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Introductions are apparently in order.

Good evening all. I am a new to distilling enthusiast ,who seeks your counsel to keep me safe and happily enjoying this new hobby. I became interested in this pastime, while at a charity event for a co-worker's son. Someone had brought small jars of coconut libations which could be had if you made a donation. All sorts of funds were being raised for the family,and I luckily snagged the last jar. A friend had pulled me aside when I arrived at the event ,and turned me onto this wonderful little liquid.My only other introduction to this liquid was a childhood fascination with the Charles B. Pierce film, "Bootleggers"(mostly due to the old timey cars).After pursuing the continued supply of this libation with very mixed results, I resolved to try my hand at it. Reminded of the days when I pursued the green leafy entertainment commodity with the same results,I decided to invest in good equipment and make a go of it for my benefit and that of close friends. I have almost the complete rig, still head (SD 2 plate with intentions of growing), boiler (13 gallon ,5500 watt element ) home built controller,50 ish gallon cooling reservoir, and a boiler stand.Still needing to select a pump to recirc cooling water, possibly a manifold setup to fine tune said cooling water, some cooking/ racking accessories and my first mash/wash to officially enter this hobby.I have photos/videos if anyone desires to see the rig, or is that too forward of me? Thanks in advance ,Thirsty1.(John).



  • Very nice intro, ThirstyJohn. Sounds like you are well on your way!
    Probably 90% of what you will ever learn from this hobby will occur in the first few runs. The other 10% takes a lifetime.

    And yes, we love pictures so show us.
    Check out the recipe section. UJSSM is a proven performer and it's good ferment to start with as no cooking is required and racking can be done with a section of almost any hose you have laying around.

    Collect in small jars and your nose and tongue will tell you which ones are keepers and the others can be recycled the next time you run your still.

    Most of all, have fun! Glad you are here.

  • edited August 2013

    Welcome Thirsty.

    don't forget to RTFM ;-)

  • edited August 2013

    Very nice Intro Thirsty,sounds close to how and why I started,hang on to your hat,your trails and tribulations will try to get the best of you,but the triumphs will out wieght those 10 fold! A bounus to all aspects of our hobby is some of the people ya converse with along the way and some you may shake hands with,enjoy and :)>- have fun! Enjoy you SD 2 and lets know how your hobby goes.

    It is what you make it!

  • Welcome Thirsty,

    IF your in the states and there is a tractor supply company near buy. A bag or sweet feed without pellets the 10% allgrain Producers Pride purple label is a good way to start as well... a no brainer and you get numerous runs out of one bag... ang it can be run as a UJSM as well...

    have fun and be careful...

  • Welcome mate. As you are someone fresh to the hobby, can i ask you how you found StillDragon and what made you decide to use our equipment? I'll second the ujsm, besides rum (which takes a long time maturing unless you like white rum) it's the easiest recipe out there and a staple in most households including mine.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • edited August 2013

    Thank You all for the kind reception.Yes I am in the states.I bought my boiler before I found SD ( can't remember exactly how I tripped across SD,probably during a search for bubble plate stills) from hillbilly stills( I wanted a 13 gallon milk can/boiler) There is a TSC nearby,so I'll have to check that out.I guess after consideration SD had the best concept and I really liked the bubble plate style still. I really want to make a sound choice for the recirc pump,so any make/models you guys like better than the plethora that is available.Also manifold or no? If yes, config pics or diagrams would be helpful. I would like to make a few runs to get something to put in a tumbler whilst I continue my education in this magical art. Bentstick , funny you should bring up Triumphs in your post...


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  • Should I post equipment pics here or if not, where exactly?

  • @Thirsty1 said: Should I post equipment pics here or if not, where exactly?

    Right here is fine.

  • That is sweet thirsty,had a 650 yrs ago! Also have a 200 tigercub it is a 1952 but needs lots of love!

    It is what you make it!

  • edited August 2013

    Ok, first the boiler, then the controller,you guys already pretty much know what a two plate SD looks like,so I'll wait till I assemble the thing entirely to post a pic of that(its still in the box,long story), might have a pic of the still stand I cobbled together.I'd like to assemble it soon,but I'm going to the girlfriend's for the weekend( priorities!).She lives about 2 hours north of me and since it will be a relaxing,hanging around the house,shopping type weekend , I'd like to look for the recirc pump.That's why I need that bit of advice.If I am to build a manifold system ,I probably have pvc,or cpvc scraps left hanging around here,so no issues other than configuration there.Work keeps me too tired to fool with anything in the evening,especially with the heat of august,so my energies are focused on the rare bit of time on the weekend when I find it to move incrementally towards my first run(s).Plus, as my late wife used to say, I am as slow as Methuselah(sp?).

    image image image

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  • edited August 2013

    More pics ... Last pic is for @bentstick ...

    image image image image

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  • edited August 2013

    for @bentstick ... talking about needing tlc ....

  • edited August 2013

    I use a 240v 250 watt submersible sump pump. Not sure of the flow, but it's a lot. runs one inch hose if that's any help.

    It's the 250 watt version of this one,

    XU1 400W Dirty Water Submersible Pump

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • @Thirsty1 said: for bentstick ... talking about needing tlc ....

    I like it nice ride,wished i would of picked up Uncles BSA before he was hit,he made it ok but the bike was done,he build it from a basket case nothing but parts!

    It is what you make it!

  • Ok, went to tractor supply to buy an inner tube for a farm wagon, and while there, I checked out the purple label all grain sweet feed(10%). It said it was "textured" . I am hoping that doesn't mean pelletized. FullySilenced... Any idea?

  • it will only have four ingredients on the label.

    this one: Producer's Pride® All Grain Feed, 50 lb.

    I have also read that the scratch makes really good product as well but have not tried it...

    Producer's Pride® Scratch Grain, 50 lb.

    its nothing but cracked corn and cracked wheat...

  • edited August 2013

    @Law_Of_Ohms said: The SSR in the pics is PWM controlled?

    I am not 100% certain if what the controller does is considered PWM, it may very well be.


    I purchased the ssr,the heat sink, and the controller as a package.slightly pricy but the customer service was excellent . I have only made steam vapor with the rig so far, but I expect to get my money's worth when it goes operational. I did manage to round up a nice recirc pump at TSC. The picture is starting to take shape and hopefully soon the fruits of my efforts will flow forth ...

  • edited August 2013

    @Law_Of_Ohms, sorry the quotation of you actually contains part of my response,this wouldn't have happened on my desktop. But as I am typing on this tiny phone screen errors ma well occur.

  • edited August 2013

    @Law_Of_Ohms, the package @Thirsty1 bought includes a phase angle controller module that bolts onto the SSR. It will operate just like the PSR25 (& I assume the SD DIY kit) which have this control circuitry built in. All that is required is an external potentiometer.

  • Next question is one related to the cooking of the mash. Do I need a stainless cooker or would aluminum be ok for this process? My boiler is of course stainless.

  • All my questions thus far pretty much pertain to the selection of equipment.i prefer to get everything lined up in trial fit before putting the rig into action. I truly appreciate the input.

  • @Thirsty1 many All grain beer guys use aluninium. The purists & nay sayers will tell you no altzimers etc, but Al is considerably cheaper which is a bigger concern for most

  • Thanks Crozdog. I started pricing out ss mash pots. Up to 60 quarts weren't as bad as I had feared . Now to sift for a bit of quality . I may still start out with al until my wallet becomes a Tad more robust. We'll see how it goes...

  • edited September 2013

    unitized cooling pump


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