Build-it-Yourself Moonshine Still Plans

Liquor Distillation Guide, Pot Still Plans

Liquor distillation is a universal practice that is enjoyed in all countries. However, it is not a legal practice every where you go, so take caution in knowing whether you are breaking the law or not!

The distillation of liquor and the techniques used vary widely depending on the type of spirit you are planning on distilling.

Most bourbons are made with corn, rye, and barley, a handful of outlaws defy that tradition with a mash of corn, wheat, and barley
Whiskeys tend to be rich and diverse in flavors—more so than any other distilled spirits. This can include bourbon whiskeys, scotch whiskeys and the like.
Traditionally vodka, gin and other neutral spirits are odorless, tasteless, and colorless. However, more often these days we see the adaptation of flavoring distillation processes for these alcohols.

Liquor Still Distillation Plans, A How To Guide

14 Steps to Distilling Homemade Liquor

  1. Determine whether its legal to distil liquor in your area, and if it isn't, you best be hush hush about what you're doing!
  2. Read through our site to determine what type of a still you want to build or buy based on the type of liquor you are planning on distilling.
    • A POT STILL is a popular choice for distilling Bourbon, Scotch, Whiskey, Schnapps and other liquors that generally offer some noticeable flavors. These flavors are generally retained from the mash in the distillation process.
    • A REFLUX or FRACTIONATING STILL is a better choice for distilling neutral (flavorless, odorless, colorless) spirits like Vodka and Gin.
  3. Preparing a 5 gallon, 18-20 liter wash for liquor distillation.
    • Vodka : dissolve 5 kg of sugar & 60 g of nutrients in 20 L of water
    • Rum : as per vodka, but use some brown sugar or mollasses, to give an initial specific gravity (SG) of around 1.06 - 1.07.
    • Whiskey : Heat 4 kg cracked or crushed malt with 18 L of water to 63-65oC, and hold there for 1-1.5 hours. Heat to 73-75oC, then strain off and keep liquid, using 250 mL of hot water to rinse the grains (should have an initial specific gravity of 1.050).
  4. Cool the wash to below 30oC, then add hydrated yeast.
  5. Ferment the wash at a constant 25oC until airlock stops bubbling.
  6. Let settle for a day, then syphon carefully into the still.
  7. Bring up to boiling temperature (start the cooling water through the condensor once you get to about 50-60oC), then once it has started distilling; Discard the first 50 mL's (this may contain some methanol),
  8. Collect the next 2-3L of distillate. Segregate the distillate into 500 mL containers as you collect it.
  9. Stop distilling once the temperature gets to 96oC (else the flavours get nasty). Set aside any distillate which smells of tails/fusels. This can be added to the wash of the next run, and cleaned up then.
  10. Turn off the power, then the cooling water. Open the lid, so that it doesn't create a vacuum inside the still & crush it.
  11. Wash up the still, dry it well, and then store/hide the pieces.
  12. If you've made a neutral spirit, dilute it down to 30-50 % purity, then soak it with carbon for a week or two to help clean up any flavours still present.
  13. Dilute it down to drinking strength (20-40%), then age and flavour the spirit, using either commercial essences, oak chips, fruits.
  14. Find a comfortable spot to sit, put on your music of choice, then sip & enjoy with the ones you love.