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Run Speed - Gin

Hello guys,

I just got my new 500l pot still heated with steam generator.
At the moment i distill with 100l pot still heated with gas.

I know that speed depends on many factors and gin taste, but is there any rough estimated run speed formula?

At the moment I need about 6 hours for a batch in 100l still. Of which 1,5h before it starts to run...

Any help appreciated!

Thank you!


  • Assuming that your new rig is sized proportionally to the old rig, the run time should be the same.

  • edited August 2019

    Some kind of run speed formula for what? Taste? Or BTU input (and preservation) to determine collection speed?

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  • Lets say BTU input to get same taste as on smaller still. I assume it will take me about same time for larger quantity. Am I right? Or at least similar...

  • Are you referring to output of spirits? Assuming sufficient power, output will largely depend upon column design/diameter and desired proof.

  • and ABV of starting wash or low wines

  • Oh, I guess I missed where you said it was a pot still...DOLP!

  • edited August 2019

    Just from basic calculations of heating 100L to start temp in 1.5 hrs you were roughly inputting the gas equiv of a 5500 W element during the heat up stage. So 5 times that is around 25000W of steam energy to be in the same ball park during heat up. And to me , as i vapor infuse thru a GB4, 6 hours for a gin run is a fairly long time. I go hard and fast with very clean start alcohol. It is a bit hard with the info you are giving.

    Edit - On reflection 6 hours is pretty good for 100l.

  • I bought 30kW steam generator with two heaters. 12+18kw. I have some spices in the still and some in basket. Alcohol in the still has about 30%Vol when I start. Do you think 6/7 hours is feasible?

  • edited August 2019

    Possibly. Have you thought of diluting down to a bit lower than 20 % and running to proof straight off still without having to dilute

    I have no experience on this scale so more up to others to comment

  • I have done this. Putting 20 litres of nuetral and 80 litres of water on a 150l still running 6.5kw from two elements. Final result was about 45 litres and a run speed of about 7 hours. I changed the breakers in my garage and can get 11kw from my two elements now. I am a big believer in the 20% abv for a gin run. Your final product is very close to the 40% abv. Its also the limit of my two baskets as far as botanicals goes. So works. With the two elemts going at 11kw combined i should be able to get about 8 litres an hour or more.

  • I will try with 20% . Wondering what will happen with taste of final product... Now I stop at about 70% collected... @DonMateo and @GD50 do you think i can try to stop when 45% collected?? Never tried before...

  • @Mtr_Distiller said: Are you referring to output of spirits? Assuming sufficient power, output will largely depend upon column design/diameter and desired proof.

    It is pot still, yes. Column diameter is 8" and 70cm high... Start wash has around 30%Vol...

  • @sarkice when i do my runs i figure out the theoretical production assume i will lose about 5% and run it down. I use an electric parrot from SD which are fantastic bits of gear then you run it until the abv is down to 5%. If your cutting it at 70% your missing lots volume and lots of flavors.

  • @DonMateo well I know I am loosing a lot of volume but the taste under 45% is a bit too earthy. I use normal parrot and cutting at about 45%. Are you going down to 5% when making gin?

  • Yes. Try a run down to 5%. Lots of floral and spices come out later in the run. Just try it. I used to cut at 30 % until i took it down to 10%. You get a lot more volume and different flavors. I will cut betwen 5 to 10%. The great thing about distilling is if you dont like it run it again and make the cut higher. I did that once on a gin run.

  • I'm with @DonMateo lots of different flavours come out at different times during the run. I also work on losing about 5%.

  • edited August 2019

    I am with the Don. The electric parrot is an excellent piece of gear and I wonder now why I have a parrot at all So I start at 18 % and collect in 1 litre bottles then run down till the combined average of the bottles collected is my desired abv. I do like 45% though so to get 40 I would have to run a bit a bit lower but I don’t get to 5 %. Yes different things come across at the various stages but mixed they work fine and you do have the option of cutting a lower bottle out if you like light florals. You abv would need to be adjusted then which is a bit of a negative.

    It also is a function of your gin basket size as personally I don’t like to change mid run as that introduces another variable. Donmateo has extended his GB4 to run with both the baskets supplied together. Works for me but that’s gin as you just gotta figure what works for you.

  • edited August 2019

    I am with @gd50 i dont like the idea of changing baskets. I understand the theory but different flavors are extracted at different temperatures. So the full flavor range c9mes out when your botanicals are subject to the temperature range. Thats why i had the extension made. It works. Huge shout out for the electric parrot. Great piece of gear. I have two and need two more. Attached is a foto with the extension on my GB4.


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  • Your photo is massive, i know moonshine will be along to shrink it when he awakes but in the mean time it is unveiwable.

    StillDragon (as far as i'm aware) is the only place that sells Tim's parrots now. They are on all the commercial units from SDAU.

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  • Bottom lin. @DonMateo and @GD50 you guys thibk I can make same gin in same time if i have sufficient power on 500l still? If so, then I will try to run down to 5% ;)

  • @punkin SD parrot unfortunately not available in Europe...

  • @DonMateo said: I changed the breakers in my garage and can get 11kw from my two elements now.

    Make sure your wiring can handle that higher current, otherwise you run the risk of burning your garage down.

  • @jbierling well i didnt change the breakers my electrician did and the incommung cable was 25mm 2 to which can handle over 60 amps. At least thats what i was told at construction school in my electrical classes. Thanks for the comment though. I did half the drswings for my house actially. At the time i put in heavy capacity in my garage area but i never dreampt i would be distilling.

  • edited August 2019

    @DonMateo. Why you need more electronic parrots?

    See my picture as I have the EP and a Pt100 mounted on a 2” end cap on a horizontal side branch T which I use on all my configurations. Works great. Most of us could not be cooking two brews together due to incoming power restrictions so this makes it easy to go between rigs. The probe is just the right length to be right in the vapour path. Note trusty still mascot behind - a dump find dragon.


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  • I do change mine between my stills but sometimes thats a pain in the ass. Anyway if I get any more it will be after my distillery is up and running.

  • @sarkice said: Bottom lin. DonMateo and GD50 you guys think I can make same gin in same time if i have sufficient power on 500l still? If so, then I will try to run down to 5% ;)

    Was this question answered? It looks to me the question is Watts per Litre.
    At present he's using say 55W/L for a run, assuming 5500W for a 100L run. I believe he's asking if running the same 55W/L at 500L, now requiring 27,500 Watts.

    Would you say the resulting product would be the same?

    Out of interest, what W/L and corresponding run times are people using? Or run times for a particular volume and still charge abv?

    I'll double check mine and report back.

  • @themechwarrior. Well I have been using one still with 11kw in it for my gin still so when I have been running with 60 litres for a 20litre product run, I have to keep 40l to cover the elements. Heat up is about 45 mins and run time is about 3 hours. With 110l heat up is about double that and the run time is about 7 hours for 40 litres of product. Which would be just about right as it would take a whole day. But I am experimenting mainly and not in commercial production.

  • I'll need to do some calcs on my W/L as I'm using a steam boiler.

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