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I hope you all get the idea?

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Hey mythbuster, im new here, and extremely interested in your idea, i know this is an older thread, but if theres any way you could contact me, or i could contact you, id really like to speak with you about your methods and such. not sure if you can private message through the forum or not, but i hope to speak with you soon

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I applaud innovation and all this is potentially workable. At the same time, as I read through the posts, I am struck by the complexities and costs for a gallon of vodka a week, which probably will no

I have no idea on what basis you assume that I don't understand the specific engineering meaning of "Intrinsically Safe". You have zero knowledge of my qualifications, knowledge or experience in

My partner and I have built an extremely successful tiny (1 L boiler) continuous still. Not quite as sophisticated computer wise as Mythbuster's, however, it works like a hot damn. Incredibly efficien

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Whilst I appreciate that this Forum appears (mostly but not completely) "set in its ways" to age-old traditional distillation, that's just fine with me.

Just be aware that the world you live in is MUCH wider than the horizons you see!


For the information of those (if any) who feel that novelty is the Mother or Progress:-

I have been successfully running my Microstill for a couple of years now - delivering top-class (FLAVOURED and pure spirit) Product. Heads and tails are removed continuously too. I like Malt whisky and gin, so that is what I make. My personal alcohol consumption is consistently much LESS than one liter a week. I make spirits for my own personal use ONLY.


My Microstill  throughput matches the design model - approx 1 liter of feed stock per hour (sugar boosted LME fermented and delivered at ~10-12% ABV)

Steady-state running is achieved in approx. 13 minutes.

Power consumption is held (under CPU supervision) at 110 Watts to approach thermal steady state conditions, then automatically (ESP8266 and isolated TRIAC) settled to steady state power, of 68 watts per 0.25 mls per second feed rate.

If I need higher throughputs, the still also works just as well at 50% higher feed (and 50% higher power) limited exclusively by the 110W maximum power rating of my heating system.

Because energy is recovered from the (water) effluent into the feedstock line, NO cooling water is used at all, whatever the steady-state power used.

At steady-state running, there is NO alcohol detectable in the water effluent.......... though ( IF I had a GLC) I'm sure there'd be a tiny trace of it!


Next generation (my Nanostill) is at an advanced stage of build.:-

Feedrate - 10 microliters per second (about 30 mls per hour, 5 liters per week)

Product delivery approx 500mls (azeo equivalent mass) per week.

NO cooling water, at all.

Power consumption 7 Watts (!)

The design is intrinsically safe, with auto shutdown in every fail state (including fire, failed CPU safety watchdog and Power outage)


Objective: a still the size of (or smaller) a SHOEBOX. Not more than 9 inches tall.

The sort of still that permits even a one-bedroom, high-rise apartment resident the opportunity to make a liter of fine quality spirits per week (it can be "over-run" to produce 2 liters a week if desired).

The product ABV is tuneable from flavoured (e.g. malt whisky) right through to azeotrope (for vodka/gin etc).

Full credit for design/experimentation inspiration is accorded to Irving Langmuir (Nobel Laureate) and his gas/liquid phase flux equation.


Continuous FERMENTATION, as expected, is MUCH more difficult to organise, but good progress has been made towards this goal also.

In particular, contamination of the yeast by airborne material has been totally ELIMINATED (and proven so). However, even for the provision of the miniscule feedrates which the Nanostill needs, a continuous fermenter is 2 or 3 times the size of the Nanostill! Mostly because I don't want to include energy-wasteful, power-assisted filtration.


So, if you're genuinely interested, I hope that the above provides some encouragement, or at least some satisfaction that novelty need NOT be "hogwash"!

Best wishes for your own chosen pathways for explorations, whatever direction they lie in.


And to those who think they already know all there is to know: I'm completely uninterested in your Luddite habits! So save your breath.

Bye for now, I'll look in again, infrequently.







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I like the call out to Irving Langmuir, a personal favorite of mine of American scientists in history. I wrote my senior history thesis about him, and entered graduate school to study in the field of surface science, which along with plasma science, he essentially invented.

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  • 3 months later...
On 3/4/2019 at 8:15 PM, bluestar said:

I like the call out to Irving Langmuir, a personal favorite of mine of American scientists in history. I wrote my senior history thesis about him, and entered graduate school to study in the field of surface science, which along with plasma science, he essentially invented.

You will most certainly, then, understand that the "hocus pocus" pseudoscience claptrap often posted on forums is nuisance misdirection!

(Particularly when you read about "column packing" assurances from the witch doctors.....).


The flux [alcohol/water/other things] of molecular transference (both ways) is PRECISELY quantified in  Langmuir's formula - the most important aspect for still designers / experimentors being simply the SIZE of the surface area of the boundary layer between gas and liquid at all points within the still, and the "passage time" of liquid and gas through that exposed area.

I fully expect that if you yourself "dabble" in still experimental design, you will certainly also accommodate such knowledge to huge benefit, and I wish you success and FUN in wherever your own path takes you!

Bon voyage!!!!


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" Consumer Demand."

This meme should go out of use, but of course we are in a reality where about  only 4-7% of people standing are " Producers." That is people who put more energy out into the system than they take. Consumer is a real bad word in my view.





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