– Copper is the preferred material in the construction of a still to impart flavor into the distilled spirits. According to Broadslab Distillery, both stainless steel and copper are excellent conductors of heat: dispersing the heat evenly across the entire surface of the metal and creating a more even distillation.
- But where both stainless steel and copper will not put harmful chemicals into your final product, copper has the advantage over stainless in that whisky out of a copper still simply tastes better.
- When distilling in copper, the copper reacts on a molecular level with the sulfurs put out by the fermenting yeast.
It “cancels-out” the sulfur taste which would otherwise be bitter and not as smooth. In the process of distilling, the sulfur coming from the yeast binds itself to the copper, making hydrogen-sulfide which in turn, forms copper sulfate. The copper sulfate sticks to the inside of the still after distillation is completed.
- 1 Why do you use copper in a moonshine still?
- 2 Why do we brew in copper?
- 3 What can I substitute for copper mesh?
- 4 How thick does copper have to be for a still?
- 5 What are two reasons why copper is used rather than iron or steel?
- 6 What does alcohol on heating with copper produce?
Why do you use copper in a moonshine still?
Is a copper still necessary? A question that is often asked is whether or not it is necessary to have a copper still for producing the best quality whiskey. Purists argue that there is no other proper way to do it and they point to the fact that is has always been done that way.
Stainless steel advocates argue that it has been always done that way, because stainless steel was only ‘discovered’ about a hundred years ago, and in some industries, old habits die slowly. In defense of using stainless, they argue that stainless steel is more durable, easier to work with and less costly than copper.
There is a good reason to use copper for distilling. Copper catalyzes (allows to occur) certain reactions that remove undesirable notes/flavors in the distillate and make it ‘smoother’. Without copper, the distillate will smell and taste sharp and unpleasant. An easy and inexpensive way to include copper is by the insertion of 100% copper scrub brushes. It is important to use 100% copper scrubs and two brands that make them are Chore Boy and Libman. Of the ones we tested, Chore Boy are generally less expensive but they are also about 30% lighter than Libmans.
- For placement, several scrub brushes can be put in the (pot still in this application), and they can also be placed inside the,
- The 1.5″ to 2″ reducer makes a great place to put several as the constriction will naturally hold them.
- As the distillate passes out of the it has to go through the copper brushes, allowing for maximum interaction (and even a bit of reflux for higher proof).
For the stripping run (the first time beer is distilled) it is recommended to place the copper in the still itself, not in the, as ‘burping’ (proteins etc. foaming up into the condensor) can occur if heating is too rapid leading to fouling or plugging of the Condensing Assembly.
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: Is a copper still necessary?
What does copper mesh do in a still?
How to Clean Copper Mesh Copper mesh is used to reduce or eliminate sulfur compounds during beverage-grade distilling. It requires modest, yet regular cleaning to ensure its effectiveness and maintain the integrity of your still’s operation. Make sure to use pure copper, quality matters. Pure copper will not rust, contaminate, or scratch surfaces, but it does have a lifespan in mesh form. You can prolong its value, and help prevent off-flavors in your product, by cleaning it after every run. And, as soon as it doesn’t look clean—regardless how strict your sanitation protocols are—discard and replace it as necessary.
Why do we brew in copper?
H.K.D.H. Bhadeshia – Copper is used for making vessels to brew beer, partly because it retards the growth of germs. The vessels are often referred to as coppers but modern coppers are constructed of stainless steel because it costs less. The oldest brewing vessels were made of iron.
Photographs courtesy of Alexandra Khvan, near the copper mines of Almalyk Mining-Metallurgical Complex in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
What can I substitute for copper mesh?
Aluminum : A Cheap Substitute for Copper.
How thick does copper have to be for a still?
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 )
Is copper mesh better than steel wool?
Used For Rodent Exclusion – When excluding rodents, look for openings smaller than 2 ” in order to seal them with Stuf- Fit. It is recommended if the the opening is larger than 2 “, repair with standard building materials.
To be used for rodent and bird exclusion. STUF-FIT is a copper mesh (no rust) cloth that is stuffed into openings, packed tightly into cracks or holes for exclusion of pest such as rodents and birds. STUF-FIT Copper mesh works better than steel wool because of the way that it is woven, making it difficult for rodents to chew through. A small amount of STUF-FIT Copper mesh placed in weepholes, vents, A/C pipe entrances, etc. that are smaller than 2″ will help to keep rodents and birds out. If the opening is larger than 2 inches, it is recommended to be repaired properly with building materials. Stuf-Fit can be tacked, stapled or glued into any openings where it is needed. Each roll is 6 inches wide, double folded and 100 or 400 ft long. Pure copper so it won’t rust or stain brick, siding, or stucco Made from 100% Electrilytic Tough Pitch (ETP) copper. Contains no recycled copper so it is the purest strongest copper in the world.
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Why use copper over stainless steel?
Copper is more durable than stainless steel. – Copper is softer than stainless steel, meaning it is less likely to scratch or dent over time. Additionally, copper is less likely to discolor or develop stains than stainless steel.
What makes a moonshine still explode?
The Explosive Power Of Moonshine – Methanol and ethanol, the safe-to-consume alcohol, come out during the fermenting process of any alcoholic drink. Both are highly flammable with the potential to explode during distillation if they are not properly sealed and vented.
- If there is a leak releasing ethanol gas in the still, the equipment used to process moonshine, a single spark could cause an explosion.
- Without proper ventilation, a tank boiling out the toxic alcohol can easily buckle.
- In an aluminum shed among postcard orchards in Columbia County in New York, Derek Grout inspected a collecting tank of his state-of-the-art copper-pot still.
A blocked vent had caused the tank to buckle. “I’m just kind of glad we didn’t kill ourselves,” he said with a laugh.” – Toby Cecchini, Just Don’t Call it Moonshine
Why must copper be heated?
Copper is heated as free electrons can move freely through the metal and copper can become a good conductor of heat and electricity.
Why does copper need to be heated?
What Happens When Copper Powder is Heated? – When the copper powder is heated to a temperature of about 800 degrees Celsius, it undergoes an oxidation reaction and forms a copper oxide, also known as black copper oxide. This oxidation reaction occurs because the individual particles of powder are exposed to oxygen in the air and react to form different compounds.
- The heat speeds up the reaction and helps the particles bond with oxygen molecules more quickly.
- The newly formed compound has several properties that differ from pure copper.
- For example, black copper oxide has a lower than pure copper or even other types of oxidized metals such as rust.
- It also has slightly higher levels of thermal conductivity and magnetic permeability than pure copper.
Consequently, this makes black copper oxide useful in certain industrial applications because it can be used as an insulator or heat sink. It’s also important to understand that heating copper powder produces two different types of compounds – metallic particles and non-metallic particles.
What are two reasons why copper is used rather than iron or steel?
Thermal Resistant – A benefit of copper electrical wires that’s often overlooked is its thermal-resistant properties. According to, electrical fires are responsible for more than 51,000 residential house fires in the United States each year — and that’s not accounting for commercial/business fires.
Copper electrical wires are safer to use than wires made of most other conductive metals because they are resistant to heat. As you can see, copper is the preferred metal for electrical wires for several reasons. It has high electrical conductive; it’s inexpensive; it’s ductile; and it’s thermal resistant.
This makes is the universally accepted standard for the manufacturing of electrical wires. Tags:,, : Why Copper Is Used to Make Electrical Wires
What does alcohol on heating with copper produce?
When vapours of a secondary alcohol is passed over heated copper at 573 K, the product formed is: No worries! We‘ve got your back. Try BYJU‘S free classes today! No worries! We‘ve got your back. Try BYJU‘S free classes today! Right on! Give the BNAT exam to get a 100% scholarship for BYJUS courses No worries! We‘ve got your back. Try BYJU‘S free classes today! Open in App Suggest Corrections 2 : When vapours of a secondary alcohol is passed over heated copper at 573 K, the product formed is:
What is the best heat source for a moonshine still?
Shipping Update: Shipping Daily M-F. Orders Placed After 10 AM Ship the Next Business Day. This blog provides information for educational purposes only. Read our complete summary for more info. January 9, 2019 Last updated November 12, 2021 A still can be heated with an electric hot plate, propane, or even over a fire. However, it is best to run stills with an electric heating element and a digital controller. When running a still with an electric heating element and digital controller there is no need to worry about filling a propane tank, open flames, or a hot plate cycling.
The best thing about running a still with a controller is the ability to easily dial in the drip rate. Before move on, a reminder: Brewing beer is legal in every US state. However, distilling alcohol is illegal without a federal fuel alcohol or distilled spirit plant permit as well as relevant state permits.
Our distillation equipment is designed for legal uses only and the information in this article is for educational purposes only. Please read our complete legal summary for more information on the legalities of distillation. In order to heat a still with an electric heating element you will need a few things.1) You will need a still – either stainless or copper.
- This link has all of our stills.2) You will need an electric heating element adapter and controller.
- This link has our controllers and adapters.
- Installing the heating element adapter on one of our stainless stills is extremely easy.
- Attach the heating element adapter with a tri-clamp and gasket.
- The full video install is located here,
It is also easy to retrofit our heating element adapter to a copper still with a copper still heating element adapter kit, The copper adapter kit includes everything you need to add a heating element to a copper still. The Clawhammer Supply digital controller is able to run in a set value mode as well as in manual mode.