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.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

OK so here is your list of materials, I will be following what most of the guys in the distilling community recommend which is a 2 inch column, here in the UK that is 54mm, and its expensive to buy so I didn't want to make too big a column.

you should use as much copper as possible, as the copper removes a lot of the impurity's from the alcohol as its produced.


Hack Saw


Blow torch

heat mat for soldering copper

a metal file

spanners and grips

Gloves (very important)


tape measure / ruler

Materials for the still
Lead free Solder

Flux for pipe work

54mm (2 inch) length of copper pipe, I bought might at a small local independent plumbing store, 1 meter long cost me about £24

54mm copper reducer to 15mm, got on eBay costing about £10

a length of 15mm copper pipe

a length of 28mm copper pipe

2 x 28mm copper piper couplers

2 x 28mm to 15mm copper reducers

1 x compression fitting 15mm pipe coupler.

1 x 15mm copper 135 degree elbow

1 x 15mm copper 90 degree elbow

a stainless steel keg 50L, you must buy this legally

a 2 inch tri-clamp also known as a tri clover clamp

Equipment For Making the Spirits and Fermenting
Fermentation Vessel, I'm using a 25L tub bought from a local store


Test flask

Alcoholmeter, make sure it's one for sprits

Wine Siphon

18 inch plastic spoon

Airlock valve and rubber bungs

materials for cleaning the still
5kg sugar

Baker's yeast


1 x lemon

1 x tomato puree

sterilizing compound


dish soap


NOTE:  making alcohol is dangerous and can cause serious side effects, you should read up on whats safe and not safe at www.homedistiller.org
This looks perfect???
<p>having trouble locating one of these. could you tell me whereyou purchased it?</p>
<p>yep that looks like it will do the job</p>
<p>Hi from Belgium</p><p>Where did you find your heater?</p><p>Nico</p>
I messaged you back earlier ;-) as I said its a UK immersion heater element so you may want to find what immersion heater elements are in your country and get a stainless flange to match
Thank you n1cod3mus !<br>I found different models that could be adapt but they are very expensive... around 250&euro; new.<br>
<p>check plumbing supply places should be much cheaper than that</p>
<p>Thanks for the fast reply! I should make it shorter then. I misread the instructions or comments and took about 300mm of 2&quot; copper pipe. If I add up the reducers, my total collum height would be almost 450mm. (good thing I didn't solder it yet !) yours looks bigger in the pic above, did you adjust it later ?</p>
<p>Hi ! first I'd like to thank you for the nice detailled instructable !!! </p><p>Before you replied <a href="/member/WilliamR49" rel="nofollow">WilliamR49</a> not to use the 500mm length of 2&quot; copper pipe, so I was wandering how long is the total hight of your collum ? (measuring from flange to the elbow-part) </p>
its about 250mm, its short so it should preserve the flavors
Hi! Great instructable! What welding rods did you use?
<p>I didn't weld it, I had someone weld it for me at a workshop</p>
<p>I didn't weld it, I had someone weld it for me at a workshop</p>
<p>I didn't weld it, I had someone weld it for me at a workshop</p>
Hi mate that steel flange does that come with the heating element or did you buy separate? Thanks
hi, As per the instructable, I had to buy it seperately
thanks for the step by step guide here's my attempt. and my control box.
<p>cool, good work ;-)</p>
Can't wait to get started on mine! I plan on building interchangeable columns so I can run either a pot still or a reflux still. Maybe try a couple of different designs of pot still column too to see if it affects the taste - I found this article quite interesting https://www.whisky.com/information/knowledge/production/details/the-scottish-pot-stills.html<br>Keep up the good work n1cod3mus!
Hi I can't find a phase controller, do you have details of where you got yours please
I just got it on ebay, there are loads on there, search for voltage controller, that might help
Hey all after contacting crusader kegs i got told to buy a keg from brewuk.co.uk incase anyone having trouble finding keg
I have a 500mm length of 2&quot; copper pipe. I was going to use it all or is it too long? cheers
for a pot still that is too long yes, you will get too much reflux in it and lose flavor. Use 300mm tops.
<p>Many thanks ☺</p>
<p>nevermind on previous question. Crusader kegs do not sell kegs by itself i would have to order at least 25 products from them. Sucks!</p>
<p>email then, i bought just one from them</p>
<p>email then, i bought just one from them</p>
<p>hi quick question im on the crusader website got a 50l keg for 59 quid and its asking me what kind of safety spear do i need. was this the valve thing you asked to be taken out</p>
oh and that price is probably not including vat or delivery, I think I paid about &pound;72 for my keg inc delivery but that was a few years ago, prices change.
well they do do them single, you have to email and ask them. ask them not to put the valve / spear in or to take it out. I got my keg from them ;-)<br><br>but you have to be sure its stainless steal and not aluminium, otherwise you could get pitting.
<p>have a look at this </p><p><a href="http://shop.crusaderkegsandcasks.com/50-litre-stainless-steel-keg-145-p.asp" rel="nofollow">http://shop.crusaderkegsandcasks.com/50-litre-stai...</a></p>
Cheers bud, doing a cleaning run now then is rum is next on the list
yeah it's just a cheap 24v submersible pump off ebay, I just keep swapping out frozen water bottles to keep it cool :)
<p>Nice one N1cod3mus and BraydenJ i was thinking of building one with a thumper and worm coil instead of liebeg. i can pick and choose now thanks guys</p>
<p>Hey BraydonJ i assume the water cooler has a pump in there to constantly pump the smae water in and out. how did you make that as it would save countless wastage of litres while making quality. Cheers bro you should do a insturtable on yer setup</p>
by the look of that I would say he's using a pond pump or small 12v water pump
<p>Hey, me again.<br>How do you clean the barrel?<br><br>Thank you!</p>
<p>read a couple of comments below, i had said there</p>
<p>Thank you!</p>
Nice work, I followed ur instructions and everything came out great. I am havin one prob that not sure what's causing it. Tastes of tails instantly after first start. Tryed half power to no avail. Any ideas?it was a rum.
Could try cleaning your copper, the sulphides stick to the inside of it.<br><br>give them a good scrub with soapy water and the parts you cant get to put in a bucket or tub and submerge in vinegar over night. then rinse everything with clean water.<br><br>also try cleaning your still, I put a mix of vinegar and water in mine, make sure the element is more than covered and its a strong vinegar mix. run the still and for a short while allow the steam to come out the pipes, then put the condenser on for a bit, run it like that for about 30 minutes. then allow it to cool and dump out the boiler, rinse it out, then fill it with clean water well over the element and run it again in the same way.<br><br>should give you a nice clean still and take away the nasty flavours.
Thanks I'll have to give that a try again. Cleaned it like that awhile back but never tried soapy water. I heard ppl use oxy clean without the perfumes.
<p>HI there. This all looks awesome! Great work . </p><p>Quick question. When you ordered your keg from Crusader what Safety Spear Type did you get ? does it make a diffrence? what is it ? ha</p><p>cheers</p>
I just ordered a keg and asked them not to put the valve in
<p>Another question:<br>You used compress fittings(the l fitting), don't you care about the o-ring?<br><br>Thanks you very much for your help, if I am done some day, I will post some photos!:)</p>
yes you should use the olive, this gives a air tight seal so its important you use it.
<p>Where did you put the thermometer in?</p>
in the tube below the top plate

About This Instructable




Bio: One day I shall own a Delorean.
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