I am no expert, I'd like to take a shot at a couple of your
questions. Since I'm leaving town this afternoon I'll never see the
flames cast in my direction.
1. If you plan on using stainless, then you really ought to consider
pure copper mesh packing and if possible copper for the bits that
make up the condenser. It takes out the bad tasting stuff (i.e.
2. If you wish to recirculate the water then a coil will not
work. The friction in the coil is much greater than your average
pond pump can overcome effectively. A X flow condenser is my
recommendation here. Harry has generously shared his plans for this
thing and it can be found somewhere in the alcohol libary. It's
fiddly to build, but, well worth it.
3. 3" vs. other diameters. The only downside I can see to 3" is
price. Mine column is 2" copper. Expensive, but, it allows for the
almost undending supply of 2" bits to make a X flow condenser.
4. Achieving 95% product. That's no big deal. A well constructed
and properly setup still will do that easily. Be aware though that I
don't believe it can produce 95% throughout it' run. As the %
alcohol in the wash diminishes the product %age of the alcohol will also drop.
For me, it is a tradeoff between cost of energy and time vs. qunatity
and strength of product. I almost always shut it down at around 50%
abv. A Parrot Beak is an easy to build and worthwhile addition to
your distillery for monitoring the strength of your product.
Some people go to great lengths to do temp. corrections when reading
their alcometer. That's interesting, but, how important? I just go
with the reading, know that it's reading a tad high and estimate corrections.
At 03:55 AM 7/2/2006, you wrote:
>I've been thinking about this for the last couple of days.
>I want too have a go at building my own still (ive got a still
>sprits "super reflux") that I'm not very happy with!!
>Ideally.. I want 90-95%.. On the first run! every run!!
>A large boiler, I've been told this helps stabilize tempeture
>fluctuations and obviously bigger runs!!..(the ability too choose
>1-3 washes at once would be nice!)
>A coil large enough too not restrict water flow as I'd like too use
>a submersible pump (water restrictions)
>Something I don't have too keep a constant eye on!, Checking on it
>every 10min or so would be fine!! But sitting in the shed all day
>watching a guage dosent excite me
>I have some large nice looking 3" 316 stainless Flanges,
>So I would like too run a 3" column.. From what ive read it will
>slow the vapor speed down and will increase the purity?
>Is there any huge downside of using stainless? I would like too play
>with dad's tig welder And believe stainless would be easyer for me too obtain
>People have said that "copper tastes better" .. If I run copper
>packing/Copper condencing Coil will this be enough?
>Is there any way too estimate the ideal length of the column? The
>reason I have 'offset' the offset head was for height reasons? If
>the column is going too be 1200/1300 tall.. + 2 Kegs onto of each
>other? ill have too place it under an open man hole so the
>thermometer doesn't hit the roof!!