Solar Stills

NOTE:
this is not a still design for producing alcohol

The Solar Still

These are both based on the solar still, sometimes used in desert regions.  Patrick explains:

    When I was a boy growing up in Arizona, USA, I learned how to make a desert survival solar still. I often thought that it might work to distil whiskey. I have never tried it with whiskey but it works to purify water. You dig a hole in the ground as big as your plastic sheet or nylon poncho will cover. You then put chopped cactus plants into the hole. If there is damp earth in the hole then no cactus needed. Put a container like a can or bowl in the bottom of the hole right in the middle. You then place your plastic or nylon poncho over the hole and place rocks around the edge of the covering until it is secure and forms a bond over the hole. You then carefully put a stone in the middle of the plastic sheet, causing the sheet to have a low spot right over the container. This solar still will produce drinking water out of the desert soil. If you were to dump mash into the hole before covering it with the plastic sheet this should produce alcohol. I'm not sure but this may be how they made mescal (tequila) in the old days. I don't know if this would work in cooler climes under 100 deg F.


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