How much space is enough for your distilling?

Little or nothing to do with distillation.

Moderator: Site Moderator

User avatar
Deplorable
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 592
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:10 pm
Location: PNW

How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Deplorable » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:04 pm

Just like the title says.
I do all my work for this new found hobby neatly in a space about 10 feet by 10 feet. I could easily put together a tidy little hobby distillery in a 10'×12' tall shed with a loft for storage and a barn style roof to provide adequate height for a tall reflux column.
A slab floor with a floor drain to a drain feild, a couple 110v outlets, lighting, and a waterline in would make it perfect.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

User avatar
Durhommer
Distiller
Posts: 1617
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:23 am

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Durhommer » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:18 pm

I grind ferment and distill in a 12x14 garage attached
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

User avatar
Deplorable
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 592
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:10 pm
Location: PNW

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Deplorable » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:28 pm

Yeah, Im in the two car attached garage, and using less than a quarter of it. Everything is in a comfortable location with plenty of room.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

User avatar
Durhommer
Distiller
Posts: 1617
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:23 am

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Durhommer » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:36 pm

I use a quarter too the rest is model cars assorted tools and an extra washer
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

User avatar
Bushman
Global moderator
Posts: 15174
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Bushman » Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:10 pm

I do everything in a 24’ x 30’ Outbuilding and only use a small section as I have my shop my lake boat and assortment of other things in there. The OP said he could run a small distillery in a 10x12 space, we have a micro distillery with a 60 gallon still in our state that distills and ages in a converted chicken coop.

User avatar
Deplorable
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 592
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:10 pm
Location: PNW

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Deplorable » Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:35 pm

Bushman wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:10 pm
I do everything in a 24’ x 30’ Outbuilding and only use a small section as I have my shop my lake boat and assortment of other things in there. The OP said he could run a small distillery in a 10x12 space, we have a micro distillery with a 60 gallon still in our state that distills and ages in a converted chicken coop.
We do? Wheres that at? I want to visit it.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

User avatar
Bushman
Global moderator
Posts: 15174
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Bushman » Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:51 am

Deplorable wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:35 pm
Bushman wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:10 pm
I do everything in a 24’ x 30’ Outbuilding and only use a small section as I have my shop my lake boat and assortment of other things in there. The OP said he could run a small distillery in a 10x12 space, we have a micro distillery with a 60 gallon still in our state that distills and ages in a converted chicken coop.
We do? Wheres that at? I want to visit it.
It was on Samish Island, two retired restaurant owners opened the distillery and their heat source was a stainless steel commercial grill that the boiler rested on top of. Unfortunately one of the owners died and the partner did not want to run it by himself so he sold all the equipment but still lives there as they have a beautiful view looking out at the islands and Anacortes. Below is a link to what was their distillery.
https://maps.roadtrippers.com/us/bow-wa ... distillery

User avatar
Deplorable
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 592
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:10 pm
Location: PNW

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Deplorable » Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:00 am

That's a shame.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

User avatar
jog666
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 292
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:15 pm
Location: on an island, in a swamp

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by jog666 » Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:44 am

I would say around 10x10 - 12x12 would be the smallest area needed. Kind of depends on the storage shelves/cabinets and layout.

User avatar
jonnys_spirit
Distiller
Posts: 1295
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:58 am
Location: The Milky Way

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by jonnys_spirit » Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:08 am

I still in my cellar which I also use for winemaking, laundry, and an electronics shop plus some storage and a hydro lettuce garden. I still on a little 6ft table. There's about 15 carboys and a couple barrels for wines and clearing of ferments - four brute trash cans on wheels for primary fermenters. Carboy storage takes up several feet along a wall. I have a dual basin laundry sink for cleanup... Some bread-rack wire shelves for aging jugs... I could use more space but probably less space too.

Cheers!
-jonny
————
i make stuff i break stuff
water into whiskey into water
just getting started in home distilling - been drinking for decades
16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
————

XDStill
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:44 am

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by XDStill » Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:35 am

6DF115A6-8504-45A5-9E6F-BBA3B6955277.jpeg
I’d love to have a small shed set up for distilling. It’s on my wish list when we start house shopping here in a few years to get out of the suburbs and into the country. Right now I just use a small corner of the unfinished basement, about 10x15. Would be nice to have my aging barrels out in a uncontrolled temp environment.

User avatar
Coyote
Distiller
Posts: 1581
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:13 pm

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Coyote » Wed Oct 28, 2020 1:40 pm

24 X 30 purpose built. 8 x 8 walk-in cooler. 24 foot long trough drain. Full bath with shower, 50,000 BTU LP gas furnace, 16,000 BTU window unit A/C.
4 - 2' x 8' skylights in a vaulted ceiling. Sheetrocked taped and textured.

Everything else stainless steel and on wheels except the kitchen sink.


Wifey said I could.
"Slow Down , You'll get a more harmonious outcome"
"Speed & Greed have no place in this hobby"

User avatar
Demy
Rumrunner
Posts: 642
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Demy » Wed Oct 28, 2020 2:15 pm

I have a small room that I use for various things like this (beer, distillation, preserves, etc.) with a large sink that I built in masonry and ceramic. You can see it in some of my photos. It is spartan, but it is an environment that makes its own. The other day I was thinking about how it could be to distill in the middle of a wood in full relaxation ...

n_plains_drifter
Novice
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:31 pm

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by n_plains_drifter » Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:23 pm

I store all of my gear in the utility room in my basement. I pull the cars out of the garage and set up in there to process. Setup and tear down every time. Mut I'm propane and in suburbia so I need ventilation.

User avatar
SuburbanShiner
Novice
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:49 am
Location: Tennessee

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by SuburbanShiner » Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:35 am

I am a suburbia garage stiller also. I park the cars in the driveway most Friday nights and the occasional Saturday. I have heaters for the winter and a small window AC unit I put in the for summer. Fortunately, I have a cabinet that holds all my still supplies and have managed to squeeze in a 55 gal barrel for recirculating condenser water and a 32 gal garbage can for fermenting. I have stacks of 5 gals buckets around the edges that contain wash, corn, and backset. The cars pretty much have to be parked with almost surgical precision. My wife and I are used to that though.

Having the large ferment container in the garage has saved me from toting 5 gal buckets of wash from the bathroom where I used to ferment to the garage which is a huge improvement for me. The biggest pain I have is having to tear down and put everything back in the cabinet after each run so I can get the cars back in the garage. I dream of the day I can have an outbuilding of some sort or a basement where I can have a more permanent setup with a sink and plenty of electric power. Hopefully, next house.

User avatar
Birrofilo
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 277
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:42 pm
Location: Caput mundi

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Birrofilo » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:30 am

Apartment distiller here. Fermentations have a bed room which I don't use, that's also for beer. Actual distilling (and beer brewing) is performed in the kitchen. I must assemble and disassemble the still for each run, but it's decently fast. I reckon that for an apartment distiller the space problem is mostly given by the fermentation vessels, if you want to perform more than one fermentation at a time. I use a shelf with place for 6 normal fermenters (25 to 35 litres to the brim). When I must distill a ferment, which is around 20 litres, I rack it into the kettle which I placed on a small trolley, and I easily move the trolley to the kitchen. The only lifting I have to do is putting the kettle on the electric stove, which sits on the floor. Not a problem, but I am also installing a pulley in my kitchen so that I can get rid of any lifting work. Another option is to move the shelf (which has wheels) into the kitchen, something which I do when I make beer or when I bottle beer.

The Baker
Master Distiller
Posts: 3153
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:48 am
Location: Northern Victoria, Australia

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by The Baker » Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:40 am

Install the pulley ON THE TROLLEY?

Geoff
The Baker

User avatar
Deplorable
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 592
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:10 pm
Location: PNW

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Deplorable » Fri Oct 30, 2020 7:10 am

Stilling in my garage, when I'm in between runs and fermenting, all my still parts fit in the boiler, the boiler goes in the 32 gallon brute with the insulation and blankets, and it tucks neatly into the corner. Buckets and the mop wringer get stored in the rafters. Carboy and corny kegs for storage vessels get stored in the shed with the turkey fryer.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

User avatar
Birrofilo
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 277
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:42 pm
Location: Caput mundi

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Birrofilo » Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:10 am

@The baker
No, the pulley will be hung to two hooks which I already have in my kitchen, above the position where the kettle of the distiller will sit. This will be useful in two occasions: when I have to lift the kettle (with all the liquid, around 20 kg) from the trolley and put it on top of the stove, and when after the distillation run I have to lift the kettle to the kitchen sink in order to collect or discard the remainder (around 15 kg) with the tap on the kettle.
The pulley will help me lift the kettle to the sink without any effort. Not a huge problem, but I am 54 and only have one back ;-)

User avatar
Yummyrum
Global moderator
Posts: 3254
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:23 am
Location: Mid North Coast Aussie

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Yummyrum » Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:01 am

OMG , after reading this I feel like a total space wasting arse .

I’m out in country , I got a 6x9M shed thats totally full of shit ( mostly not distilling stuff ) and I still spew out into the carport area , and now , I’m outside next to the carport . :oops:

I totally have respect for you guys that are able to pull this off in appartments or even suburban setups . Efficient . Dedicated . :clap:

Thing is , I don’t do it often , but when I do it , I do it big .
So big boilers , big fermenters , big still .

I remember when I first started off , I had a little fermenter and still , the foot print was smaller ... but I was at it nearly all the time .

Maybe theres a “Swings and slippery dips” here regarding time and space .

User avatar
Saltbush Bill
Site Mod
Posts: 4134
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:13 am
Location: Northern NSW Australia

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Saltbush Bill » Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:58 am

Yummyrum wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:01 am
I got a 6x9M shed thats totally full of shit ( mostly not distilling stuff ) and I still spew out into the carport area , and now , I’m outside next to the carport .
Aint that the truth :lol: Not a hope of distilling inside that shed.

User avatar
Deplorable
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 592
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:10 pm
Location: PNW

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Deplorable » Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:19 am

@yummyrum
I'm only getting into this craft, and have been at it since August, reading since July. Since getting my still, I've been doing something related to distilling almost every weekend.
I'll be taking a little break after I get my barrel filled, then I feel like I will get into a rhythm of about 4 runs a year, until I empty the barrel and refill it.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

n_plains_drifter
Novice
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:31 pm

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by n_plains_drifter » Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:38 pm

Deplorable, you and I are at about the same stage, only I've been reading since 2015 or so. :) took a pandemic to get me over the hump. This has been something I've wanted to do since college, about 1979 or so. How big a barrel are you doing? I've got two 5's that I bought for making wine, but I've been afraid to fill them up as one of the guys at the beer store said kegs are like fish tanks, and barrels are like dogs. You got regular work with a barrel.

My first batch was corn whiskey, then a couple of sugar washes, then a bourbon with rye and 6 row, and the gumball head that I told you about in another thread.

I'm thinking that I need to get started filling a barrel.

User avatar
Deplorable
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 592
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:10 pm
Location: PNW

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Deplorable » Sat Oct 31, 2020 5:26 pm

n_plains_drifter wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:38 pm
Deplorable, you and I are at about the same stage, only I've been reading since 2015 or so. :) took a pandemic to get me over the hump. This has been something I've wanted to do since college, about 1979 or so. How big a barrel are you doing? I've got two 5's that I bought for making wine, but I've been afraid to fill them up as one of the guys at the beer store said kegs are like fish tanks, and barrels are like dogs. You got regular work with a barrel.

My first batch was corn whiskey, then a couple of sugar washes, then a bourbon with rye and 6 row, and the gumball head that I told you about in another thread.

I'm thinking that I need to get started filling a barrel.
I'm doing a 5 gallon. Should be able to fill it next weekend or the weekend after.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 8540
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by NZChris » Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:06 pm

For every hobby I have, it's always about 10 square feet more than I've got :D

User avatar
jayka
Swill Maker
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:25 pm

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by jayka » Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:06 am

I have a 6m X 3m shed. It's both my distillery and my bar /cafe.
I have to chop and change what equipment is on the bench but it does pretty good. I'm thinking of setting up a dividing wall as even tho I do my best to keep everything clean sometimes it can sit in a bit of a mess.
Sooner or later the people who run the planet all end up choosing one drink....

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 8540
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by NZChris » Wed Nov 04, 2020 12:04 am

My next problem is height. I want to do a run with my Bokakob on a bigger boiler and keep it indoors.

User avatar
Deplorable
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 592
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:10 pm
Location: PNW

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by Deplorable » Wed Nov 04, 2020 12:07 am

Sounds like you need to raise the roof or lower the floor.
Use all your senses, and its not that hard. You just have to pay attention.

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 8540
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by NZChris » Wed Nov 04, 2020 12:16 am

There is one place in the shed that I should be able to use, but it can't be a permanent setup. It's a big run of neutral that I might want to do once every two or three years.

The Baker
Master Distiller
Posts: 3153
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:48 am
Location: Northern Victoria, Australia

Re: How much space is enough for your distilling?

Post by The Baker » Wed Nov 04, 2020 4:34 am

I am having a Roofing Man check the shed.
He is looking at the tiles on the house, my brother-in-law helped us by spraying some sort of 'spray and wait' stuff on it to
clear off the lichen or whatever and the tiles weren't suitable and they are flaking!
Anyway he is putting some 'gutter guard' on the shed which has an 'enclosed' box gutter that collects the leaves from the next door's
high leafy shrubs...

I would love to get him to fit a false chimney for high columns!

Geoff
The Baker

Post Reply