New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

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New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby SiliconJaguar » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:04 am

Hi, I've got myself one of these new EasyStill counter top units with adjustable thermostat that uses a fan to cool instead of water.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUnWyyNoBFw for a picture of it.

I can't for the life of me work out how to use it.

It has a 50-100 Deg C thermostat knob on the front and a temperature gauge.

Has anyone bought one of these yet, or knows anything about them?

Any help appreciated.

If someone has the time for a quick phone call I'd love to have a chat about whats involved in distilling.

TNX ~Ken~
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby gs_moonshine » Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:43 am

I don't have one of these but seems pretty straight forward. I'm guessing the temp knob will heat your element to that temp. You'll have to play with it until you fiqure out at what temp your distillate starts to come off. I'm not sure how it cools the vapor off unless the top has some type of cooling fan that condenses the vapor to liquid. Good Luck but I'm also guessing you could have built yourself a nice pot still a hellva lot cheaper.
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby SiliconJaguar » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:24 am

Hi, thanks. Yea, no to buy a normal Still I would have had to pay 2-3 times the price. But the big issue was space and being able to use it in a normal kitchen environment. I would have hell to pay if I had hoses and stuff running water from the tap into the sink.

OK. This is what I recon is going on. I've played with the thing using normal tap water.

The nob sets the heating coil temperature. When the temperature gauge hits the preset temperature it turns off the heating coil and also the fan.

Now, this to me seems wrong. But I am new to this so who knows.

I would think that the heating coil should stay on constantly, and the temperature setting and sensor should control the fan only to set the temperature of the coiled pipes? Am I right?

I've got to buy a brewing container yet and some sugar / molassas and yeast. Once I've let that sit for a week I'll try actually distilling something other then water.

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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby gs_moonshine » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:22 am

If the temp knob controls your heating element I would suspect it would turn off ounce it was up to the preset temp , but it should turn back on ounce the temp starts to fall to maintain the preset temp. Is the fan actually the lid? If so I would guess this is what is used as a air cooled condenser to cool vapor back into a liquid. I wouldn't think this should ever shut off. Am I close?
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby SiliconJaguar » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:03 am

Yes the fan is in the top (lid as you put it).

And no the fan shuts off when the temp gauge hits the setting.

It's got me beat,

I do wonder withe little .TW guys have got it all wrong ¿?¿?
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby punkin » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:24 am

SiliconJaguar wrote:Yes the fan is in the top (lid as you put it).

And no the fan shuts off when the temp gauge hits the setting.

It's got me beat,

I do wonder withe little .TW guys have got it all wrong ¿?¿?
.-.-.



If this is a new machine there must be some customer support?
Surely they didn't send it to you without instructions?

There was a bloke posted in the Novice section not many weeks ago who runs a support website for those people who have purchased one of these machines.
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby rad14701 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:05 pm

Go buy a cheap 4L jug of wine for $9.99 and give the thing a test run with that... Don't bother waiting for a batch of sugar wash to ferment... Be sure to experiment with wine, not beer...
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby Aussie Beamophile » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:51 pm

SJ

get onto whitepages.com and look up Malthouse Home Brew in Welshpool WA.

Don't tell him you are in QLD or he'll do bananna bending jokes for 10 minutes.

He sells these units and uses one himself so he should be able to answer any questions you have.

Cheers

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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby xsquared_uk » Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:42 pm

It looks like they've based the design on an Imperial Stormtrooper....!

Sounds very odd if the thermostat kills the fan, not sure what to make of that.

I haven't seen one personally, but I have some contacts with the manufacturers so I'll see what I can find out. Stay tuned!
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby SiliconJaguar » Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:04 pm

OK, Thanks. Will be interesting to find out more.

And Yea I might just go buy a cheap flagon of Red Wine and run that through for the hell of it.

What should I set the temp nob to?

And do I have to worry about throwing away the first section of what comes out? Or will it be ok to use everything as it's already been produced as wine?

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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby xsquared_uk » Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:20 pm

Depends how accurate it is, and exactly what that thermostat is doing with regards to the fan and the element. Do a search and look up the boiling point of ethanol, you should really get to grips with the details of what is happening before you try it so you understand. It's basically going to be around 78.3 degrees C (depending on the exact form of ethanol and your altitude, etc) but if the thermostat is turning the heater off as soon as you hit that temp, then you probably won't get the best results as it'll keep cooling down, and I don't know how big a window it uses before it kicks back in again, it could drop 1 degree or 10, and that would greatly affect the use of the thing.

I'm trying to find out more information, but if you're really keen to get started then I'd suggest you put 3 - 4 litres of wine into it, use the calculator with the settings from my site to work out a projected yield, and then set the temp to 78 and see what happens. If you're not getting anything out, bump it up a degree and leave it a while, and keep doing that until you get a slow but steady product. You'll probably want to chuck the first part out once you smell it, maybe 20ml or so. As for the rest, it's hard to tell without knowing how that thing works. You'll probably get 750ml - 1l of passable product out of 3 litres of fairly strong wine. Suck it and see, and let us know what you find!
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby Usge » Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:23 pm

You still have to throw out the foreshots (on each and every run of anything you run with alcohol in it).
Water has a higher vapor point than alcohol. Don't know for sure, but it could be your element, or that switch, may be hitting a thermal shutdown trying to run water through it as it is modified.

Use Wine for now. It should work better, start coming out sooner. It wont' have to get as hot before it starts coming out. Leave it on high till it starts coming out. Then adjust the heat down a little. Higher heat will make it come out faster. Lower heat will make it come out more slowly. Normally, you would leave the fan/cooling in the coil on high, and only be fluctuating the heat to the pot to get more reflux (or adjust what reflux you can in such a unit). But, it sounds like they just set both to run together parallel. On such a small pot, with very little air space in it, I'm not sure how much difference it would make anyway. A good tinkerer might possibly find a way to wire it up so they work reverse of each other. But, I'm not so sure that's what you would want either (ie...the hotter the coil the less cooling you'd have in the coil). What you really need is separate controls for each. Again, not sure this is necessary.

The biggest mod I did to mine was to get rid of plastic up front and replace it with copper. If you cut out the bottom of the nose with an xacto knife, you've got room to put in a 90 degree compression coupling that would sit right in the nose. One end attaches to the stainless coil. The other end you could attach copper tubing to. (3/8 inch compression coupling elbow was the size that fit mine). You have to take the head apart to do this....just be careful to note "exactly" how that silicon gasket goes on before you take it off. The coil just pushes off (inside the top there is a small silicon grommet that holds the coil in place). Push up on that with your thumb and work it off the top.

Once you get the compression coupling installed, you can "also" make other attachments for the output. (Like shorter or longer lengths of tube, a small liebig or mini-coil bucket to cool the distillate more coming out—mine gets rather warm). Mainly, it gets rid of all the plastic in the distillate path. (which is a good thing).
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby SiliconJaguar » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:21 pm

Hi again. I wondered why I wasn't getting any email notifications of replies. Dir, silly me, my browser was still sitting on the page. Oh well.

Yea, I'm happy to wait till people find out more about this thing. I could also just muck around with it a little. I am thinking of buying some more molassas for the horse soon. I might try fermenting say 4-5 litres of that just for the fun of it.

This thing is supposed to be suitable for distilling water, essential oils and alcohol with out any modifications. It is sold as being suitable for all of these things.

It is stainless steal inside so shouldn't need any mods.

A ran water through it as it was a simple task to try. The unit turned on and off for fairly long periods and 2 hours only gave about 1 cup 250 ml of water when working with 2 litres and a lot less when working with a full 4 ltr tank.

I have also wondered about trying to get a hold of a suitable temperature probe to drop inside of it to see how accurate the temperature gauge is.

If anyone is interested in a chat over the phone some time I can run them through my experiences with it so far. Might be a bit better then trying to type every last detail?

Also doesn't matter if it's USA etc, I have free calls world wide.
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby Usge » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:33 pm

Ya Mate. The nose on the head is all plastic. The coil just drips into the plastic nose. I'm not talking about inside the pot. I'm talking about the head/top/nose where the distillate drips out.
If the temp gauge is measuring water temp....it's not that useful. It would only be useful if it was measuring "vapor" temp in the top of the pot, just before it leaves the pot to go into the coil.
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby Husker » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:37 pm

It really sounds like this "enhanced" version is far inferior to the previous model (or else there is simply user problems).


Getting a cup output after 2 hours. That sounds like terrible return.

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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby fatbloke » Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:30 am

The original model, without the thermostat, just boils up. If you use it for water, you fill it to the 4ltr mark, put a carbon "Tea bag" in the white holder, place it on top of the collecting tank and let it go. Mine came with some cleaning crystals of some sort, which you just put in the boiler (with water) without the lid/condenser on, and let it reach boiling point then switch it off and leave it.

It's got a thermal cutout to prevent it burning but it does seem that it's supposed to be allowed to boil dry for water distillation.

The instructions for alcohol are specific because it's sold in conjunction with the "Still Spirits" range of yeasts/carbons/finings/flavourings etc.

Used in that way, I'd guess you just fill it up with wash and turn the thermostat up to full and it would work in the same way. If you set the thermostat to about 80 degrees C then surely it's gonna get hot enough to vapourise the alcohol. Mine (no thermostat) will produce 800 ml's of ethanol in about 2.5 hours i.e. it takes about an hour to get to temp' and then runs for about 1.5 hours to condense the alcohol out of the wash.
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby SiliconJaguar » Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:39 am

OK, Yep I understand about the plastic Nose on the unit.

As for the temperature sensor. I assume it's in the base of the unit. My reasoning is that the head (fan) section only has one connecting 2 prong cord that I assume is for powering the fan.

OK, Now question time for me. (N00b mode activated) :) Please be kind. :)

I've been looking around for all the bits to buy to get me ready to make my first wash.

Are the hydrometers that are sold for beer brewing suitable / the same as whats used for checking alcohol content for the wash and the final product? As in does the range go high enough? (The packets I see in the stores are sealed).
These sell for about $8-9.

Is the Yeast sold for beer brewing the same as whats used for spirits?

Whats the cheapest way to get a container of yeast. Everywhere I see sells small packets for big bucks.

How about bakers yeast? I've been reading people use this but add other stuff to help it survive?
Any suggestions? Just buy it from Woolworths etc?

Same question for the carbon filter?

As for main materials. Any comments on suitability of the following please?

- I bought 20ltrs of Mollasis. (Rum??)
- I can get cracked corn from the horse feed place but it's dried and hard. (Burbon??)
- White sugar. Home Brand is about $2 for 3 Kilo. (Vodka??)
- I have tank water available here from the roof of the house. Will it be clean enough to use? (I hear tank water is better).
- Whats DAP ??

I think thats about it for today. Hopefully I'm getting close to being able to do a run.

Thanks for all your help too guys.

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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby Husker » Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:00 pm

SiliconJaguar wrote:OK, Yep I understand about the plastic Nose on the unit.

As for the temperature sensor. I assume it's in the base of the unit. My reasoning is that the head (fan) section only has one connecting 2 prong cord that I assume is for powering the fan.

OK, Now question time for me. (N00b mode activated) :) Please be kind. :)

I've been looking around for all the bits to buy to get me ready to make my first wash.

Are the hydrometers that are sold for beer brewing suitable / the same as whats used for checking alcohol content for the wash and the final product? As in does the range go high enough? (The packets I see in the stores are sealed).
These sell for about $8-9.


A hydrometer is a hydrometer. They all work the same. HOWEVER, they have different "scales" in them. Thus, when fermenting and distilling, you will normally work with hydrometers of 2 different scales.

The first is frequently simply called a hydrometer (proper term is saccharometer I believe). It is used to measure specific gravity of water and sugar. It is used for watching your wash. It will tell you that you have X percent of sugar in the wash (sugar'd water is heavier than plain water). It will also show over time, that the sugar has been removed (and replaced with ethanol), as the density of the mash returns to the density of plain water (or even less than that).

Now, for finished spirit, there is a hydrometer (called an alcoholometer) that is scaled properly to measure a mixture of ethanol and water. For this one to work, there must be NOTHING in that mix, other than ethanol and water. If there has been flavorings or sugars added, then the readings will not be accurate.

The first hydro measures density in the range of .990 to 1.200 (or around that). This tool will give you an indication of how much "potential" alcohol your wash can produce, and then when the wash is finished, you can compute the ABV of the wash, by knowing how much "change" your wash underwent from fully saturated with sugar, until it finished.

The alcoholometer is "scaled" to tell you the ABV of distilled spirit. If you place it in a commercial 80 proof vodka, it damn better read 40% ABV (or else your son has been pinching the vodka, and watering it down for you, OR the instrument is not working).

NOTE, since ethanol (and to a lesser extent water) expand and contract based upon their temperature, then the proper scale reading on hydrometers will also ONLY be accurate at a certain fixed temp (usually 20°C or 68°F, depending upon the instrument). If the temp is very close to the proper temp, then you will measure "close enough". If not, then there are tables which you can use to "adjust" your reading to the proper amounts.

Is the Yeast sold for beer brewing the same as whats used for spirits?

Whats the cheapest way to get a container of yeast. Everywhere I see sells small packets for big bucks.

How about bakers yeast? I've been reading people use this but add other stuff to help it survive?
Any suggestions? Just buy it from Woolworths etc?


Many work just fine. Bakers yeast also works for many recipes. With any yeast, do NOT try to push the yeast to a maximum ethanol ABV. That will produce a LOT of higher and lower alcohols, and other nasties. In laymans terms, your hooch will smell/taste like crap, and hangovers are much more likely.

Same question for the carbon filter?


Learn to properly produce your wash, and properly run your still, and throw the "carbon filtering" crap in the trash. It is not needed. It is mostly an "invention" of people trying to push crappy "turbo yeasts", and instructing people to push them to 18% or 20% or even 23%. That produces some very foul stuff, that you simply HAVE to filter to get it even close to being drinkable. If you produce good clean wash, and distill it carefully, it will be better than commercial, with no need for dirty nasty carbon filtering.

As for main materials. Any comments on suitability of the following please?

- I bought 20ltrs of Mollasis. (Rum??)
- I can get cracked corn from the horse feed place but it's dried and hard. (Burbon??)
- White sugar. Home Brand is about $2 for 3 Kilo. (Vodka??)
- I have tank water available here from the roof of the house. Will it be clean enough to use? (I hear tank water is better).
- Whats DAP ??

I think thats about it for today. Hopefully I'm getting close to being able to do a run.

Thanks for all your help too guys.


DAP is a yeast nutrient.

For the other "recipes", I would recommend looking in the "tried and true" recipe section. There are a lot of very good working recipes. They will get you started, and working down the right path.

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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby trthskr4 » Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:19 pm

Good answer H, yep corn's hard and unless you're doing UJSM then it has to be cooked...go for the UJSM at first if you want to go for something with corn. Then later on when everything's going too good and you want to bang your head against the wall for a while, try cooking it. I'm joking, sort of. :roll:

Runoff water from your roof is excellent for fermenting but may introduce nasties in your finished product if you use for cutting, someone here's had a problem with that but can't remember who. After that I just won't do it.

Good luck,
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby SiliconJaguar » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:10 pm

OK, thanks for all the good info.

Couple more questions.

What do I add to the normal Yeast that you buy from the supermarkets to get it to work above the 5% alcohol point? The local homebrew store recons normal yeast will die off at 5%? And says I have to buy the expensive turbo yeast? SO whats the difference? I think I read somewhere that instead you feed the normal yeast DAP or something? Is that right? And if so where do I get the DAP from? I believe I am supposed to be aiming for 10-20% in the wash?

Hey, I've just found out that you can buy large amounts of brewers yeast from stock suppliers as they feed it to horses!. I wonder if this will work?

See http://www.horsesuppliesdirect.com.au/category181_1.htm for an example.

Also I was told to use a fish tank heater and set it at 20 Deg C?

I'm just looking on EBay. What size / type should I buy for a 5 Litre wash?

.-.-.
Last edited by SiliconJaguar on Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby Dnderhead » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:24 pm

First bakers yest will go to about 7%-- and a above-if your making sugar wash you need nutrients of some kind in it ( see sugar wash)
no mater what kind of yeast your using --- yeast needs vitamins-minerals-etc --every thing from -- tomato --to Geritol has bin used
dap is a nitrate "fertilizer"- the heater is necessary only if it is cold where you are You can "push" "some" yeast to 20% but not recommended
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby SiliconJaguar » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:33 pm

OK TNX, So whats a common good food for the yeast to add? And if I do this will it be comparable with Turbo Yeasts?

Also see my msg again I edited it. Wondering about horses suppliers for the yeast.

I have bought 6 Kilo's of Raw sugar, and I have some molassis (20ltrs). So I was thinking of trying that first.

I've been looking at this recipe but may not be able to come up with all the components. (DAP for example?).

Pintoshine's Fast Fermenting Molasses Wash

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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby trthskr4 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:46 pm

Man if you're gonna drink anything you make you have gotta get out of the "Turbo" mentality. Turbos and pushing washes above probly 15% makes for a nasty drink. Turbos are something designed for fuel manufacturing where none of it will be consumed by humans. They are not designed for spirits to drink and require a huge financial and time investment to clear out enough crap to even think about ingesting a little of it. They are a waste of time and money in the drinking game. Buy some distiller's yeast, http://www.milehidistilling.com has some Super Start Distiller's Yeast that I have used and personally like and 1 lb. makes 500 gallons. Keep in mind that the Brew Shops are there to make you give them money willingly. Nutrients depend on the type of wash you are making; sugar washes require nutrients as well as rum washes, grain washes for the most part don't need nutes as well as fruit washes. I think you are very ambitious with this and that's ok just don't get in too much of a hurry that you hurt yourself or cause harm to those who drink what you make. Do some studying up also to keep that to a minimum.

Also, check out the "Tried and True" and "Recipe Delvelopment" forums. The recipes will list kinds of nutrients needed/used for almost any kind of wash/mash you can think of.
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby SiliconJaguar » Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:31 pm

Hi, OK. Thanks. Yea no I was given the impression that I had to use turbo yeasts and that it was important to get he high 20% content in the wash. This is from chatting to the local brew shops.

I now understand that it's purely because they want to sell me the expensive turbo yeast.

OK, I've looked at the site, but it's located in the USA I think. I'm in Australia.

I bought some bakers Yeast today from the super market. Is it safe then to use that even though it would yeild as high a percentage?
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby trthskr4 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:35 pm

They ship to Australia, Punkin just got some enzymes from them I think.

And yes baker's yeast is ok, I use some Fleishmann's myself when I'm making alot of mash and not concerned much about volume of distillate.
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby punkin » Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:43 pm

No, i bought my enzymes here.

Mate, just don't go to the brew shop, don't tell em what you're doing. There's very few things you'll need from there to operate a potstill and make bourbon/rum/vodka/whiskey.
Maybe some airlocks, brew drums, some dap or malt barley etc, no need for them to know you're making anything but beer.

Use your google to find your bulk supplies, read up here on the best way to do things and take baby steps. It worked for me and i'm a dumb shit, so it'll definately work for you.
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby trthskr4 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:36 am

Doh, sorry Punkin and SiliconJaguar I was mistaken. :oops:
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby xsquared_uk » Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:37 am

Hi all, just to keep everyone updated about this - I have spoken to those in the know, and I can state that this is NOT made by the same manufacturer of the EasyStill and SmartStill. It's a similar looking thing, apparently made in China. As such, I can't say anything about how comparable it is with the others, but what I can say is that it's not a 'replacement model' or anything like that, it's a competitor (and from the sounds of things, without much in the way of instructions!).

Taking all that into account, I have no idea how well it will work - it may be 'vanilla' and need modifying in order to be any good for distilling, same as the original water distilling EasyStill and SmartStill would do (there are two versions on sale of each, one factory modified for alcohol and one intended for water). The main modifications are turning down the heater (covered by your temp dial I would assume), closing up a chlorine vent (don't know if yours has one) and improving the cooling (again, no idea if it would need this or not). Just because it's sold as working for alcohol, that doesn't mean it's specifically set up that way as it is - if not then it'll work, but not efficiently.

Keep us all posted as to how you get on, it would be interesting to find out - also, see if it has another brand name, because that'd help to distinguish it from the existing EasyStill and SmartStill!
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby Dnderhead » Tue Jun 24, 2008 4:19 am

maybe another thing to look at is bypassing the fan and hooking it up direct so it runs all the time
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Re: New Easy Still with adjustable thermostat.

Postby SiliconJaguar » Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:13 pm

OK, neat. Thanks for the info.

Well I'm getting closer, I'll definatly let you guys know how I go.

I'm currently bidding on some bit's to help get me started. Basically some Brewing containers. TO buy them new they want like $45 just for one plastic bucket. (Bit rich).

I found a guy local to me that got 3x + some other bits on auction. So see how I go.

I'm also going to buy a fish tank heater on EBay and possibly an air stone and pump. But I'm not sure how important this will be.

I also need to find a source for the DAP stuff to feed the yeast.

But we're getting there. :)

I too believe the fan should be running constantly. BUt we will see what happens when I run the thing at a lower temperature say around 90 deg C. Perhaps it doesn't cut out as much then¿? Who knows. :)
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