500 Litre Still - Plus
£27,950 + VAT
Steam & Hydro Distillation
Suitable for standard plant material, including resins, roots, and barks.
12kw indirect heating system.
3 phase or Single phase option.
British Stainless Steel 304 Food Grade.
Charge basket x2
Comes with borosilicate Pyrex glassware (handblown in England), including Florentine kit (100mm diameter pipework) with stainless clips, polished stainless case and silicon pipework (designed for easy cleaning).
British Motor (SEW brand) with stirrer for agitation of resinous oils.
Heat transfer fluid system.
Double-jacketed vermiculite insulation.
Insulated quilted cone jacket
Easy clean discharge system
Extra Basket: £950 + VAT
What is it?
This PLUS still comprises a boiling vessel that sits directly on top of a second chamber: this lower chamber is fitted with 4 special elements that are connected to an expansion tank that is mounted on the side of the boiling vessel that is filled with heat-transfer liquid. A vented expansion tank mounted on the side of the boiling vessel is coupled to this lower chamber and this accepts the excess fluid as it expands during the heating process.
The boiling vessel is equipped with 2 side brackets mounted on the top of the inner walls where a removable support bar fits across; this bar carries the stirrer paddle that is supported and passes through its central PTFE bearing. The paddle can be lifted out vertically and replaced with a charge basket that has also been designed to slot into these side brackets if the still needs to be used for standard distillation. The boiling vessel drains through a large central orifice via a 70mm 90° bend that is welded onto the base: this terminates in a butterfly valve that allows e.g. boiling hot resin residues to be rapidly ejected so that it leaves minimal sticky material behind.
A second stainless steel jacket fits around this vessel that is packed with Vermiculite insulant and this covers both the walls of the boiling chamber as well as the walls and base of the heating chamber.
A short, less steep cone fits on top of the boiling vessel that is fitted with a bend at its top for the steam: it also carries the stirrer motor. The stirrer motor has a shaft pointing downwards that terminates in a peg-drive coupling, so that it can drive the paddle but still be instantly removed.
The cone also incorporates a service hatch where the raw materials can be loaded directly into the boiling vessel. The condenser (identical to the one used in the Basic Still) is now horizontally mounted on to the top bend fitted above the cone and terminates in another 90° bend, pointing downwards. This then joins on to a short length of 4” stainless steel tubing fitted with a cone at the base to direct the distillate into the glass Florentine fitted directly underneath.
How it Works:
1. Resins and roots. The boiling vessel is roughly filled with water and the resin/roots added whilst the water is very hot and continuously stirred. This way the resin disperses in the water rather than getting stuck to the sides of the still and the distillation then progresses as before. The water now returns via the S-trap - note that this is now sited much higher up the boiling vessel since it has to be above the much higher water-level. When the distillation is complete, the large butterfly valve is fully opened to let the slurry rush out with the stirrer still going: this way the still should empty almost completely and it only requires a rinse with hot water to get the boiling vessel totally clean.
2. Standard essential oil plants. For more normal plant distillation, the paddle plus its holding bracket is lifted from the side brackets and is replaced by the basket full of plant material that then slots into the sidewall brackets.
The Still will then operate in the same fashion as the standard Basic Still.
How to Operate it:
The boiling vessel is roughly half filled with water (~ 250 litres), the cone/condenser combo fixed in place and the heaters, condenser water and stirrer all turned on. When the water is very hot, the charge of resin (say 50kg) or chopped roots is added through the hatch in the cone and the hatch-lid then replaced: the little insulation jacket can then be fitted over the cone. This way the resin disperses in the agitated water rather than getting stuck to the sides of the still - and the distillation progresses as before. The distillate drops into the Florentine as before but this is now has to be positioned much higher so that the water can return via the S-trap that is now sited near the top of the boiling vessel. The vessel is emptied as above: great care is needed here to ensure the operatives do not get scalded, e.g. by letting the still empty through a large pipe or onto waste ground where any residual plant or resinous material can be recovered for recycling or composting etc.
If the still is to be used for more usual plants e.g. Lavender, then the paddle assembly should be removed. Only 50 litres of water need to be placed in the boiling vessel so that it remains below the base of the boiling vessel when the filled basket is put in place. The distillation then proceeds as before but there is now no need to vigorously empty the vessel with the stirrer going: simply remove the basket and empty it in the usual way.