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Antique Pot still

These are simple stills with no column. Doublers and puke boxes are allowed.

Antique Pot still

Postby Bushman » Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:53 am

I am in the mountains currently enjoying Oktoberfest at a Bavarian town in our state. Yesterday I went to an antique store and found the following pot still for $250.00

image.jpg


It said that it came with a condenser coil but I never saw one. Then the worker called the person that had the display as there are a lot of different vendors. The following picture shows the condenser coil. I propped the door open with an anvil I found as it was spring loaded. What you can't see in the next picture on the back side is a water in-water out. A vapor in product out as it has a double coil.

image.jpg


The next picture is a close up and you can see there was a burner at the bottom. I since found that it is a converted gas heater. Pretty cleaver, but I think it is missing a tube as from the lyne arm it looks to have a compression fitting and the attachment to the still is screwed in like a garden hose. My other concern and it's not because I would run it but only use it as a display is the double coil. I am not sure if it had been used as a still that the water coil wrapped around the inner vapor coil would have cooled it enough to actually condense.

image.jpg


Any thoughts?
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Re: Antique Pot still

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:19 am

I agree with you Bushman. I don't see how either of those coils are going to be cooled enough to condense anything. Maybe if that spring-loaded door was watertight, but I don't see that happening.

My friend who is starting up the legal distillery bought a somewhat similar still in an antique store decades ago. It was built on an old oval copper wash boiler, and used a wooden barrel and coil for a flake stand. I figure it was probably built during prohibition.

At my insistence, she tested the solder joints, and sure as hell, they were full of lead. I'll get some pictures for this thread.
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Re: Antique Pot still

Postby WVshiner » Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:20 am

Bushman, I'm seeing a chimney stack I'll go out on a limb and say it's an early alcohol/kerosene fired domestic coil/hot water heater as I can see fittings on the side for water in/ water out.

JMHO, Sir.
You learn a thing a day, you store up smart. Festus Haggen
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Re: Antique Pot still

Postby Bushman » Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:34 am

WV, that was my thoughts looking at the bottom it looks like what we would see on todays propane cookers for heat.
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Re: Antique Pot still

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:46 am

That makes better sense, Shiner. Probably just another example of an antiques dealer pairing a probable still with some copper twirly thang that no tourist would understand anyway.
Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller http://www.kelleybarts.com/zymurgy-bob- ... e-spirits/

You can make whisky in a reflux still, you can make vodka in a potstill,
and you can eat chicken noodle soup with a crescent wrench. But...
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Re: Antique Pot still

Postby just sayin' » Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:39 pm

Natural gas fired side arm water heater?
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Re: Antique Pot still

Postby just sayin' » Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:06 pm

Bushman, did you buy it?
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Re: Antique Pot still

Postby Bushman » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:58 pm

No, the coil wasn't authentic and I can buy an antique still for less than that. Enough input on several forums convinced me and I never thought the coil would ever work the way it was. I never wanted it for use but wanted it authentically set-up to show how it would have worked had it been in use.
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Re: Antique Pot still

Postby just sayin' » Mon May 01, 2017 9:33 pm

The coil still looks exactly like the side arm water heater in my Grandma's basement in the late 1950's. Hard water in our area plugged up direct fired coils frequently. My great uncle cleaned the limestone deposits from this style coil with muratic/hydrochloric acid.
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Re: Antique Pot still

Postby Kareltje » Tue May 02, 2017 9:02 am

Nice looking thing, but $ 250??
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