You are now ready to distill in reflux mode. Please ensure you have followed the cleaning instructions prior to commencing your distillation.
- To ensure you don’t get any surge boiling in the still, we recommend adding Still Spirits Distilling Conditioner and Still Spirits Ceramic Boil Enhancers to the boiler. Note: If a conditioner or defoaming agent and boil enhancers are not used, you may experience surging, foaming, and/or temperature fluctuations resulting in a lower than normal ABV or early autocomplete in reflux mode.
- Fill your boiler to the full line with 4 L (1.06 US Gal) of wash no greater than 40 % ABV (alcohol by volume).
- Ensure the Air Still Pro head unit is aligned on the boiler correctly so that the head unit power cord can reach the boiler power socket. Firmly press the head unit onto the boiler so that the silicone seal is not visible.
- Check that your foreshots collection vial is fitted securely.
- Remove the column cap and botanical basket and check the column packing materials (copper and stainless steel saddles) are sitting below the weir. The copper saddles should be above the stainless steel saddles. Note: the weir is the smaller inner circle when looking into the column from above. The weir allows liquid to return down the column without allowing vapour to pass through.
- If not using the botanical basket, remove it from the top of the column.
- Firmly press the column cap on.
- Connect the head unit power cord to the boiler power socket.
- Then connect the long power cord into the plug socket on the head unit and into your wall socket.
- Fit your reflux distillation tip labelled "R". Note: Use the spanner to loosen the distillation tip. Turn clockwise to loosen. Use your fingers to tighten firmly anti-clockwise.
- Place a collection jar under the distillation tip. We recommend at least an 800 ml (27 US fl oz) vessel.
- Press the mode selector button once to enter standby mode. The button light will glow white.
- Push the mode selector button and release when the button glows green. A pulsing green light and 1 beep will confirm that your reflux mode run has begun.
- Check the boiler light has illuminated red (this confirms the boiler heating element is working correctly). Once the boiler has reached temperature (this should take around 60-90 minutes) the fan and pump will turn on.
- Your distillation run has now started. Depending on your wash and ambient temperatures it could take between 60-90 minutes for the first spirit drips to appear.
- If you need to stop your run during distillation, press the mode selection button or switch the unit off at the wall. Before restarting your distillation run, ensure that your boiler has cooled down, then aerate your wash. To do this simply remove the head unit and stir the wash, or transfer the wash to another vessel then pour it back into the boiler. Add dry ceramic boil enhancers to your boiler before beginning your run again.
- After approximately 4 hours your distillation will be complete. The unit will automatically turn itself off once all the alcohol has been distilled out. Your distillation run time will vary depending on your wash. Note: In the event of extremely high temperature increase or decrease, the unit will automatically power itself off.
- Dispose of the foreshots in the collection vial (do not consume). Note: To avoid spillage loosen the vial by running your finger between the vial and rubber lining outside the socket.
- Allow the Air Still Pro to cool for at least 20 minutes then remove the Air Still Pro head unit from the boiler and empty the boiler. Note: If the head unit appears stuck remove the column cap to release the suction.
- You will have collected approximately 500 ml (17 US fl oz) of distillate. Check the ABV of your spirit with an alcometer and measuring cylinder. It should be approximately 90% ABV (180 proof). Dilute to 40% ABV (80 proof) by adding approximately 600 ml of water. Note: Use this calculator to get the precise volume of water to add.
- Rinse and clean your Air Still Pro after use.
If you're going to flavour your neutral spirit proceed to filtering your spirit (Instructions for Filtering the Spirit).
If you'd like to complete a botanical run proceed to Instructions for Distilling with Botanicals.