Frequently Asked Questions about a Moonshine Still Kit
Is it easy to distill using a moonshine still kit?
The quick and simple answer to this question is yes. The process of distilling is easy as long as you can follow instructions and have the patience to operate a still and watch it consistently until the run or the distillation process is complete. It is important to never leave a still unguarded.
Is it legal to distill using a moonshine still kit?
Unless you are in New Zealand, distilling is illegal everywhere else. Punishment for illegal distillation range from fines, imprisonment to flogging. Always be aware of the rules and regulations within your locality. Similarly, be aware of the consequences of your actions.
In this documentary called “The Last One,” Popcorn Sutton shows the traditional way of making moonshine.
Can distilling cause blindness?
The pervasive belief that moonshine can cause blindness is mainly due to actual cases where methanol was present in the distillate. Methanol or wood alcohol poisons the optic nerve and could be present in tiny amounts. Fortunately, methanol could be discarded and segregated.
Poisoning only occurs when the fermentation and distillation process was done sloppily. It also occurs when adulterants such as antifreeze and battery acid were placed in the still.
Can distilling cause fires?
It is fact that distilling, specially indoors, is a fire hazard. Thus it is a must that a still be always guarded. Do not forget that alcohol vapor is extremely flammable. The instance a moonshine still has leaks, alcohol vapor could easily escape. Methanol flames are invisible and one realizes its combustive property only when a still explodes or you see items melting. If a moonshine still kit has leaks, it needs to be properly repaired and soldered before use. A fire extinguisher must also be readily accessible nearby.
The below video shows methanol burning in the absence of visible flames.
What can a moonshine still do?
A moonshine still can be used to make whiskey, moonshine, vodka, gin or rum. It could also be used to distill water or essential oils.
Is there a type of still that can remove a distillate’s off-taste?
Regardless of the moonshine still kit used, the off-taste present in a distillate could be due to cogeners, fusel oils or impurities. At times, these contaminants have a wet cardboard smell. Usually, they are also present when a pot still is used. It is therefore advisable to use a taller column as well as increase the quantity of reflux. Similarly, it helps if the still is made from copper. It has been seen that copper assists in catalyzing sulphur, organic acids and esters thereby reducing a distillate’s off odor and taste.
Is it easy to make a moonshine still kit?
It is easier to purchase a moonshine still than make one. However, one does not need a moonshine still in order to distill alcohol. Basic kitchen tools and equipments could be used to make an improvised still. Either way, whether a still is bought or made, one must have patience to go through the actual distillation process.
Posted by Jason Stone on