If you’re wanting to make a spirit with botanicals, we recommend doing a spirit run (in reflux mode) with your wash and then doing a botanical run on your next distillation in pot still mode (diluted to 40% ABV or below prior to re-distillation).
You may wish to filter your diluted spirit through a carbon filter to polish it (Instructions for Filtering the Spirit). Filtering your spirit will give you a smoother, well-rounded gin and contributes to a better final product. While polishing your spirit, you can reflux distill the second batch of wash, or the remaining wash can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week.
- 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.
- Once you have polished the spirit, add it to the Air Still Pro boiler. Ensure you have at least 1L (34 US fl oz) of liquid in the boiler diluted to less than 40% ABV.
- Remove the column cap and botanical basket and remove the packing materials. Note: tilt the head unit at a 120-degree angle for easier removal.
- 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.
- Add 30 g of your choice of gin botanicals to the botanical basket, tap it gently on a bench top to remove any lose matter, and place in 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 pot still distillation tip labelled "P". Note: Use the spanner to loosen the distillation tip. Turn clockwise to loosen. Use your fingers to tighten firmly turning anti-clockwise.
- Place a collection jar under the distillation tip. We recommend using several smaller jars if you are taking cuts.
- 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 purple. A pulsing purple light and 2 beeps will confirm that your pot still 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. 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.
- Your system will not automatically shut off in this mode so you will need to determine when the distillation is complete. Note: In the event of extremely high temperature increase or decrease, the unit will automatically power itself off.
- Allow the Air Still Pro to run until the distillate coming out reaches 20% ABV, or until you determine where you'd like your final cut to be. Turn the unit off at the mode selector button or the wall.
- 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.
- Use the alcometer and measuring cylinder to check the ABV of your cuts, blend them together, then add the amount of water needed to dilute to 40% ABV (80 proof). Note: Use this calculator to get the precise volume of water to add.
- Rinse and clean your Air Still Pro after use.
You can now bottle your gin. We suggest leaving your gin in the bottle for a few days to mellow and let the flavours settle.