Monday, January 17, 2011

Reflux Still

I had such a good time making the grappa with my friends still that I couldn't resist making a still of my own; plus I'm kind of a project junkie. I primarily referenced these two websites: in designing my sill. I designed the still to reach about 90% pure alcohol but we'll see what it can really do once I have a wash (fermented alcohol of 10-20% alcohol) ready to run through it. The column is filled with stainless steel ribbon (pot scrubbers) to act as virtual plates where layers of like alcohol concentration collect. This allows a temperature gradient to be set up between the kettle and the top of the column. If all goes right, the kettle will be at the boiling temperature of a 15% ethanol/water solution and the top of the column will be at the temperature of a 90% ethanol/water solution.