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I have been running a Brewhaus 3" column still for 18 months or more. It has an 8-gallon kettle with a 4500w element in it. The thing runs great with a 25-minute heat up time, and will produce at pencil-lead stream rates (usually) without overwhelming my cooling water supply. (I cool it with water from my house's sump pit.) I am very happy with it.
I'm using it to make gin with reasonably good success. My initial attempts at rum went badly, but I've learned a lot of the things I did wrong. (I will revisit rum-making.) I will eventually try whisk(e)y making too. (I like all spirits.)
I have a 240v 30a circuit dedicated to the still, so potentially I have 7200W available to my kettle. I can probably adapt my cooling system to dump that much heat. (I'm in Canada. Dumping heat in the winter-time is especially viable.)
So I would love to own a bubble plate still. My problem is justifying it. I have a hard time justifying the expense solely based on cool-factor (although they are plenty cool!) I'm able to brew and distill more product than I can reasonably consume with my current setup.
I might be able to justify it as a natural progression of my distilling hobby and skills. If I had a bigger rig I could run larger batches faster. So I suppose there would be time savings. If Mr. Lloyd ever gets around to offering 4" plates with 3 ProCap holes I may just have to bite...
So how do you other hobby distillers justify the equipment costs? Are you all rich and just don't care? Is there any point attempting to rationalize these wants? Is all rational thought just a elaborate machine to justify those things that we want for no other reason?
What say you other forum members?
In the meantime I will pour another Martini, re-watch all the Youtube videos of SD rigs, and reflect.