Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post your builds here.

Moderator: Site Moderator

Freddy57
Novice
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:59 pm
Location: A place where the roar of Harley's rules the night!

Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by Freddy57 » Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:18 am

I got my new still from Mile-hi and I have been working at learning how to use it. My first run was plain water, I checked to make sure there are no leaks, and it is as tight as a drum. Next, I did the water and vinegar cleaning run to make sure it is good and clean and yesterday, I did my break-in run with real wash. I fermented a bucket of sugar water with a packet of the turbo yeast that came with the still. I knew turbo yeast had to be good for something! It was very educational watching the temperatures climb and sampling the output at each temperature increment. I just loved the way that first little bit smells, kind of like paint thinner, I sure wouldn't want to stick that in my mouth... :lol: The rest of the run was sweet smelling and tasting with kind of an oily feel. I noticed that at about 193F it gave off a really nice spirit until the temps really took and then it was nasty stuff again. It was a great run and I learned first hand about the things I have been reading about on here. It's always nice to get the "book learning" and the experience to come together. All in all, I'm really happy with the quality of this still, in pot still mode, it works really well.
Attachments
Mile-hi.jpg
Mile-hi.jpg (11.72 KiB) Viewed 14425 times

still crazy
Rumrunner
Posts: 706
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:11 am

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by still crazy » Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:22 am

Looks good and good luck with it
Just one point that first run should be sacrificial, toss it, for safety's sake.
Or you can soak some of those lava coals in it and use em for a nice blue flame night glow.
Daddy used, to say " Any landing you can walk away from is a good one"
Calculations don't mean shit when compared to the real world practical experience of many...RAD 9/2010

Freddy57
Novice
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:59 pm
Location: A place where the roar of Harley's rules the night!

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by Freddy57 » Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:55 am

This is definitely a practice run, I only tasted the output to see what is like, I definitely would not want to swallow it. It was very educational, and as soon as my wheat arrives I am going to ferment a good batch for some good wheat whiskey. Between now and then I'm going to use some practice wash to try to make cuts and learn about the quality of the output. I have another pack of turbo yeast so I think I will make a fresh batch of wash that is safer to play with. Thanks for the come back, soaking the lava rock does sound like a fun idea.

decomissioned
Novice
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:09 pm

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by decomissioned » Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:38 pm

Howdy Freddy57. I have the same still but with the smaller 3 gallon boiler. I wrote up a thread about it here. From the picture you attached.. you might not have your water hoses connected correctly. Check out my picture below for the correct method. Water should flow from your pump/faucet/hose into the bottom of the Liebig Condenser first, then exit the top of the Liebig condensor and enter the top (left in the photo below) portion of your column cooling jacket, before exiting out the bottom (right) of the cooling jacket. In my photo below, the spout at the bottom of the liebig without a hose connected to it is where your distillate will exit the still.. so have your jar under it, or a parrot if using one. You definitely do not want that PVC hose coming in contact with your finished product. For sake of completeness, the water exit from the top of the liebig does not have a hose in the photo below, but in reality that hose leads back to the water take.. it's a drain basically, the same as the exit from the cooling jacket. If you just had those connected to move your still out to the garage or something, please disregard. If someone saw something amiss in my setup I'd want to know about it before finding it out the hard way.. so just tryin to help. :)

What you will see in my picture below is a suggestion that was made to me, that I will also make to you. Split your water inlets. Basically just add a Tee and two pvc valves.That way the water hitting your cooling jacket has not been previously warmed up by the liebig. This is especially good if you are using a pump to recirculate water, as I am. My water temp will raise on average 15F degrees per hour that I run, so there is a noticeable amount of heat being absorbed in the liebig that would then be passed into the cooling jacket.

Above all though, welcome to HD, and enjoy your new still.. she's a beauty!

Image

Freddy57
Novice
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:59 pm
Location: A place where the roar of Harley's rules the night!

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by Freddy57 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:21 pm

Hi Erasei,

I appreciate you spotting what looks like a potential problem, If I were operational I would definitely appreciate anybody that spotted a problem. The pic shows my still in storage mode with the hoses joined so the rubber seal doesn't fall out and get lost. I use my still as a pot still right now, so I am only circulating water through the output condenser. I want to preserve flavor as much as possible on my whiskey. When I get enough junk laying around, I'll switch to reflux mode and make some Vodka.

I have been following you're posts and saw all of the great advice you received from our fellow distillers. Like you, I'm going to try it as designed first and see if I need to modify it afterwards. These are really great stills for the money and I'm really looking forward to getting further into the hobby.

Thanks again for the input and I hope you are having a great time with yours as well.

Freddy

Beerswimmer
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 769
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:33 pm
Location: In the garage

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by Beerswimmer » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:28 pm

I have the same setup, the 8gal one. It works great as a potstill, but as a fractioning still I haven't been able to figure it out. I even talked to the owner of MileHi on the phone(great guy, great CS!!!) but still can't get it to run as advertised. Oh well, it's a great still to learn with, and the milk can is awesome! My potstill runs of rum and UJSSM start at around 80%, and my strips of them start at around 86%. My reflux runs, when I did them, never got any higher than 90%?

Overall, I like it!


But I'm building a new potstill head and a full 48" VM column to put on it and a keg. I might give away the head, but I'll be keeping the milk can!
Ut Alii Vivant!!!!

Triple distiller
Novice
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:53 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by Triple distiller » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:48 pm

Hooking up your cold water to the lower input of the reflux collar might help in achieving higher ABV's. The way it is hooked up now will leave a serious amount of air in the reflux section, effectively performing as a potstill. What i do: I first hook up to the lower part of the leibig, as EVERYTING coming out of the still should be condensed. I then wire the top part of the leibig to the bottom of the reflux and route the top of the reflux to the waiste water. This should improve your output considerately. I never get below 93 ABV on my Mile Hi kit.

Regards,
TD

bgrizzle
Swill Maker
Posts: 301
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:39 am
Location: Land of the Blue Skies

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by bgrizzle » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:39 pm

I bought this same rig... It is definitely worth the money, but I dont exactly use it the way it is advertised "to pull off high abv at fast rates".

I guess it depends on what your going for, and HOW much output you are looking for. I found that the LM system was difficult to tweak (even by using valves to control the water flow).

I use this still as a stripping still... I dont hook up the top to water lines at all (I just hook up the liebig). I can strip a wash in no time like this.

I found that the highest ABV I could get was around 90%. This aint bad, but I wanted better...

So, I built a VM column with a Bok on top. I also found a 15 gallon keg. I have been using the Mile Hi unit with the keg to quickly strip 13 gallons of wash (2X 6.5 gallon ferments). Then I use the milk jug with my column (LM/VM) to purify the low wines... I can easily take off 95%.

So, back to my original point... the mile hi stuff is GREAT QUALITY... the column has its uses and the milk jugs are great... But it all depends on what you are going for....

The Baker
Master Distiller
Posts: 3288
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:48 am
Location: Northern Victoria, Australia

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by The Baker » Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:25 am

Triple distiller wrote:Hooking up your cold water to the lower input of the reflux collar might help in achieving higher ABV's. The way it is hooked up now will leave a serious amount of air in the reflux section, effectively performing as a potstill. What i do: I first hook up to the lower part of the leibig, as EVERYTING coming out of the still should be condensed. I then wire the top part of the leibig to the bottom of the reflux and route the top of the reflux to the waiste water. This should improve your output considerately. I never get below 93 ABV on my Mile Hi kit.

Regards,
TD
Haven't seen a picture of this still with its 'reflux collar' before.

It seems to be much the same as the 'dephlegmator' on the new plate stills made by some of our members. Cooling management system.
The Baker

bgrizzle
Swill Maker
Posts: 301
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:39 am
Location: Land of the Blue Skies

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by bgrizzle » Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:08 pm

Yes sir! I like trying out the different stills... I'd like to get a nice copper pot still. Then id sell the milehi still...

Usge
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 3243
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:22 am

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by Usge » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Any of you with those milkcans ever have issues with them rocking while they are heating up? Or with the clamped on top leaking around sides? (ie., opposite the clamps)

bgrizzle
Swill Maker
Posts: 301
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:39 am
Location: Land of the Blue Skies

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by bgrizzle » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:58 pm

Mine rocks a little during heat up... but my keg might rock a tad too!

No problem with the latches

batf
Bootlegger
Posts: 125
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:34 am

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by batf » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:05 pm

no leaks here either. my burner set up is waist high, so i strap the can to it. just for saftey.

Usge
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 3243
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:22 am

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by Usge » Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:29 am

Thanks guys.

Kifi
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 6:27 am
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by Kifi » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:27 pm

I use this rig too. I hook my hoses bottom to top, leibig before reflux, and never had any issues pulling 92.5% with the mile-hi hotplate running full tilt (1280W).

The hotplate cycles if you have it set below max, so I use a router speed controller rated at 1500-1800W and a household W meter to regulate speed when in potstill mode. Highly recommend this solution.

I've tried using a y connector and regulator valve to control the water flow to the reflux condenser separately, but it's created more problems than its worth - does 92.5% just fine with only an inline control valve controlling reflux and leibig together. You don't need much water flowing - just enough to see a trickle of rain in the output tube.

Have a remote control BBQ thermometer that will fit nicely into the bung on top of this still on order so it will buzz me when the liquor starts flowing. I get distracted sometimes doing chores around the house (yes, I know I shouldn't leave it alone)....:)

It does rock a bit, but only for a few mins during heat up, the it's fine. It gets worse if there is only a gallon or two in the still. The gasket doesn't leak unless I try putting my VM head on the milk can boiler. The Brewhaus version of this gets around that with a 360 degree clamp in place of the 'two ear' Mile Hi solution.

Tried using rachig rings, but nothing beats plain ol copper mesh - put rolls right up to the base of the water jacket but no further.

All things considered, probably the best still for the money available.....
Colonel's 20 gal Scotch/Ozark/VM; Mile Hi 3/8/13 gal CM; Amphora PDA-1 w/ext

The distance between genius and insanity is measured only by success. - Elliot Carver

RyanS
Novice
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:10 pm

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by RyanS » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:47 pm

not only is it a Milkcan, it sort of looks like a milking machine. :D

OlympicMtDoo
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2347
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:48 am
Location: Olympic Mountains USA

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by OlympicMtDoo » Wed May 18, 2011 6:44 am

I just got my new milehi 13 gallon milk can setup and I have the instructions of how they suggest setting up the hoses and it sure looks backwards to me, They have the input comming in the top of the liebig, out the bottom, in the top of the reflux and then out the bottom and there is no mistake, they even have a video on how to hook them up. Someone please correct me if I am wrong but I'm going to do it exactly the opposite, with my input comming in the bottom of the liebig, out the top, then in the bottom of my reflux then out the top, dose this sound correct to anyone else?
Sometimes I wonder why is that Frisbee getting bigger......and then it hits me.

rad14701
Master Distiller
Posts: 20866
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:46 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by rad14701 » Wed May 18, 2011 6:54 am

OlympicMtDoo wrote:I just got my new milehi 13 gallon milk can setup and I have the instructions of how they suggest setting up the hoses and it sure looks backwards to me, They have the input comming in the top of the liebig, out the bottom, in the top of the reflux and then out the bottom and there is no mistake, they even have a video on how to hook them up. Someone please correct me if I am wrong but I'm going to do it exactly the opposite, with my input comming in the bottom of the liebig, out the top, then in the bottom of my reflux then out the top, dose this sound correct to anyone else?
I'd run both the opposite, personally... The way they have it stated you would need a water valve on the outlet side of the circuit to eliminate air in the system... For the liebig you want the coldest water to be the closest to the exit point, counter-flow... However, for the reflux condenser you don't have to be as worried so you can run the water in the bottom and out the top so the coolant doesn't siphon out at low coolant rates...

OlympicMtDoo
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2347
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:48 am
Location: Olympic Mountains USA

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by OlympicMtDoo » Wed May 18, 2011 7:09 am

Thanks Rad, I think that is a better idea too.
Sometimes I wonder why is that Frisbee getting bigger......and then it hits me.

milehidistilling
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:30 am
Location: Denver

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by milehidistilling » Thu May 19, 2011 7:46 am

It makes sense to run the water the opposite way but in my testing it works better this way. Try it both ways and let me know.

lordmango
Novice
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:27 pm

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by lordmango » Thu May 19, 2011 10:22 am

Nice looking still you got there! :D
Hope you'll get some good tasting "Holy Water" out of it :)

OlympicMtDoo
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2347
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:48 am
Location: Olympic Mountains USA

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by OlympicMtDoo » Mon May 23, 2011 7:49 am

Hi to the folks from milehi, you say that you have tested your hose hookup method and I do believe you have, so I will try it both ways but it sure seems to make more sence to feed from the bottom and exhaust from the top so the chambers stay full of water.
Sometimes I wonder why is that Frisbee getting bigger......and then it hits me.

tomgndallas
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 285
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:29 pm
Location: The Lone Star State

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by tomgndallas » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:02 pm

OlympicMtDoo wrote:Hi to the folks from milehi, you say that you have tested your hose hookup method and I do believe you have, so I will try it both ways but it sure seems to make more sence to feed from the bottom and exhaust from the top so the chambers stay full of water.

Now that you have been running your still, how has it been performing? any lessons learned for those who will be getting one of these babies soon?

OlympicMtDoo
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2347
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:48 am
Location: Olympic Mountains USA

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by OlympicMtDoo » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:57 am

Hi tomgndallas, I have run mine quite a bit now and am still happy with it, I have tried hooking up the water flow every different way I can think of and the best way is start the income at the bottom of your libig then out the top of the libig to in the bottom of the reflux and out the top at a slow trickle. Puts out a good product.
Sometimes I wonder why is that Frisbee getting bigger......and then it hits me.

Kentucky shinner
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 3017
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:04 pm
Location: Paradise? Western KY

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by Kentucky shinner » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:13 pm

RAD is right you want your water entering the bottom of the leibeg where it comes out at the top run that to your reflux condenser on the bottom and drain it out the top.
You always want your coldest water at the end of the condenser. I am sure it will work much better.
KS

heater23
Novice
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by heater23 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:59 pm

i just order the 13 gal from milehigh hoping its a good one. cant wait to get it and get started . glad to others like theres

Richamc01
Novice
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:26 pm

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by Richamc01 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:09 pm

Don't mean to resurrect a dead thread, but I was doing some searching around and stumbled across it. I have the same still the OP has, the milehi 8 gal. Ive ran it several times as a pot still but this is my first attempt at using the reflux collar. I've been having issues when trying to run the reflux collar. I added my distillate, packed the column with rachen rings and copper mesh and turned on the heat. Also started the pump for my condensers.

After doing some more reading, I do believe I had my condensers running in the wrong order I was coming in the very top of the reflux collar out of that into the top of the collection condenser and then outputting into my reservoir.

I was keeping an eye on my temperature just since this is my first reflux run. The temp got up to 75.6 F and stayed there for a very long time. Probably about 30 minutes. Finally after an hour resting around 76F, I turned up the heat. It slowly rose to about 90F and stayed there for about 30 minutes. It then shot up to 160F and the drips began. The temp then fell back down to about 90 and kept slowly falling.

Finally I unplugged the pump that was providing the water for the condensers. The temp rose and distillate began to come out quickly. I plugged the pump back in and the temp dropped and the distillate stopped flowing. I re routed the tubing and took the reflux collar out of the equation. Since then, I have been slowly collecting distillate at a normal rate and the temp continues to rise slowly as it should.

My question: was it just that I was running the condensers in the wrong order? Should I have kept waiting? I feel like waiting 2 hours is plenty long. What did I do wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

User avatar
DAD300
Master Distiller
Posts: 2778
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:46 am
Location: Southern U.S.

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by DAD300 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:08 pm

That can should heat up in 30-45 minutes and be producing.

You had too much cooling in the reflux condenser. No vapor could get past it. You need to temper the water going to the reflux condenser or have a valve to reduce the flow.

A reason for running bottom to top, is that the cooling water to the reflux condenser gets tempered by the product condenser. Or you can set a valve as discussed above to control each separately.

There are threads here about CM control and mods...
CCVM http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... d#p7104768" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
Ethyl Carbamate Docs viewtopic.php?f=6&t=55219&p=7309262&hil ... e#p7309262
DSP-AR-20005

Roosterbrew
Novice
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:08 pm

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by Roosterbrew » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:40 pm

So I just recently purchased this still and having quite a few problems
running it. I'm having problems with getting spirit to come out the
condenser I have tried hoses another different ways and I have tried
running the column with the copper mesh and the ceramic stuff and also with
nothing in it for some reason nothing is coming out besides 1drip per
minute the temperature is staying around 170 to 180 degrees. My intake
water is running below 50 degrees I can't seem to figure out why I can't
get spirit to come out the condenser if anyone can help a new guy with this
would be much appreciated. In my first run today it took 4 hours to get 6
ounces of spirits so if anyone can help me figure out how to get spirit to
come out at a better rate that would be wonderful

BoomTown
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1328
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:41 am
Location: Virgina

Re: Mile Hi 8 gallon Milkcan still

Post by BoomTown » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:59 pm

Roosterbrew wrote:So I just recently purchased this still and having quite a few problems
running it. I'm having problems with getting spirit to come out the
condenser I have tried hoses another different ways and I have tried
running the column with the copper mesh and the ceramic stuff and also with
nothing in it for some reason nothing is coming out besides 1drip per
minute the temperature is staying around 170 to 180 degrees. My intake
water is running below 50 degrees I can't seem to figure out why I can't
get spirit to come out the condenser if anyone can help a new guy with this
would be much appreciated. In my first run today it took 4 hours to get 6
ounces of spirits so if anyone can help me figure out how to get spirit to
come out at a better rate that would be wonderful
That picture is so pretty, I nearly fell in love. But....how much can she make? Keep the temps down, and the ABV of the mash up, and report back after 6 cycles.
Your possible friend,
Boom
“…Let’s do this one more time....”

Post Reply