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  • dball1@gte.net
    I m new to the group. I m planning on building a still. I m going the stainless milk can boiler direction right now. I will be receiving one within the next
    Message 1 of 17 , Nov 14, 2000
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      I'm new to the group. I'm planning on building a still. I'm going
      the stainless milk can boiler direction right now. I will be
      receiving one within the next week. It looks like it's going to take
      me a month or so to get everything together. I'm a little tight on
      money right now.

      In looking for a boiler, I considered using a turkey fryer. They are
      the "rage". Anyway, I found one company that is selling 40 and 60
      quart stainless steel fryers. With burners. Sounds like a neat way
      to go... just have to have a way to seal the lid. Has anyone tried
      that? Let me know.

      I noticed the question about using galvanized for a boiler. I don't
      know if it would be safe, but I always see old pictures of boilers
      used for stills that are just old junky looking 55 gallon drums.
      What are those made out of?

      Is there any place in the United States that sells/distributes Turbo
      yeasts and activated carbon that can be used in distilling?
    • tarvus@mindspring.com
      ... are ... I use an 80 quart aluminum boiler - very similar to the turkey fryers you mention. Sealing the lid is simple. Use a length of clear vinyl tubing
      Message 2 of 17 , Nov 17, 2000
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        --- In new_distillers@egroups.com, dball1@g... wrote:

        > In looking for a boiler, I considered using a turkey fryer. They
        are
        > the "rage". Anyway, I found one company that is selling 40 and 60
        > quart stainless steel fryers. With burners. Sounds like a neat way
        > to go... just have to have a way to seal the lid. Has anyone tried
        > that? Let me know.

        I use an 80 quart aluminum boiler - very similar to the turkey fryers
        you mention. Sealing the lid is simple. Use a length of clear vinyl
        tubing the same length as the circumference of the rim of the
        boiler. Slit it lengthwise and slip it over the rim to act as a
        gasket. I use a doughball made from the center of a slice of white
        bread to putty up the joint of the vinyl gasket where the two ends
        butt together. Five little 99 cent C-clamps secure the lid to the
        rim of the boiler.

        Easy to rig, easy to disassemble, and easy to clean!

        I don't know of a US source for turbo yeast or activated carbon. If
        you find one, share it with us!

        Tarvus
      • cummingsc@hotmail.com
        Wow. You sold me. I think I ll give it a try using a similar set up. A couple of questions. 1. How do you connect your tower to the lid of the pot? 2. Are
        Message 3 of 17 , Nov 20, 2000
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          Wow. You sold me. I think I'll give it a try using a similar set up.
          A couple of questions.
          1. How do you connect your tower to the lid of the pot?
          2. Are there any problems with the pot being aluminum? Taste?
          Cleaning ease? A previous posting made it sound like aluminum can be
          high maintenance. Should I try to find a stainless steel pot?

          thanks

          chris


          --- In new_distillers@egroups.com, tarvus@m... wrote:
          > --- In new_distillers@egroups.com, dball1@g... wrote:
          >
          > > In looking for a boiler, I considered using a turkey fryer. They
          > are
          > > the "rage". Anyway, I found one company that is selling 40 and
          60
          > > quart stainless steel fryers. With burners. Sounds like a neat
          way
          > > to go... just have to have a way to seal the lid. Has anyone
          tried
          > > that? Let me know.
          >
          > I use an 80 quart aluminum boiler - very similar to the turkey
          fryers
          > you mention. Sealing the lid is simple. Use a length of clear
          vinyl
          > tubing the same length as the circumference of the rim of the
          > boiler. Slit it lengthwise and slip it over the rim to act as a
          > gasket. I use a doughball made from the center of a slice of white
          > bread to putty up the joint of the vinyl gasket where the two ends
          > butt together. Five little 99 cent C-clamps secure the lid to the
          > rim of the boiler.
          >
          > Easy to rig, easy to disassemble, and easy to clean!
          >
          > I don't know of a US source for turbo yeast or activated carbon.
          If
          > you find one, share it with us!
          >
          > Tarvus
        • Jeff Smith
          Chirst wrote: 1. How do you connect your tower to the lid of the pot? 2. Are there any problems with the pot being aluminum? Taste? Cleaning ease? A previous
          Message 4 of 17 , Nov 20, 2000
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            Chirst wrote:


            1. How do you connect your tower to the lid of the pot?
            2. Are there any problems with the pot being aluminum? Taste?
            Cleaning ease? A previous posting made it sound like aluminum can be high
            maintenance. Should I try to find a stainless steel pot?

            I have a setup like Tarvus's

            1 I used a soldiered on connector with to washers and a ton of JB Weld.
            (Duct tape didn't seem to hold ;-))
            2 The 10 gallon aluminum pot i use is my beer boiler and i never had any off
            taste from it. My pot clease with a scrub bright pad and since it is food
            service grade it is to heavy to be dented and darn hard to scrotch. As for
            finding stainless steel i don't know i made mine form on hand stuff, i
            might look at a modfided beer keg if i ever make a reflux still but for my
            pot still i will alway use this.
          • tarvus@mindspring.com
            ... up. ... I drilled out the rivets holding the handle on the lid which happened to match up exactly with the bolt holes on a 2 threaded flange. A male
            Message 5 of 17 , Nov 20, 2000
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              --- In new_distillers@egroups.com, cummingsc@h... wrote:
              > Wow. You sold me. I think I'll give it a try using a similar set
              up.
              > A couple of questions.
              > 1. How do you connect your tower to the lid of the pot?

              I drilled out the rivets holding the handle on the lid which happened
              to match up exactly with the bolt holes on a 2" threaded flange. A
              male copper threaded fitting soldered to the column end threads
              neatly into the female threads of the flange. I cut a 2" hole in the
              lid, drilled a couple of extra bolt holes and cut a gasket from a
              piece of natural red rubber gasket material (silicone caulk would
              probably work just as well). A plywood circle (with 2" center hole)
              cut just a tad less than the diameter of the lid is sandwiched on top
              of the rubber gasket below the flange. This provides stability and
              compression for the gasket over a wider area than would the flange
              alone. 4 stainless steel bolts with flat washers, lock washers and
              wing nuts complete the attachment.

              > 2. Are there any problems with the pot being aluminum? Taste?
              > Cleaning ease? A previous posting made it sound like aluminum can
              be
              > high maintenance. Should I try to find a stainless steel pot?

              I use the same aluminum pot for my boiler when beer brewing. There
              is no taste from the aluminum (and no - it won't cause Alzheimers).
              Clean up is with plain water and a green scrubbie and is quick and
              easy. Stainless would be fine to use as well - whichever you prefer
              and is most readily available. Aluminum is a lot less expensive than
              stainless though, which is why I chose it. I'm a firm believer in
              using a large boiler (run less often, but in bigger batches), and for
              the same cost, you can most likely buy a bigger aluminum than
              stainless boiler.

              My whole rig sits on three concrete cinder blocks for stability and I
              heat on a propane burner - similar to the turkey boilers you see at
              hardware stores. I run 15 gallons of wash or less (usually 12-13)
              through the 20 gallon boiler and never have any problems with the
              wash boiling up into the column - even if I chose to run the burner
              flat out (which I don't in the interest of purity of product).

              I could run even larger washes than this, but I use 15 gallon
              fermenters and allow 2 or 3 gallons of head room in the fermenters to
              allow for foam-overs. So a normal distilling day consists of 2 runs
              of 12-13 gallons each, then a 50% dilution with water and an
              additional re-distillation of the product. (Sometimes I spread this
              over two days because of the time involved) I don't use activated
              carbon, so the second distillation is used to further purify my
              distillate. I routinely get 94-95% whether I use 1 or 2 runs, but
              the spirit doesn't seem to require cleaning with 2 runs - tastes
              cleaner than any premium vodka I have ever had.

              One final suggestion - add a ball valve and drain to your boiler
              (especially if you are using a large boiler). It greatly simplifies
              draining the dregs and clean up after a distilling session.

              Let me know if you have questions. I'll be happy to share my
              construction or distillation techniques.

              Tar
              >
              > --- In new_distillers@egroups.com, tarvus@m... wrote:
              > > --- In new_distillers@egroups.com, dball1@g... wrote:
              > >
              > > > In looking for a boiler, I considered using a turkey fryer.
              They
              > > are
              > > > the "rage". Anyway, I found one company that is selling 40 and
              > 60
              > > > quart stainless steel fryers. With burners. Sounds like a neat
              > way
              > > > to go... just have to have a way to seal the lid. Has anyone
              > tried
              > > > that? Let me know.
              > >
              > > I use an 80 quart aluminum boiler - very similar to the turkey
              > fryers
              > > you mention. Sealing the lid is simple. Use a length of clear
              > vinyl
              > > tubing the same length as the circumference of the rim of the
              > > boiler. Slit it lengthwise and slip it over the rim to act as a
              > > gasket. I use a doughball made from the center of a slice of
              white
              > > bread to putty up the joint of the vinyl gasket where the two
              ends
              > > butt together. Five little 99 cent C-clamps secure the lid to
              the
              > > rim of the boiler.
              > >
              > > Easy to rig, easy to disassemble, and easy to clean!
              > >
              > > I don't know of a US source for turbo yeast or activated carbon.
              > If
              > > you find one, share it with us!
              > >
              > > Tarvus
            • chemist2421gt
              hello everybody! I ve just started distilling. I ve got only one problem, I don t have a still. Can anyone give me some instructions so I can build my own
              Message 6 of 17 , Sep 9, 2002
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                hello everybody!

                I've just started distilling. I've got only one problem, I don't have
                a still. Can anyone give me some instructions so I can build my own
                still? It must be a very simple, easy to build, cheap still.

                Thanks

                Emiel

                Nieuwkoop, the Netherlands
              • oldtileman
                I m new to groups and to distilling. I have been brewing beer and making wine for many years and want to begin to distill. I am in the process of making a
                Message 7 of 17 , Sep 21, 2009
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                  I'm new to "groups" and to distilling.

                  I have been brewing beer and making wine for many years and want to begin to distill. I am in the process of making a valved reflux still like the one shown at www.moonshine-still.org. My first question is shouldn't the still column be well insulated? Secondly, I intend to use open flame propane as a heat source. Should I collect the distillate immediately below the collection valve or should I pipe it further from the burner. My column will sit on top of a 15.5 gallon beer keg.

                  Thanks in advance for any help that might be offered.

                  Old Tile Man
                • KM Services
                  OTM, I personally use internal electric elements, however, many on these groups use flame to heat and it necessary to observe strict safety rules when doing
                  Message 8 of 17 , Sep 21, 2009
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                    OTM,

                    I personally use internal electric elements, however, many on these groups use flame to heat and it necessary to observe  strict safety rules when doing this as you are producing something like “PETROL” when distilling for ethanol and is just as flammable and explosive so the basic safety rules are:

                    1. have a well ventilated to distil in as vapour will flow invisibly around you
                    2. have an extinguisher available suitable for petrol or solvent fires remember that water will spread a solvent fire  
                    3. Do not smoke near the still or containers of High ABV Grog as a butt accidently dropped in or near your high ABV grog can cause fires or explosions
                    4. Do not drink and distil-a lapse of attention or a little snooze could cause a fire or explosion
                    5. keep a clear area around the still-to stop tripping or knocking over anything

                    So to answer your question you collection point needs to be well clear of a naked Flame…..

                     

                    Ken Mc (This is my opinion and if I am wrong I will be corrected I am sure)

                     


                    From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of oldtileman
                    Sent: Tuesday, 22 September 2009 8:07 a.m.
                    To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [new_distillers] I'm new

                     

                     

                    I'm new to "groups" and to distilling.

                    I have been brewing beer and making wine for many years and want to begin to distill. I am in the process of making a valved reflux still like the one shown at www.moonshine- still.org. My first question is shouldn't the still column be well insulated? Secondly, I intend to use open flame propane as a heat source. Should I collect the distillate immediately below the collection valve or should I pipe it further from the burner. My column will sit on top of a 15.5 gallon beer keg.

                    Thanks in advance for any help that might be offered.

                    Old Tile Man

                  • tgfoitwoods
                    First off, OTM (If I may call you that), you ve found the right place and welcome. If you re already a brewer and winemaker, you re halfway there, and if you
                    Message 9 of 17 , Sep 21, 2009
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                      First off, OTM (If I may call you that), you've found the right place and welcome. If you're already a brewer and winemaker, you're halfway there, and if you brew allgrain, you're 5/8 there.

                      The link you posted is not active right now, so I can't see the still, but I also still over propane, and my still is configured to collect perhaps 18" off to the side of the propane flame. I think if you pipe output off to the side, you're making your rig safer, and that's good.

                      May I assume with that valved-reflux rig you're looking to make vodka?

                      Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

                      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "oldtileman" <oldtileman@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I'm new to "groups" and to distilling.
                      >
                      > I have been brewing beer and making wine for many years and want to begin to distill. I am in the process of making a valved reflux still like the one shown at www.moonshine-still.org. My first question is shouldn't the still column be well insulated? Secondly, I intend to use open flame propane as a heat source. Should I collect the distillate immediately below the collection valve or should I pipe it further from the burner. My column will sit on top of a 15.5 gallon beer keg.
                      >
                      > Thanks in advance for any help that might be offered.
                      >
                      > Old Tile Man
                      >
                    • oldtileman
                      Ken, Thanks for the information. All points are understood and well taken. I intend to cook in a well ventilated area and will certainly observe all safety
                      Message 10 of 17 , Sep 21, 2009
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                        Ken,

                        Thanks for the information. All points are understood and well taken. I intend to "cook" in a well ventilated area and will certainly observe all safety suggestions.

                        My original intent was to make a run of 1/4" copper tubing from the collection valve, down the column, across the top of the pot and then down at a 45 degree angle to floor-level for collection. After a review of that plan, and in consideration of the length of tubing that would be flowing liquid (the time lag would be extreme), I decided that a proper collection device could be securely fitted immediately below the collection valve to catch the distillate immediately after it passes from the condensing chamber. This position would be about 4 1/2 feet above the flame and, in my less than well founded experience, should be a safe location.

                        Am I asking for trouble?

                        OTM

                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "KM Services" <km_services@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > OTM,
                        >
                        > I personally use internal electric elements, however, many on these groups
                        > use flame to heat and it necessary to observe strict safety rules when
                        > doing this as you are producing something like "PETROL" when distilling for
                        > ethanol and is just as flammable and explosive so the basic safety rules
                        > are:
                        >
                        > 1. have a well ventilated to distil in as vapour will flow invisibly
                        > around you
                        > 2. have an extinguisher available suitable for petrol or solvent fires
                        > remember that water will spread a solvent fire
                        > 3. Do not smoke near the still or containers of High ABV Grog as a butt
                        > accidently dropped in or near your high ABV grog can cause fires or
                        > explosions
                        > 4. Do not drink and distil-a lapse of attention or a little snooze
                        > could cause a fire or explosion
                        > 5. keep a clear area around the still-to stop tripping or knocking over
                        > anything
                        >
                        > So to answer your question you collection point needs to be well clear of a
                        > naked Flame...
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Ken Mc (This is my opinion and if I am wrong I will be corrected I am sure)
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > _____
                        >
                        > From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:new_distillers@yahoogroups.com]
                        > On Behalf Of oldtileman
                        > Sent: Tuesday, 22 September 2009 8:07 a.m.
                        > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: [new_distillers] I'm new
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > I'm new to "groups" and to distilling.
                        >
                        > I have been brewing beer and making wine for many years and want to begin to
                        > distill. I am in the process of making a valved reflux still like the one
                        > shown at www.moonshine-still.org. My first question is shouldn't the still
                        > column be well insulated? Secondly, I intend to use open flame propane as a
                        > heat source. Should I collect the distillate immediately below the
                        > collection valve or should I pipe it further from the burner. My column will
                        > sit on top of a 15.5 gallon beer keg.
                        >
                        > Thanks in advance for any help that might be offered.
                        >
                        > Old Tile Man
                        >
                      • oldtileman
                        Bob, Certainly, you may call me OTM. Please review my earlier response to Ken. I first intend to cook off some all-grain beer that I don t like. As an
                        Message 11 of 17 , Sep 21, 2009
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                          Bob,

                          Certainly, you may call me OTM. Please review my earlier response to Ken.

                          I first intend to cook off some all-grain beer that I don't like. As an exercise I want to get the distillate as pure as possible.

                          Then I have a batch of red wine that I want to cook off. For that one, I want to try to detune the reflux and retain some of the characteristics of the grape. If that's not possible, I will make a pot still head to fasten to my cooker. The intricacy of the valved reflux interested me. I am a bit of a machinist and set about to build the thing because it was pretty! My ultimate goal is to try to make scotch with it if it can be successfully detuned. If not, I'm going to make a pot still head and then I'll have either and can play accordingly!

                          Thanks for your help!

                          OTM

                          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" <zymurgybob@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > First off, OTM (If I may call you that), you've found the right place and welcome. If you're already a brewer and winemaker, you're halfway there, and if you brew allgrain, you're 5/8 there.
                          >
                          > The link you posted is not active right now, so I can't see the still, but I also still over propane, and my still is configured to collect perhaps 18" off to the side of the propane flame. I think if you pipe output off to the side, you're making your rig safer, and that's good.
                          >
                          > May I assume with that valved-reflux rig you're looking to make vodka?
                          >
                          > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller
                          >
                          > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "oldtileman" <oldtileman@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > I'm new to "groups" and to distilling.
                          > >
                          > > I have been brewing beer and making wine for many years and want to begin to distill. I am in the process of making a valved reflux still like the one shown at www.moonshine-still.org. My first question is shouldn't the still column be well insulated? Secondly, I intend to use open flame propane as a heat source. Should I collect the distillate immediately below the collection valve or should I pipe it further from the burner. My column will sit on top of a 15.5 gallon beer keg.
                          > >
                          > > Thanks in advance for any help that might be offered.
                          > >
                          > > Old Tile Man
                          > >
                          >
                        • KM Services
                          Ken, Thanks for the information. All points are understood and well taken. I intend to cook in a well ventilated area and will certainly observe all safety
                          Message 12 of 17 , Sep 21, 2009
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                            Ken,

                            Thanks for the information. All points are understood and well taken. I intend to "cook" in a well ventilated area and will certainly observe all safety suggestions.

                            My original intent was to make a run of 1/4" copper tubing from the collection valve, down the column, across the top of the pot and then down at a 45 degree angle to floor-level for collection. After a review of that plan, and in consideration of the length of tubing that would be flowing liquid (the time lag would be extreme), I decided that a proper collection device could be securely fitted immediately below the collection valve to catch the distillate immediately after it passes from the condensing chamber. This position would be about 4 1/2 feet above the flame and, in my less than well founded experience, should be a safe location.

                            Am I asking for trouble?

                            OTM

                             


                            OTM,

                            I am sure guys like Zymurgy Bob can steer you to a picture of their particular setups that allow for safe collection of distillate away from the naked flame…..have fun in this hobby and keep the questions coming even if you think they a silly or basic we have heard them all before

                             

                            Ken Mc

                             

                          • jay lagasse
                            Hi Thomas,   This thread reminds me of one that popped up about a year ago.  See message #31440.  The valuable lesson that I took from it was that water
                            Message 13 of 17 , Sep 21, 2009
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                              Hi Thomas,
                               
                              This thread reminds me of one that popped up about a year ago.  See message #31440.  The valuable lesson that I took from it was that water might be the best thing to use in order to put out an alcohol fire.  Since alcohol instantly absorbs water, it is unlike other flammable liquids like gasoline, which when doused with water, would spread the flames.  Douse an alcohol fire with water and you instantly reduce the abv and it's ability to burn.
                               
                              I have retrofitted an old extinguisher to blow water instead of supressant just for this purpose but a garden hose on standby would be just as good or better.
                               
                              Jay


                              --- On Mon, 9/21/09, Thomas Janstrom <t_janstrom@...> wrote:

                              From: Thomas Janstrom <t_janstrom@...>
                              Subject: RE: [new_distillers] Re: I'm new
                              To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Monday, September 21, 2009, 2:40 PM

                               

                              I have seen (personally, not been told this!) a vapour steam flame travel the length of a room from an open bottle of methylated spirits to a naked flame*. Now yes this was indoors, and in a rather still room (although there was air movement as the vapours made it to the flame after all!), but as you can see if the vapour has a means of escape and a naked flame to get to, then you have ALL the ingredients for a fire present. It’s just a matter of time till it happens.

                               

                              This is why I’m going over to electric heating for my big still, and why I sit and watch my little one while hugging a fire extinguisher even though the distillate is collected in a sealed bottle, there is still the hydrometer flask step that is open…..

                               

                              Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.

                              Little Gems.

                              http://tjlittlegems .com

                               

                              *Happened while I was in year 10 at high school, we were making soap in chemistry and the alcohol was the catalyst….

                               

                              From: new_distillers@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:new_ distillers@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of oldtileman
                              Sent: Tuesday, 22 September 2009 7:00 AM
                              To: new_distillers@ yahoogroups. com
                              Subject: [new_distillers] Re: I'm new

                               

                               

                              Bob,

                              Certainly, you may call me OTM. Please review my earlier response to Ken.

                              I first intend to cook off some all-grain beer that I don't like. As an exercise I want to get the distillate as pure as possible.

                              Then I have a batch of red wine that I want to cook off. For that one, I want to try to detune the reflux and retain some of the characteristics of the grape. If that's not possible, I will make a pot still head to fasten to my cooker. The intricacy of the valved reflux interested me. I am a bit of a machinist and set about to build the thing because it was pretty! My ultimate goal is to try to make scotch with it if it can be successfully detuned. If not, I'm going to make a pot still head and then I'll have either and can play accordingly!

                              Thanks for your help!

                              OTM

                              --- In new_distillers@ yahoogroups. com, "tgfoitwoods" <zymurgybob@. ..> wrote:
                              >
                              > First off, OTM (If I may call you that), you've found the right place and welcome. If you're already a brewer and winemaker, you're halfway there, and if you brew allgrain, you're 5/8 there.
                              >
                              > The link you posted is not active right now, so I can't see the still, but I also still over propane, and my still is configured to collect perhaps 18" off to the side of the propane flame. I think if you pipe output off to the side, you're making your rig safer, and that's good.
                              >
                              > May I assume with that valved-reflux rig you're looking to make vodka?
                              >
                              > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller
                              >
                              > --- In new_distillers@ yahoogroups. com, "oldtileman" <oldtileman@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > I'm new to "groups" and to distilling.
                              > >
                              > > I have been brewing beer and making wine for many years and want to begin to distill. I am in the process of making a valved reflux still like the one shown at www.moonshine- still.org. My first question is shouldn't the still column be well insulated? Secondly, I intend to use open flame propane as a heat source. Should I collect the distillate immediately below the collection valve or should I pipe it further from the burner. My column will sit on top of a 15.5 gallon beer keg.
                              > >
                              > > Thanks in advance for any help that might be offered.
                              > >
                              > > Old Tile Man
                              > >
                              >


                            • Tile Man
                              Jay, Thanks for the advice.  I will certainly be cautious and will keep a water hose at hand. OTM ________________________________ From: jay lagasse
                              Message 14 of 17 , Sep 22, 2009
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                                Jay,
                                 
                                Thanks for the advice.  I will certainly be cautious and will keep a water hose at hand.
                                 
                                OTM


                                From: jay lagasse <ak_jay.1976@...>
                                To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 11:06:00 PM
                                Subject: RE: [new_distillers] Re: I'm new

                                 

                                Hi Thomas,
                                 
                                This thread reminds me of one that popped up about a year ago.  See message #31440.  The valuable lesson that I took from it was that water might be the best thing to use in order to put out an alcohol fire.  Since alcohol instantly absorbs water, it is unlike other flammable liquids like gasoline, which when doused with water, would spread the flames.  Douse an alcohol fire with water and you instantly reduce the abv and it's ability to burn.
                                 
                                I have retrofitted an old extinguisher to blow water instead of supressant just for this purpose but a garden hose on standby would be just as good or better.
                                 
                                Jay


                                --- On Mon, 9/21/09, Thomas Janstrom <t_janstrom@yahoo. com> wrote:

                                From: Thomas Janstrom <t_janstrom@yahoo. com>
                                Subject: RE: [new_distillers] Re: I'm new
                                To: new_distillers@ yahoogroups. com
                                Date: Monday, September 21, 2009, 2:40 PM

                                 

                                I have seen (personally, not been told this!) a vapour steam flame travel the length of a room from an open bottle of methylated spirits to a naked flame*. Now yes this was indoors, and in a rather still room (although there was air movement as the vapours made it to the flame after all!), but as you can see if the vapour has a means of escape and a naked flame to get to, then you have ALL the ingredients for a fire present. It’s just a matter of time till it happens.

                                 

                                This is why I’m going over to electric heating for my big still, and why I sit and watch my little one while hugging a fire extinguisher even though the distillate is collected in a sealed bottle, there is still the hydrometer flask step that is open…..

                                 

                                Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.

                                Little Gems.

                                http://tjlittlegems .com

                                 

                                *Happened while I was in year 10 at high school, we were making soap in chemistry and the alcohol was the catalyst….

                                 

                                From: new_distillers@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:new_ distillers@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of oldtileman
                                Sent: Tuesday, 22 September 2009 7:00 AM
                                To: new_distillers@ yahoogroups. com
                                Subject: [new_distillers] Re: I'm new

                                 

                                 

                                Bob,

                                Certainly, you may call me OTM. Please review my earlier response to Ken.

                                I first intend to cook off some all-grain beer that I don't like. As an exercise I want to get the distillate as pure as possible.

                                Then I have a batch of red wine that I want to cook off. For that one, I want to try to detune the reflux and retain some of the characteristics of the grape.. If that's not possible, I will make a pot still head to fasten to my cooker. The intricacy of the valved reflux interested me. I am a bit of a machinist and set about to build the thing because it was pretty! My ultimate goal is to try to make scotch with it if it can be successfully detuned. If not, I'm going to make a pot still head and then I'll have either and can play accordingly!

                                Thanks for your help!

                                OTM

                                --- In new_distillers@ yahoogroups. com, "tgfoitwoods" <zymurgybob@. ..> wrote:
                                >
                                > First off, OTM (If I may call you that), you've found the right place and welcome. If you're already a brewer and winemaker, you're halfway there, and if you brew allgrain, you're 5/8 there.
                                >
                                > The link you posted is not active right now, so I can't see the still, but I also still over propane, and my still is configured to collect perhaps 18" off to the side of the propane flame. I think if you pipe output off to the side, you're making your rig safer, and that's good.
                                >
                                > May I assume with that valved-reflux rig you're looking to make vodka?
                                >
                                > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller
                                >
                                > --- In new_distillers@ yahoogroups. com, "oldtileman" <oldtileman@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > I'm new to "groups" and to distilling.
                                > >
                                > > I have been brewing beer and making wine for many years and want to begin to distill. I am in the process of making a valved reflux still like the one shown at www.moonshine- still.org. My first question is shouldn't the still column be well insulated? Secondly, I intend to use open flame propane as a heat source. Should I collect the distillate immediately below the collection valve or should I pipe it further from the burner. My column will sit on top of a 15.5 gallon beer keg.
                                > >
                                > > Thanks in advance for any help that might be offered.
                                > >
                                > > Old Tile Man
                                > >
                                >



                              • jamesonbeam1
                                Welp OTM, Having to use a water hose water hose when distilling is like closing the Barn Doors after the cows got in the corn... (if you get the chance to use
                                Message 15 of 17 , Sep 23, 2009
                                • 0 Attachment

                                  Welp OTM,

                                  Having to use a water hose water hose when distilling is like closing the Barn Doors after the cows got in the corn...  (if you get the chance to use it.....)

                                  The primary prevention is efficient ventilation to the outside, using electricity or doing your distilling outside (like I do - even with electricity).  Remember - a liter or so of high ABV vapors is equal to a stick or 2 of dynamite in a confined area.  (a Harry statement)

                                  Even the Big boys have problems:

                                  When Fire Becomes Master

                                  This is what happens in distilleries when fire gets out of control.  Which proves beyond doubt that even the most carefully thought out and rigorously applied safety rules can sometimes not be enough to prevent a catastrophe.

                                  The message is clear.  Never become complacent about distilling, and never leave a working still unattended.  Ignore this advice and this could easily be your home.

                                  Slainte!
                                  regards Harry

                                   

                                  1997  Heaven Hill Distillery Bardstown Kentucky.

                                  This photo is from the 1997 fire at Heaven Hill Distillery. (photos courtesy of The Kentucky Standard).

                                  Another photo from the Heaven Hill fire. Kentucky Standard staff members at the scene reported huge fireballs of unburnt alcohol that were forced hundreds of feet into the air until they found oxygen to combust.

                                   The warehouse was previously a brewery but had been turned into a gin and vodka distillery prior to the fire.

                                  G & J Greenall has been based in the North West since 1761

                                  2006  Greenall's Distillery
                                  Cheshire England

                                  This is what's left after an arsonist set it alight.  Proving once again that alcohol is a highly flammable fuel.  All it needs is air (oxygen) and an ignition source (flame or spark).

                                  Vino es Veritas,

                                  Jim aka Waldo.


                                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Tile Man <oldtileman@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Jay,
                                  >
                                  > Thanks for the advice.  I will certainly be cautious and will keep a water hose at hand.
                                  >
                                  > OTM
                                   ________________________________
                                  > From: jay lagasse ak_jay.1976@...
                                  > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 11:06:00 PM
                                  > Subject: RE: [new_distillers] Re: I'm new
                                  >
                                  >  
                                  > Hi Thomas,
                                  >
                                  > This thread reminds me of one that popped up about a year ago.  See message #31440..  The valuable lesson that I took from it was that water might be the best thing to use in order to put out an alcohol fire.  Since alcohol instantly absorbs water, it is unlike other flammable liquids like gasoline, which when doused with water, would spread the flames.  Douse an alcohol fire with water and you instantly reduce the abv and it's ability to burn.
                                  >
                                  > I have retrofitted an old extinguisher to blow water instead of supressant just for this purpose but a garden hose on standby would be just as good or better.
                                  >
                                  > Jay
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- On Mon, 9/21/09, Thomas Janstrom t_janstrom@yahoo. com> wrote:
                                  >> >I have seen (personally, not been told this!) a vapour steam flame travel the length of a room from an open bottle of methylated spirits to a naked flame*. Now yes this was indoors, and in a rather still room (although there was air movement as the vapours made it to the flame after all!), but as you can see if the vapour has a means of escape and a naked flame to get to, then you have ALL the ingredients for a fire present. It’s just a matter of time till it happens.
                                  > > 
                                  > >This is why I’m going over to electric heating for my big still, and why I sit and watch my little one while hugging a fire extinguisher even though the distillate is collected in a sealed bottle, there is still the hydrometer flask step that is open…..
                                  > > 
                                  > >Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.

                                • Tile Man
                                  Harry, I get the point.  I do intend to use good ventillation.  I may also surround my collection container with a series of cooling coils to keep the
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Sep 23, 2009
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Harry,
                                     
                                    I get the point.  I do intend to use good ventillation.  I may also surround my collection container with a series of cooling coils to keep the temperature of the distillate down and thus hold the vapor pressure to a minimum.  I sure don't want to set off a big bang!
                                     
                                    Thanks,
                                     
                                    OTM


                                    From: jamesonbeam1 <jamesonbeam1@...>
                                    To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 8:24:35 AM
                                    Subject: [new_distillers] Re: I'm new

                                     

                                    Welp OTM,

                                    Having to use a water hose water hose when distilling is like closing the Barn Doors after the cows got in the corn...  (if you get the chance to use it.....)

                                    The primary prevention is efficient ventilation to the outside, using electricity or doing your distilling outside (like I do - even with electricity) .  Remember - a liter or so of high ABV vapors is equal to a stick or 2 of dynamite in a confined area.  (a Harry statement)

                                    Even the Big boys have problems:

                                    When Fire Becomes Master

                                    This is what happens in distilleries when fire gets out of control.  Which proves beyond doubt that even the most carefully thought out and rigorously applied safety rules can sometimes not be enough to prevent a catastrophe.

                                    The message is clear.  Never become complacent about distilling, and never leave a working still unattended.  Ignore this advice and this could easily be your home.

                                    Slainte!
                                    regards Harry

                                     

                                    1997  Heaven Hill Distillery Bardstown Kentucky.

                                    This photo is from the 1997 fire at Heaven Hill Distillery. (photos courtesy of The Kentucky Standard).

                                    Another photo from the Heaven Hill fire. Kentucky Standard staff members at the scene reported huge fireballs of unburnt alcohol that were forced hundreds of feet into the air until they found oxygen to combust.

                                     The warehouse was previously a brewery but had been turned into a gin and vodka distillery prior to the fire.

                                    G & J Greenall has been based in the North West since 1761

                                    2006  Greenall's Distillery
                                    Cheshire England

                                    This is what's left after an arsonist set it alight.  Proving once again that alcohol is a highly flammable fuel.  All it needs is air (oxygen) and an ignition source (flame or spark).

                                    Vino es Veritas,

                                    Jim aka Waldo.


                                    --- In new_distillers@ yahoogroups. com, Tile Man <oldtileman@. ..> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Jay,
                                    >
                                    > Thanks for the advice.  I will certainly be cautious and will keep a water hose at hand.
                                    >
                                    > OTM
                                     ____________ _________ _________ __
                                    > From: jay lagasse ak_jay.1976@ ...
                                    > To: new_distillers@ yahoogroups. com
                                    > Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 11:06:00 PM
                                    > Subject: RE: [new_distillers] Re: I'm new
                                    >
                                    >  
                                    > Hi Thomas,
                                    >
                                    > This thread reminds me of one that popped up about a year ago.  See message #31440..  The valuable lesson that I took from it was that water might be the best thing to use in order to put out an alcohol fire.  Since alcohol instantly absorbs water, it is unlike other flammable liquids like gasoline, which when doused with water, would spread the flames.  Douse an alcohol fire with water and you instantly reduce the abv and it's ability to burn.
                                    >
                                    > I have retrofitted an old extinguisher to blow water instead of supressant just for this purpose but a garden hose on standby would be just as good or better.
                                    >
                                    > Jay
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- On Mon, 9/21/09, Thomas Janstrom t_janstrom@yahoo. com> wrote:
                                    >> >I have seen (personally, not been told this!) a vapour steam flame travel the length of a room from an open bottle of methylated spirits to a naked flame*. Now yes this was indoors, and in a rather still room (although there was air movement as the vapours made it to the flame after all!), but as you can see if the vapour has a means of escape and a naked flame to get to, then you have ALL the ingredients for a fire present. It’s just a matter of time till it happens.
                                    > > 
                                    > >This is why I’m going over to electric heating for my big still, and why I sit and watch my little one while hugging a fire extinguisher even though the distillate is collected in a sealed bottle, there is still the hydrometer flask step that is open…..
                                    > > 
                                    > >Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.


                                  • alan
                                    Hello all! I have been doing alot of reading,researching,and question asking and have finally constructed my first still out a 16qt aluminum pressure cooker.
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Oct 11, 2009
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Hello all! I have been doing alot of reading,researching,and question asking and have finally constructed my first still out a 16qt aluminum pressure cooker. I'm using a 1000watt single-burner hot plate and I have already performed my pressure-test with water which passed with flying colors! I have a 1gal. thumper but I am concerned that this may be too large. Any thoughts? BTW--The recipe I intend to use is a 10-gal batch that yeilds 2 gals.

                                      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Tile Man <oldtileman@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Harry,
                                      >
                                      > I get the point.  I do intend to use good ventillation.  I may also surround my collection container with a series of cooling coils to keep the temperature of the distillate down and thus hold the vapor pressure to a minimum.  I sure don't want to set off a big bang!
                                      >
                                      > Thanks,
                                      >
                                      > OTM
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > ________________________________
                                      > From: jamesonbeam1 <jamesonbeam1@...>
                                      > To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 8:24:35 AM
                                      > Subject: [new_distillers] Re: I'm new
                                      >
                                      >  
                                      > Welp OTM,
                                      > Having to use a water hose water hose when distilling is like closing the Barn Doors after the cows got in the corn...  (if you get the chance to use it.....)
                                      > The primary prevention is efficient ventilation to the outside, using electricity or doing your distilling outside (like I do - even with electricity) .  Remember - a liter or so of high ABV vapors is equal to a stick or 2 of dynamite in a confined area.  (a Harry statement)
                                      > Even the Big boys have problems:
                                      > When Fire Becomes Master
                                      > This is what happens in distilleries when fire gets out of control.  Which proves beyond doubt that even the most carefully thought out and rigorously applied safety rules can sometimes not be enough to prevent a catastrophe.
                                      > The message is clear.  Never become complacent about distilling, and never leave a working still unattended..  Ignore this advice and this could easily be your home.
                                      > Slainte!
                                      > regards Harry
                                      >  
                                      > 1997  Heaven Hill Distillery Bardstown Kentucky.
                                      > This photo is from the 1997 fire at Heaven Hill Distillery. (photos courtesy of The Kentucky Standard).
                                      > Another photo from the Heaven Hill fire. Kentucky Standard staff members at the scene reported huge fireballs of unburnt alcohol that were forced hundreds of feet into the air until they found oxygen to combust.
                                      >  The warehouse was previously a brewery but had been turned into a gin and vodka distillery prior to the fire.
                                      > G & J Greenall has been based in the North West since 1761 2006  Greenall's Distillery
                                      > Cheshire England
                                      > This is what's left after an arsonist set it alight.  Proving once again that alcohol is a highly flammable fuel.  All it needs is air (oxygen) and an ignition source (flame or spark).
                                      > Vino es Veritas,
                                      > Jim aka Waldo.
                                      >
                                      > --- In new_distillers@ yahoogroups. com, Tile Man <oldtileman@ ..> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > Jay,
                                      > >
                                      > > Thanks for the advice.  I will certainly be cautious and will keep a water hose at hand.
                                      > >
                                      > > OTM
                                      >  ____________ _________ _________ __
                                      > > From: jay lagasse ak_jay.1976@ ...
                                      > > To: new_distillers@ yahoogroups. com
                                      > > Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 11:06:00 PM
                                      > > Subject: RE: [new_distillers] Re: I'm new
                                      > >
                                      > >  
                                      > > Hi Thomas,
                                      > >
                                      > > This thread reminds me of one that popped up about a year ago..  See message #31440..  The valuable lesson that I took from it was that water might be the best thing to use in order to put out an alcohol fire.  Since alcohol instantly absorbs water, it is unlike other flammable liquids like gasoline, which when doused with water, would spread the flames.  Douse an alcohol fire with water and you instantly reduce the abv and it's ability to burn.
                                      > >
                                      > > I have retrofitted an old extinguisher to blow water instead of supressant just for this purpose but a garden hose on standby would be just as good or better.
                                      > >
                                      > > Jay
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > --- On Mon, 9/21/09, Thomas Janstrom t_janstrom@yahoo. com> wrote:
                                      > >> >I have seen (personally, not been told this!) a vapour steam flame travel the length of a room from an open bottle of methylated spirits to a naked flame*. Now yes this was indoors, and in a rather still room (although there was air movement as the vapours made it to the flame after all!), but as you can see if the vapour has a means of escape and a naked flame to get to, then you have ALL the ingredients for a fire present. It’s just a matter of time till it happens.
                                      > > > 
                                      > > >This is why I’m going over to electric heating for my big still, and why I sit and watch my little one while hugging a fire extinguisher even though the distillate is collected in a sealed bottle, there is still the hydrometer flask step that is open…..
                                      > > > 
                                      > > >Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.
                                      >
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