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FAQ

Distilling

Hell yes! We would not be allowed to sell stills if it was not. However, just like many other things (like guns) there are ways to use it illegally. There are some states which you do not need a permit, but generally, you need a permit to distill alcohol. For more information, please visit our blog post, Is it illegal to make moonshine?

We encourage you to use your still legally. It is your responsibility to know what your local legislation is! Below is a link to the application for the free alcohol fuel permit:

Application for an Alcohol Fuel Permit

pot still simply collects and condenses the alcohol vapours that come off the boiling mash. This will result in an alcohol at about 40-60% purity, with plenty of flavour in it. If this distillate were put through the pot still again, it would increase in purity to around 70-85% purity, and lose a bit of its flavour

reflux still does these multiple distillations in one single go, by having some packing in a column between the condensor & the pot, and allowing some of the vapour to condense and trickle back down through the packing. This "reflux" of liquid helps clean the rising vapour and increase the % purity. The taller the packed column, and the more reflux liquid, the purer the product will be. The advantage of doing this is that it will result in a clean vodka, with little flavour to it - ideal for mixing with flavours etc.

The Bottom Line: A reflux still is used for neutral spirits like vodka and gin. A pot still is used for almost everything else.

*Information taken from homedistiller.org

Well, yes, but what fun is life without a little danger! However, most that danger has a simple cause that can be avoided. Listed below are the most common dangers:

Fire Danger

This danger stems from the fact that you are vaporizing ethanol, which is very flammable. However, this is only a danger if the ethanol vapor does not get condensed and builds up in a closed area that has some source of ignition. This can be avoided by
a) Making sure no vapors are coming out of the still.
b) Distilling in a well ventilated area.
c) Using an electric heating element rather than an open propane flame to heat your boiler.

Blindness

This is a myth that stems from prohibition. Back in those days, illicit moonshiners would cut their moonshine with rubbing alcohol as a low-cost way of making it more potent. The problem is, rubbing alcohol is laced with methanol to make it poisonous specifically so that people can not drink it. When you dilute it with moonshine, all of a sudden it becomes drinkable, but the poison is still there in lower quantities.

If you are distilling in small batches and not adding anything else to your distillate, this should never be a problem for you. However, we do recommend discarding the first 100 ml of every run to get rid of any methanol that may have been produced by the yeast naturally during fermentation. This isn't enough to be an issue, but it could certainly make for a very bad hangover!

Lead Poisoning

There is no chance of this happening with our equipment. This danger stems from prohibition when moonshiners used to use old car and tractor radiators as condesors. It was effective, but those radiator were made using lead solder (hence the lead poisoning). There is no lead in our equipment!

Well, there is a lot of buzz out there about copper being the superior material for distilling.  However, this is only partially true. Copper is beneificial because it helps to remove the sulfides from your final product. The effectiveness of the copper in doing that is directly related to the surface area of the copper that is exposed. So, by stuffing a stainless steel tower with 100% pure copper mesh, you will get more surface area than you would ever get by building your tower out of copper. And you still get the benefits of the stainless steel (durability, ease of cleaning, and lower cost).

The bottom line is: Stuffing a stainless steel tower with copper mesh will give you the same (if not more) benefits of a copper tower.

Because we get this question so often, it is actually the first episode in our series of educatonal videos. To take a look, click the differences between stainless steel and copper stills.

You can use the calculator below to calculate how much sugar and water you need to produce a wash of a specific %.

Sugar Wash Calculator

  sugar made up to   total volume
should have an SG and only require   of water
and should produce a wash of % alcohol
It varies with your base ingredients, but it runs about $1 per litre of 40% abv from a sugar wash. Even if you’re buying corn or rye to make whiskey, the ingredients are very cheap.

There are a ton of resources around the web, but here are a couple of our favorites:

Craft Distilling Academy - A great way to learn how to distill, Josh travels all over the country giving lessons. Keep an eye out for one in your area!
HomeDistiller.org - Tons of information and a great forum with many active users

Order & Delivery

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We love our customers! So, the rewards program is our way of thanking you. The total of every order you place from your account is automatically added to you account's lifetime total. As that total increases, so does your discount. And this is already on top of our already low prices!

The price and discount levels are:

$100 - 1% off all future orders
$250 - 2% off all future orders
$500 - 3% off all future orders
$1000 - 5% off all future orders

At Moonshine Distiller, we strive to get all orders (including stills) out by the next business day. If for any reason we cannot do so, you will be notified immediately. When you create an account here you can always log back in to see the status of your order.

Once your order ships, you will automatically get an email with the shipping information and tracking number. If you did not get any of these emails after placing an order with us, please check your junk or spam mailbox before contacting us.

At checkout, MoonshineDistiller.com connects directly to the Fedex database, which allows us to automatically calculate your shipping charges. The sizes and weights of the products you ordered are sent to Fedex and a live quote is returned. We do not believing in gouging the shipping prices, so we will never charge you more than it costs us to ship something.

Generally it will cost anywhere from $12-30, depending upon how far from Colorado you are.

We are confident that you will be satisfied with the quality of any equipment or supplies that you order from us. So that you are confident, we offer a 30 return period from the time of purchase on anything that is ordered from our website. The items must be returned in an un-used and undamaged condition and a full refund will be processed within 48 hours.

To return a product, please fill out the “Returns” form that can be accessed from the “Customer Service” section at the bottom of our website.