Before you get started
- Check the legalities in your country / state.
- Purchase a decent still from a legitimate source. Do not use pressure cookers. Unless you have experience with flammable liquids we recommend the purchase of an electric still.
- Different stills do different things - A POT still is good if you wish to make whiskey where the flavor comes from the mash. A REFLUX or FRACTIONATING still is used to make neutral (tastless) alcohol which will be flavored later.
- Read the directions or better yet take a class.
Making a wash
- You must first ferment and create alcohol before you can distill. The fermented beverage you create is typically called a "WASH" Different wash recipes are used to create different spirits. Refer to our recipe page for a few to get you started.
- After the wash ferments it is ready to distill. It is best if you can give it time to settle out the dead yeasts and other matter before carefully siphoning the liquid into your still.
- To distill (read the directions for your still) the process works like this
- Bring up to boiling temperature (start the cooling water through the condensors once you get to about 50-60oC), then once it has started distilling;Turn off the power, then the cooling water. Open the lid, so that it doesn't create a vacuum inside the still & crush it. Wash up the still, dry it well, and then store/hide the pieces.
- Discard the first 50 mL's (this may contain some methanol),
- Collect the next 2-3L of distillate.
- Segregate the distillate into 500 mL containers as you collect it.
- Stop distilling once the temperature gets to 96oC (else the flavours get nasty).
- Set aside any distillate which smells of tails/fusels. This can be added to the wash of the next run, and cleaned up then.
- If you've made a neutral spirit, dilute it down to 30-50 % purity, then soak it with carbon for a week or two to help clean up any flavors still present.
- Dilute it down to drinking strength (20-40%), then age and flavor the spirit, using either commercial essences, oak chips, fruits.
- Find a comfortable spot to sit, put on your music of choice, then sip & enjoy with the ones you love.
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