StillDragon® Community Forum


Be part of our community & join our international next generation forum now!

In this Discussion

Can I use a StillDragon Dash Column to do a Stripping Run before doing a Spirit Run?

edited November 2015 in Usage

I'm used to distilling from a simple pot still - several stripping runs and then low wines are re-distilled in the spirits run. I want to achieve a light product as it won't be aged much or at all. I'll be using a clear wash made from mostly malted barley.


  • Sure can. same principles apply. Pretty sure it's covered in the Dash manual in the sticky at the top of the page.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • Thank you for your answer but I'll rephrase my question. Can I do a stripping run with a plated column? Is is it possible to remove plates and use as a pot still for a stripping run? I'm fairly certain that if I do a single a distillation - wash to finished spirit - it will contain too much flavour versus a stripping run and a spirit run with plates engaged.

  • Yes, just make sure that you empty the rc. You'll have much more passive reflux vs pot stilling due to height of column. Also, you'll see some plate action at first.

  • Yes you can. If you are going to the trouble of removing plates instead of just running with no water to the reflux condensor, the dash converts very easily to a plain potstill. You may need an extra riser or something in 2", but a stripping still is virtually there already depending on what configuration you order.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • edited November 2015

    Everything is possible, @pogriallais. You can either keep the split of having a stripping run and a spirit run, or you can go straight to product with such a reflux column.

    I personally do not think it's necessary to do stripping runs with such a setup, because a stripping run equals one distillation stage ~ one bubble section, and the purity of the product from a single run on a reflux column depends on the number of bubble sections. Here in Austria pretty much all distillers go straight to product with just three bubble sections for all kind of products (except anything vodka of course).

    If you nevertheless still want to strip first, you can do it with the column by just not using the dephlegmator (then it's pretty much a pot still with only a little passive reflux from the bubble sections), or you reconfigure the column to a real pot still by replacing the Dash up to the 180° bend with a pipe section.

    With a box of items you can go either way and play around to your liking, that's the beauty of our modular system.

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

  • Great answers. Thank you all for the clarification.

  • For whiskey, just use the plates, 3 or 4 and you won't need to strip. For rum, I still strip and then run. If your whiskey has too much flavor, Just reflux a little.

  • whatever you do, come back to this thread and put what you did and how you liked it in here...

  • I personally strip then do a spirit run, but that's more a time saving issue rather than any other real reason.

    I take the all the plates out (sometimes as one 4 plate section) leaving a single sight glass section, and swap over a gaskets or two and add a extra pipe to get the height that suits my setup, then I strip either whisky or neutral wash flat out- done in 1.5 hrs.

    Reconfigure for neutral 5 plates + packed section when ready and allow at least 6 hours for a run.

    Change configuration for whiskey 3 or 4 plates, 2/3rds stripped and 1/3rd fresh wash in the boiler and allow 5 or 6 hours again.

    This method allows me to strip after work during the week or do several strips on the weekend back to back, then when I can spare almost a full day I can do the spirit runs and I know that there will be a fair amount of product produced on these runs, touch easier for doing cuts with a larger volume to sort out as well.

    I have done single bubble plate runs from wash to product and it works extremely well, but the yield can be appear to be a lot less for the 3- 4 -5 hours work, after all it does take the same amount of power and time to heat up, stabilize, adjust running etc then you look at the jars lined up and it never seems enough!

    Another thing that springs to mind with the stripping first method, I just rinse the boiler and don't bother pulling the unit apart for cleaning, so its virtually always ready to strip again whenever I get the chance.

    sidenote: I really need to order some parts from @punkin for a CIP system, that way I may be able to strip with plates in (no reflux water flow) then clean the smelly tails away. Not sure how fast I could strip with plates in ? in real pot mode I can chuck 7200w most times and rip through the run.


  • Do you have the 120 or 200l boiler @fadge ?

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • @punkin said: Do you have the 120 or 200l boiler fadge ?

    I wish I did, but at this stage it's a converted 50 Lt keg. I have a spare 100lt keg that may get commissioned one day, or l may even cut and join 2 x 50 Lt together one day to increase the boiler size.

    I currently run my batches to suit the boiler size.


  • @pogriallais modularity provides you with many options to achieve an end point. I show a couple of pot still setups in the manual, from no reflux in the dephleg through removing plates to replacing the plates with a straight section. It is up to you to decide what works best for you.

    The responses above show you that different people have different thoughts and objectives which alter how they configure their kit. No wrong ways, just different.

    Try a couple of approaches and as @CothermanDistilling says, please report back here.

  • What Croz said. The thing I really like about my rig is that I DON'T have to change the column to strip. I just turn the water off to the dephleg and let er rip.

Sign In or Register to comment.