Commercially made still recommendations?

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Commercially made still recommendations?

Postby YSO191 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:13 am

I am an experienced home brewer, but have no experience with distilling. I am not interested in building my own still, so I am here soliciting your advice on the best quality-to-price ratio still that is commonly available. I am primarily interested in whiskeys.

In case it matters, I have a 15 gallon mash tun, 15.5 gallon Hot Liquor tank, 15 gallon boil kettle, and 7 gallon fermenters, as well as a temperature controlled fermentation chamber. I use 100% RO water to brew with and use Bru'n water software to get the mash water to the right pH as well as tailor it to the style of beer.

Thanks in advance,

Steve
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Re: Commercially made still recommendations?

Postby Still Life » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:30 am

It's like asking "what's the best mid-priced car?"
There is no secret company handing out great dollar-to-copper deals.

•For whiskey, you can make a fine drink with a simple pot still.
•You want as much copper in the construction as you can get ---at least the lyne arm and condenser.
•Stick with a liebig over a worm condenser (you'll need a water pump).
•Stay away from the e-bay "all-in-1" Chinese stills like this.
•A 5-gallon sized boiler is considered "small".

Expect to pay a few hundred bucks. Google Moonshine Stills or Alcohol Stills, and for the most part, reputable dealers will come up.

Shop around with these suggestions in mind, and come back with a "How's this one look?" type of thread.

I'm sure others will have much more to say on the matter, but this should get you started.
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Re: Commercially made still recommendations?

Postby YSO191 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:57 am

Thank you. I'll follow your advice.

Steve
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Re: Commercially made still recommendations?

Postby Truckinbutch » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:42 pm

Still Life gave you good advice as far as it went on purchasing a readymade unit .
An alternative would be to find a couple of legal used kegs and a fabricator to do the plumbing on a $per hour basis . That will give you more bang for your buck in size , quality , and construction .
This is basicaly building a tri-clamp connection from the keg to a still head /condenser and introducing a heat source . Amenities like drains and fill plugs , plumbing in a thumper , and such can be added in if you wish . You are dealing directly with your craftsman to get exactly what you want and he is feeding his family , in part , to satisfy your desire .
That's in direct contrast to feeding 5 families in the food chain in a purchase from an online vendor who may , or likely not , provide a product of the size and quality you desire .
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Re: Commercially made still recommendations?

Postby DAD300 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:08 am

You're already using kegs and unaltered kegs work fine.

If you must, drill a cork sized hole in the top for fill and siphon. You can even add a no weld drain to the side. The keg top already fits to a 2" triclamp.

Commercial "milk cans" are cool if you've got the dough.
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Re: Commercially made still recommendations?

Postby Pikey » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:12 am

Generally speaking I think most of the "affordabel ones fall into the category of "Coolant management stills" and have a separate "Pot head" and a separate "boiler". They run around 25 litres, and can just about cope with what we do. Personally i am not a fan of "Coolant management" except when the principles are applied to some lovely looking "Flutes" !

On another thread Blackamoor did some research and came up with one from Poland which looked quite nice, and affordable. I think this is the kind of proactive approach being recommended here.

http://ww.homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=67176

Pesonally, I'd be looking at those lovely boilers of youra and thinking about adapting one of the lids to take a Bokakob column, even if I had to find a plumber to make me one ! :wink:
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Re: Commercially made still recommendations?

Postby Antler24 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:31 pm

The guys are giving solid advise, I'll just add something. I'm running a 15g keg and 7.5g thumper and I wouldn't want to run a smaller still, and I'm not a big drinker. If your an average drinker and might be giving some to close family or friends, I suggest going big or you'll need to be running alot to keep up.
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