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Tips for Choosing the Right Still for Your Home-Distilling Adventure

Are you diving into the world of home distilling and feeling the urge to get the biggest, fastest, or newest still on the market? It’s a common thought among beginners, and while not everyone may share this sentiment, it’s only natural to be drawn to the idea of having the latest and greatest equipment. Most people often make costly mistakes when choosing and installing their still, which they later regret. 

Type of Product

Begin by considering the type of spirit you want to produce. Whether it’s whiskey, bourbon, rum, or a neutral spirit for mixing drinks, the choice still plays a crucial role. Two major types to explore are pot stills and reflux stills. 

Pot stills provide a flavorful product, while reflux stills are better at producing neutral spirits. Can you make flavored spirits with a reflux still? Yes, it’s possible, though it requires more skill and may be beyond the scope of a beginner.

Budget Available

Don’t overlook your budget – it’s a critical factor easily underestimated. Consider the project budget, long-term projection, and the time required. Be prepared for unforeseen costs, and remember the saying, “Buy once, cry once.” Home distilling might not be cheap, but the satisfaction of crafting your own spirits is worth the investment.

Build Ability

Know your limitations and choose a skill that aligns with your skill level. Building a pot still not only saves money but also enhances your understanding of the distillation process. However, for better distillation while ensuring safety you can consider moonshine stills

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Note that safety is paramount. So, ensure you can complete the build to the highest standards. Avoid starting a build that you cannot finish or that may compromise safety.

Materials/Resources Available

Whether you’re building or buying, take stock of the materials and resources you can access. Consider local sources for materials and equipment, explore scrapyards for cost-effective options, and ensure you have all the necessary tools before starting your project. Learning how to solder copper (and/or stainless) is critical – a crucial skill for your first build.


Time is a crucial aspect of home distilling. Evaluate the time you must dedicate to your hobby and the time each still type requires for building and running. Don’t rush the process, as patience ensures a better end product.

Space Available

Consider the space you have for distilling. Map out the area, ensuring it has adequate light, ventilation, running water, and space for your still design. If you plan to mash or wash in the same area, factor that into your space requirements.


Safety should always be the top priority. Opt for stills with fewer moving parts, choose an immersed electric element over an open flame, and be aware of the legal aspects of home distilling in your region. 

Prioritize safety to avoid any disasters during your distilling journey. Always consider choosing a modular still for easy breakdown, which can be advantageous, especially in regions where distillation is not legal.

Final Thoughts

This guide provides a basic overview to help you decide on the right still type for your home distilling venture. For beginners, a simple pot still is recommended, offering ease of construction, few moving parts, and the ability to produce a flavorful product. Happy distilling!

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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