This blog provides information for educational purposes only. All copper "moonshine" distillers featured on the site are non-functional props. All recipes and "how to's" are theoretical. All scenarios are fictitious. No laws were broken during production of the material found on this site. Products sold are intended to be used in accordance with the proper licensing or permitting procedure of the respective jurisdiction of the user. Read our complete legal summary for more info.
This is part 2 of our article on the top 10 reasons you should NOT make moonshine. Click here to check out 10 Reasons to Not Make Moonshine - Part 1.
6. The Feds Will Have Access to Your Personal Information
Federal rules require manufacturers of distillation equipment to keep records of customer names and information. Clawhammer Supply does not report this information to the TTB or anyone else. If purchasing a still online, make sure to email or call the company selling the item and ask them if they are required by the TTB to report sales. Read more info in this article we wrote on moonshine laws.
7. You Don't Have the Right Equipment
You can make moonshine using all kinds of crappy equipment, but it doesn't mean the moonshine will be good and that you won't poison or blow yourself up in the process (keep reading for more info on that). The bottom line is that you need to have a good still to make good whiskey.
The problem with good stills is that they’re expensive. The best stills are made from 100% copper, and copper is pretty pricey. However, having a copper still is worth the extra cash. Copper does an excellent job of distributing heat, meaning that you’re much less likely to scorch a batch of wash. It also makes your whiskey taste better by reacting with sulfides in the wash and removing them. As a result, the end product tastes better, smells better, and is much smoother.
If money ain’t no big deal to you, hop online and buy a pre-built still. Just make sure to get one that is pure copper. If you don’t have unlimited resources but still want a high quality, 100% copper still, consider buying a kit and putting it together yourself. It’s not that difficult.
If you're looking to get started with distilling and want a high quality still for a good price, we’d suggest that you buy one of our moonshine still kits. They’re pretty much awesome. You’ll also need a few other things in order to make mash, ferment, etc., so make sure to check out our distillation equipment guide.
8. Your Might Burn Your House Down
Want to know the best way to burn your house down while making moonshine? Distill indoors. If your goal is to end up on the evening news, looking like an idiot in front of the entire town, make moonshine on your stove top. We can’t guarantee that something will go wrong and that your entire house will be engulfed in flames, but distilling indoors will definitely increase the odds. On the off chance that you’d like to make your own whiskey without risking a house fire, it would be a great idea to do some additional reading on how to make moonshine safely.
9. You Will Make Poison
If you’re going to make moonshine, one thing you need to know is that poisoning yourself is a real possibility. There a few ways this might happen.
Making moonshine with a still that is constructed with any other material than copper is a bad idea. Certain types of metal can leech into moonshine during the distillation process. Contaminated moonshine could injure or even kill someone. If you’re going to distill, always use a 100% copper still.
Never use an antique still, even if it is copper. Why? Old stills (or any still you did not build yourself for that matter) could have been assembled with solder that contains lead. Lead can be very toxic. So, your best bet is to stay away from these stills. Also, if building a still for yourself, always use lead-free solder.
Although it is unlikely, the possibility of methanol poisoning exists and should not be ignored. Make sure to discard foreshots, as described in our article on methanol in moonshine. Also, checkout our article "Making Moonshine - The Dummies' Guide" for more information on making safe moonshine.
10. You'll Get Stupid Drunk and Do Things That Will Embarrass Your Mother
Let’s be honest, moderation has never been your strong point. You won’t be sipping this stuff during cocktail hour down at the country club, you’ll be chugging it by the jar-full. What happens after that is anybody’s guess. At least you’ll have plenty of friends (as do most folks who make their own whiskey). Hopefully one of them will stay sober enough to tell you what happened the night before, because you’re probably going to want to know how you got that tattoo on your face and where your pants got off to. To be clear, Clawhammer Supply does not condone such reckless drunken behavior and we hope y'all stay safe out there. Please, if you can’t drink a tug of shine without pissing your pants and getting thrown in jail, please don't start making it! It'll be better for everyone.