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  • thepiro
    I am new to distilling but started brewing back in the 60s and made prize winning mead for a good few years. I have toyed with the idea of doing some
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 1, 2008
      I am new to distilling but started brewing back in the 60s and made
      prize winning mead for a good few years. I have toyed with the idea
      of doing some distilling over the years but never got round to it.

      Dad is tea total, but my grandfather run a still producing Rum pre
      ww2 and probably pre ww1 as well, so it's in the blood. He told me
      his recipe and how to make a still out of a 4 Gallon milk churn, a
      wooden bung and 6 Yards of copper tubing that had been made into a
      worm by winding it around a Silver Birch sapling and then burning the
      sapling out. That was before he got the tap on the shoulder one night
      from a person in authority who advised him that if he had something
      in a certain place that he shouldn't have, he better toss it in the
      canal tonight. It was good advice, and the canal is only 4Ft deep,
      so I don't suppose that it would have been in there for very long.,

      I searched the net for some entry level advice, looked at building a
      still from scratch as grandfather had told me how he had made his,
      but it sounded more than a bit dangerous. I found the plastic still
      and nearly bought one, but felt there was something not just right
      about it. Found loads of proper stills in the USA and Portugal but
      they are obvious what they are and are for turning out far larger
      quantities of booze than I felt I could handle. Finally settled on
      the Easystill, output is probably about right for my needs and being
      a converted water distillation unit it hasn't got, arrest me, written
      all over it.

      I have just finished my first 25ltr run using 8kl sugar and turbo
      yeast, a very steep and thanks to this site fantastic learning curve.

      The only problem I can find with the Easystill is the fact that it
      only holds 4ltrs, the gadget is idiot proof and does what it is meant
      to do.

      Operation wise my run came out the brew bucket at 20%. From the first
      distilling I got 2 demijohns of 40% and enough to make one bottle
      each of Malt, Vodka &Gin. The Gin is brilliant

      The produce had an after taste which I suspect came from me not
      clearing the run properly after brewing. I cured this by running the
      produce through a water filter jug 4 times, which totality removed
      the offending taste.

      I then run the produce through the still again and produced 4.75 Ltrs
      at 60%

      My 3rd and final run was, 4Ltrs which produced 3Ltrs at about 80%

      Which gives me in total 3 bottles of 40% booze, ¾ ltr at 60% and
      3ltrs at 80%, not bad for a first try.

      Only problem was leakage at the filter, which was easily rectified by
      removing the cover.

      The only pit fall, if it is one, was the fact that it took me 9 runs
      of the Easystill. I work from home so time is not a problem. It is
      also a safe unit, I fell asleep during one run and the unit distilled
      its self dry and switched its self of, got a pot of 30%, but no
      grief.
      I have another brew on; once that's done I feel some experimentation
      coming on

      Regards

      Pyro
    • jamesonbeam1
      Welcome Pyro, Your Grandaddy sounds like one of them old time shiners after me own heart. My daddy was into it also. Your Easy Still has been re-configured to
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 1, 2008
        Welcome Pyro,

        Your Grandaddy sounds like one of them old time shiners after me own
        heart. My daddy was into it also.

        Your Easy Still has been re-configured to produce alcohol, but I
        would git rid of the plastic collection vessel and replace it with
        glass. Especially if your running the spirits run at 80% (will eat
        away any plastic pieces in your still and add crap to the final
        product....

        It sounds like your on the right track here though. 4 liters is a
        mite bit small for distilling decent hootch. Hopes to heck you can
        find Grandad's old 4 gallon milk jug - makes a great boiler. Since
        ti also sounds like your into making neutral type alcohols (although
        distilled mead can come out great), you might want to eventually look
        into a reflux type still.

        Don't know if you visited our Information base on the left of this
        screen or not, but its in the Database and Links sections. Has lots
        of good topics on fermentation and distilling. It also will give you
        some more safer, "modern ways" of building a still, then making it
        with "a wooden bung and 6 Yards of copper tubing that had been made
        into a worm by winding it around a Silver Birch sapling and then
        burning the sapling out." Im still kinda laughing at that approach,
        but I bet by God, it worked in them days.

        Anyways, please read up and Welcome Aboard - if you have any
        questions, please feel free to ask. Above all - BE SAFE.

        Vino es Veritas,
        Jim.


        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "thepiro" <thepiro@...> wrote:
        >
        > I am new to distilling but started brewing back in the 60s and made
        > prize winning mead for a good few years. I have toyed with the idea
        > of doing some distilling over the years but never got round to it.
        >
        > Dad is tea total, but my grandfather run a still producing Rum pre
        > ww2 and probably pre ww1 as well, so it's in the blood. He told me
        > his recipe and how to make a still out of a 4 Gallon milk churn, a
        > wooden bung and 6 Yards of copper tubing that had been made into a
        > worm by winding it around a Silver Birch sapling and then burning
        the
        > sapling out. That was before he got the tap on the shoulder one
        night
        > from a person in authority who advised him that if he had something
        > in a certain place that he shouldn't have, he better toss it in the
        > canal tonight. It was good advice, and the canal is only 4Ft deep,
        > so I don't suppose that it would have been in there for very long.,
        >
        > I searched the net for some entry level advice, looked at building
        a
        > still from scratch as grandfather had told me how he had made his,
        > but it sounded more than a bit dangerous. I found the plastic
        still
        > and nearly bought one, but felt there was something not just right
        > about it. Found loads of proper stills in the USA and Portugal but
        > they are obvious what they are and are for turning out far larger
        > quantities of booze than I felt I could handle. Finally settled on
        > the Easystill, output is probably about right for my needs and
        being
        > a converted water distillation unit it hasn't got, arrest me,
        written
        > all over it.
        >
        > I have just finished my first 25ltr run using 8kl sugar and turbo
        > yeast, a very steep and thanks to this site fantastic learning
        curve.
        >
        > The only problem I can find with the Easystill is the fact that it
        > only holds 4ltrs, the gadget is idiot proof and does what it is
        meant
        > to do.
        >
        > Operation wise my run came out the brew bucket at 20%. From the
        first
        > distilling I got 2 demijohns of 40% and enough to make one bottle
        > each of Malt, Vodka &Gin. The Gin is brilliant
        >
        > The produce had an after taste which I suspect came from me not
        > clearing the run properly after brewing. I cured this by running
        the
        > produce through a water filter jug 4 times, which totality removed
        > the offending taste.
        >
        > I then run the produce through the still again and produced 4.75
        Ltrs
        > at 60%
        >
        > My 3rd and final run was, 4Ltrs which produced 3Ltrs at about 80%
        >
        > Which gives me in total 3 bottles of 40% booze, ¾ ltr at 60% and
        > 3ltrs at 80%, not bad for a first try.
        >
        > Only problem was leakage at the filter, which was easily rectified
        by
        > removing the cover.
        >
        > The only pit fall, if it is one, was the fact that it took me 9
        runs
        > of the Easystill. I work from home so time is not a problem. It is
        > also a safe unit, I fell asleep during one run and the unit
        distilled
        > its self dry and switched its self of, got a pot of 30%, but no
        > grief.
        > I have another brew on; once that's done I feel some
        experimentation
        > coming on
        >
        > Regards
        >
        > Pyro
        >
      • rye_junkie1
        ... Hello Pyro Looks like your off and running with this Hobby of ours and you ve got your first taste as well. Your choice of Distilling Apparatus is not
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 1, 2008
          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "thepiro" <thepiro@...> wrote:
          >
          > I am new to distilling but started brewing back in the 60s and made
          > prize winning mead for a good few years. I have toyed with the idea
          > of doing some distilling over the years but never got round to it.
          >
          > Dad is tea total, but my grandfather run a still producing Rum pre
          > ww2 and probably pre ww1 as well, so it's in the blood. He told me
          > his recipe and how to make a still out of a 4 Gallon milk churn, a
          > wooden bung and 6 Yards of copper tubing that had been made into a
          > worm by winding it around a Silver Birch sapling and then burning the
          > sapling out. That was before he got the tap on the shoulder one night
          > from a person in authority who advised him that if he had something
          > in a certain place that he shouldn't have, he better toss it in the
          > canal tonight. It was good advice, and the canal is only 4Ft deep,
          > so I don't suppose that it would have been in there for very long.,
          >
          > I searched the net for some entry level advice, looked at building a
          > still from scratch as grandfather had told me how he had made his,
          > but it sounded more than a bit dangerous. I found the plastic still
          > and nearly bought one, but felt there was something not just right
          > about it. Found loads of proper stills in the USA and Portugal but
          > they are obvious what they are and are for turning out far larger
          > quantities of booze than I felt I could handle. Finally settled on
          > the Easystill, output is probably about right for my needs and being
          > a converted water distillation unit it hasn't got, arrest me, written
          > all over it.
          >
          > I have just finished my first 25ltr run using 8kl sugar and turbo
          > yeast, a very steep and thanks to this site fantastic learning curve.
          >
          > The only problem I can find with the Easystill is the fact that it
          > only holds 4ltrs, the gadget is idiot proof and does what it is meant
          > to do.
          >
          > Operation wise my run came out the brew bucket at 20%. From the first
          > distilling I got 2 demijohns of 40% and enough to make one bottle
          > each of Malt, Vodka &Gin. The Gin is brilliant
          >
          > The produce had an after taste which I suspect came from me not
          > clearing the run properly after brewing. I cured this by running the
          > produce through a water filter jug 4 times, which totality removed
          > the offending taste.
          >
          > I then run the produce through the still again and produced 4.75 Ltrs
          > at 60%
          >
          > My 3rd and final run was, 4Ltrs which produced 3Ltrs at about 80%
          >
          > Which gives me in total 3 bottles of 40% booze, ¾ ltr at 60% and
          > 3ltrs at 80%, not bad for a first try.
          >
          > Only problem was leakage at the filter, which was easily rectified by
          > removing the cover.
          >
          > The only pit fall, if it is one, was the fact that it took me 9 runs
          > of the Easystill. I work from home so time is not a problem. It is
          > also a safe unit, I fell asleep during one run and the unit distilled
          > its self dry and switched its self of, got a pot of 30%, but no
          > grief.
          > I have another brew on; once that's done I feel some experimentation
          > coming on
          >
          > Regards
          >
          > Pyro

          Hello Pyro
          Looks like your off and running with this Hobby of ours and you've got
          your first taste as well. Your choice of Distilling Apparatus is not
          exactly desirable for our use but if your happy with it and the
          product it produces then thats all that matters. I think that one of
          the biggest drawbacks to the Easystill besides size is that it would
          be difficult to work with All Grain Mashes. I could be totally wrong
          on this.
          As for your "After Tastes", that could be coming from a couple of
          different issues. You are correct on not letting the wash clear
          properly, but another could be that at the 20% level the yeast was
          stressed to the limit and left some nastys behind. If you are going
          to use Turbo Yeast I would recommend one that finishes around 15-16%
          I have had very good results with these. A finning/clearing agent
          (Turbo Clear) should be used along with some Patience for a couple of
          days to let it clear really good. The patience part is always hard to
          do in the beginning. Even if you like the EasyStill you probably will
          want to at least start looking for and pricing parts for your own Home
          made still. Start looking at plans and the likes. From what you have
          said so far I would say you will want to build a reflux column. If
          your Fabrication Skills are decent then the sky is the limit.
          Welcome to the group, Be safe and most important, Have fun.
          In case you dont already know, To the left of the Screen is our
          Database Link. There is a wealth of info in there. Visit it often.
          homedistiller.org is also very good. Question to the group are also
          welcome. Thats why we are here.

          Mason
        • just me
          hi piro, i started with a easystill. it is good for what it is made for. make sure you stay in the same room. you should put a fork in the pot. the fork will
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 2, 2008
            hi piro,
             i started with a easystill. it is good for what it is made for. make sure you stay in the same room. you should put a fork in the pot. the fork will disrupt the bubbles. sometimes the easystill vents from foaming especialy if it is rum. or if you run it through carbon. laeve a few more inches of clearance. if you collect your distllate every 20 minutes in separate containers on your second run and dilute to drinking strength you will be amazed at the difference in the beginning jars and the middle and end jars. that is doing your cuts. enjoy.
             
            just me
            life begins at 80.. 1.080 that is.

          • thepiro
            Thanks for the welcome folks, and thanks for all the tips. The file section of the site is a credit to you all, for a newbi it s a hoste of info and good
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 3, 2008
              Thanks for the welcome folks, and thanks for all the tips. The file
              section of the site is a credit to you all, for a newbi it's a hoste of
              info and good advice.

              I have just sampled a glass of my Gin made from a 3 times through the
              still sugar wash cut to 40% and essence added. I do like a Gordon's and
              Schweppes on a hot day; it was the dogs back wheels, absolutely
              excellent. Well contented.

              Second wash will be put through my little fat friend in the next 2
              weeks and then I will try a Rum using molasses. I'm not a rum drinker
              so I am going to try it for devilment more than any thing, and besides
              Granddad made it so I have to have a bash.

              Regards

              Pyro
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