beer keg still ?

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beer keg still ?

Postby wolfpak382usa » Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:40 pm

I was wondering if anybody had a design or knows where to get info on building a beer keg still. I have a small stove top still that has been doing pretty good but would like to build something a little bigger. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby NcHooch » Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:47 pm

Hey wolf,
Pretty much any still can be used on a beer keg ....just need the right flange on the bottom of the column. I'm sure some of the other members will be along directly with recommendations.
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby rad14701 » Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:50 pm

You obviously haven't spent much time researching here, wolfpak382usa... Please take the time to do so... I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised by some of the keg based builds...
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby Bushman » Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:26 pm

+1, if you go with a beer keg still consider RAD's suggestion going with a flange and tri-clamp rather than cutting up the top of the keg.
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby LWTCS » Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:42 pm

rad14701 wrote:I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised by some of the keg based builds...


There are Keg builds here? Whuh whuh,,,,,,way-ar? :crazy:
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby mash rookie » Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:43 pm

LWTCS wrote:
rad14701 wrote:I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised by some of the keg based builds...


There are Keg builds here? Whuh whuh,,,,,,way-ar? :crazy:

REALLY??
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby wolfpak382usa » Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:01 pm

I guess i'll keep lookin, just thought somebody might point me in the right direction. Sorry to bother ya'll
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby emptyglass » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:08 am

It does depend on what you want to make/drink...

And your budget/ability.

I'll tell you this for free (remember, you get what you pay for)...

If you want neutral, seriously consider a boka, or slant plate. Can be built with a drill, hacksaw, file and soldering gear.
If you want neutral, and your going to flavor it, go for a pot still. A little more involved, but makes a real nice drink.

Boka's have lots of support info, you can easily find info on a problem or issue. Pot still's are a little more tempremental, in that they take a bit of base knowledge to run them well.

Other column options (nixon/stone, vm's) are a bit more expensive to build, but give good results, apparently.

Buy the way, watch out for that dirty, horrible beer under pressure leftover in your keg. It is really messy and it stinks when it sprays you in the face. Check out the threads on removing the spear, to save yourself from this undignified event.
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby Coaster » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:22 am

@ wolfpak382usa,

It appears that you didn’t look around much in the Forum before you made your initial posting in this thread.

An excellent place to start in your quest for distilling knowledge is the ‘New distiller Reading Lounge’ sub-forum. Notice the highlighted red ‘A MUST READ FORUM’ notation.

An informative thread that provides information on building as Still is the ‘Comprehensive Beginner's Guide to Building a Boka' located in the ‘Column Distillation and Design’ sub-forum.

Another informative thread is the ‘Some Still Drawings’ located in the Research and Theory sub-forum.

Strongly encourage before jumping in feet first and slinging together a Still to become knowledgeable in the basics of distilling and understand the difference between a Pot Still (a Still that produces a flavorful sprit) and a reflux column Still (a Still that produces a neutral sprit).

Regards,
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby wolfpak382usa » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:49 am

Thanks for the info emptyglass, I already have the spear out just haven't started cutting my keg yet because i was hoping to get some opinions on different types of keg designs before cutting. Like i said, i have a small stove top still i bought off of ebay but it just doesn't produce enough product at one time for me. It has turned out some really good drink just want to go bigger. Also, I have done alot of research on this forum and others but haven't found what i'm looking for yet. There is tons of info on here and i love this site, i was just wondering if someone had some kind of specs for building a 15.5 gallon keg pot still. I'll keep looking though. I guess i'll just run my little pot still til then....thanks.
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby Braz » Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:10 am

No need to cut your keg. You can attach your still column to the standard "sankey" flange on the keg with a tri-clamp. You need to either make a matching flange on your column, like this
viewtopic.php?t=9300

Or you can just buy the flanged ferrule and solder it into your pipe, like these
http://www.hillbillystills.com/category_s/43.htm

Oh, and I'll make it easy for you. Here's a good plan for a pot still
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 15&t=17101
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby rad14701 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:26 am

wolfpak382usa, are you expecting someone to come forward with a set of blueprints for you, complete with step by step instructions...??? That's not gonna happen...

It's up to you to find and evaluate the many pot still builds here and then come up with what works for you... Or just visit one of the commercial sites and pay for one of their offerings... Pot stills are fairly simple in design and very forgiving of variation... There is not right design, jut the one you like and have the skills to build...

Search around and ask specific questions... We'll get you there... :thumbup:
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby wolfpak382usa » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:36 am

lol, i guess you're right rad, i was just trying to get pointed in the right direction. Thanks braz for the info, very helpful.
What about using the same setup i already have just bigger.
resized.jpg
this column only measures about 18" tall
resized2.jpg
this is my set up now.
I was thinking about building one just like this for my 15.5 gallon keg just on a bigger scale, Make the column taller, use bigger copper instead of the 1 1/2 inch i have now. Just don't know how much bigger or if it even matters.
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby Klaxxon » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:17 am

about not cutting the keg... how does cleaning go? i have a lovely 1/2 barrel that i would rather keep intact, but i am concerned about getting it clean inside after a run. what advice is there for doing that?

regarding making the flange, reading this thread just now, i had the idea that flaring the end would be nice, but might serve better still (pun intended) if a piece of plate was soldered to the bottom of the flare then solder build up on top. the plate would make the mating surface smooth enough so no gasket was needed. also, if the flange was not at the end of the column pipe, but an inch or so up, then the pipe could be inserted (with a reducer) into the top of the keg to make it harder for leakage to occur.
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby LWTCS » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:44 am

Most of the time a simple wash out is adequate.
If you are going to use an internal element then a well cleared boiler charge will be needed any way.

if you scorch somethin to the keg then some rocks or chain swirled around would work.

If you were makin rum ya might not care bout cleaning too much at all.

Tons of examples round the forums of unmolested kegs....
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby emptyglass » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:36 pm

Keg works well for me. I make sure my wash is clear before I charge the boiler, and I give it a hose out when I'm finished a run.
If I forget and leave the dunder in there for a while (I often say to myself I'll clean it in the morning...) it dosn't take much to get any funk out with a wash.

You could adapt your existing head to a keg, your output wont change much but your runs will be bigger and longer with more product.

Why do you want a bigger still? More output or a different sort of drink?

If your making whiskey or rum, a column might not give what you want.
If your pot does what you want, maybe its a bigger pot still that you need.

I can't see the problem modifying a keg,,,its not like your taking it back to get more beer. Once you remove the spear, you've modded it.
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby wolfpak382usa » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:24 am

emptyglass, my small pot does pretty much what i want it's just not big enough. i'm really just looking for more product. I guess the head i have would work fine it would just take alot longer to run, that's why i was asking. I was thinking about building about the same as i have now just on a bigger scale, just don't know how much bigger. I have done alot of research and it seems to me there's really no exact science to it, i just wanted an idea before i wasted alot of time and money on something that might not do any more than i already have.
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby Mud Mechanik » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:46 am

wolfpak382usa wrote:emptyglass, my small pot does pretty much what i want it's just not big enough. i'm really just looking for more product. I guess the head i have would work fine it would just take alot longer to run, that's why i was asking. I was thinking about building about the same as i have now just on a bigger scale, just don't know how much bigger. I have done alot of research and it seems to me there's really no exact science to it, i just wanted an idea before i wasted alot of time and money on something that might not do any more than i already have.


Your on the right track, get you a sanke adapter, 3 feet of 2 inch copper, a few fittings to turn it and adapt it down to 1/2 inch, use a liebeg design condenser a little bigger than the one you have or build a worm and.......presto.....your up and running on a bigger scale. There is no exact science to a pot still, it is simply seperating alcohol by temperature, condense the vapors and enjoy. There are however, many variations that help control purity and such, but the biggest trick to learn is driving your new column, making conservative cuts, and being safe.
Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway----John Wayne
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Re: beer keg still ?

Postby emptyglass » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:39 pm

Wolfpak, you are right, there is no hard and fast rule's, but something you will see here is height =purity, diameter=take off rate

Mud mechanic gave you about the most simple way to improve your take off rate.

Any larger than 2" and you could consider cutting the sankey flange off the keg and going larger. There are 3" and 4" columns that come off the 2" keg mount on this site.
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