Spirit distillation, 25L fractional still.
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25L fractional distiller

"Alex 25" Still

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Fractional still video 1.

 "Alex 25" still construction plans, parts and stills.

Stills & Plans

 "Alex 25" construction plans download:

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For many years I was just a hobbyist brewer, and in fact, I was making spirits of my own since I was 12 years old (under adult supervision:-). Everything was so exciting, and everyone was happy about the results. As time went by, I started to ask myself some questions, like why my homebrew was not that good and tasted more like rocket fuel, so I began to think of how to improve the quality of my brew.
50L reflux still and I

TThe reality is: that new technologies of distillation and purification exist and are widely used by leading alcoholic beverage producers. And this new approach to distillation is evident because, along with our smelly homebrewed liquors, we have exceptional products on the shelves of our local liquor shops.  25L reflux ethanol stillMoreover, the cost of good liquor production is twice as cheap as the average cost of homebrew production per unit! I know it is because I was co-owner of a vodka factory, and the rule of business is - to spend less and make a more significant margin plus keep quality high. 

But the big guys do not want people like you to know how to make authentic, high-quality alcoholic beverages because they can lose their market, but as long as simple people make simple homebrew, the same people will buy quality liquor despite their hobby again and again. While in the vodka business, I was personally suppressing any information about our equipment and the production methods.

As the basis for spirit production, I adopted the method used in Russia to produce high-quality spirits by leading vodka companies; the alcohol is made in two stages.

The first stage is the production of raw or crude alcohol - where the main goal is to separate alcohol from the mash and all by-products that naturally occur in any ferment: acids, salts (yeast nutrition), and mechanical particles.

The second stage is actual fractioning (rectification), where the raw, crude alcohol that contains esters, methanol, ethanol (alcohol we are aiming at), and smelling butyl alcohol is redistilled in a fractional column.


The construction of a fractional (reflux) column makes it possible for the alcohol to be re-distilled inside the column more than 30 times before it reaches the collection vessel ( this ability of the column gives us the strength of the alcohol of 95 - 96% alc/vol). The correctly built fractional column creates some fractions' queue inside the column where the lightest spirit fraction is located at the top and gets collected while the heaviest alcohol fraction is yet situated at the bottom. The next in the queue, and heavier one, is replacing the lighter one, and so on (this ability of the column gives us the high quality of alcohol because one can separate and collect all fractions one after another very precisely.

The understanding of amounts of different fractions in the crude alcohol plus the measurement of total spirit percentage in the batch before fractioning makes it possible to forecast the whole distillation process. These include the time of distillation, amounts of different fractions in liters or milliliters, and percentages concerning total alcohol amount.

Thus, instead of relying on carbons (people still think that carbon filtration will eliminate all the impurities from the final product), one can separate all contaminants from each other with a fractional column during distillation, and all you need to do; is to dilute your distilled spirit with water and filter only if you wish so.

The 25L fractional homebrew still has all you need to perform precise distillation; it has one small column for raw spirit production and a big fractional column for high-quality food-grade boiler, columnsalcohol production.

The small column can also be used along with an infuser or by itself for aromatic beverage production, where you can distill alcohols soaked with herbs or fruits ( I use the small column to make absinthe). 

 When the crude alcohol is ready for fractional distillation, all data about spirit percentage and amount is taken. It is mixed with water, which helps to bound heavy fractions and odors, then loaded into the still and fractionally distilled. The result - is high-quality ethanol for further beverage production

stripping alcohol distillationfractional alcohol distillation

The whole still arrangement, which includes two columns, is designed to produce high-quality ethanol at the highest possible percentage. There are two columns: the first is intended to deliver a low-quality spirit from the fermented wash (mash, beer, wine) and works as a pure pot still. The primary purpose of this column is to separate alcohol from the wash.   

stripping alcohol column


 The second (fractional) reflux column (which has the option of manual reflux ratio control that does not depends on cooling water flow speed or temperature) is designed to fractionally separate all the impurities from the low-quality spirit after the first distillation.

 The fractional column is used only for crude alcohol - or moonshine quality redistilling and separates all impurities physically from alcohol. 

Thus with the help of a fractional column, you can get all fractions precisely defined. During distillation, you will rely on a mathematical calculation of spirits amounts based on fractions percentage calculation - this means that you will know how much of each bit you will get even before starting your distillation.

 Suppose you are familiar with some reflux columns. In that case, all reflux columns are capable only of producing the alcohol with the relatively high percentage of alcohol in the ethyl/water mix and not capable of separating any impurities—the portion of the alcohol drops during the distillation. The ratio and the quality of alcohol are achieved and controlled by the speed of cooling water flow - believe me, it is almost impossible to accomplish any good quality results with this type of distillation system.

 You will get out of simple reflux type of still just what it can give you.


The distillation system described on this page is a real fractional distiller where one can control reflux ratio and spirit speed flow regardless of water flow rate. The alcohol collection/flow control valve can be closed completely. The column will utilize all distillate back into the column's internal space, and no pressure build-up will ever happen. 


fractional reflux column

All fractions get separated according to their physical properties. This fractional distiller will give you the maximum possible percentage of alcohol: 95%+ from the beginning of distillation to the end. All separated impurities can be used to power four-stroke engines (I use them for my lawnmower). 


vodka filtration unit
Just a few words about filtration: some people believe activated carbon can absorb impurities such as methanol (heads), but this is not right. One can run the bottle of methanol through the activated carbon filter and get the same poisonous methanol from the other end of the filter, and it will be sparkling clean, but there. If activated carbon's pores are big enough for the water to run through, they are even more prominent for anything more liquid than water. All the carbon does is absorb the odors and mechanical particles (cloudiness). I prefer the activated carbon from coconut shells over the carbon produced out of peat.
Never filter undiluted alcohol, the carbon works only up to 60% spirits strength, it is simple - the water that is added to the alcohol during dilution is bounding up with some impurities, and the carbon keeps this bounded up molecules. Undiluted spirit will just run through the carbon.

Here is some facts:

Here is are some facts to Save your $$$ on distillation!!!

The fractional distillation offers low cost of distillation (under NZ $4 per litre of 40% vodka) and highest quality possible.

Here is some example:

To make 5L of 40 % vodka you will need:
Sugar – 6kg = $7.20
Super yeast – one pack = $9.00
Power - $0.20 per unit, total 9kw =$1.80

All this will give you >=2L of 96% spirit that after dilution with water makes 5L of vodka.

Total cost = $18.00 divided by 5L = $3.6 per litre of high quality 40% alcohol, just try to find the distillation system that will offer high quality and yet low production cost. The prices in your country may be different from above.

  Contact us to order 25L or 50L fractional still

The 25L still is now available for international customers. Stills are build to your order and delivered by air post within ten business days,
The fractional distiller can also be used and ordered as a water purifier and essential oils extractor, the still can be used for a small scale fuel ethanol production.

Buy the "Alex 25" still construction plans, parts and stills:

Stills & Plans

 "Alex 25" construction plans:


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