If you want to distill alcohol, you obviously need some materials. As it is always in life, you can use a very simple home made set up which will cost you around $50 or you can go for the Rolls Royce. It's up to you!
I will try to describe basic materials as well as a more professional set of materials if you want to take your hobby to the next level.
The basic set up
The most basic distilling set up requires the following supplementary materials:
- Fermentation vessel: the sugar solution (mash) needs to be fermented in a clean environment.
- Airlock: the airlock allows carbon dioxide (formed by alcohol production) to evade the fermenter while avoiding air to enter the vessel.
- Siphon: a (garden) hose which you can use to siphon the fermented wash into the still without bringing the yeast sediment into the still.
- Thermometer: measure the temperature at the top of the still, in order to determine the quality of the output (alcohol). Most commonly a standard glass thermometer is used. You can also use electronic thermometers which are easy to read & use and not very expensive anymore.
The "advanced" set up
No need for this, unless you are a bit of a gadget freak.
a glass tube with a scale on it, used to determine the specific
gravity of fluids.
A vinometer is used to measure alcohol in finished wort. If
you didn't take your original gravity reading on the wort, you
can give it a try. Limited accuracy however, but still can be
- Parrot or Epouvrette:a simple device for holding an alcoholometer
during distillation, allowing for continual monitoring of the
proof of the emerging distillate.
- Refractometer: a (Brix) refractometer is an optical instrument
that measures the sucrose concentration in a sucrose and water
solution as a function of the index of refraction of the solution,
i.e. specific gravity of wort.