The Do and Don’t about Distilling at Home

The Do and Don’t about Distilling at Home

Home distilling is a great way to explore new flavors and create your own signature spirits. Moonshine Distiller is proud to offer excellent beginning home distillery equipment for you to begin distilling your own crafts!

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced distiller, it’s important to follow some key concepts to ensure a safe and successful distilling process. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Do: Experiment with Flavors and Types of Alcohol

Trying different combinations of flavors and experimenting with various types of alcohol is a great way to create unique and delicious spirits. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new.

Don’t: Keep Finished Experiments Next to the Still

Finished experiments should be stored away from the still to prevent any potential fire hazards. Remember, most hard alcohol is flammable, so it’s important to keep a fire extinguisher nearby at all times.

Do: Keep Track of Your Calculations

Accurate calculations are essential for creating a high-quality and safe batch of spirits. Keep track of your calculations to prevent a bad batch or worse.

Don’t: Leave Your Still Unattended

Leaving your still unattended can lead to serious trouble. Stay close by and watch for any potential leaks, vapor, or drips.

Do: Brew Your Own Moonshine

Moonshine has been legal since 2009, but it’s important to check if you need a permit or need to follow any regulations in your area.

Apply for your Federal Distilled Spirits Permit, or your Alcohol Fuel Producer Permit today!

Don’t: Spread Myths

There are many myths about moonshine that continue to persist. One of the most common is that it can make you blind. While it’s true that consuming too much methanol can lead to blindness, this is exceptionally rare. By following directions and doing your research, you can create delicious and safe spirits to impress your friends.

Always: Have Common Sense

When it comes to distilling, common sense is key.

Rushing the process is never worth it, and it’s important to have an appropriate workspace that is well-lit, clean, and well-ventilated to prevent the accumulation of alcohol vapors. Conducting a cleaning distillation before distilling is also essential for maintaining the still in top condition, and ensuring that any pipes are unobstructed to prevent excess pressure from building up.

Handling flammable liquids is not a game, so it’s important to never smoke or drink while distilling, and to always keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Collecting the distillate carefully and avoiding spills is also crucial.
Additionally, any containers that hold ingredients should be labeled and safely stored to prevent mixing the wrong ingredients, which can affect the final product. Overall, always conduct yourself responsibly while distilling and prioritize safety at all times.


By following these simple guidelines, you can safely and successfully distill your own spirits at home. Happy distilling!

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6 thoughts on “The Do and Don’t about Distilling at Home

  1. Hey. Im my years of distilling my own spirits I have never made a bad batch. Perhaps my earlier efforts were sub par and not all that smooth, but they were never “bad”, as in undrinkable. The reason for this is that I am always thirsting for knowledge regarding the art of distilling, I always pay close attention to what I’m doing, and I make liberal use of filtering. Carbon polish is your friend. Distilling is an art that has been known to man since we first started experimenting with the long bow…may years in many lands. “Moonshining” is not the specific property of rural America. Although the “hollywood” image of the hillbilly yokel running a still in the woods has become the popular misconception. Distilling takes place all over the world. There are many different techniques to be examined, and it is actually quite simplistic in form…the more you know, the better your product will be.
    Consider this, by making your own distillate, you as the distiller are fully aware of exactly what the ingredients are and what is in and what is NOT in your booze. You are in control. Preservatives, dilluting liquids, methods of distillation are ALL controlled by you. You product will be superior to anything you could buy at the liquor store…if you pay attention to what you are doing and follow tried and true methods. Remember, the BIG distilleries use the exact methods that you do. There is only one way to distill spirits…distilling on a small scale has nothing to do with how exellent a spirit you can create.
    So…be patient, welcome knowledge, LEARN. It is an art, like making music.

  2. Amen Bruce, thanks for chiming in!

  3. Nice article and I too am a homebrew, winemaker and home distiller. I enjoy the Scotch whiskey and bourbons. I’ve had a couple wines that were not so great, but made wonderful brandies. Hopefully soon the world’s governments will wake up and legalize home distilling.

  4. Ever get questions about distilling it X many times makes it smoother vs doing it well in one run?

  5. The truth is making moonshine is against federal law. I you do make it keep it on the down low, and never sell what you make because if somebody gets caught with it the feds will intimidate them into telling were the got it, and sure enough they will be pounding on your door. The other thing people don’t know is when you purchase a ethanol still online or from a registered company that company must give up your mailing address when the authorities ask for it. It’s better to have your new still delivered to someone else address someone that wont give you up because at the very least the feds will call your local authorities and tell them you purchased a still. It’s the law.

  6. All I can find about illegal moonshine is that the federal tax has not been paid and the state sales tax has not been paid, now with that said… If I buy say rot gut cheap wiskey (has to be wiskey or other hard drink, not wine, wrong tax paid on that one) redistilled wiskey has to be legal, and then with your paid for alcohol you should be able to make your own great drink, now I did an experiment, I checked for methonal and in store bought wiskey, the cheap stuff, yes there was some,but it will come off at 148 degrees and keep it out of you product. Now this has to be legal.

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