It is well known to fruit distillers that the batch they are distilling cannot come in direct contact with heat due to the high content of sugar levels in fruit. Should this happen the heat will cause the sugar to caramelize and will thus give a burnt flavouring to the final product. This may be avoided with a double boiler recipient (Water Bath - called balneum Mariae by alchemists in the past). The pot still is placed inside the water bath recipient which is filled with water. This method is ideal for semi-liquid batches or batches that use soft fruits or other delicate organic substances as it is heated with boiling water and thus there is no direct contact with the flame.
To keep the alembic from floating in the water bath a flexible brass support is included with your purchase. It consists of a central ring that fits on the alembic collar and flexible extensions that attach to the brass handles thus securing the alembic in the water bath.
* Totally manufactured in copper
* Brass soldering to guarantee impermeability
* Brass handles
* Perforated arched plate soldered to bottom of recipient (avoiding direct contact between still and heat)
See also – Client's testimony of a "Bain Marie technique"
"Dear Sirs, I am writing to report that my first distillation, of a strawberry fermentation was a complete success. I used the Bain Marie technique (water bath) setting the copper vessel onto the rim of a 60L soup pot half full of water. So the contents of the copper vessel are basically steamed at 100°C. No burning and no need for straw, etc. No need to seal the water bath, It is a snug fit and no steam leaks out. But in case pressure builds up too much, it can relieve itself easily without exploding (the copper pot just lifts up). I never noticed this however, or any steam escaping. [Prior to this first distillation, I did distill a batch of plain water to be sure everything was cleaned out. This was a good idea I think because there was still a little residue and smell of the joint glue after the first cleaning with rye flour slurry, etc.] I distilled about 22L of strawberry mash with about 12% alcohol (achieved with the addition of about 2 kg sugar to the berries). The distillate was about 66% alcohol. From the "middles" I made 3L of 40% spirit, which is very delicious. Left over another 2L of good heads and mostly tails to redistill. I threw out the first 150ml of heads. Everything worked great. It took about 4 hours for the whole thing to heat up, but after that, less than 3 hours to distill the whole batch. The nice thing about the Bain Marie technique is that it self regulates the temperature. The flame is high, and water always boiling, but never overheats the copper vessel I will keep you informed of my next trial, probably pears. And then in November Grappa! For the grappa, I will probably try the traditional method with straw and water or the copper sieve tray. Best regards"
- R.A.H. - 2006-05-12
|Height x Diameter||140 mm x 240 mm|