How is Moonshine Made? Making alcohol revolves around two processes: fermentation and distillation. One result of that reaction is alcohol. Distillation is the process of evaporating the alcohol (which boils at a lower temperature than water) and collecting the steam before condensing it back into liquid form.
- A moonshine still is a device you use to distill liquid mixture by a process of heating, then cooling, thus separating or purifying the liquid through the vapor collected. Moonshine is actually what you call the liquor produced at a time when it was illegal to do so.
- 1 Is making moonshine still illegal?
- 2 Why is homemade moonshine illegal?
- 3 Can you drink the tails of moonshine?
- 4 How long does it take to make moonshine in a still?
- 5 What states allow home distilling?
- 6 Does moonshine go bad?
- 7 Is making moonshine a felony?
- 8 Is it legal to own a still?
- 9 How much is a gallon of moonshine?
- 10 How can you tell if moonshine is poisonous?
- 11 Can you go blind from drinking moonshine?
- 12 Why is my moonshine Milky?
- 13 How much sugar do I need for 5 gallons of mash?
- 14 How much moonshine will 5 gallons of mash make?
- 15 Can you use cracked corn for moonshine?
- 16 How Moonshine Works
- 17 How Moonshine Is Made
- 18 Corn Whiskey Moonshine Mash
- 19 Boosted “Thin Mash” Recipe
- 20 Sugar Mash
- 21 Distilling Procedure
- 22 Making Cuts
- 23 Legal FAQ
- 24 How is Moonshine Made?
- 25 Still Types and Techniques
- 26 10 DIY Moonshine Still Plans (and 6 Moonshine Recipes to Try)
- 26.1 1. How Moonshine Works
- 26.2 2. Historical Moonshine Stills
- 26.3 3. Popcorn Sutton’s Moonshine Still
- 26.4 4. The Reflux Still
- 26.5 5. The Pressure Cooker Rum Distillery
- 26.6 6. Thumper and Slobber Boxes
- 26.7 7. Easy DIY Still
- 26.8 8. Copper Pot Distiller
- 26.9 9. Tabletop Moonshine Still
- 26.10 10. Pan Still
- 26.11 Something Different: The Solar Still
- 27 Bonus Section: Moonshine Recipes
- 28 White Lightning: 26 Vintage Photos From The Heyday Of Moonshiners In The South
- 29 Moonshine Still & Whiskey Making — Moonshine Stills & Distillery Equipment
- 30 Learn How To Make A Still At Home
- 31 How to Make a Still at Home
- 31.1 Supplies for Making a DIY Still
- 31.2 Step 1: Drill a 1/8-inch Hole on the Aluminum Pot
- 31.3 Step 2: Wrap the Thermometer with Teflon Tape
- 31.4 Step 3: Place the Thermometer in the Hole
- 31.5 Step 4: Secure the Thermometer with Hot Glue
- 31.6 Step 5: Drill a 3/8-inch hole in the Pot Lid
- 31.7 Step 6: File as Needed
- 31.8 Step 7: Insert a Compression Fitting into the Lid
- 31.9 Step 8: Seal the Fitting with Hot Glue
- 31.10 Step 9: Attach the Copper Coil to the Lid
- 31.11 Step 10: Drill a 3/8-inch Hole in the Bucket
- 31.12 Step 11: Insert Second Compression Fitting into the Bucket
- 31.13 Step 12: Make the Seal Watertight with the Hot Glue Gun
- 31.14 Step 13: Tighten the Refrigerator Coil if Needed
- 31.15 Step 14: Attach the Coil to the Bucket
- 31.16 Step 15: Add Ice
Is making moonshine still illegal?
The production of moonshine — or really any spirit — without a license is prohibited by the U.S. government and is very much illegal. Although you might see “moonshine” sitting on your local liquor store shelves, it’s not exactly the most accurate moniker for a bottled brand.
Why is homemade moonshine illegal?
So why is moonshine still illegal? Because the liquor is worth more to the government than beer or wine. Today, federal rules say a household with two adults can brew up to 200 gallons of wine and the same amount of beer each year. (A few states have their own laws prohibiting the practice.)
Can you drink the tails of moonshine?
Don’t drink the tails, either. They will contain the heavier, oilier compounds that are bitter and many are also toxic.
How long does it take to make moonshine in a still?
As you can see, the process of fermenting and distilling moonshine is quite time-consuming. In general, you can expect it to take between 1-3 weeks to make moonshine, as the mash must ferment and the distillation process must be continued until the final shine is safe for consumption.
What states allow home distilling?
This tax is built into every bottle of spirits you buy so it’s not a special tax on home made spirits. If you do the calculations, you’ll find your favourite spirits cost up to 90% less when you take the tax off.
Does moonshine go bad?
Although different sources will say different things, the answer for whether moonshine can go bad or not is clear – a bottle of unflavored moonshine, much like other plain spirits, has an indefinite shelf life.
Is making moonshine a felony?
But federal law trumps state law, and to the feds, distilling at home for personal consumption is illegal, period. “If you distill without permits, you’re looking at roughly a dozen felonies,” says Tom Hogue, spokesman for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
Is it legal to own a still?
“The process of breaking it down, when the molecule gets broken down, it turns into something that’s very, very dangerous to living cells.” Distilling spirits at home without a license is illegal, but it is legal to buy distilling equipment.
How much is a gallon of moonshine?
It costs around $8 per gallon for the sugar and wheat to make the moonshine. The selling price is around $25 a gallon if sold in bulk, or $40 for retail price.
How can you tell if moonshine is poisonous?
How to Test for Purity. Folklore tells us one way to test the purity of moonshine is to pour some in a metal spoon and set it on fire. 6 If it burns with a blue flame it is safe, but if it burns with a yellow or red flame, it contains lead, prompting the old saying, “Lead burns red and makes you dead.”
Can you go blind from drinking moonshine?
If you’re drinking moonshine, yes. Today the most common cause of blindness from drinking is methanol. Methanol, otherwise known as methyl alcohol or wood alcohol, can damage the optic nerve and even kill you in high concentrations.
Why is my moonshine Milky?
One of the most common causes of cloudy moonshine is from minerals found in tap water. If you believe mineral-rich tap water is causing your moonshine to turn cloudy, you should try swapping it out for distilled water.
How much sugar do I need for 5 gallons of mash?
For example, for every 1 gallon of water, you would use 1 pound of sugar, and 1 pound of corn meal. So for a 5 gallon mash (which is recommended for your first batches of moonshine) you would use 5 gallons of water, 5 pounds of corn meal, and 5 pounds of sugar.
How much moonshine will 5 gallons of mash make?
A 5 gallon run will yield 1-2 gallons of alcohol. A 8 gallon run will yield 1.5-3 gallons of alcohol. A 10 gallon run will yield 2-4 gallons of alcohol.
Can you use cracked corn for moonshine?
What Type of Corn Should I use in my Moonshine? Our favorite type of corn to be used in moonshine is cracked, dry yellow corn. This type of corn is considered field corn and it needs to be clean and food-grade. It is recommended to use air dried corn rather than gas dried.
How Moonshine Works
There needs to be a compelling reason for going through all of the bother of manufacturing moonshine in the first place. Several factors contributed to this, but they all boil down to one thing: government control of the alcoholic beverage industry. Moonshining was practiced very early in the history of the United States. A short time after the Revolution, the United States found itself in the difficult position of having to pay for the costs of fighting a protracted war. The answer was to impose a federal tax on alcoholic beverages and spirits.
As a result, they decided to just continue creating their own whisky while fully disregarding the government tax.
It was possible for farmers to survive a difficult year by distilling their maize into lucrative whiskey, and the additional revenue made a tough frontier living practically tolerable.
When federal agents (known as ” Revenuers “) came around to collect the tax, they were assaulted, and some were tarred and feathered, according to the report.
- President George Washington convened an assembly of militiamen under federal authority at the request of the president.
- In the case of the Whisky Rebellion, it was the first significant test of federal power for the newly formed federal government.
- Because excise duties on alcoholic beverages did not disappear, moonshiners continued to have an incentive to operate outside the law.
- As the government attempted to collect the excise tax in order to support the Civil War, the intensity of these fights increased in the 1860s.
- The moonshiners’ tactics became increasingly desperate and vicious as time went on, frightening residents who might be able to provide information about the locations of stills and attacking IRS inspectors and their families.
- As the United States entered the twentieth century, the temperance movement, which aimed to prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages, gained momentum.
- In 1920, Prohibition became law in the United States.
All of a sudden, there was no legal alcoholic beverage accessible.
Moonshiners were unable to keep up with demand, resulting in the production of cheaper, sugar-based moonshine as well as watered-down moonshine as a result.
Asspeakeasies became built in every city as organized crime flourished – these secret saloons were equipped with concealed doors, passwords, and escape routes in the event that the “Feds” arrived there to perform a raid.
Although moonshine remained to be a concern for federal authorities throughout the 1960s and 1970s, today’s courts handle only a small number of cases involving unlawful alcoholic beverages.
As a result, while several counties in the southern and midwestern United States remained “dry” (i.e., alcohol-free) for decades following the end of national Prohibition, even those localized liquor laws have mostly been abolished.
One of the primary reasons for the existence of moonshining is the desire to defy the authority of the federal government.
How Moonshine Is Made
Firstly, a quick reminder that distilling alcohol is unlawful unless you have an approved federal fuel alcohol or distilled spirit plant authorization in addition to the appropriate state permissions. Our distillation apparatus is intended solely for legal reasons, and the information contained in this paper is intended solely for educational purposes. We encourage you to read our comprehensive legal statement for further information on the legality of distillation.
- A boosted “Thin Mash” Moonshine made with corn whiskey
- A sugar mash
- Distilling booze, cutting booze, and legal questions are all covered.
Corn Whiskey Moonshine Mash
Making the mash recipe below and then distilling it would be unlawful pretty much anyplace in the United States if you did not have the required commercial distillers permits, to reaffirm what we indicated at the beginning of the essay. As a result, please do not do this at home. If you’re a commercial distiller, on the other hand, continue reading. As far as classic, all-grain corn whiskey recipes are concerned, this recipe would be regarded the gold standard since the components employed should result in a pleasing scent, rich taste, and a smooth finish, with the corn flavor and aroma coming through loud and clear.
The video below shows an all-grain mash that includes a little amount of malted barley to help in starch conversion.
- 2.25 pounds malted and crushed barley
- 6.75 gallons water
- 9 pounds flaked maize (corn)
- Brewer’s yeast (sometimes known as distillers yeast, or even bread yeast)
- Optional: granulated sugar (optional)
- We brought the water temperature up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. We added the maize (in a nylon filter bag or a steel mesh basket), and then we added the beans. It was left to sit until the temperature naturally dropped to 148 degrees Fahrenheit after which it was stirred again. Allow for 60 minutes of simmering time, stirring every 10 minutes, after which we added the malted barley. We take the grains out of the kettle and let them to drip into the kettle. We pasteurized the food by heating it to at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit (an optional step)
- To achieve this temperature, we cooled the mash to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. After that, we moved the mixture to a fermentation bucket and added yeast
- We let the fermentation to take place for 7-10 days.
To get 165 degrees Fahrenheit, we boiled water in a kettle. (Either in a nylon strainer bag or a steel mesh basket, depending on the size of the corn) It was left to sit until the temperature naturally dropped to 148 degrees Fahrenheit after which it was stirred. Allow for 60 minutes of simmering time, stirring every 10 minutes, after which we added in the malted barley. In order to drain the grains into the kettle, we take them out of the kettle. By heating to at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit (an optional step), we pasteurized the product.
After that, we moved the contents to a fermentation bucket and added yeast to it.
Boosted “Thin Mash” Recipe
The complete approach demonstrated in the video above, which includes the addition of sugar, really more truly reflects the process of generating a thin mash. Thin mash is a mixture of grain and granulated sugar that is served cold. But why is this so? When it comes to mashing corn, it can be tough to work with since it becomes incredibly thick before the starch begins to break down and turn into sugar. In practice, this implies that producing a mash using maize that has more than 8-10 percent alcohol can be challenging.
We were able to boost the initial alcohol percentage of the beer by adding granulated sugar after the mash.
It’s important to remember that preparing this mash is legal.
More information about the laws of distillation may be found below.
The table below illustrates how the addition of sugar raises the alcohol by volume (ABV). According to the data, 8lbs of sugar would be required to raise the sugar content of a 5 gallon corn mash from 10 percent to 19.5 percent (which would necessitate an increase of 9.5 percent).
|Added Sugar vs. Potential Alcohol in 1, 5, and 10 Gallons of Mash|
|Pounds of Sugar||1 Gallon Mash||5 Gallon Mash||10 Gallon Mash|
The phrase “sugar mush” is used loosely in this context. It primarily refers to high proof alcohol that is manufactured only from granulated sugar and contains no grain. When converting starch to sugar, it does not require the use of a mash and the technique for manufacturing it is quite straightforward. Making it is as simple as dissolving white table sugar in water, boiling it to pasteurize it (if desired), adding yeast nutrition (which is extremely crucial), and adding yeast.
distilling alcohol without the right authorization, as we’ve stated multiple times in this post and hundreds of times on this website, is prohibited. Don’t do it unless you have the right licensing and authorization. Our description of it here is just for the purpose of education, and it is not intended to be relied upon by any person or entity as a scientific foundation for any act or decision. Heating a combination of water and alcohol (beer) to a temperature at or above 174 degrees Fahrenheit but below 212 degrees Fahrenheit is the process by which distilling alcohol is performed.
distilling alcohol without the right authorization, as we’ve stated several times in this post and hundreds of times on this website, is prohibited. Keep it to yourself unless you have the right licensing and authorization. Our description of it here is just for the purpose of education, and it is not intended to be relied on by any person or entity as a scientific foundation for any act or decision of any kind. Heating a combination of water and alcohol (beer) to a temperature at or above 174 degrees Fahrenheit but below 212 degrees Fahrenheit is the process by which distilling alcohol is done..
As we’ve stated numerous times in this post and hundreds of times on our website, distilling alcohol without the right authorization is against the law. Don’t do it unless you have the right licenses and authorizations. We’re explaining it here just for educational reasons, and no one or entity should rely on it as a scientific basis for any act or decision of any kind. Heating a combination of water and alcohol (beer) to a temperature at or above 174 degrees Fahrenheit but below 212 degrees Fahrenheit is the process by which distilling alcohol is achieved.
How is Moonshine Made?
What exactly is moonshine? Moonshine is any type of alcoholic beverage that is produced in secret in order to escape excessive taxes or prohibitions on alcoholic beverages. The phrase “moonshine” comes from the British verb “moonshining,” which referred to any activity that was carried out late at night by the light of the moon. The name “moonshine” is derived from the term “moonshining.” The ingredients for moonshine are rather straightforward, and generally include corn meal, yeast, sugar, and water.
- Whiskey that you buy at your local liquor shop is usually matured in charred oak barrels for several months or years before being released into the market to get its darker color and mild flavor.
- The formula for whiskey, brandy, or rum is almost identical to the one for moonshine in most cases.
- Whiskey is historically created from a blend of grains.
- Moonshine traditionally manufactured from maize is known as classic moonshine.
- What is the process of making moonshine?
- When yeast is used in the absence of oxygen, alcoholic fermentation is a metabolic natural process by which sugar is transformed into acids, gases, and alcohol in the absence of oxygen.
- The theory of alcoholic distillation is based on the fact that alcohol and water have significantly different boiling points.
- The alcohol vapor is subsequently cooled and condensed within the condenser, resulting in the formation of a liquid.
After any remaining ethanol has been vaporized from the boiling liquid, the temperature rises, causing the water to condense and evaporate as well. The following is the sequence of events that occurs during the distillation process:
As many different mash preparation procedures as there are moonshiners, but the fundamentals are pretty much the same for everyone. This is, nevertheless, the basic procedure, step by step, in most cases. Consider the following as a description of “old school” moonshine production utilizing “old school” moonshine equipment, not as a description of current distillation equipment.
- As many different mash preparation procedures as there are moonshiners, yet the fundamentals are very much the same for all of them: This is, however, the overall procedure, step by step, for the most part: Take note that the following is a description of “old school” moonshine production utilizing “old school” moonshine equipment and is not consistent with the contemporary distillation equipment that we sell and distribute.
Still Types and Techniques
Types of Stills and Techniques of Using Them Diana Yates2019-09-11T17:14:44:00:00https://www.dianayates.com/ Moonshining has always been a family business, with talents being passed down from one generation to the next. As wine poured out of the condenser, the Ingram family posed for a picture with their turnip still with pride. Franklin County, Virginia, in the year 1929 When the cap of froth has vanished, the mash is ready to be distilled into alcohol. It is possible for the moonshiner to determine how far along the fermentation process has progressed by touching the froth or by “cracking apart the cap.” The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, about 1970s.
- The turnip, so named because of its squatty turnip-shaped boiler (also known as the “pot”), has been around for hundreds of years.
- Turnip boilers in the United States were historically constructed of copper sheets that were hammered into form and then riveted and soldered together.
- When making whiskey in a turnip still, mash barrels or wooden boxes are filled with a mixture of ground grain (such as corn, rye, or wheat), water, barley malt (or ground sprouting corn), yeast, and/or sugar, depending on the recipe.
- It may take three to four days or longer for the fermentation process in the barrels, depending on the outside temperature and the amount of yeast and sugar that has been introduced.
- During the Great Depression, Joel Quinn and his family posed in front of their mountain still site.
- The flake stand, which is the box on the right, is filled with water and contains the copper worm, which is responsible for condensing the alcohol.
- During fermentation, a foamy substance known as the “cap” develops.
(Although this combination is significantly different from store-bought beer, some people enjoy it.) The beer is put into the “pot,” which is fashioned like a turnip, and the distiller lights his fire.
When the temperature of the still near the boiling point of alcohol (173°F), the metal top of the still, also known as the “cap,” is screwed into the bottom of the pot.
If the fire is too hot, the mash may burn, or it may “puke” through the cap and into the worm, which will kill it.
In the 1960s, the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia were photographed.
As the boiling alcohol vapors escape from the boiler, they pass through a cap and into the worm system.
The moonshine is captured in a jar, jug, or bucket and stored for later use.
A second run of the singlings helps to smooth out the flavor.
A felt filter or hardwood ashes are used to filter out any contaminants from the whiskey before it is bottled.
In the 1960s, the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia were photographed.
By the 1920s, the submarine design was still in use, and within a few years, it had become a favorite among moonshiners everywhere.
A huge underwater pot (also known as a “boiler”) can contain up to 800 gallons of mash, which is significantly more than a turnip still.
While still employing the current “blackpot” style of distillation, the moonshiner in charge of a submarine’s distillation will combine the materials for the mash directly in the boiler.
Two 80-pound bags of wheat bran are dumped on top of the mixture to help keep the heat of fermentation in throughout the fermentation process.
A cap blowing off or a boiler bursting might cause surrounding motionless hands to be scalded by the steam and mash that is released.
After the mash has fermented into “beer,” the bootlegger warms the boiler, which is often heated with gas or oil burners, and stirs the mash to ensure that it does not ferment again.
The vapors from the boiler pass through the cap and into a “doubler” (also known as a “thumper”), which is a barrel that has been filled with weak whiskey or mash beer before entering the boiler.
Consequently, the alcohol previously contained in the still undergoes a second distillation, softening the taste of the whiskey and saving the moonshiner time and work by eliminating the need to pass “singlings” through the still a second time.
(On a few occasions, properly cleaned automobile radiators have been used as condensers rather than worms.) Following one more run through the blackpot, additional sugar is added to the mash that has remained in the boiler, and the entire process is repeated.
Old-timers believe that six or seven runs are the maximum number of runs that may be obtained from a single batch of mash.
The sugar added to the mash recipe accelerates the fermentation process, resulting in a larger alcohol concentration and, thus, more whiskey for the moonshiner’s efforts….
The fact that steam boilers do not burn the mash allows them to be erected much taller than turnip or underwater stills, which would otherwise be impossible.
The Steam Is Still Burning The steam still has also been employed by moonshiners in the Blue Ridge Mountains, though it has never been as popular as the turnip and submarine stills.
Steam is generated by heating a boiler containing water, and the resultant steam is either discharged directly into the fermented mash or piped through the mash.
It is vital to note that using a steam suit ensures that the mash never scorches.
It is not essential to stir the mashed potatoes.
Some moonshine consumers believe that whiskey produced in a steam still has a superior flavor than that produced in a still.
It is necessary to boil water in the horizontal boiler (far left) in order to force steam through two pipes and into the mash-filled “pot” when operating the still (center left). Mountain range in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains in 1982. a link to the page’s load
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.
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
A commission may be earned if you purchase an item through a link on this page. Commissions have no impact on the content of our editorial pages.. See the full disclosure for more information on this. The art of moonshining may be of interest to you. You might be interested in learning more about how moonshiners create their stills and tasty concoctions. After all of that, I’m going to share with you some of the many moonshine still plans and ideas that you can find on the internet, as well as several moonshine recipes.
Failure to comply may result in severe legal consequences.
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 moonshine production:
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
Whether you like rum or not, If you answered yes, you’ll adore the concept of this home-made dessert even further. Pressure cooker is employed in this recipe. Despite the fact that the information is mostly focused on how to create rum, the numerous photographs taken along the process provide an excellent representation of the still-making procedure. DIYing homemade beverages appears to be a fun and easy project.
7. Easy DIY Still
Do you like rum? If you answered yes, you’ll like the concept of this DIY still. It is made with a pressure cooker. Despite the fact that the information is mostly focused on how to create rum, the numerous photographs taken along the procedure provide an excellent representation of the still-making process. It appears to be a simple and effective DIY method for creating homemade beverages.
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 eBay.com 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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Copper was the most preferred metal for making a moonshine still in the olden days because (a) copper is a soft metal that is simple to mold and build with, and (b) copper interacts with and removes the toxic sulfur compounds that occur during fermentation. Copper’s most significant advantage is its ability to completely remove sulfur compounds, making it an essential stage in the distillation of alcohol. But, in order to get rid of those sulfides, do you have to use a copper-based still throughout the entire process?
You don’t, in fact, have any. In your stainless steel column, even a little amount of all-copper column packing such as mesh, scrubbers, or rings will remove the sulfur compounds. So, what are some questions you should ask yourself before deciding which sort of alcohol distiller to purchase?
Do I want to build or buy my still?
If you’re going to construct your own still, copper is almost certainly going to be the material of choice. By conducting a fast search online, you may locate a plethora of moonshine still ideas. It is a considerably softer metal than stainless steel, making it simpler to work with and obtain components for. It is also more readily available than stainless steel. Additionally, copper is a superior heat conductor than stainless steel, making it a popular choice among those who do their own home improvement projects.
What do I want to distill?
In the process of distilling spirits, copper is an essential component, as I previously stated. However, copper does not have to be used throughout your home in order to get the benefits of sulfur-eliminating properties. Consider using a stainless steel still in conjunction with copper column packing for further durability. If you want to distill water or essential oils, you don’t want the chemical reaction that happens when copper is used since it would ruin the process. As a result, a stainless steel still may be used to distill a range of substances since the copper column packing can be used to distill alcohol and then removed (or ceramic raschig rings can be used) to distill water and essential oils.
What’s my budget?
Copper is more costly than stainless steel, and it is also less durable. In practice, this implies that not only will you have to spend extra for the copper material, but you’ll also have to use more material overall in order to construct a still that’s strong enough to meet your requirements. In addition, stainless steel keeps up better over time than copper, which can get twisted or start to lose its shape after years of usage in some cases. Overall, if you’re looking to keep expenses low, stainless steel is the preferable option for you to consider.
How good will I be about cleaning it?
In comparison to stainless steel, copper is more costly and less durable. In practice, this implies that not only will you have to spend extra for the copper material, but you’ll also have to use more material overall in order to construct a still that’s strong enough to meet your demands. In addition, stainless steel keeps up better over time than copper, which can get twisted or start to lose its shape after years of usage in some circumstances. All things considered, if you’re looking to keep expenses low, stainless steel is the superior choice.
White Lightning: 26 Vintage Photos From The Heyday Of Moonshiners In The South
1 of a total of 27 In Clay County, Tennessee, two guys enjoy a batch of moonshine they made themselves. Tennessee State Library, ca. 1920 A group of bystanders attempts to catch moonshine being spilled out of a second-story window by federal authorities during a raid on an illegal still on July 2. It was around 1925. Getty Images/American Stock Images An employee sips from his product before handing it out to clients. 3 of 27 Joe Clark/University of North Texas Library, about 1940. 4 out of 27 In Newport, Kentucky, a tank from the National Guard destroys equipment from moonshine stills using explosives.
- courtesy of Bettmann/Getty Images 5 of 27Atlanta agents bust a massive moonshine operation, seizing 75 1/2 gallons of unlawful whiskey in total.
- They were alerted when a neighbor saw that a tree stump in their property had been relocated.
- It was about the 1940s.
- It was about the 1950s.
- The date was November 16, 1922.
- 9 of 27Authorities stand in front of a massive copper kettle still used in the production of moonshine, with boxes of bottles and funnels laid out in front of them, which were utilized in the production process of the liquor.
- courtesy of Getty Images/Buyenlarge In this photo taken during a moonshine raid, law enforcement officers stand beside an illicit alcohol still that has been seized.
Photograph courtesy of the Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images While Prohibition was in effect in the 1920s, authorities sent a warning to illicit liquor producers by posting barrels of illegal booze and the words “moonshine raid” on a wall.
The date is not mentioned.
14 out of 27 In this photo, Colleton County Sheriff’s Deputy H.C.
The date was October 17, 1954.
Photograph by Bettmann/Getty Images A hidden storage compartment in bootlegger Charley Birger’s automobile was discovered to contain illegal alcoholic beverages.
Commons image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons 16 of 27During a moonshine cook in Virginia, a moonshiner adds another wood to the fire in his still to keep it burning.
Virginia Tech Library, courtesy of Earl Palmer The automobile, which was transporting illegally manufactured alcohol for sales, is flanked by two police officers on the 17th of 27th.
Commons image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Joe Clark, a photographer, poses by a moonshine still that was constructed within a cave.
Joe Clark courtesy of the University of North Texas (UNT) Library Authorities in Johnston County, North Carolina, smile as they stand in front of a massive moonshine bust.
The twenty-seventh photograph shows a state trooper standing next to a car with a trunk full of illicit moonshine.
Tennessee State Library (Tennessee State Library) Agents in Birmingham, Alabama, stand by their raid on an illicit moonshine distillery.
The moonshine would be packaged in recovered empty bottles of well-known brands, on which taxes had already been paid, to provide the appearance of legitimacy.
It was around 1950.
It was made in the middle of the twentieth century.
Grundy County is located in the state of Tennessee.
The Tennessee State Library is located in Nashville.
It was around 1950.
26 of 27 A bottle of moonshine was discovered within a tree trunk and is now on display.
Joe Clark courtesy of the University of North Texas (UNT) Library White Lightning: 26 Vintage Photographs From the Golden Age of Moonshining in the Southern United States For many people, the phrase “moonshine still” brings up pictures of mountain men in overalls, crowded around rudimentary metal tanks beneath a full moon, sipping booze from jugs with the letters “XXX” written on the side of them.
Because a significant amount of the moonshine produced in the United States throughout the first part of this century was truly manufactured deep in the Appalachian Mountains, this depiction isn’t wholly without validity.
This manufacturing of illegal booze, often a cheap whiskey produced from maize mash, was popular even before the days of Prohibition (which only served to increase commerce even more), and it was brought to the American South by Scotch-Irish immigrants in the late 18th century, according to historians.
- With few and few between good roads in the South, a farmer might make significantly more money from his corn crop by distilling it into whiskey rather than loading up bushels of corn and lugging it off to the nearest town.
- There were no regulations in place when this illicit booze was manufactured, and it was not unusual for batches of moonshine to be contaminated with poisonous liquid poison generated in stills constructed from reused automobile components.
- A faulty batch of moonshine can cause severe illness that can end in blindness, paralysis, or even death if consumed in large quantities.
- Of course, a large number of jugs of moonshine were put up for sale, regardless of whether they were safe to drink or unsafe.
- Even though it’s difficult to quantify how much moonshine was created throughout the first half of the twentieth century, the figures were significant.
In the decades following the repeal of Prohibition, the demand for moonshine decreased, and while there are still illegal moonshine operations operating, people can now legally purchase a bottle of “white lightning” without having to worry about ingesting potentially poisonous substances like alcohol.
In the photographs above, you can see some of the most spectacular photos taken during the illicit days of moonshine stills. Look back at the conclusion of the Prohibition era once you’ve finished looking at these photographs of moonshine stills.
Moonshine Still & Whiskey Making — Moonshine Stills & Distillery Equipment
Still used for making moonshine Salcohol stills are distillers that have been particularly constructed for the production of moonshine or the distillation of alcohol. The term “moonshine still” is frequently misunderstood and misused. In spite of the fact that most people associate moonshine with corn whiskey in particular, the word moonshine is more often used to refer to any illegally distilled alcohol produced under the light of the moon. A pot still is the simplest form of alcohol still available on the market.
- Pot stills are most typically employed in the production of flavored spirits such as whiskey, brandy, rum, and Schnapps, among other things.
- In addition to the reflux column and compound still, another form of alcohol still in regular usage today is the distillation column.
- Condensation is the process by which vaporized alcohol is transformed back into liquid, which causes it to fall into the column packing, where it will evaporate once again, therefore boosting purity.
- In the manufacturing of vodka, this high-proof alcohol is frequently diluted and further purified by filtering through activated carbon before being bottled.
- A variety of designs are available, including cooling management, in which the cooling water is employed to regulate reflux.
- Reflux is controlled by a valve, which directs part of the refluxed liquid to be pumped back into the column for further purification.
- Alcohol fuel is a high-proof commodity that must be denatured in order to be unappealing to the human palate.
- Some states do not allow the sale of alcoholic beverages with a level higher than 151 proof in liquor stores.
- In some circumstances, our distillation machines may be used to lawfully produce ethanol fuel (with the right authorization), distill water, essential oils, vinegar, fragrances, and a variety of other products.
- Olympic Distillers strongly discourages the use of our goods for illicit purposes, and we will not be held accountable for any illegal use of our products.
- We are not selling this product for the purpose of engaging in criminal action, and we are not advocating for the participation in unlawful activity.
Our items should not be used in any illegal manner, and we will not be held liable for any injuries or losses that may result from their improper use or misapplication.
Learn How To Make A Still At Home
Still used to make moonshine. A salcohol still is a distiller that has been particularly constructed for the production of moonshine or the distillation of alcoholic beverages. There are several instances in which the term “moonshine still” is misused. In spite of the fact that most people associate moonshine with corn whiskey in particular, the word moonshine is more generally used to refer to any illegally distilled alcohol produced under the influence of the moonlight. Alcohol stills come in many shapes and sizes, but the most basic is the pot still.
- Most often, pot stills are used to create flavored spirits such as whiskey, brandy, Rum, and Schnapps, among other things.
- A reflux column or compound still is another form of alcohol still in widespread use today.
- Condensation is the process by which vaporized alcohol is converted back into liquid, which causes it to fall into the column packing, where it will evaporate once again, therefore boosting purity.
- It is common practice in the manufacturing of vodka to dilute and purify this high-proof alcohol further by filtering through activated charcoal.
- Cooling management is one type of design, in which the cooling water is employed to regulate the reflux.
- Liquid management maintains control over the reflux by utilizing a valve to regulate the return of portion of the refluxed liquid back to the column for additional purification.
- Ethanol fuel is a high-proof substance that must be denatured in order to be unpleasant to consumers.
- The sale of alcoholic beverages at liquor stores that contain more than 151 proof alcohol is prohibited in certain states, including New York.
- In some cases, our distillation machines may be used to lawfully produce ethanol fuel (with the right authorization), distill water, essential oils, vinegar, fragrances, and a variety of other products.
- Using our goods for illicit purposes is strongly discouraged, and Olympic Distillers will not be held accountable for any illegal usage that occurs.
- We are not selling this product for the purpose of engaging in any unlawful behavior, and we are not advocating for the participation in any criminal action of this nature.
We highly discourage any illegal use of our product, and we will not be held liable for any injuries or damages that may result from the unlawful use or abuse of our items on our premises.
How to Make a Still at Home
Aren’t you annoyed when you find yourself alone on a deserted island with nothing but a refrigerator coil, a 5-gallon bucket, and a stove to rely on? (And a mason jar with a great bespoke logo emblazoned on it?) Although these and a few other basic things are required, we will demonstrate how to construct your own DIY house with these materials. Yet another way stills may be used is to filter seawater into potable water…as well as to make other things into a drinkable mixture that we are not authorized to discuss under the law.
Please don’t go completely blind on our behalf.
Supplies for Making a DIY Still
- Cooking thermometer
- Teflon tape
- Hot glue gun with high-temperature hot glue sticks
- Metal file
- 3/8-inch to 3/8-inch compression adapter (found in the plumbing section)
- 20-foot refrigerator coil (when using the still, you need to keep whatever you’re cooking warm)
- A stove or other consistent heat source (when using the still you need to keep whatever you’re cooking warm)
- A 5 gallon bucket
- 1/8 inch drill bit
- 3/8 inch drill bit
Step 1: Drill a 1/8-inch Hole on the Aluminum Pot
To make things simpler, place the lid atop a scrap piece of wood and drill a hole a few inches back from the edge of the lid.
Step 2: Wrap the Thermometer with Teflon Tape
To begin with, we were merely going to wrap the thermometer with Teflon tape to make an airtight seal, but we quickly realized that we needed to fix it even more firmly in place with some hot glue (rated for high temps). Most of the time, you could probably get away with applying hot glue at the end of the day and skipping the Teflon.
Step 3: Place the Thermometer in the Hole
Make sure your cooking thermometer is properly inserted through the opening so that it is flush with the top of the lid.
Step 4: Secure the Thermometer with Hot Glue
Hot glue is a poor option for this project (since it will be in direct contact with hot steam), but it is essential to remember that high-temperature hot glue sticks have a melting point that is far higher than the melting point of water (212 °), which should alleviate any concerns. Similarly, the melting point of “other liquids” (172.4 °) falls within this category. There are a variety of alternative adhesives available, including high-temperature silicone and even high-temperature resins. Just make sure that whatever you choose is rated for heat that is far more than the amount of heat generated by the liquid’s vapor.
Step 5: Drill a 3/8-inch hole in the Pot Lid
Make another 1/8-inch hole in the lid to start the process. This will serve as a starting hole for the much larger 3/8 inch drill bit that will be used later. Place it across the lid in a position that is roughly opposite the thermometer. Using the 3/8 inch drill bit, drill a hole in the wall 3/8 inch deep. The ugly burrs are difficult to notice, but they must be removed using a file.
Step 6: File as Needed
There may be some difficulty while installing a compression fitting if there are any burrs present. Take a file and grind down the burrs until they are completely gone.
Step 7: Insert a Compression Fitting into the Lid
By twisting it through from the bottom of the lid, insert the male threaded nut of the compression fitting into the hole in the lid’s bottom. It’s likely that the fit will be imperfect, so don’t be concerned if it jiggles around a little. IN CONNECTION WITH: How To Make A Water Filter
Step 8: Seal the Fitting with Hot Glue
This seal must be completely airtight in order to prevent steam from escaping through it.
It’s time to get out the old reliable glue gun once more! Make sure to use hot glue on the opposite side as well, working it in around the seams as you go along.
Step 9: Attach the Copper Coil to the Lid
Place the female-threaded nut that comes with the compression fitting over one end of the refrigerator coil and tighten it down with your fingers. It is included with this end of your compression fitting is a piece of hardware known as a “ferrule.” It’s a little circular ring with a hole in the center that appears similar to a grommet. In order to ensure a secure connection between the female and male ends of your compression nut, the ferrule is used. Attach the female-threaded nut to the male-threaded nut that is protruding from the lid with the male-threaded nut.
Step 10: Drill a 3/8-inch Hole in the Bucket
Place the female-threaded nut that comes with the compression fitting over one end of the refrigerator coil and tighten it with your compression fitting wrench. Associated with this end of your compression fitting is something known as a “ferrule.” In appearance, it is a tiny circular ring with a grommet-like appearance. In order to provide a secure connection between the female and male ends of your compression nut, the ferrule should be used. Attach the female-threaded nut to the male-threaded nut that is protruding from the lid with the male-threaded nut on the lid.
Step 11: Insert Second Compression Fitting into the Bucket
Using a male-threaded nut from the other compression fitting, screw it into place in the bucket.
Step 12: Make the Seal Watertight with the Hot Glue Gun
Similar to how you did it with the lid, use the glue to secure this guy in place nice and snug.
Step 13: Tighten the Refrigerator Coil if Needed
If your coil is presently too large to fit snugly in whichever bucket you are using, you will want to shut down the coils before continuing with your project. Make use of something cylindrical to assist you in reshaping it, such as this coffee can we found in the kitchen. Just about any cylindrical form will suffice for this purpose. Work slowly and carefully so that you don’t damage your tubing, pulling down on the coil rings to compress the system until it is the proper size.
Step 14: Attach the Coil to the Bucket
Place the second female-threaded nut over the coil on the opposite end of the coil and insert a ferrule into the nut’s female threads. Place this end of the coil into the bucket and thread the female nut onto the male nut that is protruding into the bucket from the exterior of the bucket to complete the installation. Your basic do-it-yourself project is now complete. We tied a bungee cord over the top of ours because the pot we used doesn’t lock down, which made it simpler to carry in the first place.
- Notes on Use: This still should not be used to distill alcoholic beverages.
- The boiling point of methanol is lower than that of alcohol, therefore if you are distilling alcohol, the early section of your distillate will include a high proportion of methanol in comparison to the rest.
- In addition to being referred to as “wood alcohol,” it is also colorless, volatile, and combustible since it is manufactured from wood.
- It will kill you if consumed in excessive quantities.
- If you were distilling salt water into potable water, for example, the boiling point of water is 212 °, so you would put the salt water in a pot and bring the water to a boil, keeping the heat source at a level that maintained a thermometer reading of 212 °.
Because of this, the water vapour will be converted to gas and will be transported via the copper tube.
Step 15: Add Ice
Okay, you don’t require quite as much as this: However, you will need to cool the gases that are produced in this still in order for them to condense back into liquid. When it comes to testing, ice is the most convenient option, and you only actually need a little bag if you’re utilizing a bucket as we did. Other methods include constructing a closed system with your bucket so that the gas cannot escape; but, in the interest of preventing someone from potentially blowing themselves up with compressed methanol, our attorneys advised us to leave that step out of the process.
Continue to look for more inspiration for your own creation.
The materials necessary for this project, not to mention the drilling and sealing that will be required, appear to be fairly extensive, but this project appears to be achievable and will be enjoyable.
Do you think you’ll be able to complete the project on your own now that you’ve learned how to construct a still?
- All right, this is a little more than you’ll need: In order for the gases that are produced in this still to condense back into liquid, you’ll need to chill them down before using them. It’s much easier to test with ice, and you only actually need a little bag of it when testing in a bucket like we did here. Other solutions include constructing a closed system with your bucket so that the gas cannot escape
- But, in the interest of preventing someone from potentially blowing themselves up with compressed methanol, our attorneys advised us to leave that step out of the equation. Take pleasure in your newfound freshness! Even if you don’t succeed, try to gather additional ideas for your own. Here’s a video from Barley and Hops Brewing that you should watch: Finally, your handcrafted DIY project comes to a close. It appears like a large number of supplies, as well as drilling and sealing, will be necessary for this project, but it is completely achievable and will be a lot of fun to do. Furthermore, this do-it-yourself project will still be valuable in real-world emergency and catastrophe circumstances. Do you believe you’ll be able to complete the project on your own now that you’ve learned how to construct a still? Fill in the blanks with your views in the section below! The following will be covered in greater detail later on.
DIY Projects is in desperate need of all you crafty DIYaddicts! If you would like to write for us, please click here. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with the latest news! Note from the editor: This piece was first published on May 9, 2014, however it has been modified for quality and relevancy to reflect current events.