One question we get all the time at the Whiskey Still Company is: "Can my Still be used to make spirits other than moonshine?" I'm happy to say that the answer to that is a resounding "YES!"
Our Still's unique onion-head design is not only perfect for making clear, smooth 'shine, but it can also be put to task to create a variety of other spirits and essential oils. You can think of it as the Swiss Army knife of stills! Here's how you can use it to make three of the most popular liquors:
Prepare your mash from ingredients rich in starch and sugars like grains, potatoes or molasses, strain it and let it ferment. Add your yeast of choice and make sure you keep the mash at the right temperature, about 80-85°F for a good, efficient fermentation.
Transfer your fermented alcoholic wash into your copper still and fire it up, following our normal distillation guidelines. Because vodka gets its clarity and purity through multiple distillation stages, you'll want to run it through your copper still at least three or four times. Then filter your distillate using a funnel, with a cotton ball at the bottom.
Finally, dilute your vodka using an alcoholmeter to a range between 30-37.5% ABV.
First dissolve sugar and molasses in boiling water. Cool off the mix by adding colder water until it reaches approximately 80°F, and then add yeast. Distillers prefer faster-working yeast for lighter rums and a slower-working one for dark rum, as the latter causes more esters to accumulate during fermentation which results in a fuller taste.
Wait 3-7 days and then distill to between 85-96% ABV.
Then age your rum if desired in either a wooden barrel or stainless steel tank. Add spices such as vanilla, peppercorns, cinnamon, or star anise for spiced rum.
Start with a mash from wheat, rye, and malted barley and distill it in your copper pot still.
Add juniper berries for your second distillation and then add a more varied mix of spices (like coriander seeds, sweet orange peel, lemon, lime, cloves, cinnamon sticks, anise, fennel, rosemary and cardamom seeds) alongside fresh juniper, for the third run. A fourth run can also be done, for a stronger flavor and higher proof. You can add the botanicals loose in the pot still or place them in a cotton sack.
As a basic rule, you can add about 1 ounce of botanical mix per liter of alcohol. Typically, a fine gin contains between 6-10 botanicals but the combination depends very much on taste and quantities, as long as you make sure that juniper is predominant.
JasonP.S. The first step to making all these enticing liquors, of course, is to get yourself or your favorite home distiller wanna be, one of our distinctive onion-dome copper stills.
Posted by Jason Stone on