- Someone commented recently that they had successfully used a Variac
for heat control.
I wrote in a note on it, but it disappeared, and Harry has confirmed
that this sometimes happens with Yahoo.
Back to the Variac. I once used one but it soon began to smoke. It
wasn't a particularly small one but a couple of KW's was clearly too
much. So, take care. By the time smoke comes out, it may already be
Following that, I put together a Voltage Controller from a
Distiller's design (curiously I lost the design and have never been
able to re-locate it). Anyway, the controller works very well, and,
by adding a Voltmeter, quite fine control can be had over the still -
typically around 80volts once up to the initial boil. This design
cost under £5, abot a sixth of propriertary controllers, and is
reasonably easy to put together. High voltages are present however,
so make sure it is well insulated.