What kind of copper is used for stills?
This guide will teach you how to build a 6 Gallon Kentucky style copper pot still. This size is perfect for anyone interested in home distilling and can be constructed by anyone with a general knowledge of soldering. If your tired of making the same old boring neutral spirits with your reflux still and are looking to make a tasty traditional rum or whiskey moonshine this still design is for you.
This still plan is more difficult then most other plans. If you’re not up to building it check out these 5 Gallon Copper Stills on Amazon, Can’t beat the price and their well built. When I built mine it took me 30 hours and $200 in materials. The sheet of copper wasn’t cheap but I really enjoyed building my own Pot still.
To get started let’s look at what we’re going to build. Below is a picture of the Pot still we’re going to build. This still was designed by Sherman Owen so a special thanks to him for posting his design and making the video’s I’ve shared. You will need the following Materials and Tools:
- Half Sheet of Copper – 3 ft by 4 ft ( use 18 gauge copper) Amazon has some reasonable priced copper sheets
- Roll of Solder – Try to get hold of a roll of 95/5 tin/silver is the best and stay away from anything with cadmium/antimony or lead in it.
- Rivets – stainless steel or copper
- 1/4 ” copper tubing – 8 ft should do
- 1/2 ” copper pipe – 3 ft
- 1/2 ” Brass connector (female and male ends )
- Solder Gun (blow torch) with Mapp Gas
- Rivet Gun
- Tin Snips
- File ( for smoothing out edges and burrs )
How long do copper stills last?
Application – Since ethanol boils at a much lower temperature than water, simple distillation can separate ethanol from water by applying heat to the mixture. Historically, a copper vessel was used for this purpose, since copper removes undesirable sulfur -based compounds from the alcohol.
However, many modern stills are made of stainless steel pipes with copper linings to prevent erosion of the entire vessel and lower copper levels in the waste product (which in large distilleries is processed to become animal feed). Copper is the preferred material for stills because it yields an overall better-tasting spirit.
The taste is improved by the chemical reaction between the copper in the still and the sulfur compounds created by the yeast during fermentation. These unwanted and flavor-changing sulfur compounds are chemically removed from the final product resulting in a smoother, better-tasting drink. Old Ukrainian vodka still Zambian artisanal Kachasu still and cooler There is also an increasing usage of the distillation of gin under glass and PTFE, and even at reduced pressures, to facilitate a fresher product. This is irrelevant to alcohol quality because the process starts with triple distilled grain alcohol, and the distillation is used solely to harvest botanical flavors such as limonene and other terpene like compounds.
The ethyl alcohol is relatively unchanged. The simplest standard distillation apparatus is commonly known as a pot still, consisting of a single heated chamber and a vessel to collect purified alcohol. A pot still incorporates only one condensation, whereas other types of distillation equipment have multiple stages which result in higher purification of the more volatile component (alcohol).
Pot still distillation gives an incomplete separation, but this can be desirable for the flavor of some distilled beverages, If a purer distillate is desired, a reflux still is the most common solution. Reflux stills incorporate a fractionating column, commonly created by filling copper vessels with glass beads to maximize available surface area,
As alcohol boils, condenses, and reboils through the column, the effective number of distillations greatly increases. Vodka and gin and other neutral grain spirits are distilled by this method, then diluted to concentrations appropriate for human consumption. Alcoholic products from home distilleries are common throughout the world but are sometimes in violation of local statutes.
The product of illegal stills in the United States is commonly referred to as moonshine and in Ireland, poitín, However, poitín, although made illegal in 1661, has been legal for export in Ireland since 1997. Note that the term moonshine itself is often misused as many believe it to be a specific kind of high- proof alcohol that was distilled from corn, but the term can refer to any illicitly distilled alcohol.
What does an onion head do for distilling?
The Onion Head Take a look at the stills used by the highest quality distilleries in the world. What do you see? Copper and curves. Anyone can do straight lines. It’s easy. But when you want the best, and you take a good look at the very best, it’s all curves. Curves must be hand made.
That’s what distinguishes our coppersmiths – they’re gifted craftsmen. Each step in our process is done by hand, all the way down to you producing your own moonshine or whiskey in your own home. So much is done with machines nowadays, but the artist’s human touch hasn’t lost it’s magic. And magic is something you will feel when you take the leap and start distilling your own whiskey or moonshine.
It’s not just the tradition of home-distilling itself that will make a difference in this world, it’s a tradition of making. Making things yourself. Creating. Perfecting. You already have the ability and we have every instruction you’ll need, plus a community of home-distillers ready to get you started on your first batch.
Why wait? You just got the insider info on the very best home stills being sold anywhere! The onion head has been unchanged for centuries because of it’s ability to easily release alcohol from the boiling mash. It then captures the moonshine vapor and funnels it to the condenser through the swan neck.
Temperature can be monitored through the built in thermometer in Fahrenheit and Celsius, which means that even if you failed chemistry class you can still make a delightfully drinkable bottle of whiskey or moonshine – it’s that easy! : The Onion Head
How long does it take to make a small batch of moonshine?
How Long Does It Take to Make Moonshine? – 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.