Making your own whiskey is a fun way to create your own spirits at home. Not only is moonshining an interesting hobby that yields delicious results, but it can also save you money on the high cost of commercial liquor.
Many have jumped on the moonshine bandwagon in recent years. Discovery TV’s hit show Moonshiners, combined with the recent appearance of commercial ‘moonshine’ products on retailer’s shelves have many wondering how easy it is to make your own whiskey.
Fortunately, the process is quite straightforward once you learn the steps. However, no moonshiner is ready to take on the task of creating their own brew without a quality craft moonshine kit.
In our guide, we will take you through the process of purchasing a top-quality moonshine kit. You will learn what to look for, what equipment you will need, and what are the best whiskey making kits on the market.
Why does the Price of Whiskey Making Kits Vary so Much?
Making moonshine may be a way to save money, but you have to invest money first. The cost to get started making moonshine will vary, depending on the type of still you choose and the material it is made of.
Stills come in a variety of sizes and made of different materials. You have the choice between smaller one-gallon air stills all the way to large copper stills. With each different option will come a very different price tag.
It is also important to consider any additional costs you can incur depending on the still you choose. For example, do you require an additional purchase of a fermentor, cheesecloth, siphon, or thermometer?
These additional costs can add up. However, some retailers, like How to Moonshine, offer still kits that include many of these additional items. This can offer huge savings, especially for the first time shiner.
Things to Consider when Purchasing a Whiskey Making Kit
The biggest consideration many people have when purchasing a new whiskey making kit or moonshine still is often their budget. However, it is often advised that the better way to shop for a moonshine still is to first consider what your ‘must-haves’ are and then set your budget based on your needs. This process often guarantees you are happy in the long run.
The material your still is made of is one of the biggest factors in determining the price. Old school traditionalists will insist on copper as the material of choice for whiskey making stills. They have good reason to insist on using quality material to produce your whiskey.
Copper is a great material for conducting heat. It can offer more control during the distilling process. It also removes sulfur compounds. This is a great advantage because it can easily produce a great tasting moonshine. However, copper is more expensive and can be more difficult to clean.
On the other hand, stainless steel stills offer an easy to clean material that is less expensive to purchase. However, stainless steel is not as proficient at conducting heat and will not remove sulfur compounds from your wash.
Type of Still
There are many different types of stills that you can purchase for making whiskey. The type of still you purchase will largely depend on what type of spirits you want to make as well as the amount of moonshine you want to produce. For example, the Mist 1 Gallon Air Still is a great option for those who want to produce sugar shine, distilled water, and essential oils. The mist is a great option for those who plan on infusing their shine with flavors and want to produce a white whiskey with very little flavor on its own.
This still is not ideal for those who want to experiment with making blended or aged grain whiskey. This is because it is very difficult to fractionate with this air still. It also only produces about 1 gallon of whiskey each run. This is not ideal for those who want larger yields.
Size of Still
Speaking of larger yields, the size of your still is also a big consideration. Most recipes are geared towards larger stills so choosing anything other than a standard 20 gallon still will require you to convert the measurements in most standard recipes. However, larger stills also come with a larger cost as well as more room for storage.
With these considerations in mind, we want to take you through our favorite stills on the market.
The Copper Top All-in-One Stovetop Kit -The Best Value
While many feel the need to choose between stainless steel and copper for the material of choice for their still, the Copper Top All-in-One Stovetop Kit offers the best of both worlds with a stainless steel body and a copper cooling coil.
This all-in-one kit acts as both a fermentor and a still making it an ideal option for those new to the hobby. It is an economical option that is still able to produce quality spirits.
Unlike many other stills on the market, the Copper Top offers straightforward assembly. There are also many great extras included in this kit such as cheesecloth, a water pump, and a hydrometer just to name a few.
The Copper Top All-in-One kit comes equipped with a rigid, multi-purpose barrel and a distillation tower that fills 70-80% of the barrel capacity. The efficient design of this food-grade unit results in approximately 4kg of grain that will produce 3-4 liters of spirit — and it only takes 1-2 hours!
Another unique benefit of this kit is that it is designed for the stovetop. It is compatible with electric or gas stoves as well as induction burners. This means less additional equipment to buy and an easier set up for you.
The Olizee 8Gal Stainless Steel Whiskey Making Kit – The Best Thump Keg
- Large 8Gal boiler is perfect for brewing more whiskey at a time
- Includes copper cooling coil to eliminate sulfate and enhance the taste
- Can be used to distill wine, water, brandy, whiskey and much more
- Has a thumper keg included to add more flavor or for brewing sour mash whiskey
- Independent airway design allows the distillate to rise faster
Weight – 5.08kg
Boiler volume – 8Gal / 30l
Size – 14.2 x 14.2 x 7.8” large pot
Materials – Stainless steel
Cooling pipes - copper
Function – Make wine, brandy, whiskey, purify water and much more
Type – Thumper keg with independent airway
– The Best Value
The Appalachian All-in-One Stovetop kit is an easy to use kit that acts as both a fermentor as well as a still. It offers the flexibility of being able to heat on an electric or gas stove and can even be used with an induction cooktop. This means that you can easily run this smaller still in your kitchen or workshop.
The Appalachian offers an attractive, yet compact design that is perfect for the first-time shiner. It’s attractive price tag is even more incredible considering this still can also act as your fermentor.
The Appalachian Complete Stovetop Kit Includes:
- Built-in Thermometer (Celsius & Fahrenheit Readings)
- Stainless Steam Plate and Gauze Bag
- Makes: alcohol, ethanol, distilled water and essential oils
- Made with food grade materials
5 Gallon Copper Alembic Whiskey Making Kit – The Most Attractive
- The beautiful design is perfect for display when not in use
- Copper construction reduces sulfur in spirits for a better taste
- Nice and large boiler volume allows you to make lots of still
- High quality lead free materials that won’t fade in time
- The distiller is perfect for making various beverages and essential oils
Weight – 10lbs
Boiler volume – 5Gal
Size – 23 x 16 x 16”
Materials – Copper
Cooling pipes - Copper
Function – Bourbon, Whiskey, scotch, moonshine, rum, vodka and essential oils
The Best Whiskey Making Kits at a Glance
All of these alcohol distillers are good picks whether you are a beginner or an expert looking for some quality gear. If you have a hard time choosing the best of the bunch then perhaps this quick guide can help you decide;
All of these alcohol distillers are good picks whether you are a beginner or an expert looking for some quality gear. If you have a hard time choosing the best of the bunch then perhaps this quick guide can help you decide.
The overall best value – The Copper Top All-in-One Still Kit is a great combination of quality parts and an economical price. This kit is both a still and a fermentor and includes a water pump, cheesecloth and hydrometer.
Best Thump Keg – If you are serious about brewing and want to distill lots of spirits then the whiskey-making kit by Olizee is a great buy This whiskey making kit has an 8gal / 30l boiler that is perfect for brewing lots of still in one run.
The Best Small Still – The Appalachian’s compact design and economical price tag make it a great buy. This small still does double duty as a fermentor. Its design is not just practical but also beautiful which makes it the perfect kit.
The Most Attractive Still – If you are serious about brewing and want to distill lots of spirits then the 5 Gallon Alembic Copper Still is a great buy. Its copper material and distinct design means this model is perfect for putting on display in any home or bar.
If you prefer to experiment with a variety of stills and beverages then you can invest in any of these kits. They are all perfect for brewing a variety of beverages such as whiskey, scotch, rum, bourbon, tequila, vodka and can also be used to make essential oils.
What are the benefits of a Quality Whiskey Making Kit?
- A good quality kit offers you lots of positive benefits like the following;
- You will learn a great deal about alcohol and distilling when you brew your own moonshine
- The process is quite exciting and terrific for entertaining friends
- You can produce your own quality moonshine at a fraction of the cost of store bought products
- You have much more control over the taste of your spirits
- A good kit can make it much easier to produce quality spirits
- These quality kits are perfect for reducing the time required for producing moonshine
What is the best way to use a whiskey making kit?
Making your own moonshine is great fun but this hobby can be illegal in certain regions. Distillers also need to be mindful of the ABV levels of their spirits since it can be illegal to produce whisky with low ABV levels.
The best way to use your whiskey making kit is within legal limits and it is also important to follow professional instructions when producing your spirits. Incorrect methods and ingredients can affect the quality and taste of your product and could even render your product dangerous.
Check out The Complete Guide to Making Moonshine
Check out Is Moonshine Illegal?