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Copper Packing

Does the StillDragon pot still require any copper packing or does the condenser have enough copper in it?



  • Hi Hack, Adding copper is really the end user's choice. There is no copper in the product condenser.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • So what removes the bad stuff? I thought you needed copper for that

  • edited March 2014

    Copper parrot? Thats what I use.

  • edited March 2014

    My understanding was that copper was only effective in the vapour path.

    If you wanted to add some copper packing in the column to remove sulphites it wouldn't affect performance by any tangible amount.


  • You can reduce the H2S by adding 1 or 2 copper bubble plates, or use some copper mesh within the vapour path.

    I try to produce clean ferments using a good quality yeast like EC-1118, keeping it within it's temp range, and ensuring there is enough DAP (di-ammonium phosphate) for the yeast.

    Also try to let the wash clear before distilling, and racking into another fermenter.

    ps I can't remember where I read a this info, but some distilling communities were moving away from using copper in their stills. Was it in Riku's book?

  • There pretty much is no way around some copper in the vapor path to remove some of the "nasty" stuff, if you don't want to go commercial and use some (supposedly dangerous) chemicals.

    @hackdaniels, do you intend to pot still only? If having some copper bubble plates and copper bubble caps the problem is solved, same goes for a stripping run in a pot still configuration followed by a spirit run with some copper elements in a column. I'd most likely put some copper mash into a section if using a pot still config only.

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  • edited March 2014

    Impact of copper is much more than just in the vapor path:

    The Impact of Copper in Different Parts of Malt Whisky Pot Stills on New Make Spirit Composition and Aroma - Barry Harrison†,*, Olivier Fagnen†, Frances Jack†, James Brosnan† (PDF)

    Journal of the Institute of Brewing Volume 117, Issue 1, pages 106–112, 2011

  • edited March 2014


    The presence of copper in pot stills was confirmed as being important for the control of sulphury and meaty aromas in new make spirit, and DMTS levels showed a good correlation with these aromas.

    In these laboratory scale distillations, copper was found to reduce the level of this compound best when placed in the wash still condenser or spirit still pot. In order to improve control of this compound, the reasons why these areas of the stills are more efficient than others at reducing DMTS need to be elucidated.

    Copper in the spirit still condenser also appeared to play a role in controlling sulphury and meaty aromas, but the mechanism for this effect is, as yet, unclear.

    These results suggest that removing copper from any of these sections in industrial scale stills is likely to have the most significant impact on new make spirit aroma.

    Additionally, it was noted that whilst DMTS made a significant contribution to sulphury and meaty aromas, other, as yet unknown, compounds make an important contribution and future research efforts should focus on identifying such compounds.

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  • edited March 2014

    If you haven't got the problem you don't need the solution is what @Philter is saying. So a clean wash with no sulfur smell to it will not need the sulfur smell taken away.

    The Russian distilling community with their devotion to pure neutral are against the use of copper in their columns, they say it produces a flavor where full stainless units do not.

    Anyway it's easy to rectify by either adding boiling chips of some copper offcuts to your wash in the boiler or stuffing a copper scrubber into the riser of your pot still. B-)

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

  • Great discussion, it seems clear to me now that if you have clean wash ( no stinky smells) then no copper is needed. However if I'm not confident in the wash then i can do as punkin suggested and throw a scrubber in. I really dont want to remove any flavors from my mashes by adding scrubbers. Great help thanks everyone

  • SD bubble plates with liquid on them and vapor passing by provide a great amount of copper in the right place IMHO... the copper on the outside of some columns does not do much in my opinion..

  • edited March 2014

    @CothermanDistilling said: copper on the outside of some columns does not do much in my opinion..

    Not true,,,,it drives the cost up :D

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

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