Recently, I invited a friend over to have some drinks and chat. But, because he arrived early, I asked him to wait for some minutes, while I was still doing my cleaning. And guess what I was cleaning? My whiskey still, of course! While my friend laughed that I give “this old still” (as he called it) such attention, he was really amazed to see how clean my still is. His still never looks like this, he told me. So, we started talking about stills, what are they made of, why it is good to have a 100% copper and lead-free still, how to polish it and plenty more other similar topics. Then, as we were talking I mentioned something about copper sulfate, which made my friends’ eyebrows rise. And, as I was explaining to him what that is and what is it useful for, I realized that maybe, there are plenty more people out there who don’t know much about copper sulfate and why is it important in moonshining. Hence, I decided to tell you all about it.
What you need to know, first of all, is that copper sulfate is a mineral composite, which chains sulfur with copper. And what is its connection with a whiskey still? Well, copper sulfate is as important for moonshine making as having a still made 100% out of copper and lead free:
• copper sulfate appears during the distillation process, when copper and sulfur interact
• this process proves to be extremely helpful, as it prevents the contamination of the moonshine, thus ensuring the quality, taste and looks of it (and, as moonshine lovers, you all understand the importance of this development, as you know that sulfates in moonshine can change the taste and make it really bad, thus ruining your entire moonshine making process)
• moreover, copper sulfate can destroy bacteria, fungi, roots, snails, algae and plants; thou you will probably not find all of them in your whiskey still, there is an increased risk of developing bacteria, something which the copper sulfate will easily take care of, thus protecting your health
• also, as copper sulfate sticks to the still’s walls, you are more inclined to clean it really fast and good; this cleaning (which will also include scrubbing) will remove any unpleasant look of the copper still, as well as unwanted smells (such as that of rotten eggs - for which you can blame hydrogen sulfide), restoring the copper to its glory.
Now you understand better why copper sulfate is quite important in making moonshine. Without it, you face an increased risk of having a bulky number of bacteria, fungi, etc., as well as the danger of destroying the aroma of the moonshine. Also, if the sulfate would not stick to the still, we would probably not be tempted to clean it so good, as it would not look like that; we would probably only realize something’s wrong the moment it starts getting that H2S smell – of rotten eggs (which would not be too good for us and our health).
Hence, now you know a couple of things about copper sulfate. So, the next time you hear this being mentioned, especially in connection with a whiskey still, you will know why it is of such great importance.