Step 2: the pot
in this instructable i will be making what is known as a pot still. it is a very basic design, but can be reasonably efficient. there are many variations on pot stills and many other types of stills. some more advanced, some less. this will be fine for our purposes, though.
helpful hint: goodwill and other thrift stores are great places to scrounge parts.
a tea kettle
a medium sized thermos
a cork stopper that fits the kettle mouth(I used rubber, but cork is safer, use that.)
a pipe cutter
various other tools and what not
okay, let's get down to business.
drill two holes in the stopper. one to fit the copper tubing, and one for the thermometer. i'm using a digital cooking thermometer with a wire probe, but analog thermometers will work as well. drill the holes just a bit smaller than the tube and thermometer probe to make sure you have a tight fit. you don't want any leaks.
the stopper will fit in the spout of the kettle a la the photo. your tube should be out of the liquid to capture the vapors and your thermometer probe should be immersed in the water, but NOT touching the bottom or sides of the kettle. the kettle will get hotter than the liquid and skew your results. you only want the temperature of the liquid.
the copper tube should be long enough to connect to the condenser (attach a coupler on the end). ah, the condenser. on to thee!