We designed our Minnetonka Modular still line (MinneMod200L and MinneMod500L) with some specific goals in mind:

  • Affordable enough for a start-up distillery
  • Compact enough to easily fit into a brewstillery operation
  • Versatile enough to make any spirit
  • Modular so that we can stock components and eliminate lead times without sacrificing the ability to customize systems
The 500L pot size is big enough for a production distillery to get off the ground and into profitability. The 200L pot size is perfect for any distilling operation that can sell bottles or cocktails on premise. The small batch size is easy to handle in all operation aspects, does not require large and expensive utility services for heating and cooling, and is great for producing a wide range of offerings in quantities suitable for sale on premise.

Specific Features of the MinnfeMod200L:
  • Available with either a steam jacketed pot, or electric Bain Marie. (Both provide gentle, even, controllable heat. The electric model has heating elements in a conduction oil mantle.)
  • Full copper pot for superior heat distribution and reduction of Sulfur compounds.
  • Optional motorized mixer with explosion proof motor, allowing for distillation of mash slurries without scorching.
  • 6” diameter columns with copper plates and bubble caps, and choice of stainless, copper or glass outer column wall.
  • Optional whiskey helmet or gin basket attachments that can be used alone, or in conjunction with bubble plates and/or dephlegmator
  • Stainless steel tube and shell condenser with parrot spout
  • Tri-clamp connections for all components
Components that can be installed in various combinations on top of the pot include:
  • Copper expansion chamber with perforated copper plate on the bottom. This plate prevents foam from the pot from fouling bubble plates above it, provides additional copper contact, and can be used to support packing for additional reflux or botanicals to function as a gin basket.
  • Glass, stainless or copper walled bubble plate sections. The glass columns come in sections of four plates, and allow for unimpeded observation and display of the reflux action. The metal walled plates are individual bubble plate units that can be assembled in any desired number.
  • Conical copper whiskey helmet.
  • Open column pipe
  • Dephlegmator

The still can be used as a simple pot still with the expansion chamber and whiskey helmet, or open column with or without the dephlegmator. This setup with the open column can also be used for botanical distillation of gin or other flavored spirits, or filled with packing for maximal reflux.

With the expansion chamber, desired number of bubble plates and dephlegmator, the still can produce barrel strength distillate for any aged liquor in a single pass (whiskey, brandy, rum, or tequila), and allow for well controlled separation of heads and tails. Vodka strength distillation from a wash will require at least two distillations with bubble plates and/or packing in the open column.

The ability to interchangeably tailor the column materials and configuration to suit the needs of particular products and processes is a truly unique advantage for a still of this size, quality and affordability. It can also be a dramatic showpiece item if in view of the public. The footprint required for the 200L still is only 3 ft x4 ft, making it very easy to add as an additional process to turn an operating brewpub or small brewery into a Brewstillery. The electric Bain Marie style has a 10 KW, 3-phase heating element that only needs a 40A circuit to operate. Obviously, additional space is needed for fermentation, barrel aging, and packaging operations, but this is a very compact system with powerful versatility. If production schedule considerations allow, it is fully possible to use the pot to cook, convert and ferment mash, eliminating the space requirement for additional fermenters and mash cooker.

The yield from a batch distillation will vary with alcohol strength of the wash and finished product, and other process factors, but will be about 4 – 5 twelve bottle cases of 750 ml bottles. Processing a single 200L wash per week (which allows plenty of time for multiple distillations for products like vodka and gin, as desired) can easily yield upwards of 200 cs/yr of premium spirits. That would be feasible to achieve with only a single fermenter and using the still pot to cook mash, dissolve and sterilize molasses or sugar for rum, agave syrup for tequila, or other syrup or juices, or even if using the pot itself to complete ambient temperature fermentations. With additional mashing and fermenting equipment, one could easily process from five up to a dozen batches per week, putting the maximum capacity for the system around 2-3000 cs/yr with enough space and ancillary equipment.

For craft breweries in states that allow them to also make and sell distilled spirits on site, this system is an ideal way to produce a wide range of spirits in quantities suitable for on premise demand, and even to establish a distribution market. When brewing equipment is already available to easily produce mash and wash, the space and capital required to add a major new revenue stream is very manageable and offer a return on investment period measured in months, rather than years. Diversifying into a brewstillery will attract a new customer base and add another feature to differentiate oneself from the competition in an increasingly crowded market. Wineries can also easily add brandies and other spirits to their tasting room and bottle shop lineup, and make their tasting room even more of a destination attraction.

For craft distilleries producing spirits exclusively, either by choice or statutory requirement, this system can easily produce the capacity for highly profitable on premise sales, and enough distribution to demonstrate market viability while testing a full gamut of products and brands.

In any of these cases, the flexibility, compact footprint and modest utility system demands (especially for the electric Bain Marie still) is unmatched.