Bryan’s mini pot still

Pot still design and discussion

Re: Bryan’s mini pot still

Postby dans.brew » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:51 pm

With that many fruit trees a heap of experimenting is exactly what id be doing. :handgestures-thumbupleft:
My grandpa use to have a massive fruit garden, but not anymore... would love to go back to the day. His grapes alone were so sweet and juicy.
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Re: Bryan’s mini pot still

Postby Bryan1 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:57 am

Anyway I did find 12 off 50ml beakers on fleabay for $33 delivered out of Sydney so they should be here sometime next week. Now I do have a 30 litre ferment of apple cider to bottle today so thinking why not pinch a litre and put some 90% in the thumper and have a go at making some apple jack.

As they say nothing ventured nothing gained and it is time to put mini me to the test.

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Bryan’s mini pot still

Postby Bryan1 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:57 pm

G'day Guy's,
Well had to bottle the apple cider today and got 70 throw downs with about 3 litres left to strip in the mini me. Well the first one was BIG learning curve, as the gas burner can over power the still easily. So the first run got a huge puke where the wash just spewed on the floor. On the second run I found a heap of bubbles came out like froth but on the third run it went purfect with the burner turned way down low.

After 3 strips of the wash which was just above 6% I got a total of 460ml, so for the spirit run I topped it up with some 40% neutral. I put some 90% in the thumper and on 2 forums got told thats a NO NO. :angry-tappingfoot:




Now after I had collected the 220ml hearts decided to take another ABV reading when the old wiper motor went over current. The poor thing after working all afternoon got too hot. So shut down the run and got my old subi fuel pump where I had to cut off the end barb to get the plastic pipe to fit. Then heated up again and collected the tails.

Took 4 off 50ml cuts then a 220ml hearts cut then 5 more 50ml cuts down to 20%.

The fuel pump does work at a heap less current 13.5 volts @ 0.85mA where the wiper on the same voltage was close to 3 amps. The 20 litre cube after 4 runs was 35 degrees and that wasn't bad considering the temp was around 28 degrees.

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Bryan’s mini pot still

Postby Bryan1 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:51 am

I went thru the cuts this morning and ended up with 500ml @ 65% so into a moccana jar it went and I made a pfte seal and put 3g of charred french oak in. Now I have read before that one can use fruit tree wood toasted to age the spirit but I would like a confirmation as the last thing I need is turn my product into poison.

So after aging by watering down to 40% I should be able to fill a standard bottle which should be a hit at bbq's etc.

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Bryan’s mini pot still

Postby EziTasting » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:59 am

G’day bryan,
I have bought Apple, plum and cherry wood as they are commonly used for this... I am yet to use them myself - they are just going thru and aging process, just to make sure...

Hope that helps.
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Re: Bryan’s mini pot still

Postby RC Al » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:48 pm

How are you doing the mocona jar seal?
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Re: Bryan’s mini pot still

Postby scythe » Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:53 pm

Ring of card board wrapped with alot of teflon tape
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Re: Bryan’s mini pot still

Postby Plumby » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:26 pm

A disc of cardboard wrapped in Teflon tape may be a better option. Keeps any vapour from condensing on the lid and dropping back into the other alcohol, there for keeping any plastic chemicals out :handgestures-thumbupleft:.
Thats how I sealed up my 2 litre flagon bottle when I lost the lid, cardboard disc wrapped in Teflon tape then held on with alfoil.
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Re: Bryan’s mini pot still

Postby Bryan1 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:43 pm

I just take the plastic seal off the lid then keep wrapping the thread tape until it's a push fit on. Those moccano jars do make great cut jars too as when my bubbler is in hearts I just use the 600ml ones until the first sight glass fog's then it's back to other glass jars.
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Re: Bryan’s mini pot still

Postby dom187 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:36 pm

Bryan1 wrote:G'day Guy's,
Well did the sac run and just watered some feints to 40% and used that. It only took about 15 minutes to heatup and the output came out @84%ABV I distilled about 400mm and it was still 75% so I am wrapped with this mini and can't wait until the fruit trees produce some fruit then it's onto some brandy making.




That's awesome mate, great work
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Re: Bryan’s mini pot still

Postby Bryan1 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:58 pm

Last weekend I did a couple of runs after I found using Dried Cider Apples made such a nice drop.

This batch was
Dried Cider Apple 50 grams
Dried Manzano Chill 10 grams
Cinnamon 3 grams
and a sprinkle of cassia,allspice and peppercorns

Each batch was macerated in 750mls of 40% neutral and once fully the maceration was fully absorbs the lot went in the mini boiler and topped up with 40% neutral.

Got about 350ml out each run and topped up the large moccana jar with more 65% then took off the plastic seal and wrapped a heap of pfte around to seal. Then I inverted the lid, filled it 1/2 full of water then drilled a hole in the glass lid with a diamond drill so the angels can get their share.

With the small runs I do I use a used french oak stick and a new french oak stick and I have found about 3 months is the sweet spot for aging the small amount.

This latest run I've done is the best by far and the taste although still young blows away the palette and is smooth as going down the throat.

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Bryan’s mini pot still

Postby dom187 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:11 pm

Bryan1 wrote:Still gotta setup a cooling tank but here she is

mini potstill.jpg


This weekend I'll do the sac run then I'm thinking of soaking some licorice root in some 40% and filling the thumper with some 90% for the first run.


Hi Bryan can I ask what the second pot does? thanks
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Re: Bryan’s mini pot still

Postby Bryan1 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:54 pm

dom187 wrote:Hi Bryan can I ask what the second pot does? thanks


The second pot is a thumper and in order to stop the still puking if I use the flame too high I put in a SS scrubber close to the top of the thumper. This does two uses the first is stopping the puking and secondly the high fractions will rise thru scrubber where the lower fraction will fall into the thumper base. I trialed it out leaving the thumper dry and at the end of the run testing the abv in the thumper it was only 20% so this proved my theory about the fractions.

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Bryan’s mini pot still

Postby Bryan1 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:16 pm

Well Guy's,
It was time to do a gin run on my MiniMe as one of my workmates said he was a gin lover just had to make him one. Now instead of using a tried and true decided to go my own way with what I had onhand.

1 litre of 40% Neutral
10grams of home grown Juniper berries
4 grams of dried Manzano Chilli
4 grams of Orris Root
4 grams of allspice, a mix of allspice,cassia bark and peppercorns
1/2 a star of anise
5 grams of powdered licorice root

Setup my corona mill for a coarse grind and macerated for 24 hours.

Looking thru the cupboard in the house where I used to store my botanicals came across some dried lemon peel so added about 3 grams of that just before the run.

I put about an inch of 40% in the thumper along with the SS scrubber at the top of the thumper.

Tested the first 50ml cut jar after the fores were collected and 85% :happy-partydance:
Continued collecting and cut jar 7 was 75% :happy-partydance:
Ended going 9 cutjars as the 10th cut jar started getting the oils thru so closed the still down.

Ended up with 450ml of 75% which after watering down to 43% got one bottle and a tad more for me to pig out on.

When I gave to my mate his first sniff was WOW :o this smells nice, a mate of his rocked up and saw the bottle and asked if he had some vodka :)) . We gave him a sniff where he said is this ouzo :)) and we told him to have another sniff as it is a gin.

So we setup 3 glass's with some ice and had a tasting session where the verdict was this gin is a winner, my mate said he is going to add some lime peel and I said only put a couple of shavings in and no pith as it could over power the gin.

So with this trail being a success I'm going to another maceration and see if I can improve this even further.

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Bryan’s mini pot still

Postby Bryan1 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:35 pm

G'day Guy's,
With the apple runs I made I watered them down to 65% and put them on French Oak in a moccana jar and decided today to decant sample from the one i did in January and man :cool: :scared-eek: what a nice drop. :happy-partydance:

As i'm getting down low with my 90% neutral it is time put down a TPW wash to make some more neutral and I do think one of those new heating belts from 5 Star needs to be ordered as trying to do a 60 litre ferment in winter here will take months without any heating for the fermenter.

This was the first season where i used the cider apples off our apple tree and it did make the best apple cider i've made to date and as always there is enough of the ferment left over to do a few runs with my minime :happy-partydance: so can't wait for the next fruiting season to come around and I will be putting a net setup over the tree so I can get every apple to use :laughing-rolling:


Cheers Bryan
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equipment: 4" copper bubbler with a setup for Neutral and a thumper for Whisky and my old 5 litre pot for doing maceration runs

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