This blog provides information for educational purposes only. Read our complete summary for more info.
Stainless Steel Distillation Equipment
All stills are not created equally. There is a big difference between copper and stainless steel stills. There can also be a significant difference between different stainless steel stills.
If you're looking to buy a stainless steel still there are a few things you'll want to consider. Below is a guide to stainless steel distillation equipment. We're going to shamelessly focus on Clawhammer Supply's 8 gallon stainless steel still for a reference point. Hope you don't mind.
Read on for some pros and cons of the material itself as well as a list of features that one should expect to find in a high quality stainless steel unit. We'll start with some of the pros and cons of the material itself.
Stainless Steel Drawbacks
Everything has its pros and cons. Stainless is a great material choice for a still, but it comes with a few drawbacks.
- The material itself isn't that great of a conductor. As such, heating with propane or over a fire can take longer and be somewhat wasteful.
- Stainless is significantly more difficult to work with than copper because the material is not as malleable and it requires higher heat for brazing.
- Stainless doesn't remove sulfides from distillate during the distillation process.
Stainless Steel Benefits
Stainless also offers some benefits over other potential material types.
- Stainless is very durable
- Stainless is very easy to clean
- Stainless is less expensive than copper
What Can Stainless Stills Produce
Stainless steel stills can be used to produce the same products that are produced by copper stills. However, a commercial distiller would prefer a stainless still when producing ultra high proof alcohol (fuel alcohol, vodka, rum, etc.) because they're built to contain at least a slight amount of pressure and are compatible with bubble plates.
Here's a list of some (but not all) of the items that a commercial distiller can make with stainless steel stills. Again alcohol cannot be legally distilled without the permits. The list below is for educational purposes only and is meant to show what a commercial distiller could make with a stainless steel still.
- Distilled Water - can be made with no federal permits
- Fuel Alcohol - requires permits
- Essential Oils - can be made with no federal permits
- Vodka - requires permits
- Gin - requires permits
- Rum - requires permits
- Whiskey - requires permits
- Bourbon - requires permits
- Moonshine - requires permits
Clawhammer's 8 Gallon Stainless Steel Still
Clawhammer's 8 gallon stainless steel distiller can be used to produce all of the items listed above only if the distiller possesses the proper permits. It utilizes a simple and compact design, but includes a ton of features and only takes a few minutes to set up. Here's a time lapse video of the setup.
If you want a complete overview of the still, watch the following 15 minute video. We discuss, in detail, all of the features of our still.
Essentially, if you're going to purchase a stainless steel still, you want to make sure it includes, at a bare minimum, the following features.
- 100% food grad 304 stainless construction.
- An electric heating element port in the boiler.
- A thermometer port in the boiler.
- A pressure relief safety valve.
- A port for a pressure gauge.
- A port for a column thermometer.
- A reliable condenser with 5/8" ports.
- Features for easy transport and storage.
- A sturdy, heat resistant discharge hose.
As a visual reference, here's a picture of Clawhammer's new 8 gallon stainless unit, which includes all of the features listed above:
i need it so how can i get it in ethiopa because i’m Ethiopian
Prices in Australian dollars please
How much for the complete unit Inc all gauges
How much and do you have a 15 gallon ???
If it is uselessly meant for distilling agarwood oil, then I want to buy one, let me know if it can be delivered in assam guwahati, if yes then cost
I am looking for a column that is a foot to two foot 2" in diameter. What would be the price
is there extra parts that make the still work for extracting essential oils?
Bruce—- how much?
I recently purchased a 10 Gal cu still I do love it and enjoyed building it. I have to say though seeing the SS I would have purchased it.
If you no any one who wants a 10 gal but does not want to build I would love to sell them mine so I can purchase the Stainless.
I use my still in my sugar shack and I’m very familiar with SS since my evaporator is all stainless, I do love the ease of cleaning the SS and the size of the port. I’m trying to make a old family reciep for schnapps and the port would be ideal for the different fruits I’m trying. if you have any thoughts i would love to hear them. Thanks so much