I do not have the easy still. What I have is the "base" water distiller, which I have made some modifications to. Thus, my results might be a little different than the "easy" still being sold for 3x the amount of money I spent on mine. The "EasyStill" is this base water distiller, which has also had some modifications made to it.
The differences between the 2 are:.
1. the easystill has a lower power heater in it. 380w vs 550w (I think).
2. the easy still has a stonger fan. I am not sure this will make much difference at all, but it might.
3. the easy still has the chlorine hole in the condenser plugged up (I did this also).
Now, due to the way the stainless condenser tubing winds up (first), it causes some reflux. Since the easy still has lower heat input, and possibly more cooling, it will reflux more, and thus, will clean out more flavor, and produce a higher ABV.
I will make some assumptions from this point on.
The still I have I have modified by plugging the chlorine hole in the condenser, and by running a slightly flared 1/4" copper tube into the actual output of the condenser coil (avoiding the plastic housing of the still top). With my still, using the pot still calculator from http://homedistiller.org/calcs/husk ... alc_v2.php
it models my still VERY closely, if I use 475W heat input (I assume the 75W are lost due to heat loss out the sides of the still), and I change the reflux to 20%. If I do that it models the actual performance of the still VERY closely.
Now, on the true easystill (smaller heater, and more cooling), the pot still calc's may not match as well, as there is actually more reflux in the real easy still. The pot calc apps (mine is derived from Tony's work), actually do not take reflux into account. The reflux, simply has the assumption of all reflux simply dumps back into the pot, and thus, does not increase strength. This does work, as long as the reflux is relatively small in percentage. In this lower power still, the reflux "might" be enough and actually enhance the strength of the resultant ABV so that the ES does not model as well.
With all of that "disclaimer" out of the way, I will describe how my still performs.
1. If you expect to make a neutral, forget it. No matter what the advertisements claim, this tiny little still will NOT make a neutral.
2. The still works good as a VERY easy to use stripper (but it again is a tiny little thing). When I strip a wash, I start at about 12% ABV, and the result is about 1/3 volume and about 35 to 37% ABV.
3. If I rerun this (re-run a combined 3 strip runs), I end up with about 1.8L of 67% ABV and about .7L of 12% tails (which is the strength of my wash). Of that 1.8L, about 1.2 to 1.4L will be decent "body".
4. If you save up 2 these 1.8L 2nd runs and water it down get 4L, you will get a starting run of about 60%. That is a little high on the ABV for a boiler charge, but due to the design of the ES, it can be safetly run. From this run, you can get about 2L of 82% "body" (removing the heads and tails).
This is what I have observed in my own running of the ES. NOTE I usually only use this still to strip washes. I do this, because it is so "fool proof". I simply dump in cleared wash, setup the tubing to run into a 4L jug, plug the thing into a "timed" wall plug, and let it go. I know exactly the amount of time it takes to strip a wash, and when this is done, the wall timer shuts the still off. I simply go downstairs, dump out the backset, load the next batch, and start it up again. I save these runs up until I get 10 gallons, or so, and then perform a spirit run in my larger still.
The ES IS very easy to use (almost fool proof). It is however, VERY VERY small in size. That 4L boiler makes it very difficult (but not impossible) to produce a final drinkable product.
The best use for the ES is for an apartment dweller. There are others on this forum, who I have talked about the ES (or the simple $100 unmodified version), who have obtained one of these stills. I have heard no complaints about these stills. They do work pretty good, and for someone who had NO space, they do provide a viable "pre-manufactured" option. I would not recommend the unmodified version to someone who is not handy enough to make a couple of simple modifications to it. If you simply want a pre-built unit, buy the true easy-still which has already been modified. One other thing, do NOT use the poly carb jug that comes with the still, and also do not use the "plastic" output container that houses the carbon filter pillow. I hook my unit up right to the output of the condenser coil. I am not sure how this connection is handled on the ES.