Still waters

  • Hey Guest, We've had to cancel our 2020 Summer BushMoot PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information.

Wildpacker

Member
Feb 25, 2005
44
0
UK
I spend a fair bit of wild time by the coast and the easiest water to find is the stuff that slops up the beach. Obviously it is the salty stuff, which is fine(ish) for cooking, but which needs a lot of work to make it drinkable. After some years my Heath Robinson solution has suffered terminal failure and I was wondering if there is a decent fire driven portable 'still' anywhere in the market place. I have looked around without success, but maybe I've been looking in the wrong places.

If this is a topic that has already been covered here, then oops! and sorry! I am working my way through the old threads but there's still a way to go...

And by 'portable' I mean small enough to pack in or around the bergen without rendering it unliftable.
 
Jan 15, 2005
851
0
50
wantage
Hi wildpacker, on wednesday last week on bbc2 there was "what the ancients did for us". They cobbled a still from what looked like a large stock pot type thing. It had a conical lid with a hole in the middle. They glued a bowl on top of that in such a way that condense would collect on the lid in side the bowl. A pipe went through the glue to outside and the condense poured straight out through that. Could be possible to bodge a lid for a billy with better cooling maybe ?
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,697
1,780
S. Lanarkshire
I don't know what you have been using but....find a lid with a central handle that tightly fits the pot you use most often. Unscrew the handle and get hold of a remnant of plumbers pipe and some potable solder (go and visit your local plumber, he'll love the job :) ) the pipe has to be fitted to the hole and must come outwards like a long spout that will pour into a cup sitting at the side of your stove/ fire. The best way of getting length enough to condense is to make the pipe coiled. If your plumber is a good egg he'll fit a screw thread for you and the pipe can be unscrewed for stowing among your socks.
No fuss, your usual pot, a kinda funny lid, a bendy coiled pipe and away you go...it's amazing what you can brew up too :nono:
Mine's tin lined copper, I use it for steam distillation, honest. You could carry some of those oven roasting bags and fasten it over the end of the pipe to catch any steam that doesn't condense. The bag is okay to 220oC
and I find a slow simmer rather than a fast boil works best.

Toddy
 

Wildpacker

Member
Feb 25, 2005
44
0
UK
Thanks for your responses, I'll take it that the market isn't flooded with suitable devices. Possibly because it could be (mis)used to offend HM Customs and Excise?

My old one was fabricated from an old pan and involved a certain amount of brazing. It's big advantage was that all the gubbins was internal and it allowed for continuous production. Only air condensing on the lid, but at the beach there is no shortage of water so efficiency isn't an issue.

And what happened to it? Erm, I ran over it with the car... :(
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,697
1,780
S. Lanarkshire
Inside the pan? Did you have a photo? I'd like to see that, or a good diagram. Suppose the Revenue men 'might' be after us; I don't use it for alcohol, cheap vodka works fine if I'm making tinctures.
How on Earth did you run the car over it?
Toddy
 

beachlover

Full Member
Aug 28, 2004
2,302
141
Isle of Wight
If you have a Kelly Kettle or clone then it would be simple to make an adapter to fit the spout to an appropriate condenser and it would serve both purposes as long as you wash it thoroughly between uses.
 

Wildpacker

Member
Feb 25, 2005
44
0
UK
Toddy said:
Inside the pan? Did you have a photo? I'd like to see that, or a good diagram. Suppose the Revenue men 'might' be after us; I don't use it for alcohol, cheap vodka works fine if I'm making tinctures.
How on Earth did you run the car over it?
Toddy
No pictures I'm afraid. It was just a pan with an inverted cone lid so that the condensation from inside the lid dropped into the centre of the pan, a shallow collecting tray was suspended just below the lid by three supporting rods to the side of the pan and a pipe went from it out through the side. To keep it topped up I drilled a hole in the side below the water line and attached a steel mug cut in half vertically which allowed the level to be seen and replenished as necessary.

As to how I destroyed it, I can only advise that you don't clean your kit in the garage. Or at least, you should put the light on before you put the car away.