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Gin basket, why the carter head configuration?


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I never need to change out my gin basket as the only botanicals that go in are the complementary ones - the juniper and corriander seed go in the boiler.

Previously I suspended the complimentary ones in a bag in the headspace, not in the liquid - just in the boiler.

Now I have a gin basket to save the messing around securing the bag amongst other aesthetic reasons.

I am just looking at my setup and it would seem to get back to my original gin method, the gin basket should be directly attached to the boiler with blanking plates on the 2" openings and my column should sit on top. Like this:-

What are the reasons for not doing this and going back to my original method..?



new config.jpg

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Sure, that's an option, there many commercial gin stills setup in that fashion.

The reason for the Carter Head as a device are exactly as you state - ease of operation for vapor-extracted botanicals.  Secondary to this, some feel that draining the Carter Head "tea" back to the alcohol in the boiler can cause off-flavors, bitterness, earthiness, astringency (based on the botanical type).  Instead, the carter head allows for the draining of that condensate separately.

Keep in mind, there is sometimes the need to change baskets multiple times during a run.  The carter head facilitates the change out.  In your model, it would be very difficult to juggle the hot  column, condenser, parrot, etc to swap the basket.  Make the basket big enough so that you don't need to change out, problem solved (just don't blow your self up).

Suspension of a bag works, but is less efficient than an in-line basket - as vapor is forced through the basket, ensuring high contact, versus in suspension, where it's much more passive contact.


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