Brand new air still (stillspirits branded) weirdness ....

Info specific to the SmartStill, AirStill, EasyStill
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phantom
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Brand new air still (stillspirits branded) weirdness ....

Post by phantom » Sun May 12, 2019 7:50 pm

So, when using a smart still, I'm in the habit of double distilling.

I just plug it in, fill it up and let it do its thing. Last week or so back, the original one I got started tripping the kitchen power ring after about 5 mins of heat up.

Dug around and found the cheapest new one I could locate (about £150, through Amazon).

Just done a bit of a second run. 4 litres at a fraction below 40% (my maths says that should be 1.8 litres of 100% alcohol).

With the foreshots removed, I've got 2 litres at about 75% kept to one side for letting down later and then carbon filtering, but then leave it running to recover the last bit of alcohol to go back into the main body for a further run another time - I figured that should have done the trick. I checked the strength of the excess bit before putting it back in, surprised to find that it was about 750ml at 20%.

Getting that much out of 1 charge of the still seems quite good and it's got me wondering if there's some sort of modification that they've done to the innards over time as I don't remember getting that much out normally.

Externally, the only difference appears to be that the drip spout piece is a little longer than my original and that it now has an on/off power switch next to the plug socket, so I'm thinking whether there may be some sort of redesign of the condenser section of the pot head/lid ?

I can't think of what that might achieve etc, so I'm just happy that the new one works as well, if not better than my original one............

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Easydrinker
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Re: Brand new air still (stillspirits branded) weirdness ....

Post by Easydrinker » Sun May 12, 2019 11:14 pm

I seem to recall that the original, not very modified versions of the Air Still, 'intended' for water, had a vent in the lid?
Could your old one have been one of those?
You have been using one of these longer than anyone here.
Maybe your mash was just really good, and high in %?

Robert.
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Re: Brand new air still (stillspirits branded) weirdness ....

Post by Mash » Mon May 13, 2019 7:20 am

I normally get 4.5 -5 liters out of a 25 L run when cut @ 40%.

I am with Robert, did you have a water distiller with a vent?
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phantom
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Re: Brand new air still (stillspirits branded) weirdness ....

Post by phantom » Sat May 18, 2019 5:24 pm

No vent etc (original, branded, genuine SS model)........

But the weirdness continues......

Another 4-litre charge @ 40% (accurate reading, apart from some ambient temperature variation). So that would equate to 1.8 litres of pure alcohol.

First "take" was 1200ml measuring 80% so 960 ml pure. Second take 800 ml measuring 75% so 600 ml pure. The two together give me the equivalent of 1560 ml pure from 2 litres total. Given that the initial numbers say 1.8 litres pure total, it does seem that it may be just an air still, so small and limited (slow etc) but it's managing to get most of the available spirit out.

I leave it running so it gets as close to all available until impatience gets the better of me. So, WTF, it may take longer to double distill, but it does seem to be pretty good at what it does.

I'm guessing that I must have been wasting more of the available spirit with the old, original still.

I'm not moaning or anything, just that I'm surprised that by crunching the numbers a bit, it seems that there's a bit more to be gained etc (still prefer the efficiency of the T500 etc, but that's for another day, once I've worked out about getting it set back up and cleaned up etc).......

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Re: Brand new air still (stillspirits branded) weirdness ....

Post by Easydrinker » Sun May 19, 2019 12:52 am

Mate, I re-started distilling wth one of these little stills, and rate them highly.
I am not sure that you wasted much historicaly, as there is always the stuff that you choose not to drink.

I built a larger version of this still.
I sometimes do a heads run.
Maybe keep 50% of that. OK, the rest is used for BBQ lighting etc.

I don't do/keep tails/feints on neutral washes anymore.
The Law of Diminishing returns,

Robert.
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"Everyone's happy. Everyone's smiling. No-One here is sad anymore" :D

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Mash
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Re: Brand new air still (stillspirits branded) weirdness ....

Post by Mash » Sun May 19, 2019 6:48 am

I now have one with a switch. My other doesn't.
I will split a wash and compare.

These stills do win on a lot of fronts. IMO Price, simplicity, ease of use, time to run and they don't use water.
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Re: Brand new air still (stillspirits branded) weirdness ....

Post by Easydrinker » Mon May 20, 2019 12:03 am

I concur, I cannot fault these stills for what they can do.

Robert.
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Re: Brand new air still (stillspirits branded) weirdness ....

Post by Mash » Mon May 20, 2019 7:41 am

Improved kale recipe on. Will report back soon.
To Gin-finity and beyond !

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