How to survive power outtages using a copper reflux still.
If you have no power because there is a snowstorm, you will need to make fuel for your heating and cooking stove. Hopefully you have a food storage of freeze dried meals. Or maybe you want to boil water, coffee, rice or canned foods.
You will also want to heat up a room if there is freezing temperatures and small children.
You can get a alcohol fuel stove or make one out of soda cans. They look like a small can with a stand on it. Some are made of copper and stainless steel. They hold around 4 ounces of fuel which is about a half a cup.
Get a still that does not run on electricity, or unplug your heating elements. Use a wood fire. To make 4 gallons of 180 proof fuel, you need to ferment 20 gallons of a sugar mash and bring it up to 20-21% ABV. You do this by letting it sit until it stops fermenting or bubbling. Then you distill this in your still. It takes 60 lbs of sugar and 3 small bags of turbo 48 hour yeast. But you ferment it for five days. Make sure temperature is above 74 f. Wrap it up in blankets to keep temperature in. Then run this or your other recipe through the still. You dont have to discard anything for fuel purposes.
In the meantime, while you are waiting for your fermentation, you can chop up your old wood and use that in a wood stove or fireplace for heat and cooking.
If the water has gone out you can also use this still- for distilling dirty water into drinkable but that is another article.
. When you run out of wood, you will have fuel to burn. What comes out of one run will last you 120 hours of cooking time, with full flame in your stove. If you cooked once a day, a large pot of food, until cooked, it will be 120 days of cooking.
The cost of the sugar, at 50 cents a pound, by 60 pounds will cost you 30 dollars. The yeast is about 5 dollars each. And you can buy these at wine brewing shops. SO thats 15 dollars. So the total cost for one run is 45 dollars for four gallons of 180 proof fuel.
This fuel , 4 ounces, will cook a large pot of boiling water, or a minimum of 70 minutes, full heat, like your regular stove.
I have already cooked with my alcohol stoves. I have cooked steak and eggs. Reheated cans of baked beans. Boiled a half gallon of water in 8 minutes.I have an alcohol stove that heavy iron pans can sit on. Always keep one around.
This fuel burns clean and leaves no pollution. No fumes and is non toxic. This is good if you want to heat, and cook in a room, where you sleep as well.
For heating purposes : If you want to heat a room for you or your family, there is a ceramicor clay pot, you can buy, that gets heated up by the alcohol stoves and warms your room. You can even use a candle to heat up a room. It goes up to 450 F.
Do not buy a pot still as this is just for making drinking alcohol, so you would have to run this through a pot still multiple times, to get up to high proof. A copper reflux still will do this in one run with liquid management.
Anthony Zaca works at Rainier Distillers. He makes Copper Reflux Stills. Rainierdistillers.com