How to Make a Moonshine Still
Making moonshine is a great hobby to enjoy with delicious results. Did you know you can actually make your own still? Check out our step-by-step plans on how to make a moonshine still and let’s start shinin’
How to Make a Homemade Moonshine Still
While many prefer to purchase a commercially made still, it isn’t the only path to making moonshine at home. Those who love to DIY can also take a custom made route to creating their own moonshine still. In fact, your moonshine still can be as simple or as complicated as you would like, the possibilities are endless.
Types of Moonshine Stills
There are two main types of moonshine stills that you could DIY at home: pot stills and column stills.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Pot Stills
- Pot stills are simpler to try and DIY at home. This is because unlike a large column, the materials for this type of still are common and easy to source.
- Pot stills are known to produce a more flavorsome spirit which is richer in congeners.
- Pot stills can only produce moonshine with a proof between 60 to 80 ABV (even after multiple distillations)
Advantages and Disadvantages of Column Stills
- Column stills provide a purer, cleaner distillate than pots
- Column stills can produce moonshine with a proof up to 95 ABV
- A more challenging still to DIY
Should I Make my Own Still?
Making moonshine is not a hobby without its risks. It is important to both educate yourself on the proper methods for making moonshine. This is important to both get a good final result and to keep yourself safe.
Get our Free How to Make Moonshine e-book
Choosing to make your own still over buying a commercially made still does come with its risks. However, you can reduce these risks by choosing a still plan from a trusted source.
We have compiled some of the best still plans available for free today. Of course, we suggest purchasing one of our quality craft stills.
Our Magnum All-in-One still kit comes with everything you need to make quality shine at home. The Magnum has an impressive 50 litre capacity and even acts as a fermentor, saving you both money and precious storage space.
But if you insist on making your own these are some good options.
A pan still is a simple way to start making your own still. While this option is less of a plan and more of an illustration, it is a fairly basic design.
The design suggests you can use a pot and a shallow pan to make your still, however, it would likely be difficult to keep your water cold enough to condense your mash if it was suspended about a boiling pot.
There is also the question of the collector. Suspending it in the middle of the pot is a step that would benefit with more instruction.
Kentucky Copper Still
This simple copper still is a great option for those who want to try their hand at making their own distiller.
Offering both a material and equipment list, these plans are really detailed with photos, videos and step-by-step instructions.
These still plans may not be the best option for a first-time build, unless you have prior knowledge and experience working with metal.
Working with copper is more expensive than stainless steel, however, many swear by using only copper for their stills.
If you have the knowledge and means, this may be the perfect option for you.
How to Make a Moonshine Still E-book
If you are the type who likes to research a project before jumping in, this e-book may be the perfect option.
The e-book is a downloadable PDF that is easy for both reading and searching. The e-book contents includes both pot stills and reflux stills as well as tools and techniques.
This option is great to do some serious research before deciding on the type of still you want to make or if you want to make more than one type of still
Download the e-book of plans and instructions.
Reflux Still Plans
Making a reflux still just got easier thanks to these plans shared by the still designer, who shares their experience with the process.
The author explains that the build measurements can easily be translated into metric for European and Canadian builders. There is also many tips on where to find materials for this project.
These still plans are a great option for a seasoned builder, but likely too complicated for anyone who isn’t already familiar with both the moonshine process and soldering. If you don’t already have the tools, this project could easily run more than the cost of a brand new still.
Self-Build Still Kits
If you aren’t ready to start a still from scratch but still want the feeling of accomplishment that comes from making your own still, a still build kit may be the perfect option.
Boasting that the kit only requires pliers and a blow torch these DIY stills in a box may be the perfect option.
If you are familiar with a blow torch and ready to take on the challenge of making your own still, this kit could be the winner.
Does this sound too good to be true, well it may be. The simple fact is, by investing in a self-build kit, you are banking heavily on your ability to put the still together properly or risk losing your investment.
Ranging from $249 to $699, these kits aren’t cheap. However, they are made of copper so you should get a quality result.
How to Make Moonshine Without a Still
While making moonshine with a still is a traditional method, there is another route you can go with just as much history.
When using a distiller to make moonshine heat is used to separate ethanol from the water in your fermented mash. However, there is another method.
Freeze distillation is the act of separating ethanol from water in your fermented mash by freezing it. While heat distillation requires you to invest in a distiller, freeze distillation only requires a deep freezer, which many people already own.
Freeze distillation is a great option for those who want to turn wine into brandy or make their beer even stronger. However, for making traditional moonshine, it is not recommended.
The reason for this is because freeze distillation does not allow for fractioning. During heat distillation, you can remove the desired ethanol from the by-products by measuring the temperature at which it comes out. Freeze distillation does not allow this and so you would be ingesting them instead.
This is both dangerous and foolish.
For even more moonshine plans check out 16 DIY Moonshine Plans and 10 Great Moonshine Recipes