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Introductions & greetings

Hello folks! New on the forum (though been lurking about for a while ;) and thought I'd say hi. I live in the Netherlands, and currently busy working out a design for a new DS. The modular angle is just fantastic! You can completely design to your wishes, and fit to your budget. I have one question already (apologies if this has been answered already, I could not find it):

Aside from money and aesthetics, what are the differences in using a dash and crystal column (if anything)?

Thanks & happy stilling!

Comments

  • Welcome Stinky. This is a great resource if your into distilling. The answer to you question is money and aesthetics. With the Crystal column you can see things happening. Which is very very cool. What kind of spirit are you thinking of making ? Would it be gin or a genever ?

  • @Stinky said: Hello folks! New on the forum (though been lurking about for a while ;) and thought I'd say hi. I live in the Netherlands, and currently busy working out a design for a new DS. The modular angle is just fantastic! You can completely design to your wishes, and fit to your budget. I have one question already (apologies if this has been answered already, I could not find it):

    Aside from money and aesthetics, what are the differences in using a dash and crystal column (if anything)?

    Thanks & happy stilling!

    Hi Stinky,

    Not a significant difference at all in finished product.

    The tees hurt more if you drop on your big toe.

    Theoretically, the tees should run just a bit faster.

    The plate spacing is shorter on the CrystalDragon. And that can be helpful if you don't have high ceilings.

    The CD columns are cheaper in general as you don't need as many clamps and glass sections are le$$.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • Welcome Stinky!

    Awesome bunch of folks here from all over the world. Very helpful. I considered a Crystal Dash and would still love one but I ended up with a 5" Dash and couldn't be happier. Can't say enough about Punkin, Smaug and Sunshine. They bend over backwards for us and have a loyal customer base.

    FC

  • Glass column is so much easier to run and keep dialed in, IMHO.

    Sight glasses look nice and all, but they are much harder to monitor the column through, especially if you have some height.

  • @grim said: Glass column is so much easier to run and keep dialed in, IMHO.

    Sight glasses look nice and all, but they are much harder to monitor the column through, especially if you have some height.

    100%. Monitoring plate behavior is super easy. Also, kinda therapeutic in the starring into the fire kinda way.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • It would take me CIP sprayballs and bypasses tts move to a metal column.

  • Thanks everyone for the feedback! Column hight may be an issue (depending on final design, so yes that's good to know. Personally I love the way the crystal column looks (especially in action!) so I think we will go for that.

    We won't be using CIP anytime soon :) @grim why would you put a bypass on the column?

  • edited December 1

    @Stinky. I have, in 5” , 4 dash sections then in crystal a 8 plate single section. You gotta like the crystal as it is very spectacular .If I am doing a say ujssm spirit run or rum run then I will use the 4 ss plates and for neutral I will use the whole 12 plates together. Works for me. Modular works great.

  • @gd50 Ah ic, so that is what the bypass is for? If you want to do a fast stripping run you use the bypass off your dash sections? Do you have the bypass on each of your dash sections or just one? I really like the idea of this! We do want to make both neutral spirit and flavoured whiskey / genever / brandy. At this point it's a 'swiss army-knife' we're looking for most. Bain-marie stilling is for this reason also on our radar.

    Like you say, the modular seems fantastic for tinkering. Try tweaking a fixed column. Appreciate all the good advice!

  • edited December 1

    @Stinky. No I don’t have a bypass. I just assemble the column in the configuration I want depending on what I am doing. So generally no plates for stripping - 4 ss for flavoured spirit run and all 12 plates for neutral for my gin base. I too am not 100% on what @Grim was getting at re the bypasses.

    I also have spools of various lengths to use as spacers to keep my PC in one of the two most useable location.

  • ahh I misunderstood... so you literally (re)build the column there and then, based on the use case. Why not! :D I still have it in my mind you design the still, and then that's it.. clearly that's not doing modular justice! :)

  • Bypass allows you to pull product at different purity (from different plate levels).

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • Possibly a pro requirement- not so much an amateur

  • edited December 3

    I would love to run 6 plates on a heads cut then quickly go straight to a pot run, flipping back to 6 plates to fight back tails.

    I do this by controlling the dephleg temp on 4 plates. It adds at least a half hour to the run time. In addition, I could never run 6 plates as even just passive reflux would leave my aggregate hearts proof above 160.

    Hard for me to do a strip/spirit as well.

    Keep in mind, I’m running 12”. Modular disassembly for me requires forklifting my column off the kettle - a 4-5 hour job.

  • DoubleDragon kettle for Xmas grim?

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • edited December 3

    Really need that gin rig. Using this little GB4 to make 16 cases a week is a huge time suck - 4 batches - 24 bottles per batch.

    Gotta say, it's one of the most profitable pieces of equipment in the distillery though, that little SOB is a money maker.

  • Getting ready to slap the old GB4 back on my rig. Gonna give Derek Bell's pumpkin spice moonshine a try.

    FC

  • edited December 3

    @grim. Put an extension on it and you can double production. This photo has the condenser in the wrong location.

    image

    image.jpg
    450 x 800 - 55K
  • edited December 4

    @grim said: Really need that gin rig. Using this little GB4 to make 16 cases a week is a huge time suck - 4 batches - 24 bottles per batch.

    Gotta say, it's one of the most profitable pieces of equipment in the distillery though, that little SOB is a money maker.

    Six-bottle cases?

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • Yeah we use a larger diameter squat bottle.

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