Roughly speaking there are two kinds of distillation. The continuous and the batch process. The latter is used in the traditional pot still. One volume of wash or wine is applied to the pot and heated up to evaporate the alcohol. The volume of the pot still may vary. The bigger the volume the more energy it required to heat up the pot and the longer it takes to evaporate the alcohol. In the picture, a hand made copper still employing the batch process.
The continuous process is used in column stills, which are sometimes called Coffey still or patent still. The wash is fed continuously into the still. Excess heat is used to preheat the wash. Vice versa the alcohol vapor is cooled down by the feed in wash. The advantage: the process is energy and time saving

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