Is a reflux column still the answer to your moonshine dreams? If you want to spend less time shinin' and more time drinkin' a reflux column still is for you.
When you look at a reflux column still it is immediately clear we aren’t in Kansas anymore. Unlike a pot still, which looks like a second cousin to your basic cookery set, a column still is next level.
From its unique design comes a performance designed to give you a high ABV, consistent results, and a neutral spirit perfect for flavoring.
A reflux column still is truly a step up in moonshine.
Are you ready to level up to The Standard? Our premium still combines all the benefits of a reflux column still with the ease of use How to Moonshine is known for.
We have taken everything that is great about reflux column stills and combined that with an electric heating system. This combination has created a still that is extremely user-friendly while producing premium results.
The Standard is a first-in-class reflux column still with copper mesh packing for neutral high-proof spirits in a single run.
Spend more time enjoying your shine and less time making it with this amazing still.
The Easiest Column Still you Will Ever Use
Not only is The Standard a gorgeous still, but it is also extremely user-friendly. Unlike other column stills on the market, The Standard has a built-in electrical system. This means that you can simply set your temperature and start collecting your shine.
This ‘set it and forget it’ system makes shinin’ easier than ever and with our tall column packed with copper, you are going to get outstanding results every time.
The Standard even features a drain spout to make drainage simple, clean, and easy.
The Standard Does Double Duty
Not only does The Standard do an amazing job at producing high-proof shine, but it can also act as your distiller. This saves you money but also precious storage space.
Still Height: 45.5 inches or 116 cm
Barrel height: 29.5 cm or 11.5 inches
Diameter of the reflux column: 38 mm or 1.5 inches
Dry burn prevention
Electric power with temperature control
The Benefits of a Reflux Column Still
There are many benefits to owning a reflux column still. First of all, column stills are just pretty to look at. While a pot still may look like a distant cousin of something you already have in your cupboard, a column still is definitely more of a work of art.
A column still is a great option if you want to create a neutral spirit with a high ABV.
You can also add a gin basket which allows you to flavor your moonshine during distillation for a subtle infusion of flavor.
A reflux still is also the best option for creating fuel ethanol.
In commercial applications, column stills are a preferred option because they are capable of continuous distillation. This allows for a more consistent final product.
Why Buy From Us?
At How to Moonshine we want to guide you every step of the way through your moonshining journey.
We offer a FREE How to Make Moonshine E-book that takes you through the process step-by-step. This is a great way to become educated and learn what it takes to make delicious spirits from the comforts of home.
We also have a large ‘how-to’ section which has in-depth articles walking you through different processes in a straightforward and easy-to-understand manner.
We Offer Great After Care
We offer amazing aftercare for all of our shiners. We are available through instant message and email to answer any questions you may have about your still or about making moonshine itself.
We also have a large library of moonshine recipes. You can always find a new recipe to try or a cocktail to make. Making moonshine will never get boring.
Our Stills Are Amazing
We have a great collection of stills to suit any shiner. From our ‘press and play’ Moonshine Cherry to our premium Standard, we can find the perfect still for you.
Unike many of our competitors we offer detailed and illustrated manuals that walk you through the assembly of your still and how to make distilled water, spirits, and essential oils.
Pot Still Vs. Reflux Stills
To understand which still will be the best fit for you as a shiner you need to know what type of spirit you want to produce.
Considering the design of a column still and a pot still are so different, it makes sense that they would produce different results.
What is a Pot Still?
A pot still, such as the Magnum, is designed to collect and condense the alcohol vapors that come off of your boiling mash. Your pot still will produce a spirit that has an alcohol purity between 40 to 60% which is full of flavor.
Pot stills also do batch distillation. Once you have run your mash you have the opportunity to run it again to increase the purity to around 70-85%. In fact, when you see pictures of moonshine jugs with XXX, it actually refers to the number of times the shine has been distilled. However, it is important to note that with each distillation, you will also lose flavor.
What is a Reflux Column Still?
A column still is so named for its tall column which connects the kettle or pot and the condenser. This column can be packed (often with copper mesh) in order to allow the vapor to condense and trickle back down through the packing. This reflux of liquid will increase the purity as you are essentially doing multiple distillations in a single run.
Using copper as your packing gives the additional benefit of removing any sulphur from your mash. This will remove the unappealing smell and taste-like stinky eggs, that sulphur can leave in your spirit.
Size Does Matter
When it comes to column stills, size really does matter. The taller the packed column the more opportunity for reflux and the purer the final result. The diameter of the column will also impact the amount of vapor and reflux that travels in the column.
With a pure result also comes a very neutral final product which is great if you want to make vodka or flavor your moonshine after distillation.
Add Copper Mesh to Your Moonshine Still for a premium taste at an affordable price.
Why Do Moonshiners Use Copper?
There are many benefits to adding copper to your moonshine still. Copper is a great conductor of heat so it is a great choice for distilling, which uses heat to remove the ethanol from your fermented mash.
However, the biggest benefit of using copper in your distilling is its ability to remove the sulfur taste and smell from your final product.
With this in mind, many shiners use copper stills in their shining. It’s a great option for those with unlimited funds but does come with its drawbacks.
The first disadvantage of course is cost. Even the smallest of copper stills will run you big bucks. In addition, copper is difficult to clean and maintain. This means that without a lot of upkeep you will not be able to keep producing your shine.
Our Copper Mesh is:
10 cm (4 inches) wide
10 meters (32 feet) long
Copper Mesh for Distilling
Copper mesh is a great compromise for those who want all the benefits of using copper in their distilling without the heavy price tag.
By combining a stainless steel moonshine still and the use of copper mesh you can find a great balance between performance and availability. As the copper mesh is removable, it is easier to clean and maintain.
Many experienced shiners prefer to use structured pure copper mesh for distilling because it is highly efficient and easy to use.
What is Copper Mesh Used For?
Copper mesh can be used in both reflux column stills and pot stills. In reflux column stills copper mesh plays a big role. By packing your column with the copper mesh you can both improve the flavor and increase the ABV (alcohol by volume).
Of course, your taste is improved by the copper mesh reacting with the sulfur compounds that are in your fermented mash and eliminating their unpleasant taste and odor.
In a reflux column, your copper mesh does double duty by increasing the surface area for the vapor/liquid contact so that the chemical separation is as efficient as possible.
While you want to fill your entire column with copper mesh, you also need to leave adequate room for the vapor to rise through.
How Copper Mesh Increases the ABV
When you pack your column still, whether you use copper mesh or another material, you will create a slight ‘reflux’ action.
This happens when the vapor rises and encounters material that has a slightly lower temperature than the boiler. Ideally, it would be slightly below the boiling temperature of the water but slightly above the temperature of the alcohol.
This would allow the water vapor to turn back into a liquid and allow the alcohol vapor to continue to rise.
While your vapors rise, they will also trickle down and pass through the material before rising again. This is essentially allowing for multiple distillations in a single run. This means you can spend less time running your still and more time enjoying your shine.
Can You Use Copper Mesh in a Pot Still?
Yes, you can! Copper mesh still has many benefits when using a pot still. For example, in our Magnum All-in-One Still, you can simply add copper mesh to the large ‘football’ shaped canister.
Caring for Your Copper Mesh
It is important to note that copper mesh doesn’t have a shelf life. You have to use what you buy continuously. This is because when copper is exposed to air it will have a reaction, think of what happens to a shiny penny after being in circulation.
It is also important to take note that copper mesh needs to be properly cleaned after every run. Failing to clean your copper mesh could result in a foul-tasting moonshine still.
There are several options for cleaning your copper mesh.
Vinegar/water mix 50:50 ratio
No matter which cleaning agent you choose, submerge your copper for a minimum of one hour, up to 24 hours.
Take your shine to flavor country with a gin basket.
Column stills are a great option if you want to create a neutral spirit with a high ABV. Unfortunately, unless you are making vodka, your spirits could end up lacking in the flavor department.
However, adding a gin basket can change all that.
What is a Gin Basket?
A gin basket is a handy little add-on to your moonshine still which allows you to infuse flavor into your spirits.
Gin baskets got their name from their ability to add unique botanicals during distillation which give gin its signature flavor.
Despite the name, a gin basket can be used to add any flavor to any spirit. Of course, you can also flavor your spirits after distillation. However, often the added flavor will overpower the flavor of your shine. A dangerous option to add to your favorite cocktail.
Using a gin basket allows you to produce a much more subtle flavoring. Think of it as a supporting actor rather than the lead. It allows a combination of both spirit and flavor together. A great option if you want to be able to sip your spirit and enjoy it, rather than have its taste masked in a cocktail.
In other words, adding flavor during the distillation process is an easy way to add depth of flavor to your final product.
How Does a Gin Basket Work?
A gin basket works by having the vapors pass through the ingredients, whether it be botanicals, fruit, or a combination of both. A gin basket is added into your still before your condenser allowing the flavor as well as the spirit to be condensed together.
Of course, you can also simply infuse your spirits with flavor after it is distilled. However, this process is not ideal if you want to maintain clear spirits consistent with those that are distilled in a commercial setting. Adding a gin basket is a great way to really take your moonshine to the next level.
What Can I Put in a Gin Basket?
Unlike the name suggests gin baskets are not just for making gin. You can infuse your spirits with pretty much whatever your heart desires, although most sick to fruit, spices, and botanicals.
Gin baskets are a great way to add a depth of flavor to your shine. A popular option is to infuse additional flavors when making fruit-based shine. This is a great way to produce a really well-made spirit from the comforts of home.
Where Do you Put a Gin Basket in a Reflux Still?
The gin basket can really be placed anywhere before the condenser, however, the placement of the gin basket will affect your final result.
For a more subtle flavor, place the gin basket at the bottom of the rectification column.
If you want your flavors to pack more of a punch place the gin basket higher up.