Why Copper Is The Best Choice When Purchasing A Still
Honor Distilling Tradition! Copper is the traditional choice for distilling alcohol. Although it is an expensive metal, it simply provides superior results. This is why modern professional distilleries continue to use copper stills to this day.
What Other Materials Can Used To Make A Still?
It is possible to make a still of almost any metal, such as stainless steel, iron or aluminum. They can even be made of glass, porcelain or molded clay. It's important to note that of these, only stainless steel and copper are safe to use. Copper is most commonly used to build stills, but some distillers do use stainless steel. Both of these metals conduct heat well and do not leech any negative chemicals into the final product.Although stainless steel is an acceptable choice, copper is the preferred choice because it has a molecular reaction with alcohol that produces better tasting spirits. Additionally, even though stainless steel is a fairly good heat conductor, copper is superior.
How Does Copper Make Your Final Product Taste Better?
When yeast ferments, sulfur results. Sulfur has a very unpleasant taste and smell, but when it comes in contact with copper, it binds with the copper. This results in isobutyl mercaptans and hydrogen sulfide which subsequently become copper sulfate. The copper sulfate sticks to the copper interior of the still. This removes it from the mix as you distill your spirits so your final product tastes and smells good. This chemical reaction is the reason why it is necessary to scrub your still thoroughly after every use. Otherwise, your next batch of spirits wouldn't taste or smell as good as it possibly could.
Why Do Distillers Even Consider Using Stainless Steel?
Although stills can be made of all kinds of materials, the only safe materials are copper and stainless steel. Copper produces a better tasting product, but stainless steel is stronger, cheaper and easier to clean. Although stainless steel does not conduct heat as well as copper, this isn't a problem in terms of the boiler. It can cause problems in columns where you want steam vapors to rise and create a natural reflux. There are some still designs that combine stainless steel and copper components in an attempt to rectify this problem. There are also some 100% stainless steel stills that use a forced reflux method. This produces very strong spirits that don't have much (if any) taste. This design allows the distiller to produce strong alcohol without a sulfur taste, but it is certainly not something you'd want to savor.
A Copper Still Is Worth The Investment
With a copper still, you'll spend more on your initial purchase, and you'll put more work into creating your product. In the final analysis, though, a copper still will make your spirits taste better even if your mash isn't perfect, biologically speaking. A copper still will also improve the bouquet of your final product. If you want to make spirits to enjoy, it is easy to see that a copper still is far better than a stainless steel still.
- Moonshine Stills Company