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Did anyone here ever make your own still.

by Dan McC / March 12, 2004 3:59 AM PST

And distill your own liquor?

If you did, was it any good? Were there any medical incidents? What did you use as your base?

Just curious.


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Hawkeye and Trapper used old underwear and Jeep parts
by Josh K / March 12, 2004 4:05 AM PST

Beyond that, ya got me. Just make sure you don't blow up your basement! Oh wait, you're "just curious," LOL.


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I've got a barn.
by Dan McC / March 12, 2004 4:14 AM PST

And a couple of acres, so I think I can hide from the revenuers.



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Re:I've got a barn.
by Rolway / March 12, 2004 4:33 AM PST
In reply to: I've got a barn.

I would suggest start with White Lightning Dan. Don't know how its made but was a favorite in VA back in the early 50s. Good Kick to it. Mixed well with beer.


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In the farm that I bought...
by J. Vega / March 12, 2004 5:08 AM PST
In reply to: Re:I've got a barn.

In the farm that I bought, the former owner apparrently did it in the big smokehouse, all the better to hide the smoke and/or smell.
Of course in West Tennessee firing the boiler with Texaco brand kerosene was popular, as when you bought Texaco kerosene, you got Avjet jet fuel, which is just extremely pure and many times filtered kerosene. Note: it made almost no smoke, one of the things that they looked for in the woods. They also looked for large purchases of sugar.

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Re:Avjet jet fuel....
by Rolway / March 12, 2004 6:01 AM PST

Thats interesting "J" I wonder if thats in the kerosene we get up here. I buy it for a heater I have here and theres hardly no smoke at all. None when it gets going good.


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Re:Now I know why they called it MASH(nt)
by Rolway / March 12, 2004 4:42 AM PST


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LOL. I must really need some sleep. I read your subject line as
by Rosalie / March 12, 2004 4:18 AM PST

"Did anyone here ever make your own will" and the next line read "And distill your own liguor?" I doubled over. If you consider one depending on the other you have to laugh.

My dad only made homemade wine and yes there were medical incidents. It made you drunk as a skunk!

You can find instruction for building a still on the WWW. Wink

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What part of 'just curious' do you people not understand? ! ;-) -nt
by Dan McC / March 12, 2004 4:33 AM PST


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You will let us know the results of your ..er.. curiosity, won't you? ;-) -nt


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Re:Did anyone here ever make your own still.
by C1ay / March 12, 2004 5:04 AM PST

I had a small one I used in my kitchen. I used an old 21 quart stainless steel pressure cooker as the base for mine. I took out the fitting for the weight and put one in for a copper line. I connected a coil of copper that I placed in the kitchen sink and draped over the counter down to the floor where I placed the jug to catch the output. This way I could fill the sink with cool water so the coil would act as a condenser.

The liquor was pretty good but it was a lot of work to make good liquor too. It's best to start with whole corn and have it ground in a mill fresh. Chopped corn will work pretty well though and it's easier to get. Just check out your local, rural feed store. I also used filter charcoal in a cone style coffee filter to filter the output into the jugs. The cone style filters fit a funnel pretty well. I also added just a tad of rye malt for flavor. Keep the heat as low as you can and take your time for a stronger output.

If you can find a copy of The Foxfire Book (volume 1) it has a good chapter on moonshining.

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by James Denison / March 12, 2004 2:02 PM PST

You have to ferment the mash at the right temperature, about 100 degrees, too hot will kill the yeast. Teens in Florida used to make applejack or everclear. Apple jack was easy. Buy a gallon jug of apple juice or cider, add some extra sugar to give it more kick, add some yeast from the store normally used for bread making. Cap it with a heavy duty balloon with a pin ***** in it. Put it on top of the hot water heater. As the carbon dioxide gas is produced it will make the balloon inflate a bit and stand up. When the balloon is no longer up, the process is finished. You can leave it as is, or strain it then and refrigerate and use it like a wine. If you want it stronger put in the freezer and later pour out the liquid through a hanky or piece of bedsheet leaving the water slush behind. The liquid will be high in alcohol content, called applejack.

If you want to distill a mixture of water and alcohol, remember the alcohol distills out first at a lower temperature, then the water. If you live in a northern clime, use the winter temps on the condensor or cooling line.

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by C1ay / March 12, 2004 11:09 PM PST
In reply to: Applejack

This reminds me of using an ice cream freezer to make applejack and sour mash. Once fermented you can use an ice cream freezer to freeze the hard cider or fermented mash and pour off the high alcohol content. A similar process is used to make ice beer. This process is far less explosive than a still and doesn't make any smoke at all. It is limited to smaller batches though.

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To be specific, James...
by J. Vega / March 13, 2004 3:27 AM PST
In reply to: Applejack

To be specific, James, ethanol vaporizes at 173 degrees F. Water vaporizes at 212 degrees F. A good, accurate thermometer is your friend (with careful attention).
Note: Applejack is also known as "Jersey Lightning". (Reference to the state of New Jersey)

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That's what most don't realize...
by James Denison / March 13, 2004 7:21 AM PST

...when they see films of old style round metal stills with a hearty fire or hot coals going underneath. What they are seeing is the distilling process and not the fermentation process which just needs the mash or juice to be warm enough to ferment, about 100 F. It will ferment at lower temp too but much slower. Slow ferment is if you want to drink it straight that way, it keeps the bitterness down, but if distilling, who cares and less time becomes more important.

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Had an idea for a great stealth still.
by James Denison / March 13, 2004 4:54 PM PST

Hot water heater. They use electric heat and can heat water up close to boiling, certainly enough to distill alcohol out. They have input and output lines and a place to install a pressure valve. They have a clean out hole at the bottom where a standard garden hose can be attached to drain the leftover. You could pump the ferment with a small sump pump into the heater. The one downside is the upper heat element would need to be a self protect that would shut off when/if the level dropped below it to avoid a burnout. To anyone else it would look like you have two hot water heaters, which in today's world is not unusual enough to draw much notice. If anyone noticed and asked, tell them one is for the laundry and garage use and the other for bath and sink use. Regular piping to the AC ductwork so it looks like it's going to the humidifier for heater and once it's inside it reduces to the cooling line for condensate, to which fishtank hose is attached at a small entry point into ductwork when distilling in order to direct the product into the collector. Everything looks like normal household setup and only minutes to disconnect and conceal when necessary.

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Hummm, sounds a little too well thought out to me! What are you doing ..
by Rosalie / March 13, 2004 6:03 PM PST

over there in Maryland anyway, James?!?! ROTFLOL

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Whashhh youou shay????

Actually being a good boy. I remember during Carter days we used to talk about alternative fuels and joke about cars running on moonshine. Lots of different ideas about how to make one's own gasahol if you had the land to grow it.

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As long as you know who made it...
by Angeline Booher / March 13, 2004 6:22 AM PST

I know a gentleman who distills great whiskey. I thought it was actually Jameson!

In my younger days, I had some "white lightning". So, beware! it doesn't have much taste alone, but packs a powerful punch!

When I was growing up, we could occasionally catch a whiff from a still on the evening air. . The rule was, if one came across a still while walking in the woods. to walk right on by as if it hadn't been seen!

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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