Small pot still for testing/small batch

Pot still design and discussion

Small pot still for testing/small batch

Postby bigadz » Sun May 26, 2019 2:18 pm

Hey guys,

I've done a lot of searching but haven't found the answer yet or maybe I'm blind...

What's the best option for a small pot still for testing recipes and small batch stuff, mainly testing gin recipes and doing some grappa/brandy stuff. I'm definitely going to go down the path of a FSD modular pot so I can eventually build a second boiler and have a dedicated pot still for bigger batches, but if I was looking at something to run say 5L to 10L.

I'm keen to try building something but I am a complete potato when it comes to soldering/brazing, so if there is an option ready to rock keen to here about it.

Cheers!
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Re: Small pot still for testing/small batch

Postby Yonder » Sun May 26, 2019 3:58 pm

I think there may be one or two things off here. You can do good brandy and whisky in a pot but gin is more a column sip. If you go down that trail, a pot may give you half a liter of usable products but that's hardly enough of a sample to prove out a recipe. From experience i believe you should have a look at something around 20-25 l. You'll have the opportunity to make some cuts and see where the spirit's strength and weakness lies. Just my thinkin'.
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Re: Small pot still for testing/small batch

Postby bigadz » Sun May 26, 2019 6:29 pm

Yonder wrote:I think there may be one or two things off here. You can do good brandy and whisky in a pot but gin is more a column sip. If you go down that trail, a pot may give you half a liter of usable products but that's hardly enough of a sample to prove out a recipe. From experience i believe you should have a look at something around 20-25 l. You'll have the opportunity to make some cuts and see where the spirit's strength and weakness lies. Just my thinkin'.



Apprreciate the thinking! Was looking at the methods of Odin's easy gin as found on other forums hence why the thought of something small. But it's all food for thought!
bigadz
 
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equipment: 4" 5 plate glass bubbler with FSD neutralizer
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Re: Small pot still for testing/small batch

Postby Professor Green » Sun May 26, 2019 7:35 pm

I don't think you necessarily need a column for gin other than for making the base neutral.

Bigadz, there's a thread around here somewhere that shows my small (12 litre) bain marie pot still. I'm using it to develop absinthe recipes but have done some seriously good gin in it too.

EDIT: Here it is
Last edited by Professor Green on Sun May 26, 2019 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Small pot still for testing/small batch

Postby MaKa » Sun May 26, 2019 7:38 pm

With respect to gin you really need to think about the style you want to make (i.e. macerated or vapour infused).

I have a FSD neutraliser use this to make my neutral hearts cut. You wont be able to make a good netural with just a pot still.

When I have finshed macerating I run this through a t500 still, with an adapter I picked up from FSD store. I used this in a pot still mode and collect my product. This set up is not particuarly great at vapour infusion but I have put some cheese cloth between the joins in the modular section to put the botanicals in vapour path.

One thing I have been told is, depending on how big of a batch you want to scale up to, your test batches will need to be around 10 litres.

I went down this batch as it was the simplest and most cost effective set up I could come up with without having to build one.
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Re: Small pot still for testing/small batch

Postby bigadz » Sun May 26, 2019 8:08 pm

bigadz wrote:
MaKa wrote:With respect to gin you really need to think about the style you want to make (i.e. macerated or vapour infused).

I have a FSD neutraliser use this to make my neutral hearts cut. You wont be able to make a good netural with just a pot still.

When I have finshed macerating I run this through a t500 still, with an adapter I picked up from FSD store. I used this in a pot still mode and collect my product. This set up is not particuarly great at vapour infusion but I have put some cheese cloth between the joins in the modular section to put the botanicals in vapour path.

One thing I have been told is, depending on how big of a batch you want to scale up to, your test batches will need to be around 10 litres.

I went down this batch as it was the simplest and most cost effective set up I could come up with without having to build one.


Hopefully a mod fixes that up, itchy post finger 8-}

Really appreciate the comments! I currently have a 5 plate glass bubbler column with a FSD neutralizer so neutral isn't an issue. I have a 4" gin basket too but was thinking of something smaller to test different flavours without having to run a minimum 15L to cover my elements.

As it stands at the moment I have 2 boilers so was thinking I'd eventually end up with my column on one and a dedicated pot still on the other, but was thinking something smallish using the maceration method to at least figure out what flavours I like and what works.
Last edited by Sam. on Tue May 28, 2019 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: removed double post
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Re: Small pot still for testing/small batch

Postby MaKa » Sun May 26, 2019 9:24 pm

A t500 will suit you then, internal heating elements means you can run them with basically nothing in them. I've run mine down to less than 1 litre in it. This is the reason I went with this setup
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Re: Small pot still for testing/small batch

Postby Professor Green » Mon May 27, 2019 7:34 am

Are you running that T500 boiler with the reflux column with the packing removed or with a proper pot still MaKa?
How do stop the elements from scorching the botanicals?
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Re: Small pot still for testing/small batch

Postby MaKa » Mon May 27, 2019 8:12 pm

I suspend the botanicals in a bit of cheesecloth in the liquid.

I haven't had anything scorch with this method
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