How to Make an Alcohol Still Diagram


Distilled alcohol has more uses than drinking for intoxication. Ethanol serves as a medicine in some cultures and as a fuel supply in others. Ethanol does not pollute like other man made fuels; in fact, Indianapolis 500 drivers use ethanol and have for more than 80 years. When filtered properly, ethanol produces a drinkable alcohol of the highest grade. Some of the finest vodkas makers have mastered this filtration process. Distilling alcohol is a simple undertaking. Whether or not distilling is legal is decided by governments.

Things You'll Need

  • Drafting pencil
  • Drafting paper
  • 12-inch ruler (optional)
  • Take a piece of drafting paper and a pencil. Sit at your kitchen counter and imagine the process of making ethanol. Remember you are drawing a side view which means you see inside the pots and inside the sink. Visualize the sink and pots cut in half.

  • Draw a five-gallon pot on the stove top on the left side of the drafting paper. On the right side of the paper draw the sink with a three-gallon pot sitting in it. Connect the pot on the stove with the pot in the sink with two parallel lines that represent copper tubing.

  • Look at the drawing. Make sure that the cooper tubing in the drawing has a downward slope as it extends from the pot on the stove to the pot in the sink. The slope allows the liquid to flow freely as pressure builds in the pot on the stove. This is filtering. The more the ethanol is filtered the higher the grade of alcohol.

  • Adjust the lines you drew for the copper tubing as it comes out of the pot on the stove. The tubing extends at a 45-degree angle out of the pot's lid for 18 inches. Draw a slight curve in the copper tubing and then draw the line sloping as it reaches the pot in the sink.

  • Add to the drawing of the pot in the sink a cooper coil. Draw the coil inside the pot in the sink so that it attaches to a spout at the bottom of the pot. Also draw the faucet on the sink so that it is capable of spouting water directly into the pot.

  • Insert into the drawing a long thermometer sticking out of the lid of the pot on the stove. The angle is 45 degrees just like the copper tubing. Draw the thermometer on the other side of the lid. Your alcohol still diagram is finished.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use pots that are stainless steel and lead free. Cast iron excretes minerals into the ethanol.
  • In some countries, states and municiplities it is illegal to distill alcohol.

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  • Photo Credit house plan image by Jon Le-Bon from
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