Building the boiler of a potstill
For the boiler, I use an old warm water
boiler (15 liter/3.95 gallons) which is normally fitted under
the kitchen sink. These boilers are available up to 120 liters and even 150 liters (obviously wall mounted).
These old boilers are normally easy to obtain
for a limited amount as they are usually treated as scrap metal and the price is linked to the weight of the copper boiler inside.
The base material
Check your local plummer or scrap metal yard, they have them usually
|This is an example of a small 10 liter boiler.
(Thanks for the picture! Is it Dutch?).
Another example of a hot water boiler,
a 80-100 or maybe even a 120 liter version.
Once you have managed to find a boiler, you need to remove the metal cover and insulation material, usually foam. Be carefull that you do not dent the copper boiler inside. Some of the piping which is left can be used at a later stage for emptying the boiler after a batch, the others can just be closed.
Various styles of Potstills
Building a potstill is not very complicated and a great learning experience. Many different available boilers can be used as a basis for the boiler, for example beer kegs, turkey fryers, stainless steel tanks, drums etc.
The material must be either stainless steel or copper. I would not recommend to use Aluminium pots as they might release some unwanted materials into your alcohol.
I personally prefer copper as base material as it is well known that copper has a possitive influence on the quality of the alcohol. Next to this, it is relatively easy to work with and it just looks great.
The downside of copper is that it is less easy to find copper tanks or boilers. In several countries, hot water boilers have a solid copper tank, which can be easily stripped form insulation and used as a basis.