So, you want to try your hand at home brewing your own moonshine. We’re guessing you’ve been on an online prowl looking for guides and tips on how to go about starting your new hobby. One place to begin is choosing the perfect moonshine still that will fit your needs and budget. Not everyone can afford to blow cash on multiple stills at a time so it’s important that you get it right the first time.
Keeping prices, size, material, still type and actual user feedback in mind, we’ve gathered six of the best moonshine stills that you can choose from. Sift through our list and accompanying buyer’s guide to see which one would work for you the best.
Top 6 Best Moonshine Stills Kits for Sale
Clawhammer Supply 5-Gallon Cooper Moonshine Kit
The Clawhammer Supply 5-gallon moonshine still kit is a high-efficiency hybrid still. It is part pot still and part reflux still. It is also made out of 100% food grade copper which makes it ideal for making moonshine. This moonshine still’s pot (boiler) can hold a maximum of 4.9 gallons of liquid. According to people who’ve bought the product, this still was able to produce spirits as strong as 120%.
However, buying this still will need some serious craftsmanship as the parts need to be assembled. Assemble time would take about 6 to 8 hours. There are some instruction videos available online but some may want to opt for hiring a professional to assemble it instead.
|Made of 100% copper||Long and detailed assembling|
|Produces strong alcohol|
WMN Trulystep DIY 3-Gallon Home Distiller Moonshine Alcohol Still
This WMN Trulystep 3-gallon still is primarily made of stainless steel material except for its cooling pipes which are made out of red copper material. Although not made of entirely of copper which is more ideal for producing moonshine, beginners may like this still by WMN Trulystep a little better as it is much easier to assemble. This is also one of the most affordable moonshine stills you’ll find retailing at just under $140. Another great feature of this still is its relatively small size. After assembly, this still measures about a foot in depth, height and width.
|Affordable||Not 100% copper|
|Easy to assemble|
KMM 5 Gal Home Stainless Steel Moonshine Still Kit
Here we have another stainless steel moonshine still. The KMM 5-gallon still kit includes a stainless steel boiler with a thermometer, a copper cooler, an air vent valve, a water hose and a user’s manual. It is marketed as a full kit set for distilling various drinks such as moonshine, fruit wines, brandy and distilled water. The parts of this still have already been argon welded together so you won’t need to do much in the assembly. It can be heated by using an induction or a stove. Despite its small size, this still can produce flavorful and strong products.
|Has a thermometer||Not 100% copper|
|Easy to assemble|
|Easy to use|
Moonshine Stills Company 5 Gallon Moonshine Still
The expensive price tag on this 5-gallon moonshine still from Moonshine Stills Company is surely justified. This copper pot still is especially hand-crafted to resemble the old moonshine stills used in the Appalachian in the past years. The product looks as advertised as well as some users have previously commented. Meanwhile, its size makes it perfect for both indoor and outdoor use whichever is more convenient for you. It produces great tasting and clear moonshine as it is made of 100% copper which removes sulfides in the final product.
|Made of 100% copper||A bit expensive|
American Educational Products 5-Gallon Copper Moonshine Still
This made in the USA 5-gallon moonshine still is advertised as a handmade ‘work of art’ with a classic American design. However, some people who’ve bought the product complain that it seemed to be poorly assembled and soldered together. But after some reassembling, the product stood up to be a still that will last the years. Another great thing about this American Educational Products moonshine still is that it is made of copper. This 5-gallon still can also be used to make a variety of products aside from moonshine such as whiskey, bourbon, cognac and the like.
|Made of copper||Poorly assembled|
|Perfect mid-range moonshine still|
Seeutek 3-Gallon Copper Tube Moonshine Still
The Seeutek 3-gallon moonshine still is a great and affordable choice for those who are looking to start a moonshine distilling hobby at home. Perfect for beginners, this still retails for just a little over $100 and is very to assemble. The kit includes a stainless steel pot (boiler), a condenser with a copper worm pipe, an air lock, an out pipe and two silicone pipes. It has three outlets (a water-in, a water-out and a wine-out) which makes for easier water circulation and emptying. All parts are made of high-quality materials and seem to be very sturdy as well.
|Very affordable||Not primarily made of copper|
|Made of hybrid copper-stainless steel|
Buyer’s Guide. Things to know before you buy a moonshine still.
What is a moonshine still?
In case it hasn’t come up in your previous searches yet, a moonshine still, or simply called still, is a kind of apparatus which is used for distilling liquid mixtures. It is similar to the simpler distillation apparatuses which you may find in chemical laboratories except that moonshine stills are much larger. These devices heat liquids to a selective boil and cooling in order to condense the vapor it produces.
As the name implies, moonshine stills are used to make moonshine or other alcoholic beverages, but they can also be used to make other condensed liquids such as essential oils, perfume and even certain types of medicine.
Stills are the primary equipment you’ll need if you want to make moonshine at home. You can either buy them ready-made or you can build your own. However, we don’t recommend beginners to build a still from scratch as doing so would be more expensive and time-consuming than just buying one.
How it works
So, how does a moonshine still work?
Let’s begin by talking about the various parts of a moonshine still and what each of them does in the process of distillation.
Pot: As the name implies, this part is a pot where you’ll put the liquid to be distilled. Its primary function, aside from holding in the liquid, is heating up its content to turn the liquid into vapor.
Head: Connected to the pot is the head. It is the part where the vaporized liquid goes in after being heated. Some stills have their heads equipped with a thermometer where you can check for temperature from water’s boiling point which is around 212 Fahrenheit and alcohol’s boiling point which is around 173 Fahrenheit.
Column: Also called the neck, the column is a part connected to the head. It primarily works as a pathway for vapor to travel to the next part of your moonshine still.
Condenser: You’ve probably guessed the function of this next part by its name. The condenser, also called the worm, is the part of the still where vapor is transformed back to its previous liquid state. It usually comes in the form of a long, coiled pipe or a straight pipe.
Cooling System: The cooling system, a mechanism within the condenser, is the part that cools the vapor while the condenser turns it back into liquid. The cooling system can be something as simple as a bucket of ice and ice water or as complex as a system of running water.
There are plenty of variations of stills which can be used to make moonshine that you can find in stores today. They may vary in price, type, size and material. Now, as you may already know, different stills will produce different qualities of moonshine. So, it’s important that you know exactly what you’re going to get before you spend the money.
Here are some factors to consider when trying to find the best moonshine still that will fit your needs:
There are three common types of moonshine stills which you can purchase these days. Each has its own perks and defining features.
Pot still: With just a boiler (pot) and a condenser, the pot still is the simplest type of still moonshine you can find. This type of still is ideal for producing moonshine of varying strengths through the monitoring of vapor temperature.
Reflux still: The reflux still works similarly with the pot still except it has an additional part which is the column. Reflux stills are great for making strong moonshine. This type of still can easily produce alcohol of over 95%.
Fractionating still: The fractionating still is a ‘more extensive’ version of the reflux still with a taller column. It can create spirits of 95% strength in just one pass through the still. This still type can produce purer liquids.
Small stills: Small stills usually come with a capacity of 1 gallon or 2.5 gallons. Beginners may find these sizes sufficient enough for their first attempts at making moonshine. They can also be great for producing essential oils and distilled water at home.
Medium-sized stills: These medium-sized stills can usually carry 5 gallons or 8 gallons of liquid. These are great for non-beginners who already know what they’re doing.
Large stills: These usually have a capacity of 10 gallons. Aside from spirits, they are also perfect for producing alternative fuel such as ethanol-alcohol which can be used for combustion engines.
*Important note: Remember that the volume of final yield may vary during each run in the still. Usually, a still only produces around 25% up to 60% of its size. So, you should calculate accordingly.
Material: Cooper, stainless steel moonshine still or hybrid?
The material the still you’ll choose will a great part in the kind of output moonshine you’ll get out of it. Here are the most common moonshine still materials and each’s corresponding perks and advantages.
Copper: It is great conductor of heat and very easy metal to work with. Copper is also the best material for making distilled spirits such as moonshine as it removes sulfides in the process. It can also make moonshine that smells and tastes better than other materials can. However, copper stills tend to be more expensive and are more difficult to clean.
Stainless steel: Stills made out of this material are usually less expensive, easier to clean and very durable. However, stainless steel is not the best heat conductors and won’t remove sulfur compounds in the final product.
Copper-stainless hybrid: Stills of this hybrid material are a great compromise. A moonshine still with a stainless steel boiler and a copper column is an excellent option for producing spirits.