Does it make any sense to get a Dash for Vodka?

I am in the process of acquiring a 100l keg with 2 x 2.5kw elements and a 4" ferule on top for a triclamp.

I have until now used a t500 and made neutral, it frustrates me that it takes so long to get product off. I am happy in all other ways.

I am looking for something to continue making neutral (dare I call it vodka?) from tpw washes... recently experimented with wheat. I need to increase my throughput, not for commercial reasons but just to save how long I am in front of the still per month. AT the moment I do 3 x 25l strips and 1 x spirit run. total time is about 12 - 14 hours for about 10-12litre @ 40%

my budget is limited (isn't everyones) so I look at the Dash and think "ooh thats so shiney" but then read that to make vodka needs a gazillion bubble caps or 4 to 6 and a 500mm extension packed with scrubbers or copper mesh.

So I am thinking why not just get a longer section and fill it with mesh or scrubbers? and don't bother with the bubble sections at all?

Maybe I would like to experiment with rum and whiskey but whilst that isn't my motive for an upgrade it would be a welcome addition to my arsenal.

And if 4 plates with an extension is an option then do they all have to be sight glasses? or can they just be extensions with the ProCaps in?

Comments

  • 4 plates with an extension will work very well. The forums are littered with reliable examples.

    The sight glasses are indeed helpful but not a requisite. You'll need to rely more on listening to how it runs and get intimately familiar how it sounds when it's giving you it's best behavior.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • Is there any benefit to having the 4 plates and an extension or having just say 2 x extensions when you are just after producing neutral?

  • With four plates you'll be able to run it a bit harder and have an easier time keeping the temp gradient very stable in your packed section.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • I just priced up the 2 x 500mm sections alone with the other bits as per the standard configuration (condensor/collection etc.) it isn't really any cheaper than buying a 3 plate dash and an extension (well maybe 350 euros in it).. is there a discount applied with buying the dash configurations?

  • You'll need to take that up with your regional distributor @sunshine.

    Cheers

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • 4 plates and a reflux condenser are great to get to 180 proof, the extension with packing is good for that last 10 proof...

    trying to get all the way to 190 with just 4 plates and no extension is slow and frustrating, you would be running the RC so hard that your rate is very, very low...

    As your senses and abilities improve you may want to add more plates for faster takeoff, but then again, 4 may be all you ever want...

    Oh, and all this depends on what your rule is for 'vodka'...

  • edited December 1

    And you can do more than one run. Easy way to increase your plate count for low cost although more time consuming. It will still be heaps quicker than your T500 doing two runs through a 4 plate or six plate Dash. 3.5l/hr is the usually quoted rate for regular caps. 100l@ 15% wash = 15l alc available, 4hr for hearts.
    Procaps quicker again.

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

  • usually the configurations are a bit lower in price than buying single items. Also there are several specials, always changing of course.

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

  • See if you can run an extra element - especially on 100l

  • I had only planned on charging to 75l..

    so with a 4plate and extension would that require stripping first or could you just run it?

  • no stripping needed ;)

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

  • If vodka is your goal i would certainly suggest at least two runs, say strip 3 washes with light cuts and then water it all back down to 30% for a spirit run charge with your packed section on top.

    In any case you can try it both ways and see what you think. Remember to report back so other people with the same question can have your experience.

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

  • thought it might be too good to be true.. well if i ever buy one I certainly will!

  • depends on how you like your vodka.

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

  • true enough. double blind test is the way to go. but then again I am used to doing my stipping runs on a t500 at the same rate (almost) as my spirit runs. if I was truly stripping in a pot configuration then it wouldnt be as much of a pain.

  • edited December 2

    95% abv does not always mean the congeners have been adequately scrubbed off of the ethanol molecules for a true azeotropic neutral. Big difference between 95% off of 10 or 12 plates compared to 95% off of 22 -24 plates...

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • coming from a t500 I think 4 plates and a packed 500mm section will be a good improvement.

  • No doubt about that.

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

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