Notes from Ansley: Early Germain-Robin Part 2
The Still Arrives
Hubert found a beautiful still, wood-fired when assembled in the 1930s, in an abandoned distillery near Cognac. He had it refitted at Prulho, who added two coils to the condenser and shipped it to California.
I had a 16-foot flat bed truck. We figured we could put the container on it, and drove it to the Port of Oakland. WRONG. When the crane tried to load it, it almost blew the tires. The importer took the container to his warehouse and put the crates on this flatbed. Here I am on the way out of Oakland.
When we got to the ranch, we didn’t want to rent a forklift to unload it.
So we took the braces off one side of the scaffold, put a beam at the top, attached a block & tackle, backed the truck underneath the beam, and hooked it to the still’s main pot. You can see the preheater on the ground behind the scaffold. Then we drove out from underneath it.
The scaffold slowly and gracefully warped, depositing the pot on the ground like a baby’s kiss. It was a magic moment.
Here’s the pot on the ground. You can see where the scaffold frame bent.