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What Liquid Do You Put In A Moonshine Still With Thumper? (TOP 5 Tips)

If you’re looking for the easiest way to clean your thumper keg so that it’s ready for making your moonshine, you will need to do a vinegar run. Just fill your boiler up to 20% capacity with a mix of 50% distilled hot water and 50% vinegar.

  • Some moonshine stills have a “thumper” or “doubler” between them and the condensor. This is a jar of sorts, half-filled with liquid (water, mash or tails). See the Moonshine Photos for examples of them.


What should I put in my thumper?

Ideally, you should use tails from a previous run for the liquid that you put in the thumper. This is because you’ll be able to get a bit of additional alcohol from those moonshine tails as the liquid heats. If you do use tails for this, only go for the ones that you collected earliest.

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.

What is the purpose of the thumper in a still?

Basically, a thumper keg is a container that is installed in the distillation apparatus between the still pot and the condenser. It was traditionally used in hillbilly stills to increase the alcohol content of the distillate because, traditional stills only output product with about a 50-60 percent alcohol content.

How much liquid do you put in a thumper?

You need to put some kind of liquid in the thump keg 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.

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.

What is the best fruit to put in moonshine?

But you can subdue its potent taste by flavoring it with almost any fruit, including watermelon, peach, strawberry, raspberry, apple, lime or lemon. Just remember to add your fruit of choice while making the moonshine in order to avoid reducing the alcohol content.

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 happens if your thumper is too small?

If a thumper is too small or if you didn’t put enough liquid in it, then that liquid will heat up too quickly from the incoming vapor. Then that vapor will just bubble up right through the liquid without being cooled and condensed first, exiting straight through the condenser.

Can I put fruit in my thumper?

Yes -this will work. You are not going to get an intense flavor but it will add a bit. I have added fruit with some heads tails and a gallon of the fruit wash to a a thumper on a few batches of brandy with good luck.

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

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

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.

Can you put too much yeast in mash?

Fermenting a wort with more than 4 grams of yeast per gallon will effect undesirable sulfur flavors that can be difficult to get rid of. However, take note that over pitching would be preferable than under pitching yeast.

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?

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!

What Is A Thumper Keg and How Does It Work?

It is recommended that you purchase a thumper keg for your still if you are interested in increasing the potency of your spirits or making a traditional backwoods moonshine. It is an ingenious invention that will improve the potency and purity of your distilled spirits significantly. In this guide, I’ll cover everything you need to know about thumper kegs, including how they work, what they can do, and how to use one to infuse flavor into your beer or other beverage. I’ll also include a list of some of the best thumper kegs currently available on the market.

The Most Important Takeaways

  • Thumper Keg: A jar made of copper, steel, or wood that is put between the still pot and the condenser to collect the distillate. What Thumper Keg Size Should I Use? A thumper keg should be 25 percent to 40 percent the size of your main boiler, depending on how much steam you need. What Is the Function of a Thumper Keg? Its primary function is to speed up the distillation process
  • However, it may also be used for other purposes.

Moonshining in Appalachia in the 1900s is related to this.

What Is A Thumper Keg?

In distillation, a thumper Keg is a tiny vessel made of copper, steel, or wood that is positioned between the stillpot and condenser. It receives low wine from the stillpot and warms it again, resulting in the production of highly purified alcohol vapors that are sent to the condenser for cooling. Consequently, there is no need for a second distillation to produce a high-proof spirit (more on how a keg thumper works, below). The thumper keg, also known as a Thump Barrel, Thump Chest, or Doubler, was extremely popular among distillers and moonshiners in the Appalachian Mountains during Prohibition.

Thumper Kegs are so named because of the pounding sound that the vapor and condensed low wine produce when the still is in operation.

Moonshiners who were interested in producing potent spirits would occasionally add extra alcohol to the thumper, which would then be distilled again to produce a spirit that was extremely potent.

How Does A Thumper Keg Work?

When using a standard still, the wash (fermented solution) is heated to a high temperature in order to produce alcohol vapors, which are then caught by a condenser. It is through the condensation of vapors that low wines are produced, which are generally 25 to 35 percent alcohol by volume in composition (ABV). The low-alcohol wines must be distilled again in order to produce a distillate with a greater alcohol content. Beer strippers (a very basic still) are used by most distilleries to convert wash into low wines, which are subsequently transformed into high-proof spirits using a separate spirit still.

  1. Even though repeated distillation is a time-tested procedure, it can be time-consuming and expensive to go through more than two or three distillations at once.
  2. Its purpose is to assist the distiller in avoiding the need for more distillations in the future.
  3. It used to be common practice for moonshiners to mix in a tiny quantity of moonshine to the thumper keg, albeit this may result in a stronger-than-expected distilled spirit.
  4. It is through this swan neck that the hot vapors are introduced directly into the solution contained within the thumper keg.
  5. During the process of vaporizing and condensing in the swan neck and thumper keg, the sound of thumping is produced.
  6. This results in the production of additional alcohol vapors, which are trapped by the condenser, resulting in the distillation of the low-proof wines a second time and the creation of a high-proof spirit.

Double distilling a spirit is a particularly time and energy-efficient method of producing a spirit. Related: Moonshine Facts and Figures

How To Infuse Flavor Into Moonshine with a Thumper Keg

Distillers typically add spirit tails, low wines, water, or whiskey to their thumper keg in order to chill the alcohol vapors that escape from the potstill during the distillation process. However, you may experiment with different fruit, herb, and spice combinations to create unique taste combinations for your spirits. The most effective method of incorporating these tastes is a hotly discussed issue. The following are some ideas to consider experimenting with:

  • Adding fruit-infused alcohol to the thumper keg is a fun experiment. Using your favorite fruit and herb combinations, combine them in a big container with low-alcohol wines or head/tail spirits and let them marinade for a week or two. The taste of your components will gradually permeate into the solution as it is prepared. Pour this solution into the bottom of the thumper keg to impart the flavors that it contains, and shake well. Making direct additions to the thumper keg of juice or oils To add taste to the thumper keg, ingredients such as apple juice, peach juice, blackberry juice, lemon juice, pineapple juice, orange juice, and coconut oil can be put straight to the keg
  • However, this is not recommended. Making direct additions to the thumper keg of raw components Some distillers may immediately add fruit peel, herbs, spices, and mashed fruit to the thumper keg, while others will use a mash tun. Only thing to keep in mind is that mashed fruit will need to be put in big numbers and that it may be messy to clean up afterward. If you’re going to use this approach to include fruit, make sure your stuff is quite ripe.
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Making use of fruit-infused spirits to make the thumper keg taste even better Place your selected fruits, herbs, and spices in a big container filled with low-alcohol wines or head/tail spirits and allow it to sit for a week or two before serving. Flavors from your components will gradually permeate into the solution. Pour this solution into the bottom of the thumper keg to impart the flavors that it contains, and then shake it up. Making direct additions to the thumper keg of juice or oils. In order to give flavor to the thumper keg, ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, peach cider vinegar, blackberry juice, lemon juice, pineapple juice, orange juice, and coconut oil can be put straight to the keg; Making direct additions to the thumper keg from raw components The thumper keg can be filled immediately with fruit peel, herbs, spices, and mashed fruit by some distillers.

As a precaution, make sure your fruit is really ripe before utilizing this procedure to include it.

How Big Should a Thumper Keg Be?

When it comes to size, your thumper keg should be between 25 and 40% the size of your main boiler. For large charges (botanicals, low-alcohol wines, wash, water, etc.), use a thumper keg that is at least half the size of the main boiler (preferably more).

What Size Thumper Kegs Are There?

If you’re seeking to purchase a thumper keg, you have a number of alternatives to choose from. One alternative is to purchase a whole thumper keg, which can be constructed of copper, stainless steel, or wood. Complete kits, which contain the main boilers, a thumper, and a condenser, are also available for purchase. If you’re searching for a more affordable alternative, you may get a mason jar jumper kit. This set includes a copper tube and seal that can be screwed onto any mason jar, and it is dishwasher safe.

DIY 2 Gal 10 Liters Home Distiller Copper Thumper Keg

a DIY Copper Alcohol 2 Gal 10 Liters Copper Alcohol for sale Stills for making moonshine, ethanol stills, spirits, boiler water distillers, and more.

  • Moonshine Stills – full distillation apparatus, appropriate for both novices and experienced distillers, with simple handling and installation
  • Material and construction – non-toxic red copper and stainless steel are used in the construction of the structure. There is no lead in any of the pieces, and all of the parts are made of food-grade materials, with the exception of the fermenter, which has been particularly thickened. (Dimensions: capacity: 2 gallons / 10 liters, height: 9.8 inches, diameter: 9.8 inches. ) Metal Thermometers with a built-in thermometer display the following temperatures: Celsius Fahrenheit, so that the operator can readily check the temperature while operating the distiller, as well as a free stainless steam plate and gauge bag, which helps to prevent burnout and performs significantly better during distillation. When using a large pot as a fermenter, a free temperature sticker may be placed on the fermenter so that the temperature can be checked.

This high-quality stainless steel thumper is an excellent alternative for the home distiller looking for a high-quality product. It makes use of 100 percent lead-free, food-grade components that are completely non-toxic and are specifically designed for the distillation process.

It is possible to purchase this thumper keg kit in four various sizes (2 gallon/10 liters, 3 gallon/12 liters, 5 gallons/20 liters, and 8 gallons/30 liters) depending on your needs.

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

A copper thumper keg built entirely of copper sheet (20 ounces) is featured here. It has a capacity of 2 gallons and is equipped with a 12″ ball valve drain as well as 1/2″ copper pipe handoffs. All of the ingredients, including the silver-based solder, are free of lead.

Stampede Stills Copper Widemouth Mason Jar Thumper Kit

Mason Jar Thumper Kit made of Stampede Stills Copper Half Gallon Widemouth Mason Jar Thumper Kit

  • 1/2 inch thick and made from 20 ounce copper sheet, silver-based lead-free solder, and a gasket “Copper pipe is a type of pipe made of copper. The entrance pipe is equipped with an elbow to prevent hot spots on the bottom glass
  • 1/2 inch diameter “Copper pipe that has been stubbed out to make it simple to connect to your existing still. There is no need to purchase additional pipe/coupling/unions to attach to your setup because everyone’s still is somewhat different
  • Nonetheless, Mason jars half-gallon size with regular wide mouth lids work well for this project.

Handcrafted copper tube and seal that can be used to convert any wide mouth mason jar into a thumper-keg like container. The beauty of this kit is that it is quite reasonably priced, allowing you to simply set up a multi-jar configuration in which you treble or quadruple distill your spirit with relative ease. Because the pipes are stubbed out, you will be responsible for connecting your own pipes.

YUEWO 3 Pots DIY 2 Gal/10 Liters Moonshine Still

This is a handmade copper tube and seal that can be used to transform any wide mouth mason jar into a thumper keg. The beauty of this kit is that it is extremely reasonably priced, allowing you to simply set up a multi-jar system in which you treble or quadruple distill your spirit with little effort. There are no connections made for you, thus you will have to connect your own pipes.

  • Moonshine Stills are a comprehensive distillation system that is suited for both beginners and experienced distillers. They are simple to use and install. 3-Pot Distiller, which is unique in that the steam enters from one side of the fruit/spices pot and exits from the other, allowing the operator to brew his or her own flavor with relative ease
  • Material and construction are both secure. Red copper and stainless steel are used in the construction of the fermenter, and there is no lead present in any of the components. A stainless/copper coil cooling tube and other food-grade materials are used throughout the fermenter, and the fermenter has been particularly thickened. (Dimensions: capacity: 2Gallons/10L, height: 9inch, diameter: 9inch
  • Dimensions: height: 9inch, diameter: 9inch Build-in Thermometer – Metal Thermometers display temperatures in Celsius and Fahrenheit, allowing the operator to readily check the temperature while operating the distiller. Free Stainless Steam Plate and Gauze Bag, which help to avoid burnout and perform significantly better during distillation. When using a large pot as a fermenter, a free temperature sticker may be placed on the fermenter so that the temperature can be checked.

This is a full moonshine still kit that can be used to make any type of spirit from the ground up in your home. It includes a huge 10 liter boiler, a thumper, a condenser, and all of the necessary connecting pipes. It is made entirely of non-toxic red copper and stainless steel components, and it is completely safe and non-toxic to use. With built-in thermometers, it’s easy to keep tabs on the progress of your distillation process. In what way does a Thumper Keg serve a purpose? The primary function of a thumper keg is to expedite the distillation process.

The other advantage of having a thumper keg is that it allows you to include botanicals into your spirits.

List of Moonshine Distilleries is a related resource.

How To Clean A Thumper Keg?

With this full moonshine still kit, you can make any type of spirit from scratch, no matter what the recipe calls for. All of the necessary components are included, including the 10-liter boiler, the thumper, the condenser, and any other necessary piping. Because it is constructed entirely of non-toxic red copper and stainless steel components, the product is completely safe and non-toxic to use. With built-in thermometers, it’s simple to keep tabs on the progress of your distillation process.

The primary function of a thumper keg is to expedite the distillation procedure.

It is possible to add botanicals to your spirits by utilizing a thumper keg as well. Introduce fruits, spices, and herbs to your spirits with relative ease, resulting in delectable new flavors and fragrances. See also: Moonshine Distilleries in the United States of America

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.

  • These people include traditional moonshiners and connoisseurs of single-malt, pot-distilled Scottish whiskeys.
  • 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.
  • He even spends several thousand dollars to install a high-tech thump keg to replace the fractionating column in the distillery.
  • 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.
  • 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!

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.

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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

A double thumper (sometimes known as a double retort) can be used in addition to a single thumper. When used in conjunction with other distillation methods, the double thumper contributes even more to the increase in alcohol by volume (ABV) of the end product by stabilizing the ABV of the distillate that is produced. The alcohol that is still used to make traditional Jamaican-style rum is perhaps the most well-known example of a double thumper (retort) system. For the sake of this application, one of the retorts is filled with low wines, while the other is charged with high wine.

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

Essentially, this style of arrangement increases the “rummyness” of the rum.

Thumpers – Configuration Discussions on StillDragon® Community Forum

Okay, let’s start the conversation by tossing in a hand grenade or two. Despite what you may have heard in the past, many thumpers are not actually used to enhance the alcohol by volume (ABV). It’s only that this appears to have been seized upon as the primary rationale for using a single. Sorry for the inconvenience, but this is simply not accurate. They will, without a doubt, do so, although in many situations it will be coincidental. Many times, the true objective is to change the flavor of the food.

  • In addition, we’ll put off discussing what you put into the thumper to begin with for now.
  • Thumpers are real parasitic boilers, and they are heated by the primary boiler, as previously stated.
  • A thumper’s phase behavior must be considered carefully, as it performs a variety of functions during the course of a race.
  • Fill the thumper with enough plain water to completely cover the end of the vapour injector.
  • Because of the composition of the boiler charge, it contains a variety of various volatiles.
  • This will cause practically all of the vapours to condense into the thumper charge as a result of the process.
  • The temperature rises as well, as a result of the release of energy by the condensing liquid.

This is produced by the bubbles falling forcefully around them.

If your vapour injector has been updated to add a diffuser to produce smaller bubbles, it is most likely significantly quieter.

Your boiler is generating a combination of volatile vapours, which are now coming into contact with a hot liquid.

Several others will very certainly make it through the liquid.

Since a result, part of the boiler’s vapour makes it through the thumper, but its composition has altered, as it now contains a greater proportion of the lower boiling point headsy components.

It is possible that part of this is due to agitation caused by the vapour bubbling through it, and that some of it is due to the thumper charge actually boiling.

In other words, the compositions of the two vapour streams are also different.

After all is said and done, a vapour is created by the thumper.

It will have a different chemical makeup and a greater alcohol by volume (ABV).

Things continue in this manner for the majority of the race.

Using the two boilers together, the pot continues to behave just like a normal pot, but with somewhat higher efficiency.

Your primary boiler charge has now been emptied of alcohol.

This is directly heating the thumper charge at this point.

This has the additional consequence of condensing the tails, which results in a larger hearts phase.

Your best bet is to figure out where the sweet spot is for your primary boiler without include the thumper. You may then incorporate the THUMBER into the mix, and from there you can experiment with power management to get the desired run parameters. That’s a sufficient length for a first post.:

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 can be quite a puzzle to figure out how to make your own moonshine if you are new to this hobby. Understanding the various 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 various pieces of equipment such 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 familiar with.

Our goal in this article is to provide an in-depth explanation of the term “thump keg,” as well as some excellent suggestions for how to use your thump keg to alter the flavor and potency 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:

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.

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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.

10 DIY Moonshine Still Plans (and 6 Moonshine Recipes to Try)

If you purchase an item after clicking on one of the links on this page, we may receive a commission. Commissions have no impact on the content of our editorial pages. See the full disclosure for more information. How intriguing do you feel the art of moonshining to be? Have you ever been curious in how moonshiners create their delectable stills and tasty finished products? So, I’m going to share with you some of the possibilities available on the internet for moonshine still layouts and ideas, as well as a few moonshine recipes.

If you don’t, you might find yourself in significant legal difficulties.

It is possible that it will be harmful if not cooked appropriately, therefore please use this material for informative reasons only. To keep this in mind, here’s the information you’ve been seeking for if you’re interested in learning more about the art of moonshining:

1. How Moonshine Works

Detailed instructions on how to manufacture moonshine are provided in this page, which also explains the procedure in detail. This illustration will provide you a broad understanding of how a still may be put together in order to make the product, albeit it is not as comprehensive as some other ideas.

2. Historical Moonshine Stills

Do you like learning about the history of moonshining? Hopefully, you’ll find this information useful. It displays vintage moonshine stills for a variety of alcoholic beverages, including whiskey. To witness what the old-timers did to create their product is a fascinating experience. You can also see how the stills differed depending on whether you were manufacturing whiskey, vodka, rum, or gin, as well as the type of spirit you were making. Each one required a significant amount of expertise to complete the manufacturing process successfully.

3. Popcorn Sutton’s Moonshine Still

In case you’ve been a fan of the television program “Moonshiners,” you’ve undoubtedly heard the moniker “Popcorn Sutton.” His excellent moonshine made him a backwoods celebrity for many years, and he was well-known in the area. Despite the fact that this does not yet include blueprints, you can still get a good look at how he created it. In the intervening time, the still pictured has been sold for around $15,000.

4. The Reflux Still

If you’re seeking for very detailed still plans, this could be the one for you. This type of still is referred to as a Boka Reflux still. In the view of the general public, it is a fantastic still for beginners since it is simple to construct at home. A thorough supplies list and step-by-step directions are provided in this tutorial to guide you through each step of the procedure. If you’ve completed all of the necessary paperwork and have been granted permission by the government to distill liquor, this might be the place to begin your journey.

5. The Pressure Cooker Rum Distillery

Are you a fan of rum? If you answered yes, you’ll adore the concept of this home-made dessert even more. It is prepared using a pressure cooker. Despite the fact that the specifics are focused on how to manufacture rum, the numerous photographs taken during the process provide an excellent representation of how the still is constructed. It appears to be a simple and effective DIY solution for generating homemade beverages.

6. Thumper and Slobber Boxes

‘Moonshiners,’ the television show, is one of my favorites. The thumper is something you’ve undoubtedly heard people speak about if you’ve ever watched it. So, this figure shows you where a thumper or slobber box would be installed on your distillery’s equipment. When it comes to distilling spirits, these diagrams may be really useful if you’re just getting started.

7. Easy DIY Still

In the process of becoming self-sufficient, it’s possible that manufacturing your own booze may fall off the priority list. In this particular instance, it is not the case.

The individual who constructed this do-it-yourself project did so with the goal of becoming more self-sufficient. Because of the way the designs have been put out, including a materials list, they should be rather simple to construct with only a few basic requirements.

8. Copper Pot Distiller

It is not everyone who sees a still wants to make one for himself or herself. You might be interested in this copper pot, which is still available for purchase on if you fall into the above group. This is a beautiful still that would attract the attention of anybody who came to your distillery to have a look. If you’re looking for a more refined choice, this may be the solution you’ve been looking for.

9. Tabletop Moonshine Still

Another alternative is to acquire a tabletop moonshine still, which is an inexpensive choice. When some people decide to distill alcohol, they don’t have a lot of area to work with. Alternatively, a moonshine still that fits on a table may be the best option in this situation. Easy to use, and a nice location for a newcomer to get their feet wet.

10. Pan Still

If you’re thinking in learning how to manufacture your own beverages, you might be daunted by some of the more complex still designs available. This design, on the other hand, is suitable for beginners. The layout is straightforward. The top portion contains a pan, the center piece contains a collector, and the bottom section contains the mash. Easy to set up, and it looks to be user-friendly in appearance.

Something Different: The Solar Still

Some people have their own still, which they use to distill their own water. If this is the reason you’d like to have a still, this is an excellent choice for you to consider. However, if you’d prefer to concentrate your efforts on making your home even more self-sufficient, a solar system would be a good choice. Using this guide, you will learn all you need to know about building the ultimate solar still.

Bonus Section: Moonshine Recipes

I promised tasty recipes to go along with the moonshine still blueprints. I kept my word. This is an example of one of such recipes. For those who prefer a fruitier flavor in their moonshine, this may be the perfect choice for you. Instead of fermenting corn, you produce a mash out of watermelon, which is delicious. A tasty and visually appealing drink results from this distillation process. Furthermore, a video will guide you through the procedure.

2. Dandelion Moonshine

Most likely you were unaware that the troublesome weeds in your front yard could be transformed into a delectable adult beverage, but it’s true. The following recipe will guide you through the process of creating dandelion wine in a still.. They demonstrate how to age the wine and even how to incorporate a small amount of honey into the mix for a richer flavor. If you enjoy making do with what you have to make anything you want or need, you’ll appreciate this recipe.

3. Peach Moonshine

Despite the fact that many people enjoy conventional corn whiskey, many others want to have a little variety in their whiskey’s flavor profile. This is the point at which fruit-flavored moonshines begin to gain popularity. It is possible to make a nice flavored drink out of peaches that may be enjoyed on hot summer nights.

4. Honey Moonshine

When it comes to making moonshine, you’ll find that most people prefer to adhere to traditional methods or those that use high-quality ingredients from the land.

Sweet honey, on the other hand, is one of the most authentically “homegrown” foods available. It’s possible that this recipe will satisfy your need for a honey-based beverage. If so, read on.

5. Apple Pie Moonshine

My initial impression of ‘Moonshiners’ was that it was a program with little appeal to me. I was wrong. My interest in history stems from the fact that I do not consume a lot of alcoholic beverages. Well, I started hearing them talk about stuff like apple pie moonshine, and that piqued my interest, so I started listening. Isn’t it enticing to think about? If you think your taste buds are as good as mine, here’s the recipe.

6. Corn Whiskey Recipe

Consider the following scenario: you appreciate the traditional flavor of moonshine and you possess all of the necessary qualifications to make your own spirits. This is the recipe you’ve been looking for. It’s for a corn whiskey in the classic way. Consider giving it a go and seeing what you think. You are not permitted to purchase moonshine in the future. You now have a variety of various options for still images, as well as a few fascinating recipes to choose from! If nothing else, you’ll acquire a better understanding of how much effort the generations before us put into creating something that is now considered commonplace.

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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.

Copper has a pleasing appearance and is simple to work with.

As a consequence, the final product will be significantly improved.

Another significant distinction between our stills and high country pot stills in North Carolina is the presence of a condenser.

Traditional pot stills employ a copper coil or a “worm” to produce their distillate.

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.

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.

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.

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