Build your own microstill and prepare spirits at home.
The microstill is a home appliance to prepare spirits. Design and software can be found within this instructable.
The bill of material has been added as attachment.
View the video to see the microstill running.
Step 1: 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 pdf 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
The piping is composed of two parts: Cooler and Column. Both are soldered from copper pipe and fittings. See pdf drawing for parts list and design.
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.
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
The module consists of pump and grounding cable (see 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
The tubing serves as connection of the different modules (see 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
The heater consists of a cardridge heater, 2-wire cable, and a thermal switch (120 C, normally closed) (see 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
The Arduino module consists of the Arduino and a Arduino shield (see 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
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
Two temperature sensors are prepared (see 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 (see Get_Temp_Address_ver0.1.pdf). Take down notes on each of the sensors. The specific address needs to be included in the microstill program (Microstill_ver0.2.pdf).
Step 9: Module Buttons
Four buttons are required (see 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
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
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
8. install arduino:
• include sensor addresses into the code (see step 8)
• 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.