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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

http://www.instructables.com/id/Building-a-Keg-Still-Bokakob-Design-Reflux-Still/

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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xif17 days ago

Hey, me again.
How do you clean the barrel?

Thank you!

n1cod3mus (author)  xif17 days ago

read a couple of comments below, i had said there

xif n1cod3mus17 days ago

Thank you!

October520 days ago
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.
n1cod3mus (author)  October520 days ago
Could try cleaning your copper, the sulphides stick to the inside of it.

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.

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.

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.

HI there. This all looks awesome! Great work .

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

cheers

n1cod3mus (author)  ZeusAndBuddha1 month ago
I just ordered a keg and asked them not to put the valve in
xif1 month ago

Another question:
You used compress fittings(the l fitting), don't you care about the o-ring?

Thanks you very much for your help, if I am done some day, I will post some photos!:)

n1cod3mus (author)  xif1 month ago
yes you should use the olive, this gives a air tight seal so its important you use it.
xif2 months ago

Where did you put the thermometer in?

n1cod3mus (author)  xif2 months ago
in the tube below the top plate
xif n1cod3mus2 months ago

Thanks, do you mean on top of the 54 to 15mm reducer?
I will post my photos of the still, when I made it!:)

n1cod3mus (author)  xif2 months ago

sorry my mistake i thought it was my reflux still instructable I answered from another interface.

you don't use a thermometer with a pot still

xif n1cod3mus1 month ago

Thanks for the fast response!
I asked earlier about pressure.Can the 15mm handle the 2800 watt, or do you have to slow down to stay safe?
Thanks!:)

n1cod3mus (author)  xif1 month ago

well yes it can, i wouldn't use it if it couldn't, and you don't run it at full power all the time, once its heated up and its running i have it at half power or lower. you know when its at temp as you can feel the tubes heating up so you turn the water on to the condenser and as the steam moves through the pipes it hits the cold pipe and turns from steam to liquid. its just a case of maintaining the flow without steam coming out and to do that you reduce the power.

xif2 months ago

Hey, how much energy can you put in this device?
Isn't the 15mm copper pipe to thin?
What about pressure?

Thanks for this great instructable!

egosselin1 made it!7 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
nice worm chiller!
n1cod3mus (author)  egosselin17 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)  egosselin7 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 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah_tcY1pZvs

n1cod3mus (author)  egosselin17 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,

https://www.facebook.com/lifesizeded209

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

i have a question where did you buy your heating element? i live in USA any suggestions for looking for a heating element. im trying to keep it in my budget so i figured id buy two 1500W heating elements would this be enough to get a good boil for the mash ? and would you recommend using the variable control for the element or could i just use the 120 v plug to get 1500 watt ?

n1cod3mus (author)  korben.smith.74 months ago
I just bought my element in a plumbing shop.

you need the controller to control the heat and stop it from scorching the wash. also if you run it flat out you will have very weak product at the end. you need to be able to balance the heat.
dexterd806 months 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)  dexterd806 months 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)  FollowerOfJesus7 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?
Where do u get the stainless steel flange that you screwed the element in or what is it called?
n1cod3mus (author)  FollowerOfJesus7 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.see7 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)  FollowerOfJesus8 months ago
www.ebay.com
And how did you build the thumper
n1cod3mus (author)  FollowerOfJesus8 months ago
its just a jar with 2 pipes on it
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