Introduction: Microstill

Picture of Microstill

Build your own microstill and prepare spirits at home.

The microstill is a home appliance to prepare spirits. Design and software are freely avialable at microstill.net.

The bill of material can be found in the blog.

View the video to see the microstill running.

Step 1: Module Case

Picture of Module Case

The case serves as stand and housing of the control unit and pump. Main component of the case is a electrical enclosure from ABS plastic. The enclosure is supplied with four screws and a rubber seal for the lid.

1. Insert the seal into the lid. Cut excess seal.

2. The lid will serve as stand. Put away the lid.

Turn the enclosure upside down. That will be the top of the case. Four holes need to be drilled into the top. See drawing for details.

3. Measure and mark the position of the four holes.

4. First two holes are 8 mm. I am using a lip and spur drill for that.

5. The third hole will be 16 mm, the last hole 25 mm. I am using an adjustable wood bit for that.

6. After drilling, clean the holes using a half-round rasp.

Next is the front of the case.

The holes for the switches need to be drilled.

7. Measure and mark the position of the four holes.

8. Drill the four holes of 16 mm. I am using an adjustable wood bit for that.

9. After drilling, clean the holes using a half-round rasp.

Next is the left side of the case.

Two holes for the cable glands need to be drilled.

10. Measure and mark the position of the four holes.

11. Drill the four holes of 16 mm. I am using an adjustable wood bit for that.

12. After drilling, clean the holes using a half-round rasp.

After drilling is completed, insert the cable glands.

Then install the pipe clamps.

The lager pipe clamp will be inside the case. It will be holding the pump later.

Inside and outside the case a fender washer will support the plastic.

On top a smaller pipe clamp will be holding the column pipe.

The third pipe clamp will be mounted in the hole to the right.

First, I mount the bolt with two fender washers and two hex nuts.

Then I mount the second pipe clamp on the top. It will be holding the cooler pipe.

Module 1, the case is complete!

Step 2: Module Piping

Picture of Module Piping

The piping is composed of two parts: Cooler and Column. Both are soldered from copper pipe and fittings. See drawing for parts list.

As solder I am using Sn97Cu3 lead-free solder, which is suitable for potable water. As solder flux I am using a solder (SN97Cu3) containing paste.

Start with the column.

1. Assemble pipes and fittings that are required for the column. Check all pieces are in place.

2. Apply the solder paste to all joins and assemble the column. Make sure all connections are aligned.

3. Solder the column. Let cool down.

Preparation for the cooler.

Heat exchanger -- inner pipe 12 mm.

4. Slide tee-piece and reducer on the 12 mm pipe. These will be soldered in step 10.

5. Apply the solder past and assemble pipe with the two reducers.

6. Solder the the two reducers to the inner pipe. Let cool down.

Heat exchanger -- outer pipe 18 mm.

7. Slide reducer and tee-piece (step 4) to the end of the 12 mm pipe.

8. Slide on the 18 mm pipe and the second tee-piece from the other end.

9. Slide on the reducer piece to close the outer shell of the cooler. While assembling add solder paste.

10. Solder the outer pipe. Let cool down.

Note: The reducer to close the outer pipe might have a little stopper at the inside. It needs to be removed using a file, in order to make it pass the smaller reducer.

The inlet pipe.

11. Assemble pipe, bow, and reducer applying solder past.

12. Solder. Let cool down.

The outlet pipe.

13. Assemble bow, pipe, and 45 degree bow applying solder past.

14. Solder. Let cool down.

The cooler.

15. Assemble the cooler from heat exchanger, inlet, and outlet pipe.

16. Add solder past to inlet fittings and outlet fittings.

17. Assemble the three pieces.

18. Solder. Let cool down.

After soldering excess flux and debris need to be removed. Submerge column and cooler in water (e.g. bucket) for one hour. Then carfully rinse with water. Leave to dry and polish the outside with a cloth.

Step 3: Module Pump

Picture of Module Pump

The module consists of pump and grounding cable (drawing).

1. Strip the insulation from the cores at a length of 5 mm.

2. Attach blade connectors to the 2-wire cables.

3. Connect 2-wire cable to the pump.

4. Attach ring connector to the ring terminal.

Step 4: Module Tubing

Picture of Module Tubing

The tubing serves as connection of the different modules (drawing).

1. Prepare the tubing of the specified lenth.

2. Assemble the tubing according to the drawing.

3. Add hose clamps according to the drawing.

Step 5: Module Heater

Picture of Module Heater

The heater consists of a cardridge heater, 2-wire cable, and a thermal switch (120 C, normally closed) (drawing). The heater cardige is powered via the 2-wire cable. In case the temperature of the thermal switch is above 120 C, the switch opens and the heater is switched off.

1. Strip the insulation from the cores at a lenth of 5 mm.

2. Solder one wire of the thermal switch to one wire of the heater cardige.

3. Solder the other wire of the heater cardige to one wire of the cable.

4. Solder the other wire of the cable to the other wire of the thermal switch.

5. Cover the solder joints with schink tubing to insulate.

Step 6: Module Arduino

Picture of Module Arduino

The Arduino module consists of the Arduino and a Arduino shield (drawing). The Arduino will be used as is. The preparation of module 6 focusses on the preparation of the shield. The purpose of the shield is to supply the sockets for the other modules. Via these socket the other modules connect to the Arduino.

A prototype shield serves as basis for the shield. See drawing for details of the connection.

1. Solder all sockets to the prototype shield.

2. Solder the resistor.

3. Solder all connections from pins to sockets.

4. Solder all conection from GND and 5V to sockets.

5. Test connections.

Step 7: Module Power Supply

Picture of Module Power Supply

The power supply serves two functions. First it receives electric power of the grid (110-240 VAC) and converts it to 5 VDC for the Arduino. Second two relays switch heater and pump. Relays and power converter come as module. The power supply is then mounting the modules on a PCB and connect them according to the drawing.

1. Unsolder screw terminals from the two relays modules and put them aside.

2. Solder control cable to relays modules

3. Solder pins to the other end of the cables, as shown in the drawings, and insulate using shrink tubing.

4. Mark pin one with permanent marker.

5. Solder relays modules to PCB.

6. Solder AC-DC converter to PCB.

7. Solder screw terminals to PCB.

8. Connect screw terminals, relays and converter as outlined in the drawings.

9. Solder USB cable to converter.

Step 8: Module Sensors

Picture of Module Sensors

Two temperature sensors are prepared (drawing).

1. Prepare cables.

2. Solder pins to cables and insulate using shrink tubing.

3. Solder cables to temperature sensors, as shown in the drawings, and insulate using shrink tubing.

4. Mark pin one with permanent marker.

After having assembled the sensors you will need to read out the individual addresses of the sensors. Connect the Arduino (with shield) to first sensor and run the address program. Take down notes on each of the sensors. The specific address needs to be included in the microstill program.

Step 9: Module Buttons

Picture of Module Buttons

Four buttons are required (drawing).

1. Prepare cables.

2. Solder pins to cables.

3. Solder cables to buttons, as shown in drawings, and insulate using shrink tubing.

4. Mark pin one with permanent marker.

Step 10: Assembly - Heater and Column

Picture of Assembly - Heater and Column

1. packing of column:

• loose packing with copper mesh along entire column. Make sure the mesh is distributed evenly from bottom to top.

• dense packing at the outlet. Insert copper mesh at outlet and firmly press into the ellbow.

2. mount the heater at the column:

• wrap the tin foil around the colum (2 turns).

• wrap the tin foil around column and heater cardige.

• wrap temperature switch under last turn tin foil.

• fix heater at the column using three hose clamps.

3. install column and cooler at the case.

4. install tubing at column and cooler:

• install elbow at the top to the column.

• install tubing between column and cooler.

Step 11: Assembly - Pump and Temperature Sensors

Picture of Assembly - Pump and Temperature Sensors

1. install pump:
• mount tube at the inlet of cooler.

• connect tube to the outlet of the pump.

• mount inlet tube to the pump.

• mount inlet tube to the cable gland.

• install pump in the pipe clamp.

2. install buttons:
• take the white button and remove the nut and fender from the thread. • pass wires throught the respective whole at the front of the case. • insert the button into the whole and fixate using fender and nut. • proceed with the other buttons.

3. install temperature sensors using copper wire:
• mount temperature sensor at the cooler. Choose a position at the side of the tee-piece.

• mount temperature sensor at the column. Choose a position opposite the heating cardige at the top of the tin foil wrap.

• pass the sensor wires throught the cable gland at the top of the case.

• pass the electric wire of the heater through the cable gland at the top of the case.

Step 12: Assembly - Arduino and Power Supply

Picture of Assembly - Arduino and Power Supply

8. install arduino:

• download arduino program and copy sensor address (step 8) into the code.

• upload program to the arduino.

• mount shield on arduino.

• connect buttons to shield.

• connect sensors to shield.

• connect power supply to shield and arduino board (2x relays and USB cable).

• install arduino in case.

9. install power supply:

• insert power cord to cable gland.

• connect power cord to power supply.

• connect pump to power supply.

• connect heater to power supply.

• install power supply in case.

10. Close case.

Comments

charlessenf-gm (author)2017-04-25

"packing with copper mesh"

Watch out for those 'copper' scrub pads - take a magnet with you before buying one - or read the fine print!

I've found shiny 'copper' pads dissolve into a pile of rust and shiny 'stainless steel' pads do the same.

ilpug (author)charlessenf-gm2017-10-13

A good alternative to copper mesh is broken glass. Put a small screen on both ends of the pipe to keep the glass in.

aebe (author)charlessenf-gm2017-09-28

Yes ! And know that some of those cheap pads are aluminum , not at all what you want in your booze .

aebe (author)2017-09-28

Keep your copper clean !

20-Below (author)2017-05-01

My understanding is that it is the proteins in the mash, typically from grains, that result in fusel oil, ( the higher alcohols and esters that give you a head ache ). Therefore distilling wine with few proteins is safer than say, a whisky mash. Personally I would remove the first 5% of such a spirit, but don't throw it away, it makes a great way to light the barbeque and adds a unique flavour !

JamesW440 (author)2017-04-25

You probably should look over the whole thing; part 1 starts using 'hole' which is correct and all of the remaining are 'whole' or 'wholes', which means a completely different thing. The word 'relais' is also new to me, do you mean 'relays'?

It is not so bad to have spelling differences if we can figure out the meaning, but it appears some are corrected, while others are not.

This is a very well done instructable - you obviously put a lot of work into it. I agree with some of the other comments regarding using it in the US, although some of that is a bit overblown. The dangers of drinking the product are as bad as making the stuff without knowing what is coming through. But using a distiller is illegal, but you will not be bothered unless you use it to make a product to sell to someone else. And I doubt that you would be very happy with wine made this way - yuk!

The major gain from your instructable is to fold in the use of the Arduino - that makes it worthwhile all by itself.

microstill (author)JamesW4402017-04-25

1. Thanks for your compliments and corrections. I did update the instructable accordingly and highly appreciate these suggestion. The instrutable should to be clear and concise.

2. The microstill is to make whisky or brandy from wash or wine, respectively. To make the wash/wine is covered elsewhere. Still, I am planning on building a fermenter (the next Arduino project). The fermenter would constantly produce wash that is feeding into the microstill.

3. Actually this is my first Arduino project. I love that thing!

JamesW440 (author)microstill2017-04-25

Wow to 3.! You have a good start then with this one. I'm sure many will be looking forward to it with me.

KevinVH (author)JamesW4402017-04-25

Using the ingredients for wine and running them through this process does not produce wine. Wine is a fermentation, not a distillate. and you're right...YUK! However, wine can be run through this process (or something similar) to produce other products. Cognac being one example.

JamesW440 (author)KevinVH2017-04-25

I had not thought of that particular use, but then I don't even know how to pronounce 'Cognac'. That is French, is it not? Better be careful, the PC police are out and about.

ThomasK19 (author)KevinVH2017-04-25

Cognac is only Cognac if it's coming from Cognac in France. Everything else is brandy.

JamesW440 (author)KevinVH2017-04-25

My guess is that you are correct about that he wanted us to infer that use (I didn't know about that), although he doesn't say, it is not really part of the instructable either.

But one could take wine made in the fermentation process and 'fortify' it with alcohol, too. I think that it would ruin the wine's taste.

GregÓ35 (author)JamesW4402017-04-25

I read it carefully and immediately understood that it was not written by a native speaker of English but that didn't matter. As a native speaker myself, it was easy for me to make allowances and work out what was intended. I decided not to make a dick of myself by correcting the author's English, and that turned out to be the correct decision.

A good job is a good job.

Well done.

TimothyK34 (author)2017-04-25

In Oz you can have a 5ltr still which will produce 700ml of alcohol. Also if you dont treat the finished product with active charcoal you are crazy.

JTracker (author)2017-04-25

Awesome project !! I will be making one soon.

RedB2 (author)2017-04-25

Ok , I'm the author of The Home Distiller's Workbook (the best selling book on this subject for the past 5 years running). As such I wanted to clear up some comments that I've read here.
1. This is a column still, meaning you will have little to no control of the product that you get from it. It produces high apv product that is stripped of most flavor. Not a bad thing but just be aware that this is for making stuff like vodka and other clear spirits. Not whiskey and the like.

2. In the US federal law does not make it illegal as such to home distill. You just need to get a tax stamp/permit. Now doing that is not easy or cheap, and is most likely not feasible. Many states have reduced their penalties for distilling or even decriminalized it. I've been active in working towards legalization for years and have followed every case out there. There was a short spat where they government seized records from the major sellers of stills but other than that they don't much care. Buy a 1,000 gallon still and they will check in on you. Buy a kit like this and you won't even show up on their radar. Every person I know who has been arrested has done one of 3 things. A. Started selling product. B. Pissed off someone. i.e. Ex wife turns you in to get back at you for sleeping with her sister. C. You are an idiot and set it up where someone driving by your house or a neighbor can see it.
3. Stills do NOT blow up. All the still explosions that you read about are from the fuel used to run the still. People leave the still cooking and it gets hot and melts the hose and boom. It wasn't the alcohol it was the propane that blows. Go look for the Mythbusters show on this. They had to go stupidly overboard to create a scenario where a still blew up. Then they called it a legitimate myth. It's almost like someone made them do it. :-)
4. You will NOT go blind from drinking your product. As long as you only use fruit or grains and NEVER any wood or pulpy like stuff to make your mash you will not hurt yourself. Cuts the remove fusil oils and such are for taste and such. Big distillers don't even make cuts. The myth of moonshine blindness was a propaganda campaign done by the US government during prohibition. No I don't have a tinfoil hat. Do your own reading, thanks for FOI it's now out there and publicly available. Try doing a search on US poisoned alcohol during prohibition.

5. This still is quite small and it's output is very small as well. This is not a feasible setup for producing any significant amounts of product. Not a bad thing, it's a fun experiment and all. Essentially they have designed a $380 DIY kit version of the electric Turbo Air Still that sells on Amazon for $180.

microstill (author)RedB22017-04-25

Thanks for your comments. I fully agree!

Just want to add two thoughts.

1. Since it is a DIY project scaling up the microstill is a piece of cake. The throughput can be increased by:
* wider and longer pipes,
* stronger heater, and
* increased pump rate.

2. As pointed out, the microstill properties matches a column/reflux still. However, if one reduces the copper mesh at the top of the column, the behaviour will change. The rectification will be reduced and one can use it as stripping still.

RedB2 (author)microstill2017-04-25

Very true but that would throw the still out of "tune". Not a problem for a human who was running it but how will your arduino handle it? I have not had much a chance to look at what the code is doing. I'm guessing just regulating the temp and matching the pump to the production.


I did look at your site and can I make a suggestion. Offer a "core" kit that only sells the hard to find stuff. Then offer a parts list for the copper and other easy to find hardware items. It will lower your cost, inventory and shipping.

Are you going to be at Bay Area Maker Faire next month? I'm speaking there about Home Distilling. It would be a perfect event to demo your product.

Markismus (author)2017-04-25

Very nice! Looking through the needed supplies I found that I have almost every part and tool. (The bits left over from fixing both my plumbing and my espresso machines :) )


Only gleaning the steps, I was wondering whether it could also be made with a Raspberry Pi, since I have a few spares of those and no Arduino's.

neffk (author)2017-04-25

There are lots of designs for stills and there's no obvious reason to build this one. What was your inspiration? Why add a bunch of electronics? I'm asking as an EE, not a curmudgeon.

microstill (author)neffk2017-04-25

The design originates from two problems.

1. A batch still requires your constant attendance. - In contast the microstill can run unattended for some time. The continuous process is constantly monitored by the electronics.

2. In Germany, stills with a total volume of 0.5 liter are not regulated. A private household can run such small still, as it is considered to produce little amounts only.

neffk (author)microstill2017-04-25

Nice. Thanks for the reply.

eltei (author)2017-04-25

Please before distilling any alcohol for consumption read and read again! , the proper way of taking "cuts" in your distillate. You to do this properly will also need a spirit hydrometer. Basically and I mean basically, the first 800mls is chucked away, this called the foreshots, next comes the heads, save, after that comes the hearts, the good stuff, finally comes the tails, some of this is salvageable. These are then blended watered down to about 30abv and distilled again. Distilling really is a rewarding hobby but if it goes wrong it can have dire consequences. So please please read up on the subject before drinking anything.

rray8 (author)2017-04-25

For those of you in the US, here is the TTB reference.

https://www.ttb.gov/spirits/home-distilling.shtml

Tecwyn Twmffat (author)2017-04-21

Watch out for those relays - have a look at them operating in the dark and you will notice a tiny blue flash, which is a spark. Alcohol vapour, when in the right proportion with air and at the right temperature, is explosive. Try calculating the risk or probability of explosion? What's the probability of a small leak or blockage? Alcohol sensors may help reduce the risk.

Alcohol is not explosive, unless you vaporize it stir in lots of O2, and maybe gasoline. When a still blows it is from overpressure and if the distillation is next to it, it can ignite. Methanol is used in gas line antifreeze as it binds the water in a tank and with the higher Octane gasoline is burned.

I have made many many alcohol stoves (the Penny Stove, Pepsi -G) After many many many uses the epoxy can give up the tin expands and the entire contens ignites, they do not explode. If you want explosive outcomes, think Xtal meth. Now those babies go up like a Hydrogen Bomb.

StuNutt (author)spark master2017-04-25

Cold liquid alcohol is not explosive, but with a still you are condensing the vapour (ie gaseaous) alcohol at round 175F / 80C.

For many years I lived in a country where alcohol is banned - completely - but people would build their own stills and if a leak occurred where the alcohol was gaseous, and a source of ignition was near (some fools even used GAS burners to boil the mash!) then the resulting "very fast combustion" of the vapour (otherwise called an explosion) was catastropic.

I recall several housing compounds where there were foundation slabs where houses used to be that people were using to distil alcohol (usually to around 85 or 90% ABV - twice the strength of whiskey or vodka.

If it's legal where you live, and you obey the laws (where I am you can do it but can't sell it, I believe) But don't underestimate the fire/explosion risk!

Also, there are 3 common alcohols which, depending on your mash source will appear in various peoportions, at slightly different temperatures:

1 - Ethanol (the one you want) which gets you "high"
2 - Methanol, which also gets you high but can blind you and poison you (dead!)
3 - Isopropanol, which does not get you high but still results in death.

Before you start making and firing up a still, check the laws in your country (people on this site, understandably, tend to quote mainlu US law), and then research carefully all of the complications and risks involved!

(Good Luck!)

You are perfectly right. We need to consider those risks.

That is the reason SSR (solid-state relais) are used in the microstill. They are not producing a flash, as they are using semiconductors for switching the currents.

JamesW440 (author)microstill2017-04-25

You could also look into opto isolators - they are very easy to use in place of relays if the current isn't too high and the output could operate a power transistor without transferring the noise with it.

mmmelroy (author)2017-04-20

worth noting that once you have the tool to distill with, there comes a
knowledge requirement for how not to injure yourself with the produced
spirits. Do your research and learn everything you can about the art of distilling before using this contraption.

mmmelroy (author)mmmelroy2017-04-20

also worth mentioning that alcohol is a low grade poison, and people still growing (under age 21) have more long term damage from the effects.

PeeDonkeyPit (author)mmmelroy2017-04-25

I agree with the comment that one needs to know how to deal with the first runnings and tails. This information is widely available on the internet, and has been a "rule of thumb" for distillers for centuries with good results. Modifying/modulating the temperature is a method to better isolate the alcohol (about 95.6% is all you'll get without using your chemistry set as well...), but the small amount of phenols, fusels, etc. in the main runnings are part of what yield the difference if flavors between sour mash, single malts, vodka, "corn squeezins", etc.

Per alcohol being a "low grade poison" and damage to those under 21, being longer term - this would only because, barring accident or illness, they have more years ahead of them than someone 21 or older.

Ethanol is produced naturally in many fruits and foodstuffs we regularly consume - particularly germane if you are vegetarian or vegan - and your body produces up to about an ounce of ethanol a day, all by itself (Endogenous ethanol production - look it up). Unless said consumption is chronic and/or medically excessive, there is no long-term deleterious effects from the consumption of alcohol - prohibitionist/alarmist mythology aside.

I don't recommend distilling in the US simply because it is against the law (and yes: it's all about the tax revenue); however, if you're not selling it, the government typically would have to have some greaterer unproven suspicion for them to use a small home still as their excuse for interfering with your life. Economics, after all: it would cost far more to discover, investigate, and prosecute you than the revenue they could have hoped for from a casual drinker purchasing package liquor - unless you're a HUGE drinker, they'd likely only see a few hundred dollars from such a source during your entire adult life. And, aside from that, you can readily buy distillation equipment at local home brew shops across the country.

Cheers!

People under 21 capable and patient enough to make this have a bright future ahead of them regardless

Well maybe - I guess it depends on what they do with it after it is made. If they do something illegal - like spike the punch and make a bunch of people sick or dead, their future might not be bright!

I agree with the intent of your statement though.

microstill (author)mmmelroy2017-04-21

The instructable is about how to make the microstill.

Depending on the background of the individual user further reading will be required. For a start the instructable by Making Moonshine is recommended.

Details might be found in one of the distiller forums that offer great help.

JamesW440 (author)microstill2017-04-25

Do you have any other suggestions for what the still might be used for? Like purifying water maybe? Separating liquids of different evaporation temperatures, etc.?

Draculorum (author)2017-04-23

Constructing and/or operating one of these without a licence will land you in hot water with the ATF very quickly if you are in the United States, don't know about the laws of other countries. Be forewarned. Nice instructable though

Codswallop (author)Draculorum2017-04-25

This is a very cool Instructable, but Draculorum is correct. Although it has been legal for about 30-40 years in all 50 US states to make your own beer and wine for personal consumption, distillation of spirits is a federal crime regardless of how you use it. Last time I looked into this (about 10 years ago), the penalty for running an unlicensed distillery was $50,000 and five years in federal prison.

showmemuny (author)Draculorum2017-04-24

from the ATF website. "Under Federal rules administered by TTB, it depends on how you use the still. You may not produce alcohol with these stills unless you qualify as a distilled spirits plant. However, owning a small still and using it for other purposes is allowed. You should also check with your State and local authorities - their rules may differ. You should also review our Home Distilling page."
This maybe to small to get into any trouble. I'd still check with local laws.

spark master (author)showmemuny2017-04-25

Local laws do not apply to distillation for drinking alcohol, PERIOD.

you distill you get caught, you can loose everything you hold dear to you.

if you use a still to make plant essences for perfume, you are good, but if the ATF finds out you will get inspected and expect a good dose of intimidation.

KevinVH (author)spark master2017-04-25

Blue laws and dry counties no longer exist?

JamesW440 (author)Draculorum2017-04-25

I think you are incorrect about this. You can own the still, but if someone catches you selling stuff you made on it to someone else, then you could be in trouble and also have the still taken away or destroyed. But even then only if the substance is an intoxicating beverage without the requisite taxes being paid. They kept the tax, but ended prohibition.

EricS100 (author)2017-04-20

So what type of output are we talking about? Obviously I won't build it and get a buzz on tonight, but would i get enough to mix with my cola?

microstill (author)EricS1002017-04-21

It takes 1 hour to distill 1 Liter. From 1 Liter (4 cups) of a 15 ABV wash it distills 175 mL (0,7 cups) of 62 ABV spirit.

In my opinion that makes a great 1 Liter of rum-cola.

JamesW440 (author)microstill2017-04-25

Surely it makes a difference what you are using as the liquid? Is this for grain mash or all liquids?

belsey (author)2017-04-23

Love this project... I'd been wanting to try my hand at distilling (not just for drinking but for perfume and extracting essential oils) but it all just seemed a bit overwhelming. This is perfect size and complete system all beautifully planned out. I love your open source approach and description of all the parts so anyone can make it on their own if they choose to -- while offering the kit for convenience. For my budget the kit is still on the pricy side, though I'm sure it it a perfectly fair value. I'll just have to save up a bit before I go for it, but this is a really well thought out design, and a nice instructable too!

JamesW440 (author)belsey2017-04-25

I might be interested in the 'essential oils' suggestion - would you point me to a source?

vrDrew (author)2017-04-24

This is a great project, and a very well-done instructable.

But I do have to note: Under US law, it is legal to produce several hundred liters of wine, and a couple hundred gallons of beer for home consumption. It is, however illegal to distill any alcohol. For a very good reason: Badly made wine or beer might give you an upset stomach. Badly made distilled alcohol can blind or kill you.

The distillates that come out of a fruit or grain mash are not pure ethanol. They also include toxic substances such as acetone and fusel oils. Learning how to detect and separate these "heads and tails" is part of the distillers skill.

If you are into home-produced intoxicants - study up on hydroponics and grow your own weed. The end product might not be very good - but at worst it will do you no harm.

But if you make this instructable - stick to non-consumable chemical compounds.

JamesW440 (author)vrDrew2017-04-25

I think you are wrong about half of those statements about fruit or grain mash. The bad stuff has to be added - if you use good fruit, the 'mash' does not produce any 'bad stuff'. Again, you would not want to use this method to make wine anyway. It would not ferment correctly, so it would have a very bad taste.

That said being half wrong, means that you are at least half right - so better be half wrong than completely dead.

spark master (author)vrDrew2017-04-25

either one may result in locals or feds taking your home, your car your income and your life. just say'n. Unless laws have changed from 5 years ago the ONLY country in the world that allows person distillation of spirits is New Zealand. All other countries ban it . Health reason aside, they want TAXES TAXES TAXES. look it up!

I do wish they would change the laws, but it ain't gunna happen when booze is easy to tax and pot causes massive forfeoitures to the DA and Local Police. And the feds tell the local police we will give you help if your state makes it legal, and you can ignore the local law, (Federal Law Trumps local law on same item), they prosecute for you , you keep all proceedes.

Again

LOOK IT UP

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Bio: The microstill is a home appliance to prepare spirits. Design and software are freely avialable.
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