Stone and Nixon
- To Tony
Thank you for your reply once again. I have also read Jan's reply and
saw the "cold finger" design but it looks a little complicated since
this is my first still, maybe one for the future. I am interested in
the Stone-Nixon style of condenser you have been recommending, and I
was wondering (without telling me too much) if you could tell me
their basic design principle for the cooler, but if you feel
obligated not too I fully understand. Also you mentioned you could
purchase their still design for US$5, but I went to their site and
only saw the whole book for US$17.95, so if you could direct me I
would be greatfull. One other thing, I found a website that sells
glass fractioning stills http://www.floragenics.com/fraction.htm and
thought you might want to include it in your website (which is great
by the way). Just a thought.
- The Nixon-Stone book is also available in PDF format, for US$8 (sorry, not
See http://www.gin-vodka.com/Main/main.html , which they'll then credit for
$5 if you buy the book.
I won't go into too much detail, as John & Mike have worked hard at
producing their book, and rightly so charge for it. Its not for me to then
give it away. The book does fully cover plans for producing both a beer
stripper, then their final column, with a couple of different head designs.
Includes construction tips & guidelines, as well as several pricing guides
(e.g. copper vs. stainless steel or glass). At $8, I reckon its money well
spent (unlike some of the "moonshine" books which are more stories than
The basic premise is that which standard/routine distillation columns are
based on, e.g. as per any Chemical Engineering handbook (see
http://lorien.ncl.ac.uk/ming/distil/distileqp.htm - the "top section"
diagram). Once the distillate has passed up through the column, you fully
condense all the vapour (i.e. only need one simple condenser). You then
control how much distillate you divert off & keep (simple valve, no
electronics), and thus how much is also returned to the column.
Its incredibly simple, but effective. As there's only one cooling section,
you only have to set one water flowrate. The temperature of the outlet
water is also the temperature of the distillate, so you know what's going on
there. You are controlling the amount of reflux based on volume, not any
vagaries of heat transfer to pass-through tubes or external wrapping etc (so
it won't change if your cooling water is too fast or slow or hotter or
cooler). KISS. (and in parts, it doesn't really need to look like a still -
hmmmmm......). The column is simple, without anything to mess with the
heat & mass equilibrium's being developed inside (my hobby horse), and its
insulated. Its all easy to pull apart & clean (as per Jan's request)
Given that it's based on the basic distillation column design, its
incredible that none of the commercially available hobby stills about (well,
that I've seen) have utisilised it yet. I think that this is because they
have been adapted from pot stills with a little experimentation, rather than
bothering with looking at or understanding the theory that has been
capitalised on by industry for the last 100 years or so.
Yeah, call me a fan. And I haven't even finished building my one yet.
Maybe I'm over-selling it, but its just because fundamentally it is so
correct, easy to control, easy to adapt (i.e. it could use Jan's "cold
finger", the pot could be what ever you want it to be) etc. Make up your