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What Is A Thumper Used For In A Moonshine Still? (Perfect answer)

The main purpose of a thumper keg is to speed up the distillation process. It lets you distill a high-proof spirit without running it through the still multiple times.

  • What is a thumper keg on a moonshine still? The “Thump Keg,” or “Thumper Keg,” or “doubler” is a second chamber or distiller in the classic hillbilly still that essentially allows the distiller to double distill their output a second time, without having to rerun it through another still.


Does a moonshine still need a thumper?

Ordinarily, a standard pot still that does not have a thump keg can distill a wash only to a “low wine”. This will give you an output that is 40 to 05% alcohol by volume or ABV. If you want to achieve the high alcohol content for high-proof whiskey or any other spirit like moonshine, YOU WILL NEED…you guessed it!

What is the purpose of a thumper on a still?

The thump keg is one of the most clever and iconic design elements of the traditional hillbilly still whose purpose, briefly stated, is to distill the output of the pot still a second time, without actually having to run the distillate through the still twice.

Do you need to heat a thump keg?

Many moonshiners do prefer to heat the thumper. The alcohol does need to stay in vapor form to be able to rise into the condenser. Wood barrels are often preferred as thump kegs because of wood’s natural isolative abilities.

How do you use a moonshine thumper?

The way the thumper works is that it takes the vapor from the head of your kettle and travels down a tube into the bottom of the thumper. This vapor is cooled when it enters the liquid in the thumper, which condenses the vapor while also heating that liquid in the thumper.

What is a slobber box?

Similar to a thumper, the slobber box is a simple method of collecting unwanted condensate from the distillate which is used widely used by moonshiners.

What should I put in my thumper?

How To Infuse Flavor Into Moonshine with a Thumper Keg. Distillers usually add spirit tails, low wines, water, or whiskey to their thumper keg to cool the alcohol vapors coming from the potstill. However, you can include other fruits, herbs, or spices to add different flavor combinations to your spirits.

How much corn do I need for 5 gallons of mash?

Ingredients: 5 gallons of water. 8.5 pounds of flaked maize.

What temp do you run a moonshine still?

You will not make any cuts at the different temperatures like you would with a typical pot distillation. Collect until the temperature reaches about 207°F/208°F (97°C/98°C). Turn off your heat source, but continue to run the cooling water until there is no vapor left in the moonshine still.

Can a thumper be too big?

On the other hand, if your thumper is too big or if you have too much liquid in it, the incoming vapor won’t be able to heat the liquid up properly. Then all the vapor is condensed and actually becomes diluted by the liquid in the thumper, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

How much does it cost to fill a thumper?

filling it about 1/4 full. The options are: left over mash, tails from a previous run, etc. But if you want the thumper to do what it is supposed to do (increase the alcohol % in the final product), there needs to be some kind of alcohol in the thumper. The higher the alcohol concentration, the better.

How does a Mason jar Thumper work?

How Does a Thump Keg Work? With a thump keg, the hot vapor that exits the still arm into the wine that is already condensed at the bottom of the thumper once again evaporates before it reaches the condenser. When the alcohol is vaporized again, the alcohol content increases dramatically.

What is a stripping run in distilling?

When we perform our first distillation – called a ‘Run’ – it is referred to as a stripping run, because we concentrate and strip all of the alcohol out of the wash. Different alcohols come over at different temperatures and in this run, we want to collect them all – the good, the bad and the ugly.

What does it mean when someone calls you thumper?

thumper (countable and uncountable, plural thumpers) One who thumps. (slang) A single-cylinder engine, especially four-stroke engines or those with large engine displacements. (uncountable) A drinking game wherein players must remember personal hand signs while being distracted by others banging on a table.

What is a thumper dune?

A thumper is a short stake with a spring-loaded clapper on one end. With the catch released, the thumper would pound repeatedly. It was used to summon a sandworm on the planet Arrakis. Some thumpers also had a candle, which, when lit, would last for approximately one hour.

The Thumper Keg Explained – What it does and how it does it! – Learn to Moonshine

Thump kegs, also known as “doublers,” are a very old design element that was most likely brought to North America with the first settlers and incorporated into the stills they built upon arrival. While they are most commonly associated with backwoods whiskey stills, the thump keg, or “doubler,” is not (Fig. 1). Because some older European stills made use of what looks to be thump keg-like chambers, the idea was almost certainly well-known to colonists from both the British Isles and continental Europe when they arrived in North America.

Figure 1, Typical backwoods whiskey still. Smaller copper pot in center is thump keg.

In the absence of a thump keg, a standard pot still is capable of distilling a wash into merely a “low wine,” which will contain around 40-50 percent alcohol. A second or even a third distillation is required to attain the high alcohol concentration required to produce high-proof whiskey or other spirit at the desired strength. European distillers still employ swan-neck pot stills, and they will have two stills: one for distilling the wash to a low-wine condition, and another for rectifying the low-wine state into a high-proof spirit.

This is accomplished in an exceptionally smart manner by the thump keg, which utilizes waste heat from the still pot to do its task.

In fact, it is the thumping sound of the hot vapor exiting the still (Fig.

Because this hot vapor repeatedly warms the low wine to the boiling point of alcohol, it is effectively distilled twice, yielding a far higher-proof product than could otherwise be achieved in a single pass through the pot still.

Figure 3, Diagram showing flow of vapor through still and thump keg

In spite of the fact that it has apparent benefits over the traditional pot still, how does it compare to a more complex reflux column still? Of course, for the backwoods moonshiner, there’s the obvious advantage of having materials on hand at all times. The cost of purchasing enough Raschig rings or copper scouring pads to fill a big fractionating column is far less than the cost of locating and reusing an abandoned wooden barrel. A properly constructed column, on the other hand, is capable of producing alcohol concentrations that are close to the theoretical maximum, in some cases exceeding 95%, while also providing better separation between the ethyl alcohol and the esters and ketones in the heads and the heavy fusel alcohols in the tails.

  1. These people include traditional moonshiners and connoisseurs of single-malt, pot-distilled Scottish whiskeys.
  2. Although it is arguable to what degree this is genuine and how much is simply mythology, it is unquestionably true that the taste differences between cuts will be less noticeable and that more of the “whiskey” qualities will be present in the final product.
  3. He even spends several thousand dollars to install a high-tech thump keg to replace the fractionating column in the distillery.
  4. Finally, it should be noted that a thump keg may be used to impart taste in a different way as well: it can be utilized in the same way that a gin basket is used to give flavor.
  5. Because more of the volatile flavoring compounds will be carried over into the final distillate as a result of this method, the taste will be fresher and more full-bodied than merely adding these ingredients to the mash.

The following video is a demonstration of a classic copper pot still, thumper, and worm set up that I discovered on YouTube. ” alt=””> ” alt=””> Any queries concerning thumpers may be asked in the comments area below, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram! Thanks for reading!

Explaining The Thumper Keg: The Basics

If you’re someone who knows absolutely nothing about this and is hearing the terms thumper and keg combined for the first time, you could believe that this is something that rabbits and bunnies use to celebrate. Don’t be concerned. We created this tutorial for the home distiller who wants to learn all there is to know about thumper kegs, including what they are, what they do, what they are for, what they are used for, and how they operate.

A Quick Summary

For those of you who are in a rush and only want to know the most basic facts regarding the simple thumper keg, here is the page for you.

  • What Exactly Is It? With the help of a thumper keg, you may distill your cheap wine a second time. It is often constructed of copper, steel, or wood, and it is located between the still pot and the condenser. What Is the Function of a Thump Keg? As a result, the distillation process is accelerated, and your low-alcohol wine is transformed into a liquid with a larger alcohol content, which is essential for the production of moonshine or bourbon. What size Thump Keg do you need to use for your project? It should be between 25 percent to 40 percent of the size of your primary boiler
  • However, this might vary.

Continue reading if you’d want to learn more about the thumper keg in general.

What Is a Thumper Keg and Where Is It From?

A thump keg, sometimes known as a doubler, thud barrel, or thump chest, is frequently mentioned in conjunction with a backwoods whiskey still in the literature. A very antique and traditional design may be found on this item.

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Quick History Lesson

There is a popular belief among historians that early settlers took this form of thump keg with them and integrated it into the stills that they later began to construct once they’d, well… established. If you take a look around, you’ll notice that some of the older European stills seem to confirm this notion since they appear to have made use of what appears to be the same chambers that were used as thump kegs as well. This suggests that the colonists who came over from the British Isles were already familiar with the design and inventiveness of how it functions!

The Thumper Keg of Today

Modern-day hillbilly culture retains the thump keg as one of the most recognizable and ingenious design components of the classic hillbilly still. Anyone who manufactures moonshine will understand how critical this is to the operation of their moonshine stills. The thumper keg, which can be constructed of copper, steel, or wood, is located between the stillpot and the condenser and holds the liquid. You might wonder why this is the case. Its function, in a nutshell, is to distill the output of a pot still a second time without having to pass the distillate through a second time.

What Is a Thumper Keg For?

Are you still unsure what it does? We’re on the right track. So we’ve covered the basics of what a thump keg is intended to achieve. The next sections will go into the specifics of how this works. As a general rule, a conventional pot still with no thump keg can only distill a wash to the point of producing a “low wine.” As a result, you will have an output that ranges from 40 to 05 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). To attain the high alcohol level required for high-proof whiskey or any other spirit, such as moonshine, you will need…

a lot of sugar.

In the present day, many distillers in Europe still employ swan-neck pot stills and a beer stripper to distill wash to a low-wine condition, before passing the wash through a second spirit still in order to turn the wash into a high-proof spirit.

In the case of hillbilly stills, the thumper keg serves as the second distillation device, in the same way as the spirit still does in a traditional still.

How Does A Thumper Keg Work?

You might be wondering how all of this magic comes to be. The way a thump keg operates, on the other hand, is quite ingenious. The thumper keg distillation equipment in moonshine stills makes advantage of the surplus heat released by the steam pot, making it a particularly effective distillation process. Allow me to explain.

  1. When using a typical still, the wash or fermented solution is heated to a high temperature, which causes the alcohol vapors to be released
  2. These vapors are then trapped by the condenser and collected into the solution known as low wines.

Did you know: If you don’t have a thumper keg, you’ll have to distill this liquid through a number of stills in order to get the desired high alcohol level. Even while this repeated distillation procedure is successful, it is also costly and time-consuming. It is because the thumper keg makes the moonshine-making process simpler that it is becoming increasingly popular among moonshine-makers.

So How Does It Work, Exactly?

The addition of more ethyl alcohol to the thumper during these distillations allows certain moonshine distillers to produce a more powerful liquor with a significantly greater alcohol level. It is necessary to allow your mash to reach the boiling point at some point throughout your distillation operation. After reaching this temperature, it will begin to produce steam or hot vapor. Now, it’s common sense that steam needs to escape somewhere at some point (otherwise things will start going ka-boom and nobody wants that).

The thumper keg comes into play at this point.

  1. If you’re using a thump keg, the heated vapor will flow through the arm and into the low wine that’s already condensed at the bottom of the thump
  2. You’ll start to hear a “thumping” sound as the hot vapor and condensed low wine explode out of this pipe on a regular basis. When you re-heat the liquid, the thumper keg transfers highly pure alcohol vapors from your still to the condenser, which is where the word “thumper” comes from. Known as thumper liquid, it is the high-proof spirit that all moonshine enthusiasts want.

Tips: The temperature is a good indicator of where you will need to make cuts in order to reach the proof you need. As you can see, the temperature of the vapor is regulated by the proportion of alcohol to water present. It is possible to get a decent estimate of the amount of alcohol present in your mix by monitoring the temperature of the liquid anyplace in your setup, with or without your thumper. Keep an eye out for the mash that you’re employing. It’s important not to let your mash overflow into the thumper!

The Result

When this entire process is completed, heated vapor will constantly heat the low-alcohol wine to the boiling point of alcohol, thus “distilling” the wine for a second time. This results in a high-proof moonshine, bourbon, or spirit that cannot be produced by simply passing a liquid through a standard pot still several times in a row. In order to avoid this, moonshiners and other distillers prefer to utilize wood for their kegs instead of plastic. Wood provides excellent insulation and is superior than metal in terms of keeping heat trapped within to maintain this temperature, allowing moonshine distillers to ensure that the process is as effective as possible while maintaining this temperature.

Infusing Flavors Using A Thumper Keg

As you can see, we’ve already given you a very decent picture of what happens inside a thumper keg. But did you know that it can also be used to enhance the flavor of your moonshine by adding additional layers of flavor? Fill the thumper keg halfway with a limited number of spirit tails from a prior batch (the best option), some wash from the current batch, or water before starting the distillation process (water is the last resort).

When you turn on your pot still, the vapor that flows in will be cooled by this liquid, known as the thumper liquid. If you want to add additional flavor to your moonshine, you can do it at this step by adding fruits, herbs, or spices. You will have a number of alternatives for completing this task.

  1. Add fruit-infused alcohol to your thumper keg for a refreshing drink. Fill a large container with low-alcohol wines or head/tail spirits and arrange your choice fruits, spices, and herbs in the container. Once this is done, let it to sit for a week or two to allow the tastes to gradually permeate the liquid. When it’s time to distill, just pour this solution into the bottom of the thumper keg to allow the tastes of the solution to permeate your finished moonshine. You may also add liquid components like juice (apple, lemon, peach, blackberry, etc.) and coconut oil straight into your thumper keg if you want a simpler and speedier technique than the one described above
  2. However, this method is not recommended. Directly into your thumper, place your raw ingredients– This is a mixture of the first two types of flavor infusion that we’ve discussed previously. You have the option of immediately putting fruit peel, herbs, spices, and mashed ripe fruit into your thumper keg, if you so want. Just keep in mind that, in the case of mashed fruit, you will need to use a lot of it to get the flavor you want. Additionally, it may create quite a shambles

Regardless of the method you use, you must first remove the heads from the ethyl alcohol before infusing the liquid with them. This will ensure that the tastes are infused into the distillate that you will be drinking later.

How Does It Compare?

You should not expect the same results as you would get from passing your vapor, water, and distillate through a sophisticated reflux column still, despite the fact that it is an improvement over a conventional pot still. If the reflux column is properly constructed, it may still produce up to 95 percent alcohol by volume or proof, while also allowing for greater separation of the ethyl alcohol, esters, and ketones in the heads and the heavier fusel alcohol in the tails of the column. The fact is that some distillers do not appreciate this method because they believe it removes too much taste from the distillate, resulting in less palatable alcohol at a later stage.

(**According to the individual who enjoys coffee**) These purists choose a thumper because it allows them to keep the flavor of their distillate while yet obtaining the desired alcohol by volume or proof level.

Ultimately, though, if you want to obtain that greater alcohol by volume or proof without having to put your distillate through a more costly set-up, we propose a thumper distillation system.

What’s the Right Size of Thumper Keg?

thumper kegs should be 25 percent to 40% the size of your main boiler, as we said at the beginning of the essay. However, if you want to charge your thumper keg with a significant quantity of charge, whether it be botanicals, cheap wines, wash, or water, you should get a thumper keg that is at least half the capacity of your main boiler.

How Do You Clean A Thumper Keg?

Doing a vinegar run through your thumper keg will be the quickest and most effective method of cleaning it so that it is ready for use in your moonshine production.

  1. Pour 50 percent distilled hot water and 50 percent vinegar into your boiler, filling it up to around 20 percent of its capacity. Starting with your pot, begin distilling from it directly into your thumper, exactly as you would usually when separating tails and distilling spirits. It should be at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit and should remain at that temperature for at least 5 minutes before using. Once that is completed, turn off your heat source and let your distillation apparatus to cool down to a temperature that you are comfortable with. You’re finished after you’ve emptied the vinegar solution.

It’s important to note that you only need to do this if you have a fresh new thumper keg on hand. Otherwise, simply repeat the process 2 to 3 times every year.

Thumper Keg Recommendations

If you’re looking to purchase a thumper keg and would like some recommendations, here is the article for you.

Stampede Stills 2 Gallon Copper Moonshine Still Thumper Keg (Doubler)

A copper thumper keg that is totally constructed from copper (20-ounce copper sheet). It has a capacity of up to 2 gallons of liquid. It also has a half-inch ball valve drain and two half-inch copper pipe handoffs for easy connection. HOWEVER! For your pot, you might check out this stainless steel thumper keg that is meant for use with a beer kegerator….

DIY 2 Gal 10 Liters Thumper

It is constructed of food-grade materials and high-quality stainless steel that is 100 percent lead-free, ensuring that the distillation process is as safe as possible. It’s even available in a variety of sizes!

Stampede Stills Copper Half Gallon Widemouth Mason Jar Thumper Kit

Another excellent and reasonably priced choice if your goal is not to produce vast quantities of alcohol.

Any wide-mouth mason jar may be transformed into a thumper with the help of this copper tube and seals that have been handmade in the United States. Keep in mind that it does not contain any extra pope or coupling unions to let you to connect it to your existing system.

Final Words

The moonshine industry is a big and diverse industry. This is only a small sample of the material that will be extremely beneficial to you as you work to develop your moonshine. Have a good time! Karl S. is a marketing leader, brewer, father, and spouse. Basically, he’s an all-around great person.

Best Liquid To Use in Thumper

Thumpers, as opposed to pot stills, are ideal for making moonshine because they effectively conduct two distillations in one—without losing the taste from the spirit, as occurs when reflux distillation is employed. If you have a thumper, it is customary to fill it approximately halfway with liquid before using it. For our Brewhaus thumpers, this is the case; however, if you are using another kind of thumper, verify with the manufacturer or modify the fill level as needed. How do you know what kind of liquid to use in your thumper while you’re creating moonshine, though?

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Although that was my initial assumption, it turns out that water is one of the last things you’d want to use in a fire.

Tails From a Previous Batch: Best

Essentially, how the thumper works is that it draws water vapor from the head of your kettle and directs it via a tube to the bottom of the thumper. Once it enters the liquid in the thumper, it cools and condenses, while simultaneously heating the liquid in the thumper, which results in a condensed vapor and heated liquid. The temperature of the liquid in the thumper steadily rises, and the liquid vaporizes up into the condenser and out as product as a result of this. Ideally, you should use the liquid from a prior run to fill the thumper with tails from the current run.

If you do decide to utilize tails for this, be sure to use only the ones that you gathered first.

Some of Your Current Wash: Good

The utilization of part of the liquid from the distillation process might be another possibility. However, although while this will not include as much alcoholic content as tails from a previous run, it is preferable to water since it has some alcoholic content. Given that you’re going to be using it to produce moonshine anyhow, fill your thumper up approximately halfway and get to work distilling your concoction.

Water: Better Than Nothing

At first glance, I figured that thumpers were simply filled with water, but Rick explains that water would be the very last choice in such a situation. Despite the fact that it theoretically works, he asserted that if you use water, you would not get the benefits of utilizing anything that already contains alcoholic content. If you don’t have any tails from a prior batch on hand, he advises using at least a portion of your current wash as a substitute. Although there is no real harm done if you use water, you will not obtain nearly as much benefit from this “double-distillation” as you would if you used one of the other methods described above.

This information, I hope, has assisted you in learning more about what you should use in your thumper while creating moonshine. If you have any more queries, please do not hesitate to write us a message on Facebook or on our website. Wishing you a successful distillation!

Why Use a Thumper on a Distilling Kettle?

So you’ve chosen to start distilling for the purpose of making spirits, and because you’re a whiskey fan, you’ve opted to use pot stills in order to get the most genuine taste profile possible. Indeed, pot stills have the most ancient histories on the globe, and pot-stilled whiskies, rums, and brandies are among the most highly sought-after spirits on the planet. However, the catch here is that pot stills are not the most efficient technologies to utilize if production speed is a significant consideration in your decision to use them.

The pot still is also inefficient, which means that the distillate produced from a single distillation can be heavily polluted with high and low boiling-point ingredients, which can add a disagreeable flavor to the finished distillate.

Of course, all of this adds up to the usage of more resources in order to produce the most ideal pot-stilled end product.

What Is a Thumper?

Thumbers, as the name implies, are secondary distilling kettles which link to the primary distillation kettle. Heating the thumper is accomplished by the use of the heat that has already been generated to feed the primary kettle. According to the manufacturer, the thumper derives its name from the sound it produces while operating.

Thumper or No Thumper?

A thumper configuration makes it possible to do a secondary distillation without having to send the distillate through the apparatus a second time. According to the design criteria, the use of a parasitic kettle may require more BTUs to operate than the use of a single distilling kettle, but it is probable that the use of two fully distinct distillations will require less BTUs to operate. The presence of liquid in the thumper, which will permit another phase-change cycle, will also result in heat exchange within the thumper, which may result in a reduction in the amount of cooling capacity necessary to chill the completed distillate.

The significant savings, on the other hand, will be the number of man hours required to create a product that is more appealing for consumption.

This may result in the creation of additional carboxylic acids, which can enhance the complexity of the final spirit.

Similarly, the operator can add botanicals to the thumper in order to increase the output of gin. This permits the distiller to avoid contaminating the bigger, more time-consuming to clean main distillation kettle with plant oils, which would otherwise be necessary.

Enter the Double Thumper

In addition to a single thumper, a double thumper (also known as a double retort) can be employed in certain situations. The double thumper, like the single thumper, contributes to the ABV enrichment of the finished product by stabilizing the ABV of the distillate produced as a consequence of the distillation process. This type of apparatus, which is still in use for the production of traditional Jamaican rum, is perhaps the most well-known application of double thumpers (retorts). This application charges one of the retorts with low-quality wines, while the other is charged with high-quality wines.

As previously stated, this method permits an extra increase in ABV while also increasing the possibility of beneficial carboxylic acid production.

You could say that this style of arrangement lends more “rummyness” to the rum’s flavor profile.

A More Flexible Double Thumper

The StillDragon twin thumper (retort) system takes this concept a step further by including extra elements that provide the operator greater freedom when in operation, as seen in the diagram below. In the StillDragon system, the vapor supply manifold (lyne arm) is fitted with three-way valves at each retort, allowing the operator to bypass one or both retorts at the same time. The operator will find this useful whether he or she chooses to perform a more basic stripping run or to send vapor to a totally separated distillation equipment.

  • Each StillDragon retort is also equipped with a specific heat input capability as well as a traditional column attachment function, which is standard equipment.
  • Other options are available for inclusion.
  • In the following image, you can see a classic illustration of how several types of distillation instruments may be combined to create the most adaptable distilling apparatus.
  • This system is also equipped with a specialized product condenser, which reduces the frequency with which the rectifier side of the system must be cleaned.

StillDragon’s sales staff may be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 561-845-8009 for additional information on how to include a thumper into your distillery plans.

On slobber boxes and thumper kegs

One of the most often asked questions we receive is whether or not it is required to put a thumper keg on our stills in order to be successful in distilling. We believe that it is not. First, it would be good to understand what this contraption is all about before we can respond to it. To put it simply, the term “thumper keg” refers to a container that is fitted in a distillation system between the still pot and the condenser. Traditionally, it was employed in hillbilly stills to raise the alcohol percentage of the distillate because conventional stills only produced products with an alcohol content of approximately 50-60 percent.

  1. Then, when additional hot vapor passes over this low wine in the thumper, it is heated to the boiling point of alcohol, resulting in a larger alcohol concentration in the vapor that flows into the condensing unit – normally about 85 percent.
  2. As an added bonus, it captures undesirable silt that might otherwise make its way into your finished product.
  3. We have a distinctive onion-head on each of our copper stills, which you can see when you look at them closely.
  4. In addition, our stills will produce whiskey with an alcohol concentration of roughly 70%, which should be more than sufficient for the majority of home distillers’ requirements.
  5. In a nutshell, the answer to the question of whether our stills require a thumper keg is no.
  6. Thank you very much!
  7. Regarding those sloppy boxes, what do you think of them?
  8. The onion-head design, which is both eye-catching and useful, eliminates the need for them with our stills once again.

How Does a Thump Keg Work?

Do you want to produce high-quality moonshine with the least amount of effort? The thump keg is your new best buddy, and we’d like to introduce you to him. It might be quite a puzzle to figure out how to make your own moonshine if you are new to this activity. Understanding the many processes involved in making your own alcohol, such as fermentation and distillation, will be essential. Before you can begin brewing, you will need to become familiar with several pieces of equipment like as the still, thump keg, and warm box.

The thump keg, on the other hand, is one of the components that you might not be as acquainted with.

Our goal in this post is to provide an in-depth explanation of the term “thump keg,” as well as some excellent suggestions on how to utilize your thump keg to alter the flavor and intensity of your whiskey.

What is a thump keg?

Since the beginning of time, the thump keg has played an important role in the production of whiskey. One of the most important functions of a thump keg is that it allows you to distill your output from a pot still a second time without having to pass the product through the still a second time or modify the taste and strength of your moonshine. You can make a low-quality whiskey with only a pot and no thump keg, if you choose. After a single run, these spirits typically yield between 40 and 50 percent alcohol by volume.

Thump Kegs allow you to produce significantly higher-quality results without having to go through the full procedure again.

The Design of a Thump Keg

Thump kegs are available in a range of colors and patterns. Many whiskey producers choose oak barrel thump kegs over metal thump kegs because wood doesn’t lose heat as rapidly as metal thump kegs when aging whiskey. The temperature of the thump keg is equally as critical as the temperature of the main still. The temperature rises in the still, resulting in the evaporation of water. The vapors ascend via a copper tube and into the thump keg, where they are re-converted back into a liquid state by the action of gravity.

It is in the condenser that the vapor is cooled and transformed back into a liquid condition.

A thump keg can be replaced with a reflux column still

A reflux column still can be used in lieu of the thump keg if desired. Some of these stills contain different types of materials, including copper mesh. After passing through the column still, the liquid is treated and interacts with the copper, which removes sulfur from the product as a result of the reaction. Reflux column stills have the ability to create spirits with an alcohol content of up to 95%. The majority of beer enthusiasts, however, prefer to use a thump keg atop the reflux column since these are easier to come by or make, and they are far less expensive to purchase.

In addition, some whiskey manufacturers are content to skip the thump keg entirely and restart the entire process using a sour mash in order to retain a precise alcohol percentage and flavor profile for their whiskey.

Thump kegs can be used to impact whiskey flavor

It is also because of this that so many moonshine makers choose to employ thump kegs: they can use them to alter the flavor of their whiskey.

With the addition of various substances such as fruits, herbs, and spices, the flavor and essence of the alcohol may be altered, resulting in the creation of more intriguing spirits.

How does a thump keg work?

If you are using a thump keg for the first time, always remember to give it a thorough cleaning before using it to reduce the possibility of infecting your still with foreign matter or bacteria. Once the thump keg has been well cleaned, you may begin assembling your system. Here’s a brief rundown of what you’ll require:

  • Cooking in a stillpot
  • Preparing whisky with components such as corn meal, sugar, yeast, and water The thumps keg, copper tubing, and condenser

Before you begin combining components, make sure that your whiskey making kit is completely assembled. Many moonshiners construct their own whiskey-making equipment, replete with thump keg, from the ground up entirely by hand. You may, on the other hand, save a significant amount of time by purchasing the finest whiskey making kit that is already completely assembled. After you have completed your setup, you may begin utilizing your thump keg right away. Follow these steps to learn how to use this configuration:

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Make your mash

Before the finished product can be transferred to the thump keg, it must first be mashed in the still pot. Inside the still, cornmeal will be steeped in hot water for the duration of the procedure. In some cases, sugar is used in place of the grain substitute. The mixture is then inoculated with yeast, which begins the fermentation process. It takes a few days for this mixture to completely convert into what is known as mash. The still is then subjected to a temperature of around 172 degrees in order for the alcohol to begin to evaporate.

The vapor is transmitted into the thump keg through the copper pipes in the keg.

Can you Add Fruit to a Thump Keg?

Some moonshiners choose to include special items in their thump kegs, such as fruits or spices, to enhance the flavor. Because of this reaction, a portion of the fragrance is absorbed into the liquor, resulting in alterations to the flavor and scent of the whiskey.

Can you Increase the Potency of your Still with the Thump Keg?

Moonshiners who wish to make more strong alcoholic drinks can “charge” the thump keg by adding undistilled mash or alcohol to the keg before distilling the mash or alcohol. The steam that passes through the liquid will take up part of the alcohol vapor before rising to the top of the condenser and re-entering the system. This is the time when the liquid still in the heated thump keg begins to re-evaporate. This procedure also removes any mash bits that may have gotten into the thump keg during the brewing process.

Condensate your Still

When the vapor emerges from the thump keg, it climbs to the top of the condenser and condenses. In certain circles, the condenser is also referred to as the worm because it is made of a length of coiled copper pipe that is housed within a worm box that is filled with cold water. Many worm boxes are powered by cold water that is continually cycled, ensuring that the condensation process remains constant. In addition to being instantaneously triggered by surrounding cold water, the condensation process is also initiated as soon as the vapor enters the worm.

The steam is converted into liquid alcohol, which is discharged by the faucet, hose, or spout into a bucket. Many moonshiners would additionally filter their moonshine a second time before bottling and distributing their products to the general public.

Does a Thumper Need to be Heated?

Many moonshiners prefer to heat the thumper instead of using it. The alcohol must remain in vapor form in order for it to be able to climb to the top of the condenser. Because of the natural isolative properties of wood, barrels used as thump kegs are frequently favored over other materials. It is less necessary to use artificial heat to evaporate the alcohol in a thump keg since condensation is reduced in this method.


As you can see, utilizing a thump keg does not add to the amount of labor you have to perform. If the thump keg in the whiskey-making kit is set up correctly, the still will naturally flow through the thump keg and into the barrel. If you want to make things as simple as possible, you may leave the vapor to just travel through the thump keg without adding any further components. The alcohol content of your still will continue to rise substantially, but the flavor may be completely lacking. When making your still, you have the option of adding fruits or spices to your thump keg if you want to enhance the flavor.

  • Beginner whiskey producers should concentrate on making a low alcohol content still, with an alcohol content of about 70 – 80 percent, until they gain more experience.
  • You can do this by adding additional mash or alcohol to your still, which will raise the alcohol content even higher.
  • In addition, as compared to re-running the still through the pot still every time, these technologies significantly minimize the labour and length of whiskey-making.
  • Overall, though, the thump keg is far less expensive to construct and operate than current whiskey-making components.

Copper High Country Moonshine Stills

In a recent episode of the Discovery Channel show Moonshiners, a “North Carolina High Country Still” was demonstrated, which is nothing more than a typical pot still equipped with a thump keg (also known as a thumper) and a coil condenser (or worm). Many people have inquired about the differences between our copper distiller component kits and classic pot stills. According to the question, the response is “they aren’t that dissimilar.” A lot of the components in the Clawhammer parts kits were inspired by old pot stills, such as the North Carolina High Country version depicted in this photograph.

  1. Copper has a pleasing appearance and is simple to work with.
  2. As a consequence, the final product will be significantly improved.
  3. Another significant distinction between our stills and high country pot stills in North Carolina is the presence of a condenser.
  4. Traditional pot stills employ a copper coil or a “worm” to produce their distillate.
  5. An additional water storage vessel is required by the inclusion of a worm, and it consumes a significant amount of material and is not as easy to deal with as a liebig condenser.
  6. Simply provide cold water to the lower side input tap with a garden hose (either directly from a spigot or through a small pump from a cool body of water) and drain through the top side tap.
  7. There is a significant distinction between Clawhammer and high country stills in the manner in which our stills increase purity before condensing alcohol vapor back into a liquid.

The liquid is basically re-distilled in the thump keg before it is condensed back into a liquid in the condenser.

The impact of a clawhammer is the same as that of a thumper, but it is achieved through a different mechanism.

With the addition of the scrubbers, liquid with a higher boiling temperature (in this case, water) begins to condense out of the vapor before it reaches its destination at the top of the column.

Please keep in mind that Clawhammer stills can be used to produce distilled water and essential oils without the requirement for any government permissions.

A federal distilling spirits permit is required for the production of distilled spirits.

Make certain to investigate the rules and regulations of a given state, and to adhere to all applicable laws.

For additional information on how to distill using one of our still kits, please see the following document, which outlines the many parallels between classic copper stills and our copper column stills.

Discount Stillz 5 Gallon Super – Moonshine Thumper Keg

A “North Carolina High Country Still,” which is nothing more than a typical pot still with a thump keg (or thumper) and a coil condenser, was shown on a recent episode of the Discovery Channel television show Moonshiners (or worm). Numerous customers have inquired about the differences between our copper distiller components kits and conventional pot stills. There isn’t much difference between the two, which is the answer to the question. A lot of the components in the Clawhammer parts kits were based on historic pot stills, such as the North Carolina High Country version depicted in this photograph.

  • Copper is a beautiful metal that is also simple to deal with and to maintain.
  • Because of this, the final product will be significantly improved.
  • Our stills have a condenser, which is a significant departure from the high country pot stills used in North Carolina high country.
  • A copper coil or a “worm” is used in traditional pot stills.
  • An additional water storage vessel is required by the inclusion of a worm, and it consumes a significant amount of material.
  • Condensers with clawhammer design are small and efficient.
  • It is sufficient to run a trickle of water through the condenser.

Traditional copper pot stills employ a thumper or thump keg to raise the proof of the distilled liquid (improve purity).

As a result of the installation of a thumper, the amount of alcohol produced by a single run of the distillation process is virtually doubled.

We use pure copper scrubbers in our stills, which are stacked into a column in the still.

Thus, when alcohol vapor ascends the column, it is further filtered as water is removed from the column as a result of the temperature differential between the copper packing material and the surrounding atmosphere.

A fuel alcohol authorization from the federal government is required for the production of fuel alcohol.

In addition, each state has its own set of restrictions for usage and requirements for licenses and permits.


We use high duty 22 gauge pure 99.9 percent Paul Revere food grade copper for our Thump Keg or Thumper, as well as all of our goods. This thumper is built to last a lifetime and is extremely durable. A thumper is a type of tank that is used to collect condensed water. This gives you the ability to boost the efficiency of the distillation process. When the pot is heated, pressure in the still will begin to build up. As the pressure in the thumper increases, steam will be forced into the machine.

  1. After that, the steam will depart the thumper keg and enter the worm chamber.
  2. The majority of the water is removed during this process.
  3. Thumper kegs should never be filled more than one-third of the way to the maximum capacity.
  4. Operation:
  • To seal the thumper once you’ve filled it with your mash, you can wrap it with electrical tape or teflon tape, as shown. Some other still makers require that the seal be made using wheat paste, which is not always possible. That approach results in a shambles. A high-qualitycap logic cap, which will create a seal very immediately, may be added to your still for an additional cost. This 20 gallon cooper moonshine still has been built to be utilized with a propane stand burner unit
  • However, this is not required. You are not need to utilize this in a straight arrangement
  • Nevertheless, it is recommended. Utilizing this 1 gallon super condensing worm outside while working with hazardous materials or when using natural gas, wood, or propane is a good idea.

SHIPPING The majority of our stills are shipped by FedEx, and we provide free delivery to clients in the continental United States (48 States). All of our moonshine stills are custom-built to order, however we will dispatch your order as quickly as possible after it has been received. We will contact you via email to notify you that your item has been sent and to provide you with a tracking number if applicable. Because each of these stills is painstakingly created to assure the finest possible quality, please anticipate six to eight weeks for delivery*.

We are the only still maker in the world who provides this service.

We make things simple for you!

You should contact us and let us know that this is what you would like us to do if this describes your scenario.

Essential Extractor Thumper

The Essential Extractor Thumper is constructed of thick gauge stainless steel, and its 3L capacity makes it the ideal size for most 5-6 gallon grain distillation operations. The tall, slender shape is ideal for condensing incoming vapor, which is vital for the thumper motion to work well. The thumper is used in place of a distillation column and does not require attachment to a distillation column in order to function. With the thumper, you may eliminate the need for a separate distillation column by placing it between the kettle and the condenser.

Despite the fact that it does not double the purity of the distillate, the thumper raises the purity in a single pass rather than having to go through two distinct distillation processes..

The perfect design of our thumper distinguishes it from the competition.

Our thumpers are constructed in such a way that the vapor will spend more time in the liquid, allowing it to be appropriately cooled.

Essential Extractor Thumper includes:– The Thumper– A diffusion screen to disperse the entering vapor, reducing condensing time and enhancing thumper performance.– The Essential Extractor Thumper does not include: – 4 inch Clamp– 4 inch Gasket

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