New Still - Part 1
- Hi all, I'm a home winemaker and brewer for the past
35 years, the last twenty or so my brewing has been
I picked up a 5l copper still with the "onion neck"
design, in Portugal a couple of years ago. It works
not too badly, but it was neither big enough or
efficient enough to do what I wanted. After having
read the postings for quite some time, I decided to
build my own. (they are not commercially available
where I live).
Based in part on the information that I gathered and
my own preferences, I had formed some opinions as to
what I wanted.
1. I wanted a still that could function as a reflux or
as a pot still. This meant that in addition to being
able to remove the packing from the column, I had to
be able to operate the system without any reflux while
maintaining a flow of water to the condenser.
2. There had to be an efficient method of mounting the
column to the Keg, which I wanted to be well sealed,
yet allow sufficient room for my arm to clean the
3. I wanted greater control of the reflux,
independently of the flow of the condenser cooling
water and I did not like the style of still which had
the condenser water supply running through two
horizontal pipes mid-span in the column. I still (no
pun) can't see the logic in that!
So, for point two, I used a 50l stainless keg, with 4"
hole cut in the top and a 6 1/2" flange welded on. For
the column, I was able to find a machined stainless
slip-on flange designed for industrial use. This was
silver soldered to a 1M x 50mm column. The column is
secured to the keg with 6 - 1/4" stainless bolts and a
1/4" hypalon gasket.
See jpgs below.
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