Intro: Build a simple solar still
I've posted here about the square foot solar cooker, and here is another of the many uses for it.This is a solar alembic, or pot still, made from square foot mirrors, which can produce between 2 and 5 ounces of distillate on a lazy sunny afternoon.
It is not that great at making distilled water (without added reflectors as above), but can make essences, perfumes, and even ethanol.Please note: it is illegal to distill ethanol except for fuel, and you must have a federal permit to do so. However they are not that hard to get, and our government isactually encouraging the citizenry to experiment with this which is why I'm writing. I am with a group who have one.Here is the link for a permit, which you MUST have. You need to specify that you will be making alcohol for fuel on the permit application.http://www.ttb.gov/forms/f511074.pdf
The ReflectorYou need 3 square foot mirrors, about $7 at your hardware store to build the reflectors..