Place an oven thermometer in the mash when you distil so you know what temperature you have.
You can use a soldering iron when you make the hole in the lid. The heat will melt the plastic and you can cut a hole. Protect the soldering iron with a piece of aluminium foil.
Regarding the wattage: Raising the wattage of the immersion heater speeds up the process and a higher strength are achieved. The downside is that the quality is not as good. Dropping the wattage too much lowers the strength but the quality is somewhat better.
The apparatus functions at room temperature but if it is possible to locate it in a cool place then do it. You will get a higher strength and better quality. Place it outdoors in the winter. Using the freezer, refrigerator or cooling fan is also recommended.
In warmer climates it may be necessary to raise the temperature of the mash to give a satisfactory strength.
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