What is the difference between distillate and rectified
So, we are convinced that these are two completely different liquids. Therefore, answering the questions: “Rectified alcohol and distillate — what is the difference? And what is better to use for home distillation? — the following factors should be taken into account first of all:
- After simple (or even multiple fractional) distillation, the resulting beverages retain the aroma and taste of those products that underlie the feedstock.
- In the process of rectification, all these properties are subject to destruction.
At the same time, the difference between distillate and rectified is already for the purpose of preparation. The first is a drink that is made by a distiller in such a way that it retains the organoleptic characteristic of the original raw material. In other words, if it is Calvados, then apples, if whiskey, then malt, if cognac, then grapes. During the distillation process, in addition to ethyl, the “spirit” of the drink still remains inside — all sorts of impurities that form into an authentic bouquet: taste with aroma. That’s the difference!
Distillate and rectified products are products of distillation. But! A rectified product is a refined, purified product, where the organoleptic of the source is “killed” completely, emasculated. At least from a chair, at least from the most delicious grapes, but it should turn out with the smell and taste of ethyl, and “nothing personal”. Why is the maximum strength of alcohol — 96%? But because the rest is not impurities, but water, since ethyl is an absorbent, that is, it draws water into itself. Then, on the basis of pure alcohol, we get different tinctures, liqueurs, liqueurs. That is, we introduce the organoleptics of not the raw materials, but flavorings — flavoring additives.
First you need to define what it is. This is a structural unit that allows you to clean moonshine from impurities. When the drawer is installed on the moonshine, the output is almost pure alcohol. The process of making moonshine is the heat exchange of alcohol-containing vapors and condensate, which leads to the fact that the product is cleaned 10-15 times better.
Purification of alcohol occurs when there is a flow of steam from the distillation cube and flowing condensate on the head of the column. The selection of alcohol is carried out only from the liquid phase.
If the steam is not refluxed, heat exchange is impossible and the separation of alcohol from other substances will not occur. In order to feed the phlegm, a dephlegmator is needed. After it, a condenser is placed, which is a hollow part of the tube, where the liquid is cooled to a certain temperature. Along with the reflux condenser, air vents, the so-called alcohol traps, were to be installed, which draw out substandard alcohol and bring gases out.
Since alcohol in this case is collected in the liquid phase, a small refrigeration unit is enough for its next cooling. The main difference between the tsarga intended for rectification and the usual one is that the process of reflux is very slow. At this time, the constant heat exchange of vapor and liquid provides a better separation into fractions, a cleaner product.
There are many requirements for making a column. To simplify the design, many depart from them. What causes violations and deviations?
- Among such deviations, one can single out a reflux condenser, which can be uncontrollable. Such a beer column was installed in the Malyutka device, where controllability was abolished in order to make the apparatus more compact, and the reflux condenser and condenser were a single container to which running water was connected. Such a scheme does not allow to regulate the process with the help of a reflux condenser, so the separation is worse.
- Another deviation is the low utilization capacity of the dephlegmator. There are such devices where everything seems to be present, but the dephlegmator is so low-powered that it does not allow for a normal separation. One gets the impression that the manufacturers of these devices absolutely do not understand why a reinforcing column is needed and make its presence useless.
- Small column height. The low height usually allows you to make the device compact and allow installation on a gas stove if there is a hood above it and so on. However, in this case, the separation will be much worse and this must be understood immediately. It can be said that the re-distillation will be more efficient than such a strengthening column.
Thus, it should be emphasized that many additional devices to the moonshine still make sense, including the strengthening column. It allows you to get a much purer product and do it in a double distillation. This cannot be obtained on a conventional moonshine still without being left with a large amount of fusel oils and other harmful impurities. It is easy to make such a column on your own, its design does not present such difficulties as a distillation one. However, it does not produce rectified alcohol at the output. But the distilled product on a moonshine still with a strengthening column will have its original aroma and taste, for example, when prepared from fruit or grain raw materials.
Where is distillation column and dry steamer used
First, a little history: rectification became known at the beginning of the 19th century; it is one of the most important technological processes in the alcohol and oil industries. Today it is used in various areas of chemical technology, where the separation of fractions in a pure form is of particular importance.
Distillation columns are used not only in distillation processes — the same principle of heat exchange between vapors and liquid is used both in simple laboratory instruments and in rather complex industrial plants in oil refining, chemical, gas, brewing and many other industries. The diameter of industrial devices can reach 16, and the height is 90 meters or more.
Unlike column-type devices, a dry steamer is used only in the moonshine brewing process as an additional element between the mash tank and the coil. It separates harmful components, and the alcohol-containing vapor is sent further for cooling and collection in a container. It is used for more efficient filtration and additional aromatization of moonshine.
As a result of passing through the steamer, the drink turns out to be stronger, better purified, rich in aroma and taste of the original product, for example, strong chacha has a persistent smell and taste of grapes. Each distiller decides on the expediency of its use independently, but experts believe that this device will be useful in order to obtain a strong and well-cleaned final product.
Small rating of the best
Let’s single out the top five, according to user reviews and technical indicators, column-type devices.
The device of Nizhny Novgorod production, the release of which began in August 2021. It has 7 modes of operation, including distillation, rectification and the production of beer and mash. Collapsible structure.
The distillation speed is up to 10 l/h, while strengthening — up to 3 l/h. Compared to the previous, third model, the device has:
- the reflux condenser is slightly enlarged, it has become shell-and-tube;
- 4-pipe elongated refrigerator increases productivity;
- increased overall height. With a 12-liter cube, the height of the apparatus is 115 cm;
- the lid of the cube became conical, which increased stability and resistance to deformation;
- the bottom of the cube is multi-layered, 5 mm thick, suitable for induction and other stoves.
The cost is 10 thousand rubles, which is excellent for a device of this class. Fresh review:
A new generation German column apparatus that allows you to get drinks from rectified spirits to fragrant moonshine (see: moonshine recipes).
A special feature is the turbulent 8-pipe cooler, thanks to which the distillation rate has increased to 8-12 l/h. Ferromagnetic bottom, steel thickness — 3 mm. In the configuration — a false bottom for thick mash and beer. The cube is suitable for brewing beer.
The best column-type moonshine stills for 2021
This is a professional column-type moonshine with steam extraction, which guarantees its owner to obtain alcohol up to 96% strength and ultra-fast distillation, 12 l / h. And to simplify the control of the process will allow the possibility of monitoring and managing online through a special application.
It is with the proprietary mobile application Malinovka that we will begin our review of OptiSam PRO, because the ability to synchronize with a smartphone via Bluetooth makes the process of controlling the operation of the device easy and comfortable, and also distinguishes it from all competitors.
- The notification about excess of the set temperature;
- The ability to control the process from start to finish, i.e. indication of the minimum and maximum indicator from the beginning of the measurement;
- Tracking and displaying temperature changes in the form of a graph, which allows you to correlate indicators with accurate data over time.
You can also archive the data in calendar order and send it by e-mail in EXCEL format.
OptiSam PRO is available in several tank sizes — 19, 25, 34 and 41 liters. The self-produced tank is made of high quality stainless steel, the material is resistant to acid, alkali and other aggressive environments, and has a long service life. A thermometer is installed in the center of the tank, which allows you to measure the temperature of the liquid. The presence of a ferromagnetic bottom allows you to use the device on any type of hob, even induction.
By the way, the tank of the device can be used as a fermenter, which makes it a 2 in 1 device.
The most simple operation and control of the process is provided by the selection unit with a viewing diopter. Implemented the ability to control the entire process with one tap!
Visual control is also provided by a 450 mm glass side. Its sufficient length and diameter provide a higher strength and purity of the product.
The classic beer column with the provided reflux condenser ensures the separation of the condensate into parts, one of which is returned to the column, and the other goes to the selection, as a result of the correct double distillation, the product at the outlet will meet all quality requirements and organoleptic indicators.
The design is easy to assemble and ready to use right out of the box. Detailed assembly instructions can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website.
Moonshine still OptiSam PRO
- Work with the proprietary mobile application Malinovka, remote control;
- Tank of own production from AISI 304 and AISI 430 stainless steel;
- Possibility of use on any types of plates;
- Process control due to the presence of a viewing diopter and a transparent side made of borosilicate glass;
- The presence of Turbo Potstill, which provides super-fast distillation of mash;
- Possibility of using the tank as a fermenter;
- Good equipment, which allows you to assemble and use the device immediately after purchase;
- Possibility to connect additional equipment, for example, gin basket Malinovka for quick flavoring of the drink.
- The filling material of the tsarga is purchased separately.
This machine is equipped with a stainless steel tank. You can choose a device for 37 liters or 50 liters. Column diameter — 51 mm (clamp 2″). The set comes with 2 drawers, 50 cm each. The design provides for a selection unit with a diopter made of borosilicate glass. One side is also transparent.
The sufficient length of the column, coupled with the steam extraction unit, makes it possible to obtain distillate with a strength of up to 96%. This indicator can be achieved by installing 2 kings. Complete with one drawer, the device is capable of distilling the drink at 95%, and is also used for distillation, it gives out the strength of the drink at 90-92%, while maintaining the aroma of the ingredients.
Returning to the tank of the moonshine still, it is worth noting its false bottom, which allows you to cook grain mash and beer. With such an inherently slotted sieve, the mash does not burn to the bottom.
As for productivity, the device is able to overtake up to 12 l / h.
The bottom of the tank is ferromagnetic, which allows it to be used on any hobs.
Luxstal moonshine still 7m
- Stainless steel tank with ferromagnetic bottom;
- The tank can be used for distillation and fermentation;
- The presence of a diopter in the selection unit;
- Two sides included, one made of borosilicate glass;
- There is a gin basket mode for flavoring drinks;
- Convenient thermometer built-in cube to control the temperature of raw materials;
- Thoughtful dome cover, useful for excessive foaming;
- False bottom;
- The package allows you to assemble and use the device immediately after purchase.
- The material for filling the drawer is not included in the kit, it is purchased separately;
- Remote control is not provided.
Wein 6 Pro
Like most of the devices noted in this review, this one is capable of making classic moonshine, as well as whiskey, tinctures and liquors. Wein 6 Pro has the ability to make vapor and liquid selections. Taking into account the latter, he can prepare alcohol with a strength of up to 96.6%.
The column apparatus is made of stainless steel, all seals are silicone. You can choose the option for 20, 37 or 50 liters. The column diameter is 2″. There are two tsarg in the set, each length is 50 cm.
For ease of use, the manufacturer has provided a ferromagnetic bottom, so even owners of induction cookers can purchase such a device. Do not worry about boiling off the foam will allow the lid with a double cone. And the built-in full-fledged diopter allows you to control the process.
Moonshine still Wein 6 Pro
- Two selection options: steam or liquid;
- Two drawers, 50 cm each;
- Full diopter;
- ferromagnetic bottom;
- Tank 2 in 1;
- Double cone lid;
- A complete set to start work immediately after purchase and assembly.
- Both sides are not transparent;
- Bluetooth connection with a smartphone is not provided.
The device is a novelty of the current year, equipped with a universal selection unit: for liquid or steam. The set comes with one king. The tank itself and accessories are made of stainless steel.
The drawer side is opaque and has a length of 50 cm, the diameter of the column is 51 mm. The performance of the device as a whole corresponds to its counterparts and is 5-12 l / h.
As for visual control, a universal device is provided here: a Gin-basket diopter, that is, in addition to being provided as a viewing window, it can be used to flavor alcohol by adding various kinds of berries and seasonings to the basket. An alternative use of this diopter is also interesting. If you install it as the first element on the distillation cube, and after attaching the column, then it will act as a defoamer.
The tank is made of stainless steel and equipped with a ferromagnetic bottom. This allows you to use the distiller on any cooking surfaces.
moonshine still SCHNAPSER XO4
- Universal selection unit: for steam or liquid;
- Multifunctional diopter-gin basket;
- Ferromagnetic tank bottom;
- Good performance;
- Complete set for direct operation immediately after purchase;
- The 2mm thick dome cover allows the column to be extended without the risk of tilting.
- Opaque tsarga;
- The device cannot be controlled from a smartphone.
Good heat Atlant
Like most of the column-type moonshine stills noted in this review, this one can be considered universal. After all, it can work in the simple distillation mode, and in the rectification mode, and is able to flavor moonshine.
The steam selection unit does an excellent job of dividing into “heads” and “tails” and allows you to rid the drink of harmful impurities.
Visual control over the process can be carried out using a viewing diopter. This element can be installed both between the drawer and the reflux condenser, and directly on the distillation cube, in the latter case it will work in order to prevent foam from entering the column. As for the tsarga, it is one, its length is 50 cm.
Atlant is able to work in 6 modes. It:
- Super fast distillation mode, productivity in this case is 12 l/h, the selection of «heads» from «tails» is not carried out.
- Distillation of mash with maximum preservation of the feedstock.
- A mode for distilling raw alcohol into a highly purified final product.
- Rectification mode in order to obtain pure alcohol up to 96.6% of the fortress.
- Drink flavoring mode.
- Brewing mode.
You can choose one of three options for the apparatus, different in terms of the volume of the distillation cube. There are options for 21, 33 and 50 liters.
The material of the tank is stainless steel, the bottom is ferromagnetic.
Moonshine Still Dobry Zhar Atlant
- Versatility: 6 operating modes;
- Can be used on any hob due to the presence of a ferromagnetic bottom;
- Good performance.
- There is no possibility of remote control;
- The tsarga is not transparent.
Feast Workshop Column Suite 4
This moonshine is available in 20, 37 and 50 liter versions. The tank in all variants is made of food grade stainless steel, the bottom is ferromagnetic.
The manufacturer also offers to purchase a separate cube for this device, from the available options: 30, 37 and 50 liters. The column in the basic configuration is formed by means of one tsargi 50 cm long. There is a reflux condenser. As for the selection unit, there are two options for working: for steam or for liquid. This feature allows you to make moonshine with a strength of up to 96.6%.
Speaking about the modes, it is worth noting the possibility of working as a beer column and as a classic distiller, potstill mode, aromatization, maceration, fermentation, beer brewing. By the way, speaking of aromatization, we note that here a false bottom acts as a kind of genie of the basket.
It is worth noting that this moonshine still meets the selection criteria we have noted regarding ease of maintenance and the possibility of an upgrade. This is the merit of the clamp clamps used in the design. For example, you can install an additional drawer, a genie basket or a «Parrot» to control the fortress.
The performance of the device is similar to that of competitors — 12 l / h.
moonshine still workshop feast columned suite
- Wide range of tank volume options;
- The presence of a ferromagnetic bottom;
- The ability to control the temperature of raw materials at all stages of the process, three thermometers in the kit are responsible for this;
- Node selection for steam or liquid;
- Versatility and choice of operating modes;
- The presence of a false bottom.
- The tsarga is not transparent;
- Does not include remote control.
Bulat hero 2
The number 2 in the name of the moonshine still indicates the diameter of the drawer used in the design. At the same time, the tank, namely its volume, can be selected from 4 options — 12, 21, 37, 50 liters. The tank is made of stainless steel and equipped with a 3 mm thick cover, which gives additional stability to the column. Drawer side included steel 45 cm long. Dephlegmator — to choose from: enlarged film or 9-channel segmented.
The manufacturer in the basic configuration provided a digital thermometer and alcoholometer. The owner does not have to buy anything for the first testing of the device.
Moonshine still Bulat Bogatyr 2
- The basic kit contains everything you need to get started;
- Stainless steel tank;
- Clamp connection;
- Dephlegmator to choose from;
- Sufficient lid thickness.
- In the basic configuration, visual control is difficult, since a diopter is not provided, you will have to buy it separately;
- Also, you will additionally have to “upgrade” the device with a false sieve or gin with a basket for brewing beer or flavoring drinks.
moonshine still what is it
A moonshine still is a design that allows you to distill moonshine from sugar mash. A good moonshine still has the following characteristics:
- Volume: A good still has an alembic of the volume required by the distiller. If he intends to produce small volumes of moonshine, then in this case an apparatus equipped with a cube with a volume of 12 to 14 liters is suitable. A cube with a capacity of 20-25 liters is suitable if the distiller is going to produce large volumes of moonshine (over 30 liters).
- Material: it is better to purchase a device made of high-quality stainless steel, because this material has excellent wear resistance. In this case, the wall thickness of the device should not be less than 2 millimeters, otherwise the mash will constantly burn.
- The presence of an element for cleaning moonshine: a good moonshine still has a steamer — a container where fusel oil vapor condensate settles, which spoil the characteristics of moonshine. If the steamer has a collapsible design, then in this case the distiller has the opportunity to experiment with the quality of alcohol. You can add flower petals and other additives to the dryer that give the alcohol a pleasant aroma. It should be noted that the simplest moonshine stills in terms of design do not have dry steamers, which is why the distillery has to make this structural element from improvised materials. However, in this case, there is a risk that the steamer will be of poor quality, which will prevent the complete purification of moonshine from impurities.
The use of a classic moonshine still allows you to get raw alcohol with a strength of up to 70 degrees. Naturally, such a product needs to be reduced in strength and purified from unnecessary impurities. Therefore, the owner of a moonshine still often thinks about buying a distillation column installed on a moonshine still.
Such a portable column is a vertical container 50 centimeters high. All columns are equipped with internal elements to ensure the exchange of heat and liquids. The heated mixture enters the distillation column from the distillation still
It is important to remember that installing a distillation column will make the moonshine still more cumbersome.
When buying a moonshine still, you should pay attention to its completeness. Ideally, the package should include items such as an alcohol meter, a thermometer, food hoses and airtight gaskets.
The presence of a dryer is also welcome.
If we compare the moonshine still and the beer column, then the first device will have a more affordable price. Experienced distillers note that the moonshine still has a higher productivity compared to the beer column. However, the classic model of the apparatus, unlike the beer column, does not allow fast and high-quality distillation of moonshine. Often, owners of moonshine stills think about buying a separate distillation column, which is associated with additional costs.
Both the moonshine still and the beer column have their advantages and disadvantages, but nevertheless, both types of devices have many fans among distillers.
moonshine column type
The design of such a device is a distillation cube, above which a pipe (column) rises with a smooth arched transition to the cooler. Hence the name of the device.
Distillers of the classical type, with a dry steamer, differ in the principle of operation. In column apparatuses, part of the cooled steam returns back to the cube, in contact with hot steam. As a result of the repeated evaporation and condensation, the drink is cleaner, but at the same time it has a less pronounced aroma. At the exit, you can get alcohol with a strength of 90-96 degrees.
How to choose a column-type moonshine still
You should know that a good columned moonshine still must be equipped with a reflux condenser.
Dephlegmator, it is also a preliminary or additional refrigerator, pre-cooler. Its task is to trap all sorts of harmful impurities on the way to the main cooler, passing only the drinkable, more volatile component of the steam.
If that element is not in the design, then we do not recommend considering such a device for purchase, since in fact it is the dephlegmator and the selection unit that make the apparatus a column, and not just a high moonshine still.
What else to look for, besides the presence of a dephlegmator?
- Productivity, which means how many liters of product per hour the device can produce in the first run mode. This indicator depends on the passage diameter of the column, the larger it is, the higher the performance. Options with a column narrower than 1.5 inches are better not to consider.
- Fortress, this figure depends on the configuration of the column and for devices with steam extraction is, as a rule, in the range of 90-96%. The fortress is affected both by the presence of a reflux condenser, which we have already mentioned above, and the height of the column. The latter is regulated by drawers — pipes that differ in height and are installed between the distillation tank and the dephlegmator.
- Ease of operation and maintenance — this factor implies the possibility of easy disassembly of the column for cleaning and washing, as well as the possibility of upgrading the apparatus, that is, modernization, if necessary. This also includes the possibility of visual control (the presence of a diopter), the possibility of remote control and management (the ability to pair with a smartphone via Bluetooth), the ability to add a genie basket to the device.
Summing up this section, we can say that the design that should be considered for purchase for home use is a column-type moonshine that:
- is collapsible and has clamp connections (and not threads or “lambs”);
- has a side, 1.5 inches or 2 ″, the larger its diameter, the more product will be output in the same period of time;
- equipped with a dephlegmator;
- has a viewing diopter.
This is the minimum set of characteristics that will allow you to purchase a really good moonshine for home. At the same time, if you want to expand the range of types of alcohol obtained or increase the volumes, you should carefully study the full range of technical characteristics of the device, and not be limited to the minimum allowable parameters noted above. A certain guarantee of quality will be the purchase of a device from the best manufacturers of column-type moonshine stills, a brief overview of which is given below.
Differences between a beer column and a conventional moonshine still with a distiller’s steamer
Oddly enough, the beer column looks more like a distiller than a distillation column. They are very similar in the following ways:
Classical distiller with dryer.
- Moonshine at the exit is fragrant. In the beer column, the purification of alcohol vapors is not so strong as to exclude all taste and smell. The output is a distillate of very high strength or under-rectified.
- The degree of purification is usually about the same. Due to the complexity of the setup, moonshiners usually do not use the full capabilities of this equipment. The slightest movement and haste can lead to the fact that the product can be saturated with harmful fractions in a second. This is especially noticeable when a 90-degree product is diluted with 40-degree pure water. The smell of «sivukha» is revealed in all its glory. By following the rules of distillation, the quality can be seriously improved.
The taste of rectified and distillate is very easy to distinguish.
But the difference between a product made on a distiller and a beer column is extremely difficult to distinguish. Especially if the distillation goes «at random».
Let’s now look at the differences that are found in these devices. They are quite weighty, so they must be taken into account when choosing equipment for work:
The presence of a dephlegmator is considered the main difference.
- Different appearance. The distiller usually consists of a dry steamer and a refrigerator connected to each other by steam pipes. The beer column is a construction of a pipe, a reflux condenser and a refrigerator.
- Different fortress moonshine. The distiller can produce up to 65 degrees in the second distillation, but usually people start to feel sorry for the tails and in the end something around 55 degrees is obtained. The column will make you up to 90% alcohol without any problems.
- Different transfer technology. Due to the presence of a reflux condenser, the whole process is aimed at the most accurate selection of head fractions from the main product. The quality of alcohol at the exit will depend on how well the moonshiner succeeds.
- Different price. The mash column is obviously more expensive, as it requires more material and serious work of craftsmen.
- The complexity of care. Ordinary moonshine stills are quite difficult to wash efficiently. A certain extraneous smell will always live in the pipes of the steam pipeline, which can only be gotten rid of very much. The column usually has clamp connections, so washing does not take much time and effort.
Rating of classic moonshine stills
This category includes devices of classical models. Their advantages include accessibility and ease of installation and use. However, it is impossible to do without loss of alcohol yield.
The rating of moonshine stills of the classic model includes:
A modern device that is equipped with a drawer function. It prevents the penetration of impurities and oils into the finished product, which makes it possible to produce a high-quality 80% product. Such parameters are achieved using a cooling tube. Water consumption is economical. The elements are made of stainless materials, with careful use the device will last for many years. The kit includes a Panchenkov nozzle, which reduces the amount of fusel oils.
|The volume of the distillation cube, l||12, 20|
|Tank diameter, cm||thirty|
- optimal product yield;
- suitable for all plates;
- stainless steel.
- not the best quality seams;
- small neck.
Review: “The device was advised to buy by friends, the price is quite adequate for such a unit. When buying, I examined the seams and the geometry of the product, I liked everything. The unit does not take up much space, so it is easy to transport. How to use and connect can be found in the instructions that came with the device. It’s very easy for beginners to understand.»
Phoenix Locomotive 20 l
High-quality distiller, which has a built-in steamer and a distillation cube of 20 liters. The stainless construction helps to produce the product on any type of plate. Reinforcement ribs guarantee the durability of the tank, a wide mouth provides convenience when pouring. The unit has a built-in thermometer to monitor the temperature. The height of the machine is 56 cm and is ideal for working in small spaces. For the strength of the product, you can install a Panchenkov hose.
|The volume of the distillation cube, l||twenty|
|Tank diameter, cm||35|
- high performance;
- the size;
- additional fasteners.
- ball valves;
- thin handles on the tank.
Reviews: “For a long time I was looking for a device for alcoholic beverages — I relied on reviews, recommendations, advice and finally decided on a model. We have been cooperating with the device for more than a year. Productivity reaches 2 liters per hour, which is good news. It comes with instructions for preparing a natural product. The quality is at a height — 70-80 degrees, not lower. It is simple to operate and does not require any investment.”
Dobry Zhar Luch 30 liters
The moonshine is equipped with a stainless steel flow cooler. Collapsible elements allow you to filter harmful impurities, as well as flavor the drink during the distillation process. The tank works with all stoves. Easy to clean without scratching the walls of the device. The thermometer allows you to get accurate data on the temperature of the steam during the distillation process. The food grade silicone seal will last a long time.
|The volume of the distillation cube, l||12-45|
|Tank diameter, cm||thirty|
- not bulky;
- heating adjustment;
- fast run;
- folding dryer.
- leaking drain valve;
- thin metal.
Reviews: “I used to flavor moonshine with herbs — the process is very long and not easy. Then I read about a modern device on the forums and decided to purchase it. At first, there was a real euphoria from the product — several degrees of purification, simple aromatization. Over time, I got used to it, began to experiment, get new tastes. Very happy with the choice. The price matches the quality.”
Advantages and disadvantages
Modern columns have individual advantages and disadvantages, but the main advantages are as follows:
- allow the production of high-purity and strong alcohol at home;
- the resulting product does not require re-distillation, there is no unpleasant odor;
- they are equipped with all the necessary details and can work independently, without the participation of a moonshine;
- its use does not require special knowledge, you just need to make sure that the tubes do not become clogged during the cleaning process;
- help to produce alcohol in industrial volumes, but it depends on the power of the product.
- rather lengthy process;
- output no more than one liter per hour;
- finished devices have a very high cost.
Many lovers of homemade strong drink make moonshine stills in an artisanal way, and save on cleaning, so the result is not quality, but a cloudy liquid with a tart characteristic odor.
How to choose a moonshine still
Be guided by the diameter of the column, the thickness of the bottom, the shape of the cube lid; type, length of the reflux condenser; quantity, diameter of tubes; length of the refrigerator, type of hose connections, type of construction, quality of welds, price.
Learning features takes time. Rating of the best models from the VyborExpert.ru team with evaluation parameters will help you choose the best device quickly.
Types of moonshine stills
By metal, moonshine stills are divided into 2 types: copper, stainless steel. Copper is an expensive material. High-performance devices and alambiks are made from it. The quality of cleaning and thermal conductivity depends on the material. If performance is not important, focus on design.
Delicious homemade liqueurs, tinctures, pure vodka, cognacs are obtained on rectifiers. Beer columns, combining a distiller and a rectifier, are capable of delivering a product with a strength of up to 95%. Alcohol obtained from a rectifier does not require charcoal purification. Suitable for those who want to make drinks above 40%. To obtain ethanol, you need a full-fledged distillation column.
Noble drinks with rich organoleptics are made on distillers, alambiks. The taste, aroma of drinks depend on the number of dry steamers, the presence of a gin basket. With the help of a distiller, you can make homemade wine, beer, cider.
Alambicas are designed to create Calvados, Chacha, Cognac. They are a cross between a column and a distiller, but do not have a long side. They are made by hand by Arab craftsmen, so they are rare and expensive on the Russian market.
Cubes are sold in volumes of 9-60 liters. If the volume is less than 20 liters, there is a problem with cutting off heads and tails due to the short sampling time. As a result, it will take the same amount of time as for a 20-liter cube. Useful for single use or when needed.
Models with a volume of 20-35 liters are optimal for making home-made moonshine, training. Some mash foams, you have to leave ¼ of the volume empty so that the rising gas does not press on the lid.
Tanks with a volume of more than 35 liters are used in conveyor production, when a large number of drinks are required for sale, and for the production of beer. Beer mash foams a lot, so you need to leave more free space.
The more productive the device, the lower the quality of moonshine. Focus on 2-4 liters per hour. Each sukhoparnik increases the duration of distillation by 20-30 minutes. However, the cleanliness and taste of the drink depend on the steamer.
Performance also depends on the following physical parameters:
- heating intensity;
- Thermal conductivity of the material;
- Heat loss;
- The presence of a dry steamer, bubbler, dephlegmator;
- Panchenkov nozzles;
- Double distillation function.
To increase productivity, use a heating element or an induction cooker. The plate heats up quickly and keeps an even temperature over the entire area. For cubes less than 35 liters, a 2-kilowatt stove is suitable.
Deteriorate the quality of the product, but increase productivity, turning off the dephlegmator, refusing to use a dry steamer, bubbler, distillation without Panchenkov nozzles.
Stainless steel devices are durable, polished, even. A perfectly flat bottom sometimes causes an explosive boil. To avoid this, put non-magnetic iron or ceramic objects on the bottom.
Stainless steel features corrosion resistance, low price, oxidation resistance, easy maintenance. Under stainless steel, galvanized metal is sometimes sold.
Unlike stainless steel, copper is easier to distinguish from a fake. It has high thermal conductivity, is chemically active, precipitates sulfur oxide from raw materials and binds acetones. A copper moonshine still is difficult to maintain and expensive, but only with it can high performance be achieved without loss of quality.
To reduce the cost of the model, you can use food grade silicone tubes, but this is not an environmentally friendly alternative to steel.
Manufacturer and reviews
Alkash is a popular Russian brand. Produces moonshine stills thought out to the smallest detail, sells in Russia and abroad. The company’s devices are used by many professional moonshine bloggers.
Phoenix sells products through online stores. According to buyers, it is a reliable company with a wide range of products.
Dobry Zhar specializes in the production of high-quality, inexpensive distillers for home-made drinks. Customer reviews indicate that even the most inexpensive model of this brand has good organoleptic properties.
Pervach is a trademark of compact budget distillers, which are produced on the basis of the Ural Household Products Plant. Buyers note the average quality of the resulting product, similar to ordinary moonshine.
Luxstahl provides upgradeable, high performance models.
What is a film column
The film, mash and reinforcing column are the same in design (although they have different capabilities). It consists of a drawer, a dephlegmator and a refrigerator.
A film column can be transformed into a distillation column only if the connections are made on the clamps. It needs to be increased in size by adding panchenkov’s drawers and nozzles. But initially its power is not enough to produce the purest alcohol of maximum strength at the output.
This is a good moonshine still, which allows you to get strong moonshine of very good quality (higher than that of a classic distiller).
Due to incomplete cleaning, the product is slightly aromatic and with a specific taste. It fully opens when diluted with water to a classic 40% strength.
This is both good and bad: you can make chacha or with an interesting taste, but harmful impurities will remain along with it. Therefore, if you like delicious strong drinks, then the film version is very worthy for you. If you prefer ordinary vodka (roughly speaking), then give preference to a distillation column.
The dry steamer is in contact with the environment, and in the column, due to the presence of a reflux condenser, temperature errors are excluded, and the distillate is cleaned from harmful impurities to the maximum. Moonshine stills with a distillation column allow you to get absolutely pure alcohol with a maximum strength of up to 96 degrees at the output, and similar models with a dry steamer basically drive out moonshine with a strength of 80-85 degrees.
Only highly experienced distillers, due to the jewelry adherence to technology, reach the highest limit of 900. The columns clearly select the so-called heads, and with the presence of a dry steamer, all fractions are more blurred, but you can get the final product with the smell and taste of the feedstock. On the column, this is also possible, but only with less strict observance of the temperature regime.
In terms of cost, they also differ significantly, but we will talk about this in detail in the following sections. So far, the verdict is this: a distillation column is more expensive than a classic moonshine brewer, but it allows you to significantly expand the possibilities of home production of strong drinks.
What to choose
Having considered the features of both designs, it is easy to understand that they differ significantly from each other, and are also used for different purposes. Therefore, the choice will depend on the final result and on what exactly will be distilled:
- If wine mash and other similar raw materials are used, then it is better to use conventional moonshine stills.
- If you drive ordinary sugar mash, then a column is used.
It is worth noting that today there are universal devices that can work as a distiller and as a distillation column, and devices made in Germany are in demand. In this case, you will need to use an additional drawer — this is a column that is screwed into the distiller. To compare a distillation column and a classic distiller, with a capacity of both 2 liters per hour, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the data:
- The product density of the classic device will be 60%, the density of the column — 96%, 60%.
- The level of purification of the distiller is at a low level with a large amount of impurities, but the column has the highest degree of purification, from a distiller 60 times higher.
- As for the dimensions, distillers are more practical due to their small size, and the column is very high (about 1-1.2 meters). In this case, you also need to take into account the stove on which the cooking will be carried out.
- In terms of productivity, the distiller will give 2 liters of 60% raw per hour, and the column — 2 liters of 96.6% alcohol or 6-7 liters of moonshine.
Features of the choice of moonshine stills
Due to the increased price of alcohol in retail chains, the preparation of drinks at home is gaining great popularity. Before you buy a device, you should decide what the device will be used for. The type of device directly affects the finished product.
How to choose the right moonshine:
- The volume and power depends on how often the transfer will be carried out. If it is planned to drive the mash 1-2 times a week, then 15 liters will be enough for these purposes.
- Material. Many use aluminum in the production, but it is capable of releasing harmful substances that affect the taste. Copper and stainless steel are the best materials.
- Design. The presence of additional taps, a wide mouth, a steamer simplifies the operation process.
- Verification of documents. It is proved that the best moonshine stills of domestic production. Before buying, you should familiarize yourself with the documents for the goods, check the registration of the seller, familiarize yourself with the certificates.
A detailed review of moonshine stills will allow you to choose the highest quality product for relatively little money. The recommendations of experts will allow you to understand the intricacies of a future acquisition.
Differences between a beer column and a distillation column
If the beer column at the exit leaves some smells and taste notes, then the distillation column produces the purest alcohol of 96% strength. This is the main difference that pulls everything else:
The transformation of the beer column into a distillation column.
- Additional modules. To get a pure rectificate, you just need to add 1-2 drawers, stuff them and clearly monitor the fractions of the product.
- Height and dimensions. The rectifier turns out to be bigger and taller, so choose a room that is convenient for you in advance.
- Work speed. The stronger the product, the longer it needs to be taken.
- different price. Due to additional modules, you will have to pay more for a distillation column than for a mash column.
“More expensive, more efficient and slower” – this is how you can describe the device for rectification in three words.
This complex structure has special nozzles or plates inside, the beer column will act as a distillation column only after being filled with nozzles to capture various fractions, so you should not confuse these two structures that are different in terms of functional features.
The packings have a complex filling and greatly increase the inner surface of the column, where the main sedimentation of various fractions takes place. In different parts of the product, the boiling point of alcohol is maintained, so the vapors pass freely, and fusel oils and other harmful impurities condense. Copper perfectly captures sulfur compounds, forming insoluble compounds, so distillation columns are made from it to distill mash from grapes or grain.
The product in the upper part has a reflux condenser — it is he who helps to observe a very strict temperature regime when selecting fractions, due to which the alcohol-containing vapors are effectively cleaned. The column can produce aromatization if the manufacturer has provided for the integration of additional blocks into the main structure — a special basket is purchased separately for inserting flavors into it.
What is a dryer
The main purpose of this product is to protect the distillate from splashes of mash into it during its active boiling, because small drops are captured by alcohol-containing vapors and transferred through the pipeline to the cooler, thereby polluting the final product.
This behavior is typical for all types and recipes of mash. In addition to protection, the dry steamer filters fusel oils, since the temperature in it is slightly lower than in the upper part of the distillation cube and the steam pipe. All fractions with a higher boiling point than alcohol are condensed in it, and alcohol-containing vapors are sent further to the refrigerator — this is the only similarity with column-type products.
There is no loss of strength in this device, and if you purchased a collapsible version, you can flavor the final product at your discretion, for example, with citrus zest, aromatic herbs or dry fruits and berries. The difference from alcohol infused with the same ingredients is huge: there is no color, as well as bitterness, which gives the zest of a lemon or orange.
Rectification description and purpose
Distillate and rectified differ in the specifics of the final product: in the process of rectification, you can get pure rectified alcohol, so it is used for the production of vodka.
A distillation column is somewhat more complicated than a distiller, because it is not easy to separate alcohol, but also to purify it from impurities: fusel oils, methanol, acetone, taste and smell.
It is important to remember that distillation of alcohol is not a re-distillation. The process itself has several stages:
- The moonshine compartment is heated and brought to a boil.
- The vapors rise through the distillation column to the reflux condenser, where it settles, being cooled by water.
- As a result of condensation, phlegm is formed, which flows back down the column.
- Phlegm and steam interact — heat exchange occurs. Light-boiling substances are concentrated at the very top and settle in a special container.
If we compare rectified and distillate, then usually the difference is noted in the purity of alcohol. When rectified, the output is pure 96% alcohol.
Important: only 40% alcohol after primary distillation is suitable for obtaining rectified alcohol, and not mash.
Distiller advantages and disadvantages
In the distiller, alcohol vapor is distilled, followed by condensation of the cooled vapor. The design of the apparatus is simple: it must have a distillation cube, as well as a dry steamer with a cooler. Raw mash is heated in a cube. The sukhoparnik is intended for sedimentation of splashes of mash. Fusel oils are also condensed there, and a cooler is used to turn the vapor into a liquid that flows into a receiving vessel at the outlet. This element often performs the function of an aroma basket. Hot steam passing through aromatic herbs, berries, absorbs essential oils or pleasantly smelling substances, giving the distillate new notes of taste and smell.
Advantages of the distiller:
- with its help, strong moonshine is obtained, which cannot be compared with store-bought vodka;
- products obtained by distillation of mash are environmentally friendly;
- modern devices are compact;
- the apparatus is simple;
- may have several degrees of purification;
- device is reliable.
The disadvantages include:
- lack of temperature control;
- volumes of tanks of some models.
Rating of the best models
Phoenix Sirius 20 liters
- Type: film-type distillation column
- Material: stainless steel
- Productivity: up to 3 l/h
- Volume of alembic: 20 l
- Tank wall thickness: 1mm
- Cube bottom: 2mm multilayer
- Type of container: tank-pan
- Tank diameter: 280 mm
- Installation height: 107 cm
- metal quality
- comfortable design
- three-pipe cooling
- power can be increased by upgrading
Brazhnaya column «Gorilych» 20/110/t
- Type: beer column
- Material: food grade steel
- Productivity: up to 1.0 l/h
- Volume of alembic: 20 l
- Tank wall thickness: 1mm
- Diameter: necks — 110 mm, columns — 42.5 mm
- Installation height: 99 cm
- The strength of the final product: 93%
- quality assembly
- excellent cleaning
- high quality from the first run
- normal volumes
Dobry Zhar Universal system Spring 25 liters
- Type: with dryer
- Material: AISI 304/430
- Productivity: up to 4 l/h
- Volume of alembic: 25 l
- Tank wall thickness: 1.5mm
- Tank dimensions: 250×300 mm
- Neck diameter: 115 mm
- Installation height: 60 cm
- suitable for all boards
- high quality materials
- protective atmospheric valve
- 5 year warranty