Learning how to make a still is half the fun of hobby distilling. Drinking and enjoying it, is the other half! With a little soldering skill you can build your own whiskey pot still. There are five vital parts to your custom built pot still:
Boiler Pot for heating your wash
The boiler is used for heating up the wash / mash. A copper or stainless steel pot is all that is required for a boiler. Be sure to pick a pot that is large enough to hold your wash / mash. You also want to be able to create a tight seal around the lid of your pot to prevent the escape of alcohol vapors. At MoonshineStillPro we have boilers with copper domes that can serve as a starting point for your own homemade whiskey pot still.
Vapor Column for separating the alcohol vapor
Any still must contain an adequate air space inside to allow alcohol vapors time to separate from water vapors. A tubular still column is commonly used to provide this space as the height assists the separation of vapors. Copper should be the primary metal used for creating your vapor column because copper reacts with the steam vapors removing sulfates and making your spirits taste better. MoonshineStillPro provide a wide range of copper tube sold by the foot, ideal for creating a vapor column.
Thermometer for monitoring your temperatures
It is important to monitor the temperature in your still. Alcohol vapors separate from the water vapors at 172 F. A thermometer is key to maintaining the proper temperature for distillation to occur.
Condenser for cooling the vapors back to liquid form
After the mash is heated in the boiler, the alcohol vapors pass up through the copper tube vapor column as steam and must be then cooled back into a liquid before exiting the still. Many homemade pot stills use a tube within a tube water jacket type condenser for this purpose. These can be plumbed to any cool water source. A pump placed in a large container of water is commonly used. Alternately some distillers choose to employ a copper tube spiral known as a “worm” to function as the condenser. The “worm” typically passes through a container of water which then cools the alcohol steam causing it to condense back into liquid form.
Container for catching your new distillate
Now that your alcohol is back in liquid form, you need a receptacle to collect your homemade moonshine. Glass containers are the most common. Make sure you choose one large enough or have several available and switch out as each consecutive one is filled. Mason jars have been the container of choice for many years.
Now that you’ve learned the basics of how to make a pot still, you can get started with the fun hobby of distilling! If our “How to Make a Pot Still” guide seems like more labor than your up for, check out the selection of exclusive stills made at MoonshineStillPro. This blog is for educational purposes only. All discussions, including recipes and “how to’s” are theoretical in nature. The blog posts are in now way an endorsement or encouragement to break the law. Products sold are intended to be used in accordance with the proper licensing or permitting procedure of the respective jurisdiction of the user.