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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    how did you end up making your condenser plunger?
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  2. #22
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by ColeGP View Post
    how did you end up making your condenser plunger?
    I finished it today. I used a 35mm pipe and brazed a 15 mm pipe inside it.I connected some 15 mm pipe to the 35mm pipe so I can attach my 12v bilge pump to it.

    I didnt have a 15mm holesaw so I found an old 15mm drill bit and sharpened it to drill like a holesaw. It worked real well.

    This also works well for sheet metal.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #23
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    The finished still looks like this.
    But there is a small technical problem. It doesnt fit on my gas stove because of the extractor.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #24
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by plunger View Post
    The finished still looks like this.
    But there is a small technical problem. It doesnt fit on my gas stove because of the extractor.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    just buy yourself a stand alone gas stove, then you can do your distilling wherever you want.
    problem is prices are higher now than a few weeks ago.
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  5. #25
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Good thing Ive got some camping equipment.Do you think this could work.?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjn_HLZUoO8

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by plunger View Post
    Good thing Ive got some camping equipment.Do you think this could work.?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjn_HLZUoO8
    It fits on the burner so I dont see why not, obviously a little bit harder to get to the adjusting key to change the heat but absolutely.
    The one thing you need to do is fit a control valve to the bottom fitting on your condenser so you can adjust the flow through the liebig otherwise you look good to go.
    And yes that is distilled water dont drink it all at once.
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  7. #27
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by ColeGP View Post
    It fits on the burner so I dont see why not, obviously a little bit harder to get to the adjusting key to change the heat but absolutely.
    The one thing you need to do is fit a control valve to the bottom fitting on your condenser so you can adjust the flow through the liebig otherwise you look good to go.
    And yes that is distilled water dont drink it all at once.
    Thanks for the help. What is the purpose of adjusting the condensor. I thought it is sopposed to cooldown as quick as possible. ?Or is this how you control the temperature of the boil. ? So much to learn. I think I would do this next to the pool. I am amazed how quick the bucket gets hot.My still is small and the condenser is only about 400mm long.

    I wonder what would be the best thing to try for a trial run. Also maybe I never thought this through well.My still only takes about ten liters of liquid.Am I only going to get one shooter size tot out of it for all the effort.
    I can see why guys want to electrify this. The downfall of a soldered copper still is that if you fall asleep and the stuff evaporates then the solder will melt out. I wish I brazed everything on mine. But the seams are solder.

    I wonder how a non immersion element would work. ? If I braze a tube into the still and put an element inside so the element is not sitting in the liquid.How would that work.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Use an immersion pump in the pool. A standard hi flow water feature pump will be fine.

    You don't really need to control the flow through the water jacket on a pot still. Just regulate your gas flame.
    Jakes Louw
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by plunger View Post
    ....I wonder how a non immersion element would work. ? If I braze a tube into the still and put an element inside so the element is not sitting in the liquid....
    I have a 3000W open (immersion) element in my boiler. After use I just rinse it with clean water. Nothing gets stuck/burnt to the element.
    Kobus

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by KobusDJ View Post
    I have a 3000W open (immersion) element in my boiler. After use I just rinse it with clean water. Nothing gets stuck/burnt to the element.
    I have never had any issues with either an open element or with direct gas heat causing any significant caramelisation or residue.
    Jakes Louw
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  11. #31
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    For those of you with copper stills that you want to keep nice and shiney, below link has some pointers and details of a mix called "551" which does a good job cleaning up copper.
    (only for soaking not for running through still at heat)(500ml water, 50ml hydrogen peroxide @ 3%, 1 ounce citric acid for those who dont want to watch the video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4wwbKKfbXM
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  12. #32
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Im going to go buy some of these mutis ,but it will stay far away from my still. Ive worked real hard to keep the patina on my still.But I would like to use it inside my still to get it clean for its first run.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    So one negative about an internal element is that it must be sufficiently covered once the distillate has evaporated off.

    So in my 30l keg, have not physically measured it but would estimate that I could not get away with less than a 18l wash. So small test runs are out of the question. Something to bear in mind.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Can't you stick the keg over a gas flame for small batches?

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    Can't you stick the keg over a gas flame for small batches?
    The way Andrew is building his keg setup that will be a mission, and a shame to change what is looking like a really nice build, functional and easy on the eyes.

    Best he can do is convince his son to get bored with the small setup he has quickly, that will work well for small batches.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxxyc View Post
    Can't you stick the keg over a gas flame for small batches?
    Yes I can, I can make a tray for my large gas burner to fit under the keg. Will actually be easy.

    I have decided to rather alter my drinking habits to line up with the increased alcohol production .

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Sorry for asking, but what is the ratio between mash and final product?
    Also looking to build, but not sure what "size" to aim for?


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  18. #38
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wetkit View Post
    Sorry for asking, but what is the ratio between mash and final product?
    Also looking to build, but not sure what "size" to aim for?
    Work on 10% total alcohol by volume in the mash / wash. 10l wash = 1l total product, not all of which will be drinkable. I would guess 600ml from your 10l wash once you have split out the fore shots and tails.

    Size depends on purpose of distilling. If for own use can be real small and you can do multiple runs on the same batch of wash. So 5l kettle would be four runs from a 20l bucket.

    Note that one ideally (from what I have read) not fill the kettle past circa 70% of its rate volume.

    If I did it again would design the kettle based on fermentation vessels so that the wash from 1 full vessel or 2 full vessels fill the kettle to the required volume.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wetkit View Post
    Sorry for asking, but what is the ratio between mash and final product?
    Also looking to build, but not sure what "size" to aim for?
    I ferment 30L (Sugar Wash) and then do 3 x 10L strip runs. End up with +-5L (I only chuck out the first 300ml fore shots ). After 2 batches I do a spirit run with the 10L. End up with +- 5L of the good stuff. (Heads and tails stand over till next time.)

    I have no means of measuring the ABV but 10ml burns about the time under the same conditions as 10ml 70% hand sanitiser. Good enough for me. I water it down at 500ml sprit to 250ml water. Not a bad yield.

    .
    Last edited by KobusDJ; 2020/08/13 at 04:28 AM.
    Kobus

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Copper still.

    Today I tried my still. I had 6 l of pineapple beer.I fired her up and wasnt sure what to expect. I used my pool as a resouvoir and a bilge pump . It started drippin at about 78 degrees. Ive heard 78 degrees mentioned here and there. But if it dropped lower than 75 degrees it seemed to stop distilling. I have noticed it works fastish at above 80 degrees.

    The first glass was overly potent but had the best smell. I lit this stuff in a teaspoon and thought it wasnt able to burn. Only then I realized I couldnt see the flame.What does this tell me. ?What alchohol content could it have. I was lost as to where the good stuff and bad stuff and useless stuff are. I just dont have an educated pallet.

    I have to ask myself how do I get around this. Will technology help. If I were to buy a ph tester, hydrometer and alchohol tester would it help me.

    Where will I buy these tools and which are proven quality at a good price.

    My next step is to make something I like. How feasible is it too make something like klippies.?We drink it with coke anyway so how close could we get to making homemade klippies without going blind.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by plunger; 2020/08/16 at 07:48 AM.

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