Daisy Chaining Crystal Dragon Setups?

I am looking at building a tall 4" ProCap Crystal Dragon for neutral spirits. Wondering if there is any benefit, based on y'all's experience, in constructing it out of multiple shorter segments? Thoughts?


  • search the site for 16 plate 4" crystal dragon

  • Shorter sections will add to the modularity if you want to be able to adjust it now and then. It may also add to the stability.

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

  • edited June 2017

    @feeder1 I'm quite new myself, but this is my pitch.

    Do you mean shorter distance between the plates, or having shorter sections between end caps?

    The plates sit in a CD gasket with a standard height CD section of glass sitting on the gasket, then the next gasket with plate inserted etc. The distance between the plates cannot be reduced if you use the standard CD glass.

    If you mean more discrete sections, with more end plates, then you can easily do that. The trade-off is that each additional section between end plates costs you additional height, equal to the height of the addition end plates in the tower. I think that means about 75mm extra height per section - if you are EU based and using the sight glass approach.

    I'm getting ready to be shot down on this one, as it's reads way too simple. Lots of height is needed for neutral (and/or multiple runs) with plates only, because the plates are all about retaining flavour from the wash whilst maintaining a high separation factor (leading to high ABV with also nice tasty output).

    Buried deep in the forum postings circa 2013-14, it been said that 10 plates is encouraged as the minimum for neutral. This probably assumes you have a very neutral wash as input, so not necessarily the common TPW. Plus, that doesn't mean that just 'cos it was said anyone agreed with that low a plate number for neutral (Vodka is different I learned). But the 16 plate search quoted above has all the facts for 16 plates along with backup videos.

    Recommendation is usually a packed section for neutral, or a hybrid combination with the packed section on top. But I like the way plates can be seen in the CD, and it looks easier to maintain. Even if it is more runs, and more important to have neutral wash. Depends if you are hobby or Pro re: extra runs, also there is always the trusty carbon filtering available as the final step to remove any residual tastiness.

  • I intend to have 12 plates minimum (13 is a fun number tempting fate so will likely go with 13). Will go higher if necessary. Realistically just wanting to know if there is utility or advantage to having a column that can be broken down into smaller column sections. Are there advantages for assembly, breakdown, cleaning, wear and tear, production (I would assume not for production). Could one clean in place the top 9 plates and disassemble and clean more aggressively the 4 plates closest to the boiler assuming they would get the most 'dirty'? Time savings? If there is no advantage either way it seems like a single long column would be the least expensive to acquire.

    Thanks for any and all input.

  • We, more often than not would recommend no more than 5 or 6 plate segments for all the reasons that you mention.

    But as some members have demonstrated,,it is not requisite.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • edited May 2017

    I got 8 crystal in one section and 4 ss obviously in modules. You would not want more than 8 as a whole in glass as too big but 8 is ok. Mine all 5". It is getting pretty tall at 12. Yes the ability to go to say 4 plates for whiskey / rum is good then just wack on the bigger crystal for neutral. It is ideal for me. The ss is easier to clean if doing flavoured brews but a smaller glass section of 5 ( if you want 13 ) would be easy enough. Depends on what you want to make also as you could possibly want say three plates. A second set of rods one for both 3 and 5 plates would be cheaper than a second set of end caps and not a problem to reassemble in either config after cleaning. Also depends if it is just a hobby.

  • I can tell you building a single 16 plate Crystal Dragon took some modifications including having 8 rods instead of 4 and adding rod stiffeners out of thick brass tubes for stiffness. On top of that, i use extra supports from the ceiling to help with torque due to pc and parrot hanging off one side.

    That been said, I did it, anybody can do it. It gets complicated. Save you some trouble and build 4 x 4 plate sections. Keep things simple, use as needed , 4 8 12 or 16, but I still recommend some sort of support from the top.

  • Oh, and BTW that 16 plater weighs in at near 85 pounds. It has to be assembled and dismantled in place, where 4 sections can be easyly handled individualy and pre assembled.

  • Here is an example of an 8 section Crystal Dragon packed with lava rock. It is a heavy chunk.

    I am still working out the correct rod length before adding brass tubes.

    You asked about rod length and details.

    Only way I can answer is by telling you the rods are custom stainless steel all thread. Purchased in 8 foot length and cut to size. The tower is assembled then the hard part, deciding where to cut the rods and the support stiffener tubes.

    That involves a lot of time and extra money

    The ready made 4 plate sections are good to go, less tinkering and savings in replacement rods and stiffener tubes.


    450 x 800 - 147K
  • Thanks for the input all. Will let you know how it goes.

  • @captainshooch - great to see you back! thanks for the input... let us know how that lava rock works!

  • Will do @CothermanDistilling . So far i have only done a couple of runs messing with the size of the lava rock.

  • @captainshooch said: Will do CothermanDistilling . So far i have only done a couple of runs messing with the size of the lava rock.

    What are you using to retain the lava rock in that section? I had to add a small 4" spool with a screen gasket to the bottom to keep everything together and somewhat portable.

    I have a 4" column, but will say that the lava rock worked wonderfully for my last neutral run. Feints to very high quality 190 proof with four bubble plates and a 3' packed section

  • I am using a standard bubble cap plate without the caps. One layer of larger rocks then small rocks above.

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