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.

March 30, 2013

Thermometer - Custom Moonshine Still Mod

How to install a Thermometer in a Moonshine Still

The number one question we get asked VIA email and over the phone is this: "How do you add a thermometer to the still and where is the best place to install it?" When making moonshine it isn't critical, or even absolutely necessary to measure temperature, but there are a few benefits. A thermometer can be used to help detect the presense of methanol in moonshine and can also be used to determine when to shut down the still at the end of a run

 

Measure Liquid Temp and/or Vapor Temp with a Permanent Copper Fitting and 3" Thermometer

The absolute best way to add a thermometer to your copper moonshine still is to permanently install a 1/2" copper bung and then screw a stainless steel thermometer with 1/2" NPT threads into that.  You can solder the copper fitting into the boiler of the still or solder it into the column with the column thermometer kit. Apply Teflon tape to threads on thermometer and screw thermometer into copper fitting. Hand tighten and then snug with pliers. Do not over tighten!! We searched high and low for a thermometer that we are extremely happy with. You can purchase our boiler and column thermometer kit by clicking on the pictures below.

Top Secret Pro Tip: Use a Stepped Drill Bit For Boiler Wall Hole

After we created and published our thermometer video someone emailed us and mentioned that we should use a stepped bit to make the hole for the thermometer in the still boiler wall. If there is a right tool for this job, the stepped drill bit is it! We managed to get by with our tin snips, but it's not the easiest thing to do and also doesn't produce a very clean opening. Stepped bits are self piloting and they make a super clean hole in the copper. We definitely picked one up for the shop after seeing how awesome they are.
  • I’m makeing a boiler pot out of a stainless keg is it better to install theomometer on top of keg or at top of column or both and what should temperature read on each for best yield??? Also I wanted to make a thumper pot can I use an aluminum keg for that.

    Posted by KAyne on September 03, 2015
  • Where is the best place to install a thermometer in a pot still? is it in the liquid or high up in the vapors? Need to know which type of thermometer to purchase.

    Posted by Sam on July 23, 2015
  • While installing thermometer, solder went through and melted to end of it. Material does not begin bubbling thru until the thermometer reads 200f, I’m assuming that really is 172 because I’m checking my proofs and they’re good.

    My question is, is it possible to get rid of that solder, just reheat and melt or possibly sand it off w a Dremel?

    Posted by NIck on June 06, 2015
  • Sr. please . I need inf. about to pucharse the distiller but I need to buy complete I want to make also rum I live in domenican republic and I do not a lot of experience but I need every thing for the kit to procuve rum and more proof like 90%

    Posted by lorenzo sanchez on May 23, 2015
  • Is there a difference between a liquid Temp and a VAPOR TEMP THERMOMETER, other THAN WHERE IT IS PLACED
    tHANKS, CRAIG

    Posted by Craig on April 28, 2015
  • what is the advantage of a column thermometer or a boiler thermometer, will a turkey burner work, will it get to hot.

    Posted by Kevin on December 22, 2014
  • Hello, I’m looking for a sealent for the copper fittings on my still. What would be safe and work the best? Stock pot is stainless and pipe is copper so it would have to adhear to both . Thanks

    Posted by Sketch on July 31, 2014
  • I have not checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend ckefedfffabb

    Posted by Johne728 on July 30, 2014
  • Your piping what type of copper do you use L,M or DWV .

    Posted by Bruce W Shoemaker on March 31, 2014
  • Kyle, I am looking into getting an electric burner instead of using flames. Can you recommend any particular one. Thanks and as always shine safely.

    Posted by Shawn on February 16, 2014
  • I just completed my sacrificial run in my 5 gal CH. It came out real nice.
    My question is. The temp. reading I get in my gauge which is a portable digital, installed through a small hole in the plate starts out in the low 190 deg and finishes in the 200s.
    II assume I would get lower temps if one was is installed in the top of the column.
    However I just ran by smell and taste and got a wonderful 1st run, but new to this, I was wondering if the vapor temps coming from the vapor cap are reasonable.
    This was pretty much an easy, enjoyable build, and looks awesome.

    Posted by Ron Carl on February 06, 2014
  • im trying to install a therometer on a pressure cooker still and my holes to big and idk how to seal it. would kock be ok to seal it or would it b poisionous??

    Posted by colt g on February 02, 2014
  • what is the best solder to use?

    Posted by joe mcdonald on January 15, 2014
  • 1) What is the typical yield in gallons of shine if I run a batch using your 10 gallon still?

    2) I’m a newbie. I will need help. If I buy your still kit, will you provide telephone support?

    Posted by greg on January 15, 2014
  • How would I install a thermometer in a stainless steel keg?

    Posted by Randy on January 08, 2014
  • hello, i was curious to know if maybe yall had any plans to make a kit for a still bigger than 10 gallons.

    Posted by justin on January 05, 2014
  • I have built a copper Internal Reflux Condenser Still. I’m considering installing a thermometer/pressure gage on the cap at the top of the column head close to where the alcohol vapor enters the condenser jacket. Is measuring the vapor temperature on the column head a good option or should I install a thermometer in the boiler to measure the fluid temperature instead? I have a stainless steel boiler that I would prefer not to drill a hole to install the thermometer.

    Posted by Jon on December 13, 2013
  • I’m attaching the boiler with rivets and I started to soldering iron the copper. It looks lime there is a gap in between the joint but its not visible with a flash light. My question is can I add more solder to the joint?

    Posted by Scott Pack on November 19, 2013
  • are the pieces in your kit pre cut or do I just get a flat sheet of copper

    Posted by bill sheridan on November 08, 2013
  • I was thinking the same thing about the stepped drill bit after having to drill many holes in brew pots for beer. What I appreciate is how you guys are humble and accept alternative methods of achieving the end result with less effort instead of being all knowing and arrogant like some sites.

    Posted by David Phelps on October 25, 2013


Leave a comment

Please note, the design of our website does not allow us to respond directly to blog comments. Please email us directly regarding questions about products. We don't answer questions about recipes, procedures, etc. However, feel free to leave a comment or respond to comments made by others!