Originally Posted by HenryHill
I bought a kick azz all stainless steel water distiller for 10 bucks back a few years from a second hand store. It needed the weldless drain pet cock tightened so since it needed 'repair' I offered 10, down from the '$20---make offer' piece of tape that was obviously years old. Looks brand new!
It is an 'SS 5D MIDI-STILL'. New parts are readily available-several companies make very similar product ranging from about 500 to 1200 bones. Mine has it's own stand.
It holds 5 gallons of distilled and can be set up to run automatically. It grabs out 1 gallon at a time, by method of a float mechanism, distills that and grabs another fresh gallon, directly from a fridge ice maker type tap into your water line, complete with a check valve. I have used it for a previous hobby (we're gonna just let that go...), but am now wondering if this thing has any use in a brewing shop.
I have seen references to distilling spirits with water distillers, but am unsure of efficiency, let alone safety.
Anybody got any experience or ideas?
Just found one my self at a yard sale a while back and almost **** my self when the guy told me he wanted 10$ for it...I think I scared the guy trying to pull my money out so fast LOL I think he thought I was pulling a gun to rob him? He couldn't have known what he had, plus it had a lot of calcium build up in it from i'm guessing using it for what it states it is made for, which is questionable. It had all the parts inside the lid and I mean legs, pipes and all.... I got a little worried about it being aluminum when I got it home and tried sticking a magnet to it to make sure it was real stainless steel like I thought it was before I bought it but to my surprise the magnet didn't stick to it. I then commenced to panicking and trying to figure out if aluminum was safe to urmm "cook" out of... Upon doing that and getting no where I realized in the instruction sheet that came with the still, yea that's right I said ORIGINAL owners manual, on the front of it it said SS Midi still while combing through countless forums there were always those who said don't do it get SS meaning stainless steel. That got me pondering after not coming to a conclusion on cooking with aluminum. But as I was standing there staring at the manual it hit me like a ton of bricks the SS on the front of the manual stood for stainless steel.... But this puzzled me because I have never heard of stainless steel to not be magnetic, upon another quick search I discovered some types were not, these are called austenitic SS basically type 201&202 SS but still SS non the less a quick vinegar bath over night and a drain in the morning ALL of the calcium was gone, quick sterilizing,(consist of heating water enough to steam) and I was ready to urmm "cook". I am now trying different recipes, I started out with sour mash. I run it in the winter out side to help the condenser since it seems to waste a lot at room temperature. The trick is to make enough for you, your friends, and urmm customers for the whole summer until you can cook more the next winter. The only thing about cooking in the winter is the yeast tends to be too slow when it is cold so you have to bring it inside to ferment which is pretty stinky but if your like me and have a closed off garage or metal shed it tends to be fine for the fermenting process
Happy brewing and hope I helped in any way.