This blog provides information for educational purposes only. Read our complete summary for more info.
How to Distill
Although our still parts kits can be used for many things (homebrew beer, water, essential oils, etc.) we've had a ton of requests for a simple video on how to distill alcohol. It may seem counter intuitive, but we've resisted for a few reasons. First, there is already a lot of information out there on distilling, using just about any kind of still imaginable (column stills, pot stills, fractioning stills, reflux stills, pressure cooker stills, keg stills - you name it). Also, there is a lot to learn on the topic of distilling. Finally, distilling alcohol is illegal without the proper permits.
The only permit that allows for production of distilled spirits for consumption is a commercial federal distilled spirits plant (DSP) permit. This is only available for commercial operators. Federal law provides no exemptions for the production of distilled spirits for personal or family use. Read our summary of distillation laws for more information. Additionally, state laws apply to the ownership and operation of distillation equipment. Rules on distillation vary from state to state, but in general, it is illegal to produce alcohol for consumption or for fuel, on the state level, without proper permits. Make sure to review your state's laws for rules on the ownership and operation of distillation equipment before purchasing parts from us and manufacturing a still.
Under no circumstances should you ever distill or sell alcohol without a permit. If you choose to distill alcohol, make sure to obtain all applicable fuel or spirit permits (explained in the distillation law summary, mentioned above.).
We'll never be able to explain everything there is to know about distilling in a YouTube video. We also don't have the time to make a feature length film on the art of distilling, so we've always just suggested that one purchase a book on the subject.
However, distilling isn't rocket science and we've received so many requests that we decided to put together a simple video. Here it is:
Distilling is pretty dang easy stuff once you get the hang of it, but to make the highest quality product, and more importantly, to make sure you're doing it safely, do the following before you actually start making your own alcohol: make sure to read our article on "moonshine" safety and also get yourself a good book on the topic.
As always, feel free to call or email us with questions on this article or questions about our copper "moonshine" still parts kits.