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Building my own still!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Ob1, May 8, 2003.

  1. I've been brewing beer for a couple of yrs, and now I'm gonna take the next step! I found these plans on a brewing/destilling site:


    And got the tubes (copper) I need and now theyre ready for soldering! Total costs so far : 4€ (~$4) :D

    Has anyone else experimented with destilling?
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I left a hansen's mango madness drink out for a while once, and it fermented
  3. Similar thing hapened to me when i left a Sobe in my high school locker for a month.
  4. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    I too have brewed lots of beer and want to make a still. I looked all over the net and did not find to much. The best info that I've found was at the Library. They had a much better plan then the one you show there. hope this helped
  5. ARA punk

    ARA punk

    Jul 11, 2001
    USA, Shelby, NC
    lemme know how it turns out. I've brewed wines and beers before under the mask of a "highschool biolgy experiment". Never distilled though. Hope it works for you.
  6. i dont drink as im only 16 but me and my uncle has made 3-4 plastic versions of those and they are quite fun to watch because you can see everything doing what it does, it takes what like a month or two? fun stuff watching it all change.
  7. I'm a diehard homebrewer but I've never ventured in to distillation techniques. Although they allowed homebrewing around '76 I believe stills are still illegal.

    What I do know from chemistry: do NOT go above 95% (%, not proof). Anything beyond that and benzene and other toxins are present. This is what causes the blindness you hear about from moonshine.
  8. OnederTone

    OnederTone Aguilar Everywhere Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2002
    Thornton, CO
    I don't think they are illegal for PERSONAL Consupmtion...

    the revenuers will be coming with the dogs if you sell one drop o' that sour mash shine to Zeke tho.


    I'd strongly sugguest Steve Earle's Copperhead Road as the soundtrack for this venture.

  9. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Thought that was methanol.. I have understood that you need active-carbon filtering at the end of the line to take out impurities(read: poisons). 95% purity is pretty hard to reach too, I think.

    The idea in distilling is to have some alcoholic liquid to work with, then you just heat it up and as ethanol vaporises in lesser temperature than water, it leaves the liquid as steam (I think the correct temp was around 86 degrees celcius so you need pretty accurate heat source) but you are bound to get some water and other stuff in the final mix, to what extent and after how many distillations that depends on you and your equipment.

    And yup, I'd say it's illegal too. Even to the extent that the police would be happy to know of any attempts and bust your ass because of it.
  10. Greg R

    Greg R

    Mar 11, 2003
    Avonmore, ON
    My friend and I built a still in my family's boathouse when I was a teenager. We were fairly well versed in chemistry and had done a bit of research before we bought the materials. We started out a couple of weeks before by filling a couple of 5 gallon pails with potatoes, sugar and water and topping it off with a few teaspoons of yeast. When the yeast was finished it's work, we built the still. We made a very foul-tasting vodka-like substance that put us both in the hospital with alcohol poisoning. It seems that 16 year olds can't ingest 30 to 40 ounces each in a couple of hours and expect to have a good time. In retrospect, had we known that a drink of liquor is best in 1 and a half ounce "shots" in relative moderation we might have had a chance at enjoying the fruits of our labour instead of forcefully chugging this (triple-distilled!!) crap and winding up passed out on the dock when my folks came home :p Live and learn.
  11. Heh, this baby was originally designed (by the swedish Defence Reaserch Department)to produce rocket fuel! It's very small, and easily mistaken for
    a broken trumpet :) but makes very pure booze, active coal filtering is almost unnecessary.

    From what I've gotten off a credible forum it's supposed to max out at about 1 litre/hour, 73% alcohol if you start with a 15-20% base. Not bad
    for a machine thats 10 x 5" (excluding the
    container with the base)...

    I'm still loking for someplace to solder it, my teacher wouldn't let me do it at school :rolleyes:, and I
    don't have anything that will reach the 800 degrees celsius I need to melt the solder...

    Edit..fixed my spelling a bit...
  12. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Be sure to use lead free solder. A lot of people have gotten lead poisoning from drinking homemade whiskey.

    The only working stills that I've ever seen used a lot of corn, a lot of sugar and a lot of firewood.

    You have never really worked if you've never humped hundred pound sacks of sugar through the woods!

    Or so I've heard. :)
  13. There's been a couple of cases 'round here, illegal vodka leaving one woman dead and another blind.

    Says "be careful" to me.

    Back when I was interested in making a still, one of the chemistry teachers at school gave me a load of advice, and even offered to sell me the equipment to make it.

    I never did, because I then realised how much I didn't like spirits - I'm more of a beer man.
  14. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    My dad used to make great corn liquor. He would run off small amounts and distill it 2 or 3 times. It went down as easily as water and had a serious bite! His cooker was a stainless steel pot from a commercial kitchen that he made a sealed lid for. He used copper for the condenser, which was a 3/8" tube that he coiled up into a pan and ran cold water through to help with the condensation.

    As far as soldering, any soft solder for copper will work, but as was mentioned, use lead free solder. Its a bitch to work with but much safer! You could also probably use 15% or 45% silver solder but it melts at a much higher temp. than soft solder.
  15. I went to a firm that do sewage installations and asked what to solder use (didn't tell them for what), and they gave me something called CuFo Wich is copper, phosphrous and silver (3%), melts at relativeli low temps, compared to silver solder, and is nearly as strong. It's what they use for drinking-water pipes. Then they gave me a distillers discount :bassist: