Crock Pot Still what not to do.

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Crock Pot Still what not to do.

Postby Carolina Coon » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:13 pm

Hello folks,

I was getting a little anxious Saturday night so I thought I would throw out an idea. I know that at one time or another; everyone has wanted a small, cheap still to test out wash recipesm on a small scale.

I have a couple of gallons of wine experiment I have been saving to test my completed still design. Not quality drinking wine, but it has alcohol. It had been sitting on the back porch in 19 degree farenhiet weather for a week. It didn't jack on it's own so I moved on to plan B.

While I was cooking a pot of catfish gumbo on the stove; I dragged out the crock pot and set it up on the counter. Did a few quick measurments, tested some bowl sizes and slapped her together. This was just a quick test to see if a crock pot still was even possible or a silly scheme.

My initial idea was to use the bottom of the bowl. however, all my bowls were too steep to allow clearence between the catching dish and the bottom of the condensing bowl. No problem. I just flipped the bowl upside down and sat a chunk of frozen chicken broth from my ice box on top. The idea of thawing my broth and adding extra condensing is a 2 bird, one stone kinda idea.

Cranked her on Hi and watched the TV box for a spell. Two hours later the results were not hopefull.

The broth thawed. I used pot holders to lift my condenser bowl. The alcohol vapor hit my eye so hard I jerked back and stumblend until I fell to the floor. My wife started shrieking about my still blowing up and getting all nutty. The result collected in my dish was only a good gulp of dfistilled water. The alcohol was pooling around the top edge of the crock pot and the condensing bowl.


I will attempt to ad a quick sketch I did in paint to explain some of the concepts. It will also give me the opportunity to try my hand at posting images.


If anyone has any comments on similar attempts, I'm all ears. I could also use a few pointers on drafting and sketching on the computer. I'm a fair hand at simple line drawings on the drafting board and T square, but it just seems better to do it on the computer instead of drafting and then scanning.

Comments?



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Re: Crock Pot Still what not to do.

Postby olddog » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:19 pm

Sounds like there was a few lessons learnt there, this is why safety is a big thing on this forum.
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Re: Crock Pot Still what not to do.

Postby Carolina Coon » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:08 pm

Here is my sketch to explain the idea.

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Re: Crock Pot Still what not to do.

Postby olddog » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:19 am

Its crackpot ideas like this that give distilling a bad name, a setup like this is asking for a disaster :esurprised: :esurprised: :esurprised: :esurprised: :esurprised: :esurprised:
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Re: Crock Pot Still what not to do.

Postby Carolina Coon » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:37 am

Yeah, it is a bit of a crack pot idea. I figgured that someone was gonna read about it somewhere and try it any way. I'm not afraid to be the crash test dummy if it enlightens the hearts and minds of others.

I really am hoping someone would help with suggestionsm on making line drawings with a cheap or free computer program. Ideas can't be good or bad unless they are communicated.

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Re: Crock Pot Still what not to do.

Postby olddog » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:05 am

Try windows paint for basic drawings or if you want something more advanced there's a program called Inkscape which you can download for free.
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Re: Crock Pot Still what not to do.

Postby Ayay » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:21 am

Congratulations for survivin the crash test! Nutty wife loves ya! As seen by the drawing the condensed stuff can't drip into the floating bowl unless there is a big ding pointing down, the condensates will run down the sides defeating the purpose. The top bowl must be upsidedown. Low gentle heat way lower than boiling water is needed. Anyways that kind of still is half a step better than prison hooch (pruno). When it works you'll be able to drink a litre of wine in one shot, get high, and wake up with a mighty headache.

Now you're here look at the picture on the top left of this page. Read the parent site (4th click down on the top right of the page) and you'll be on the path to stillin with the best :D

(An your paintin skills are topnotch)
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Re: Crock Pot Still what not to do.

Postby rad14701 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:55 am

Just not a good design, overall...

Problem is that even if you can get the distillate to drip down into the floating bowl, or supported bowl, the bowl is located in a high temperature area so anything that collects will continue to re-distill and, as pointed out previously, end up back in the wash...

As they say, you need to use the right tool for the job...
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Re: Crock Pot Still what not to do.

Postby tater-shine » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:29 am

Yeah rad nailed it. Not a verry eficient still!!
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Re: Crock Pot Still what not to do.

Postby Carolina Coon » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:09 pm

Howdy again folks,

Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

Rad: you are preaching to the front row on this one. I knew it was a poor design, but I keep seeing it in so many publications. I've been noodling around with some of those crock pot ideas I've seen and wondered if anyone had the nerve to even try them out. One of the nuttiest is a soldering iron with the wash dripping on the tip one drop at a time! I'm not even crazy enuf to try that one. I have been surprised at the number of second hand coffee urns for sale in flea markets and yard sales that have "mysterious" holes drilled in the lid where the lid handle should be. They all appear to be a perfect fit for a flange or attachment. Could they be thinking....? Naw, if it worked they wouldn't have tried to sell it.

The crock pot idea was just something silly I threw together while standing in the kitchen. In an episode of GOOD EATS, Alton Brown distilled rose water for a recipe in a similar contraption. Nothing ventured and nothing gained I say.

On the plus side of the experiment; it's a matter of time until some newbie starts asking questions and chattering how he should go about rigging kitchen appliances to distill. Just save him the heartbreak and point him to this post. I like to think of this as my small contribution to the many folks that have enlightened me along the way.

Old Dog: Thanks for the tip on Inkscape. I've loooked into Inkscape and Sketch Up and nothing on the sites indicate a compatibility with Windows 7. I'm gonna hold off on that decision for a spell. Paint would be OK if I could just figgure out how to make accurate measurements and precise lines for a scale techinal draft. I want to pack as much information into one draft as possible. I can't count the times I have printed out a drawing from this forum and wandered around the hardware store with it in my hand. If my ideas are sound it will be of help to others. If my ideas are lacking it will be a good starting point for discussion from more seasoned and respected members of this forum.

To all the folks that are concerned about my tragic incident, relax. I got a little to nosey at my project and let the steam get to my eye. When I jerked my head back I stumbled into the refrigerator and knocked off the calender, magnets and all that other junk that collects on the fridge. My wife just got a little excited by the drama. This is one time I could have used a moaner instead of a screamer.

Thanks for all the help and keep those cards and letters comming. I'm sure sillier ideas than this one will be tacked on to this post.

respectfully,

Carolina Coon
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Re: Crock Pot Still what not to do.

Postby rad14701 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:30 am

Whether it sounds like I'm "preaching to the front row" or not, the more times we reiterate in similar topic after topic, the better chance we have of keeping novices from making the same mistakes... We don't like having to say it any more than anyone likes reading/hearing it, trust me... By posting an image you're just luring moths to the flame, thinking it "might" be a viable option regardless of what the surrounding text might infer...

Build a good still and you'll be a happy camper...
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Re: Crock Pot Still what not to do.

Postby LWTCS » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:23 am

Similar experiences are frequently posted.
In this instance, the forum is obligated to pontificate the virtues of using tried and true practices.

The right tool for the right job.
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
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Re: Crock Pot Still what not to do.

Postby Carolina Coon » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:48 am

Hello folks,

I may have to do a bit of explaining to justify this post. I hope I can do so without stepping on too many toes.

The main reason I lurked around this forum so long is the amount of actual first hand knowledge that is reported here. I like to think of this place as, "Mythbusters for moonshiners."

Maybe it's just my blind side recollection, but not many folks report their failures on this site. I know that many a days have been spent sitting on the porch wondering about such topics as; tea kettle stove top rigs, plastic bucket "amazing rigs" and various contraptions. I don't recall any one posting specific information on why any of those are bad designs. Just the generic info of - bad idea, move along.

I had hoped that by going through the thinking process any one could see the weakness of the design and the dangers involved. More along the lines of a public service announcement. Even if you are convinced you can make the concept servicable, many dangers lurk. All can agree that fires, floods, contanimation, electrical shorts and pressure overloads can be deadly. I wonder how many have considered just how much it stings to have an eyeful of hot alcohol vapor?

Rad: You are my guiding light go-to guru. Every word I have read from you on this forum has been pure golden wisdom. Yes, there is a danger that some will see my sketch and not read the results of my test. However, I think you are judging the readers of this forum in an unfair light.

Again, this may be my preconcieved notion, but I don't think the readers of this forum are so easy to fool. I believe the folks that come here are seeking ideas and insights to complex concepts. If we were not seeking this enlightment, we would all be back to trying to distill drinking water under plastic tarps heated by the sun.

Thinkers, drinkers and tinker'ers all over the world can now breath a sigh of relief. Free from the nagging grief - "that dumb ass tried it and see what it got him!"

Now that this silliness has been laid in the side ditch, I really do have a serious project I could appreciate some hand holding with. I'll save that for another topic and section of the forum.

respectfully,

Carolina Coon
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Re: Crock Pot Still what not to do.

Postby rad14701 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:51 pm

That's a good summation, Carolina Coon... And thanks for the kind words...

However, I see this forum a bit differently I guess, based on what I know of the human thought process... I have no choice but to assume that a vast majority of folks out there at home who, for whatever reason that comes to mind, decides they want to have a go at distillation of spirits, will surf the internet until they gather just enough information to make potentially dangerous assumptions and decisions... The average person is only concerned with the quickest, easiest, cheapest, means to an end... That's just the way we're wired... And on top of all of that, they either stop reading once they get to that point or filter out what doesn't fit into their mental visions of grandeur...

So, while it may seem like some concerns get interjected to the point of ad nauseam, if we can save one individual from making a big mistake, we owe it to that one person to be repetitive... We surely don't enjoy having to say things over and over and over again, but it is a necessity if we ever want to gain the confidence of the powers that be who can make this hobby/craft legal... That IS part of the goal here - at least for some of us...

<<< Starts to feel like he's repeating himself - again :lol: >>>
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