Photos of Pot Stills at Commercial Distilleries
Heres's some of the still heads used at commercial distilleries.
Note the range of different sizes, shapes, proportions etc. These
should give some indication of what hobby pot stills could be
Whiskey styles are as quoted by "the Malt Whisky file" by Robin
Tucek & John Lamond. I've done this to see what correlation
there is between shape/size and resulting flavour.
|the Macallan at
Comments from their site:
The size and shape of the stills are crucially important. The more
contact the wash and low wines have with copper the better, since
it acts as a catalyst, removing sulphury impurities (in the wash
still) and promoting the creation of esters (in the spirit still) -
effectively cleaning and lightening the spirit. Small stills with a
broad 'head' (the middle part of the still), such as those at
Macallan, are best of all: a narrow head tends to increase the
velocity of the ascending vapours and to reduce their contact with
the copper walls.
Finally, while we are on the question of still design, there is
the important matter of the length and angle of the 'lyne arm' -
the pipe which connects the top of the still, known as the 'swan
neck' to the condenser. Macallan's lyne arms are of average length,
but they are acutely angled in a downwards direction. This means
that once vapours reach the neck of the still they are more likely
to go over and be condensed than to fall back as reflux and be
re-distilled. Again, the Macallan is unusual in this: most
distillers set out to increase reflux. But then, they may well not
achieve such copper contact (with its spirit-enhancing properties)
as do Macallan's small stills.