Copper stills

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Copper stills

The copper stills are widely used in processes distillation of alcohol. These are containers with a very particular shape, since they have a mouth in the form of "Swan neck".

It must be said that it is a typical laboratory instrument and they are normally manufactured in glass. But, those used in industrial processes, in this case They are made of copper.

And this is not something new, since stills They have been made of this material for centuries. An example of copper stills, were used by the alchemists.

Parts of a copper alembic

While its operation is simple, there is no denying that it is a very ingenious piece. To understand its mode of action, we describe below the parts of the copper still:

  • Boiler: It is where the substance to be distilled is put.
  • Capital: It is the junction point between the gooseneck and the boiler.
  • Swan neck: It is a tube that goes from the boiler to the refrigeration container, which allows to purify the substance placed in the cauldron.
  • Refrigeration: It is the final container where the evaporated substance arrives and is ready to return to a liquid state.

La distillation in an alembic It's very simple. Only the substance is put into the boiler and with the heat produced, the component more volatile of the substance will evaporate first. Then the steam passes through the Swan neck and it is in the cooling that the component in pure form.

Various types of alembic

El alembic made of copper it is manufactured in various formats. Although the variety is very wide, in the following list we have the most common:

  • Pear alembic

It is very common, since the shape of the cauldron looks similar to a pear. It is used to filter the vapors, which will then go through the swan neck.

  • Alembic with grinding machine

When certain substances evaporate, they carry small solid particles with them. In this case, the grinding machine it is a filter that stops the passage of these particles.

  • Alembic with coil

It is used in place of the cooling container. Its mission is to gradually condense the gas, without this condensation happening suddenly. It is very important in liquor making.

  • English alembic

It is not pear-shaped and somewhat elongated, so the light vapors they ascend long before entering the gooseneck.

  • French alembic

We can say that it is a combined alembic, and it is that the swan neck falls into another system of cauldron and capital. The intention is to make a second evaporation, which allows a more radical separation of the components of the initial substance.

  • Alembic with full outlet

It is an alembic that has an outlet in the cooling container. Certain substances are estimated to cool faster and become liquid at this point. In this way, the liquid is extracted by this final output.

It must be said that the copper stills have proven to have excellent performance. The material is resistant and transmits temperatures. Therefore, it is perfect to graduate the thermal degree, to which the raw materials of the distillation are subjected.

Use of copper alembics for the manufacture of liquors

It happens that these copper stills have one great advantage: they allow work alcohol, since the evaporation point of this substance is different from the rest of the components of a liquor. In other words, they allow to lower or increase the alcoholic strength of spirits.

In this way, the technology of the copper alembic allows the liquors to evaporate and condense, in order to obtain the exact composition of the same. In addition, it allows a clean process,  achieving the disinfection of spirits In its whole.