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small scale submarine/ black pot still...

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

Re: small scale submarine/ black pot still...

Postby myles » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:47 am

Don't get me wrong folks I am not knocking the idea of a wood boiler at all. I toyed with the idea of using a big wine barrel as a boiler but it was going to be heavy, and would need to be kept full of water when not in use.

ArcticShine all I meant with the crack about glue, was that I think you could get a good seal between copper and wood with a compression joint, and no form of sealant at all. I bet you a cooper could make a wood barrel with a copper bottom. After all they already make them with glass bottoms as display kegs.

For the home builder getting the wood sides strong enough to cope with compression of fitting the copper bottom might be a challenge. For them it might be practical to build the entire boiler in wood so it is water tight, and just use copper cladding to stop the bottom actually burning.

I still like the idea of a wood boiler, but I would go down a slightly different route. Limmit the copper to a coil inside the boiler and heat with steam or boiling water. Just like this but smaller. (I think this is coil heated and not directly fired)

Image

Image

Used wine barrels can be picked up fairly cheaply so this is a viable option in my opinion, for those that wish to try.
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Re: small scale submarine/ black pot still...

Postby punkin » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:08 pm

the pure drop wrote:To add to that, I have the copper and the wood locally. But do not have silver solder our the proper brazing/soldering tools locally, and shipping to where I am would be cost-prohibitive. This is why I fell on the submarine idea when I saw it.



You're going to have to silver solder at some point whether you like it or not.
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Re: small scale submarine/ black pot still...

Postby the pure drop » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:36 am

Pumpkin you may be right, but I think it's possible to build this thing without soldering. I guess some experimenting is in order. I've got a few ideas kicking around, when I get some time I'll have to give it a try. I'll wait to post pics until after I get a favorable result (if I get one lol)
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Re: small scale submarine/ black pot still...

Postby hard times » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:39 am

I reckon you could silicon alot of things together,
maybe use paste for the rest if your parts are
somewhat close in tolerance.
Will be interesting to see! :D
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Re: small scale submarine/ black pot still...

Postby Rebel_Yell » Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:18 am

Learning to solder is not that difficult. Punkin and I have learned how.. :lol:
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Re: small scale submarine/ black pot still...

Postby punkin » Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:19 am

You still have column and condensor to build i mean. if solder and soldering gear is just too hard/expensive to obtain where you live, you may find yourself in trouble.


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Re: small scale submarine/ black pot still...

Postby Dan P. » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:21 pm

As has probably already been said; I think the "submarine" still was designed with economy in mind. As such, it is/was an awesome idea for a commercial enterprise. I believe that the metal sheet that goes round/underneath it was usually not even copper but mild steel, galvanised or otherwise, or maybe zinc sheet. Making it watertight might be a problem. I would definitely not use epoxy to seal it. There are lots of different epoxies, but most seem to be fairly nasty in their content. Some timber I would also definitely avoid.
Where are you located? Here in the UK you can very easily get copper water boilers, which many on this and other sites have used successfully. You can also get 100 liter SS stockpots for not that much money.
As has also already been said; there are historical examples of rather more respectable wooden stills with copper bottoms. The one that usually comes up is the one used by Pusser's Rum. I think someone also posted some pics of wooden Japanese stills?
Best of luck with you project,
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Re: small scale submarine/ black pot still...

Postby the pure drop » Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:05 pm

Funny you should mention the need to learn how to solder. It's not my lack of skill that prohibits me from soldering. I am certified to weld both pipe and plate, and along the way have picked some brazing skills of course...so I'm sure the learning curve won't be so steep. As can be surmised from my previous posts, it's the supplies that are extremely hard to get locally were I am, and getting things shipped here is some kind of logistical nightmare so I don't even try anymore. I have a condenser...it's a copper worm in a bucket. It plugs snugly into the top of my still and is sealed with good ol fashioned flour paste and seems to work just fine for all the little five gallon batches I've been running. A cap for this submarine could be made from a small wooden barrel as I've seen done, and the llyne arm made from a simple copper pipe. Anyway, it's just an idea...an exercise in experimentation.
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Re: small scale submarine/ black pot still...

Postby kenfyoozed » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:11 pm

Rebel_Yell wrote:Learning to solder is not that difficult. Punkin and I have learned how.. :lol:


Yes it is! Have you seen this?
download/file.php?id=5339
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Re: small scale submarine/ black pot still...

Postby ArcticShine » Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:16 pm

Pure Drop: dont think i'm trying to knock your experiment down,please. I'm always interested to see all types of stills. Some pretty, ingenius and ones that just make you scratch your head available on youtube. Where in the world are you anyway? I'm purdy isolated here where i live.

myles, wild pics of the wood stills :8) looks massive. I am presuming the containers in front of the still and condensor are the collection vessels?

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Re: small scale submarine/ black pot still...

Postby punkin » Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:54 am

the pure drop wrote:To add to that, I have the copper and the wood locally. But do not have silver solder our the proper brazing/soldering tools locally, and shipping to where I am would be cost-prohibitive. This is why I fell on the submarine idea when I saw it.



This is what i'm talking about.

i f you want to build it cause you want to build it, then go right ahead.
But if you want to build it cause you live in a place so isolated that there is no-one there with brazing/soldering tools locally and it would be too expensive to ship to where you are...

I suggest they probably don't want you distilling on the space station anyway :wink:
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Re: small scale submarine/ black pot still...

Postby the pure drop » Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:45 pm

Nice one pumkin lol. Luckily where I am is one place where home distillation for personal use is not illegal. Unfortunately there just are not many people doing it. Maybe it's because it's too much work....who knows? At any rate, I saw these and wondered if anyone had any actual physical hands-on experience with one (preferably on a much smaller scale). But I guess theoretical ideas based on similar experiences are about as close as I will get and I'm ok with that. I may have to just stick with my little 5 gallon still until I can back to the US. Anyway, I appreciate everyone's input and experiences and thoughts on the matter. I'm going to give this a crack and I'll post pics and experiences either way....success or disaster lol.
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Re: small scale submarine/ black pot still...

Postby myles » Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:48 pm

ArcticShine wrote:myles, wild pics of the wood stills :8) looks massive. I am presuming the containers in front of the still and condensor are the collection vessels?

Arctic


Shochu still. The containers in the front are used for ageing. Never tasted the stuff but I do like the wood boiler. I have been interested ever since I heard about Pussers rum!!
I have to admit that I am dubious about the 'practicality' of a wood boiler in the smaller sizes, but the concept does have its attractions.

I honestly think that anything smaller than a 200 litre plus barrel will be more trouble than it is worth. Too big for me at the moment. :)
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Re: small scale submarine/ black pot still...

Postby the pure drop » Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:47 pm

Myles, you are absolutely right that the large scale versions of these were made to distill low quality whiskey in large amounts. But the same could be said for a large traditional copper pot still, could it not? And I may be off the mark here...but whats wrong with doing a run, then "just adding sugar" and running again? I doubt that many people here would tongue lash me for that...seeing as how you just basically described the fundamental process behind the venerable UJSSM recipe that many of us use and love. All I'm saying, is that I know they have a bad rap because of the way they were used, but why not use it the right way, for smaller personal batches? Whats three saying....guns dont kill people.....?
From my understanding, a lot of the bad reputation also comes from the poor materials they were made from to cut costs. Many were nailed together using common galvanized nails and tin or galvanized sheet metal. And yes, from my reading I have noted that they were typically made to hold about 800 gallons. I plan to make this from oak, copper and possibly stainless steel screws...using cork possibly as a gasket. Still working out a way to make the metal to wood seem tight
without introducing harmful materials.
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Re: small scale submarine/ black pot still...

Postby the pure drop » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:35 pm

...also planning to make this still between 15 to 20 gallons, not 800 lol. I had a thought on how to make a tight seem without even using screws. I will be using 1 3/4 inch thick wood for the sides. I could connect a bunch of metal house clamps together until I get a clamp that is long enough to fit around the wooden side. Then I could route a channel along the edge of the wood, cut a cork gasket to fit the channel, then lay the gasket into the channel, place that end of the copper sheet over the edge of the wooden side, covering the channel, then place the hose clamp over this and tighten it down until it's secure and the copper is starting to sink into the routed channel. Do that on both sides. Still have to work out a way for the top.
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