How You Can save Money Buying Two Stills

There are a lot of moving parts to starting a distillery or growing your existing operation. We see more new distillers than we should go out of business at least in part because when they tried to save money starting a distillery they ended up saving themselves into the poor house.

We’ve talked about various pieces of equipment that can help save you time and money if integrated into your process effectively and today we’re going to go into some of the benefits that multiple stills can bring to your operation. 

The most obvious benefit of having multiple stills is that with twice the number of stills you can achieve twice the production! This isn’t necessarily the best reason to own more than one still since the cost of production goes down on a per liter basis when you get into larger equipment.

One real benefit is that having redundancies in your system means that you have a backup in case something goes wrong or something unexpected happens. This will save you money by allowing you to keep producing and not lose out on production time.

There’s an old saying warning you to not put all your eggs in one basket and it holds true for production equipment as well. This doesn’t mean that you have to have a spare for everything sitting and collecting dust though, there are lots of ways to utilize equipment to add flexibility to your process.  

Just because you have a second still doesn’t mean that you have to have two carbon copies of the same system. We’ve been promoting a two-still system for people who want to make gin and/or vodka from scratch that actually saves them some cash in upfront costs. 

When we get into larger systems, especially 1000L or more, vodka columns get expensive very quickly, and dropping the diameter greatly reduces the cost. If you do your stripping run through the big still then you can get away with using a single-walled kettle to make your vodka/gin and you can use a smaller column diameter to get the same results. This saves your equipment costs and gives you the benefit of being able to distill two products at the same time.

And this isn’t limited to just gin or vodka. You can have specific stills for different products, especially for things that are heavily flavored or otherwise unique. Equipment can get “seasoned” for a particular product and stringent cleaning can cause off-flavors in the first one or two runs after cleaning. 

Having a test still or a pilot plant still is also a great spot for a second still. You can run test batches in larger stills but you may end up wasting a lot of wash, especially if you’re doing some heavy experimentation. Having a smaller test still lets you try different recipes without using as much wash as doing it in your main still. The test still can also be used for small production runs or limited releases so you don’t interrupt your primary production on your main products.

There are a lot of uses for a second still so if you’re looking to upgrade you would be well served to think about keeping your old still and adding to your lineup with the new equipment. And if you’re opening a new location, or just really want all new equipment, it is worth considering getting more than one still from the get-go in order to increase your flexibility and give you more options to make new products or increase production quickly.

These are just some of the benefits of multiple stills. Please leave us a comment below and share anything we missed! If you’d like our help on how to save money starting a distillery please give us a call at 561-845-8009 or shoot us an email at and we’ll be happy to help where we can.