Copper vs Stainless - Which Still is Better for Moonshine?
Picking between a copper and stainless steel pot still is a tough decision when it comes to making moonshine. Is one better than the other? Well, that questions clearly depends on how you like your moonshine. There is no clear favorite between the two but we have some information that will help you decide which one would be better for you.
Copper pot still
Copper is a wonderful metal to use for distilling moonshine. It conducts heat, is easy to work with and removes shofar compounds. However, it is high in terms of cost and is a lot tougher to clean and maintain.
Stainless steel pot still
Unlike copper, stainless steel pot still is lower in cost, durable, and easy to clean. However, it isn’t as good as copper when it comes to conducting heat. It also doesn’t remove sulfur compounds.
Which is better for moonshine?
If you want top-notch moonshine then copper pot stills are a slightly better choice. They don’t blow stainless steel pots away but are slightly better in terms of moonshine result. The major reason for that is the fact that copper will remove sulfides which at the end will result in a better tasting moonshine. Since sulfides are removed, the flavor of the moonshine will be more prominent.
Don’t get us wrong, stainless steel pot stills also get the job done. They provide great flavor, just not on par with copper pot stills. However, stainless steel is a cheaper alternative that is easy to maintain and allows you to make moonshine that everyone will enjoy.
Both copper and stainless steel pot stills are great for moonshine. Each of the two has its own benefit and properties that make it excel compared to the other. So we wish you the best of luck on your hunt for the right pot still for your moonshining needs.
In actuality, there are plenty if stills available in the market these days even in places where creating moonshine are semi-illegal. Due to this, it may be a tough choice deciding if you will purchase or you will just improvise your own still. Out of the various kinds, pot stills are relatively easy to create or buy in case you find in available in certain stores. Choosing the type of still to use in turn turns out to be a delicate choice considering factors such as availability and affordability. If you are determined to purchase your pot still, you may score one at home brew stores in your localities and you will find that it is really more cost effective to purchase one.
So, if you want to learn how to moonshine, you must be prepared your equipments first by knowing how to improvise or having an idea where you could possibly find one. Most of the stills that are available in the market are made of copper, but you may also locate newer designs that are made from stainless steel. The newer versions are more efficient and more attractive than the traditional design. Also, it is essential to find stills that can be plugged directly into the main power. Moreover, opting for electric elements instead of open wood fires or propane is more recommended. Electric elements are considered to be safer most especially if you are distilling in the comforts of your own home. This alternative prevents risks such as fire which your home insurance will not surely pat if they have known that your house was burned due to making moonshine. However, if you wish to perform it outside, woods, propane or an open fire may be our sole choices.
Furthermore, it is recommended to have stills that are based on a 30 liter beer boiler due to the fact that you can have the electric element and the boiling pot all in a single package. This can also come with an electric cut out and a usable switch. It is also helpful to pick pots with the element parted from the wash in order to avoid cleaning up such enormous waste. Usually, stainless steels are easier to clean and maintain compared to others. You may also opt for still based boiler with drilled lid so that you can mount stainless columns up to 6 inches long and 2 inches thick. You can use this column as well as the base for the thermometer that you will use to monitor vapour temperature. You may also opt for designs with well fitted and angled condensers. As much as possible, select units with condensers palced in top of the columns on a certain angle so that the vapours will come in contact with the condenser wall and then emerge as steam. These types of stills offer the greatest advantage because the boiler can serve several purposes such as the mash tun or heating equipment.
Over-all, all pot stills work similarly, but the appearance may depend according to your own preferences. There are individuals who have been making moonshine for decades now with the use of 10 gallon oil drums. This is possible by making one gallon as the boiler and the other one as the condenser. This may not be the kind of design that you want for your still, but the thing is certain things work well with others. Hence, you have to experiment and try various still designs to be able to determine which one is most suitable for your demands. Read another related article: The Process of Aging, Blending and Flavoring Your Moonshine
How to Make Moonshine – Various Moonshine Still Designs
Basically, there are various types of still available in the market these days that aids you in how to make moonshine. With this, you may find it difficult to make a choice. Yet, the most recommended and practical to use is the plain pot still which is very easy to use. This is not only recommended for beginners, but for seasoned moonshiners as well. This is better than other stills such as the reflux and fractionating still most especially if you wish to come up with more than just plain spirits.
Basically, fractionating stills are efficient types of stills due to its advanced structure such as its tall steel columns. This is most ideal if you intent to make neutral spirits that can be enhanced with essences or flavors which is the craze these days. The good thing about fractionating stills is that it is capable of producing spirits with 95% strength in just one pass in a relatively short time. Usually, the entire process mat take two to three hours, but the drawback is that it lacks the capacity to distill more delicately. The major disadvantage of this still is in its efficiency which is very essential for moonshiners who intend to produce spirits that captures all or most of its flavor from the wash. Plus, the fractionating still must be detuned by taking away the packing from its columns if you wish to use it in making beverage like bourbon, rum, whiskey and similar drinks. However, it is the most excellent to use in vodka production.
Moving forward, when using a pot still, you will instantly notice its laidback design. However, its less than proficient design makes it an advantage for brewers. This is due to the fact that using this type of still allows you to separate various substances present in the wash based in their specific boiling points. The rule is, elements with the lowest boiling point are condensed and collected first followed by other substances such as the alcohol content or ethanol and congeners which enhances flavors. This technique allows you to stop on collecting and heating even before nasty substances and fusel oils are generated.