A distillery, which is used for making alcohol, usually involves a still. A still is designed to increase the alcohol content in a fermented (or alcoholic) liquid. This process dates back centuries, and is used in whiskey, bourbon, scotch, and other popular spirits. The distillation process begins with liquor with a low alcohol content, with the finished product typically having a much higher alcohol content. If you plan to make your own alcohol at home, you will probably need a distillery. Here’s how to make a distillery:
- Fermented liquid
- Large pot with lid
- 5 feet of cupper tubing
- Tool to bend copper tubing
- Rubber stopper for end of tube
- Temperature gauge, such as a meat thermometer
- Milk jug or similar plastic jug
- Ferment the liquid. The process for fermenting the liquid you’ll be using in the distillery depends on the type of alcohol you intend to make. This could be fermenting grain or wine, for example.
- Create the still. In the still, the fermented liquid is heated, which results in some of the water evaporating. Because only pure water will be evaporated, the resulting liquid will have a higher alcohol content. The still is a large pot which can be heated, as well as twisting pipes which allow the vapors to condense. Bend the copper tube into a coil with a diameter of about 6 inches. Insert one end into the bottom of a milk jug, sealing it so that the connection is airtight. Insert the other end of the copper tubing into your large metal pot. A lid will need to be fashioned over the top of the pot to ensure that all steam created travels through the copper tubing; some home distilleries use a tea kettle instead of a large pot for this purpose.
- Control the still’s temperature. A temperature change of just 5 degrees changes the alcohol proof drastically. Learn which temperature will be optimum for your purposes, and then monitor the temperature of the still so that remains constant at that temperature. This temperature may need to be controlled separately from the fermented liquid in the large pot, which will need to be approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Distill the liquid. Once the liquid has been altered to the correct proof, it usually goes through additional distillation designed to remove impurities, thereby improving the flavor of the alcohol. Heat the alcohol so that it evaporates through additional copper tubing, leaving behind any impurities. When the alcohol is finished with the distillation process, the liquid should be clear.
- Age the liquid. Transfer the distilled alcohol to a barrel, where it will age until it becomes drinkable. The aging process imparts additional flavors to the alcohol. Aged alcohol is ready to be enjoyed or bottled.
Before making a distillery, make sure that it is legal to use one in your area. Some areas restrict the distillation of spirits, and a permit may be required to operate your distillery.