Alcohol Stills come in many different shapes and sizes. The intention of this website is to offer a full understanding of the different still designs, how each type of still works, and what different alcohol stills were designed to do. In addition, we will give instructions for building your own still, and also direct you to websites offering stills for sale.
First, it is important to know just what an alcohol still is. There is a common misconception that an alcohol still actually makes alcohol. This is not at all the case. A still is simply a separator that works by boiling liquid, and separating the vapor based on boiling points. This is the same whether distilling alcohol, water, vinegar, or anything else. Therefore, in order to distill alcohol you must have alcohol present in the boiler. This is done through a process called fermentation. Many people try to jump straight into alcohol distillation without a proper understanding of fermentation. This can lead to frustration and poor results. A full understanding of fermentation is absolutely essential in making good alcohol, therefore we will go into great detail on the subject. Some of the information within may appear to be over-simplified, but this is for very good reason. In understanding the basics you are far better equipped to make adjustments and improvements in your finished alcohol. It will also aid you in resolving any issues that may arise in the fermentation process, helping to avoid ruined batches (also called a waste of money).
Alcohol distillation is a two-step process. First comes fermentation, as mentioned, followed by distillation. During the distillation process you will separate the alcohol from the rest of the components in your boiling vessel. Hence, we generally refer to the apparatus used for separation as an alcohol still. Although many people try to jump into the actual distillation of alcohol without a full understanding of the underlying process, it is very important to resist this urge and do some reading prior to proceeding. Spending that bit of extra time gaining a good understanding of the process will ensure good results every time.
There are additional steps that may be required, depending on exactly what type of alcohol you are producing. For example, to produce a truly clean vodka you will need to filter your alcohol through activated carbon. For whisky, you will need to age in (or with) oak in order to achieve the final flavor desired. Rum can be left as a 'white rum, aged similar to whisky for golden rum, or have caramelized sugar added for dark rum. These are all specific types of spirit requiring different steps in order to attain the final result. However, all spirits have the first two steps in common- fermentation and distillation.
So, onto the fun part...
Gain a complete understanding of the process of alcohol fermentation
Go to the next step- separating the alcohol through distillation
Alcohol Filtration and Aging
Going the extra mile
The types of alcohol stills and their uses
Building an Alcohol Still
So, you want to build your own still? Detailed instructions to do just that
Buying a Still
Is it better to build or buy? You may be surprised at the answer! Find out where to buy an alcohol still and what they cost.
Other excellent places to find information