Pressure cooker still

Moderator: Site Moderator

Post Reply
SGB
Bootlegger
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:21 am

Pressure cooker still

Post by SGB » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:17 am

Hello, I live on an island and with limited materials. I have a pressure cooker and some copper pipe from an old air conditioner . The copper pipe is just big enough to fit over the spout on the pressure cooker and about 3 meter long. As a test I ran water through it today to see if it would work . It did drip out some of the water but it also looked as though the pot was building up pressure to do so although even though not as much as when cooking food it still was worrisome . Because of my location it is not at all possible to mail order anything beyond using mud and bamboo so using the pressure cooker seemed an easy still build to do. As a total newbie in searching through the forums here I have seen some that say pressure cookers are dangerous, that the boiler should not have or at least very little pressure as well as the rubber lid gasket.
Has anyone successfully used a pressure cooker here?

User avatar
Corsaire
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1085
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:20 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by Corsaire » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:23 am

Any pictures?
Is that spout a valve? Perhaps you can take the valve stem out.
What's the cooker made of, stainless or aluminium?
Ditch the gasket, see if you can use flour paste as an alternative
A stainless steel cooking pot sounds like a better solution.

SGB
Bootlegger
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:21 am

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by SGB » Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:05 am

Thank you. It is a stainless steel pressure cooker. The spout is the same part that the pressure weight would rest upon. Trying to find a large Stainless Steel pot may not be so easy. Most pots are aluminium here.

User avatar
Bushman
Global moderator
Posts: 15334
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by Bushman » Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:41 am

Research on the forum using a pressure cooker as a boiler. There are a lot of suggestions for safety and modifications you should be aware of. Good luck!

SGB
Bootlegger
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:21 am

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by SGB » Thu Apr 09, 2020 11:04 pm

OK I ditched the pressure cooker because I need it for cooking
and will try this. I hope it doesn't end up in the what not to build category
IMG_20200410_145705.jpg

User avatar
still_stirrin
Master Distiller
Posts: 8207
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:01 am
Location: where the buffalo roam, and the deer & antelope play

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by still_stirrin » Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:23 am

SGB,

The stock pot looks fine.

But the tubing looks too small (diameter). Vapor velocity will choke the flow much like blowing through a long, small ID hose...you can only pass the vapor (mass flow) a limited flow rate. And with the worm causing the collapse of vapor (condensation), you’ll have severe problems with “huffing and puffing”. It will be difficult to adjust the vapor production for smooth flow at the spout.

I suggest using tubing with 10mm to 12mm ID (1/2”) instead.

Also, make sure that the worm spiral coils consistently “downhill”. You certainly don’t want liquid pooling inside the worm/vapor tube, as it can cause a “plug” in the flow. That can create a pressure build up in the boiler.
ss
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
My LM/VM & Potstill: My build thread
My Cadco hotplate modification thread: Hotplate Build
My stock pot gin still: stock pot potstill
My 5-grain Bourbon recipe: Special K

User avatar
Yummyrum
Global moderator
Posts: 3513
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:23 am
Location: Mid North Coast Aussie

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by Yummyrum » Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:35 pm

:esurprised: Classic :ebiggrin:
046824EB-DEEA-422A-9FA3-E9B075C44155.jpeg

stillanoob
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 392
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:15 am

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by stillanoob » Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:38 pm

SJB, the world needs more people like you. I would be honored to share a drink with you. Great job doing what ya had to do to make a drop.

Make sure to tell us about what yer cooking and how it comes out.

SGB
Bootlegger
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:21 am

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by SGB » Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:49 pm

still_stirrin wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:23 am
SGB,

The stock pot looks fine.

But the tubing looks too small (diameter). Vapor velocity will choke the flow much like blowing through a long, small ID hose...you can only pass the vapor (mass flow) a limited flow rate. And with the worm causing the collapse of vapor (condensation), you’ll have severe problems with “huffing and puffing”. It will be difficult to adjust the vapor production for smooth flow at the spout.

I suggest using tubing with 10mm to 12mm ID (1/2”) instead.

Also, make sure that the worm spiral coils consistently “downhill”. You certainly don’t want liquid pooling inside the worm/vapor tube, as it can cause a “plug” in the flow. That can create a pressure build up in the boiler.
ss
Thank you, I will look for that size, I'm not sure though if I will be able to find it. Most copper pipe size I have seen is either brake line size or refrigerant (small) . The size of the worm tube is 3/8 or about 8 or 9 mm ID and the whole length of the pipe from pot to cup is about 3 meter /10ft. ....I can get more
Should I position the cooker/ boiler higher than the condensation cooler to get a down hill flow. ?
Last edited by SGB on Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 8876
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by NZChris » Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:26 pm

Because you are in the tropics you shouldn't have problems in the rising section of the pipe, but if you do you will hear gurgling. Wrapping that section should fix that.

The biggest problem with small pipe and a small still is the potential for blockage. Don't put anything in the still that is large enough to block the pipe, especially in a still made out of a pressure cooker. If you have a blockage, the pressure needs to pop the lid off easily at low pressure to keep you safe.

SGB
Bootlegger
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:21 am

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by SGB » Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:47 am

NZChris wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:26 pm
Because you are in the tropics you shouldn't have problems in the rising section of the pipe, but if you do you will hear gurgling. Wrapping that section should fix that.

The biggest problem with small pipe and a small still is the potential for blockage. Don't put anything in the still that is large enough to block the pipe, especially in a still made out of a pressure cooker. If you have a blockage, the pressure needs to pop the lid off easily at low pressure to keep you safe.

Thank you , I ditched the pressure cooker and will use an old stainless pot and lid I had for cooking rice. (I actually need the pressure cooker for cooking, AND when I did a test run with water it just looked way too dangerous in that if the pressure increased too much the whole thing would blow up.
I have some rice that's been fermenting for about a week and some bananas too.
Bananas I have in abundance for free that is why I want to use them. They usually sit around, turn black and end up in the compost. I took the over ripe black bananas peels and all and mushed them by hand in a pot on the stove to warm them before adding the yeast. The bananas have been fermenting with some local yeast balls for a couple days and they were black and already smelling alcoholic before mixing. I guess I'll let everything go a little longer and later give it a try( not sure how long at all but today the mixture has separated with the clear bubbling liquid below )
And I will definitely make sure to strain everything as clean as possible before putting it in the pot boiler.
Thank you everybody and homedistiller for all your help
Be safe SGB
( btw, what do you mean by wrapping that section?)

User avatar
Yummyrum
Global moderator
Posts: 3513
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:23 am
Location: Mid North Coast Aussie

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by Yummyrum » Sat Apr 11, 2020 3:19 pm

This is the reason why you should seriously try to upsize that copper . If you were just running a pure sugar wash, I’d not be so worried .

But I know you want to do the Shochu with sweet potato .
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=47369#p7199017

SGB
Bootlegger
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:21 am

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by SGB » Sun Apr 12, 2020 11:53 pm

Yummyrum wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 3:19 pm
This is the reason why you should seriously try to upsize that copper . If you were just running a pure sugar wash, I’d not be so worried .

But I know you want to do the Shochu with sweet potato .
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=47369#p7199017
Yes, it's true. The rice wine I'm making now, it's possible to save in the fridge until I have enough to distill or do I need to marathon rice cooking several kilos at once as I have read others doing?
As for the bananas, I looked at them today and the top had started molding, so I guess I did something wrong.
The yeast I have is rice yeast, maybe should use bread yeast.
What I'm doing with the rice is basic local style, cook a kilo, spread it out to cool, crush 3-4 yeast balls ,put it into Tupperware containers after about 10 days strain the liquid and save for later and repeat.
The bananas, about kilo black bananas with peals to liter warm water ratio and 3-4 yeast balls and put into Tupperware container for 4-5 days I guess.
I don't touch or stir the bananas or rice but do keep the corner of the lid cracked to let out any pressure build up.
My plan was to save the liquid from each until I have enough to distillation in the pot boiler
I hope I'm on the right track.
I got a ton of bananas so I will try again, they started off smelling so good but then smelled like palm tree wine

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 8876
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by NZChris » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:04 am

Bread yeast and rice 'yeast' are very different, so don't get confused.

There is also this starter that may be helpful, but not many here have tried it yet.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=76531

SGB
Bootlegger
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:21 am

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by SGB » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:35 am

NZChris wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:04 am
Bread yeast and rice 'yeast' are very different, so don't get confused.

There is also this starter that may be helpful, but not many here have tried it yet.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=76531
Yes, lot of Angel yeast products at the central city. I actually have been using Angel yeast for baking bread for years, just never looked for the wine pack before but I'm sure it must be there because there are all sorts of Angel brand yeasts and enhancers . Next time I go down there I will look for the wine pack. The local yeast balls is what everyone uses here, for fermented rice packets, the yeast balls are made from rice and some other plant elements . ( being, rice, garlic, chili pepper, white pepper, and some herbs)

thank you very much for your time and interest in regards to helpful information and links. It is greatly appreciated, thank you again, SGB

cob
Distiller
Posts: 2105
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:38 pm
Location: little puffs of dust where my feet used to be

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by cob » Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:10 pm

please be aware of your local laws on your dry island, there are some countries

that make a practice of removing body parts for distilling in a dry country
be water my friend

User avatar
Dyre
Novice
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 09, 2020 11:51 pm
Location: Philippines

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by Dyre » Sun May 10, 2020 1:06 am

Bananas seams to have some uniqueness when fermented. I haven't tried this yet, but it on my list and I thought SGB may find it useful.
https://moonshiners.club/banana-moonshine-recipe/

Royco
Bootlegger
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:00 am
Location: Western Cape, South Africa

Re: Pressure cooker still

Post by Royco » Thu May 28, 2020 11:52 pm

STILL.jpeg
Hi SGB I stumbled upon this rather late, but can say I had a very similar startup with limited access to materials due to lockdown. My pressure cooker setup is very similar to your pot rig and it works fine, just a bit small (11 liters, ie max 8 liter wash).
Could only get 3/8"tubing and used the full length, 6m. It is actually much longer than needed as the tube is cold within the first meter.
Almost ready now with a 50L tea urn conversion with Liebig condenser using 1/2" vapour tube. To compare what you are doing here is a pic

Post Reply