Build a Keg Still for Whiskey (Pot still design)

Picture of Build a Keg Still for Whiskey (Pot still design)
Making a pot still using a keg as a base for making flavoured spirits, this is my second instructable on making a keg still the first one was a reflux still and you can see that here

Now before I continue lets get the boring legal stuff out of the way....

Check the laws in your local area, some places you cant even own a still let alone use it to make a drinkable product, check it out first. I know in New Zealand you can make your own booze and in the UK you can have a still that makes up to 5L if you have a permit.

ok lets carry on, so why am i making another keg still if I already have one? well its turns out that even in pot still mode the reflux still does not give enough flavour on the spirit, it strips it out due to refluxing too much. When you want to make rum and gin and other flavoured spirits you need a Pot Still as a reflux still will just strip out the flavours.

Now it is worth having a column for the reflux still as you can use this to make vodka which can be used to make gin in your pot still later on. I have both a pot still column and a reflux column now and they both fit on the same boiler, Now I will be repeating the boiler making process as some people may be reading this and have not seen the original instructable so I have to assume they don't have a boiler yet.
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dexterd801 month ago

another cheat for the liebig is to use a 3/4x3/4x1/2" tees saves drilling and stuffing around for the inlet and outlet lines ;) awesome writeup btw n1codmus ;)

n1cod3mus (author)  dexterd801 month ago
i've done exactly that on ones I have built since writing this one up
Thank you! I found a 3800 watt controller on amazon for $5.28! This is a very useful instructable have you written anymore besides this one and for the reflux still?
n1cod3mus (author)  FollowerOfJesus2 months ago
I've done some for rum, vodka and Tennessee whiskey
Stupid phone!
Thank you! I found a 3800 watt controller on amazon for $5.28! This is a very useful instructable have you written anymore besides this one and for the reflux still?
egosselin1 made it!2 months ago

After much toil and trouble, we finally made a batch. We discovered that Mason jar replacement rubber is exactly the right fit, and very cheap. Put the element power control in a junction box and had it checked to make sure it was safe. Added a ground on the advice of the electrician. As you can see, the thumper is a repurposed 20L pressure cooker (our first still) sitting on a hot plate to control additionnal heat.

Nicodemus, you are a genius, your design is what inspired us for our own project.

2014-12-22 19.26.58.jpg
n1cod3mus (author)  egosselin12 months ago

you should do a write on on here ;-)

Oh, I don't know about that, I'm just a humble hobbyist, besides, I don't think I have enough pictures to properly convey how we overcome the challenges of this project.

Cheers !
n1cod3mus (author)  egosselin2 months ago

funny that, I'm just a humble hobbyist too ;-) you don't have to be an expert to write an instructable. I think it would have been good to see yours as you are using a worm and not a liebig, would have been good to see how that was wound, for the users ;-)

Wound it the old fashioned way : two of us winding it around a scuba tank by hand. We did it slowly to avoid kinks in the soft copper piping. This video was our inspiration :

n1cod3mus (author)  egosselin12 months ago

lol I wouldn't say I am a genius, just did the research ;-) but thanks.

nice adaptation to the design, liking the thumper, I ditched my thumper as it wasnt big enough. and I 3D printed an enclosure to my controller, and it had an earth (ground in the US) too ;-)

I'm actually going to sell my still, I need the room for my latest project, building a life sized version ED-209 from the 1987 film robocop. check out and like the facebook page to keep up to date with the project,

I will build a new still at some point which I am thinking will be a copper pot :-D

Where do u get the stainless steel flange that you screwed the element in or what is it called?
n1cod3mus (author)  FollowerOfJesus2 months ago
I got it on ebay, "Immersion Heater Element Flange" you could search for a 2.25 BSP Stainless Flange. but that's only for the UK, other country's may differ, in the US I think their elements are smaller.
I pressed the button too many times, sorry :)
n1cod3mus (author)  marlo.see2 months ago

Stop spamming the tread you have already given a link to your site once on my instriuctable

One last thing what was the URL of the website that had the angle controler
n1cod3mus (author)  FollowerOfJesus3 months ago
And how did you build the thumper
n1cod3mus (author)  FollowerOfJesus3 months ago
its just a jar with 2 pipes on it
I have a question about the easy flange could I get something I could just sodder on instead of hammering it out? I'm American
n1cod3mus (author)  FollowerOfJesus3 months ago
yes you can, you can buy a flange from dragon still supplys. they do copper or brass ones.
One last thing what was the URL of the website that had the angle controler
One last thing what was the URL of the website that had the angle controler
zamo273 months ago
One last thing, I only have 15L of plum wine so its just covering the element, shall I add some water to be safe?
n1cod3mus (author)  zamo273 months ago
yep I would
zamo273 months ago

i did it and its working as i type

bit rough on the auld solder but it works

thanks n1cod3mus

thanks for all the replies too

you're great

n1cod3mus (author)  zamo273 months ago
no worrys enjoy ;-) the more you use it the more you learn ;-)

what are you running?
zamo27 n1cod3mus3 months ago
Your recipes first, gin rum
I also have some plum wine and apfelweine I want to give a go

I have dodge elderflower champagne that is sparkling nicely but taste yeasty , you thinks the still can sort that out for me?
n1cod3mus (author)  zamo273 months ago

not sure about doing the sparkling in the still, might cause a lot of foam and the still to puke, you may want to have a hunt around the wine forums for answers.

try putting it in a really cold place for a few days, the yeast should settle to the bottom and you can then ciphon it off to a new container.

woodduck9 months ago

love your designs I've made both you stills now and love them. mine is slightly different to yours as you will see in the photos. I already had a condenser that I made for a bloke based on what he wanted which was huge. he ended up not wanting it cause he wanted a reflux still so I ended up with it and adapted it to suit my still and thumper. the still works great and I can't wait to try your jacks recipe. .

n1cod3mus (author)  woodduck3 months ago

nice setup ;-)

Where did you get that element from? Ive been searching for one online, and only find ones with out the temp probe.

n1cod3mus (author)  warren.moore.963873 months ago
i'm in the UK so they are just available at heating stores or ebay.

i'm taking the probe out anyway so if you can get them without the probe you can just skip that step

Love this instructable, I'm in the process of building mine at the moment. Could only source a weldless 2200W element, so I'm guessing it'll take a while to kick off.

What I am most curious about however, how do you go cleaning it? I'm guessing you're not being able to get your arm in there to scrub (if necessary). SodPerc enough to give it a good clean?

n1cod3mus (author)  brad.friedrich3 months ago
take the element out, put in a couple of jugs of hot soapy water and a length of stainless steel chain, then basically man handle it so the chain rubs round the whole of the inside. then rinse with clean water.
zamo274 months ago

hi im building this tommorow and i have one final question, the wireing

i got one of thos phase angle controller but it has no instructions on wiring

the L & E from the element go to the plug, the N goes in and out to the controller is that it?


n1cod3mus (author)  zamo274 months ago
yep thats it
buzz-ard4 months ago
Hello and goodday to you sir, i am well impressed with such design so much rartha i am basing my own on ur creation. One thing plays on my mind tho, are they brass compression joins as brass contains lead nd genrally is not used how r u finding nd is there ne thing else one may use with copper pipes?? Thank you squire
n1cod3mus (author)  buzz-ard4 months ago
good day to you sir, you can get lead free brass fittings these days, just make sure any brass compression fittings are lead free.

God speed with your project.

God save the Queen ;-)
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