Before you Start:
It is important to read the instructions for your Blue Ridge All-in-One still before you start. It will help you feel familiar with your new still and ensure that your still is operated properly.
Check out this video to see step-by-step instructions on how to properly assemble your Blue Ridge All-in-One still.
Assembling your Blue Ridge Still:
- Remove the large clamp from the pot and remove all the parts of the still from inside the pot.
- Attach the feet to the false bottom and place it in the bottom of your still.
- Put the silicone washer in place on the lid.
- Now you are ready to attach the thumper keg.
- Use the small clamp. Hand tighten to snug.
- Gently shape the liquid spout downward.
- Seal the still with the large clamp.
- Attach the silicone hose to your still and water pump. It should attach in two places. One for the input and one for the output.
Assembling your Blue Ridge as a Fermentor:
It only takes a few simple steps to turn your Blue Ridge still into a fermentor.
- To change your Blue Ridge from a still to a fermentor, simply remove the thumper keg by removing the small clamp.
- Place the silicone stopper in the hole and add the airlock.
Once you have successfully assembled your still, it is important to run your still full of water to remove any impurities that may be present from the manufacturing process. Taking this extra step is a great way to protect yourself from any lingering by-products of the manufacturing process but will also help you become familiar and more comfortable with your machine.
How to Distill Water:
Before using your Blue Ridge All-in-One still, it is recommended to clean the inside and outside of the still and fill it with clean water. It is important that the first time you distill water in your still it is discarded to protect you from any potential lingering by-products from the manufacturing process.
STEP 1 - Assemble your still for distilling
• Follow the directions above or watch the YouTube video for easy visual instructions
• Fill the pot of the still with water and attach the lid.
STEP 2 - DISTIL
• Place your water pump in cold water (you can probably use your kitchen sink.)
• Place your still on your stove and set the heat to medium-high. You can always adjust the heat as necessary.
• As your still warms up, you will notice output from the long spout. Be sure you have something underneath it to collect your distilled water.
• Once you have completed your run, be sure to turn off the heat and the water pump.
• Do not handle the still until it is fully cooled.
How to Make Essential Oils:
STEP 1 - FILL
- Place the clean plant material in the pot of the Blue Ridge All-in-one still and add enough water to cover. The amount of water necessary to fill your still varies depending on the type of plant used.
STEP 2 - DISTIL
- Place your water pump in cold water (you can probably use your kitchen sink.)
- Place your still on your stove and set the heat to medium-high. You can always adjust the heat as necessary.
- As your still warms up, you will notice output from the long spout. Be sure you have something underneath it to collect your distilled water.
- It is recommended to keep a close eye on the output and collect in fractions. The reason for this is because the quality of output will drop off at the end of your run and you will want to discard this 'cooked' output.
- Collect a maximum distillate of 80% of the volume of water put in the boiler to make sure it does not boil dry and cook the plant material.
- The distillate collected will be mainly hydrosol (water-based plant extract) but there will be essential oil with it. The oil will separate out over time and will float on the surface (for nearly all oils, there are a few which are denser than water and will end up on the bottom).
- Once you have completed your run, be sure to turn off the heat and the water pump.
- Do not handle the still until it is fully cooled.
STEP 3 - SEPARATE THE OIL
- The oil can then be separated off from the hydrosol by pipette or with an oil separator used in cooking. Hydrosol can also often be used in many applications (rose water, lavender water, etc). Yields of oil are low, a yield of 1-2% is considered good.
How to Distill Spirits
Moonshine is a three-step process. In order to prepare a mash or wash for spirit distillation, it must first be fermented. Making spirits is a three-step process. Each step needs to be completed properly in order for the process to work.
One of the benefits of the Blue Ridge All-in-One still is the fact that you can use the pot still as both a still and a fermentor. This means less equipment to buy and store.
Check out How to Make Moonshine from Cereal.
Assembling your Still for Fermentation:
Fermentation is the second step of making moonshine. The first step is to prepare a mash. If you are making a mash using grain you will need to check for conversion. While you are making a mash, you need to convert your grains from starch into fermentable sugars.
Check out this video on how to check for mash conversion.
Once converted, your mash needs to be fermented. The most important part of fermenting is to remember to open your valve and insert your airlock. Your airlock is going to tell you what is going on inside your still. It is also going to allow the carbon dioxide to escape and avoid any unnecessary accidents.
Why is an Airlock Important?
During the fermentation process, yeast is eating the fermentable sugars and turning them into alcohol.
This process releases carbon dioxide. Just picture the tiny bubbles that rise to the surface when you drink. If the bubbles are not able to escape they can build up and cause an explosion. Obviously, this is dangerous. So it is important to either ferment without a lid (not recommended) or to always open the valve and use the airlock.
Before starting your first run, it is important to become familiar with the process of making moonshine. It is a three-step process that requires precision and attention to detail.
We strongly suggest becoming familiar with the 'How to Make Moonshine' PDF that was sent to you.
Any grain-based alcohol needs to be fractioned. If you are unfamiliar with this process check out the information in our How to Make Moonshine guide.
We strongly suggest distilling water as a first step to become familiar with your still.
The laws regarding the personal distillation of spirits vary from state to state and country to country. For your own personal protection, it is important to look up the laws in your area to see what permits need to be obtained in order to fulfill the requirements for your area.
For more information, please read our blog: Is Moonshine Illegal?