All reports I've seen for the pda-1 are highly favourable.
Another very good choice is the glass still offered by John Stone at
www.gin-vodka.com I purchased this still a year and half ago and have
been more than pleased with the quality of product obtained (96.5%)
when the still is operated properly.
Mr. Stone offers several books for sale also. In particular I
recommend "The Carriage Still" at US $9.95 for the on-line version.
This book gives the straight goods concerning amateur still design
and operation along with detailed plans for construction if you are
In response to your last questions: I assume that your goal is the
very purest ethyl alcohol possible with the absolute minimum of
congeners (believe me 96.5% is no big deal to produce). And that you
want to use this as a pure vodka either by itself (diluted to 40%) or
as base for gin or the addition of essences.
Just use ordinary supermarket sugar as your base feedstock. Use one
of the marvellous Turbo yeasts available to-day to ferment this sugar
(I personnaly use and recommend Gert Strand's Black Label Turbo
yeast). Strip the wash in your fractionating column still with the
output wide open (i.e. operating as a pot still). Then perform a very
slow final "spirit distillation" on the outout from your stripping
distillation under conditions of high (eg 10:1) reflux ratio.
Your output will be 96.5% ethyl alcohol with such faint traces of
congeners that there is absolutely no need to carbon filter.
IMHO distillers who carbon filter vodka are admitting that they
didn't distill properly in the first place.
--- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com
, "Alexander Martel Kio"
> i am in need of great direction and advice. i've read (randomly)
> much of the homedistiller site but the more i look into everything
> the more confused i get. i am very much new to this, don't know
> of the science, and would like to produce a alcohol content of 180
> proof and up. i am looking to produce a simple high quality product
> from a sugar mash to be later flavoured. so i am guessing that i am
> needing to go in the direction of a offset head reflux still.
> i am sure that if i tried constructing one i would be less than
> satisfied with the process and the yield, and really wouldn't mind
> spending my money on a very good product. i've been looking at the
> pda-1 from the amphora society. do you think this would work with
> what i dream??? oh yea, i live in florida in the US. i don't mind
> ordering out of country either. but anyway, would there be another
> design you would suggest?
> i am hopeing to produce a clean and potent alcohol that i could
> flavour later. what types of products would you suggest as far as
> the type/brand of: sugar, (turbo) yeast, carbons (would i need this
> for what i plan???), everything, et cetera.