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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.

Stainless Steel Still Thermometer Options

If you have one of our 8 gallon stainless steel stills installing thermometers is a very simple process. You will need our 8 gallon stainless steel thermometer combo kit - simply attach the column thermometer with the provided hardware and screw the boiler thermometer into the provided fitting on the still.



    Posted by JOHN on December 18, 2020
  • 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 alishia on March 27, 2018
  • Hello
    Would you post thermometers to the uk????
    Thanks steve

    Posted by Steve Brown on January 11, 2018
  • In place of the drill and tin snips a dremel with a metal buring bit works better for more accuracy.

    Posted by Howard on June 11, 2017
  • How high up do you install a thermometer on a 1 gallon still

    Posted by DEnis on December 27, 2016
  • How do you pour in the beer, and remove the remainings? The videos doesn’t show these details.
    Thank you for your videos, on the assembly of the copper kit internal condenser stills, very informing.

    Posted by Henry on June 30, 2016
  • I understand why you would want a thermometer on the boiler but What can you learn from installing a thermometer in the vapor column?

    Posted by Marc on May 19, 2016
  • How many times can you reuse the distilled mash.

    Posted by derrick on March 21, 2016

    Posted by REGGIE on January 12, 2016
  • 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

    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

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