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Gin stills - pros/cons. Advice request

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Hey all --

Pricing out the gin stills for our production. Looking at 400L (105 gallon) with 8-10 plates and botanical basket inset. I know what the mercedes/BMW version of this mockup costs but wanted to go out to you guys for any sense of pros/cons on what you're using or plan to use. Gin is its own animal and while we're not planning on distilling anything else on this still --- I still want to retain some flexibility esp. for when we may need to sell on secondary market down the road (I'm assuming we outgrow it vs. fail!!).

Any and all advice is very much appreciated. Your mileage is invaluable.

Many thanks.

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DISREGARD duplicate post. Got an error on posting and ended up with duplicate.

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Good morning,

If you are making gin from GNS and not from a mash and are amenable to non-macerated gin styles, I would suggest a continuous still for a number of reasons.

  • There are no heads cuts.
  • In a continuous still, even a relatively low capacity (say 1 gpm input of 40% ABV - which yields .6 gpm PLA), you can hammer out 216 gallons of non-proofed spirit in about 6 hours.
  • In a continuous, you can better manage the vapor temperature across the botanical bed and can manipulate that vapor temp in the course of the run. The result of that temperature manipulation will result in your ability to extract differing flavor compounds based upon their relative volatilities.
  • We feel that botanical basket design and operation is critical to good gin production. A big spot in the pipe, with a screen bag holding a bunch of botanicals, does not cut it. Question your still provider on their basket design, most won't be able to fully answer questions about botanical extraction rates, full botanical wetting, and volatility ratios, etc. If they can't, they aren't doing you any favors by selling you their still.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or would like to know more about the gin we make on our continuous still.

Cheers,

John

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PLA?

Also, I'm intrigued by your comments on gin basket design for a continuous still. Do you charge the basket once for the continuous run, or do you change it out on a regular basis during the run? It seems you would need a large basket and a lot of botanicals to last for the full 6 hour run in your example.

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Jedd,

Actually, you need fewer total lbs (or weight) of botanicals in a continuous still (as compared to a batch or standard gin basket design) for a few reasons. Mostly it has to do with basket design and even contact with botanicals.....so having said that, you could probably use less in a batch still too (provided your basket was designed properly).

I've been to many distilleries and have seen:

  • Dry, unstripped botanicals at the end of the run
  • Botanicals that never hit their volatility temperature during the run....thereby did not impart any flavor at all.
  • Dangerous conditions to access the botanical basket....Carl's are notorious for hanging the basket in goofy, unsafe locations for access by an operator.

PLA...(sorry) I usually use that term to mean Pure Liquid Alcohol....could have said 100%. Just for mathiness sake (understanding the azeotrope and all) trying to communicate the recovery ratios over time.

Cheers,

McKee

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I don't know if you guys are aware of the release of our new modular CarterHead style Gin Basket?

At two inch diameter input and output (comes with choke washer set to speed up vapour if desired), it would match your boiler size perfectly.

Being Carter Head style it would fit into your future plans as well by not contaminating either the boiler or condensor with liquid from the botanicals. Basket changes (comes with two baskets) are achieved quickly and safely by putting the column into full reflux for a few minutes while changing botanical baskets.

Being modular the unit can be set up however you wish.

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Comprehensive Gin Manual for our new Gin Head has also just been released.

http://www.stilldragon.org/discussion/146/the-stilldragon-operation-manuals

Please be aware:

All StillDragon Manuals are copyrighted material. You may not copy or redistribute any contents full or in parts without our written permission!

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Fantastic information - thanks all of you. StillDragon - would be great to synch up re:still design and spec sheets. I'll PM you.

Our plan is to leverage NGS in first 1-2 years of production and then for some line extension products of our gin, get into a production from local grains ...

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Fantastic information - thanks all of you. StillDragon - would be great to synch up re:still design and spec sheets. I'll PM you.

Our plan is to leverage NGS in first 1-2 years of production and then for some line extension products of our gin, get into a production from local grains ...

If you are here in the US, I'd be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

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