An important note on sizing: The stills size (3L, 5L etc…) refers to the total volume of the still’s pot or boiler, not the max fill volume or the yield/output you will get (which will be less).
Stills have a minimum and maximum fill level (30% and 80% respectively). So for a 3L still the minimum fill is 900ml (30%) and maximum is 2.4L (80%). See the full table here.
The size you choose will depend on what you want to produce. Helpful questions to ask yourself include:
Are you distilling for fun at home or are you looking into product development? You may suit a small still for experimenting and trial runs.
When beginning, we often recommend people start out with small stills (anywhere from 3–10L) because:
- They’re easy to set up
- It’s a relatively small capital outlay
- They use smaller amounts of plant material
- They take less time, as these are relatively quick distillations
It’s a great way to learn the techniques and discover where you want to go with distillation. Because it’s very hands-on, you’ll get a great grounding in the mechanics of distillation that will allow you to become confident in your process, and that will serve you well when you size up.
Do you have access to a lot of botanical resources, or are you planning on using what you can grow in your own garden? You can achieve a lot with small stills—great for batch distilling where you can run several distillations a day in times of plenty. If you have large resources, larger stills (10L plus) and longer distillations may be more efficient for you.
Are you planning on setting up a small business, artisan distillation outfit or producing essential oils for a small business? You may want to look into some of our larger sizes (10L plus).
Please get in touch if you need help. We’re more than happy to discuss what you want to achieve, and suggest which one we think will be best suited for the job.