Articles

The characteristic of a Kothe still is a combination of efficiency, stability and shape.

A water bath or steam bath heats mashes and fluids in the specially constructed copper still. The still has a covering made of stainless steel which is insulated to help maintain heat and conserve energy throughout the life of the still. The copper pot features a smooth internal surface, this is realized by means of a welded construction without appendages. The shape of our stills causes a continuous heating of mashes and a low rate of foam. Therefore it is possible to distill berries and yeasts or even beer without any problems all while creating the best possible distilate.  

We recommend an agitator to be installed in the upper part of the still. This is important for dry mashes and fruits that there is a uniform transfer of heat into the mash and all compounds are separated depending on their boiling point and boiling-characteristics. This is an important point for the separation of first runnings, middle distillate and tailings.
 
To ensure good evacuation and filling characteristics there is a discharge opening containing a vapour discharge pipe.The pipe is necessary to eliminate hot and dry residues or to heat the mash in times of bad thermal transmission in the case of burned on mashes or starch.
 
The vapour pipe, gauge glass and TÜV-tested, the safety valves are made of yellow or red brass.
 
The locking covers, hinges and locks on the feed opening are made of stainless steel. Gilding is also possible. For efficient heating it is necessary for the firebox to have a special, solid construction, containing a large heating surface and this is realized by means of boiling tubes. These tubes cause a circulation of hot water directly from the heat source to the center of the still. Additionally, baffled water vessels and an exhaust gas heat exchanger increase the heating surface and efficiency. The fire door is made of solid steel which is covered with stainless steel and insulated. It is possible to regulate the draught and therefore control the heat. In addition to the draught regulation there is an exhaust gas shutting system which is operated from in front of the distillation plant.
 
The real heart of our distillation plants is called the “super aromator”. This is a special distillation column, including a new construction of bubblecaps with increased copper surface and turbulent motion of the liquid. This causes a high quality of smooth and aromatic distillates and a reduction of higherboiling compounds. An intensive contact between fluid and vapour is guaranteed and realized by a variable filling level on the bubblecaps. On the caps there is an enrichment of lowerboiling compounds such as alcohol.
 
Our “super aromator” also includes another system to increase the alcohol content of the distillates – it is the “dephlegmator”. The “dephlegmator” is the last part of our distillation column and consists of a special cooling system. When the alcoholic vapor comes in contact with this cooling system, higher boiling compounds such as water are condensed and separated.
 
Kothe Destillationstechnik has developed a special “double dephlegmator” with a preliminary cooling system of the alcoholic vapor before it is transferred to the last bubblecap. There is a 3-way valve for drainage and closing and the possibility of an automatic cooling water control system. In addition to a CIP Cleaning System four inspection glasses are welded in position for the observation or cleaning of internal parts in our “aromator”. Kothe distillation plants are characterized by gentle distilling, enrichment and separation of higher boiling and lower boiling products and a clean, highyield middle fraction for the production of high quality spirits. All parts which come in contact with alcoholic compounds (outer covering, double dephlegmator, bubblecaps…) are solid copper constructions. All parts beginning with the lyne arm are made of stainless steel. For industrial use, stainless steel cladding of all parts is possible.
 
Flanged joints are easy to clean because of invisible countersunk bolts. There are several possibilities to clean the distillation plant. A CIP System is the most comfortable.Hot cooling water is collected in a cooling water tank. After one batch a special high pressure pump presses hot water through internal cleaning nozzles into the still and aromator and a mechanical cleaning takes place. In addition to mechanical cleaning different detergents can be added. Alkaline detergents can be used to eliminate fatty residues, citric acid to activate the copper surface. If no CIP System is available, hot water and detergent must be pumped out of the still into the discharge end of the cooler in a closed circuit.
 
The cooler is made of V4A stainless steel and combines high cooling performance with low cooling water consumption. Distillates leave the cooler through the distillate outlet and flow into a specially constructed receiver consisting of two cells – one for the separation of fusel compounds and one to check alcohol concentrations during distillation by means of an alcohol meter. The whole installation is built without any soft or hard solder joints to avoid corrosion and the need for repair
 

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