Jump to content

Two Side by Side Columns


Recommended Posts

I'm curious, how do two side by side columns work on a vodka/hybrid still?

On a single column that is situated to the side of the kettle, you can have gravity feed the reflux back in to the kettle. If you have two columns, the first one can again drain back in to the kettle. But, what about the second column? Would you use a pump to get it's reflux back to the top of the first?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are 2 methods that would work fine:

  1. Like you said, you could pump the condensate in the bottom of the 2nd column, back to the top of the first. However, in order to decrease preferential condensing and/or channeling in the first column, the pump would need to be discharging into a collector/distributor tray, such that the liquid is evenly dispersed across the packing below.
  2. Another method. Return the condensate to the kettle, via a P-Trap (like under a sink) in order to avoid pressure bypass issues. Once you're up and going (the column system is heated up) there shouldn't be too much in the way of condensate collecting in the 2nd column. You really only need either solution for startup.

From a cost and ease-of-use perspective, option 2 is sort of your best bet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks John.

Coop, for my spirits still, I've been using packed columns of various designs. I'm looking to expand now, but have ceiling height restrictions. So, I'm weighing all of the options.


Founder / Head Distiller

Sound Spirits

Link to comment
Share on other sites

just finished designing a system with dual plated columns for a client.

while using gravity feed from both columns back to the kettle can work, it is less than ideal.

I would recommend a small reservoir at the base of the second column and a variable/continuous flow pump to cycle the distillate at the bottom of the second, back up to the top of the first column.

this way it will act more like a single taller column. also you will only need to run a single reflux condenser at the top of the second column, rather than one for each column.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...


This may be late help/information; however you're welcome to come take a look at our double column we designed. We're pumping to the top of column one just under its dephlegmator and it has performed very well for us. We're over on Vashon; come over anytime!




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...