Re: Pot still or Reflux----?
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While thumpers (or doublers) do add another theoretical plate, as ZB said they do add some layer of problems. First, it takes alot longer to heat up and start getting any output. Secondly, you better have a very leak proof still, because thumpers produce quite a bit of back pressure... I have played with them and found it just simpler to do a stripping run (or 2) and then do the spirits run... There are many pictures of pot still designs in our photo section on the left as well as on Tony's Homedistillers site at: http://www.homedistiller.org/
My pot still now has either a 1/2 " or 1" x 2 foot riser (depending on what im a doing), connected to a 1/2 " 45 degree downwards lyne arme, and makes very nice whiskey, rums and brandies. But as ZB said, you can go to 2 " if ya want. But would make it at least 2 feet high. That way you could pack it and get up to about a 90 % ABV if you want to do some neutral stuff. Anything higer then 85 to 90 % ABV, your going to have to go to a reflux still.
Vino es Veritas,
Jim aka Waldo.
--- In email@example.com, "tgfoitwoods" <zymurgybob@...> wrote:
> Well, the thumper does add another layer of problems, and you can turn out fine whisk(e)ys without one. Because grain whisk(e)ys are low-ABV washes (and have to be, to get the flavor you want), it takes a lot of wash to make a dab of whisk(e)y (scotch is a whisky, bourbon is a whiskey). With that in mind, I'd say a 5-gallon boiler is minumum. I'd also recommend propane (turkey cooker or camp cooker) heating as it's more tolerant of non-clear washes.
> Although I've outgrown them, I've made a series of good potstills for me and friends from 5-gallon aluminum pressure cookers (yard-sale or thrift shop). An 8 or 10" by 2" copper riser and a 45-degree down Liebig is simple to make and effective. You'll also need to make a "parrot's beak" to monitor instantaneous (kinda) output ABV.
> With a still like that, you can produce ambrosia or junk, as you choose.
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "junk101990" junk101990@ wrote:
> > I am just starting to build my still. My plan was to build a pot still as I wanting to distill burbon or whiskey. The thumper keg looks to me as it could be a problem. Any advice on design or which still will work better. Thanks