Homemade Distiller for Brandy

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Brandy was the first spirit intentionally distilled for drinking rather than for medical use. All spirits made today use a version of the same process. While advances in technology have enabled distillers to create increasingly pure results, the basic pot still remains a simple and practical device in which a drinkable product can be produced with little effort.

Things You'll Need

  • A five-gallon stainless steel stock pot
    A drill with ¾- and ¼-inch bits
    Eight feet of copper tubing, ½-inch in diameter
    Two rubber grommets with ½-inch diameter holes
    Candy thermometer
    One rubber grommet with1/8-inch diameter hole
    Rubber tubing
    Mop bucket at least 2 feet tall
    Silicone caulk

Assemble The Still

  • Add fermented liquid to the stock pot.
    Affix the lid to the stock pot and bind it by running rubber tubing through the handles. Apply silicone caulk along the edge of the lid to ensure a tighter seal.
    Drill a ¾-inch and a ¼-inch hole in the lid of the stock pot.
    Insert the candy thermometer halfway through the 1/8-inch grommet and press the grommet tightly into the ¼-hole.
    Bend 3 to 4 feet of the copper tubing into a spiral and leave the last 6 inches straight so that you have a tail at the end of the spiral. Do not crimp the tubing.
    Push the tail of the spiral through a ½-inch grommet until it projects 2 inches beyond the small end of the grommet.
    Push the end of the copper tubing opposite the spiral end into a ½-inch grommet until a ½-inch of the copper tubing projects beyond the small end of the grommet.
    Bend the non-spiral end of the copper tube at the wide end of the grommet by 45 degrees.
    Measure the length between where the spiral begins and the 45-degree angle of the opposite grommet. Mark the center point of this distance and bend it 45 degrees. Drill three drainage holes into the bottom of the mop bucket and one hole in the side 1 inch from the bottom.
    Insert the spiral end of the copper tube into the side hole with the spiral inside the bucket.
    Insert the end opposite the spiral into the lid of the pot so that the grommet creates a very tight seal.

Tips

  • Adjust the tubing so that the mop bucket can sit below the pot, as in a sink, while still allowing the tubing to exit the pot at a 45-degree angle. The 45-degree angle acts as a trap for impurities.
    The spiral section should be no more than 2 feet tall, and none of the rings should touch.

    Plug a hole in the bottom of the mop bucket with paper or cork if the water level becomes difficult to maintain while distilling.

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