Metal Fabrication: The Secret To A Great Roll Cage

3 Reasons That You Would Need Custom Metal Fabrication If You Distill Alcohol

by Sally Burke

To distill alcohol the right way and safely requires you to have enough knowledge about the process. There are many government regulations that you must follow to legally distill alcohol. You also need the right type of distilling equipment, which must be made from the right types of metals and fabricated in the proper way. Here are three reasons you may need custom metal fabrications if you distill alcohol.

Mash Fermenter

The first step in distilling liquor is to ferment a mixture of water, sugar, and yeast. You can also add wheat, barley, or another type of grain or fruit for the yeast to digest for  creating carbon dioxide and alcohol. This mash mixture ferments for several days in a fermenting pot.

The fermenting pot needs a well-sealed lid so that foreign matter does not accidentally get into the mash. Any foreign materials will alter the flavor of the final alcohol product. A leaf, a piece of wood, or strip of paper can alter the quality and taste of the finished product. 

You will need the right size of fermenting pot to hold the amount of mash you need to make your distilled alcohol. If you are distilling for commercial use, larger batches are better.

It is also important to use the right type of metal, such as stainless steel, so the interior of the fermenting pot does not rust or leach impurities into your mash. 

Once the mash has completed its fermentation, it is ready to get pumped into the still where a flame will heat it to create an alcohol vapor. For this you will need a metal fabricated copper or stainless steel pipe between the fermenting pot and the still.

Copper Pot

The mash gets heated inside the still pot to create an alcohol vapor. The alcohol vapor floats up to the cap on the top of the still, then feeds into the cap pipe arm. Because alcohol vapor is flammable and you heat the still with an open flame, it is important that the still is tightly sealed. If any alcohol vapors were to escape the still, the vapor would ignite, causing a large explosion.

The still needs to be fabricated to be completely air tight, and also made with the right type of metal. Alcohol distillers have used copper to make their stills for centuries for a couple reasons. Copper conducts heat evenly, and it does not allow harmful chemicals to leach into your distilling process. Stainless steel also works well for the still because of its non-corrosive qualities and its ability to conduct heat evenly.

Cooling Pipe

Once the alcohol vapor travels up and out of the still, it goes through the cooling pipe into the condenser. The cooling pipe, sometimes called the worm, is a length of copper pipe that has been fabricated into a coil shape. 

The coil winds downward into a container of cold water, called the condenser. The cold water inside the condenser cools the alcohol vapor into pure alcohol. Then the alcohol runs down the coiled copper tube and through a spout outside the condenser. 

When the copper worm is being fabricated it is important that the metal worker carefully shapes it so that the pipe does not fold in on itself or get kinked. If the pipe is kinked, then its integrity is destroyed. This can cause the alcohol vapor to mix with the cooling water. This would completely ruin your distilling process at its final stage.

Safely and successfully distilling alcohol requires the right types of metal containers and piping equipment. Without the right fabrication and quality, the distilling process won't be successful.