Skip to content

Water Distillation with the Alembic Pot Still


As well as all manner of alcoholic beverages, the Alembic Pot Still system can be used for distilling water, and for essential oil extraction.


  1. Attach the copper condenser arm to the copper dome by removing the nut and O-ring from the base of the condenser. Sit the condenser on the dome and screw the nut and O-ring back into the condenser (check the lid isn’t spinning anymore) to firmly attach the dome to the condenser.
  2. Insert the thermometer probe into the hole at the top of the column.
  3. Attach the tubing for the water cooling of the condenser. The thin tube is for the outlet water and connects near the top of the condenser arm and takes the water back to the sink. The thicker tube connects to the water inlet near the tip of the condenser arm, with the other end connecting to the tap.
  4. Briefly turn on the cooling water supply to ensure there are no leaks in the system. Check again that the water goes in at the end where the spirit comes out and that the water comes out closest to the top of the lyne arm (the end near the thermometer probe).


Distilling 20 L (5.3 US Gal) of water in the pot still will take about 8-10 hours from start to finish (excluding the heating time) and will produce approximately 18 L (4.8 US Gal) of distilled water. It is a good idea to ensure your dome top and condenser are thoroughly cleaned from the previous use before continuing with the water distillation.

You will need:

  • Large vessel(s) to collect the distilled water (this will need to be as large as the quantity of water initially place in the boiler)
  • Cooling water supply and sink

Place the boiler body on a firm, level, bench where the waste can discharge into a drain or sink. Add the water to be distilled to your boiler; do not fill beyond the maximum level line on the boiler. Place the pot still system onto the boiler; fasten the four clips that hold the lid onto the boiler. Check the sealing gasket is sitting firmly on the boiler with no gaps. Connect the power to the boiler. The water will take about 80 minutes to heat up to boiling temperature. Before the water begins to boil, turn on the cooling water just enough so that the distillate doesn’t come out as steam but rather in liquid form. After you have collected 18 L (4.8 US Gal) of water, turn the boiler power off and disconnect from the power outlet. Turn off the cooling water supply. Be careful when discarding the remaining water left in the boiler as this will be hot.

The distilled water must be filtered through the Still Spirits EZ Filter system or other filter system to ensure any unwanted flavours and aromas from previous washes are removed. Refer to the filter manual for filtering instructions.

Previous article Making Spirits - Your Questions Answered
Next article Grainfather Conical Fermenter FAQs