The easiest way to distil spirits and liqueurs, right in your kitchen, boat or camper van. The small, compact design makes it easy to take with you on the go.
PLEASE READ ALL OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE USING YOUR AIR STILL
• The still should always be run on a flat dry surface in a well-ventilated area.
• If this unit DOESN’T have an on/off switch, always turn on/off the unit via the power point plug and unplug the unit from the wall socket before filling or cleaning. If this unit HAS an on/off switch, always turn on/off the unit via this switch, and then at the power point plug and unplug the unit from the wall socket before filling or cleaning.
• Before each distillation, check the power cord is in good condition and connected properly to the distiller in order to avoid a bad connection, or damaging the still.
• Never immerse the still in water, or allow the body base or the top cover to become wet inside.
• This unit is not for use by children. Do not operate this unit where it is possible for children to reach it.
• Do not remove the top cover when the still is operating.
• Allow at least 20 minutes for cooling, after switching the power off, before you remove the lid. It is important that the still cools down before reusing.
• Be aware that the still contains boiling liquid during operation. Occasionally the lid may lift without warning and spill boiling liquid. Keep hands and face clear from the immediate vicinity of the still when operating.
• The still is fitted with a high temperature cutout. This is used as an automatic cutout for water distilling and must be reset before the still can be used again. Use the reset button on the base of the still. It is not applicable for alcohol distilling as you are only distilling off about 20% of the starting volume. However it will provide a safety backup if you forget to turn the still off and it is allowed to boil dry. If this happens you will need to press the reset button on the base of the still before it can be operated again.
WHAT'S IN THE KIT?
• Air Still
• Air Still
• Spirit Collector
• 10 L (2.6 US Gal) Fermenter with Thermometer
• Carbon Filter System
• Mixing Spoon
• Distilling Conditioner
• Boil Enhancers
• Air Still Fermentation Kit (Turbo Yeast & Nutrients, Turbo Carbon, Turbo Clear for making a wash)
• 2 x Flavourings (for flavoured water or vodka)
You can use the Air Still to produce your own alcoholic spirits and liqueurs at a fraction of the retail price or even distil water and essential oils. This can become a fascinating hobby and you will be able to amaze your family and friends with what you have produced. The art of distilling has been known for centuries but has been surrounded by much secrecy and mythology. With scientific advances in understanding the process, we are now able to understand exactly what happens and Still Spirits has been able to reduce this to just a few simple steps. Let's take a look at the 5 easy steps for Vodka Distillation below:
Disclaimer - In many countries it is prohibited by law to produce alcohol for consumption without license from relevant authorities. We recommend to ask for advice on regulations in your country or contact your local Customs & Excise Department.
1. Mix - Make a 10L (2.6 US Gal) wash by mixing water, sugar, carbon, yeast and yeast nutrient in the fermenter. Allow to sit and ferment for 7-10 days before clearing with Turbo Clear.
2. Distil - Put 4L (1.1 US Gal) of the fermented wash into the Air Still and turn on. Place a bowl or jug under the Air Still outlet nozzle. 700ml (23.7 US fl oz) of 60% ABV will be collected in approx. 2 hours.
3. Dilute and Filter - Dilute alcohol from 60% to 40% by adding 300ml (10.1 US fl oz) of water. Filter the alcohol by using a carbon based filter.
4. Flavour - Flavour your alcohol by adding your favourite Still Spirits flavouring.
5. Repeat - Repeat with the second half of your wash.
See more detailed instructions below.
To produce a wash most suited to the Air Still Distillation System, you will need an Air Still Fermenter (or other fermenter with at least 10L (2.6 US Gal) capacity) and an Air Still Fermentation Kit (or other sugar, carbon and clearing agent) which contains all of the ingredients you'll need to produce 10L (2.6 US Gal) of wash ready for distilling through your Air Still.
You will also need a new carbon cartridge for each run (when using the Air Still filter system), as well as Ceramic Boil Enhancers and Distilling Conditioner which are used to prevent surge boiling and foaming respectively. These are included in the Air Still Mini Distillery or can be purchased separately.
STEP 1 - MAKING THE WASH
Make a 10L (2.6 US Gal) wash ready for distilling:
• Make sure the tap is securely fitted to the Air Still Fermenter. Clean and sanitise your fermenter thoroughly. We recommend always using a new carbon cartridge for each run, this is situated in the lid of your Air Still Fermenter and helps remove any fermentation odours.
• Add 7.5L (2.0 US Gal) of water to your fermenter at 30°C (86°F).
• Add 2.2kg (4.9lb) of Turbo Sugar and stir well to dissolve. (Alternatively you can use white sugar, or 2.4kg (5.3lb) dextrose or corn sugar.)
• Add Turbo Yeast and Nutrient sachets.
• Gently massage the Turbo Carbon sachet and then add to the mix. Stir well.
• Sit the fermenter at room temperature - approx. 18-24°C (64-75°F) for 7 days or until wash has stopped bubbling.
• To confirm fermentation is complete test the wash with a hydrometer. The wash has completed fermentation when the specific gravity (SG) reading is below 990 and stable for 2 consecutive days.
• Now clear your wash. First, stir vigorously to remove all gases. Once degassed, add Turbo Clear Part A. Stir well then stand for 1 hour.
• Add Turbo Clear Part B Whilst stirring. Stop stirring as soon as all of part B has been added. You must stir very gently, otherwise you will disrupt the clearing process. Stand for 24 hours then carefully remove clear wash for distilling.
• You will end up with approx. 8L (2.1 US Gal) of purified wash ready for distilling.
STEP 2 - DISTILLING THE WASH
• Clean the inside of the Air Still and then fill it with wash to the 4L (1.1 US Gal) mark. Take care that no wash is spilt on the outside of the body.
• Add the Ceramic Boil Enhancers and Distilling Conditioner (see bottle for amount to add) to the still. These are used to reduce the risk of surge boiling and foaming, which can happen occasionally.
• Make sure that both electrical sockets are clean and dry.
• Press the reset button on the base of the still.
• Clip the nozzle onto the still head. This is required to ensure the spirit flows directly into your collector.
• Fit the top cover of the still in place. There should be no gaps between the lid and the boiler - it should be uniform the whole way round. Plug the fan lead into the socket in the still body. Place the spirit collector under the outlet nozzle. This should have a usable capacity of at least 800ml (27.1 US fl oz).
• Connect the main power cord between the still and the mains power socket and turn on the mains power switch. You should hear the fan in the top cover of the still start immediately.
• The wash will take just over 1 hour to heat up. Once distillation begins you will see the alcohol starting to drip slowly into the spirit collector.
• Allow the Air Still to run until you have collected 700ml (23.7 US fl oz) of alcohol. This will be at a strength of 60% ABV and you can use this to make up a 1L (1 US qt) bottle at 38-40% alcohol. This should take just over 1 further hour (that is 2 hours from start to finish). After you have collected 700ml (23.7 US fl oz) turn off the Air Still. NOTE: If you wish to produce 1.125L (1.2 US qt) then you can collect 800ml (27.1 US fl oz) but the quality will be slightly reduced. Do not try to collect more alcohol than this, as the quality will drop away quickly.
• Allow the still to cool before removing the top cover. Empty out the remaining wash and clean the inside with clean warm water. Dry the still thoroughly. Start again with the remaining wash, or put still away for next time.
STEP 3 - FILTERING THE SPIRIT
We recommend that the 700 ml (23.7 US fl oz) of collected alcohol be mixed with 300 ml (10.1 US fl oz) of water before passing through the Air Still Carbon Filter System (or other carbon filtration) to improve the purity before you add your selected flavouring and make up to the final volume of 1 L (1 US qt).
• Rinse the carbon cartridge under running water for 20 seconds before use. This removes any excess mineral salts.
• Fit the carbon cartridge to the top Filter Holder (see below) taking care to ensure the foam washers are fitted between the filter and both ends of the cartridge.
• Place the top Filter Holder into the top of the larger filter container.
• As mentioned previously above, dilute the 700 ml (23.7 US fl oz) distilled spirit to 40% by adding 300 ml (10.1 US fl oz) of clean water. This is necessary for the filter to operate properly. If you choose to produce 1.125L (1.2 US qt) of spirit from each run through the Air Still then you will have collected 800 ml (27.1 US fl oz). Add 325 ml (11.0 US fl oz) of clean water.
• Fit the top Filter Holder with the Filter Container and add the distilled spirit and allow to drip into the Filter Container.
NOTE: We recommend changing the cartridge after each bottle has been filtered for best results. Replace polyethylene washers when they are flattened and no longer recover.
STEP 4 - FLAVOURING THE SPIRIT
• Flavour your spirit with Still Spirits flavourings. Follow instructions on bottle or sachet for mixing. Check before you get started whether or not you need a ‘base’ (mixture of sugar and modified starch that will add sweetness and mouthfeel to the liqueur) for your chosen flavouring.
Before use, clean the inside of the Air Still and fill it with clean water to the 4 L (1.1 US Gal) line which is marked on the inside. Make sure that no water is spilt on the outside of the body and ensure that both electrical sockets are clean and dry.
STEP 1 - FILL
• Fit the top cover of the still in place and plug the fan lead into the socket in the still body.
• Fill the Air Still with water up to the 4 L (1.1 US Gal) mark.
STEP 2 - DISTIL
• Place a 4 L (1.1 US Gal) collection jug under the outlet nozzle.
• Press the reset button on the base of the still.
• Clip the nozzle onto the still head. This is required to ensure the water flows directly into your spirit collector.
• Fit the top cover of the still in place and plug the fan lead into the socket in the still body. Place the spirit collector under the outlet nozzle. This should have a usable capacity of at least 800 ml (27.1 US fl oz).
• Connect the main power cord between the still and the mains power socket and turn on the mains power switch. You will hear the fan in the top cover of the still start immediately.
• It will take approx. 1.5 hours for the water to heat up. Once distillation starts, water will begin to drip slowly into the spirit collector or jug. The still will take approx. 10 hours to distil the 4 L (1.1 US Gal).
• The power supply reset will switch off automatically when the distillation is completed. You will need to press the reset button on the base of the still before you next use it.
STEP 3 - FILTER & FLAVOUR
• After distillation the water needs to be polished which is achieved by filtering the distilled water through the Air Still Carbon Filter System (or other chosen carbon filtration).
• Fit the carbon cartridge to the top filter piece taking care to ensure the foam washers are fitted between the filter and both ends of the cartridge.
• Place the top filter piece with filter attached on the top of the filter container.
• Pour water into the top filter piece and top up as necessary.
NOTE: After distilling you need to filter through a carbon cartridge filter. Change the cartridge after each batch has been filtered. Replace polyethylene washers when they are flattened and no longer recover.
• Flavour if you wish to by simply using a lemon or lime wedge or, with Still Spirits flavourings (NOTE: some may appear cloudy depending on the flavouring used).
ESSENTIAL OIL DISTILLATION - STEP 1 - FILL
• Place clean plant material in the Air Still and add enough water to cover. Each type of plant material will require different volumes of water, as an indication, for 300 g (10.6 oz) of rosemary leaves, add 3.7 L (3.9 US qt) of water. Do not fill beyond the maximum level. No Ceramic Boil Enhancers or Distilling
Conditioner are required.
STEP 2 - DISTIL
• Press the reset button on the base of the still.
• Fit the top cover of the still in place and plug the fan lead into the socket in the still body. Place the spirit collector or jug under the outlet nozzle. This should have a usable capacity of at least 800 ml (27.1 US fl oz).
• Connect the main power cord between the still and the mains power socket and turn on the mains power socket switch. You will hear the fan in the top cover of the still start immediately.
• Allow to heat up.
• Collect the distillate in fractions (eg 500 ml (16.9 US fl oz) lots or smaller) so you can monitor quality of the output throughout. The quality will drop off at the end and may become more ‘cooked’. Stop collecting when the quality drops.
• Collect a maximum distillate of 80% of the volume of water put in the boiler to make sure it does not boil dry and cook the plant material. The distillate collected will be mainly hydrosol (water based plant extract) but there will be essential oil with it. The oil will separate out over time and will float on the surface (for nearly all oils, there are a few which are denser than water and will end up on the bottom).
STEP 3 - SEPARATE THE OIL
• The oil can then be separated off from the hydrosol by pipette or with an oil separator used in cooking. The hydrosol can also often be used in many applications (rose water, lavender water etc). Yields of oil are low, a yield of 1-2% is considered good.
USING THE AIR STILL INFUSION BASKET
The infusion basket is a great tool for adding flavour and aromas from botanicals and other plant material by infusing it into your distillate. It can be used when distilling water, essential oils and alcohol.
• Attached by removing the Air Still top cover, then simply seat the infusion basket on the underside of the main units lid.
• Set up an Air Still wash as per standard instructions.
FIRST DISTILLATION (STRIPPING RUN)
• Add 4 L (1.1 US Gal) of cleared wash into the Air Still. Then distil to obtain 700 ml (23.6 US fl oz) at 60% ABV neutral alcohol.
• Dilute to 40% ABV and filter the alcohol using a Still Spirits Air Still Carbon Filter System.
• After filtering, dilute the alcohol further so you have 4 L (1.1 US Gal) for the second distillation (ABV will be around 12%).
SECOND DISTILLATION (INFUSION RUN)
• To flavour with a gin infusion, add the desired botanicals to the underside of the lid. Ensure no botanicals block the vapour inlet of the lid.
• Secure the botanical basket, ensure you line up the dimple on the basket with the notch on the Air Still lid. Rotate to secure.
• Run the Air Still as normal with your pre-distilled, filtered and diluted plain spirit. To remove the basket, rotate the basket until the dimple on the basket and
‘notch’ on the lid are aligned. Pull upwards on the metal ring to remove.
• The vapour will collect the essence of the botanicals as it passes through the basket.
NOTE: The same process can be used for infusing into water. Please note that the water may take on a cloudy appearance, this is normal.
Root Cut Liquorice