A still is an ancient invention whose design has remained fundamentally the same throughout the ages. Thanks to modern pressure cookers, you can make a simple still to distill small amounts of alcohol for use in homemade cleaning solutions or crafts projects. As the liquid boils, alcohol-filled steam rises into the copper tubing. It then cools and emerges from the tubing as a liquid.
Wrap the copper tubing around a large juice can (the 2-quart size). Leave approximately 18 inches of the tubing uncoiled and straight at each end.
Drill a hole in the side of the bucket, approximately 1/2 inch from the bottom. Make the hole the same diameter as the copper tubing.
Place the coiled copper tube into the bucket. Feed the lower straight end into the hole you drilled in Step 2.
Seal the opening around the copper tube with a plastic clay-type glue such as Blu-Tack.
Set bucket on a stack of books or small pedestal to raise it above the level of the countertop. Place a bowl or other container under the end of the copper tube that pokes through the bucket. The alcohol will drain out of the tube into the container.
Add enough cold water to the bucket to completely submerge the coiled portion of the copper tubing.
Insert the other end of the copper tubing into the brewing cork. Place the cork on the stem (vent) of the top of the pressure cooker.
Fill pressure cooker less than half full of materials to be distilled. Replace and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook over low to medium heat.
- Copper tubing, approximately 8 feet
- Large (2-quart) juice can
- Plastic bucket
- Clay-type adhesive, such as Blu-Tack
- Stack of books or small pedestal
- Pressure cooker
- Brewing cork
- Empty container
Alcohol is highly flammable; take precautions near open flames. This method does not produce potable alcohol; do not use this method to produce alcohol to drink.