How to Build a Still

What is the distilling process?

The complete distillation process isn’t complicated.

It is the process of heating up a substance so that the components with the lowest boiling points evaporate first leaving the more compound components. This is the method used to turn beer into whisky and wine into brandy.  All distilling is separation of the chemicals that are already there. There are no new substances added.

Things Needed to Make a Simple, Small Still:

  • Magnet
  • Large cooking pot

  • Round mixing bowl (large)
  • 8 oz drinking glass
  • One small
  • One cooking thermometer
  • Some ice cubes to chill the vapor
  • Optional: One proof hydrometer

Making a Simple Still


Put the large pot on the stove. Add 2 quarts of red table wine to the pot. Add your 8 oz. collection glass to the middle of the pot. You should also put the magnet inside the collection glass when the liquids start to warm up.


Turn on the stove on the highest setting. Allow the contents to boil until it reaches 120 degrees. Check your thermometer. After the 129 degree mark is hit turn the stove down low. After this, the temperature must now be controlled slowly.


Fill the ound bowm with the ice cubes. They should be on top in the large bowl. We want the two bowls to form a seal over the one on the bottom. The tighter the seal the better the results will turn out. Place the small weight to the bowl now.


Raise he temperature in the pot over the duration of half an hour.


The wine needs to rise in temperature very slowly. You don’t want it to come to a boiling point at all. As the water 212 degrees Fahrenheit, turn off the heat and take the collection glass out. Discard the wine. Look in your collection glass. There will be approximately 2 to 4 ounces of water for about every 2 quarts of wine you boiled. Use your hygrometer to test the proof of the alcohol. Most beginners an can make alcohol 20 proof and higher.But it will take some experience and a reasonable good set up to reach numbers like 80 proof which is 40% alcohol by volume. Please note: the alcohol made is not poisonous. However, it should not be made for consumption. In some states it is not legal to make alcohol with a still.

This is a very simple version of a still. You can find more plans and complex versions of stills online. There are also kits that are available if you want a better made still that you can enjoy for a longer time.

Filed Under: Home & Maintenance


About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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