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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.
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.
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!