Here is my thread for my plans to build my first still. My plan is to build a 2" boka reflux column. So far I have a 1500mm (59") long 50mm OD (2") copper pipe and some 12mm OD (1/2") scrap copper from renovating the house. There is just enough of this to perhaps make a 300mm (12") shotgun condenser. My calculations are that a shotgun condenser made with 6 300mm lengths of 12mm copper will have greater surface area than a helix condenser made using 3 metres (118") of 6mm copper, and it would likely use less length in the column than a single-wound helix.
Those are my calculations - I realise the real-world functioning might be a different matter.
I also have about 10 squares of flattened copper that are a bit bigger than the column. Figure I'll use a couple of these for the plates in the boka.
I have a 7500 litre (2000 gal) rainwater tank with a decent quality pump that supplies water from the tank to our laundry. I'm thinking I would try to connect food-grade hose between the tank tap and condenser, then run food grade hose back into the tank inlet.
I don't yet have a heat source. I was planning to buy a portable, 2000W induction cooker from ebay (about $70: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/5-Star-Chef- ... 3a6c69e517) that has 9 power levels as well as 10 level thermostat control up to 240 degC - in contrast to all other portable electric burners that cycle only.
For a boiler I was planning on buying a 305mm base 20lt (5 gal) stainless steel stock pot. That's bigger than the 270mm induction plate. Need to investigate if that would be a problem.
Now the BIGGEST obstacle to this build: My wife is against it. She is against it because distilling is illegal and she is afraid I'll get caught. And even if I don't get caught she hates the idea that I'd be doing something that is illegal.
So, here are my three questions for now:
- Does the induction cooker sound okay? From my understanding this should not require modification since it has power level control.
- Having no soldering experience (apart from a little with electronics), is the shotgun condenser a bad idea? I don't mind buying copper, but I'm almost certain I'll stuff up winding a condenser coil.
- Most importantly: Any tips for how to reassure my wife? I don't want to be doing something she doesn't like, so it's going to be either I allay her fears or I don't build.