Builing Plans for Reflux Stills

  • One of the simplest and most effective designs is that from John Stones "Making Gin & Vodka" book - the "offset head" design. Theres heaps of photos of this, including detailed dimensions etc from Matt, on the Offset Head Photos page. I have one of these myself, and its bloody fantastic. It should be your first choice.

  • Many different designs & their construction are covered in Mike Nixon and Mike McCaw's "The Compleat Distiller" (Dec01), available from http://www.amphora-society.com.

  • Another resource on how to make a Reflux still is Bob Lennon's Moonshine-Still.com site. Informative & very good. Heaps of details, illustrations, & explanations. Check out the Photos page for the modifications Rob van Leuven has made to his Stillmaker - its now puting out 95% purity too. Update ! Site recently (Aug01) updated to include a new valved reflux design, using a beer keg for the pot. Download his site and the still plans, Moonshine-Still.com/still.pdf.
  • Jan also has put together some really good construction instructions at his http://www.geocities.com/homedistilling/ page.

  • Peter in Holland has a diagram of his reflux still design, and the trays he uses in another still (see the photos page). Click for larger pictures :

  • Ian Smiley's book "Making pure corn whiskey" has very detailed instructions for building the Offset head design: http://www.home-distilling.com

  • Riku has published how to make Liquid Management (LM), Vapour Management (VM) and Cooling Management (CM) at Harry's Alcohol Library -see the "low cost stills" link.

  • UPDATE Alex (BOKAKOB) has provided some excellent drawings of different designs for reflux columns in Bokakob designs. These are incredibly simple, but very effective. There is a lot more discussion on them in the home distiller's at FORUMS
  • One example is Alex's (Bokakob) mini-still:



For a very simple reflux head design, Peter offers:
    This design uses a collection method similar to Alex's (Bokakob's) ellpitical head. It is not as pretty outside but is easier to build. The operation is similar to a Vapour Management Head as seen in the great book "The Compleat Distiller" by Mike Nixon & Mike McCaw.

    You cut the column at an angle and insert a thin plate plate which only was 1/11 the area of the column area and no needle valve, this would ensure a constant RR of 10 (seal the outlet during stabilisation). This a simple design which is easy to build. A thermometer is optional as I feel I could run this column without one, using taste to determine when heads are finished. The onset of tails is noted by a reduction in output towards the end of the run, just like a Vapour Management still head.

    There are a few optional extras. A thermometer is very useful but is extra cost and building, it is not essential and if you run a standard size & % wash you will get to know when to make cuts. An extra larger plate could be installed to do stripping runs, which could be plugged for slow runs.

There is plenty of information too on stills for making fuel alcohol. The Journey to Forever site has the following plans ..
  • see also Distillation of Alcohol and Denaturing by FB Wright, 1907 - available as a free download.
  • If you're looking for a supplier of small needle valves to use in these stills, try either hardware shops, or supliers of gas fittings for BBQ's or camping equip.



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