Traditional Pot Stills Used in Modern Day Micro Distilleries

Jun 4, 2021

Micro Distilleries are popping up across North America, which means that distillery equipment is becoming increasingly important. One piece of equipment in particular is coveted — the traditional pot still.

So you want to start a craft distillery but not sure what you need? Well, let’s start with the basics. For any craft distillery, also known as a micro distillery, to be successful, you’re going to need the equipment for distillation itself. Like a distillation still. There are two common types of stills to choose from — pot stills and continuous column stills. For a craft distillery, meaning a distillery that produces fewer than 750,000 gallons per year and is independently-owned, a pot still is a common vessel for distillation as its purpose is to produce smaller volumes of spirits that pack a flavorful punch.

Distillation, at its core, is when you boil a liquid to produce alcoholic vapor. That vapor is then cooled down, producing condensation, and eventually, liquid again. The traditional pot still is a vessel to accomplish this that dates back to the 15th century — mimicking the shape and function of the 9th century alembic. Pot stills are widely used across the world in the spirit industry, particularly for thicker, more flavorful spirits like dark rum, whiskey, and cognac. Using a pot still, often known as pot distillation, is one way to control your production on a batch-by-batch basis. 

While a pot still doesn’t compare to the efficiency of a column still, pot stills have unique characteristics that make them better suited for more robust flavor profiles and a more intimate practice of spirit production. The care that goes into creating a spirit is reminiscent of using a traditional pot still, and the flavors and body of said spirit will reflect that. 

Victoria BC based Specific Mechanical Systems, a specialty brewing and distilling equipment manufacturer, recently introduced an update to their handcrafted distilling equipment — including both copper and stainless steel 500-10,000 litre pot stills. Specific Mechanical Systems has specialized in equipment for the craft beer and spirits industry for almost thirty years, and they have a wide range of equipment to successfully start a distillery — no matter the type of spirit produced.

Their 100% hand built pot stills are manufactured in Canada, and allow you to rest assured that the highest quality is going into your distilling equipment. Pot stills from Specific Mechanical Systems are engineered specifically for the production of high-quality spirits, and can be customized to meet the needs of your distilling business. Because you should be able to build a distillery with confidence — and Specific Mechanical Systems makes that easy. 

Contact Specific Mechanical Systems with your distilling equipment and traditional pot still questions by calling them at +1-250-652-2111. 

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