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Hello from Barbados

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Hello All,

My name is Adam Werth, I am an american teaching at a university in Barbados. I have been there five years and see an opportunity to distill vodka from local sweet white potatoes. There is a long list of reasons that I believe this is the perfect product for the island.... but #1 is all vodka is imported, and is very expensive, and believe it or not, even the locals get sick of drinking rum!! I am planning on building a small still and would like to gather as much information as possible about stills, and vodka production as possible.

Because everything must be imported to Barbados, cost of production is a main concern until we get the ball rolling.

Should I build a Internal Reflux or a Valved Reflux still?

What yeast should I bring back with me?

Even though Mount Gay is in Barbados, these type of operations (Micro-brews and Micro- distilleries) and associated equipment, as well as certain materials can be very tricky, because of monopoly and corruption.

Although I have been reading, I really need technical assistance from the professionals in the field. I am an artist and have a deep appreciation for artisans and connoisseurs, and as I read more of your posts I see that I need to be connected to like minded individuals that share the same passion for quality.

I will gladly accept and greatly appreciate any information that would help make my experience more efficient.

Please point out potential pitfalls and scenarios I may not have considered. I come from a research and development background and have a genuine interest in creating a true handcrafted product, by compiling relative information, experimenting and exploring all possibilities of the process from multiple perspectives.

Many thanks, and much appreciation in advance.

All the best,


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hi Adam, have you checked into the legalities of distilling in your location? If so, what's involved? One would hope that on a relatively small island the red tape would be less extreme than in the USA.

For building your still, look into re-purposing brewery, winery, and dairy equipment, along with general food-processing equipment. You may be better off to buy a small still online and develop your recipe a bit first, as building a still is a serious endeavor.

Two books you should get right away are Ian Smiley's "Making Pure Corn Whiskey" and Bill Owens' "Craft of Whiskey Distilling." There are a number of other books available, but those two will get you started.

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hi adam,

I think you will get more out of this forum if you use it to help you figure out specific issues you are facing instead of the very broad range of info you are seeking.

one quick high level pitfall however I don't think you are considering overall is the price difference your local vodka will have over the local rum and imported vodka, I don't think its going to be as cheap as you might think...

good luck, Scott

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