Q:Whats the difference between a pot still, reflux still?
A POT still simply collects and condenses the alcohol vapours that come off the boiling mash. This will result in an alcohol at about 40-60% purity, with plenty of flavour in it. If this distillate were put through the pot still again, it would increase in purity to around 70-85% purity, and lose a bit of its flavour.
A REFLUX still does these multiple distillations in one single go, by having some packing in a column between the condensor & the pot, and allowing some of the vapour to condense and trickle back down through the packing. This “reflux” of liquid helps clean the rising vapour and increase the % purity. The taller the packed column, and the more reflux liquid, the purer the product will be. The advantage of doing this is that it will result in a clean vodka, with little flavour to it – ideal for mixing with flavours etc.
How to use a Hydrometer
Q: When will my order ship or what’s my tracking number?A: Most orders for supplies or accessories usually ship within 1-3 business days after you place the order. Stills or other adapter parts that we build are built to order, and usually ship in 8-12 business days. Mile Hi Flutes take 4-5 weeks to ship.
When you placed your order online, when you create an account you can log back in here and see your order status. We send emails automatically with tracking number information when it ships so you could already have an email from us. Sometimes these emails goes to spam folders so please check your spam folder. Be sure to check your spam or junk mailbox if we are not included in your address book.
Q: How much will shipping cost for my order?A: Our website is designed to provide live quotes for everything, so it is best to fill some items in our shopping cart, and proceed to checkout with your shipping information. You will not be charged anything until you agree at the end and see the full cost for everything. International orders are subject to change. We will notify you if the costs are more or less prior to shipment.
Q: What size still should I buy or would you recommend?A: This is difficult to answer without knowing your needs. The best way to figure this out is to decide how much product you intend to make and how often. You will yield about 10 to 20% of product out of your wash, so that will tell you how big of a boiler you need. Of course if you want something a little smaller, you can do multiple runs. Research recipies of what you wish to make, and that should help you find out what percentage you can expect. For reference: 20% of 5 gallons is 1 gallon.
Q: What’s the difference between your stills; pot still, dual purpose, traditional, etc?A: A pot still is the most basic. It channels vapors up the column and they escape through the condensor. The condensor is made to cool the steam back into liquid, and you keep the output. A refulx still adds a condenser to the column for the purpose of filtering out impurities during the distillation. As different products vaporize at different temperatures (water and alcohol) the purpose is to make the alcohol more pure, while keeping the water vapor from exiting the condenser. We label our still tower the ‘dual purpose’ because it can be used as a reflux OR a pot still… simply don’t use the refulx cooling jacket or the torpedo and it becomes a pot still.
Q: If I get the 3 gallon still will it make 3 gallons of ….?A: As mentioned in the first question, distilling will yield only a percentage of your wash, mash, or beer. You first need to know the ABV (alcohol by volume) of your recipe, then you should get some idea of how much you will make. In the example of 20% of 5 gallons equal to 1 gallon; this would be 1 gallon of 100% (200 proof) alcohol. So, as you run your batch and it comes out at about 150 proof (75%) alcohol, you are also getting some water in your product. If you are able to get every last drop of alcohol out of the batch, you would actually get more like 1.5 gallons of end product from 5 gallons of water at 20%. As always, actual results will vary.
If you have further questions not listed on this page, please give us a call. 303-987-3955 9AM to 4PM Mountain time Monday thru Friday.