> From: oceanman76er [mailto:Watertroy@...]
> I am new to this game but very interested in the idea of making my
> own pot still (to start off with).
> I am interested in the suitability of those 20 or so Litre Urns that
> you see around the place (for making tea and coffee). They have
> features such as a temperature control knob, an outlet valve and a
> water level indicator.
> Can I make this work as the boiler for a pot still ? Has anyone tried
> it and if so is it practical ? I would appreciate any feedback and or
> plans on the modifications required.
Yes-- my still is made from an urn. It works well. Very practical.
1. I took off the glass tube and had a patch welded over the hole.
Ditto the tap -- not required and it leaked anyway.
2. The lid is thin stainless steel and very difficult to weld the copper
column to (in my case, 1 metre of 50mm fire service tubing). I had a
professional engineer try and he couldn't manage it, even with the right
gear. Further, it was pretty thin and the column would had required
additional support. I believe it can be done but you have to get the
stainless and copper at the same temperate -- a difficult thing to do,
given that the stainless heats up rapidly while the copper conducts all
the heat away. In my case the torch burnt right through the stainless,
distorting it woefully, while the copper still wasn't hot enough to take
the silver solder.
In the end the engineer made me a replacement lid from 2.00 mm copper
sheet. This works well but is still a little flexible. I seal it using
a cut-out circle from a cheap camping mat (blue), weighed down with
3. The simmerstat is excellent for controlling temperate, although on my
urn to boil-dry cutout tends to, uh, cut out, after three or so hours,
and come back only intermittently. Next run I'm going to by-pass the
boil-dry cutout -- not a safety issue as the run is always watched and
the still always has liquid in it.