VI. Condensor column for moonshine still

Moonshine still tip – This is a high capacity heat exchanger with superior control, better taste/flavor, and easy to hit heads and tails. Traditional moonshiners use a cheaper copper coil in a barrel to save $$

Alright, now onto the condenser column. Gather/cut the following parts:

  • Qty 2 – 1 1/2″ x 3/4″ reducers
  • 16 1/2″ length of 1 1/2″ pipe
  • 28″ length of 3/4″ pipe
  • Qty 2 – 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ x 1/2″ tees
  • Qty 1 – 3/4″ x 1/2″ reducer
  • Qty 1 – 3/4″ 45 degree elbow
  • 1′ length of 1/2″ copper pipe
  • 1 ½.” length of ¾3/4″ copper pipe
  • Qty 2 – 2 1/4″ lengths of 1 1/2″ copper pipe
  • Qty 2 – 2″ lengths of 1/2″ copper pipe

The first step in is to slightly modify both of the 1 1/2″ x 3/4″ reducers. On the inside of the 3/4″ side, you’ll find 2 “nipples” that are supposed to stop the 3/4″ pipe from slipping too far inside the coupling. Well, we want the pipe to slide all the way through, so we need to completely remove them with a file. Here’s what it looks like before hand (note the 2 “nipples”):

And here’s how it looks with the “nipples” removed:

You’ll know you’ve filed enough off when you can slide a 3/4″ pipe all the way through like this:

Now we can move on to the actual assembly. Mount the 16 1/2″ length of 1 1/2″ pipe in your bench vise. Clean and flux the ends and slip a 1 1/2 x 1 1/2″ x 1/2″ tee onto each end. Orient them such that the are 90 degrees from each other like this:

Next, slip a length of 2 1/4″ length of 1 1/2″ copper pipe into each end. Then slip on the modified 1 1/2″ x 3/4″ reducers onto the exposed pipe on each end. At this point, you have assembled the condenser column “jacket”. This is the assembly that will carry the cooling water over the actual condenser column that we are about to install.

Now clean the entire 28″ length of 3/4″ copper pipe and flux both ends from the very end and all the way in about 6. on both sides. Next, VERY carefully slide the ¾. pipe into the jacket assembly. In the process of doing this, if you move the tees, don’t worry, you can fix the alignment in a second. When completely inserted, the 3/4″ pipe should stick out of the jacket a few inches on both ends. Make sure you have the same length exposed on both ends. In other words, make it even. It should look this this when you’ve finished assembling this step:
Do not solder inside. Only solder on flameproof materials not cotton.

If you’ve done everything correctly, you should have 6 joints to solder. But before you do, make SUPER sure that your tees are aligned like they are supposed to be (90 degrees from each other, like the above picture). Now you can heat an solder all 6 joints.

Lets assemble the outlet tube now. Slip a 2″ length of 1/2″ pipe into the 3/4″ x 1/2″ reducer (in the 1/2″ end obviously) and the 1 1/2″ length of 3/4″ pipe into the other end. Next, slip the 3/4″ 45 degree elbow onto the other end of the 3/4″ pipe. Now slide that assembly onto one end of the condenser column. This will be the bottom from now on. The assembly will look like this:

It should be pointed out in the same direction as the closest tee. After you are sure of the placement, solder everything into place. The completed condenser column will look like this:

Putting it all together – final assembly. >>

*Note: Only operate any still outdoors. Obtain all required building, safety, federal and state permits and licenses before operating your still.