My first still

Many like to post about a first successful ferment (or first all grain mash), or first still built/bought or first good run of the still. Tell us about all of these great times here.
Pics are VERY welcome, we drool over pretty copper 8)

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Tasgrasshopper
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My first still

Post by Tasgrasshopper » Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:31 pm

Ok went with a pot still to begin with and i'll learn to drive this critter first before attempting to build a plated column.
2 - 1 (80).jpeg

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Re: My first still

Post by ravi » Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:08 pm

nice one!!
congrats))
cheers
In search of Dream whiskey.................

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Twisted Brick
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Re: My first still

Post by Twisted Brick » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:43 am

Good looking still, Tasgrasshopper. Once you get started building it's kinda hard to stop.

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Re: My first still

Post by Tasgrasshopper » Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:35 pm

Thank's Looking forward to the next step.
Cheer's Tas G

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Saltbush Bill
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Re: My first still

Post by Saltbush Bill » Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:10 pm

Nice Build Tas, the one thing worth considering is that if you intend using gas to heat the boiler you might want to get the business end of the condenser further away from the flames.
Still fires are NOT FUN !
Great to see some support under that condencer :thumbup:

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Re: My first still

Post by Twisted Brick » Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:25 pm

Saltbush Bill wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:10 pm
Nice Build Tas, the one thing worth considering is that if you intend using gas to heat the boiler you might want to get the business end of the condenser further away from the flames.
Still fires are NOT FUN !
Great to see some support under that condencer :thumbup:
Great advice. Installing ferrules and a tri-clamp between the two 2" 90's will allow you to angle your condenser to whatever degree you wish.
“Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite, and furthermore, always carry a small snake.”

- W.C. Fields

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Saltbush Bill
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Re: My first still

Post by Saltbush Bill » Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:01 pm

Twisted Brick wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:25 pm
Great advice. Installing ferrules and a tri-clamp between the two 2" 90's will allow you to angle your condenser to whatever degree you wish.
Normaly I would agree but in this case that could cause pooling / smearing where the thin tube joins the large diameter.
Might be easier to just put more bend in the thin tube before the union fitting.

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Twisted Brick
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Re: My first still

Post by Twisted Brick » Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:20 pm

I overlooked that, Bill. Thanks for pointing out my error. I should remember to employ a 2" reducer to the diameter of the vapor tube unless one runs a 2" shotgun.
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Re: My first still

Post by Tasgrasshopper » Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:16 pm

Thank's Gent's for the info, yes i will be using gas to heat the boiler.
As it is at the moment the outlet is 2' away so if i double that to 4' away should that be enough to be safe.
Yes it's easy to bend the half inch and extend the support. (Thank's for the hand holding) Tas.

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Re: My first still

Post by Saltbush Bill » Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:08 am

Ive read on different forums over the years that 6 foot from the flame is considered safe minimum distance. Not sure who came up with that figure or why. Ive used it as a guide with my stills.
These days electric is very popular so this issue doesn't come up as often.
Having said that I love my gas and will probably never go fully lectric.

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Re: My first still

Post by Tummydoc » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:36 am

Salty, come to the spark side!

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Re: My first still

Post by Tasgrasshopper » Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:47 pm

Ok Bill, 6 ft it is then! :thumbup:

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Re: My first still

Post by Tasgrasshopper » Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:16 pm

2 - 1 (81).jpeg
Extended to 6ft, fill port fitted not long now!!

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Re: My first still

Post by Tasgrasshopper » Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:42 am

Ran the still yesterday with vinegar to clean and check for any leaks and then ran some not so good white wine as a sacrificial run.

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Re: My first still

Post by Saltbush Bill » Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:59 am

Tummydoc wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:36 am
Salty, come to the spark side!
Kinda half way there buttttttt...quite happy with LPG for my big still.
Little Gin still " T500 boiler" is lectric...so is my other boiler...50L keg that the 3 inch Boka sits on.
Nice work Tas, good to get the booze away from the flames :thumbup:
20200901_195627.jpg

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Re: My first still

Post by Yummyrum » Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:22 am

Yeah Tas , that looks like safe distance to me :thumbup:

Saltys 6’ rule ... not sure where it come from .. but thats about where I find a happy happy feel safe distance too :thumbup:


BTW ..Salty . .. I’m gonna blame the camera angle , but .. does your shed look a bit busier than mine :wink:

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Re: My first still

Post by Saltbush Bill » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:18 am

Its a mess atm Yummy.

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Re: My first still

Post by Tasgrasshopper » Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:36 pm

Thank's Gent's!! I don't think i would be too popular if the shed burn't down for the cost of an extra bit of half inch copper. :thumbup:

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Re: My first still

Post by Deplorable » Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:13 pm

SBB, Tell me about that water manifold in the picture above? It looks like you've built some sort of water manifold to control all your cooling water from one spot.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

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Re: My first still

Post by Saltbush Bill » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:03 pm

Will do at some stage Deplorable.....wont hijack this thread with it.

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Re: My first still

Post by Tasgrasshopper » Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:12 pm

I would be interested as well Bill, and also how you built your 3" Boka.

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Re: My first still

Post by Saltbush Bill » Fri Sep 04, 2020 10:03 pm

Tasgrasshopper wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:12 pm
and also how you built your 3" Boka.
There's not a lot to tell Tas, its pretty much a bog stock slant plate Boka but in 3 inch.
There is a heap of plans, photos, build threads and other information around the forums telling how to build one.
It is fully insulated and has 61 inches of packed column, 2 centering rings to stop spirit channeling down the walls, Packing is copper mesh. Thats all topped by a double wound reflux condenser. it also runs a good quality stainless needle valve.
I supplied most of the materials for it and another distiller did 99% of the fabrication, we used it on a share basis for a few years, lately its been living at my place.
20200905_154619.jpg
20200905_154702.jpg

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Re: My first still

Post by Tasgrasshopper » Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:19 pm

Thank's Bill, At the moment i'm like a sponge reading and taking in a lot of information and trying to understand the nuts and bolts of it all.
As you pointed out there's a lot of info and builds on Boka's on the net and am tossing up if its the way i should go to make neutral spirt or to build a plated column like Olddog's Magic Flute.
I'm aware that i am only starting out and need to read a hell of a lot more and that choosing what to build is personal choice, i may build both the Boka and the Plated column only time will tell. Now back to more reading!! Thank's again Bill. :thumbup:

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Re: My first still

Post by Tummydoc » Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:48 pm

Tass, a plated column is usually intended for a flavored spirit... like your pot still. I'd suggest a packed reflux column as your next tool after a pot. That way you can recycle the feints into a neutral spirit (vodka and gin base). The plates are sexy, but with a pot you can still do whiskey or rum and approximate a plated column result. But nothing really beats a packed reflux column for a neutral on the hobby scale.

For packed you have lots of options. Liquid management (boka), vapor management (valved VM or CCVM), or coolant management with a dephlagmator.

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Re: My first still

Post by Tasgrasshopper » Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:37 pm

Thank's Tummydoc, for the heads up!! Look's like some more reading to do.

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Re: My first still

Post by Tummydoc » Sun Sep 06, 2020 5:39 am

Tasgrasshopper wrote:Thank's Tummydoc, for the heads up!! Look's like some more reading to do.
There always is with this hobby and this site!!

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Re: My first still

Post by Tasgrasshopper » Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:05 pm

Tummydoc, I like to understand how things work and guess the only way i can learn how is to read as much as i can.
The hands on stuff is the easy part i find, but if you are not willing to spend the time to learn the correct way i can not see the point, and besides whats the hurry!!

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Re: My first still

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Re: My first still

Post by Tasgrasshopper » Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:06 pm

I ran a Birdwatchers stripping run last night took longer than i thought as the reg is a low pressure one, high pressure one on the way.
Collected around 2 Litres keeping 100ml of fores seperate.

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Re: My first still

Post by Saltbush Bill » Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:04 am

High pressure regs rated 0-12 ish PSI work great from my experience.
Regs rated at higher are a pain in the arse and way to touchy to adjust.

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