The Al-Ambiq® Bain Marie Alembics are similar in design to the Alembic Stills, the source of inspiration for these alembics, and were conceived especially for distilling botanicals or high sugar content fermented fruit mashes.
This system has a double chamber; water is placed in the external chamber and the raw product in the internal chamber. The external chamber has a simple pressure release device for maintaining an even pressure and temperature, basically an escape tube with small holes at regular intervals that allows the slow release of pressure. The bain-marie concept is quite simple, heat generated at the source is transferred to the water in the external chamber which in turn heats up the internal chamber evenly and in a uniform manner along the base and sides. This double chamber system keeps the organic material or sugar present in a mash from burning. The resultant high quality distillate is clean and pure with no burnt-off taste. During distillation the temperature and level of both the water in the external chamber and the product in the internal chamber should be monitored at all times and the alembic should never be left to run dry, water in the exterior chamber should be topped up approximately to ¾ capacity after each distillation run.
Other features of the Bain Marie Alembic are the discharge pipe with brass screw-on plug, for the removal of spent loads and cleaning. A screw-on plug is also present on the topside of the alembic for filling up the external chamber with water. The columnar head of this alembic is similar to the Cask Hood Alembic though the connecting pipe or swan neck is placed above the head to further purify the ascending distillate vapours.
These Alembics are manufactured with a thicker gauge of copper sheeting to withstand the pressure generated in the external chamber of the alembic and the whole unit is welded together to reinforce the joints and soldered with brass solder where necessary.
A word of caution: Care should be taken when using these units, they should never be left unattended and the temperature should be constantly monitored so no excessive pressure is allowed to build-up in the external chamber. The pressure release device may release some pressure but if the water in the system is left to boil uncontrollably, hot steam jets may blow out through this device and the excessive pressure may cause the alembic to explode causing injury and burns to those standing nearby.
Alembics with double bottoms are made of thick copper plates, and the minimum size of the boiler is 30L.
Want to learn more? We suggest that you read the following articles:
Do you need additional information or help in choosing? Contact us via the contact form and we will be happy to assist you.