Pot still fittings

Simple pot still distillation and construction with thumpers and without..

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Re: Pot still fittings

Postby myles » Thu May 12, 2011 11:57 pm

I did not explain that very well.

You CAN attach copper or brass fittings directly to your stainless pot. It is not exactly easy, it is simple to get wrong, I have done it before and I would NOT do it again.

A far better option IMO is to cut a 5" or 6" hole in your stainless lid and fit a copper plate to cover it. You can rivet and solder if you like, or bolt it together with a safe gasket. Either way it is intended to be a permanent or semi-permanent fit. You have just converted your stainless pot into a hybrid copper/stainless one.

Image

This was hard soldered onto the stainless bowl with 56% silver solder for a rock solid permanent joint. These days if I was to use a stainless pot I would fit a copper plate or bowl to it first.

All your still fittings are then attached to the copper plate which is REAL easy. Also way more versatile. You want a 4" opening into your pot still for cleaning? Working in copper it is no problem. If you want a 4" fitting that will cost you.

With a copper plate fitted you don't need ANY fittings to connect your pot still neck. You can flare copper tube and solder it onto the plate.

Not saying don't do it. This was an early thumper I built just to show that you can solder copper tube directly into stainless.

Image
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Just saying that I don't do it any more. Personally I prefer to build in copper and leave stainless to those that like to work in it.
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Re: Pot still fittings

Postby nantahala » Sat May 14, 2011 6:19 pm

Wow myles, that is some great info, but a litle beyond my skill level at the moment.

I've found some fittings online, so I guess ordering one will be my best option.

I was hoping you could look at the page and tell me which size will fit my needs best.

My pressure cooker is 8quarts and I have a section of 1/4" copper tubing, but I can go to a bigger size if needed.

http://www.fastfittings.com/brass-bulkhead
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Re: Pot still fittings

Postby myles » Sun May 15, 2011 12:56 am

I am going to PM you.
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Re: Pot still fittings

Postby nantahala » Sat May 28, 2011 8:52 am

Okay guys, so yesterday I was finally able to get everything put together.

I ended up using one of these, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images ... ting-goods

with one of these on top. http://s7.cdn.hardwareandtools.net/s7/z ... &locale=en


I used copper washers on both sides of the bulkhead and everything seems to be sealed up perfectly tight.

Now, my only question is how to add a thermometer. I've got a regular culinary thermometer, but I'm not sure how to add it to the pressure cooker lid. Should I use some kind of gromet to attach it?
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Re: Pot still fittings

Postby myles » Sat May 28, 2011 9:34 am

IMO the fittings you have are just fine for your thermometer. All you need is a bung of some safe material, PFTE thread tape, cork, distillers tape to go inside that compression fitting. Put the compression nut on your thermometer, push it through the bung and use the compression fitting to tighten it up for a good seal.

I had something just like that on my first electric 5 litre still.

Another fitting exactly the same - but a bit bigger - and you are good to go. Some folks will disagree but I wouldn't use anything less than 1/2" even on a boiler that small. I ran my 5 litre pot on 3/4" that fed into a 1/2" in 3/4" liebig.

EDIT. I never took a photo of that pot but this is a stock image. I threw out the 2 rubber gromets and the pot head. Fited 2 fittings similar to your ones but actually UK style tank connectors. Middle one was 3/4" and the thermo one was 3/8". It is gathering dust in the back of a cupboard somewhere.
Image
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