DISTILLING EQUIPMENT FROM V-BREW
Distillation must begin with fermentation, and V-Brew can supply equipment for brewing a malt or cereal wort, or through our parallel business, Vitikit supply equipment to produce a fruit wash. We can also supply the handling and fermentation equipment to turn molasses into rum.
But once your microflora and fauna have converted your carbohydrates to ethanol, and other volatile organic compounds, V-Brew can also help concentrate flavour and value – with bespoke distilling equipment.
V-Brew can supply stills, from a volume of 50L to 5000L and more. The geometry and material of construction will depend on the duty and V-Brew have supplied small copper still for rectification of gin, large double whiskey stills and tall column stills of 28 plates or more for producing “grain to glass” neutral alcohol.
V-Brew can also offer continuous distillation for higher outputs. For the brand new distilling venture, V-Brew also offers a recipe development service, as well as project management and extended training.
Distilling separates a mixture based on its components boiling points and the accuracy – or how distinct the fractions are – depends on the geometry of the still. Some heavy distillations, of say whiskey or brandy, benefit from the flavour of less distinct cuts. Some, like vodka or neutral spirit for gin production, try to remove all components except ethanol, and do so using columns filled with plates, trays or packing.
However, a copper still is also a thing of beauty. Its dull orange colour, towering windowed columns and steam age dials and instruments make something quite industrial, very artisan.
Pot stills are simple and inexpensive, they generally have no column, packing or plates and the distillate is often passed two or even three times through the still for purity. Copper is the usual material of construction, but stainless steel is also possible – or stainless steel with a copper top.
Pot stills are common in whiskey or rum production and can also be used for rectifying gin.
A column still is a continuous system – a steady flow of preheated, fermented alcohol mixture is introduced into a distillation column, with distillate leaving at a constant purity and de-alcoholised wash being emptied from the bottom.
A column still, or continuous still, has big energy efficiencies, as the heat from the de-alcoholised wash and the heat from the condenser can be used to preheat the incoming wash. This does, however, require a high degree of automation and instrumentation, and is a system that needs to be in equilibrium – so it can’t be stopped and started frequently. These stills suit large operations with a constant supply of fermented wash and that need a very high output.
Hybrid stills combine aspects of a pot and column still and are so very flexible. This flexibility means they are very popular with craft distillers. They usually are made up of a pot coupled with a by-passable column, or columns.
V-Brew recently supplied a universal still with pot, separate by-passable 4 plate column and also separate 24 plate column – allowing the distiller to use pot still mode4 plate, 24 plates or 28 plates for distillation. This gave the flexibility to make whiskey, rum or vodka on one distillation set.