Air Still

Talk about methods, equipment and recipes for making brewed and distilled spirits at home.

Air Still

Postby Dasher » Wednesday Nov 12, 2008 4:37 pm

I have been happily brewing away for a couple of years now, and enjoy both the resulting beer, and its cost benefits.
I have been looking at the Air Still as promoted by Brewcraft and wondered whether there was anybody out there who has one or has a comment?
thanks,
Dasher
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Re: Air Still

Postby Beermonster100 » Wednesday Nov 12, 2008 8:32 pm

HI Dasher.
I have been brewing beer for many years and decided to try spirits a few weeks ago. (i live in new zealand, you see)
I bought the airstill and completed my first batch last week.
I gotta say, it was soooo easy, like the name suggests.
I used turboyeast 48 with 9kg dextrose.
Took a few weeks to finish but eventualy got about 8 litres of spirits at 40% (watered back, came out of the still at 65%).
Throw away the first 50ml from the still, to be safe
Made some vodka from that, tastes great, and some whiskey which is currently sitting on woodchips.
Second batch is on the go now.
I couldnt be bothered with the traditional reflux stills and the excessive water waste.
This was almost fill and forget.
Go for it.
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Re: Air Still

Postby FazerPete » Thursday Nov 13, 2008 8:46 am

Yeah I bought one a couple of months ago. I've must say that I'm very happy with it because it's damned simple to use and clean and the end product is pretty good. :D

I've read on some spririts forums that purists don't like them but my experience has been all positive.
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Re: Air Still

Postby DavidP » Wednesday Dec 10, 2008 2:22 am

I'm not a purist...and I'm not really a fan of it
I've got an air still and I've got a water pot still with a 25ltr boiler.
The air still is too small and there is no temperature control. The plastic/rubber seal for the lid is a worry. apparently after several uses it needs replacing. Guess where the plastic goes when the hot alcohol vapour breaks it down? Last I heard plastic is related to causing cancer.
Plastic aside......it's hard to make decent cuts in such a small still. (by cuts I mean collecting different parts of the run in separate containers because different/skanky alcohols come off at different parts of the run and should be seperated...unless you like hangovers.)
All the homebrew shops will tell you there is no need to make cuts and to only throw out the first 50mil. Buti if you are trying to make really decent alcohol any more often than one bottle a month then the air still probably isn't for you.

I just use my air still for distilling the water that I use to cut back the distilate I get from my real still.



all that said....the air still isn't too bad a place to start if you don't have the cash to spend.....all the plastic is still a worry though.
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Re: Air Still

Postby 6250 » Monday Mar 08, 2010 9:41 am

i agree with davidp.
i have one myself and i think that the quality is not as great as a reflux or pot still.
i did run the spirit through the carbo an extra time or 2 and it improved the taste,
otherwise not too bad to start off with
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Re: Air Still

Postby rob m » Tuesday Mar 09, 2010 7:44 pm

i originally purchased a 5 litre reflux still which was only good for about 65% (price was a big factor) and i gradually modified it and now it's producing between 85-90% everytime.
Last edited by rob m on Monday Nov 21, 2011 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Air Still

Postby DavidP » Friday Mar 12, 2010 5:56 am

with prices like those your better off looking on home distiller.org for some designs and knocking yourself up something out of copper.
you could easily make yourself a still for $100
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Re: Air Still

Postby rob m » Friday Mar 12, 2010 9:11 am

yep you are right but for us with limited knowledge and tools we don't have too many choices and bottle shop prices at around $50.00 a bottle....well it's still cheap :wink:
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Re: Air Still

Postby DavidP » Saturday Mar 13, 2010 4:02 pm

I was in the same boat. My first still was the air still. I didn't have tools or the knowledge, but I did alot of reading on home distiller and then I bought a $30 gas torch, some silver solder, hacksaw and some sanding paper and I had everything I needed to make a still.
I'm not a handy mechanicly minded person but I made a still and its the best thing I ever did. Its not half as hard as you think it is. Anyone can solder. There are alot of instructional videos on youtube. The sense of achievment after you make it yourself is worth the hassle of learning to make it. That and you know what your making it out of so you know there is no plastic.
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Re: Air Still

Postby caspian » Thursday May 06, 2010 12:22 pm

DavidP wrote:The plastic/rubber seal for the lid is a worry. apparently after several uses it needs replacing.


not on mine. I couldn't begin to count the batches I have put through it and the seal is fine.

rob m wrote:yep you are right but for us with limited knowledge and tools we don't have too many choices and bottle shop prices at around $50.00 a bottle....well it's still cheap :wink:


yep, and if you stick with the kits for the wash the end product is really quite good. run it through the filter two or three times though, it does make a big difference. some of the filter cartridges are a bit dense and flow very slowly, but I have found that boiling them beforehand helps free them up.

I will be going to a reflux next year when we move into our new house and I've got more room, but for the meantime air stills are brilliant - sit on the counter in the kitchen, no water required etc.
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