Buying a pot still online

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Buying a pot still online

Postby MaKa » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:31 am

Hi team,

So here is the situation, I am playing around with some gin recipe development but I have run into a slight problem.

I have a FSD neutraliser with a 50 litre boiler, however when I am making small batches to test recipes I am finding that I have to add about 6 litres of water to cover the bottom element and reduce the power to the still to control the recovery ABV.

I am considering a small pot still so that I can minimise the charge dilution and minimise the wastage should I not like something with the gin. After hours of cruising the internet looking at various things and really wanting to buy something in Australia I stumbled across this:

[url=https://www.ebay.com/itm/Copper-Still-Ukrainian-alambik-Distillation-moonshine-pot-Alcohol-1-32-gal-5-l/263974911383?_trkparms=aid%3D333200%26algo%3DCOMP.MBE%o%3D1%26asc%3D20190129125700%26meid%3D4134593b54d744158b8d9fe4e9c42e4b%26pid%3D100752%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D11%26mehot%3Dlo%26sd%3D264092095813%26itm%3D263974911383&_trksid=p2047675.c100752.m1982]Ebay Pot Still[/url]

Basically with this I can do macerated and some vapour infusions together in the one bit of equipment.

What I am worried about is buying something like this from the Ukraine am I going to get myself flagged by customs? I am only looking at the 5 litre version which is within the legal size, however I don't want the ATO banging on my door in a month and confiscating my gear.

To answer some of the questions before the get asked... yeah I know that this is direct fired and using an open flame is not the preferred method when operating a pot still. I will work with this. I also understand that small batches is purely an academic exercise when scaling up. The recipe wont necessarily scale in the same proportion. I am however trying to minimise wastage until I can find that combination I like and then scale it up to a bigger run using my FSD equipment. Also I understand that making a still might be significantly cheaper, however my issue there is I neither have the tools or skills to undertake this sort of task.

If anyone has any other ideas for stills that would work I am open ears. I did see a site for a company in Perth that sells small direct fired all copper pot stills, however they are $800 ex. GST plus freight to Victoria, so that is a plan D at the moment.
Last edited by MaKa on Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
MaKa
 
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T500 pot still with a 2" FSD modular head

Re: Buying a pot still online

Postby MaKa » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:44 am

Sorry I couldnt get the link to ebay to work before the window to edit the post run out. I have however found a link to ETSY so you can see what I am talking about
Last edited by Doubleuj on Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
MaKa
 
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T500 pot still with a 2" FSD modular head

Re: Buying a pot still online

Postby Doubleuj » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:14 am

Hi Maka, I removed your link, please read and follow the guidelines for commercial advertising.
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Re: Buying a pot still online

Postby MaKa » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:21 am

Sorry for the link. Just to clarify I have no affiliation to this seller. I think their offering may fill my need.

I was hoping that someone with some experience with buying equipment from an overseas seller could offer some advice.
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T500 pot still with a 2" FSD modular head

Re: Buying a pot still online

Postby bluc » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:49 am

My advice don't buy from overseas :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Buying a pot still online

Postby ultrasuede » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:02 am

To actually add some value to this thread, yes go ahead and get a cheap eBay still. They are great for stove top small batches of gin. It's a challenge regulating the cooling on these things, but once you get the hang of it, it's quite good.
I ended up brazing a coupler to the lid of a pressure cooker so I could use my regular pot still on the mini boiler for gin.
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Re: Buying a pot still online

Postby Georgio » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:03 am

:text-+1: for not buying from overseas, I have been disappointed before.
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Re: Buying a pot still online

Postby MaKa » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:18 am

ultrasuede wrote:To actually add some value to this thread, yes go ahead and get a cheap eBay still. They are great for stove top small batches of gin. It's a challenge regulating the cooling on these things, but once you get the hang of it, it's quite good.
I ended up brazing a coupler to the lid of a pressure cooker so I could use my regular pot still on the mini boiler for gin.


Thank you ultrasuede. So no problems getting your still into the country? Can you elaborate more on your cooling water issues you had?

I get the quality risks and the potential that your item won't show up. Apart from the don't buy from an overseas seller what else would you suggest for a small pot still for test runs?
MaKa
 
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equipment: FSD 4" Neutraliser
FSD Carter head
T500 pot still with a 2" FSD modular head

Re: Buying a pot still online

Postby bluc » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:13 pm

t500 boiler or a keg and a 2" pot still have look in pot still section to get some ideas . basically all you need is a piece of 2" pipe with a condenser on the end. Shape is up to you. :handgestures-thumbupleft: Or buy a potstill from andrew @ 5star distilling, when he comes back :handgestures-thumbupleft:
Last edited by bluc on Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buying a pot still online

Postby MaKa » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:41 pm

Thanks bluc,

yeah I am also considering a t500 as another option.

As I said in an earlier post, I do not have any equipment to cut, solder or weld metal so that would count that out and I already have a 50 litre boiler from FSD. The problem there is the element is just a little too high up which means I either have to make a bigger batch or dilute the charge to the still to a very low ABV (~6%)
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equipment: FSD 4" Neutraliser
FSD Carter head
T500 pot still with a 2" FSD modular head

Re: Buying a pot still online

Postby coffe addict » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:58 pm

A 30L the short fat ones on a banjo burner can run with just a cpl litres in them. Drop the plates and rc out of the 5star rig and you have a pot still. Then you just need to join the two. Either get a welder to put a 4in ferrule on the pot or get a 4in to 2in adapter...
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Re: Buying a pot still online

Postby Professor Green » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:03 pm

Check this out: The Professor's Baby Bain Marie Boiler.
It's perfect for really small batches.

I soldered the stand that the inner pot sits on but I'm sure you could dig up something suitable that does not require soldering to keep it off the element.
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Re: Buying a pot still online

Postby MaKa » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:32 pm

Professor Green wrote:Check this out: The Professor's Baby Bain Marie Boiler.
It's perfect for really small batches.

I soldered the stand that the inner pot sits on but I'm sure you could dig up something suitable that does not require soldering to keep it off the element.


That is possible Prof Green, I might have a bit of a look into that idea.

coffee addict by a 30L short fat one I am guessing you mean a keg? Keg Land in Melbourne sell one of these pre made, I would have to run this indoors in my garage as I don't really have a back yard, that is why i was looking at a small 5 litre job
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equipment: FSD 4" Neutraliser
FSD Carter head
T500 pot still with a 2" FSD modular head

Re: Buying a pot still online

Postby RC Al » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:09 pm

Here's a low tech solution, the brick in the dunny trick, displace the wash under the element with some glass beads or lumps of copper or stainless or whatever you can fit through the lid, worth a think
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Re: Buying a pot still online

Postby MaKa » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:57 pm

RC Al wrote:Here's a low tech solution, the brick in the dunny trick, displace the wash under the element with some glass beads or lumps of copper or stainless or whatever you can fit through the lid, worth a think



Haha that's gold. I was too zoomed in on the problem to even think of that! I could use a series of marbles or something similar. That could really be much easier than what I was thinking. Thanks RC Al
MaKa
 
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equipment: FSD 4" Neutraliser
FSD Carter head
T500 pot still with a 2" FSD modular head


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