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Lost & Failed

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  • GoGriz
    Hey there, In my failed attempts at sorting through all the great information out there, I have become very lost. I am trying to start a hobby operation and I
    Message 1 of 6 , May 9, 2010
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      Hey there,
      In my failed attempts at sorting through all the great information out there, I have become very lost. I am trying to start a hobby operation and I have tried to sort through the past messages and the great websites, but every time I think I am on to something I find conflicting information. My main problem is finding directions on how to build a still, and whether i should build a pot or a reflux still. Any help on how to get started would be greatly appreciated.
      Thanks
    • JD
      Hi, well there is lot to say about it and yet so simple is the answer. Pott = Flavourd spirits i.e. Whiskey, tequila, Rum, Snapps,
      Message 2 of 6 , May 10, 2010
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        Hi,

        well there is lot to say about it and yet so simple is the answer.

        Pott = Flavourd spirits i.e. Whiskey, tequila, Rum, Snapps, http://homedistiller.org/photos-pot.htm

        Reflux = mostly Vodka ore tastless spirit to make gin (gin needs a final run with spices in a pot stil), ore flavourd if you are in a hurry, ( but rather dont, patience is the key here ) http://homedistiller.org/photos-reflux.htm
        It sometimes needs carbon cleaning afterwards.

        Offset head = Pure alcohol. This is the best way to go is you wat real clean vodka. and can produce op to 96% abv.
        http://homedistiller.org/photos-ns.htm
        ________________________________________________________________

        The designs you can find on tony's site.

        But as you can see its more about what spirit you want to make then what you want to build.
        There are discussions about running whiskey true a offset still and it will work , but requirs the skill to do so , to achief that you just run with trail and error and learn.

        The reflux is a nice to have because when you dont use the cooling and take out the packing you can still use it as a pott still.

        So to confuse you again.. :P
        you can make whiskey with an offset still when you unpack it and run it fully opend. Is it the best option ? I think not, a pot still would be better if you only want to go for whiskey.

        But if you only want vodka , and besides that you want to do a little whiskey once a year? It can be done with an offset still.

        I prefer a reflux, cause i mainly want whiskey and dont want to run it twice before i can use it. It also gives me the ability to do a strip run when not packed and cooled. ( to get al the alcohol and flavours out of the wash, and run it later when im able to )

        Hope i didnt confuse you a lot more now.

        But generally it devides in :

        pott, reflux, offset,
        | | |
        whiskey, vodka , really clean alcohol

        Maybe Jim can get a little deeper into this, and tell more about the science behind it if your interested.


        Howdy

        JD


        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "GoGriz" <riley.egan@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hey there,
        > In my failed attempts at sorting through all the great information out there, I have become very lost. I am trying to start a hobby operation and I have tried to sort through the past messages and the great websites, but every time I think I am on to something I find conflicting information. My main problem is finding directions on how to build a still, and whether i should build a pot or a reflux still. Any help on how to get started would be greatly appreciated.
        > Thanks
        >
      • jamesonbeam1
        Hello Go, And Welcome aboard to this great Hobby of ours. Its hard to say you have failed yet, maybe lost some, but not failed since ya aint even got
        Message 3 of 6 , May 10, 2010
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          Hello Go,

          And Welcome aboard to this great Hobby of ours.  Its hard to say you have failed yet, maybe lost some, but not failed since ya aint even got started...

          Ok, first thing is, as JD mentioned, is to figure out what ya want to make.  Are you into the brown stuff (aged whiskeys or alcohols with flavors) or do you perfer the white clear high purity stuff like vodka???  This will determine what type of still you want to make.  Of course many of us have made both types for the different applications also.

          Your first homework assignment will be to sit down, pour yourself a few stiff ones and commence reading Tony Ackland's Homedistillers Site. http://homedistiller.org/ Yes start from the Introduction through the basics and theory and get an understanding of what your about to get into.

          Next, get some sleep, do your normal stuff, then pour yourself a few more and re-read it till it starts to sink in.  Now if you still totally confused on what type of still to make and what your going to need for fermentation equipement, then you can ask your questions. 

          Sorry this aint like building a model airplane with a step by step, but in the end,  tis way more satisfying.

          Again, welcome aboard, good luck and BE SAFE.

          Vino es Veritas,

          Jim aka Waldo.

          ________________________________________________________________________

          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "GoGriz" <riley.egan@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hey there,
          > In my failed attempts at sorting through all the great information out there, I have become very lost. I am trying to start a hobby operation and I have tried to sort through the past messages and the great websites, but every time I think I am on to something I find conflicting information. My main problem is finding directions on how to build a still, and whether i should build a pot or a reflux still. Any help on how to get started would be greatly appreciated.
          > Thanks
          >

        • GoGriz
          Alright, so I tend to like a little bit of everything but Whiskey being the highest regarded. So from what you ve told me that would mean a Pot Still should
          Message 4 of 6 , May 11, 2010
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            Alright, so I tend to like a little bit of everything but Whiskey being the highest regarded. So from what you've told me that would mean a Pot Still should be my choice..? Honestly, how hard is it to make a pot still? I have better than average handyman skills but I don't weld.. Are the materials pretty easy to come by? I appreciate the input. Thanks


            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Hello Go,
            >
            > And Welcome aboard to this great Hobby of ours. Its hard to say you
            > have failed yet, maybe lost some, but not failed since ya aint even got
            > started...
            >
            > Ok, first thing is, as JD mentioned, is to figure out what ya want to
            > make. Are you into the brown stuff (aged whiskeys or alcohols with
            > flavors) or do you perfer the white clear high purity stuff like
            > vodka??? This will determine what type of still you want to make. Of
            > course many of us have made both types for the different applications
            > also.
            >
            > Your first homework assignment will be to sit down, pour yourself a few
            > stiff ones and commence reading Tony Ackland's Homedistillers Site.
            > http://homedistiller.org/ <http://homedistiller.org/> Yes start from
            > the Introduction through the basics and theory and get an understanding
            > of what your about to get into.
            >
            > Next, get some sleep, do your normal stuff, then pour yourself a few
            > more and re-read it till it starts to sink in. Now if you still totally
            > confused on what type of still to make and what your going to need for
            > fermentation equipement, then you can ask your questions.
            >
            > Sorry this aint like building a model airplane with a step by step, but
            > in the end, tis way more satisfying.
            >
            > Again, welcome aboard, good luck and BE SAFE.
            >
            > Vino es Veritas,
            >
            > Jim aka Waldo.
            >
            > ________________________________________________________________________
            > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "GoGriz" <riley.egan@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hey there,
            > > In my failed attempts at sorting through all the great information out
            > there, I have become very lost. I am trying to start a hobby operation
            > and I have tried to sort through the past messages and the great
            > websites, but every time I think I am on to something I find conflicting
            > information. My main problem is finding directions on how to build a
            > still, and whether i should build a pot or a reflux still. Any help on
            > how to get started would be greatly appreciated.
            > > Thanks
            > >
            >
          • rosnekcaj
            If you would have done your homework as Jim aka Waldo suggested you would have your answers. Read first, then ask! rosnekcaj
            Message 5 of 6 , May 12, 2010
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              If you would have done your "homework" as Jim aka Waldo suggested you would have your answers. Read first, then ask!
              rosnekcaj

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "GoGriz" <riley.egan@...> wrote:
              >
              > Alright, so I tend to like a little bit of everything but Whiskey being the highest regarded. So from what you've told me that would mean a Pot Still should be my choice..? Honestly, how hard is it to make a pot still? I have better than average handyman skills but I don't weld.. Are the materials pretty easy to come by? I appreciate the input. Thanks
              >
              >
              > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@> wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > > Hello Go,
              > >
              > > And Welcome aboard to this great Hobby of ours. Its hard to say you
              > > have failed yet, maybe lost some, but not failed since ya aint even got
              > > started...
              > >
              > > Ok, first thing is, as JD mentioned, is to figure out what ya want to
              > > make. Are you into the brown stuff (aged whiskeys or alcohols with
              > > flavors) or do you perfer the white clear high purity stuff like
              > > vodka??? This will determine what type of still you want to make. Of
              > > course many of us have made both types for the different applications
              > > also.
              > >
              > > Your first homework assignment will be to sit down, pour yourself a few
              > > stiff ones and commence reading Tony Ackland's Homedistillers Site.
              > > http://homedistiller.org/ <http://homedistiller.org/> Yes start from
              > > the Introduction through the basics and theory and get an understanding
              > > of what your about to get into.
              > >
              > > Next, get some sleep, do your normal stuff, then pour yourself a few
              > > more and re-read it till it starts to sink in. Now if you still totally
              > > confused on what type of still to make and what your going to need for
              > > fermentation equipement, then you can ask your questions.
              > >
              > > Sorry this aint like building a model airplane with a step by step, but
              > > in the end, tis way more satisfying.
              > >
              > > Again, welcome aboard, good luck and BE SAFE.
              > >
              > > Vino es Veritas,
              > >
              > > Jim aka Waldo.
              > >
              > > ________________________________________________________________________
              > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "GoGriz" <riley.egan@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Hey there,
              > > > In my failed attempts at sorting through all the great information out
              > > there, I have become very lost. I am trying to start a hobby operation
              > > and I have tried to sort through the past messages and the great
              > > websites, but every time I think I am on to something I find conflicting
              > > information. My main problem is finding directions on how to build a
              > > still, and whether i should build a pot or a reflux still. Any help on
              > > how to get started would be greatly appreciated.
              > > > Thanks
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • tgfoitwoods
              GoGriz, I also concur with the advice that you will be happiest with a potstill for making whisk(e)y. I d add one concern; because whisk(e)y washes are, and
              Message 6 of 6 , May 12, 2010
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                GoGriz,

                I also concur with the advice that you will be happiest with a potstill for making whisk(e)y. I'd add one concern; because whisk(e)y washes are, and need to be for reasons of flavor, low ABV washes, you will do twice as many stripping runs for a bottle of spirit as, say, sugar washes. This means you will be happier with a larger still than brandy makers or sugar wash stillers.

                As far as hard to build, potstills are not particularly difficult, but picking the materials can make your job easier or harder. For instance, building an all-stainless potstill can easily involve special cutting tools and *very* expensive welding. On the other hand, making the still "head", the upper part, out of common copper plumbing fittings, flux, and lead-free solder is pretty easy and gives very good results.

                For the boiler itself, there are all kinds of choices that can make it harder or easier, but keep in mind for a whisk(e)still you will want access to the inside of the still that you can get your hands and cleaning tools through. For personal use and for friends, I've built several potstills from large canning-style aluminum pressure cookers, usually 5 gallon capacity. The necessary machining to attach a still head to such a cooker can be done with ordinary tools, and maybe a bit of relatively inexpensive aluminum welding. Many on this list will tell you not to use aluminum, but I'm here to tell you I've never had a failure or bad experience with an aluminum pressure cooker for a boiler.

                Unfortunately, it's a lot of hard work to make enough grain whisk(e)y in a 5-gallon boiler to age. (Usually the amounts are small enough that by the time you've tasted your spirit to follow the aging process, your whisk(e)y is gone) For that reason I finally took the step to use a 15 gallon keg with a 6-quart stainless pressure cooker on top to provide an access/cleaning port.

                I am very, very happy with this new larger stainless potstill, with copper plumbing head, but I had to buy and build some of the tools to make the cuts I needed, and then had to pay my local stainless welder $265 to put it together. After I got through with all that inhaling (gasping, really), I was ok.

                So that gives you a couple of directions to go, depending on your desires, your tools, and your wallet. I hope this helps.

                Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "GoGriz" <riley.egan@...> wrote:
                >
                > Alright, so I tend to like a little bit of everything but Whiskey being the highest regarded. So from what you've told me that would mean a Pot Still should be my choice..? Honestly, how hard is it to make a pot still? I have better than average handyman skills but I don't weld.. Are the materials pretty easy to come by? I appreciate the input. Thanks
                >
                >
                ----snip----
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