Perfectly safe as long as
it dosnt come into contact with alcohol, ie: the naked flame must not come
into contact with alcohol either in the liquid or vapour form. At a very low %
nothing will happen, in the middle range the alcohol will burn, and at a high %
it will detonate and explode. I use gas (9kg l.p.g. bottle) with my small glass
still that I use for experimenting, and for botanicals.
The requirements you must have or meet are as
1) You must have no leaks.
2) You must have accurate temperature control, or enough
xperience to know what is happening at all times and pretty well what the
3) You should remain in attendance at all times and not
leave the still unattended even for a short time.
4) The area it is used in should be well ventillated so there
is no risk of alcohol fumes building up and causing an explosion.
5) Ideally the spirit receiver should be at least 10 to 12'
away from the gas flame so there is no risks of spillage and consequent fire or
6) Hoses conveying the alcohol from the condenser to the
receiver should not be able to be burnt, melted, or able to come into contact
with the hot still body or boiler.
Gas is a good medium but you must know what you are
doing. Like anything to do with fire "A good servant but a bad
For your first still I would not reccommend it. If you read
enough history books you will see that a lot of early moonshiners did themselves
quite a bit of harm as well as burn down quite a number of
Today with good regulators and controls there is no reason why
you should come to harm so if that is what you want to use go ahead but
be sure you know what you are doing before you do.
Having said that I would point out that there have been and
there are from time to time quite a number of fried corpses from people who
think they know what they are doing with electricity but dont.
Good luck with whatever path you choose and dont be afraid to
Have a good talk to your local gas company, B.O.C GAS Co, Air
Liquide or whoever your local l.p.g. supplier is.
B.r., David Reid