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Longstanding home-stilling lurker building my first small commercial setup in Budapest. We're expanding off an existing brewery, looking to convert our extra capacity into around 200L/week of CS juice, barrelled full-size for 3-10yrs. The build is pretty well-defined already, but I've got a couple outstanding questions I'd love to run by the huge wealth of experience on here.
We currently have about 2400L/week of wash capacity which will first go into a ~1000L pot for stripping down to ~30% ABV, and then be double-batched into a ~500L pot for spirit run to ~65% ABV entry strength. Both stills will be fired by direct electric elements, 30kW on the strip and 20kW on the spirit (reduced via PID after heating).
Our wash is very clean so we're keen to keep as much character on it as possible, with the exception of peated mashes where we'll get a little creative with passive reflux. As a result, we're planning pretty standard Scottish-style superstructures using SD copper helmets straight into lynes and condensers.
For the 1000L (600-800L wash charge, 30kW run, 60L/hr) we're planning a semi-custom 8" copper helmet with a 4" top, lyne, and condenser. For the 500L (300-400L low wines charge, 10kW run, 30L/hr) I'm planning to canibalise my home still with an old-style SD 4" copper helmet, which exits & condenses at 2".
Condenser numbers all work out fine on paper (helps that we're running glycol), but I'm a bit wary of running the 4" helmet that fast/hot. Typically at home it pukes wash above 3kW but is fine on low wines up to 4-5kW -- I'm just worried that anything north of 5kW is going to ram vapour through too fast for even minimal sulfate binding & passive reflux on the helmet.
I've had trouble finding vapour speed numbers for pot stilling -- presumably because of the subjectivity of it all -- so thought I'd ask the hive mind here. Should we be looking at a larger helmet and diameter for our spirit still? For that matter, do any of the above numbers look wonky? Happy to hear any thoughts/suggestions you guys have on the setup!
Thanks in advance!