5 Pieces of Equipment You Didn’t Know Your Distillery Needed

No two distilleries are alike and once you get past the equipment needed to cover the distillery basics it can be easy to overlook some pieces because every set up has different distilling equipment needs. While you may not strictly need all of these pieces of equipment it will be helpful to consider if they’ll make your job (and life) easier.

Every type of equipment exists because it serves a purpose but often the purposes are somewhat specific. This doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t do the same job with a different piece of equipment, it just means that your Swiss Army Knife may not be the best tool for butchering a whole cow.

This article is intended to be a tool to help you think about your distilling process and workflow. As you go through this list and picture how each piece of equipment will fit into your process you can come up with the most effective and hopefully an easiest way to make your spirits.

The following list is in no way comprehensive or complete. These are some of the most common items that people call “game changers” when they add them to their distillery process flow.

Mash Chiller

A mash chiller may not be the most intuitive choice to start this list but based on customer feedback it can have a huge impact on your process flow and quality control. Chilling the wort lets you pitch earlier and can prevent wild-type yeast or bacteria from taking hold and causing off-flavors in the mash as it ferments. The best reason to get a mash chiller is to save time and time is better than money because you can’t print more time. 


Another great time-saving piece of equipment that can do a few things to help your distillery is an HLT. Having one cuts down on mashing time by increasing the starting temp so you don’t have to wait for the whole mash tun to heat up. It also acts as a source of hot water for cleaning and any number of uses in a manufacturing environment. 

Grain Separator and Solid Waste Handling Equipment 

You’ve got to do something with the extra solids and water generated as a byproduct of distillation and there are probably only so many farms and alternative bakeries around your area. A grain separator helps you do just what the name implies, it separates the spent grain from your process water so you don’t have to transport the water and grain together to hopefully save you some transportation costs when you’re disposing of the grain.

Additional Heat Exchangers (waste streams, cisterns, etc)

Anytime you can recycle energy you’re already paid for you’re making your process more efficient and saving yourself some money. There’s another advantage to integrating more heat exchangers into your process though. There is an EPA and typically a municipal limit on the temperature of the effluent from your facility so always check with your local inspector on what their allowable tolerances are. Heat exchangers can be configured to solve this problem in real-time and a cistern, or a holding tank can be used for a batch process.

High Proof Hoses 

We see this one overlooked all the time and it’s actually a very important piece of equipment. If you’ve ever had a wonderful beer ruined by a dirty tap hose at a bar you know how much of an effect improperly cared for hoses can have on a beverage. Various materials can leach at high temps and/or proof so having the right tool for the job is key. You’ve put so much effort, time, and energy into making wonderful spirits, it’d be a shame to ruin them right at the end with the wrong hoses. 

Those are the top five pieces of equipment that you may not have thought about adding to your distillery. Again, this list is nowhere near comprehensive, and please leave a comment below about what we missed on this list. There are so many different ways to run your operation and as long as you’re getting the spirit you want to make coming out of your equipment you’re doing something right!

If you want to know more about any of these pieces of equipment or think that adding them to your distillery would help please give us a call at 561-845-8009 or shoot us an email at info@stilldragon.com and we’ll be happy to help.