Making a distillery - wally world style

ok boys and girls, I promised to show people how to make their own still. I have seen…so…many… people roasting solvents into the air. I cry a little tear every time I see it… so much waste!!! Considering the cost of a jug of iso…or everclear…or whatever, you are really tossing money on a large bonfire. Ugh and sometimes it’s hard to get your hands on some really potent booze. OK complaints aside, I will do a quick chat on how it works, then I’ll show you how it’s constructed. It works like this: if there are 2 different pressures connected to the same system, things will move from high pressure to low pressure part. High pressure is generated by double-boiling a Pyrex kettle and low pressure is generated by chilling a pickle jar in a pot of ice water. The connection is a copper tube. Lol my industrial still was more…standard… with a coiled pipe in a rubbermaid of cold ass water. And compression fit. This wally still just uses friction.


left to right: pot for ice and condensation chamber, aluminum double boiler(small pot and insert), pyrex kettle from wall-e-mart, copper tube about 6 feet/2 meters bent to any shape, and the hot plate. Not pictured is the pickle jar for condensing.

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ok I put the condenser into a large pot I put ice water into, not enough to make the jar float :wink: For the demonstration I didn’t put any ice in there.

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double boiler is constructed with the kettle in there. Double boil is to prevent any nasties from happening. It keeps your distillery at a nice even temp not to hardcore. You see I don’t have it on an element directly… ever wonder how to not get fusel oils into your alcohol? grrr fucking spellcheck says fusel isn’t a word lol. I have drilled a hole in the top of the kettle to put the pipe in.

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now…the final phase - connect it all up!




in the final picture I cover the condensation jar in a wet towel - so the wicking of ice water can cool it and prevent vapors from escaping. Final stage: put in the water for the boiler, alcohol in the still and crank the thing to max.

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during the process, I will add more boiling water to the double boiler so it doesn’t run dry. If it dries out, the distillation stops. NEVER ADD COLD WATER! If you don’t understand the dangers of mixing really hot things and really cold things…umm maybe don’t run a distillery. Shit could blow up - so don’t do it. I think that’s all you need to make one. Thanks to my high school chemistry teacher who used a still to demonstrate the phase change of alcohol - I’m sure he didn’t understand what I was going to do with that knowledge.

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bookmarked, definitely wanna look into this more.

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If you have the condenser tube going into the “Tostitos Jar” how do you separate your first cut, which you always want to get rid of?

I wish I still had my old trash heap still. Old pressure cooker, copper tubing, coiled into a bucket, sticking out the side, to fill a mason jar.

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That’s badass dude, I love me some white lightning. I love really high test alcohol especially when it feels like it evaporates in your throat before even hitting your stomach, it’s like rocket fuel…makes my brain tingle haha

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I use double boiler to avoid the evaporation of water and fusel oils. It’s part of the “nasty shit” you want to avoid. Normally, like on the tv show moonshiners, they fire up a propane beast and boil the shit out of it and use vapor pressure on the copper stand to separate the water and toss out the first batch of fusel oil. This still uses low temperatures to slowly evaporate out the alcohol and leave all the other crap like water and oils behind in the still so you can toss it out. I think that’s what you’re talking about?

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This is the finest example of hillbilly engineering I’ve seen in a decade. Hats off my dude.

When I saw the pictures it reminded me of other clandestine activities haha.

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distilling something you fermented or essential oils is exactly the same except you keep the stuff in the still after if you are brewing essential oils. This includes cannabis oil. If you are cooking off a batch of alcohol that you would drink, you toss the stuff in the still as garbage and only keep the alcohol. Distilling alcohol this way takes some time for low alcohol high water concentration. I mean, it drips into your collection vessel at a super slow rate. The upside is, it lights on fire no problem, and burns like gasoline. Like any high power alcohol it could kill you.
I take the hot mass of mostly oil and a bit of alcohol then put that into a pyrex pie plate for the final double boil roast to purge the batch of the last of the nasties. Pretty standard stuff, any questions?

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You should always throw out the first bit of alcohol because it will contain poisonous methanol. Methanol boils at 148 F. Ethanol doesn’t boil until 174F. The first part of any distillation has a small amount of methanol in it.

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you could get a bit of methanol if distilling any alcohol made from something containing pectin. A light heat treat of the alcohol should get the methanol out before the ethanol evaporates. Something made from sugar, water and yeast won’t/can’t contain methanol. Grains contain very little pectin as well.

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some methanol is formed regardless @Daytripr69 is correct here, made enough sugar washes and rum washes in reflux stills to know.

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well my question is, doesn’t the methanol come from pectin which is methylated? I know a sugar wash needs nutrients for the yeast to replicate, since there are no nutrients in sugar…so I mean if there is something added to the batch that will produce methanol, sure…but yeast can’t brew methanol can it?

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It can, there’s ‘cogeners’ produced by the yeast (some make more than others).
I like EC1118 champagne yeast, it’s very clean and tolerates higher alcohol levels.

Cheers
G

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well…uhh I’ll give you this, there could be trace amounts of methanol? I mean, the documentation says yeast is incapable of producing more than a trace itself. Also the documentation says the methanol is produced from fermenting things with pectin.


I know, it’s an incredible…ly long read :wink: ok but you know I’m good with what the research says but if you are honestly worried about methanol, then do your thing. I’m not the boss of you. Just know your methanol - GI JOE

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You are correct, the material being fermented influences the output.
Hard stone fruit like peaches, plums etc. will produce more methanol.
…You just need to stock up on the antidote for methanol poisoning… yup, ethanol!

I go by the smell of the acetone when I’m making my fores cut.
After 20 years I have now modified my cuts, fores, tincture, center cut (vodka), tincture & tails. I don’t even bother collecting the tails anymore. The two tincture cuts are stronger in congeners used in whiskies. I find they add a nice ‘twangy’ taste to the edibles.

Cheers
G

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just so everyone is clear and all myths are dispelled, brew masters and chemists alike agree:
There is no way to get methanol poisoning from something you fermented with yeast then distilled/drank.

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