Sorry for the delay in response to your post. The picture is small, but it gives me many clues as to the nature of the still that is being used. It is an alembic; however, it appears to me to be in the style steam heated. That is to say that steam is forced into the pommace, heating the mixture. As stated, the top is not visible, but I would agree with all who have posted stating that the top is some variation on the typical onion shape.
If you are looking for a large still, you are going to probably have to produce some sort of licensure and what not, depending on your location. The largest still I own in the alembic style holds about 400L if filled to the top. Of course, one would never run a still, particularly an alembic, any more than 2/3 full. When using it to make grappa, never more than 1/2 full at any time. You have to run an alembic quite hot when making grappa and you risk blowing off the top, boil over, clogging the arm, etc. I did purchase a steam still, as I was in the process of opening my own distillery. If you watch/ read the news, back on April 9th a very destructive earthquake struck the town of L'Aquila in central Italy and the surrounding areas. Unfortunately I was not outside of the zone of destruction and significantly alot more damage was done to my villa than first was thought. Also damaged was the building that I had purchased and renovated and was turning into my distillery. Now that I have gone off on a tangent, back to the matter at hand. Yes, it is nice to have a large still to work with, but I tend to find it impractical. Even the largest and most popular distillers of grappa in Italy like Nardini and Nonino ferment in large batches and distill in small batches.
If you are looking to make just grappa, fruit distillates, and liqueurs, you can go with a Bain Marie type still that has the water bath already attached to the unit. This is a useful still for those who make liqueurs because the attached water bath prevents scorching of particulate matter, without having to place a screen/ plate at the bottom of the still. Take a look at these, and then compare them to a typical alembic where you would need the above-mentioned plate.http://www.copper-alembic.com/shop/inde ... t&catId=15
Typical Alembic (Rivited is the classic, soldered in more modern)
Rivited, 3 pages, up to 500Lhttp://www.copper-alembic.com/shop/inde ... at&catId=4
Soldered, 2 pages, up to 500Lhttp://www.copper-alembic.com/shop/inde ... at&catId=6
Making grappa, palatable grappa, takes patients, time, care, and just a little know how.
If you are going into business, check out the major still producers like:
Vendome, and the link to Hoga has already been posted. http://www.vendomecopper.com
Be sure to check out the photo section!!
Hope I was able to help somewhat. E-mail me if you have more questions and I will do my best to answer, this time in a much more timely manner!
ES- The Doctor
On Vacation with my Family 10 August 2014- 12 September 2014. Unplugging! No computer, e-mail, or cellular internet access!