A hybrid still is a combination of a pot still and a column still, which are often linked together with piping, and diverter valves. Turning on or off certain valves permits different process paths, with each path containing its own distillation properties.
Hybrid stills can be used to produce a variety of spirits from whiskey to vodka and gin. The versatility of these hybrid distilling systems has gained them wide popularity among the craft distilling community.
*The color configuration of our stills constitutes proprietary trade dress, and is a trademark of Revival Stillworks Ltd.
TOP MOUNTED COLUMN
-SUITED FOR BRANDY, GIN, STRIPPING, AND SINGLE PASS WHISKEY
SINGLE SIDE MOUNTED COLUMN
-SUITED FOR VODKA, BRANDY, GIN, AND SINGLE PASS WHISKEY
MULTIPLE SIDE MOUNTED COLUMNS
-SUITED FOR LOW CEILING HEIGHTS
-SUITED FOR VODKA, BRANDY, GIN, AND SINGLE PASS WHISKEY
Top Mounted Columns
A 4 to 6 plate column can be mounted directly on top of the pot still in place of a spirit head. This is the most economical option for a hybrid still however, it does not allow the flexibility of bypassing the column as with a side mounted column.
Single Side Mounted Column
A single side mounted column can be used for producing a variety of different spirits depending on the number of plates in the column. If you are producing vodka then a pot still with a single 30-40 plate column is the most efficient and economical method to create a neutral spirit. The column sits on a stand next to the pot with a gravity feed return line for the reflux that collects at the bottom of the column. Alternatively, the column can sit low to the ground and use a small return pump to return the reflux at the bottom of the column. If your building has low ceilings then see "multiple side mounted columns" below.
Multiple Side Mounted Columns
If your ceiling height is too low or you are wanting to have the versatility of multiple columns, then placing 2 or 3 columns on a stand beside the pot still is an option. Multiple columns are also much easier to access and observe from the ground when compared to single tall columns. It is important to note that, If you are running your spirit through all the columns in series, the efficiency of your still will decrease with each column added. In this respect, it is better to use a single column if possible.
Internal or External Steam Heating
External steam jackets are an ideal heating method. They provide excellent heat transfer and make cleaning easier. Internal steam coils, or steam plates, are used when the shape and size of the still are not suitable for external steam jackets.
Electric steam boilers can be used for pot stills up to 1000L. They are efficient and a good choice for distilleries that don't have natural gas service. The size of pot still allowable will be determined by the amount of electrical service in your distillery.
Pot Still Shape
Pot stills can be made to suit the requirement of the customer. Choose from one of our standard designs or come to us with your ideas.
Spirit Head Shape
The shape of your spirit head can influence the character of your spirit. A tall head will produce a lighter flavor and a short head will carry over more flavor. Elements such as expansion and contractions or "boil balls" will cause velocity and pressure differences of the vapor which create varying amounts of reflux. For a highly refined spirit like vodka, the shape of the spirit head does not have much influential on the character of the spirit. For a full bodied spirit like whiskey or brandy, the shape of the spirit head can have a significant influence on the character of the spirit.
Clean In Place (CIP)
Pot stills, like other tanks, allow you to take advantage of CIP systems for cleaning. Remember that copper vessels may require copper inhibitors in the cleaning agents. It is best to consult your chemical supply company when designing a cleaning routine for your still. Columns are equipped with spray balls in each plate to allow for adequate cleaning.
Mixers are necessary for pot stills that distill on the grain. They not only improve the heating rate but they help prevent scorching of the grain on the heating surfaces of the still. For clear spirits or lautered wort, it is not necessary to have a mixer but the choice is usually left to the discretion of the distiller.
Condensers can be made in either copper or stainless steel. The preference for one or the other will depend on the spirit being produced. If you are starting with a neutral spirit or are making a vodka, then a stainless steel condenser is recommended. If you are making a whiskey, brandy, or any other 2 pass spirit, then a copper condenser is recommended.
Rectification columns are made out of copper and have multiple plates to increase the ABV of your spirit. Each plate has multiple bubble caps which facilitate vapor liquid interaction and increase efficiency of the column. Column plates can come equipped with bypass/drain valves that can be used to bypass one or multiple plates during distillation.
Hybrid stills can be used to produce a variety of different spirits which is why they are becoming increasingly popular with craft distilleries. The ability to produce a neutral spirit and whiskey on a single still enables new distilleries to purchase the necessary equipment at a more affordable price, and still establish cash flow quickly while waiting for whiskey to age.
Hybrid stills also provide distillers with the opportunity to experiment with different spirits and techniques while developing new product lines.