Converting Your Vodka Still to a Whiskey Still

Vodka is a pretty popular spirit and it takes some specialized equipment to make it when compared to other spirits. It’s possible to convert a vodka still to a whiskey still but you may need to make some modifications and change your piping around to get there. Like with most things distilling, there’s no one-size-fits-all way to do anything and you may have to tinker a bit to get your set up to be exactly how you like it. Because of this the following guide is going to walk you through a few different approaches but won’t be a full guide since your starting point may be different than someone else’s.

The main thing that separates a vodka still from most other alcohol stills is the number of plates. Our recommendation is to have at least 18 plates in your vodka column but you can have up to 30 before the math shows diminishing returns. This is about as close to the opposite of a pot still as you can get so if you want to go from vodka to a whiskey still you’re going to want to modify the plate count. If you purchased a Double Dragon kettle you’ve got a spare column port to work with and you can put a copper helmet or a small column on the side opposite your vodka column and make the change pretty easily. If you’re not working with one of our stills and don’t want to buy a whole separate system to make vodka there is still hope, but it will take some work.

Going from a Vodka to whiskey still means eliminating plates and moving some piping around. Many wonderful whiskeys are made with a pot still or a shorter column of four to six plates so the number of plates you want to remove will be entirely up to you. The column can be bypassed or removed altogether for your whiskey runs and there are all kinds of setups out there. To figure out what’s the right setup for you, you should try to figure out how much you want to switch between whiskey and vodka and how much effort you want to spend each time you switch. 

There’s more than one way to convert vodka stills to whiskey stills and while we definitely haven’t seen it all we have seen a lot. Give us a call or send us an email describing what your goals are and what you’re trying to do and we’ll do our best to help you make it happen! We do a lot of modifications to stills from other manufacturers and we’d be more than happy to help where we can.