You never buy the best airstill first time!

Info specific to the SmartStill, AirStill, EasyStill
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Windoe
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Windoe »

Ok I succumbed and splashed out £45 and bought one of those 750w water distillers. Plastic casing but all stainless where the liquid or vapour touches. I thought it may make my gin creations easier as I could run it in the kitchen instead of the converted bread bin pot still in the shed. Being a tight a**e I raided my spares bin to make up a controller. So one SONOFF and zero crossing solid state relay later I have an interweb connected water still. If anyone is remotely interested I will put the details in another thread after I have boxed up all of the live wiring.
Besides it’s primary function I have discovered it’s a superb fan heater, so when it’s a bit parky in the W household instead of turning up the central heating I knock out 3 litres of distilled water. Mrs W is not as impressed as me.
I have knocked up a Sputnik, but I think the Poundland colander is not up to distributing the steam well enough to extract the flavours to the same degree as boiling a macerated infusion which was my old method.
I’ve a bit of time on my hands to keep experimenting. Thanks for the great advice everyone.

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Mash
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Mash »

Nice one. I too use it as a heater when working in the brew shed.
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Mash
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Mash »

You are right.. A vapour path gin is typically more delicate and complex than a hot macerated one. They also scale, so if you want to double the size the product is constant.
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Fierymac
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Fierymac »

Windoe wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:02 am
Ok I succumbed and splashed out £45 and bought one of those 750w water distillers.
Have you got a link? I got excited about all the power controllers etc so bought them before i read some more and found my original Airtsill is only 380W anyway!! Best price i've managed to find is £90.

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Mash
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Mash »

I have also noticed, I am not using the power meter anymore. Drippage works.

Turn the knob down till you get a drippage you require.

For stripping turn down, to fast drips (almost a trickle)
For spirit run slightly slower drips.
It sounds odd, but is surprisingly accurate.
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Windoe
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Windoe »

Fierymac wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 9:07 am
Windoe wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:02 am
Ok I succumbed and splashed out £45 and bought one of those 750w water distillers.
Have you got a link? I got excited about all the power controllers etc so bought them before i read some more and found my original Airtsill is only 380W anyway!! Best price i've managed to find is £90.
I have to say I am a bit gobsmacked, when I went on eBay there were loads around the £44 - £55 mark. Now as you say they are twice that. I found one on Amazon for £75, but 5 weeks delivery! If you want to contact the seller in Walsall that listed mine look for heyicu on eBay. I suspect they imported a batch from China and may get more in if they think they can sell them.

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Easydrinker
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Easydrinker »

Those slow boats are now coming out of China.
I am curious to discover how long a small China "Ground Mail" shipment is going to take to get to me.

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

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Fierymac
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Fierymac »

Windoe wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 5:30 pm
Fierymac wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 9:07 am
Windoe wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:02 am
Ok I succumbed and splashed out £45 and bought one of those 750w water distillers.
Have you got a link? I got excited about all the power controllers etc so bought them before i read some more and found my original Airtsill is only 380W anyway!! Best price i've managed to find is £90.
I have to say I am a bit gobsmacked, when I went on eBay there were loads around the £44 - £55 mark. Now as you say they are twice that. I found one on Amazon for £75, but 5 weeks delivery! If you want to contact the seller in Walsall that listed mine look for heyicu on eBay. I suspect they imported a batch from China and may get more in if they think they can sell them.
Is this the same one you got? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/750W-4L-Stai ... 262bbabd3a It is from the seller you mentioned at £55 + delivery. Seems to be so many "copy-cats" to the air-still it would just be reassuring to know that someone has used it successfully so i know it's not a bag of bolts!

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Mash
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Mash »

I have to say this style does seem to be available in various colours and badges. The large stainless spout is a unique giveaway.

I think Jenny's might be like that - can't get the links to work, so can't be sure.

TBH there isn't much to them anyway. Element in the bottom, fan is the top.
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Windoe
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Windoe »

Fierymac wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 3:02 pm
Windoe wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 5:30 pm
Fierymac wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 9:07 am


Have you got a link? I got excited about all the power controllers etc so bought them before i read some more and found my original Airtsill is only 380W anyway!! Best price i've managed to find is £90.
I have to say I am a bit gobsmacked, when I went on eBay there were loads around the £44 - £55 mark. Now as you say they are twice that. I found one on Amazon for £75, but 5 weeks delivery! If you want to contact the seller in Walsall that listed mine look for heyicu on eBay. I suspect they imported a batch from China and may get more in if they think they can sell them.
Is this the same one you got? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/750W-4L-Stai ... 262bbabd3a It is from the seller you mentioned at £55 + delivery. Seems to be so many "copy-cats" to the air-still it would just be reassuring to know that someone has used it successfully so i know it's not a bag of bolts!
Yes that is exactly the same as the one I had, you could see if they would take less as they sold them cheaper back in march and free delivery.

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Windoe
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Windoe »

Well over the past few days I have been wearing out this airstill. I didn’t have the spare time to devote to doing a full stripping run on the 50ltr keg. I used up most of my distilled water diluting down some neutral to 45% for carbon filtering. It hardly makes any difference even though it takes a day for 5ltrs thru 1kg of carbon. So I distilled 10trs of water at full power.

I had 12 ltrs of nettle ‘wine’ to strip so I put that thru. Now the prototype web server is running on the airstill I can monitor the run while working around the home. Knowing the temps to throttle back the power and stop the heater makes it easy to control from my phone while ‘multi tasking’ still in and out of the kitchen.

Today, I ‘snook’ 4lts of my cornflakes wash out of the fermenter to see what it was like. Ran at full chat to 85 degrees then back at 21% to run off the distillate. Really slow to allow me plenty of time to swap jars without messing up if I was held up 5 mins working on the ‘puter. iPad was set up to monitor the temps next to the laptop.

Now it sounds like I was miles away from the airstill but in fact its about 10ft away but on a comfy chair! With the keg still I have to baby sit it all the time in case the cooling malfunctions (It hasn’t yet but it will) the airstill is inherently that bit safer. I may add a fan monitor in the future to cut the power if there is no cooling.

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Mash
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Mash »

This will make you laugh Windoe

I used an old phone as a web cam for flow monitoring. And I have to confess to tying a thread of wool to the top of the AS to show it was on. But then I stole the router for another job and gave up altogether.

I haven't said it for a while, so this seems an appropriate time. Get a freezer. The difference it makes is astounding.
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Windoe
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Windoe »

Mash wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:33 am
This will make you laugh Windoe

I used an old phone as a web cam for flow monitoring. And I have to confess to tying a thread of wool to the top of the AS to show it was on. But then I stole the router for another job and gave up altogether.

I haven't said it for a while, so this seems an appropriate time. Get a freezer. The difference it makes is astounding.
Hey they are good ideas, I get the idea of a freezer and keep an eye out for a top loading one for just this job.

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Easydrinker
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Easydrinker »

Oh, you boys with your teknologies.
Just light a fire under the do-hickey, and when she steams, she steams.
But don't let her steam too much. :lol:

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: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Mash »

Windoe wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:08 pm

Hey they are good ideas, I get the idea of a freezer and keep an eye out for a top loading one for just this job.
This will get you thinking then.....
Get an under counter freezer.
1. With an inkbird you have a fermentation cabinet.
2. When fermented turn on the freezer.
Note: Removing is easier than a chest.
3. Stand your AS on top to run it.
4. In between brews store your stuff in it.
5. In the summer use the inkbird and chill beer in it.
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Windoe
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Windoe »

All of the freezers i have seen so far have cooling coils between the baskets on a front loader. Hence the idea of a chest job. If I can find the right front loading freezer I could stack it on top of an existing fridge. I use brewpiless for the controllers on my other fridges. With a bit of port forwarding and no-ip redirection I can monitor them when working away. I built a few iSpindles and chuck one of those in if I know I can’t check the wash for a week or more. That will report gravity to the brewpiless so I can cold crash remotely if needed. I seldom have an empty fridge for storage.

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Mash
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Mash »

Good point about coils, you need to go frost free.
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Runningman
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Runningman »

Hi Mash
Hope you and yours are all safe and well. A friend of mine is looking for an Air Still and I found this on ebay. Do you think it would be OK for him. Any advice very much appreciated.
Regards
RM
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4L-Dental-Me ... 4335440681
or
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4L-Home-Coun ... SwB9Fe~a7A

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Mash
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Mash »

The second has some unnecessary stuff.

The dental one gets my vote, it will of course need a power controller. But don't worry about a power meter. You can turn in down until it the flow JUST starts dripping.
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Runningman
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Runningman »

Hi Mash
Thanks for the prompt reply. Ive got a spare power controller that i can give him so I think he will be good to go. Will advise him to purchase the Dental one. Thanks again.
Regards
RM

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Mash
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Re: You never buy the best airstill first time!

Post by Mash »

I don't think he will not be disappointed. They work like a charm. Tbh better than the originals.
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