finally got it to drain a bit. I walked away with a 5 gallon bucket 3/4 full of this jello/pudding mix and runny oil. Drained another gallon or so off into an old cube. I ran out of time (had somewhere to be) and had to leave about an inch or so in the bottom. Glad I got out what I did and I'll likely go back and finish the job in the near future.

                Bottom line I guess is, I think this nasty mess was contaminating the good oil that stayed at the top, thereby making it harder to filter. All the chunks stayed at the bottom, but I think when I went to drain it, the sludge at the bottom was right at the level of the upper drain and my good oil was flowing over it, dragging some of the sludge with it.

                Lesson learned for me was to keep a closer check on the level of crud at the bottom!! Now that it's cleaner, I'll see how that affects my filtering process over the next couple of batches.

                Sorry for the novel...LOL...

                Oh and at least with the colder temps, your beer will stay cold while you wait on your oil to pour!!
                Greasin & Grinin
                Vegi oil powered since Aug 08
                2006 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Vegistroke converted 1/27/13!!
                2008 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Sold
                2005 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Sold

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                • #9
                  Would it help if you guys poured it through a heated funnel? It would heat quickly and filter quicker too... maybe?
                  Vegistrokin since 08/23/08

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jack_Toepfer View Post
                    Would it help if you guys poured it through a heated funnel? It would heat quickly and filter quicker too... maybe?
                    Jack, that's not a bad idea, but I'll admit, I have no clue where to find one.

                    Have you ever seen those?

                    Thanks!
                    Greasin & Grinin
                    Vegi oil powered since Aug 08
                    2006 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Vegistroke converted 1/27/13!!
                    2008 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Sold
                    2005 F-250 PSD - CC, Lariat, 4X4 - Sold

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I used to have the restaurants store the oil in cubies for me.

                      When I would get home I would pour my oil into a 5 gallon bucket, put in a bucket heater to warm up the oil. Then I would pour it into my settling barrel through a 5 gallon bucket top strainer. It was amazing how much faster the oil flowed through the 100 micron filter when warm.

                      Now I collect with a barrel into the back of my truck. Before I pump that barrel into my settling barrel I use the same bucket heater to warm up the oil a bit before pumping into settling barrel.

                      http://www.amazon.com/Allied-Precisi...5842759&sr=8-3

                      That is the heater. I would say it is well worth the money. I also use it to quicken the time to heat my centrifuge oil, as an additional heater to the drum heater I use.
                      Colin

                      2002 F350 4x4 Cab Chassis Flatbed

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                      • #12
                        clindberg, how hot will the bucket heater get the oil, and how fast will it get it to that heat?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Marv View Post
                          Jack, that's not a bad idea, but I'll admit, I have no clue where to find one.

                          Have you ever seen those?

                          Thanks!
                          I was thinking you could make one with some heater wrap from a faucet/well. I think Tractor Supply sells stuff you can wrap around your well for keeping it defrosted all winter...
                          Vegistrokin since 08/23/08

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                          • #14
                            Are you familar with the theory of a jacobs ladder?If you had a large steel funnel(or copper)set up on a jig to hold it still .Ground the funnel to earth(I use a cabin spike and a length of heavy wire),Set up a transformer or electric fence power source to this set on the middle duration for power ON.Now VERY important set hose to feed over funnel WITHOUT holding it.This will supply enough heat to boost temp 30-50 degrees above ambient temp for short money.I would suggest a screen in funnel to slow it down and add more heat.Once you figure setting that work for you its pretty much self suffictent for gravity filtering.This is the same way NH farmers keep livestock water liquid(only with rubber mats under and around trough not to "JUICE" animals.Thats a lil Redneck engineering,free of charge...................greasy
                            2000 7.3X V3 So much fun,so little time,Support small Oil,burn WVO,Free and greasy down the road I go!!!!!!!!!!completely self sufficient and proud of it. (Wood furnace.....X.......solar pontoon....solarsheat twins this summer.....I don't Know much.......I'm just a hillbilly with too many guns..............

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                            • #15
                              interesting conversation here...enjoy winter collection/filtering guys.

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