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How pot stills differ from reflux stills.

A traditional pot still collects vapor from the boiling wash (ie. mash) and condenses the vapor to a 40-60% alcohol level. This less efficient distillation keeps much of the flavor from the grains used in the mash, enhancing the flavor profile. A second distillation run would yield around an 80% alcohol level. These stills are ideal for whiskeys, brandy, tequila, cachaça and rum.

The popular column reflux stills used have a higher efficiency distillation in a single run, yielding around 92% alcohol level. The packing material in the column of a reflux still creates a re-circulation of the vapor condensate to achieve what is essentially multiple distillation in a single run. The height and packing material volume determine the efficiency of the reflux still. These stills are ideal for neutral flavor spirits such as vodka. Our selection of reflux stills from PM Distilling can operate as either a reflux or pot still, simply by removing the column section and only using the jacket condenser for a pot still configuration.

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