Order the Book
The equipment required for making vodka consists of a) a fermenter where the alcohol is made from ordinary table sugar and baker's yeast. It is a much cruder and faster fermentation than used for beer- and wine-making and we recommend the use of a laundry tub complete with stirrer and heater to keep the temperature at 33o C. The cost would be between $50 & $100, depending on accessories.
The second item b) is the still, and this consists of a boiler and a packed column. The cheapest and (by far) the best boiler is a domestic hot water heater with the thermostat removed and we recommend the 35 - 45 litre size (10 - 12) US gallons. The column is made from 1 ¼ copper tubing. A cooling coil consists of about 14 ft of 3/16 flexible copper tubing. We recommend the use of stainless steel scrubbers for packing the column --- much cheaper and more effective than Raschig rings. With elbows, a ball valve, a needle valve, etc. the cost (in N. America) would be about $300. A supply of cold water and a drain are necessary.
The total cost, therefore, would lie between $300 and $400, depending on how much sophistication is added, e.g. a digital thermometer instead of a mercury/glass one. Since each batch would produce about 12 litres of vodka, 2 or 3 runs should pay off the equipment.