What still to buy?

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What still to buy?

Postby Rolls912 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:05 pm

I’m seriously thinking about upgrading from the T500 reflux and pot.

I use it exclusively for making Gin so good neutral is what I’m looking for. My other motivation is that I don’t have the time to run the T500 - so slow!

I’ve read a lot here and elsewhere. What I’ve worked out so far is that:
- I need a 50-100 litre boiler
- twin element with good heat control (not 3 phase)
- don’t want to construct anything so modular or premade is the go
- most likely 4 inch
- most likely 4-6 plate (how to decide?)
- needs a botanical basket fitting although I can always make one I guess

I’m forever cleaning my T500 to ensure there’s no taint. So I hope to find something that’s easy to clean.

How long would it take to process each time?

Anything else I should be looking for?

How much should I be looking to spend - $2k enough?

Cheers
Last edited by Rolls912 on Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby scythe » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:16 am

Sounds like a neutraliser from 5star is what your after.
That will get you the neutral your after.
Then put a carter head on it for gin.
And your sorted, still-wise.
Add a milk can boiler, some elements and your done, probably not going to get much change from $5k

$2190 for a neutralizer,
$1960 for a carter head,
$545 50L milk can.
Plus postage

How badly don't you want to build?
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby woodduck » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:01 am

:text-+1:

That still is designed with neutral in mind. Best of all it can do brown spirit too if you wanted.
To save some coin you could use a botanical basket that 5 star sell instead of the carterhead.
I would say a 50ltr run would take you somewhere around 3-4 hrs.
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby warramungas » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:12 am

+1 on the neutralizer but if you're only looking to make neutral for gin a 3" boka would do you berry nicely.
Lots of speed and purity but not so good for brown spirits.
If you want a gin basket you could build it above the column or macerate fairly simply.
However if speeds not your bag and you're happier to buy the build, a macboka will probably do nicely.
I believe its a 2" boka style so not super fast but easy to modify and fit bits like gin baskets to.
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby the Doctor » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:39 pm

I run a 5 star still with Carter head... it is fabulous for gin and can be reconfigured for whiskey etc... They really are adaptable and it has won us the silver medal at San Francisco world spirits cup a number of times for gin.... these are world class stills.
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby EziTasting » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:44 pm

G'Day Rolls912,

when I made my choice, I factored in adaptability AND size... Functionality was so I could make the spirits I was interested in (without limiting my expansion or alterations choices down the track) and SIZE, which ultimately made my choice, because of where I would be running this still. So, if height is a consideration, or the boiler is a consideration (we built a keg boiler) the size of your still is not considered, you may limit you options where you can operate it from as they are considerably larger than your T500!!

The Neutraliser is the Nucks Duts, I also considered the SSG4 but what ever you look at, because of the investment stick with a modular design!
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby Professor Green » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:54 pm

:text-+1: on all the above.

A 50 litre boiler with a Neutraliser is an excellent combo for hobby stilling and will cover just about any style of spirit you want to make. Just double check the ceiling height in whatever location you're going to run it as it is a big bugger when fully assembled!

With the carter head, you can save a little money by only buying the extra bits you need as some of the Neutraliser parts can be re-used when you want to use it.

You can also start off your gin making with just a botanical basket section fitted on top of an RC and add the thumper section and other bits later on when funds allow.

Cheers,
Prof. Green.
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby Rolls912 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:14 pm

So maybe i Should buy the neutraliser with the boiler to get me started. Carter will have to wait for another day $$$

I’ll have to research what you stated prof as I don’t full understand how that rig will work.

What about if I just used the pot still on my T5 for the flavouring run?

Thanks for the replies folks
Last edited by Rolls912 on Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby EziTasting » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:21 pm

Rolls912 wrote:So maybe if I bought the neutraliser with the boiler to get me started. Carter will have to wait for another day $$$

I’ll have to research what you stated prof as I don’t full understand what you stated.

Thanks for the replies folks


Carterhead is a flat topped still with the PC coming off the side of the Still which means the full height of still and Carterhead will be 150mm lower (at a guess)...

9BB7EBAF-55A7-4DEB-AC61-DC1CF9DF8040.jpeg

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Last edited by EziTasting on Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby Professor Green » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:52 am

Rolls912 wrote:So maybe i Should buy the neutraliser with the boiler to get me started. Carter will have to wait for another day $$$

That's a good plan. You can even build the Neutraliser up in stages if you're on a tight budget.

Rolls912 wrote:I’ll have to research what you stated prof as I don’t full understand how that rig will work.

Sorry, didn't mean to confuse you; scythe mentioned the carter head and I was trying to say that if you wanted to go down that route, you wouldn't need to buy the whole $1960 worth of kit as you could re-use some of the Neutraliser parts. The carter head is a specific type of still used for vapour infusion and as the doctor mentioned works really for gin. Check out these threads on carter heads: https://aussiedistiller.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=5027 and https://aussiedistiller.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=7750 for more info on how they work and different ways to assemble them.

The other thing I was saying is, to get you started, you could use just the botanical basket and receiver without the rest of the carter head. If you look at the carter head picture Ezi posted, you can see at the top is a tee section with the product condenser hanging off to the right. This is know as a blockhead. That, in turn, is sitting on top of a section of pipe. That section of pipe coupled with the blockhead is designed to hold a botanical basket which slides in and out through the top by undoing the very top tri-clamp and removing the end plate. Now if you take that whole assembly and sit it on top of a reflux condenser, you have the ability to, by putting the still into full reflux, shut the vapour off temporarily so you can safely change the basket.

A cheaper way to achieve this would be to grab a gin caddy instead of a botanical basket and receiver and pop your botanicals in a muslin bag but I think you would need to change them more frequently during the run.

Rolls912 wrote:What about if I just used the pot still on my T5 for the flavouring run?

That will work too. Many a good gin has been made with a pot still.

I hope this hasn't confused you even more! The best bet is to give Sue or Allan at 5 Star a ring and tell them that you want to make neutral and gin and they'll sort you out. :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Cheers,
Prof. Green.
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby EziTasting » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:06 am

Nice write-up Prof.G.
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby Rolls912 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:16 pm

Ripper. That explains it’s clearly. Very helpfully. Thanks :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby warramungas » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:24 am

Rolls912 wrote:So maybe i Should buy the neutraliser with the boiler to get me started. Carter will have to wait for another day $$$

I’ll have to research what you stated prof as I don’t full understand how that rig will work.

What about if I just used the pot still on my T5 for the flavouring run?

Thanks for the replies folks


I like the 'buy the neutralizer with the boiler to get me started'. That's not the start, that's the end game. Most people build up to a neutraliser as time and funds permit.
If ya do, you'll probably find a whole new world out there other than gin as well.
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby bluc » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:10 pm

Is muslin cloth ok in vapour path :-B
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby EziTasting » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:40 pm

bluc wrote:Is muslin cloth ok in vapour path :-B



I think you'll find it illegal to hang Muslims in general! Let alone in an illegal still set-up in an environment where alcohol replaces Oxygen ... I have been known to be wrong! :law-policered: :wtf: :naughty: :think:


:laughing-rolling: :)) :D :romance-kisscheek:
Last edited by EziTasting on Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby wynnum1 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:36 am

What do you need as a work space for your still that may limit what you can purchase.
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby Rolls912 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:21 pm

I have a large shed which I made for restorations so space is not an issue. Just trying to work out in my mind is $5k worth the investment. It’s fun, but will the novelty wear off :think:

If anyone has a Carter or neutraliser that they would like to offload for a fair price ping me :-D
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby wynnum1 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:54 am

If you buy smaller takes more time so is going to be more efficient and if have safe storage can stop and put in storage until need to replenish supplies plus do not think its value will go down will have a good resale price.
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby Sam. » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:08 am

Rolls912 wrote:I have a large shed which I made for restorations so space is not an issue. Just trying to work out in my mind is $5k worth the investment. It’s fun, but will the novelty wear off :think:


If you like a drink then making good quality extremely cheap alcohol then the novelty will take a long time to wear off ;-)
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Re: What still to buy?

Postby RC Al » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:00 am

:text-+1:
Size is important, a definite trend on here is the inability to let gear age long enough before it gets consumed :obscene-drinkingdrunk:
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