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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A Closer Look at the 46’6″ tall x 24″ Rabbit Hole Continuous Column Still

One of our favorite parts of any distillery is the still. As you may know, the still is where the alcohol will boil away and leave the water and other substances behind. The vapor rises out of the boiling pot and into either a coil or a second pot, where it is cooled and condensed into a more concentrated alcohol liquid. Copper is traditionally used because of the metal's even heating properties.

There are two main types of stills, pot and continuous. Michael Dietsch of Serious Eats does a great job explaining the difference.
"A pot still allows a distiller to make only one batch of spirits at a time, and so the still needs to be emptied out and cleaned up before the next batch can begin. Also, pot stills can only distill to a certain level of purity: usually between 60 and 80 percent alcohol by volume.
Column stills, roughly speaking, imagine a tall column filled with pot still upon pot still upon pot still. A column still has partitions, or perforated plates, that set up chambers within the still. The mash enters near the top of the still and immediately starts to sink....  The still is constantly heated from the bottom. Usually this entails pumping steam in to the bottom of the still and letting it rise. The top of the column is the coolest part, so as the mash enters, it sinks toward the bottom. As the liquid interacts with the steam, the heat vaporizes the mash and forces the alcohol and other volatile molecules up the still. (Water and grain solids in the mash fall back to the bottom of the still.)"
The Rabbit Hole still was created by Vendome Copper & Brass Works and comes in at a whopping 46’6″ tall x 24″ diameter. Take a look at the video below to see how big this thing truly is.

As far as copper stills go, this is one of the most unique we've seen. The Rabbit Hole distillery opened in 2018 and is capable of producing 40,000 barrels (1.2 million proof gallons) a year. If you are in the Louisville area, a stop at Rabbit Hole should be worth considering. They are located at:

Rabbit Hole Distillery
711 E. Jefferson St.
Louisville, KY 40202

Source: Rabbit Hole, LEAFtv

Written by Mark Roehl. Pictures courtesy of Rabbit Hole. 

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