Favourite still for whiskey

All styles of whiskey. This is for all-grain mashes.

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Virandell
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Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Virandell » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:35 am

Hi guys what's your favourite still for whiskey ? Potstill or plated column ? Is it the flavour ? The speed of the process or something else ? :)
I found that interesting video and seems like potstill is winning

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by The Baker » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:39 am

All my spirits are distilled in a pot still.
Including vodka, as many as five distillations.

But the pot is what I have.

And next is a thumper and a pre-heater.

Maybe later a reflux still.

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by jonnys_spirit » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:53 am

I haven't used a plater and I do get plate envy every so often but to be completely honest I love my pot still and have no real drawbacks with it at all. I've got a CCVM column if I want to do a neutral but find that I prefer using the pot for just about everything and will make both a clean white cut and a barrel cut on pretty much every stripping run. I might go further down the neutral rabbit hole at some point but a clean white cut does a lot for me.

My vote goes for a simple copper pot still which has been completely appropriate as I continue to learn to use it. I might add a thumper at some point so I can cook on grain or fruit or whatever. I actually do have a second SS boiler for this but would prefer all copper so will probably figure that out later. I have a small 10 liter pot for macerations and 16 gallon for larger runs and might consider something in the medium range too for smaller batches.

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16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Setsumi » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:22 am

i run a 5 perf flute/plater. i do exclusive maize meal and enzymes. i started with a small potstill, did a boka in 2". upgraded to 3" CCVM in stsinless packed column then got a 3" all copper CCVM packed. then i build a flute. i am busy building a set of twin flutes with caps.... nothing wrong with a potstill or packed column but i just love my flute and the product from it. for me it is the flavour from one and done runs, and the speed i can do a run. i do not run my packed columns anymore.. but then i do not do neutrals anymore. i sometimes think i may drop a plate but i have not bothered yet.
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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by stillanoob » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:23 am

Copper pot still. But of course that is all I have and all I have ever used. Many a fine whisky and brandy has been made using one, so if it ain't broke....

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by seabass » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:23 am

I prefer a pot still setup with a thumper for whiskey. I get a fair amount of heads compression, cuts are more obvious, and I get a very flavorful whiskey from it.

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Demy » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:33 am

I believe everyone has their own method based on equipment and quantity. For example I only distil a few liters and for this I am better off with a slightly packed column - little reflux. With an alembic pot I would recover very little product.

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Virandell » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:40 am

So far it seems like potstill is winning, when yous talking about thumper you mean something like that ? It's getting 90-88% from start to finish but of course we getting less flavour
Screenshot_20200917-173410~4.png
Screenshot_20200917-173422~4.png

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Swedish Pride » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:42 am

It depends on the distiller.
Give a plater to a man who has only ran a pot still and I bet you it will take a bit of time to make good whiskey the opposite is true too.

I find it easier to make good cuts on a plater than on a pot but I'm seeing a handful of distillers parking their platers and reverting to the pot still as that are chasing bolder smack in your face flavours.
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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Virandell » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:10 am

Swedish Pride wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:42 am
It depends on the distiller.
Give a plater to a man who has only ran a pot still and I bet you it will take a bit of time to make good whiskey the opposite is true too.

I find it easier to make good cuts on a plater than on a pot but I'm seeing a handful of distillers parking their platers and reverting to the pot still as that are chasing bolder smack in your face flavours.
What if somebody never used a potstill or plated column only reflux column ? (Me) :D so again as your saying potstill seems better ? 1 guy from polish forum just started distilling (he was making only beers before) he done like 15 runs on potstill and later he bought plated column and he said after 24H product from plated column was few class better than potstill after 3 months aging here's actually Google translation so it's not perfect sorry :D
"The trial was my first ever on a flute, so I stuck to the manual that came with the hardware quite tightly. Warming up, flooding the shelves was as written. After flooding the shelves, I set the power to 2500W and went to stabilization, then reduced the flow at the top - after a while the distillate started to flow about 91%. I wanted to pick up a little weaker, but when I sniffed it, I abandoned that idea - it smelled completely different than the first liter of pot-still! The first liter of pot-still is somewhat "spirit", devoid of aftertastes, but with a sharp aroma and here, despite the percentage, the aroma was still there, but the distillate was not sharp. Shock!
I picked up about a liter of 90% and even reduced the flow on the shotgun. I set it up to receive 80% and so received the second and third liters. Then the reception rate decreased a bit, so I increased the heating slightly and changed the vessel again because I thought it would be the tip, and here…. almost another liter 77%. Only at the end of the flask did the lower pane begin to evaporate, which is said to be a sign of tails"

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by seabass » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:19 am

There isn't a right or wrong answer. It's preference. Get the still that will give you the product you're after. If you're after the one and done whiskey, then you'll need a plated still. If you're happy doing multiple stripping runs to fill the boiler for a spirit run, do that. If you want a cleaner product with a lot of flavor, go for plates. If you want a heavier body and flavor, go with the pot still. Or do anything in between if you want. The pot with thumper is similar to a single plate. Figure out what you like and make the still that is the right tool for the job.

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Virandell » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:24 am

seabass wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:19 am
There isn't a right or wrong answer. It's preference. Get the still that will give you the product you're after. If you're after the one and done whiskey, then you'll need a plated still. If you're happy doing multiple stripping runs to fill the boiler for a spirit run, do that. If you want a cleaner product with a lot of flavor, go for plates. If you want a heavier body and flavor, go with the pot still. Or do anything in between if you want. The pot with thumper is similar to a single plate. Figure out what you like and make the still that is the right tool for the job.
That's true I think what the most putting me off potstill is multiple stripping runs and spirit run as I don't have that much time

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Saltbush Bill » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:25 am

Virandell wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:40 am
, when yous talking about thumper you mean something like that ? It's getting 90-88% from start to finish but of course we getting less flavour
Screenshot_20200917-173410~4.png
Screenshot_20200917-173422~4.png
That is nothing like a thumper.

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by seabass » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:31 am

Virandell wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:24 am
seabass wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:19 am
There isn't a right or wrong answer. It's preference. Get the still that will give you the product you're after. If you're after the one and done whiskey, then you'll need a plated still. If you're happy doing multiple stripping runs to fill the boiler for a spirit run, do that. If you want a cleaner product with a lot of flavor, go for plates. If you want a heavier body and flavor, go with the pot still. Or do anything in between if you want. The pot with thumper is similar to a single plate. Figure out what you like and make the still that is the right tool for the job.
That's true I think what the most putting me off potstill is multiple stripping runs and spirit run as I don't have that much time
True. It is a lot of work, but in the end I get a lot of product. A full keg boiler of low wines usually gives me around 4 gallons of barrel strength whiskey. I prefer it that way vs several one and dones to get a decent amount to age. That's also a lot of runs that require cuts whereas the multiple strips and single spirit run only require a cuts on the spirit run.

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Virandell » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:34 am

Saltbush Bill wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:25 am
Virandell wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:40 am
, when yous talking about thumper you mean something like that ? It's getting 90-88% from start to finish but of course we getting less flavourScreenshot_20200917-173410~4.pngScreenshot_20200917-173422~4.png
That is nothing like a thumper.
That's the only thing what I can get :D from start to finish you can get 90-88% alcohol (like a thumper right but ofc the taste is weaker) and to distill with mash or fruits I can buy oil keg (oil inside the keg heating up mash or fruit pulp and you have 0% chance of scorching anything)
Maybe the best idea will be to buy potstill and maybe in the future buy plated column :D then I will have reflux column potstill and plated column.
Btw plated column with 1 or 2 plates would not work exactly the same as potstill ? For example when I would want fast whiskey I would use 4 plates if I would want whisky for aging with bold taste I would use 1-2 plates?
Screenshot_20200917-202949~2.png

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Virandell » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:35 am

Seabass I don't have space for 4 gallon of whisky :D 2 gallons + some gin and rum is plenty for me :D

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Virandell » Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:16 am

Btw how long are you guys waiting before drinking your Whisky from potstill ?
I mean minimal time when is drinkable

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by NZChris » Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:16 am

Virandell wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:16 am
Btw how long are you guys waiting before drinking your Whisky from potstill ?
I mean minimal time when is drinkable
From the jars from a spirit run, you should be able to select a blend that's drinkable tomorrow and other blends that will be ready in years. It's not difficult. Not selecting the jars that you don't like will help.

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Virandell » Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:39 am

NZChris wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:16 am
Virandell wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:16 am
Btw how long are you guys waiting before drinking your Whisky from potstill ?
I mean minimal time when is drinkable
From the jars from a spirit run, you should be able to select a blend that's drinkable tomorrow and other blends that will be ready in years. It's not difficult. Not selecting the jars that you don't like will help.
It's seems really like potstill is winning I will just double check what's are the opinions about flute for gin making they I will defenetly decide what I will gonna buy.

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by NZChris » Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:06 am

Start with what you want to make, what quantities you need, how often you want to run, etc., and work backwards to find out what you need to make it.

You appear to want small and regular runs of something to drink young, whereas I want one or two large, flavorsome, runs per year to put away for aging for years, so what would suit you may be very different to what would suit my needs, even if we both write 'whiskey' on our bottles.

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by LWTCS » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:09 am

Just thinking out loud is all.
It's kinda like the tortis and the hare,,,sorta.
Pot stilling starts out as more of a long game. But once you get your low wines (or the like) built up you can produce finished product on pace.
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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Virandell » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:42 am

NZChris wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:06 am
Start with what you want to make, what quantities you need, how often you want to run, etc., and work backwards to find out what you need to make it.

You appear to want small and regular runs of something to drink young, whereas I want one or two large, flavorsome, runs per year to put away for aging for years, so what would suit you may be very different to what would suit my needs, even if we both write 'whiskey' on our bottles.
Yee you are defenetly right I think I don't have time with 3 kids and job to run a potstill :D plated column seems like the best idea I need only find out if it's suitable for gin as I seen somewhere Odin didn't really reccomend it

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by stillanoob » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:59 am

I don't get the "I don't have time to run a pot still" thing. I can run the proceeds of a single strip run in my 12 gallon still. I have run as little as 2.5 gallons. Is that because I use propane or am I missing something here?

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Virandell » Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:16 am

stillanoob wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:59 am
I don't get the "I don't have time to run a pot still" thing. I can run the proceeds of a single strip run in my 12 gallon still. I have run as little as 2.5 gallons. Is that because I use propane or am I missing something here?
To do 4 5 mashes 5 stripping runs later spirit run store that much alcohol in a flat for long aging it's quite hard and I think plated column would be better for that

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by stillanoob » Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:04 am

So with a plated column you would do one run for the finished product? No stripping run required?

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Virandell » Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:10 am

stillanoob wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:04 am
So with a plated column you would do one run for the finished product? No stripping run required?
Yes well I think so in 11g keg and with single destilation would give me more than enough alcohol to make me happy and as far I seen alot of people doing single destilation and done with plated column ?

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by stillanoob » Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:15 am

Ok, got it, thanks. I was thinking the no time for a pot still thing was because you needed to do multiple strip runs to have enough to do a spirit run.

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Yummyrum » Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:22 am

stillanoob wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:04 am
So with a plated column you would do one run for the finished product? No stripping run required?
OK
This topic was about Whiskey .... but .. in my experience. , the one and done in a plated still doesn’t work for me on Rum

I strip half my wash in my pot still stripper and add it to the other half of wash . .. then load my 4 plate. ... I dunno ... single run All Mollasses in a 4 plate still doesn’t work so well .

Seems low AVB washes like All Molasses ... or highly likely ... all grain whiskey need a slightly different a approach in a plated still

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by LWTCS » Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:28 am

Yummyrum wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:22 am
stillanoob wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:04 am
So with a plated column you would do one run for the finished product? No stripping run required?
OK
This topic was about Whiskey .... but .. in my experience. , the one and done in a plated still doesn’t work for me on Rum

I strip half my wash in my pot still stripper and add it to the other half of wash . .. then load my 4 plate. ... I dunno ... single run All Mollasses in a 4 plate still doesn’t work so well .

Seems low AVB washes like All Molasses ... or highly likely ... all grain whiskey need a slightly different a approach in a plated still
Yeah especially with modern blackstrap.
Imo whiskey is far more forgiving.
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.

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Re: Favourite still for whiskey

Post by Virandell » Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:33 am

Yummyrum wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:22 am
stillanoob wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:04 am
So with a plated column you would do one run for the finished product? No stripping run required?
OK
This topic was about Whiskey .... but .. in my experience. , the one and done in a plated still doesn’t work for me on Rum

I strip half my wash in my pot still stripper and add it to the other half of wash . .. then load my 4 plate. ... I dunno ... single run All Mollasses in a 4 plate still doesn’t work so well .

Seems low AVB washes like All Molasses ... or highly likely ... all grain whiskey need a slightly different a approach in a plated still
Rum will be sometimes aswell so good to know :thumbup: I need only find out about gin and I will have all the info to make decision what still to buy :)

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