Improvising a Still from a Steam Juicer

Yesterday a friend and I got to looking at a steam juicer and realized that they can be used as an improvised small still.  The size we have would distill somewhere around a ½ gallon at a time.  Larger ones would do more.  This could be used to distill water for batteries, to desalinize sea water  or to make small batches of alcohol for medical use.

A steam juicer comes in three major parts, the top section which contains the fruit, the second section that collects the juice and the bottom section that contains the water.  To use it for a still all you have to do is leave the top section off.  Put the product to be distilled in the bottom section, put the second section with its drain tube in place and put the lid on.  Heat the liquid in the bottom section and it will turn to steam rise into the collection area, recondense and run out the drain tube.  The trick is not to get the heat to high on the bottom section, just enough to create steam.  But not so hot, it prevents the steam from recondensing in the collection area.

The two sections of the juicer set up for use as a still. Notice drain hose that the finished product comes out off.

It is not the most efficient still, but it will work in a pinch.  If you have trouble getting the steam to condense put wet cool cloths on the lid.

The inside of the second section showing the opening through which the steam rises


See also  Powdered Charcoal for Medical Uses.

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10 thoughts on “Improvising a Still from a Steam Juicer”

  1. Howard,
    This is so creative. But for folks like me can you add more specifics like suggested ingredients, amounts times, and how do you know when the liquid is safe to consume? Thanks

  2. Water and sea water are pretty self explanatory. Unless your water is contaminated with a chemical that boils at a temperature lower than water, whatever is in the collection area will be safe to drink. As far as making alcohol, that requires that you make a mash of grain, yeast and sugar. There are many different recipes, you can look them up on the internet. Be aware it is illegal to turn the mash into alcohol without the correct permits.

  3. I would pipe the output through a carbon filter to reduce any volatile oils for distilling water. Alcohol boils at 173 degrees F. Closely monitor the temperature of the mash for best results. 175 degrees will cook off the alcohol without too much water.

  4. Where did you get your juicer? I haven’t seen porcelain ones before, just aluminum, which I don’t want to use, and stainless, which is very expensive.

    Mad Dog

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