Dash SG / SGK / USG + Extra Short + Pro Versions

Hi - I'm a newbie from the UK and only came across SD after purchasing T500 - doh! I've been really pleased with the gin I've been making, but the copper column is now leaking (when cleaning). I've become aware of the discussions on the plastic components warping and I'm trying to plot a route to a decent system!

So, I'm aiming to be a small craft distiller within the next 1 to 2 years. I think a stepping stone would be the 4" Dash with 6 plates and a SS scrubber column? I'd like to make rum too. I want to invest in line with my increasing expertise rather than up front, so it would be ideal if I could run it on my T500 25L boiler initially. Will this work? I suspect I'll want to buy a 120L boiler in about 6 months or so. I realise this is pretty small but want to prove myself and a business model before going to 6" or 8" and larger boiler capacities. I guess I could then have separate stripping and spirit Stills as some have written about.

I've searched high and low on the site to try and find some detailed explanation and comparison of the differences between the various Dash columns - SG / SGK / USG / extra short / pro ... Apologies in advance if I'm overlooking the obvious! ... I notice SD North America seems to have different models. Can anyone point me in the right direction please. I'm wondering what the difference in quality alcohol is between these various Still types and what characteristics are associated with these different rig types please?

Thanks,

JT

Comments

  • edited March 22

    The Dash will be way too heavy for the aluminium boiler on a T500. You could convert a beer keg to a boiler and use it for the Dash, they are generally 50l.

    As far as different models the Dash can be fitted with our standard bubblecaps or can be fitted with ProCaps. Standard caps are said to run at about 3-4l/hr, ProCaps can be used at speeds as fast as 5l/hr depending on product type and the power you have available. There is little cost difference tween the two systems.
    The only other differences would be how many plates (tees) you have. As the systems are modular you can take away or add plates as you please.

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

  • Many thanks for the pointers Punkin. I'll do some more reading around the bubble caps and boiler options

  • In the short term a 50 l keg modified and a 5 or 6 inch column with 4 plates and a ss packed column. It all depends on your starting available cash but remember it is all modular so buy once and buy carefully so as to not have to replace too much in the near future.

    Just my view. Keep working towards a decent system slowly but surely. You can do modeling on the T500 but not much more.

  • Hello JayTee,

    I run a T500 boiler with a 2" SS potstill from StillDragon and that works fine up to about one meter of height with the (long) 2" product condensor on the downward path. I do use a copper wire to pull the column to the non-condensor side to keep everything from warping the T500 lid. It's way better than the original copper alambic. But if you want a bubblecap column a small 2,5" BabyDragon is the most it will take.

    If you go for a potstill as described above you will probably be able to reuse the 2" condensor and 180 degree bend when moving to a 120L pot belly, but replace the column itself with 4" parts so you get acceptable speed out of it.

    (and I also have a 380L StillDragon potbelly with 8" potstill column, but that's a bit too much for a hobby)

    PM me for details.

  • Must admit I hadn't been thinking of 5 or 6 inch, but I see the logic. Are there any issues in running a boiler as small as 50L with a dash this big? I'm not skilled in welding so I would need to buy a keg that had already been modified

  • I don't think you'll have enough alchohol available in 40-45l of wash to be able to run a 5" properly, let alone a 6".

    Just my opinion.

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

  • Thanks Punkin. So would 100L milkcan be sufficient for 5 and 6 inch dash please? (I appreciate GD50's idea - and I've seen this expressed by others too - that it's a big mistake for craft distillers to start too small, otherwise they spend all day distilling and not creating business)

  • I would personally try and set up a system that will nicely transition to what will become a nice (and durable) recipe development system.

    Check out the 70L, 100L, 120L Potbelly Kettles. We do offer them in the jacketed, BM, electric fired.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • Your choice of 5 or 6" would depend on what continent you live on. If you're in Australia/Asia or Europe it's going to be 5" as that's what we stock. If in the America's then it's 6" as that's what Larry stocks. You've said you're in the UK, so it will be 5".

    I would start by deciding what size kettle you eventually want to end up with. In your original post you said a 120l.
    The 120 matches up very well with the 4" system, although the 5" will work just fine and be faster.
    If you were aiming for a 200l tank i'd recommend the 5" for sure though. It's significantly more money but the greater speed offsets the initial cost.

    The good thing about going for a 4" column though is that it will work very well connected to a keg, 50l milk can, or a 100l one. In fact if you started with a 100l milk can you wouldn't need to go to a 120l boiler.

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

  • edited March 25

    I run a 5" on a 50l keg and while not idea it works great. A 4" system on 120l kettle is well matched but 5" better. Buy a generous Product condenser and the big reflux condenser and it will last you for years until you have to go big time and 8" plus. Punkin is right about the 100l milk can. As i said it all depends on how much cash you can rustle up on the initial base ( well thought out ) purchase as you can add slowly later.

  • Well there you go, i bow my theoretical head to the practical certainty.

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

  • Many thanks guys. You've been a big help with these discussions :-) I've been thinking about this further and I like the idea of being able to do smaller batches too (to continue to develop recipes) so think this points me to the 4 inch. I can't imagine not having a use for this.

    Next step is for me to sort out the power with the electrician then I'll buy some toys!

  • we stock 5" and 6" as well

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

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