Urban Moonshining: Home Distilling for Fun and (not) Profit

Copper Pot Still
At some point in high school, my friends and I decided to learn the lost craft of home distillation. We started with the best of intentions (well, not really), but were unable to build stills that functioned until we hit college. Since then, we have just about perfected the process of distilling tasty, cheap rum on a stove top. John Martin has chronicled our steps and missteps over the years in a series of blog posts. The first three cover the background story, the basics of fermenting a rum wash, and the general process of distillation. The final post covers the specifics of urban moonshining; that is, plans for a micro still that allows for home distilling within the confines of the average apartment.

Stove Top Still

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4 Replies to “Urban Moonshining: Home Distilling for Fun and (not) Profit”

  1. if u dont know the temperature and u reach the boiling point you will make toxid moonshine and it will taste like asss! you need to stay below 172 degrees or it will make POISON.! haha not good english i know XD

    1. “..you need to stay below 172 degrees or it will make POISON!”

      That is nonsense. Nothing is “made” in a still. Alcohols are heated and the vapors rise to be condensed into a liquid and caught in a container. Nothing new is formed.

      Different alcohols evaporate at different temperatures. At the beginning of a run, I’ll start catching the foreshots at well below 172. The ethanol starts coming heavy in the 170’s. Then, as the ethanol is slowly evaporated, the heavier alcohols start coming at temperatures above 172. Those are the tails and are used in a subsequent run.

      No poison whatsoever. Think about this.. you are fermenting a beer then evaporating off the ethanol. If there were poison in a beer ferment, when you drink beer you would be drinking the poison.

      Please refrain from input when you have no direct knowledge or else you spread nonsense.

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