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Hi From Perth

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:43 pm
by perthkiwi
Hi All

I've been in the background soaking up as much information as I can and now I've joined the frey. It seems the more I learn the less I seem to know.

I'm partway through constructing my first still and the thought occurred to me that I should probably seek some advise before soldering it all together.

Ive got some 2 inch pipe from the local scrappy and followed the Boka style design but thought it might be good to have a basic pot still style attachment should get to the more advanced stuff.

Ive still got to buy some 2 inch tri-clamps and ferrules and I'm a bit concerned that the pot lid won't manage the weight of the column...

Anyway I'd love it if I could get some constructive criticism and maybe some advise!

All the Best


Re: Hi From Perth

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:31 pm
by bluc
My advice get rid of the stock pot and buy a turbo boiler.(or make a keg] Dont get the sort that has a temp control just get the simple on off one like this ... ss-boiler/ then see andrew at 5star and get tri clamp adapter. Then put a stainless ferrule on bottom of still.. :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Re: Hi From Perth

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:18 pm
by Professor Green
Welcome Seb.

You are right to have concerns about the stock pot lid. Stock pots are not not safe to use as a boiler for distilling purposes as you cannot guarantee a proper seal on the lid. The boiler bluc suggested is much more suitable if you don't want to go down the keg/milk can route as it is purpose built for the job and uses a reliable method of sealing on the lid.

Prof. Green.

Re: Hi From Perth

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:50 pm
by woodduck
All looks awesome except that stock pot. Get rid of it mate and cook some crabs or something with it. Have a look on Gumtree etc and find a 50ltr keg for $50 make an easy flange to clamp the still straight to the keg, get a weldless element from 5star, drill a hole in boiler, fit element, get your mate the sparky to wire it up and get a power controller form 5 star as well and Fanny's ya uncle Bob's live in lover :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Good luck

Re: Hi From Perth

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:15 am
by perthkiwi
Thanks for all your feedback! I've ditched the pot as suggested and bought a keg for $30 (the date of manufacture is 1991 so seems legit). I have a few questions to ask you experts before I solder it all together:
- The triple helix condenser I have is approximately 4m of 1/4 inch tube fitting nicely into the 2 inch pipe. Is this enough to knock down the condensate?
- I've purchased some tri-clamps and SS ferrules for the points on the previous picture, but is there anything to be gained from adding more tri-clamp points?
- The shotgun condenser I plan on using for the pot still attachment is about 50cm long. Is that long enough?
- Apart from having high ABV fluids near an ignition source is there any reason I can't use a burner first before adding an element and PID controller later?
- Is the keg opening enough to allowing a proper cleaning?

As I'm starting to annoy my missus with my purchases I think I'm at the top of my purchasing power :shock: ... I've spent just under $300 including all the fermenting bits.

Thanks again!


Re: Hi From Perth

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:06 pm
by woodduck
All looks good to me mate. I'm glad you got rid of the pot :handgestures-thumbupleft:

No reason you can't use a burner, many do just be aware of the risks involved and you'll be fine. Look through the boiler section, there are some good ideas on stands for gas burners etc.

The 2" connector on the keg will be fine, not ideal but fine. Just rinse after every use and store upside down.

Re: Hi From Perth

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:41 pm
by db1979
Looks like you've got 4 x 1/2" internals on your shotgun condenser, at 500 mm it'll knock down more than you can throw at it. Mine has 4 x 1/2" and is 400 mm long. It knocks down 4000 W and barely raises a sweat. It'll depend on how much water is flowing through it and the temperature of the water but you won't need to worry.

Re: Hi From Perth

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:37 pm
by RC Al
That liebig won't be very efficient with 1 1/2 over 1/4, it will work and how your using it dosent require much performance, but it would be better with some 1/2 over the 1/4 and put much less stress on the annealed tube, its already bendy and prone to kinking, it most likely would benefit from some bracing too

Re: Hi From Perth

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:54 pm
by perthkiwi
Hi all

So I’ve managed to get it all put together and ran it last night just to test it for leaks. I won’t be getting a job as a plumber any time soon but it makes distilled water ok. I gave it a bath in citric acid today and have it a good scrub. It will need the Liebig to be brazed at the bottom and then I’ll do a vinegar run and TPW run. The heating element is 2200w which I plan on controlling with an SCR and maybe a PID at a later date.
The pot still is still a work in progress but I’ve completed the shotgun condenser so it’s not far away. Is the very top of the vapour path the best spot for the thermometer?
Thoughts about the build?


Re: Hi From Perth

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:00 pm
by woodduck
Looks good mate. That keg is a way better option than the stock pot :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Re: Hi From Perth

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:06 pm
by perthkiwi
So I finally completed the shot gun condenser (7x 1/2 inch pipes inside a 2 inch pipe) and a mate helped out TIGging the tri clamp ferrules on. Now it’s time to start putting something through it! Thanks to all for the feedback.

The only thing I really recommend is to steer clear of solder (even lead free). Silver brazing rod and an oxy set was a lot easier.

I’ve named her Ugly Betty


Re: Hi From Perth

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:22 pm
by RC Al
Awesome work on the shotty mate

I missed seeing them the first time, but do you know what seals are in those press fittings?

I have some in a larger size that I'm cutting up to use as regular fittings, turns out that they were edpm and suitable anyways, but I trust solder over a random join from a scrap bin

If the piece was from a scrap yard, I would strongly suggest taking them back and springing for some new elbows - just for future piece of mind

Re: Hi From Perth

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:56 pm
by perthkiwi
Yeah you were bang on. I had to cut open each press fitting and remove the rubber o-rings. It was a ton of work and it would have been a lot easier if I hadn’t been such a tight ass in the first place. So no rubber seals in the press fittings.