Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

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lifeodaparty
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Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by lifeodaparty » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:01 pm

Hey guys. I am new to this obviously. I was wondering if something like this might work. Put a standard rubber cork in a glass carboy or wine jug, put copper tubing in that, run it through a condenser and put the glass directly on a stovetop heating very slowly as to not break the glass and baddabing baddaboom, drip drip drip, cut, drip drip drip collect FTW. The fitting is tight, but not gonna withstand too much pressure. Is there something that is totally off with this? I was gonna do it with a thermometer in a second smaller hole in the cork but the temp seems like a very imprecise way of making cuts so im just gonna go volume/taste and alcohol percent. I tried it with a jug of wine for testing and worked pretty well. Dont know if the carbine (5gallons) will be able to heat up properly on the stove/without breaking but it would be nice to be able to do 5 gallon runs. Could get a propane burner if my stove won't heat the 5 gallon carboy enough. If this doesn't work I will consider a keg distiller vs home made copper and in the mean time i guess I will just refine my mashing/sparging and make some beer.

Also I dont have an alcometer yet. Where can I get one? I want one that needs very little alcohol to measure, so not a floating type. Do those exist?
Last edited by lifeodaparty on Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Glass Carbine or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by Dnderhead » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:22 pm

no way no how should glass be used.just wont withstand the heat.and even if it did one bump and hot ethanol all over stove.

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Re: Glass Carbine or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by blind drunk » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:28 pm

Just as easy (and safer) to buy a stainless pot and make a simple pot still. Why bother with scary glass. bd.
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Re: Glass Carbine or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by rubber duck » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:43 pm

Broken glass, hot liquid, stove, fire not good. The principle would work, it's just a glass pot still, but that's a accident waiting to happen.

You could do the same thing for less then what a carboy would cost out of a stock pot or keg.

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lifeodaparty
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Re: Glass Carbine or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by lifeodaparty » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:27 pm

Sorry, yeah obv I meant carboy not carbine lol.

But it does make it significantly easier given that there is no issue with sealing the top on the pot and making a hole for the copper tubing. I don't think it is that dangerous, only if the glass is cooled down fast with cold water could i see it breaking. And my stove is electric, so no open flames. And even so, the stuff in the still shouldnt be flamable even when heated up right (unless you are using turbo and getting 15-20% washes).

I wanted to do it as a double boiler, but the inner glass never reached 170 even when the outer water was boiling. Could do a different liquid with higher boiling point on the outside i guess.

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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by blind drunk » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:53 pm

But it does make it significantly easier given that there is no issue with sealing the top on the pot and making a hole for the copper tubing.
Some flour paste, paper clips a drill bit a couple of compression fitting and a length of copper tubing ... . bd.
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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by rubber duck » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:11 pm

Have you ever broken a carboy? I have and it's not funny. Now imagine a breaking a carboy full of hot liquid even if its low proof you have a really big problem and a big mess to clean up. That's if you don't get cut up by the glass.

If you want to do something like what your talking about why no use a standard cork a 5 gallon sank keg and a turkey burner.
That would be a lot safer.

If it where me I would build a proper still. It's your home, life, and well being. Do what you want but I don't think your going to find one member here that will tell you it's a good idea, and that should tell you something.

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Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck

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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by Dnderhead » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:30 pm

to add,,, the vapors will burn even if it is low proof,you can have a flash fire, just not worth it.

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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by rad14701 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:32 pm

WTF are you thinking...???

Don't even entertain the idea of using a glass carbouy as a boiler, not even as a part of a double boiler... It's just not safe, or smart... One crack and you have a potential bomb due to the amount of volatile alcohol vapor in the air space within the vessel... You need the right tool for the job and a standard glass carbouy ain't the right tool...

This is a safety forum, isn't it...???

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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by lifeodaparty » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:10 pm

Well, call me stupid, and I am sure you will. But the carboy still is going right now. It has produced 1L plus 100ml foreshots so far on a sugar wash. My eventual goal is all grain bourbon and scotch but this is a test for the still. Obviously there would be no warning but there is no sign that it is going to break and it has been at a relatively constant temp for over an hour now. I plan to let it cool completely by air so that there is no rapid contraction and possible break. I feel like I have let you all down a little bit lol. I dont think the danger is fire. The danger is water damage to my apt and me getting cut in any cleanup attempt. I weighed that vs the thrill of having made a very simple, cheap, and somewhat novel still and I am willing to take the risk.

Of course I dont have an alcometer yet but I am going to get one. I figure my product is coming out at well above 40% as it burns easily at room temperature clean blue flames so decently pure. And I just had a mixed drink with it and felt its effects nearly immediately lol. My one question is how much methanol is produced and how can i measure methanol vs ethanol and are there any symptoms before blindness than I could distinguish in case of methanol poisoning?

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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by blanikdog » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:15 pm

Do I smell another troll???? Life must be boring. lolol

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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by blind drunk » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:16 pm

My one question is how much methanol is produced and how can i measure methanol vs ethanol and are there any symptoms before blindness than I could distinguish in case of methanol poisoning?
That's the least of your potential problems :econfused: Just have lots of tweezers handy, just in case!! BTW I have a propane tank I'm selling. Bonus, it's filled right up.
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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by cob » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:28 pm

bd +1. darwin is working overtime tonight. cob
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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by lifeodaparty » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:55 pm

This is not a troll. I am not that desperate for attention. The reason I posted is that it seems like a cheap, clean way to produce alcohol that I didnt see anywhere else. Yes it is obvious why others havent done it before, so I tested it. It is working. Almost 2L now. The reason for glass breaking is drastic change in temperature creating expansion/contraction forces or pressure. Neither is a problem if you heat slowly and cool slowly and never reach a high enough temp to cause undue pressure. Anyway the cork would pop off long before the glass would break due to pressure. Ive done this with a 4L glass bottle. Now Im trialling a 5gallon carboy. I dont know why every single one of you are nay sayers at this point? There is no chance of breaking if the glass is cooled by air overnight. Im not moving it or anything.

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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by olddog » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:20 pm

lifeodaparty wrote: I dont know why every single one of you are nay sayers at this point? There is no chance of breaking if the glass is cooled by air overnight. Im not moving it or anything.
Because we do not condone unsafe practices. If you want to go this way, tread your own path.
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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by lifeodaparty » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:49 pm

Okay you win, it broke, dont try it. It broke when I extra stupidly tried to spray some water on the copper tubing right over the carboy. Dumped right on my legs. Luckily I ran straight to the shower and turned it on cold stood there for 30ish seconds a long time really then got to cleaning up with a few breaks for more cold shower on my legs time. Hopefully no serious burns. I feel fine if a bit shaken now. At least I answered the question. Good idea? NO!

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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by olddog » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:09 pm

Don't like to say it after your accident, but told you so, :evil:
We only wish to see you distilling safely and enjoy the hobby, and make some good spirit.
OLD DOG LEARNING NEW TRICKS ......

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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by kiwistiller » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:03 am

glad you're ok, that could have been a lot harsher lesson. I can tell you personally that skin grafts are no fun whatsoever. A fun-free zone. Funsponge. In fact, 3rd degree burns are pretty much the black holes of fun.

reckon we should sticky this or a part of it as a warning to others?
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lifeodaparty
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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by lifeodaparty » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:00 am

Yeah, sticky this if you think other people are as ingenious and reckless as I am lol. Im a 3rd year med student actually. And it looks like just bad 1rst degree burns so far. No blisters so far *crosses fingers*. Hopefully it stays that way. But its nearly 4am and I am still in and out of the cold bathtub. Gonna get 0 sleep tonight. Wonder if my resident would buy this story? Hard to make up really. Though perhaps I should say I was making pasta lol. ok back to the cold water... :shock:

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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by rubber duck » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:05 am

Maybe part of it could be posted but I don't really think it would do much good.

I don't think life is trolling, I'm pretty sure he's for real.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck

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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by HookLine » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:22 am

lifeodaparty

Hopefully you have learned two things today.

1. Glass is not good for a boiler.

2. The advice you get from the more experienced members of this forum is not just us talking out of our rear ends. We are not kill joys. We just don't like seeing people get hurt.


Appreciate your honesty about your near miss. It is a good lesson for others.

Now, go find a good stainless keg or large solid stainless stock pot, or similar, and look forward to some happy (and safer) stilling. 8)
Be safe.
Be discreet.
And have fun.

rad14701
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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by rad14701 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:05 am

I'll simply refer to my post on the first page of this topic...

lifeodaparty, I'm truly glad that you weren't hurt more seriously... This is not a hobby to be entered into with a stubborn streak...

Good luck with you soon to be new and improved still...

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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by heynonny » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:31 am

rubber duck said:
I don't really think it would do much good.
Maybe not for the
It broke when I extra stupidly tried to, , ,
"Extra Stupid"

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       Oh,look!! Its a hole in the space-time contuum!!

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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by still_in » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:47 am

i was about to post about my friend who had the same thing happen to him, exploded carboy all over his kitchen, but your own accident beat me to it.
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lifeodaparty
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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by lifeodaparty » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:51 pm

Well, got 0 sleep sitting in cold tub all night. But went to work/school this morning like a champ.

Yeah Im gonna go for a stainless steel stock pot but I have some questions. For sealing if I dont want to do flour/water thing all the time and I dont want to get into soldering just yet is there any safe glue/caulk/epoxy to seal the lid as well as the column?

Thanks

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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by Braz » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:25 pm

lifeodaparty wrote:For sealing if I dont want to do flour/water thing all the time and I dont want to get into soldering just yet is there any safe glue/caulk/epoxy to seal the lid as well as the column?
Take a look at my post count. You'll see that I too am a rank novice. However, I am going to offer you some advice.

Think about your glue/caulk/epoxy question. There may be some glue/caulk/epoxy that will be OK with hot alcohol vapor but I don't know what it is and I don't know how you'd find out if it is or is not. What are you trying to save by using glue/caulk/epoxy over using flour paste? If it is an application problem (you're thinking, "I'm going to have to get this messy stuff all over my fingers and form it on the rim of my pot, but squirting some stuff out of a caulk gun would be so much easier) here's an idea. Go out and buy one of those cake decorating bags with a variety of nozzles, fill the bag with flour paste and squirt it on just like it was a caulking gun.

Braz
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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by rubber duck » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:04 pm

If you have the room to store it a 15 gallon beer keg is really easy to seal. Your going to eventually go that big anyway so might as well start there.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck

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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by blind drunk » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:26 pm

Still trolling. Just a hunch. bd.
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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by HookLine » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:54 am

lifeodaparty wrote:is there any safe glue/caulk/epoxy to seal the lid as well as the column?
Not that we know of.

How much have you actually read on the forums and parent site? You are asking some pretty basic questions that indicate you have not done enough homework.
Be safe.
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Re: Glass Carboy or glass wine jug as pot still?

Post by rad14701 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:19 am

I've gotta agree with HookLine...

No need bouncing from one half-baked bad idea to another... Spend some time doing your research so you aren't looking as naive and impatient as you have thus far proven yourself to be... You'll find that everything we've tried to tell you so far has been repeated plenty of times already...

Slow down and have fun - SAFELY...

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