Air Still thread

Pot still design and discussion

Air Still thread

Postby kobold » Tue May 15, 2012 3:49 pm

i dedicate this thread to air stills & all the ways they are used. the best kitchen appliance ever!

so far i only used my still to make brandy from dry red wine. the distillate smelled like fresh, sligtly chilled cows milk. i did what i believe is called strip runs - i ended up with 2l@60%, 4l@50% and 4l@37%. the 50% is oaking with medium toast french chips and the 37% with american medium toast chips. they are both in a 5l demijohns with a coffee filter, already coloured and smelling of vanilin. although i made them only four days ago, in my mind they are a success. :-D


another thing i really want to do is rum, so, here is a rum recipe (from a uk forum originally posted by ancient1), that i want to try:

5x450g molasses, 6lb sugar, Alcotech 48 yeast. Boil molasses and sugar together to get total dissolution and then top up to 23 litres with cold water. When temperature is right pitch the yeast. Use a double portion of the ceramic beads to spread the boil and also only fill to approximately 3.5 litres. Discard the first 25ml and stop the run when what is in the collection jug shows a reading of 55%. If aging for a Dark Rum, leave it at 55%. Add oak chips and 450g 'Black strap Molasses' as these have less sugar. Agitate and leave for 3 months at least. Taste. If satisfied, siphon off sediment and filter.

searching for a suitable brand/source of molasses for this one though!
Last edited by kobold on Wed May 16, 2012 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby Frank » Tue May 15, 2012 6:40 pm

Hey Kobold
:text-imwithstupid:
well...firstly, good for you. :dance: :clap: and welcome :handgestures-thumbupleft:
As I've often posted here, an Airstill DOES make drinkable alcohol and comes with some advantages.
So firstly to all those whom just wont get it, :hand:

Anyway, I know there are Airstillers out there on the edges of this forum and this is the thread that might just start a revolution...but will probably just start a new banter thread :laughing-rolling: (sharpen your e-pencils fellas)

Happy distilling and thanks too. :laughing-rolling:
Frank
 

Re: Air Still thread

Postby Cane Toad » Tue May 15, 2012 6:55 pm

Now,now Frank,we wouldn't do that :whistle: :whistle:
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby stubbydrainer » Tue May 15, 2012 7:02 pm

Hey Frank,
Watch this space has been your equipment list for ages, are you jumping ship ?? :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling:

or getting another one :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling:
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby Frank » Tue May 15, 2012 7:47 pm

stubbydrainer wrote:Hey Frank,
Watch this space has been your equipment list for ages, are you jumping ship ?? :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling:

or getting another one :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling:


Well, the thing is Mr Drainer, I am always on the lookout for ways to improve my distillation practices and, who knows, one day I might even make it to your idea of 'the real world' :shock: . Meanwhile I am always keen to maximise the potential for what I have and welcome fellow still travellers as it were/is.

Anyway, thanx for asking and, as stated before in said 'equipment list', whenever I DO get a different still setup, I promise to offer you the opportunity to bid for my current setup as I understand your keenness translates as impatience sometimes. ;-)
Frank
 

Re: Air Still thread

Postby MacStill » Tue May 15, 2012 8:42 pm

Let's keep the banter where it belongs hey, let these poor soles have at least one little area for discussions using air stills.

Fair enough?

If this topic generates enough interest and discussion I'll add a new sub forum just for the air stillers :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby Frank » Tue May 15, 2012 9:07 pm

McStill wrote:......If this topic generates enough interest and discussion I'll add a new sub forum just for the air stillers :handgestures-thumbupleft:


Point well taken Mr McStill.
Well, I'd certainly consider it an advantage and asset to this forum to allow open discussion of distilling practices using an Airstill (as with any other distillation equipment). IMHO, this would include suitable washes,distillation methods, flavouring (cordial and maceration) and maturation based on variables specific to what one can reasonably expect as end-product from such equipment; and I am ALWAYS happy to contribute what little I may be able to. :-D

Kobold, we welcome any Airstill-specific advice, thank you for such a detailed opening post, good luck with the future recipes and please keep us informed :handgestures-thumbupleft:
and I apologise for any (alleged) thread-hijack etc.
Frank
 

Re: Air Still thread

Postby kobold » Wed May 16, 2012 1:34 am

thank you guys, you are awesome (did i just say awesome?). i will contribute as i go. i am making kombucha wine and some or all of it will go into the still :pray: i will post about that for sure, in a month.

i forgot to say, the rum recipe above can be used for whisky by swapping to malt extract or spray malt.
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby R-sole » Wed May 16, 2012 5:33 am

This won't be degenerating into a bagging here Frank, it's not right.



In saying that, the rum recipe posted above could really do with some improvements, both in the recipe and the methods.

There are plenty of better and cheaper choices of yeast than alcotec 48. And every distillation that is to be consumed will benefit from removing heads and making proper cuts.

There's a couple of real good rum recipes in the proven section, Kobold. I'd strngly suggest you start with those. :geek:




On the Airstills them selves, i can see them being a great little unit for those who have moderate needs. Even if only used for stripping, how cool is to do a 20l stripping run over a couple of nights while dinner is cooking?
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby kobold » Wed May 16, 2012 1:23 pm

5Star wrote:There's a couple of real good rum recipes in the proven section, Kobold. I'd strngly suggest you start with those. :geek:


thank you 5Star, the 1st one looks more gutsy already thanks to the recycling bit.

5Star wrote:On the Airstills them selves, i can see them being a great little unit for those who have moderate needs. Even if only used for stripping, how cool is to do a 20l stripping run over a couple of nights while dinner is cooking?


:handgestures-thumbupleft:
right now i want a copper or at least 'copper head' edition... i would be in danger of never stepping up, just honing my aging and washmaking skills for the rest of my life :-)
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby kobold » Wed May 16, 2012 2:41 pm

Frank wrote:Anyway, I know there are Airstillers out there on the edges of this forum and this is the thread that might just start a revolution...


...and it culminates in legalising it! that would be something :ymparty:

yep, air-stillers are probably not masters, but they may contribute valuable input anyway.
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby maheel » Thu May 17, 2012 9:30 am

whats the power (watts) rating on an airstill for heating
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby Frank » Thu May 17, 2012 10:30 am

maheel wrote:whats the power (watts) rating on an airstill for heating

mine is 320w. This has been observed as being very close the actual MAXIMUM power usage when, of course, the heater is on...which is most but not all of a run.

that's why I can run one...it works for free on my solar power on any sunny day :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby maheel » Thu May 17, 2012 10:22 pm

does the power (heating) cycle on and off in one ?

i am interested as i like the idea of the airstill
so simple and neat
i like the idea of it sitting there doing it's thing on the kitchen bench etc
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby Sam. » Thu May 17, 2012 10:31 pm

Would be an interesting "dinner party" point.

"say whats that"

"Oh thats just my still producing some alcohol"...........
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby crow » Thu May 17, 2012 10:32 pm

just out of mild curiosity what is the average out put you guys get from these things (in terms of volume per hr)
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby Frank » Fri May 18, 2012 10:38 am

:laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling:
suddenly, when you least expected it...the AIRSTILL is HERE!!!!! :o :shock: :dance:

Maheel the heater does cycle a bit...(it has a thermostat so it'll run most of the time but switch off occasionally) whilst the fan in the lid is a constant, albeit using MUCH less power. It takes up about 2 foot of benchspace (with a collector) and can be cleaned adequately in about 5 minutes too.

Re output, I find it's all about type and abv% of wash but, say, using 4 litres from a standard TPW you get about 600ml per hour (and, really, having already thrown the foreshots, that'll do, IMHO). So....5 runs per 20l wash will get 3l at about 50-60% (rough guide only) in about 5 hours of runtime. Obviously if you then do a second run with the stripped @ 40ABV% it'll go faster, around about 1l per hour and that litre will be approx 75-80%ABV.

I OFTEN have mine running when folk are here. Its a novelty for most and it will happily run WITHOUT intervention (except of course re foreshots and 'shutoff'). I also preheat the 4l wash/run on the gas stove so it has an almost immediate start once the still is switched on. :handgestures-thumbupleft:

:whistle:
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby crow » Fri May 18, 2012 11:05 am

You know if these things were a bit bigger I could see them being a very handy addition for stripping , just turn them on and buzz off until the strips done :handgestures-thumbupleft: That is if they WERE bigger say 10 ltrs
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby kobold » Fri May 18, 2012 9:37 pm

it took me four dedicated nights making enough brandy for a year. it can cover the needs of an average household easily, and not just booze, but drinking/cooking water and essential oils too. i have lavander, but will have to read a bit first.
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Re: Air Still thread

Postby mikejwoodnz » Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:38 am

Frank wrote:
maheel wrote:whats the power (watts) rating on an airstill for heating

mine is 320w. This has been observed as being very close the actual MAXIMUM power usage when, of course, the heater is on...which is most but not all of a run.

that's why I can run one...it works for free on my solar power on any sunny day :handgestures-thumbupleft:


Frank I am really interested in reading more about your solar power system - watts/storage/inverters ? please expand - with pics ? - thanks Mike
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