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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Running a seamless glass lab still

Hey all,

We are running our batches of infused vodkas through a little glass seamless lab still to make sure the proof is dead on. (We had it contract bottled to start and want to be sure of the proof). I have a concern that we are not running it a accurately as possible because though we have a piece of lab equipment, we are not a lab! What is the best way to run this piece of equipment? Do you run it pretty much dry? I figured you'd run it dry, but any time we do that, the sugar bakes onto the bulb and takes forever to get off. If that is the way it has to be though, we will obviously do it. Any suggestions would be awesome. Thanks!



You should run it  until you are sure you got all alcohol out i.e. the vapor temperature is reading 212F. Then maybe run a little longer in case your temp probe is not accurate. Also use some boiling stones, they can sometimes help with solids burning. 


See Part 3 of the TTB video series


definitely follow Meerkat's advice and follow the TTB video verbatim. 

As for the sugar, soak it in PBW or whatever caustic you prefer, in hot water.  it'll come off.  Also, use boiling beads and a kjeldahl bulb - idk if those are specified in the video.  You absolutely need an accurate water bath and, since you're new, I recommend running several distillations from the same batch to make sure your technique is right.  You should get the same result on each attempt.  Also make sure your equipment is clean, fresh, and dry.  I keep several lab stills on hand for this purpose.


As a general rule, never distill until dryness. I know it's not likely, but if you had tried that with ether, your equipment might have exploded. It's one of those things like adding acid to water. Do it every time.

I referenced the TTB videos as the standard technique I use for experiments.