The biggest thing that has prevented me from doing it is I'm not confident that I won't end up with a puddle of methnol and end up offing myself.
All things considered, it's pretty simple plumbing.
All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.
My friends and I made one back when we were 16/17 because getting liquor in our town was such a pain in the ass. We actually brought it to school piece by piece and the shop teacher (unknowingly) built it for us It turned out to be very very well made. We made a few gallons of some nasty, sassy, dirty liquor. We also grew our own tobacco to make cigarettes with. A few months later, we discovered photoshop and made some IDs that looked legit enough to pass at the local liquor store and the still was never used again. My friends and I were pretty resourceful little punks back then
One of my local home brew stores sells stills, yeast, flavorings, etc for distilling spirits. However, you can only legally buy the still to distill water or herbs. You need a license to do anything else and it is notoriously difficult to get. Also, as said above, if you screw it up you could dead.
****, I left a sippy cup full of applejuice under the seat of my car for a few weeks and it fermented. Is I going to FPMITAP?
Originally Posted by JimmyD
Regardless, my comment was more or less, toungue-in-cheek forum banter anyways.
IN SUMMARY: "Ask any distiller, any REAL distiller. It doesn't matter if you distill an ounce or a gallon... distilling is distilling."
Funny little story. When I was selling my old house and had a city inspector come thru. He walked downstairs into the basement and quickly came back upstairs looking nervous. "sir, um..can we go outside to talk". So we walked outside. "Um..We may have an issue..." I'm thinking he was concerned about the rust on the plumbing stack or slop sink install or something. "You have one hell of a still operation going on down there..You know it's illegal and I don't want trouble.." I interupted him.."No no no...I brew beer. BEER. That's my brewery. It's perfectly legal." "What are the copper coils and hoses and kegs..." "That's all for beer brewing. Seriously..I'll show you how it works." We went back into the basement, I gave him a run down of the process, what was what, etc, etc. I offered him a beer at the end of the little tour. He was actually pretty stoked. "Man...if this was my last inspection of the day I'd hang out for a bit."
My parents live in the mountains of NC. They *suspect* of someone having one. My dad is a plumber and they'll give him a jar as a tip every now and then He asked if they make it but they say they don't...he doesn't believe him but doesn't push the issue. People are definitely still worried about getting caught it seems. But man, its good stuff. He's got some apple pie flavored right now (apple slices and cinnamon sticks!).
We also have a legit distillery here in NC, about 20 minutes from my parents house. Its Junior Johnson's place which makes Midnight Moon, Cat Daddy and Lightening Lemonade, all variations of moonshine. The Cat Daddy is my favorite...got a nutmeg taste to it and nice to sip. But its all weak in comparison to the real stuff
Fun story though. My parents bought their place 6 years ago...born and raised in MD so this was a cultural change for sure. They have a spring fed creek on their property (well, the property line runs through the center of it so). After a few big storms, they were noticing big pieces of wood sticking out of the banks of the creek. After talking to some locals, apparently that creek was used for stills for awhile. Because its spring fed, it was apparently the best for making 'shine and the wood was remnants of the stills.
Last edited by Rockerchick; 05-02-2012 at 10:49 AM.
Last year at my fire departments christmas party we did a chinese christmas gift exchange. One of our captains brought a big mason jar of moonshine. The guy who picked it didn't believe it was real, so he opened it. Well just about everyone knows that a pressurized mason jar is under... pressure! So he had to pry the little metal cap off and it spilled all over him. Damn that stuff smelled strong.
I've not had plain of the real stuff. To me, the stuff in the store just tastes like vodka. No real difference. I know the Midnight Moon is cut so the proof is lower than it would be normally and maybe that's why. I'm not a huge fan of it. But the Cat Daddy is good. And all the flavored I've had has been excellent. Strawberry, blueberry (or blackberry...don't remember) and apple pie. The real stuff is definitely something you sip. But man, its good. Strong for sure though.
I got some from my brother in laws family in Kentucky as a christmas present a few years ago. I was blown away by how clean it was. I really didn't mix it with juice or anything like that, just straight. Although I had a keg of porter that didn't finish out and I tried to cut it with about a pint of the kentucky christmas present...it worked I suppose. Not an award winning beer, but it made it more fun to drink anyways.
As far as diy. It's not too hard to do if you understand what you are doing. Lots and lots and lots of books, websites, etc etc. out there to help if you want to do a little more research.