You’ll need a still to distil your wash to make your own spirits at home.
Distillation of fermented juices has been used since ancient times to produce distilled beverages with a much higher alcohol content.
The fermented mix is heated up to boiling point (the B.P of ethyl alcohol is 78C). The alcohol vapour, being lighter than water vapour, rises up to the top of the still and through the cooled condenser reverting it back into a liquid. This then drips into your collector much purer and cleaner than what was in the fermented wash.
‘Still Spirits’ currently provides two top of the range stills, the Turbo 500 (a reflux still for a 25L batch) and the Air Still (pot still for a smaller 4L batch). The T500 delivers commercial quality spirit using a fractionating column and uses water to cool and condense the alcohol vapour back into a very pure 90-95% ABV spirit. The Air Still produces alcohol at around 55% ABV by condensing the alcohol vapours using a cooling fan within the still head.
Choosing a Still
First up, you’ll need to decide how much spirit and of what quality you wish to produce, how much space you have available to work in, plus the availability of running water.
This revolutionary type of pot still is air-cooled and doesn’t use water at all, which is great news for water restricted regions or if you live on a boat with limited space. What’s more, it’s compact and as easy to use as your kitchen kettle. Most other air stills are made largely to distil water and often work too hot or too fast to produce good quality spirit, but the Air Still is designed to work at the correct temperature and optimum rate for alcohol distillation.
This is a 4 litre system so there is nothing heavy to lift. It’s very fast – it will distill 4L of wash to make 1L of spirit in just two hours. It’s also made from high quality stainless steel so easy to clean and produces distillate before dilution at about 55% ABV.
Like a pot still, you need high quality ingredients to produce good quality alcohol. The alcohol is not “purified” as in a reflux column so it is important to produce the wash from ingredients that will produce the highest quality wash – Still Spirits Pure Turbo Yeast, Turbo Carbon and Turbo Clear. The quality can be increased again by simply re-distilling the alcohol a second time or by double filtering.
It’s recommended to purchase the companion pack of ingredients with your still and then you will be all ready to get started.
Turbo 500 Reflux Still
The Turbo 500 Reflux Still is also referred to as the T500.
The T500 is a high quality reflux still, making it particularly ideal for producing gin, vodka and other delicate drinks that are enjoyed neat or with little to mask the flavour of the final spirit.
Being a reflux still, it has a column/chamber where the distillate is continuously purified during distillation. This process involves the distillate in a vapour form being encouraged to condense into tiny droplets that pass back down the column. The ascending vapour then reheats these droplets driving off the alcohol which has a lower boiling point than water. The descending droplet also strips any water from the rising vapour. The water droplets then return to the boiler allowing a higher portion of alcohol to be collected.
This is a 25L system so you will need a space of about 1m wide by 1.5m high to operate it. Note that a full fermenter in this system will weigh over 26kgs. You will also need a constant pressure water source to run through the still for cooling (approx 400ml/min).
When you want to make a large batch of extremely high quality liquor to impress your friends with, then the T500 is what you need!
The T500 will typically produce 8L of quality alcohol when watered down to 40% ABV from a standard wash made with the Classic 8, Pure or Express Turbo Yeasts. It’s ideal to purchase the companion pack of ingredients with your still and then you will be all ready to get started, with everything you need to make the ‘wash’ and to filter the final product.