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Hello - I'm a newby

Hello all,

My name is Simon - I'm from Melbourne Australia.

I have just purchased the 380 litre StillDragon still with a 8 inch - 8 plate column and gin basket.

A couple of questions if I may?

  1. What sized cooling tank would you recommend for this unit?
  2. What type of recirculating pump would you recommend? Would it need to be variable speed?
  3. Would I need to add anything to the water in the cooling water holding tank?

I'm sure these are very basic questions but as I said I'm a newby.




  • Holy shit mate. 380l for your first still you dont muck around. The magic rule of thumb I read is 5 times the overall size of your boilers so you will need about 2m3. Maybe a bit more on a hot Melbourne day. For cooling your condensors I run a submersible pump constant flow no variable speed. You want to push as much cooling water through your condensor as you can. You dont need to add anything just make certain the water is clean and with no bits of plastic in it. I was doing a run the other day and a bit of plastic got in the hose feeding my condensor and the flow dropped. One thing I put on my cooling like is a see through flow guage with a little rotor in it so you can see that your cooling water is flowing. When its not you need to shut it down and fix it. But welcome mate. This is a great space. I am an Aussie living in Argentina setting up a distillery there.

  • edited January 2019

    Are you talking about a GB4 basket ? You will have to be creative to make that work on a 380. The GB4 is more suited to a 50 to 100 l boiler but almost anything is possible with a bit of skill thrown in

    Once you have made your clean base spirit in the 8 inch you will only need a 2 inch small riser on top of still to attach basket. Though You don’t have to do things the normal way as long as you get a product you like economically

  • Gday Domateo Thank you very much for coming back to me - yes I agree have as usual bitten off more than I can chew and am now chewing like buggery?? Thank you for your advise. I will purchase a 2000l tank and a fast flow pump and install the device to show flow. I have just met with the electrician to look at wiring the heating elements up. It seems each element is 20amps at least that's what it says on them. The ones shown on the website are 10amps which has confused me a bit? the boiler has provision for 6 elements but Garry from StillDragon Australia suggested I would only need three at the time of purchase. The unit came with 6 elements though - so I assume I can cap off three and keep three as spares? The unit didn't come with a controller - so I have just purchased one from the StillDragon website - have you or anyone else had any experience with these? Are they any good? Cheers and thanks again

  • edited January 2019

    Depends on your elements but you probably won’t need a controller as you would never go below one element on. Just control by the number of elements actually on. If you wanted to go lower with so many ports you could put in a 2400 w element to give you many combinations Making gin is pretty much a speed operation so power not critical and doing a spirit run with the amount of reflux you will have at hand you will be able to negate or over reflux an element easily.

    Get two cubes for your water ( Adblue best as it’s harmless). Free or $50 A pop

  • You want a controller otherwise you run the risk of scorching.

  • Hey Simon, newbie here too - taking delivery of a nice little SG 120L to get started on our new spirit products (We run a craft beer business on the northern beaches).

    What kind of pump are you thinking about purchasing?

    I’m tossing up options for vessels to rest our spirit before bottling. Any tips or thoughts you could share would be greatly appreciated :)

  • I usually suggest sizing the elements to the projected heat up time Simon. So for a one hour heatup you need 380 x 70watts = 26,600 watts. Divided by 6 = 4400watts, so the 4.8's supplied will do very well. You can return them unused to get any combination of 2400, 3600 and 4800 watt elements if you like.

    I don't supply controllers with the commercial combinations as the controllers i stock are not designed with a commercial situation in mind. Your electrician may use the parts in a more suitable enclosure though.

    Welcome to both of you.

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

  • Simon a simple, dedicated on/off switch for each element is all you really need to control the heat input.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

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