• Advertisement

Home made alembic on the cheap

Natural materials such as cotton and natural rawhide fit here. But it could be dough or water too.

Home made alembic on the cheap

Postby adama » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:27 am

Went to the scrap metal yard today.
Picked up two copper boilers and a copper pot plant for $70.00.
Alembic starter kit.jpg
beginnings of a suburban alembic?
Alembic starter kit.jpg (206.91 KiB) Viewed 10793 times

I'll try to get these old clothes boiler TIG'd together ~ they'd hold about 50L each.
(may silver solder or braise if I can't get a TIG dude).

I reckon the pot plant is an 'Onion of sorts' and with a 4" triclover in the top, it might be the start of a decent stripping boiler.
A long funnel from Fester would just about finish it off.
User avatar
adama
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Terror Australis - South

Re: Home made alembic on the cheap

Postby Bootlegger67 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:14 am

Good find on the boilers.With the flange on them would be perfect for some copper rivets,maybe.Is the bowl pure copper?I see alot of those that are copper coated tin or aluminum. :8)
User avatar
Bootlegger67
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:34 pm
Location: Heart of Dixie USA

Re: Home made alembic on the cheap

Postby punkin » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:28 pm

A bloke gave me two of those to build my first still. Once i checked out the soldering and the amount of work it was to remove and replace it, i gave em back. Looks like soft solder and ya wouldn't know what's in it.
Image

Identified Shit Stirrer, upgraded to sociopath.

To the fashionable nationalists



http://www.stilldragon.com.au for all your distilling needs in Australia and New Zealand
User avatar
punkin
 
Posts: 11353
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:09 pm
Location: Northern NSW Orstrailya

Re: Home made alembic on the cheap

Postby vb » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:17 pm

n couple days bath in a mild citric acid solution should clean every thing up nicely and reveal any solder you might be worried about.
those two "buckets" look to be formed from single piece, that would be fantastic starting place for a stove top alembic.
paired with a simple worm in bucket, you'll make some very fine Gin or other such macerated spirits.

been dreaming of a similar sized alembic for just such projects.
See You Next Tuesday.
User avatar
vb
 
Posts: 3868
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:38 pm
Location: True North Strong and Free
Equipment type: yes, and lots of it

Re: Home made alembic on the cheap

Postby myles » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:07 pm

The 2 big boilers look nice but I would be carefull about using the small planter. If it is anything like the one I am using it will turn out to be a PITA.

You might be lucky but mine is very thin and bends. Also there are some bits that just don't want to take solder for some reason.

I like the big ones though. :)
User avatar
myles
 
Posts: 2690
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:05 pm
Location: Remote in the Heather
Equipment type: Hybrid copper / stainless 35 litre pot still, with 2" reflux column option. Propylene glycol double boiler. 160 litre HDPE fermenters and mash tun.
All copper pot still "Rosie" in development.

Re: Home made alembic on the cheap

Postby Harry » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:24 pm

quote="Violentblue"]those two "buckets" look to be formed from single piece, that would be fantastic starting place for a stove top alembic.[/quote]

100 litres? Need a bloody big strong stovetop. :D
User avatar
Harry
 
Posts: 2428
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Paradise aka Cairns Qld Australia
Equipment type: 25 Lt 1500W elec. boiler, 2" x 40" packed column VM, x-flow O/head HX, crimp-path Liebig HX, VM proportioning valve, all in copper.
Various experimental gear.

Re: Home made alembic on the cheap

Postby Decoy » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:32 pm

:8) they work well, i wouldnt weld it, just leave it as a 50L pot

there spun out of a single sheet of copper

all the ones i found had a bit of solder on the drain tube just cut it out and mount a SS 2" ferule to it.

some are tinned on the inside, that will etch off after 2 or 3 uses, it wont affect the product.

i made a stainles cylinder, i reinforced the top and bottom with 20x3mm flatbar then welded legs to it and mounts for a gas burner.
works beautifull
Boiler01.jpg
Boiler01.jpg (171.73 KiB) Viewed 10633 times
Cheers
Decoy..

"Artisan Distiller" The art of making your own distillation apparatus for the
purpose of home distillation of spirits alcohol or ethanol for personal use.
User avatar
Decoy
 
Posts: 779
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:51 am

Re: Home made alembic on the cheap

Postby adama » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:17 pm

That looks beautiful Decoy.

There is no solder on anything - I simply placed one tub over the other as an "example" of what it would look like; likewise I sat the pot plant on top.

The tub on the bottom has no drain hole and is just a big bucket; it's not tinned at all.
The other tub has a drain hole and it does appear to be tinned. I have a lead testing kit somewhere so I may as well find 'n' apply it just to be sure all is okay.

As Decoy said, I'll cut out the drain pipe anyway and fit the Pot Plant; which in turn will get the 4" triclover treatment. The funnel may take some time to achieve so I may get a 4" blank plate and have a 2 inch ferrule welded in place . (I have a some 2 inch s/s pipe coming with a 2 inch ferrule on either end- it's a J shape pipe - it's 1200mm tall and 'reaches' over to 700mm).

The pot plant is very rigid ~ I scratched the bottom with a rasp and can only see copper - a strong magnet just falls off.

The whole lot is too big for the kitchen stove top but fine for the shed - My ideal would be a stylish 120L copper alembic but hey, I'm tight and I know it.

Thanks for the replies everyone.
User avatar
adama
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Terror Australis - South

Re: Home made alembic on the cheap

Postby Decoy » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:29 pm

dont bother with the copper pot

just cut a hole to suit a 2" or 3" triclover ferule

here is a pic of one i did with 3" ferule bolted to the top

IMG_0839s.jpg
IMG_0839s.jpg (182.14 KiB) Viewed 10587 times
Cheers
Decoy..

"Artisan Distiller" The art of making your own distillation apparatus for the
purpose of home distillation of spirits alcohol or ethanol for personal use.
User avatar
Decoy
 
Posts: 779
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:51 am

Re: Home made alembic on the cheap

Postby adama » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:40 am

Yes you are right Decoy - the small copper pot isn't worth the hassle; and I think it looks a little tizzy.

I really like the s/s cylinder 'addition' you made to the tub; are they permanently joined or held together with a barrel clamp of sorts?
How do you insulate that boiler; throw a blanket around it or something?

I may have to get a price on having a cylinder made that will give me 120L all up.
(I usually do a couple of 45L ferments at a time.)

Regards
User avatar
adama
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Terror Australis - South

Re: Home made alembic on the cheap

Postby Decoy » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:35 am

it all comes apart its not bolted anywhere

the boiler sits inside the stainless cylinder the other half just sits on top
i use a silicon rubber gasket i molded myself to suit
and it all clips down using a spring and hook pictured below
spring clip.JPG
spring clip.JPG (150.98 KiB) Viewed 10503 times

very simple

the whole thing is heated with gas, the outer stainles cylinder acts as a heat jacket traping the hot gas around the boiler.
Cheers
Decoy..

"Artisan Distiller" The art of making your own distillation apparatus for the
purpose of home distillation of spirits alcohol or ethanol for personal use.
User avatar
Decoy
 
Posts: 779
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:51 am

Re: Home made alembic on the cheap

Postby The Baker » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:44 am

punkin wrote:A bloke gave me two of those to build my first still. Once i checked out the soldering and the amount of work it was to remove and replace it, i gave em back. Looks like soft solder and ya wouldn't know what's in it.


SOLDER?
Unless they have been repaired (?) there IS no solder, the copper is formed into that shape.
I have four of them at home (that I got for nothing) that I might do something with, one day.
The Baker
 
Posts: 249
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:30 pm
Location: Victoria, Australia
Equipment type: Pot still

Re: Home made alembic on the cheap

Postby adama » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:15 pm

Picked up another spun copper pot from the scrap yard ($28) and this is how I'll put them together.
I'm not having much luck getting someone to TIG this together; not that I've looked too hard to find someone.
The welding-folk I know seem much happier to go with silver solder, so I guess that's how I'll end up going.
mark2_text.jpg
mark2_text.jpg (142.24 KiB) Viewed 10166 times

Pot 1, 2 and 3 will be silver soldered together.
With the lid I'll try for a homemade seal the same way as Decoy has done.
With a removable lid (good for cleaning access) I reckon the 4inch is redundant; I have a couple of great 2inch stripping heads, one made from copper and the other s/s going to a huge shotgun condensor.

One thing about this "design" is that the boiler stands 1200 mm tall; with the stripping head attached I'll use most of the shed height.
As I do current with my boiler, I'll 'heated it with gas and make up an outer cylinder to act as a heat jacket'

I should sell the 4" ferrule set on ebay. :cry:
User avatar
adama
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Terror Australis - South

Re: Home made alembic on the cheap

Postby vb » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:50 pm

pot#3 and the lid together resemble the top of a traditional Cognac still. :8) think you need a bigger main boiler for it to be in proportion :wink:
See You Next Tuesday.
User avatar
vb
 
Posts: 3868
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:38 pm
Location: True North Strong and Free
Equipment type: yes, and lots of it

Re: Home made alembic on the cheap

Postby adama » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:47 pm

Yes VB; the top is out of proportion . . . . certainly when compared to the classic design.
This configuration would hold at least about 150 liters (40 gallons) ~ I've only ever to aspired to go to 120L (30 gallons) i.e. 3x ferments for me.
Another point that's crossed my mind is, the bigger you make it, the harder to disguise it.

I love the curve of the lid. Do you think I should shorten #pot 3 and maybe make it narrower too while keeping the lid as wide as possible? I mean, we're talking about ascetics here aren't we . . . or is there something I'm missing?
User avatar
adama
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Terror Australis - South

Next

Return to Miscellaneous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest