Moonshine Still Pro Home Distillery Equipment.
If you’re looking to engage in the hobby of home distilling, Moonshine Still Pro is the online stop for you! We have custom designed still components as well as complete stainless steel and copper moonshine stills. Our “Ultimate Stovetop Still” has become one of the most popular small stills available in America. Our custom formed flanges and fittings have been used by over 1000 people in the construction of their own stills. We also offer wrought copper fittings in the types and sizes often used in still construction as well as copper tubing sold by the foot. Our focus is to bring home distillers the highest quality equipment and components they need at the lowest possible prices.
What is Moonshine?
Simply put, moonshine is untaxed distilled alcoholic intended for drinking. Traditional moonshine was made from fermented corn because corn was cheap and available. Although it can be made from a variety of fruits, sugars and grains. Products are now sold in taxed versions in liquor stores with "moonshine" or "moon" somewhere in the name. One can argue such products are not really true moonshine as they are produced in commercial distilleries often using processes not typically employed by the backwoods or home distiller. The government required classification at the bottom of the label will generally reveal the true nature of those products.
A Brief History of Moonshine.
Moonshine has a long, established history, starting just after the American Revolution. To avoid the federal tax placed on alcohol, some Americans began making their own whisky from their corn crops. Starting in the 18th century, moonshining (distilling untaxed alcohol) continued on as citizens became more angered at governmental restrictions on alcohol. Despite a failed Whisky Rebellion, the temperance movement and national Prohibition, moonshiners continued distilling and supplying moonshine whiskey. Because of the illegality, distillers used their moonshine stills at night, which lead to their name of “moonshiners.” After making the moonshine, “bootleggers” distributed the illicit whiskey to the demanding public often having to outrun police in high speed car chases.
After the Repeal of Prohibition, moonshine demand went down; however, recently there has been a groundswell of interest in hobby distilling to make homemade whiskey and other spirits. While using home distillery equipment to make whiskey or any alcoholic spirit is illegal, people are rarely ever prosecuted for making small quantities for personal consumption. The reason distilling is illegal is the government fears the loss of tax revenue. Prosecution then typically only occurs when there is a signidicant amount of tax revenue at stake or when people sell their distilled products illegally.
The Basics of Distilling.
Creating a distilled spirit is a two stage process; first Fermentation and then Distillation. Fermentation happens when microorganisms, usually yeast, metabolize (convert) sugars into alcohol. When starches from grain (corn, wheat, barley, rye) are converted into fermentable sugars by a mashing process and then yeast is used to convert those sugars into alcohol, we get beer. When the sugars from fruit (grapes, cherries, plums, peaches…) are converted by yeast to alcohol, we get wine. Beer is the pre-distilled form of whiskey and can also be the basis for vodka and gin. Wine is the pre-distilled form of brandy. So if you know how to make beer or wine, you're only one simple step away from distilling spirits.
Distillation is the process of attempting to separate the alcohol in an alcoholic drink from everything else. The form of alcohol that we enjoy in drinks is ethanol, and it boils and begins to turn to vapor at about 173 degrees. Water, on the other hand, boils at 212 degrees. So by slowly heating a mixture that contains alcohol and water (such as beer, wine or other fermented wash), it is possible to vaporize the ethanol while leaving much of the water in the liquid state. When ethanol is vaporized, it floats up and away from the liquid mixture. As this vapor is cooled it re-condenses and turns back into a liquid. A still is the apparatus one uses to hold your fermented wash, contain the steam vapors, cool them back into a liquid, and then let that distillate run out into a container.
Building a Moonshine Still at Home.
You too can build a moonshine still at home. All it takes is a little soldering skill and some basic fabrication aptitude. What you can’t buy at your local hardware store is likely to be available right here at Moonshine Still Pro.
Whether you're looking to build a simple pot still or are designing a more sophisticated reflux column still, we have the products for you. From stainless steel boiler pots with copper domes to custom designed copper flanges our goal is to provide the components you need that are unavailable or difficult to find anywhere else. And remember to check back often as we are developing new moonshine still products and adding them to our site all the time.
Need information on moonshine recipes and distilling procedures? We have that too. Moonshine Still Pro will be the site you’ll want to return to again and again as you progress in your new distilling hobby.