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How To Build A Reflux Moonshine Still?

Do you need a column still to make moonshine?

  • To learn how to make moonshine you will first need to learn the difference between a pot still and a column/reflux still and decide which type you will use. Both a pot and column still have advantages and disadvantages and which one you decided to use largely depends on the type of liquor you are thinking of making.


How tall should a reflux column be?

An optimal height to diameter ratio is 15:1 to 20:1. If you fall much below the bottom end of this range, you may have difficulty obtaining adequate separation, resulting in lower purity distillate.

What temperature should you run a reflux still?

If, for example, 90°C / 194°F is the optimal head temperature for your reflux still column to collect alcohol, if the temperature increases during the distillation, the distiller can increase the reflux ratio and thereby increase the amount of ABV being sent over to the product condenser.

Do you make cuts with a reflux still?

A more complex still with a chamber called the ‘reflux’ condenser, where steam is filtered and some of the unwanted elements are returned to the boiling vessel. You don’t need to make ‘cuts’ on this type of still (only discarding the foreshots).

How can I speed up distillation?

Three parameters you need to boost your distillation rate

  1. The heating bath temperature. Of course, going as high as possible seems to intuitively make sense.
  2. Condenser loading and pressure. One approach to reducing the heating bath temperature without affecting the distillation rate is to adjust the pressure.
  3. Flask size.

Is a reflux still the same as a column still?

A POT still simply collects and condenses the alcohol vapors that come off the boiling mash. A REFLUX or PLATED still does multiple distillations in one single pass, by having some packing in a column between the condenser & the pot, and allowing some of the vapor to condense and trickle back down through the packing.

What is the purpose of a reflux still?

Unlike pot stills, reflux stills are designed to create higher proof with little to no flavor alcohol. Inside the still is a fractioning column that allows the reflux of liquid to help condense the rising vapor and increase the efficiency of distilling, thus increasing purity.

What is a Boka still?

The Bokakob (Boka or Bok for short) is the common name for a Dual Slant-Plate Single Column In-line Reflux Still designed by Alex Bokakob in 2001. This still is popular with many novices for its simplicity to build and operate, while being able to yield 95% ABV neutral spirits.

What controls the reflux in distillation?

Reflux in beverage distillation By controlling the temperature of the condenser, often called a dephlegmator, a reflux still may be used to ensure that higher boiling point components are returned to the flask while lighter elements are passed out to a secondary condenser.

How do you clean a reflux still?

For a thorough clean, rinse the column with a citric acid mix (2 Tbsp citric acid to 4 L of water) then flush with water 2 or 3 times to get rid of the acid. You can also unpack your column and soak your saddles in a citric acid mix before rinsing them and placing them back into the column again.

How fast should moonshine drip?

Slowly bring your temperature up to 150 °F. Once you reach 150 °F, if your setup has a condenser turn on the condensing water. Next, dial up your heat source to high until your still starts producing. Time your drips as they speed up until you reach 3 to 5 drips per second.

Can you make gin with a reflux still?

Depending on what a distiller is trying to create in his gin, he or she can use a pot still, a reflux still, or a combination of both. And there are modifications distillers can make to further hone in on their desired flavor profile.

How To Make A Reflux Still – Complete Plans To Build A Homemade Still – Learn to Moonshine

abcdefghijklmKruse, J.A. (October 2012). “Methanol and ethylene glycol intoxication.” AABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRS George A. Beauchamp and Maria Valerio (September 2016). “Prompt Recognition and Management of Toxic Alcohol Ingestion in the Emergency Department.” 18(9): 1–20.PMID27538060; abcFerri FF Emergency Medicine Practice.18(9): 1–20.PMID27538060; (2016).

The original version of this article was published on September 8, 2017.

  1. Methanol and Its Toxicology.

3.4.1, ISBN 9781118353103, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Emergency Response Safety and Health Database: Methanol (The Emergency Response Safety and Health Database: Methanol) It was archived on April 23, 2009, from the original.

  • (2009).

Permpalung N, Cheungpasitporn W, Chongnarungsin D, Hodgdon TM; Archived from the original on October 8, 2009.

A major consequence of methanol poisoning is bilateral putaminal hemorrhages.

  • It was originally published on October 5, 2011, but has since been archived.

Methanol toxicity in the monkey does not appear to be caused by formaldehyde.

“Methanol and formic acid toxicity: biochemical processes.” Biochem.

  • PMID1665561;
  • Casavant, Michael J.

Poisoning can be treated using the drug fomepizole.

107, no.

  • Brent J.

Emethylene glycol and methanol poisoning can be treated with the drug fomepizole, according to the manufacturer.

NEJMct0806112; PMID19458366; doi: 10.1056/NEJMct0806112.

  1. Voet, J.

Voet, and C.

Pratt (2008).

  1. Publisher: Wiley;
  2. Publisher: Hoboken, NJ D is for Blum (2010).

Page 231 of Penguin Books’ The Penguin Guide to the Universe (ISBN 978-1-14-311882-4); V.

According to the article, the death toll from alcohol poisoning in a Russian city has increased to 49.

  1. The original version of this article was archived on December 20, 2016, according to Wikipedia.

“Hundreds of people are killed in Iran because of a misguided idea that a poison can combat a virus,” according to the Associated Press.

The Associated Press reports on this story.

  • The Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America This document was retrieved on July 28th, 2020.

Homemade Reflux Still Plans – Step by step guide

“Methanol and ethylene glycol intoxication,” Kruse JA (October 2012). Critical Care Clinics.28(4): 661–711.doi: 10.1016/j.ccc.2012.07.002.PMID22998995; abcdefghijklmnopqrs; abcdefghijklmnopqrs; abcdefghijklmnopqrs; abcdefghijklmnopqrs; abc G.A. Beauchamp and M.Valento (September 2016). “Toxic Alcohol Ingestion: Prompt Recognition and Management in the Emergency Department,” published in the journal Emergency Medicine. Ferri FF, et al. Emergency Medicine Practice.18(9): 1–20.PMID27538060; abcFerri FF, et al (2016).

Elsevier Health Sciences.

  1. 794 ISBN 9780323448383.

Methanol and Its Toxicology p.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published an article on September 8, 2017, that was subsequently archived (22 August 2008).

  • On April 23, 2009, the original version of this article was archived.

“A sailor who is blind and confused.” BMJ 339: b3929.doi: 10.1136/bmj.b3929.PMID19793790.S2CID6367081.

Permpalung N, Cheungpasitporn W, Chongnarungsin D, Hodgdon TM; Archived from the original on 2009-10-08; (Oct 2013).

  • N Am J Med Sci.
  • 5(10): 623–4.
  • doi: 10.
  • 4103/1947-2714.
  • 120804.
  • PMC3842708.
  • PMID24350079;
  • “Methanol Poisoning Overview.
  • ” N Am J Med Sci.
  • 5(10): 623–4.
  • doi: 10.
  • 4103/1947-2714.
  • 120804.
  • PMC3842708.
  • PMID24350079;
  • “Methanol Poisoning Overview.
  • ” Antizol.

Methanol is a chemical compound that has a number of uses (CASRN 67-56-1) Archived at the Wayback Machine on December 5, 2012; McMartin KE, Martin-Amat G, Noker PE, and Tephly TR; Martin-Amat G, Noker PE, and Tephly TR (1979).


  1. “Methanol and formic acid toxicity: biochemical causes.
  2. ” 69(3): 157–63, doi: 10.
  3. 1111/j.
  4. 1600-0773.
  5. 1991.
  6. tb01290.
  7. x, PMID1665561;
  8. Casavant MJ, et al (January 2001).

The Journal of Pediatrics, vol.

170, doi: 10.1542/peds.107.1.170, PMID11134450 Brent J.

  • In the article “Fomepizole for the treatment of ethylene glycol and methanol intoxication,” it is stated that It was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (360(21): 2216–2223).



  1. Pratt (2008).

Wiley, Hoboken, New Jersey.

Blum (2010).

  • Penguin Books, New York, p.

Isachenkov is a Russian physicist (19 December 2016).

The original version of this article was archived on December 20, 2016.

  1. The Associated Press has reported this.

“FDA Updates on Hand Sanitizers Containing Methanol” (FDA Updates on Hand Sanitizers Containing Methanol) was obtained on March 27, 2020.

Materials List:

  • A 1′′ to 1′′ reducing coupling
  • A 1′′ copper tube 23 ” long (Condenser Core)
  • A 2 1/2 ” copper tube 7″ long (Column Cooling Tubes)
  • A 4 – 112″ Copper Tube 2 1/2 ” long
  • A 112″ Elbow
  • A 1 – 112″ to 1′′ reducing coupling
  • A 2′′ copper tube 36 ” long
  • A 2′′ copper tube 3 ” long (Nipple)
  • A

The following tools will be required:

  • What you’ll need is the following equipment:

Selecting ABoiler For The Reflux Still

  • Choosing a dependable boiler for your Reflux is still critical today.
  • The most essential thing to remember is that the boiler you purchase should be composed of stainless steel to avoid corrosion.
  • Restaurant pots, beer kegs, and discarded milk cans are just a few examples of what can be recycled.
  • When deciding between these solutions, it is important to consider how you will connect the column to the boiler.
  • In certain circumstances, specialist welding and fabrication may be necessary to join the two pieces of equipment together.

Make certain that you have taken all of these factors into consideration before making a decision on a certain boiler.

It’s long-lasting and simple to clean, and it has a 2-inch tri-clover connector at the top of the lid for connecting to your tower.

  1. Also, I’ve used kegs as boilers in the past, and they work wonderfully, but they do require some special fabrication for the clean out and column connections.

Building The Top End Of The Still

Making the right choice for your Reflux is still critical to its success. That your boiler is constructed of stainless steel is the most crucial consideration. Restaurant pots, beer kegs, and discarded milk cans are some examples of what can be recycled. When deciding between these solutions, it is important to consider how you will connect the column to the boiler. In certain circumstances, professional welding and fabrication will be necessary to join the two pieces of equipment together successfully.

Prior to making a decision on a certain boiler, be certain that you have taken all of these factors into account.

  • For your tower, it has a 2-inch tri-clover connection at the top of the lid that is both robust and simple to clean.

Also, I’ve used kegs as boilers in the past, and they work wonderfully, but they do require bespoke fabrication for the clean out and the column connections.

Building The Condenser Section Of The Still

We’re still planning on building a jacketed core condenser for this purpose. This form of condenser is one of my favorites since it is straightforward, efficient, and long-lasting. An illustration of the condenser assembly is provided below in order for you to get a better understanding of what you will be building. The condenser water cycles through the water jacket, cooling the condenser core as a result of this configuration. It is through this process that heat is removed from the vapor entering the condenser unit and the alcohol vapor is transformed into liquid form.

  1. I’ve run the 1/2 ” supply and return lines to the condenser via the column of the still in order to increase the quantity of Reflux within the column of the still.

In order for water to pass through the condenser, it must enter at the bottom and escape at the top.

How To Assemble Condenser Core For The Still

The Condenser Coreis responsible for transporting heat from the distillate vapors within the Reflex still to the water around the Core while maintaining the separation between the two fluids in the system. The following procedures should be followed in order to construct the condenser core:

  • In the Condenser Core, heat is transferred from the distillate vapors within the Reflex still to the water surrounding the Core while maintaining the separation between the two fluids. Follow these procedures to construct the condenser core:

How To Assemble Condenser Jacket For the Still

  • The condenser jacket is a component of the reflux still that is responsible for condensing the distillate alcohol after it has been distilled.
  • In order to construct the Condenser Jacket, follow the steps outlined below:
  • Step 1: Drill a 1 1/8″ hole in one of the two 1 12″ End Caps
  • Step 2: Drill a 5/8″ hole in the other 1 12″ End Cap
  • Step 3: Drill a 1 1/8″ hole in the other 1 12″ End Cap
  • Step 4: Drill a 1 1/8″ hole in the other 1 12″ End Cap
  • Step 3 – Cut a 17 12 ” length of 1 12″ copper pipe
  • Step 4 – Cut two 2 12 ” lengths of 1 12″ copper pipe
  • Step 5 – Cut a 17 12 ” length of 1 12″ copper pipe
  • The condenser jacket should be assembled as indicated below, with the condenser core being placed within the jacket to ensure that it fits snugly.

    It is possible that you may need to fine tune it so that everything fits perfectly.

    • Solder all of the joints.

    It should appear somewhat like the image on the right when the Condenser is entirely completed and operational.

    Building The Reflux Column of the Still

    This component of the Still is responsible for the production of high proof alcohol, and it is called the reflux column. It does this by performing numerous distillations inside the same column of water. To begin constructing the Reflux column, we must first put together a few components.

    How To Assemble the Column Head

    • a 2 x 2 x 1 1 2″ tee, 3′′ long piece of 2′′ copper pipe, a thermometer, and a cap with a 2′′ opening are all that are required for the column Head part of the reflux column.
    • For further information, please see the graphic below.
    • To construct the column header, perform the following steps:
    • Step 1 – Drill a 3/8 ” hole in the top of the 2′′ end cap using a 3/8 ” drill bit. Check that the rubber grommet and thermometer fit into the hole by inserting them one at a time. Step 2 – Insert a 3-inch-long piece of 2-inch copper pipe into the top of a 2-by-2-by-12-inch tee and solder it in place. Cap should be placed on top of 3′′ copper pipe. Do not solder this piece
    • The cap will remain unsoldered so that you may open the top of the column and clean it after it has been used.

    How To Assemble theColumn Body

    The column body is constructed from a three-foot section of 2′′ copper pipe. When you are finished, link the bottom of your column body to your boiler and the top to the column head that you just created. In order to construct the column body, perform these steps:

      • First, cut a 3′ length of 2″ copper pipe
      • Second, measure up 1.
      • 5′ from the bottom of the pipe and note the spot.
      • Mark the center of the pipe with a marker.
      • Step 3 – Measure from the center point up 9 1/4 ” and down 9 1/4 “, then mark the center point of the pipe at both places.
      • These two markers should correspond to the bottom and top cooling tubes that come from the condenser, respectively.
      • Drill two 5/8′′ diameter holes directly through both sides of the copper pipe, using the markings from Step 3 as a guideline.

    In Step 6, you will attach the column head to the body.

    Once you are certain that everything fits together properly, solder all of the joints.

  1. First, cut a 3′ length of 2″ copper pipe;
  2. second, measure up 1.
  3. 5′ from the bottom of the pipe and note the location.
  4. Mark the center of the pipe with a marker.
  5. Step 3 – Measure from the center point up 9 1/4 ” and down 9 1/4 “, then mark the center point of the pipe at both of those positions.
  6. Lower and upper cooling tubes coming from the condenser should be marked with the same two markings.
  7. Fourth, using the markings from Step 3, drill two 5/8′′ diameter holes right through both sides of the copper pipe.

Position the column head on top of the body.

You should solder all of the joints after you are certain that everything fits together correctly;

How To Attach The Reflux Column of the Still To The Boiler

  • First, cut a 3′ length of 2″ copper pipe;
  • second, measure up 1.
  • 5′ from the bottom of the pipe and make a mark.
  • Step 3 – Measure from the central point up 9 1/4 ” and down 9 1/4 ” and make a mark at both positions.
  • These two markers should correspond to the lower and top cooling tubes that exit the condenser, respectively.
  • Drill two 5/8′′ diameter holes right through both sides of the copper pipe, using the markings from Step 3.
  • Step 5 – Slide the condenser through the two 5/8′′ holes.
  • Step 6: Attach the column head to the top of the body.

Ensure that everything fits together correctly before soldering all of the joints.

  • Step 1 – Drill a hole in the lid of the milk can measuring 2 1/8″ in diameter. In Step 2, insert the copper column 3 inches into the hole and Mig weld it in place (if you don’t have a Mig welder, take it to your local welding shop and they will be able to do it for you at a fair fee
  • Attach a heavy-duty screen to the 3′′ of copper pipe that protrudes from the bottom of the lid and secure it with a 2′′ stainless steel hose clamp (not included). (This will help to keep the column packing in place.)

How To Choose A Column Packing For Your Reflux Still

  • Now that you’ve completed the construction of the Reflux / Column, you must stuff it.
  • Increased surface area for alcohol vapors to condense on, as well as an increase in Reflux, will result in a higher quality end product due to the use of the Packing.
  • Stainless steel cleaning pads, marbles, shattered safety glass from automobiles, glass beads, and raschig rings are all common packaging materials for Reflux stills, as are stainless steel scrubbing pads.
  • This method involves using a packing material with a large surface area that will not leak pollutants or toxins into the Moonshine during the distillation process.

I personally like to useRaschig rings since they are simple to remove from the column of the still and will not corrode if properly maintained.

You may get them right here on our website.

  1. Aluminum foil works well, but it may be difficult to remove off the column and can corrode with time.

How To Pack The Column Of A Reflux Still

Whatever packing material you decide to use for your column, the technique for packing it is the same regardless of the material. To properly pack your column, follow these steps:

  • Step 1 – Check that the screen at the bottom of the tower is securely fastened to keep the packing in place.
    Step 2 – Continue to fill the tower with packing until the column is filed to just over the top of the topmost cooling tube in the column
  • And
    Step 3: Reattach the cap to the top of the column.

Heat Source For Your Homemade Reflux Still

When it comes to choosing a heat source for your DIY reflux still, you have a number of alternatives. The use of a stovetop, an external propane boiler, or an inside electrical immersion heater are examples of these options. Let’s have a look at all three possibilities to help you determine which one to choose from. Stovetop Heat Source– If you don’t mind creating moonshine in your own house, this is the quickest and most convenient method. Although, if you’re preparing numerous batches, don’t expect to be able to use your stove for cooking for several days!

  • It’s also simple to clean, requires no manufacturing, and allows you to fine-tune the amount of heat that goes into the still.

Although more difficult to clean, this sort of heater can only be used for sugar washes and should not be used for any other applications.

Still, I’ve decided to go with a propane-fueled boiler for this project.

Hooking Up Water To Your Newly Built Reflux Still

The first step in beginning to distill will be connecting your still to a supply of fresh water. I prefer to use a yard hose for this. Simply attach the hose to the condenser’s inlet (i.e.

the bottom 1/2 inch copper tube situated on the condenser) and connect another hose going to a drain to the higher tube coming from the condenser. This will complete the installation. The garden hose shut off valve allows you to control the amount of water that flows into your still.

How To Distill Alchol with Homemade Reflux Still

  1. Connecting your still to a water supply is required before you can begin distilling.
  2. Garden hoses are one of my favorite tools.
  3. Simply attach the hose to the condenser’s inlet (i.
  4. e.
  5. the lower 1/2 inch copper tube situated on the condenser) and connect another hose running to a drain on the higher tube coming from the condenser.
  6. This will complete the installation.
  7. The garden hose shut off valve allows you to control the flow of water to your still.

OtherStill PlansYou May Like:

  1. A Complete Step-by-Step Guide for the Boka Reflux Still Plan.
    Simple Pot Still Design — This is an excellent experiment to get you started.
    How To Make A Copper Coil Condenser At Home
  2. Copper Coil Condenser – How To Make One At Home

Completed Home Made Stills

It’s only right that you display your copper still if you’ve decided to take on the challenge of creating your own. Send us a photo (learntomoonshine (at) gmail (dot) com) of you in your final form, and we’ll include it in this section. If you’ve made any changes to the approach stated above, please let us know what you’ve done differently. “I attempted to tig the stainless to the copper, I guess you could say that technically I did it, but as you can see it did not pass my quality control!” Jeff wrote in with a picture of his completed column.

To walk or in this case run a marathon, you must first crawl.

  1. “With the exception of needing to fine-tune the condenser unit to fit together to my taste, I had no problems putting my column together.

How to Make a Copper Reflux Still

In this tutorial, I’ll teach you how to construct a reflux still that can be used to produce high-proof alcoholic beverages at home. This still is a simple reflux still that serves as an excellent introduction to reflux stills. More complicated reflux stills are difficult to build and will cost a lot of money. Due to the fact that I am from the United Kingdom, I operate in Metric units. If you work in imperial measurements, you can simply locate a conversion tool by searching for mm to inch conversion on Google.

An electric boiler and a tank fitting will most likely cost you around £20 in total.

  • I am not liable for any laws that have been broken:) Prepare yourself by studying the still-life illustration provided in the preceding section.

The condenser is the cooled pipe in which the vapours collect and condense, resulting in the production of high proof alcohol (or ethanol).

Step 1: Materials and Tools

To begin, gather the tools and supplies that will be used in this tutorial. Tools: Hacksaw Blowtorch A paintbrush is a tool that is used to paint anything (or cloth) A vice or some other type of heatproof clamp is required. Methylated spirits or any other solvent – rubbing alcohol is a good choice – can be used. Fine steel wool is used in this application. One half round file and one round file are included in the set. Sandpaper with a coarse grit Pliers A tape measure is anything that is used to measure something.

  1. Drilling is a technique.

One tank fitting / coupler with a 28mm diameter.

Step 2: Cutting the Piping for Column and Condenser

To begin, measure 450mm of 28mm pipe and record the results. Make a 450mm piece of wood. After that, measure a piece of 28mm pipe 700mm in length. Remove this piece from the table. Begin by cleaning and preparing the pipe for soldering. To level the ends of the pipe, use a half round file to file them down. Then, using a round file, remove any burrs that may have formed inside the pipe ends. Take a piece of sand paper and sand around the ends of each pipe to smooth them out. Afterwards, take a piece of steel wool and polish the ends.

  • After that, file the interior of each end to eliminate any burrs that may have formed.

Step 3: Cutting the Pipe for Connecting Fittings

In this phase, we will cut the pipelines that link the column and condenser, as well as the pipes that carry the reflux water. Begin by cutting a segment of 15mm pipe measuring 70mm in length. The condenser and column of the still will be connected via this pipe. Next, cut two 150mm lengths of 15mm pipe to size with a hacksaw. These will serve as reflux sites for the condenser, as well as water supply points. Cut a segment of 28mm tubing measuring 70mm in length. This will be the connection between the end cap and the condenser.

Step 4: Preparing Fittings

In order to prepare the fittings for soldering, you must sand and polish all of the surfaces that will be soldered together. This is necessary because any filth or oil that remains on the pipes will prevent the solder from flowing correctly, resulting in a poor seal in the end. Begin by sanding the interior of each t joint that is 28mm-15mm in thickness. In order to complete this step, you must sand the interior of the 15mm 90 degree joints, the 15mm 135 degree joints, the 28mm end cap, and the 28 x 15 mm reducers (if applicable).

  • Steel wool can be used to polish a surface or an area that has been previously sanded.

If your fittings do not have a lip, you may not be required to do so.

(As seen in the photographs) Check that the 15mm pipe fits smoothly through the reducer by passing it through it many times.

Step 5: Cutting the 15mm Pipe

  • Assemble the still in the manner depicted in the photo.
  • The 15mm pipe that runs through the condenser should be cut such that it sticks out the bottom of the condenser for a total of 30mm of exposed piping.
  • This is also demonstrated in the same photograph.

Step 6: Preparing the Relux Pipe/water Supply Holes

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any images for this phase, but I’ll do my best to describe it as accurately as I can. Make a mark at a distance of 233mm along the still’s column. Then make a second mark at 466mm. These are the sites at which the pipes will pass through the condenser for the first time. After that, clamp the column into a vice and drill through both sides of the pipe with a 15mm drill bit, as shown in the picture. Remove any burrs that may have formed around the edges of the holes with a file and sandpaper.

Check that the 150mm of 15mm pipes you cut in a previous stage fit through the holes by inserting them through the holes.

Step 7: Preparing the Still for Soldering

  • Assemble the still in the manner depicted in the photo to verify that everything is properly aligned.
  • Using your selected solvent, saturate all of the areas you previously sanded with the solvent and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  • Using fluxite or any other non-toxic flux, thinly cover all cleaned and sanded surfaces.
  • This will eliminate any grease that might interfere with soldering later on.
  • Assemble the still once more.

Step 8: Soldering the Still

Begin by soldering all of the condenser joints together. Apply a mild flame around the fitting, making sure not to heat the pipe itself, but rather the fitting itself. Move the flame constantly in order to avoid uneven heating. Touch the solder to the fitting on a regular basis; if it melts, you are ready to begin soldering the connection together. By touching the solder to the connection where the fitting and the pipe meet, it should flow into the joint and form a tight seal between the two parts.

Before soldering, apply flux to the whole length of the reflux pipes.

  1. Simply searching for “how to solder pipes” on Google can yield a wealth of information for beginning solders.

Step 9: Cleaning the Still

At this stage, your still will most likely appear to be in poor condition. It is necessary to clean it in order to prevent the leftover flux from corroding the copper pipe system. Begin by filing away any big lumps of solder, being cautious not to damage the copper in the process as you may easily do so. Use steel wool to buff away any remaining scratches on the copper. Adding a little amount of solvent may aid in removing the black discoloration. After you have polished the still, I would recommend cleaning it well with hot water to remove any leftover flux from the surface.

Step 10: Building the Boiler

I had already constructed a boiler for a still that I had constructed a time back, but I will demonstrate how to construct one. Taking the lid off your four-gallon pan and cutting a hole large enough to accommodate the 28mm tank fitting will be required to complete this step. Using tin-snips, I would recommend drilling numerous holes and cutting between them to save time. Insert the tank fitting through the hole in the lid and tighten the nut on either side of the tank fitting to secure it. The lid should now appear as seen in the photo above.

  1. To connect to the bottom of the condenser, run a segment of hose or tubing through it.

Step 11: Finished!

Your still should be ready for use at this point. Cleaning the still should be done before using it to distill alcohol, and I’ll provide a link to a guide on how to do so further down. This website contains everything you will ever need to know about distilling, from recipes to design ideas for your own distillation apparatus. You can find it somewhere else.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you take the time to build this instructable; it’s always encouraging to see more people taking up distilling as a hobby.

Thank you for your consideration.

3 People Made This Project!

  • There might be a great deal of disagreement among distillers over which style of moonshine still is the best one to use.
  • Despite the fact that they are distinct from one another, each was created with a specific purpose in mind.
  • An extract from Rick’s book, “The Joy of Home Distilling,” which may be found on pages 67-76, is provided here.
  • Brewhaus’ reflux columns were designed in this way, which he describes in detail in this part.
  • He also discusses the various types of reflux stills and the reasons why he likes the vapor management approach over the others.

What’s a Column Still (Fractionating Still)?

The vapors will lose heat as they rise in the column, in part because of the colder air around the column, but more importantly because of the exchange of heat with the falling (refluxing) liquid. In order for a given component to condense and fall back down your distillation column, the vapor temperature must drop below the boiling point of that component. The remaining vapor must continue to ascend. This process continues all the way up the column, with each fraction pushing itself out of the ascending vapor when the temperature drops below the boiling point of the vapor in the column below it.

The process is aided by the presence of material in the column, known ascolumn packing, which prevents the refluxing liquid from merely gathering along the column’s sides while the vapor rises in the middle of the column, as is the case in most industrial processes.

  • The temperature of the falling liquid will continue to climb until it reaches its boiling point once more, at which point it will change back into vapor and begin to ascend in the column.

Because components with comparable boiling points will frequently not separate on their initial cycle of refluxing, the more times this occurs, the purer each fraction gets.

Components with the highest boiling points (which are located near the bottom of the column because they are the first to fall below their boiling points) will typically not gain enough heat to reach their boiling points before falling back into the boiler, resulting in the component falling back into the boiler.

  1. In a column, the aim is still to have a column that is tall enough to separate all of the components, leaving just a single fraction at the top of the column, which you will then catch and condense after it has been separated.

Because a short column will not provide adequate separation, the resultant distillate will have a lesser purity than a longer column.

The diameter of the distillation column has the greatest impact on the amount of vapor that the column can successfully manage.

  1. Because the separation in the column takes time to occur, if you feed vapor into it too rapidly, it will be unable to execute its function successfully.

Increasing the height of your column is one way to do this; however, most of us have limitations on the realistic workable height of the column.

As an aside, given that we are working with a cylinder, have a look at the following volume calculation: r2 h = volume = r2 h Is it possible that you noticed that the radius is squared?

  1. In fact, raising the diameter of your column from 2 inches to 3 inches (the normal hobby still size) will increase the volume of your column by 2.
  2. 25 times!

That is about 7 feet in height!

Optimal height-to-diameter ratios range between 15:1 and 20:1.

  • Increasing the ratio of height to diameter by a factor greater than 20:1 will result in the need for additional heat to transport vapor to the top of the column, which is, quite simply, an additional operating cost on top of the additional cost of materials to construct the column, as previously stated.

What’s a Forced Reflux Still?

. The “cooling tube” design is one of the most well-known and most successful forced reflux still designs, and it is still in use today. Cold water is circulated through the tubes of this design, which run directly through the column of water. The fact that the cooling lines are in close touch with the rising vapor is the reason for the effectiveness of this design. It is forced to sink down the column until it vaporizes and rises back up for a second attempt to get past the cooling lines when the vapor comes into contact with them.

In this sort of system, the purpose is to push the maximum amount of vapor to come into touch with the cooling lines or to flow extremely close to them, so that the “coolness” that radiates from the line cools the vapor and the system is successful.

  1. In the past, the majority of these designs employed two cooling lines, one in the middle to lower section of the column and another right above it, towards the top of the column, to provide enough cooling.

A system that was much overpowered and produced significantly more vapor than the column could successfully regulate would benefit from this lower cooling line.

To enhance efficiency even more, they doubled the number of cooling lines inside this configuration later on.

  • Typically, when this sort of column is operated properly and the vapor is allowed to pass through the cooling lines, the vapor is of extremely high purity.

These systems include those in which acooling water jacketis put over the exterior of the distillation column, enabling cold water to pass between the jacket and the distillation column.

As a result, only the vapor that is at or very close to the column’s walls will be forced to cool, leaving most of the remaining vapor to rise to the condenser and depart the system.

  1. As a result, this is in effect just a very modest improvement over the basic column still, as only a very little amount of forced reflux is actually occurring.

Because the devices described above are capable of manipulating the rising vapor to varied degrees, they are usually referred to as vapor management stills.

External Valved Reflux

This is a very popular design that is frequently utilized by people who are constructing their own column structures. As the name implies, the pushing of reflux takes place outside of the main column body of the body of the body of the column With either a 90-degree elbow or, more typically, a tee fitting at the top of the column, the column rises from the boiler. In order to determine the temperature of the vapor at the head (or very top) of the column, a thermometer is positioned at its very top.

  • In order to provide an upward facing part, the reflux head is comprised of a tee fitting with a short rise.

Following contact with the coil, the refluxing liquid will drain directly into the bottom area of the tee fitting.

It is possible to manage the speed at which distillate is collected by using the needle valve, which also allows the operator to control how much of the refluxing liquid is returned to the column.

  1. Despite the fact that it provides total control over the reflux ratio, this sort of technology is not without its disadvantages as well.

Every vapor that rises up through the column and reaches the cooling coil will condense and drop into the reservoir as soon as it comes into contact with the coil.

In order to avoid this collection region, it is necessary to replace the tee fitting with a 90 degree elbow.

Internal Valved Reflux

  • In essence, internal valved reflux still is identical to the exterior valved reflux still, with the exception that the forcing of reflux is brought within the main column.
  • The end effect is a more attractive, sleeker appearance, but this has no significant impact on the performance or fundamental operation of the column in any way.
  • Even when you use an internal reflux design, you still have to manage your distillation using a needle valve, which regulates the pace at which your distillate is gathered.

As a matter of fact, with the exception of one minor modification, which is the need to construct a reservoir for the condensate to collect in, you can essentially just move the reflux head of an external reflux still to the top of the column to create the internal valved reflux still with only a few minor modifications.

These systems are referred to as liquid management stills because they allow you to regulate your reflux and distillation by controlling the speed at which you collect the refluxing liquid.

  1. Our second installment of this two-part blog is available here, and you can find other articles developed just for individuals new to distillation here.

Making Moonshine In A Homebuilt Reflux Still [Video]

In times of instability, alcohol is a valuable product that is hard to come by and has a widely acknowledged worth. It may be used to power motors, disinfect wounds, and facilitate social contact. It’s also surprisingly simple to put together. The fermentation process is the initial phase. Yeast cells are not good planners, as we have shown. If you place them in a container with an airlock, they will eat the sugar and produce carbon dioxide and ethanol as byproducts. They will sink to the bottom of the abyss in a matter of weeks, destroyed by their own trash.

In the past, I’ve created the mash, or yeast feedstock, from trashed candy bars, a truckload of overripe plums, and a disgustingly sugary pastry filling from an industrial bakery.

  • It also increases the amount of alcohol in the drink, transforming it from a mild buzz to rocket fuel.

You should proceed at your own risk.

First, the ethanol is converted into steam, which rises via a metal chimney and into a cocktail shaker holding a copper wire coil.

  • The water cools the vapor until it falls out as liquid spirit.

Because water boils at a higher temperature than air, the vapor becomes more dilute.

They provide the water molecules with a large surface area on which to condense and leak back into the pot, while the concentrated ethanol is allowed to continue all the way to the cocktail shaking glass.

  1. I dilute it down to 130 proof for sipping, which packs a powerful punch in the face but is surprisingly pleasant.

There are few exceptions, but apocalypse preparation is not one of them…at least not yet.

Boka Reflux Still – How To Build

Here is the information that was taken from the wiki. It is possible that such resource hog will need to be removed from the system from time to time. This appears to be the one post that everyone is looking for, therefore I will do my best to include the entire ‘real’ post here. The siki connection is as follows: w To Build ” onclick=”;return false;” rel=”nofollow” onclick=”;return false;” The wiki, on the other hand, is the first item to be taken down when we have too much ‘guest’ traffic for the site to manage (since it consumes so much of our server’s CPU and we don’t have a method to appropriately restrict robotic site sucking traffic).

  • As a result, this page has EVERY piece of information from the wiki page.

Husker: Boka Reflux Is Still An Issue – How To Construct A Dual Slant-Plate Single Column In-line Reflux Still created by Alex Bokakob in 2001 and known as the Bokakob (Boka or Bok for short) is the popular name for this device.

This still is popular among beginners because of its ease of construction and operation, as well as its ability to produce neutral spirits with an alcohol content of 95 percent ABV.

  • It is categorised as a Liquid Management Column Reflux Still, also known as an LM Column reflux still.

As a consequence of several debates on Yahoo and, there have been numerous design variants and improvements in efficiency.

However, due to bad spelling or a simple abbreviation in web chats, many people referred to the still as a Bokabob, Boka, or even Bok instead.

  1. It is expected that some amount of the distillate will fall to the twin slanted plates, which will then either overflow (enabling the distillate to fall back into the packing, which is the basis of the reflux design) or be drawn-off for collection.

Steel is inert, and copper actually contributes to the creation of a clean flavor in the end product by eliminating sulfur compounds from the final product when vapors come into touch with the copper while traveling through the column.

Also keep in mind that welding stainless steel may necessitate the use of more industrial-grade equipment and skills than soldering copper, which is a straightforward process.

  1. Also, keep in mind that copper that has been properly polished is quite attractive.

Other synthetic materials besides PTFE are not suited for this application.

=35 t=5090 =35 t=5090 Most pipe is available in a variety of thicknesses, including K, L, M, and DWV.

  • As the most common and standard thickness, the letter L is compatible with the couplers, caps, and other accessories that are available in retail stores.

It is by far the thinnest valve (DWV, which stands for Drain Waste Valve), and it is also by far the least expensive and offers the most overall value.

t=18093 t=15 Your column should ALWAYS be adequately vented, and there should be no possibility of pressure building, even while running at full reflux.

  1. If you want to utilize DWV, be sure to inspect the associated fittings before purchasing to ensure that everything will assemble simply and will be solderable.

Taking all other factors into consideration, the breadth of the column has a direct bearing on the speed at which distillate may be collected.

When using a broader column, more heat may be supplied while still maintaining adequate vapor speed, resulting in an increase in the total yield of properly refluxed distillate (or methanol).

  • 17 t=18926A t=18926A t=18926A Even more speed is possible with a 3″ (76 mm) column, but the cost of materials grows exponentially and the availability of resources decreases.

This will have an impact on the condenser and boiler sizes you require, and is often influenced by pricing and availability in your area.

(For example, 3″ copper male and female screw adapters are quite hard to come by.) When it comes to simple hobby distillation, the most frequent and suggested size is a 2″ width.

  1. Height of the column Once you’ve determined whatever width of pipe you’ll be purchasing, the following step is to determine how much pipe you’ll require.

In order to accommodate more packing material, a taller column must be used.

A higher alcohol content in the distillate and better separation of undesirable fractions are the results (heads; tails).

  1. (120cm to 150cm).

It is, however, feasible to make the column even shorter than that length.

As a result, reflux will need to be raised in order to maintain pure output, which will slow down the process and cause it to run more slowly.

  • Some individuals prefer to speak of column height in terms of its relationship to column diameter.

They also mislead rookie distillers into believing that larger columns require greater height, despite the fact that they are independent variables.

17 t=15467 For a 2″ column, the acceptable column height to width ratios range from 12:1 to 30:1, depending on the application.

  • Interactive design calculators are particularly useful for assessing how your still will behave and where its theoretical performance limitations are located in relation to other stills.

Assuming all other factors are equal, and assuming you have the necessary space and funds to construct a taller column, it is preferable to have a taller column until you reach a height of 50″-60″ (125cm-150cm), after which there is little advantage to building taller, and ceiling height becomes an issue.

When used in the Bokakob design, the slanted plates (not to be confused with reflux plates or trays such as bubble caps or perforated plates, which are discussed elsewhere) are positioned at an angle below the condenser coil so that the upper plate collects distillate from just over half of the column and directs it to the other lower plate.

  1. There is a take-off tube at the bottom of the “pool” that may be opened in order to collect the distillate produced by the process.

In this case, a notched depression in the lower plate allows the overflow to settle back into the centre of the packing material in the next column below.

Placement of the plates should be so that the top plate is immediately below the condenser, about 0.5″ to 1″ above the bottom plate (15-25mm).

  1. It was also necessary for the original design that the condenser/plate combination be properly rotated to line with the bottom plate, or else the collection would be adversely affected.

As a result, you must know the size of your condenser coil in order to arrange the slanted plates in the right location.

The slanted plates have typically been angled at a 30 degree inclination from horizontal, according to custom.

  • =17 t=1757 A compound mitre box may only have a 45o slot, while those employing a compound mitre box may only have a 30o slot, which will need more material and give no advantage.

If your plates do not overlap, distillate will fall off the upper plate and back into the column, skipping over the bottom plate and the collection “pool” altogether.

A spacing that is too narrow may cause the vapor speed in the column to rise after the constriction and reduce the amount of time the vapor spends condensing at the condenser coils.

  • In this case, the cross-sectional area of the column with the packing material is almost the same.

mode=view The plates are commonly constructed from a scrap section of copper pipe that has been cut along its edge (in a direction parallel to the pipe’s direction) and pounded flat with a hammer to get the desired shape.

In order for the grooves to be carved, it is not necessary to pre-cut the plates into an elliptical form beforehand.

  • t=8794 Templates For those who don’t want to go through the work of measuring and marking your column with the necessary plate placements, many kind individuals have prepared simple templates that are pre-marked with the proper plate locations for a 2″ column, which may be used right away.

They can be scaled up by 50% for a 3″ column, or reduced down by 50% for smaller columns, depending on the situation.

This link will take you to an updated version of the 2010 template.

  • Creating the slanted plate grooves in the column might be a challenging task.

Using a hacksaw or two hacksaw blades side by side to accommodate the plates’ width has proven to be successful for some other people.

A standard mitre box will not work because you require the angle to be trimmed along an axis that is not available in a normal mitre box’s design parameters.

  • start=165 a summary of the construction process Find a pipe for your column that is the appropriate width and length for your requirements.

In order to properly label your column, you must first measure the height of the condenser that has been placed.

(If you are using a later plate design, you may need to install the bottom plate first, then bend down the reflux drip tab on the lower plate, and then install the top plate, as shown in the illustration.) The temperature port and output tube should be soldered into place once the holes have been drilled.

  1. Check to see that the slanted plates overlap each other within your column.

You should keep a low profile, don’t tell anyone, and don’t sell anything unless you are one of the persons on this site who is legalizing distillation.

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