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2.5" (formerly known as 3") Bubble Column



  • You could use that to roast the turkey too!

  • I'd brine that turkey in it over night and put it on the smoker in the morning. :D

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  • make the top so it would store in the base... fold down handles on the ends

  • edited July 2014

    This was drawn up for another project but the principle should follow through. Forget the lid - keep that just for access and to seal the boiler. Take the vapour path out through the side of the boiler with a 2" Triclamp pull. That way there is no weight on the lid.

    You can keep the round boiler in any size you like, but side mount the column. Give it a bit of support so the weight is not being held by the boiler for stability.

    With a full size clamp down lid, and tri clamps everything can break down into modular components to go inside the boiler for storeage. I would say one of the wider brazier pans, as opposed to the taller stock pot pans would be the better option.


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  • Why not look at a small electric unt. I use a 25L stainless frementer with a 2400w element.It can sit on nannas bench or sink pluged in to a standard 10amp out let no prob. Put a drain tap on it, once done open it up and stright down the sink, break down the baby dragon store it all away. I have a 2 1/8'" column 550mm tall with a defrag and a 310mm shotgun condensor hanging off the side, all copper,home made and very stable.started off with a 1200w but took for ever and had poor results,upped the power and it works a treat.

  • @jasse said: I use a 25L stainless frementer with a 2400w element.

    Any photos?

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  • This is what a local seller has in his stock: 10 litre stillimage

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  • edited July 2014

    Lloyd if the boiler is the problem I wonder if you could instead market (as a low cost option) a 2.5" column with a boiler conversion kit?

    A band to go round the pot with toggle clamps attached to provide a good lid seal, with a self cut gasket sheet. Possibly a compression type bulkhead connector and hole saw to mount a vapour path into the side of the pot.

    And as a slightly more expensive option provide a modified milk can boiler or modified stock pot. Add in an adjustable support to take the weight of the column.


    I have always thought of this style of still as being one to use an existing cooker hob, but an immersion electric option is a viable alternative. If you were to do it as suggested above, it removes the need to reinforce the lid to take the weight of the column. Most readily available pot lids are not strong enough.

    The alternative is the pressure cooker / pressure canner pots which would do the job - but they are a bit more expensive.

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  • edited July 2014


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  • edited July 2014

    first time posting photos first is the boiler and this is my still atached to the lid with a 2" ferrule cut and tig welded in to the lid.


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  • That looks like a T500 boiler from still spirits.

  • Its a beer essential stainless frementer acording to the box it came in.T500 boiler has elements biult in to the base.

  • The first or the second pic?

  • The first one looks like the T500...

  • I agree with @jasse above, electric might be the way to go for this small of a still. Even if you had something with the right dimensions, many cook tops have a vent hood above them, or any number of reasons why it would not fit on a range, and anyone with electric coil burners are likely going to break the supports (resulting in a leaning still and/or poor contact with the base...ask me how I know).

    It seems a countertop electric unit would be more ideal, as it can sit anywhere on top of a silicon sheet, and you could switch out different elements depending on what you have available, but even 20a 110v outlets should be fine for this still. It may require a modicum more effort on the still buyer's side, but it seems to fit in better with the modular concept. Just my two Lincolns....

  • edited July 2014

    So what were saying it would be nice for Stilldragon to have a bench top, 20L boiler, electric, non-exposed element.

    Very much like the T500 boiler but not costing the end customer ~$250(AUD) ?

    SUB $80 (AUD) urns are pretty common,

    Maybe we are over thinking this. It might be that we supply a conversion 'kit' that includes a gasket and a hole saw! ...

    ideas? comments?

    Lowest Hot Water Urn @ shopbot

  • edited July 2014

    same sort of boiler as the T500 but without the tap is the Still Spirts or Essencia Super Reflux boiler, 30L total vol with 25L working capicity, changeable element etc, I have had one for approx 10 years and they work just as you would expect and not the most expensive (approx $120.00 NZ for the complete bolier and lid - which has a hole in it that can be made larger)


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  • edited July 2014

    Yeah the t500 is rather overpriced. Even with the price decrease here in NZ lately. They would be dirt cheap from a supplier that actually makes them or similar though. What would look cool and is shaped to be more like a boiler on commercial rigs is the short shape fustis if going stove top. Certainly looks more solid than t500 boiler which look cheap. Perhaps a snobby view but I hate to see a nice glass column on one. Would feel like a waste. Does having the insulation matter a lot when its an in the kitchen rig?

  • Bloody crap, just this minute received the prototype and it is just a standard 2" sight tower and the 2.5" CD gaskets won't fit it. Par for the course during development and to be expected but not welcomed. MAYBE we are on the same page with the machine shop now but they vend uber numbers of TC parts through SD and throughout China and a mix up like this is certainly going to happen sometimes... but I'm an impatient kind of guy and was wanting to begin construction of a - lets start to call it a 'counter top still'?

    I completely agree with you guys that we need to get it off the stove top and on to the counter next to the sink. The range hood has such a height restriction that its far cheaper and easier to add a simple hot plate next to the sink or to have a heating element in the little boiler.

    The very first one of something is hard and costly, the copies are easy and much cheaper.

    Usually its 3 to 4 months to get something new produced and 1 to 3 months to get the copies made in volume. Usually but not always. ProCaps took about 9 months to bring out but the 135 degree 2" bend was only a few weeks.

    I have very high hopes the "Apartment Still" for Mama will succeed and to do that I must pull every rabbit that I can out of the hat to keep the total cost as low as possible because Mama is frugal (that's a nice word for cheap-ass). Mama needs to be able to afford it, not just want it.

  • A counter top boiler would be sweet if it was induction or could be used on a induction hot plate..

  • edited July 2014



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  • Hi LoO, With the element added, wouldn't a low profile brazing pot be easier to execute than a square vessel?

    Or is that config intended to work on or off of the cook top?

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  • So it sounds like 3" is off the table. Too bad! You already sell 3" dephlegmators and sight towers and chimneys. We just need gaskets for the crystal dragon.

  • edited July 2014

    The 3 is not off of the table. The 2" is just taking up all of the room at the moment.

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  • The square vessel can be manufactured from sheet metal. making a pot would requie some really high MOQ's and crazy $$ for custom moulds

  • edited July 2014

    If you are now talking about table top electric and not using an existing hob then I would say to use the standard 30 litre beer keg and modify it. It already is a pressure vessel and has the 2" triclamp compatible flange. Either build a hob ring into the skirt under the keg, or fit an immersion element.

    Ok you loose the storage space inside the keg, but gain a sealed container. If you wish to keep the storage option fit a 4" ferrule to the top.


    This is my 3" packed column VM / LM, on a thumper made from a 30 litre keg. You can take the drain out through the skirt, so don't need to add legs.

    One of these kegs with a 6" ferrule would be a bit more expensive, but very usefull.

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  • I coudl be way off base here, but me thinks that if you bought a container load, you could get the short (and regular) beer kegs with a 4" TC (6" for regular) instead of the spear for less than $50.... add markup and shipping and sell for $100-120 maybe have the 2" TC for the element, the 2" for the fill/sight glass, and a couple 3/4" TC, one for drain and one for temp.. a lot of distillers and homebrewers alike would snap up a multi-use, legal, electric ready, tri-clover keggle that is shiny new for $150...

  • and dang sure say it was for homebrewing not distilling.... nuff said

  • shoot, use a 4" triclover cap with some add-ons and you could use it as a fermenter and keg your beer in it as well.

  • The home brew shop attached to my brewery sells keggles sourced in China and we have found that a keg with the top laser cut out and 3, 1/2" couplers welded in still costs less than standard kegs at the same quantity because the spear and assembly is the most expensive part. With your sourcing ability I would think you could find what @myles is talking about for pretty damn cheap.

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