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What is a Column Still?
Column Stills can be divided into 5 main Categories.
- Adjustable Reflux Column Stills
- Fractionating Reflux Column Stills
- Multi Column Stills
- Hybrid Stills
- Continuous Column Stills
As Distillique only supplies Batch Operated Stills, we will not be discussing Continuous Column Stills, as they are used exclusively by Mass Manufacturers of Commercial Products.
What is an Adjustable Reflux Column Still?
An Adjustable Reflux Column Still consists out of a Column filled with Packing Material (ideally Copper Mesh), capped by a Condenser and Catchment at the top of the Column, and with a Valve Regulated Outflow Tube which incorporates a Spirit Cooler.
Adjustable Reflux Stills allows us to distill any product at any percentage ABV through the use of Adjustable Reflux based on Distillate Flow Control.
What is a Fractionating Reflux Column Still?
A Fractionating Reflux Column Still consists out of a Column made up out of different T-Sections containing Bubble Plates - each Bubble Plate in effect causing another Distillation (equal to multiple runs through a Pot Still). The Column is then topped by a Main Reflux Condenser which allows Adjustable Reflux based on Coolant Flow Control.
Due to the Modular nature of Fractionating Reflux Columns, you can assemble the Still in different ways to attain or maintain different ABV percentages with greater ease.
What is a Multi Column Still?
A Multi Column Still has technically the same design as a Fractionating Reflux Column Still, but instead of having to disassemble and reassemble the still in different ways to produce different products, the Still Design already incorporates all the different assemblies, and the Vapor Flow is just diverted along different paths to produce different products.
Multi Column Stills tend to include CIP (Clean In Place) Systems as part of their design.
What is a Hybrid Still?
A Hybrid Still takes the principle of a Multi Column Still but packs it into a smaller Footprint. You therefore need less space than you would for a Multi Column Still, but you can still produce different products through Vapor Flow Control.
Hybrid Stills do normally have a limit as to the maximum number of Plates they can incorporate into the Column, hence Vodka or Neutral Spirit Production is normally not viable.
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