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July 31, 2014

Clawhammer Max Fill Guidelines

Important Announcement

Clawhammer Supply is strongly committed to our customers (you!). Without your business and your trust, we wouldn’t be the company we are today. We’re always looking for ways to improve the functionality and safety of our products.

Max Fill Level

It has come to our attention that our customers are not clear on how much liquid our stills are designed to hold. To clarify, only the boiler of the still should be filled; liquid should never fill the “vapor cone.” If the vapor cone of any of our stills is partially or completely filled, there won't be enough headroom in the still for vapor to exit properly and a dangerous situation could arise. This is particularly important to owners of 5 gallon still kits. Our 5 gallon kit is designed for 5 gallon batch of mash, NOT 5 gallon batches of wash.

Additional Clarification

A "mash" is the combination liquid and grains cooked at the beginning of a recipe. The "wash" is the term given to liquid that has been mashed, fermented, and filtered. A small but significant amount of water is lost during mashing, fermentation, and filtration and a 5 gallon batch of mash will generally result in 4.25 to 4.5 gallons of wash. Because the 5 gallon Clawhammer still holds approximately 4.65 gallons of liquid below the vapor cone, it is perfectly sized for 5 gallon batch of mash where the wash yield is 4.65 gallons or less.

Our 1 and 10 gallon kits hold a full 1 and 10 gallons of liquid to the bottom of the vapor cone.

Suggested Modification

For those individuals who insist on distilling 5 full gallons of wash in our 5 gallon still (not recommended), we would suggest the following modification. Trim the bottom of the cap skirt below the 2nd rivet, making the skirt shorter. This will provide greater efficiency and will prevent dangerous pressure build up.

Thanks for reading this article. Be smart, be safe, use common sense, and have fun!

  • my 5 gallon works best for me with the boiler about 2/3 full, well below the vapor cone. too full causes it to puke and makes it hazy. I have a 6.5 gallon fermenter and make two stripping runs down to about 30% abv. then one spirit run.

    Posted by dw on January 18, 2016
  • How long should it typically take for a 1 gallon still to heat up and start running?

    Posted by SEan on May 01, 2015
  • i tried 6 dam times and still not a drop. can you say how to do this the right way instead of beating around the dam bush huh

    Posted by michael ingram on August 30, 2014
  • How much yeast do I use in a ten gallon mash. They say two pac of yeast well how much is in a pac 8 10 14 ounces, not clear on how muc to use?

    Posted by gd on July 31, 2014

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