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A small Commercially Distillery built in Sweden from scratch, adapted to Swedish Laws and Regulation

edited June 2013 in General

Hey my name is Patrick / harley from Falbygdens Distilleries Ltd. and in this discussion I intend to keep you up to date with pictures on the progress of our small distillery starting up from zero entirely under Swedish laws and regulations.

Our goal is to manufacture or have manufactured-designed as much as possible of the equipment myself and for your own needs and ideas, and we intend to produce single malt whiskey and single malt vodka in small batches handcrafted in the first place and anything else that seems interesting.

So here I will try to update with pictures of everything and to start with as it's mostly local images for that is where we are currently in our process, but all permits from all government agencies are clear already, for without authorization, we would not be able to build or own any type of distillations equipment so says the law here in Sweden.

PS I am Swedish so my spelling isn't so god but I hope that you can understand me anyway.




  • edited June 2013


    Now, wells, spaced and drain pipes measured - marked where they should be, on Monday as each other drains completely then the Styrofoam and the reinforcement in ...

    Nice cheap stainless wells a 475 Swedish kr each + VAT .. and it is only pulling the insert straight up so it becomes scuppers of them

    It goes slowly forward ...

    Cheers :ar!

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  • Hi Harley, I would think that a trough or gutter styled deck drain (rather than a typical hub) would give you some flexibility to push and pull your tanks around as time passes. Also this gives you the ability to wash down your floor very well.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • edited June 2013

    Hi smaug, I will have everything connected directly to the head drain pipe even with the bypass on all lines so when I wash all the vessels I have taps so I can send it directly to the head drainpipe, these 3pc round drains are actually only there to take care of the cleaning water that becomes when I rinse the equipment outside and the walls - the plate so it will be a case to this 3pc these wells. I do not like to get involved with mass hoses to lie on the floor and in the way and the latter washed inside .... so I have a pretty advance solution where I will use my 2pc open impeller pumps after use or even to wash everything in a virtually closed system. Mate has been ss fitter for dairy here in Sweden and mounted cip-cleaning system for dairy production and he will help me with this and my tanks are so big so I have to make sure they end up right from the start, they are all stainless and has a huge weight , and a allso try to kep all cost down to a minimun, so this small ss "return" was cheap and a think and hope that this is enought for me. Cheers

  • edited June 2013

    One rule - law that we have had in recent times here in Sweden is that everything is in around destillatiorn.boiler must be atex - ex classified or meet these requirements- which simply means gas tight and ul classified.... so therefore I will put all my boilers in a room that will only contain 4pc atex rated fluorescent lights and all my control panels and other electrical wiring, switches, etc. will sit outside this room and I've even require a vent to suck from the highest point of this special adapted rooms for only distillation boilers. this room and other rooms for purification and bottling up you can see my hand-drawn blueprint. Something that authorities believe is important is that you have a flow through the distillery NOT cross each other, so in my case it's ingredients right inside the large 2pc port input are, then so is everything in an unbroken line in the left turn ... crasy but that the way it is.... We have many rules that relate to here in Sweden .. both good and bad ... but it's just like the situation and adapt to them.

  • edited June 2013



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  • Well done Paddy (short for Patrick in these parts) I tip my hat to anyone who has the persistance to deal with authorities to go legal. Distilling is an art that is highly controlled in most countries. We are no different here, with the hoops we have to jump through. Good luck, I look forward to seeing some more of your pictures here.

  • edited June 2013

    Here you see what is to be transported to my partner tomorrow so he can turn-fix this in the computer and send it to the company in the same city I live in for punching on a large cnc punch that can receive it directly from his data . I can only fix it like this, am one of the "old" type of handy-working man.... I shall stans out about 30pc of the 8" with about 1730pc 1,5mm hole-10% that you se on the foto for future use. 6pc in 8" for a gigant bubbelcaps testing... and about 30pc of a little 4" for sd downcomers and maximun with 1,5mm hole in 4mm pattern and here a shall count them all after the are made so a can relly se-count the exact hole % of the wet active surface betven 2pc 4" ferules... and someone ellse shall testing this little 4" sieve plate and se if this is relly so good that a think and have calculate it to be, and a think that it shall be about 9-10% with 1,5mm hole when it is in 4mm pattern all over the free plate space.... this a shall come back later with...


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  • edited June 2013

    Nu börjar jakten på utrustning för småskalig tillverkning...

    If anyone would be interested to see the previous pictures of my Equipment and local to emerge, there is be seen at above link on the Swedish brewing forums. But all text is in Swedish but the pictures are in every language ...


  • edited June 2013

    I forgett to show you my 3pc 12" big whisky plate that allso shall be stansed out tomorrow....



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  • @harley, you have some amazing things going on, I honestly envy you. I think at one point I'll have to come up and visit you. ;)

    StillDragon Europe - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Europe & the surrounding area

  • Hello SD Europe,

    You are all welcome to peek in when you are passing, but please wait to everything is ready so there is something to look at ;-)

    Personally, I think it's little to fun to develop equipment to the max, so this takes a little too much time and then the premises suffering. I will upgrade most of my equipment in the future when I have tested in Where max is, and adjust all my equipment from then on ...


  • edited June 2013

    European 400v three phase panel.

    A custom 3 element 3phase panel built to European specifications (400v 3phase + neutral) This panel is configured to do the following:

    Auto “heat up and hold” function, full:

    • power heat up until the column is a few degrees below distillation temp, then pause heat until distiller assumes control of system.
    • Audio and visual notification of column ready status.
    • Distiller/Operator controlled heat input during heads and hearts collection.
    • Automatic tails run out after hearts collection is complete.
    • Automated still shut down after tails collection is complete.
    • Full manual override option (auto/man)
    • Two column temperature monitoring capabilities, selectable via switch. Current selected column temp is monitored and used for process control input.
    • Agitator control circuit
    • Individual 2 pole circuit breakers on each element circuit to protect against a shorted element.
    • Positive operator input for power up (a safety feature)

    And I have also 1pc control panel with all same functions but it control 6pc 5500watts element in 2 banks…

    Swede's Custom Control Systems - Custom Controller Examples


  • edited June 2013

    Now I bought my control panels before swede begin to build in automatic reflux control, so I will also add 1pc such that can control 2ps reflux condenser( for me 3pc reflux) so everything is exactly as I want it and I have full ability to copy myself once after time ... With this freedom to perform other tasks while I distill .. TIME IS MONEY.....

    NEW** Multi-mode reflux control(auto, off, 100%)

    • auto mode controls reflux based on programmed dephleg water temperature
    • off mode shuts off all water flow to dephleg of column not in use
    • 100% mode turns on full water flow through dephleg for initial start up and tray loading (no digital temp control needed)
    • NEW 5amp resettable circuit breaker on panel to protect the 110vac control circuit from shorts and grounds.

    Swede's Custom Control Systems - Dephlegmator Control Center


  • edited June 2013

    Here you can se my "old milktank" that a shall build a 600 liter boiler of, and it have about 4-5cm insulation all around it so this is for me a relly good solution becouse a save a lot of elektrik power and a dont get so hight air temp in my boiler room ;-). But a shall be doing all my short pipe-tub that my 6pc 5500watts elektrik heaters shall sitting in, in 4" pipe so a relly dont lose any power and my "elektrik heaters gard" shall be in 3" pipe with 3" end lock in the end and this "guard" must be totally-100% air and licuid safe - tight to meet ATEX law.... this shall be Relly intresting to se if this solution shall be okey, but is it UL-approved heaters element and 100% tight-seal controll box-guards so way note... ;-)


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  • edited June 2013

    I've been thinking about how I will get to a 5 "giant bubbelcaps similar to Kothes and with the same angles and I have loose it now in my eyes a simple way "a think" anyway ... Check out how easy it looks to copper pressure and shape it for - the shape, I must try ... I shall only need 6pc all in exact same size and angel to start with and to test this type of plate...


  • I have always wanted to try spinning on my lathe... i think you can make your lathe do it with a form ...or you could hammer form them... like i suggested earlier...

    they spin using wooden forms or metal ones ... the wax he put on the copper was for lubrication... can be bee's wax or paraffin

    I bought some books and watched training videos on spinning a few years ago...

  • edited June 2013

    Hi FS Well I have all thought about doing as you suggested to make a mold and knock them out of it but this "metal spinning" looks to be easy and fast and they are very nice to look at too, but like everything else, it is easy when you can, also have the right equipment for the production of ....

    this is actually an interesting solution if you want to make a column and also a boiler with all accessories in pure copper for it is only the size of the lathe and the imagination limits.

    If you look carefully at Kothes bottoms flat so it looks to be pressed into a tube made of a rolled copper plate and then welded - brazed in the back and it also has a sunken tray as reflux liquid is not directly kontackt with colon wall. ... all this is relatively easy to produce if you have the proper equipment .... The first foto is from a carl holtshein column, rest is from kothes plate


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  • edited June 2013


    here is it from top... with the modular returnpipe that a shall copy... simpel solution and if you look in the bottom then you can se some small hole in the end and this is relly intressting becouse a think that the have no liciur waporlock by licuid.... only some little small hole..... then it shall be total empty after destilling so that problem with licuid in the waporlock dosent exist... but you allso "lose" some little steam by this solution...


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  • It have been some talking of experience of diferents size of columns, product per hour, power request and boiler size… Here you all have some “fast data” that are based on plate area…. And you all can think that both boiler power request and product per hour shall match this note so bad i think…

    4” 100mm about 1 gallon per hour and about 3000-4000watt in 100liters boiler when you are destilling….

    6” 150mm = about 2,2 time bigger than a 4” 8” 200mm = about 4 time bigger than a 4” 10” 250mm= about 6,2 time bigger than a 4” 12”300mm= about 8,2 time bigger than a 4” and 2,2 time bigger than a 8”

    So here we talk relly big columns and very big power need to mach them… This is only theoretical but soon a shall update it with real data ;-) at least in 8” and 12” Cheers

  • I am guessing I will need between 33,000 and 44,000 watts to run the 8" on the 1350L boiler. Will know soon enough.

  • Yes, this shall be intressting to se in real life, i think that maybe you "Only" need 50% ot what you think to run this 8" but it kan take care of much more power..... so this is relly intreesting, both min power and max power... to get it to wourk .

  • I think that a can run a 10" in sieve plates and with about 10% hole % with 1,5mm hole and 20pc hight with 33 000watt in my constelation with insulated boiler and only 500 liter loading charge, so this is something that a shall take some time soon, and relly calculate this plate to 100% so a get this sieve as a relly want it, and relly use 100% of all plate area... This shall be my max i think in that constelation and power that a shall have axess to.... so 10" sieve is next level for me ;-)

  • 10" sieve plate, Harley always raising the bar!
    I've had a few requests for stills bigger than 8" but it hard to go modular beyond 8".
    The clamps are made for up to 12" but they are special order and that means made to order. You think 8" is expensive? Oh no, 12" is expensive!
    How do you spell Sticker Shock? I think it starts with a few $$$.... $$ticker $$hock.

  • edited June 2013

    Hey Fester

    You are absolutely right in that 8 "(feels like max) when we're talking modules and to use ferrules and clamps to fittings – couplings – joints.

    I have as you know a number of 12 " with hp Clamps and ferules but I probably will not avail myself of this, because it feels note really good and it,s note a “safe” connetion in my own eyes....

    Now I shall have only 3pc 12 "plates with your little gorgeous copper bubbelcaps and this 12" should i used to make whiskey, but 8” shall also work fine for me but a rely must test 12” to se if this is better than 8" for me....

    I will "probably" try to make this column in one piece with both the bottom section with 2 "side entrance and also reflux cooler and if this would not go, then a hard copper solder it all together, because I shall have 4pc 100mm sight glass and can work through these if needed. ..

    If i shall make me a 10” sieve plates column with 20pc plates then a shall go for a “traditional” bolted connection with about 10-15pc ss bolt al around the column, that feels “safe” for me, and a shall make it in 5pc plate sections and with 100-120mm sight glass, but before this a rely must try my 8” to the limit.... that a belive is max if we talk “safe” with about 1730pc 1,5mm hole in it and 10% .with the 28mm pipe with the returncup - vaporlock in the air...

    Here in Sweden, we have actually most distilleries burner-boiler that can accommodate between 150 liters and 200 liters, and in exceptional cases up to 500 liters (where I will end up) ... and in all these sizes, so I personally think that 8" in sieve plates (my maxed is quite enough for vodka speed) but this is my own personal opinion .. based on calculations .. and we shall talk flavored products, your 8" bubble plate as well if it is only 1pc return so you can have 18pc small cups bubbelcaps then it becomes really, really good and maxed to the max ...

    So now I am considering a appears appropriate solution (which is screwed - together) for 1pc return to all my 8 "copper plates that I bought from you( relly many), I would prefer not to copper solder - silver solder in the them for the copper will be both ugly and also uneven when to solder in these rely flat plates from you ..

    Personally I think 16-20mm return pipe is sufficient for these plates( if you dont have to many on top) if you have fluid lock-cup as far down as 3/4 parts of the gap to the next plate then learn self weight of reflux help as it becomes more effective-heavier. but this must be determined in real tests, and a shall dont reflux so much that all hobby users are doing, a go for more plate insted of hight reflux use... this is same way that all comersiella user is doing, it,s save power,water and time... Only reflux to fill the plate and note more than you need to gets the plate to working to 100%... Cheers

  • There are other things to consider when the size of the column increases, look at the picture on kothes approx 50cm column, you will see clear and obvious that the liquid bath is located in a narrow ring around this giant bubble caps. Why did they do so! My conclusion is this: First you get them less cooling from the column wall when not in direct contact with the column wall. Other aspect that strikes me is this ... has many plates in this extreme size then teach it held a lot of liters of each plate, and this becomes a huge problem the more plates you have ...


  • Harley, I think the SD bubble caps are at their limit with 8" plates. Greater than 8" the caps need be larger to allow more vapor flow. Even at 8" plate they may be a bit small but the flow, because of the large number of caps, is still good.
    The bigger plates, 10" and over, will need larger bubble caps. This is a hard fact because bubble caps are expensive to produce and there is a very small market for the larger bubble caps compared to the hobby market. Minimum order quantity to get reasonable price is 1000 pieces.

    Know that I personally distill at the hobby scale so that is my area of expertise. I cannot provide enough power to fuel an 8" column as much as I wish that I could. I simply cannot put more than 6000 watts into my boiler. That is my limit.

    There is no doubt that in time the big caps will sell but SD dollars are committed to producing items of interest to the hobby distiller. That is our main focus.
    I see this larger bubble cap as the next step for StillDragon so it should be on the drawing board. Any suggestions from you are always appreciated.
    Perhaps in a few short months SD will begin producing an industrial size bubble cap.

  • edited June 2013

    Hey Fester I can only agree with you to 100%. When we talk about larger columns, 10 inches and 12 inches then the question is whether it is best to go for 1pc custom giant bubbel caps to fit every size and in this way really maximize flow to the max and also keep down the Amount of reflux liquid( note the height) on each tray also to minimum in the same way that all the major manufacturers make with 1pc giant bubbel caps.

    And there is a big difference in cost if you can get along with just 1pc giant bubbel caps per plate against several ...

    Something I personally think a lot about is whether to choose kothes solution with few - a small number of discharges is larger - wider or a greater number slots of discharges which are finer, my personal opinion to date is that I prefer a low and fine pattern with many slots-hole .

    This is what I should check with my 6pc Coppar plates in 8 "with 1pc 80mm hole and 1pc giant bubbel caps, for I will make some different types of bubbel caps (they are easy to replace on the plate when it is only 1pc per plate, and with 1pc bolt in top) and see if that makes a major difference in the outcome ...

    This shall be very fun and interesting... but is shall take some time before am there.


  • Height regulation and also draining of destillationsplate I've more or less already solved, because I will copy the one in the picture ( Kothe) almost straight off .... and all will be in stainless to minimize friction and body of oxidation.

    but something that I have not solved 100% yet, the bottom vapor lock, and what I can see, it looks as if you "only" have a number of small holes in this round crescent and compensate this with having an excessively large - roughly return tube so self-pressure of the reflux that fills the tube means that you get a good feature of this and when it's dry - empty so it must be expected that a certain small spill is lost this way because there's really no interceptor interceptor that we are used to having , so this solution is self-draining, but note 100% good in my yeas .....

    The alternative is to have some type of valve in the bottom valve-drainvalve that opens when it gets a certain amount of reflux that exceeds the pressure of the plate during ...

    This is something that I have not resolved yet ...


  • edited June 2013

    Falbygdens bränneri AB logo


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  • edited June 2013

    Now I figured and counted this so it matches ...

    Holes and risers riser pipe 80mm in diameter and 30mm high above the plate with a center bolt for mounting of the caps.

    Bubbelcaps 120mm in diameter and a height at the edge - the sides of 55mm. 53st 7mm high threesomes sawed - punched in a sawing patterns then shall they be around .... (7 * 7 * 7)

    Then, in the end, at least 10% open hole area to the vapor of 203mm to the plate - the column is and more - higher flows in the other places no restrictions more than 10% which is the outlet to the plate licuid ...

    This bubbelplate have almoust the same "open area -flow" that my "super" sieve plate have with about 1730pc 1,5mm hole in 4mm pattern....

    One can have a liquid level on the plate between 12mm to maximum 30mm so this will be a maxed plate with 1st giant bubbelcaps ... But the taste is in the steam and note in the plate reflux....

    1st 28mm return pipe adjustable in height and with liquid lock - steamlockt in the air so this will be great ...

    Next project is to figure out how many small 1.5mm holes needed if one seal the steamlock to 100% and just drill a number of 1.5 mm holes for drainage in the same way that the big boys have done. type shower head .. and then it becomes nothing standing in the return lock steamlock after distillation ... but you lose a little, just a little efficiency in this way ..

    Since then the next reflection: Should we make the return pipe modular in height, basis in the same manner as Khotes and then you can also empty the plate with this after -distillation or should I do that some other makes .... a tube from the column at the same height as the bottom of the plate and a crane that drains the plate, simple, but then they have not an easy way to controlled liquid level, unfortunately .. for that I want in a way or another ...

    Ps: I shall mowe the big 80mm centerhole little more to the middle...



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