Make Moonshine at home with our DIY moonshine still plans and recipes.
One of the best things about the Internet is our ability to learn new things from experts around the world. If one good thing came out of quarantine was the sheer number of people who took the time to find and learn a new hobby.
Making moonshine is a hobby that is both fun and rewarding. Of course, any activity that yields delicious moonshine is worth learning in our book.
Of course to make moonshine you will first need to a moonshine still. While some may simply choose to purchase a quality craft still others prefer to take a truly DIY approach.
Make Your Own Moonshine Still
Making your own still is not an easy undertaking or one that should be approached without caution. Just like any step in making moonshine, safety needs to be the first consideration. It is important to take the time to find a good set of plans and execute them properly.
Of course, some people may find they prefer to simply purchase a pre-made still. At How to Moonshine, we have many still kits that include everything you need to make moonshine. Many of our stills can even act as fermentors saving both money and storage space.
It is also important to check out the Moonshine laws in your area. The law varies from country to country and even state to state. Check to make sure you are legally able to own and operate a still before embarking on this mission.
1. Survival Life
This step by step guide not only gives you photos of each step, it also features a full video. This is a great option for people who need to visualize each step before completing it.
With a full video preview it is also easy to determine if making this still is a feat you are able to undertake or not. Ask yourself, do I have access to these tools and equipment? Is this a project I would be able to complete with reasonable accuracy?
Again, this is a great step by step option to make your own compact stovetop moonshine still.
While a much less detailed step of plans, this option from Buzzfeed is still a great visual option for those who want a simple set of plans using common household items.
While the plans do require a pressure cooker, this simple pot still is a great option for those who are familiar with the design of a pot still and want an easy way to DIY it themselves.
This illustration also includes a simple moonshine recipe as well as a final word of caution: ‘don’t explode yourself!’
3. Popcorn Sutton’s Moonshine Still
The name Popcorn Sutton has become synonymous with making moonshine. Not only was Popcorn made infamous by his appearance in many documentaries on the subject, he also shared his secrets in his memoir ‘Me and My Likker’.
While he gained popularity with his public appearances, he was also known for making a great tasting shine. While plans for his moonshine still have not been made public, we have a close up look at his set-up which would be helpful for seasoned shiners to upgrade their current set up.
4. Pan Still
An option for those looking for a simple design is a pan still. While the plans may appear easy to follow and basic in nature, it doesn’t give a lot of explanation.
For example, in the middle is a collector. A newer shiner would not have any idea what a collector would be or how to install it. It seems to be suspended in this diagram which would be a job in itself to figure out.
So while basic, these plans are probably not the best option for a beginner.
5. DIY Projects
This set of still plans is nice and straight forward. It assumes this is your first still build and tailors the instructions to be easy to follow.
The still instructions have step by step photos and use common household items and easy to acquire tools.
The final product isn’t especially pretty, but it seems like it would do the job. However, a bungee to provide an airtight seal on the pot seems a little risky. The instructions do say not to distill alcohol with this still. Of course, this is likely for legal reasons and not because it cannot be used in this manner.
6. Solar Water Still
While this solar water still is not going to make you any spirits, it is an eco-friendly way to distill water. The design seems simple enough. It is basically a wooden box painted black to absorb heat and then the water will evaporate, condensate on the cool glass top and drip down into the water collection leaving all impurities behind.
It’s a cool concept and eco friendly but won’t get you drunk.
7. Kentucky Pot Still Plans
These pot still plans are a great option for a DIY copper still. These plans offer both a material and equipment list. There are also step by step instructions with both photos and multiple videos.
While this seems like the perfect option, it is likely geared towards those who have already made a still or two and are looking for a new challenge.
While the materials are a little more expensive and the project a little more intense, the end result is a copper still. If you have a few builds under your belt, this may be the perfect option for you.
8. E-book of Still Plans
Are you really serious about making a moonshine still? Possibly considering making more than one type of still? Well then maybe you should consider downloading an entire e-book of plans and instructions.
The ebook can easily be downloaded as a PDF and includes pot stills, reflux stills as well as tools and techniques.
An ebook is a great option for those who really want to familiarize themselves with the operation and design of a still and not just building something cheap and easy. This is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn a little more about stills before jumping into a build.
Instructables has put together a step-by-step guide for making your own still. While certainly entertaining, the guide is more a general overview than a detailed set of plans which can be followed for a build.
This guide may be a great first step to understand the basics of still parts and function before starting a build. However, anyone considering making a still probably already has this information.
If you are looking for an entertaining overview, this guide is perfect for you.
10. Valved Reflux Column Still
This set of still plans is shared by the actual designer of the still and written based on their experience and process.
The author explains that the build is designed to be easily translated into imperial for European builders who have less plan options. There is also great detail on where to get the materials
These still plans are extremely detailed yet complicated for anyone who doesn’t have advanced knowledge of both moonshine stills and construction. These plans also call for soldering, which requires not only specialized tools but also knowledge.
The resulting still is also a great work of art, however, large and advanced. This is likely not the project for the first timer, but rather a shiner with advanced skills and abilities.
11. Self-Build Still Kits
Do you want the feeling of accomplishment from making your own still without sourcing the materials?
Perhaps a self-build kit is the right option for you. These kit offer everything you need to put together your own still minus the knowledge and tools of course.
That being said, the kit is said to only require pliers and a blow torch so maybe the knowledge require is basic skills only. If you are comfortable with a blow torch this kit should be a snap.
However, a self build kit means investing a lot of money while banking on your own ability to bring it all together properly. Have you ever abandoned a puzzle with just the corners completed? This kit may not be for you.
Ranging from $249 to $699, these kits aren’t cheap. However, they are made of copper so you should get a quality result.
12. Pot Still and Worm Condenser
Are you ready to make a still but want a bit of a challenge without being completely out of your league?
These still plans feel very much like the goldilocks of the group. Its not too basic but also not too difficult. These plans feel ‘just right’ for those with a modest knowledge and perhaps a build under their belt.
This still feels like a nice balance between homemade and commercially produced. It has some great features and the build is solid. However, you will need to solder to put this still together. If you are still a baby bear and prefer to drill and seal, this one isn’t for you.
13. Simple Pot Still
Are you a complete beginner looking to make your first batch of moonshine? This set of still plans is for you.
When it comes to making a still it doesn’t get any easier than this. This simple still plan requires no tools, no hard to find materials, and no knowledge of moonshine stills.
These plans use items that can easily be found in the kitchen such as a large pot, mason jar and magnets.
The plans even suggest to start by distilling wine into brandy for novice shiners who haven’t yet made their first mash. If you are just dipping your toes into the shine world, these are the plans for you.
14. Still Building Video Series
Those who prefer a visual instruction rather than a written guide may prefer to watch this instructional video series.
This series takes you step by step through the process of making a copper still. While informative, this series may be better utilized in conjunction with a written set of plans instead of as the only resource.
This video series is a great way to get a visual instruction on the techniques needed to make this advanced still, but may not be enough to get you through the entire process. In addition, there are many videos to watch which can be time consuming.
All in all, this video series is a great watch to sharpen your moonshine still making skills.
15. Gin Basket and Still Plans
These plans are a great way for seasoned shiners to take their skills to the next level by making gin.
The creator of these plans created this project after several failed attempts to make gin. The addition of a gin basket became necessary to create the correct taste and appearance to their gin and decided to design a set of plans.
While very detailed and informative, these plans are certainly not for a first timer. Instead, this is a project to take on when you have a couple of builds and runs under your belt. While a challenge, this project is a great way to elevate both your shine and your skills.
16. Boka Still Plans
There are a lot of advantages to using these boka still plans. For starters, boka stills are a great option for beginners. These plans are well detailed with an equipment list and a material list which is often lacking on other plans.
These plans also include photos of each step as well as a video. While these plans offer great detail and visuals, it still may be too difficult for a first time builder.
10 Great Moonshine Recipes
While making a still is fun, running your shine is even better. After all, the end result is not only delicious, but a hell of a lot of fun.
Making good moonshine starts with a great recipe. Whether you want a grain, fruit, or sugar based shine, we have a great variety at How to Moonshine. Bookmark our recipe page and subscribe to our newsletter so you never miss an opportunity to make great shine.
1. Popcorn Sutton’s Moonshine Recipe
This classic recipe for moonshine was created by one of the greats, Popcorn Sutton himself. Of course, Popcorn rose to fame for his appearances in documentaries and his memoir ‘Me and My Likker’ but he was also known for his amazing shine.
In fact, Sutton spent a lifetime perfecting his shine which was a 100 year old family recipe that he sold out of the back of his truck.
2. The Easiest Bourbon Mash Recipe
Make your own bourbon from the comforts of home with our easy bourbon recipe. Making your own bourbon may seem like a daunting task, but in reality, all it takes is one simple extra step.
Taking a simple white whiskey to a deep and delicious bourbon simply requires an additional aging step.
Learning how to make your own bourbon isn’t just a great way to get some serious bragging rights, it will also save you a pretty penny.
3. Sweet Feed Moonshine Recipe
Sometimes the hardest part about making moonshine is finding your mash ingredients. This is why when we find a recipe that uses alternative grain options we love to share it.
Sweet feed moonshine is a great option for those who have easy access to their local co-op and want to make a killer shine.
What a great excuse to make friends with a farmer. You are sure to soon become the most popular on the farm. Don’t live in the country? You can easily order sweet feed online.
4. Traditional Cracked Corn Moonshine
This simple and traditional approach often works best. While you can certainly make moonshine out of almost anything, sticking to the basics can be a great choice.
After all, there is a reason that many American pioneers (especially those in grain producing states) began distilling their excess grain into whiskey-it tastes great.
If you are looking for a classic moonshine recipe, this is the one for you.
5. The Sweetest Honey Moonshine
This simple honey moonshine recipe is a sweet spin on the typical sugar shine. Instead of using white or brown sugar as a base for the shine, this recipe uses honey for a slightly richer flavor.
While sugar shine is known for its inexpensive ingredient list, honey is one of the most expensive items you can make a mash with.
If you want to try this recipe (which calls for a gallon of honey) we suggest you make fast friends with a bee farmer. Maybe this recipe is reason enough to invest in some bees of your own.
6. Peach Moonshine
Making moonshine with a fruit mash is definitely a sweet experience. While a fruit mash will not result in a full fruit flavor, it will give your shine a subtle fruity depth that many shiners swear by.
Making a fruit mash can be messy and also expensive. Again, this is a great opportunity to make friends with a farmer. Using over ripe peaches is a great way to reduce waste and your cost.
Approaching a local farmer to get overripe fruit is a great way to save money. Ask if you can pay in shine!
7. AppleJack Moonshine
You simply can’t put out a list of awesome moonshine recipes without including an AppleJack recipe.
AppleJack moonshine is a popular option for those who want to make shine without using a moonshine still.
This is because AppleJack moonshine is traditionally made by using freeze distillation, a process where you use a deep freezer rather than a still.
However, it is important to know that by using a freeze distillation process you are not able to properly fractionate your shine, which is particularly dangerous.
8. Blueberry Moonshine Recipe
While you can make fruit moonshine with a fruit moonshine mash, you can also flavor your moonshine with fruit after distillation.
The two different methods will produce very different results. When you use fruit to make the mash you will get a subtle flavor. When you flavor with fruit after distillation the flavor is much bolder and closer to that of the typical liquer.
This is a great option to add to your favorite cocktails.
9. Moonshine Cherries
While moonshine is traditionally served in a glass, it isn’t limited in that way. Moonshine cherries are a delicious way to enjoy moonshine whether you want to pop it in your mouth or add it to your cocktail.
Making moonshine cherries is a simple process where you simply infuse your marachino cherries with some delicious moonshine.
This is the ideal recipe to make for your next party. Just make sure your guests know how potent these cherries really are.
10. Potato Vodka Recipe
Making moonshine is more than just whiskey. Many don’t realize that moonshine refers to the illicit production of spirits and not to white whiskey specifically.
So while the result of this next recipe is vodka, it is also in fact moonshine.
Making your own vodka is easier than you think and the end result is both delicious and impressive. Imagine serving your own vodka at your next party or function or better yet, keep it all for yourself.