How to Make a Moonshine Still With a Beer Keg
29 SEP 2017
Making whiskey legally requires a license, so moonshining remains alive and well. For many moonshiners, ordering a copper pot isn't an option because it is expensive and attracts unwanted attention. A stainless steel beer keg can be used as an improvised distillation kettle.
1 Drill a hole
Drill a hole in the top of the keg near the tapping cap. Use a reciprocating saw and a metal blade to cut around the side of the cap.
2 Remove the central tube from the keg
Remove the central tube from the keg, which is attached to the top of the keg. Pull it out once you cut it free.
3 Check to see whether the rubber stopper
Check to see whether the rubber stopper is the right size for the hole. If the hole is neat, the stopper should be 1.5 inches wide, which will create a tight fit. If the hole is too big, use another stopper.
4 Use a pocket knife to whittle openings
Drill holes into the rubber stopper and use a pocket knife to whittle openings into it. The tubing and thermometer should be snug. If too much rubber gets cut away, use caulk to seal the gap.
5 Remove the thermometer and tubing
Remove the thermometer and tubing, if they are in the stopper, and stop the top of the keg with the stopper and a rubber mallet.
6 Push in the thermometer and tubing
Push in the thermometer and tubing.
7 Use an old glass soda bottle
Use an old glass soda bottle as a mold and bend the copper tubing around into a coil. The central 6 feet of tubing needs to be coiled, leaving 1.5 feet of straight tubing on either end. A clamp provides a good grip on the tubing.
8 Take the cap
Take the cap off a used water carboy and cut a hole sized to fit the copper tubing into it. Replace the cap.
9 Put the kettle on a campfire stand
Put the kettle on a campfire stand.
10 Bend the copper tubing
Bend the copper tubing down and fit it into the carboy lid.
11 Fill the kettle
Fill the kettle with fermented corn mash and build a fire underneath it.
12 Maintain a temperature
Maintain a temperature between 172 degrees F and 212 degrees F so the kettle will boil away the alcohol in the mash but not the water. The hot vapor will rise into the copper coil and condense, and the resulting liquid will drain into the carboy.