The Coffey Still produced the first Silent Spirit which was considered to be odourless and tasteless in the early 1800s. By the late 1800s this alcohol was being treated with distillers´ salts (potassium hydroxide) to break the esters before redistillation in a John Dore Patent Rectifying Still (Carterhead). More modern multiple column distillation techniques now yield a purer alcohol.
Our column designs range from 1,000 to 2,000 Litres of 96% alcohol by volume per day to over 30,000 Litres of 96% alcohol per day.
The smallest units are less than 6 metres (20 feet) high, but the economic height of the larger units is typically 20 to 25 metres (65 to 80 feet).
On a smaller scale it is possible to produce a clean spirit (alcohol) by repeated pot distillation as was standard practice over 175 years ago. If grain is being used then a slight grain taste may add character and provenance to the gin or vodka. Similarly if using potatoes to make vodka, do check the methanol content and consider ways to keep it within acceptable levels. We have found a lower methanol content in new potatoes than old potatoes which have been stored in the ground. Methanol is formed as a result of bacterial action on the skins.
If the production of neutral alcohol from molasses, is envisaged to make gin or vodka, then we would recommend a multiple column still. Molasses based alcohol contains diacetyl which is sold as a rum flavour compound. It is necessary to reduce the diacetyl content to below 250 parts per billion, preferably 30 parts per billion.