There are many high-quality whiskey stills for sale online - some already built and some delivered in assembly kits for you to put together yourself. For many reasons, the best stills are copper, without question.
Regardless what you are planning to distill, copper will improve your distilled water, essential oils, or spirits (the “distillate”) at an atomic level. Besides that, it’s a metal that glows and beautifies any room. Copper is easy to clean and easy to repair. What more could a distiller want?
Experienced distillers know: choose a copper still every time.
What makes copper different?
Although many stills are made of stainless steel, copper has better natural temperature control and antimicrobial properties.
Copper has been used for centuries in cooking equipment because of how evenly it heats. It is easy to reach the right temperature and maintain it, which is essential for crafting the best distillate. Copper can be heated to temperatures up to nearly 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, so there is never any question of possibly overheating your copper whiskey still.
Centuries ago, people observed that water stored in copper tasted better than water in other containers. Now, science has shown copper’s dramatic anti-microbial effects. It destroys micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungus spores.
Generally known as a “touch surface,” copper’s effects are so powerful that being in contact with the metal for an hour can purify some liquids of up to 99% of micro-organisms. This means a cleaner, more purified, healthier product from a copper whiskey still than a stainless steel one.
What’s the science behind why copper is better?
At the atomic level, a copper atom is shaped in a crystal. The shape of its atom makes copper’s electrons less stable, and copper atoms frequently gain and lose electrons. The changeable nature of copper atoms also means that they easily disconnect from bonds to one another sometimes, but strengthen their bonds under certain conditions.
The shape of the copper atom means that the overall metal is malleable and can be reshaped into a reliable copper still. The atomic shape is also what makes copper energy efficient and able to spread heat through the individual atoms quickly, then maintain the spread of that heat evenly.
Because copper interacts so much with the other elements it comes into contact with, it causes several quick reactions in those elements. When copper atoms come into contact with the oxygen in organic cells - like in a bacterium or a fungus - the copper basically causes a small rust hole in the cell’s wall, which begins to leak and ultimately kills the bacteria or fungus.Copper is a natural wonder that can never be duplicated. No other metal will provide the same purification and health benefits to your distillate as a top quality copper whiskey still.
Is copper easy to maintain?
Copper also has three very practical reasons why it is the best material for a whiskey still: copper is easy to clean, beautiful, and easy to repair.
To keep copper glowing its distinct red-golden shade, still owners can clean a copper still inside and out with recipes using nontoxic household items such as white vinegar. Copper develops a natural discoloration called a “patina” if left uncleaned, which helps protect the metal from further damage. A patina is especially helpful for large stills that remain outdoors, exposed to weather elements.
Any surface that comes into contact with the distillate needs to be kept a purifying “touch surface” and should be cleaned after every still run. But the exterior of the still can be left to develop its natural patina. Smaller stills kept indoors can be polished or left to patina, according to what the owner wants. Copper lets you choose how to clean your still to have it develop the look you like.
Copper stills are simple to repair when damaged. Hire a professional coppersmith, because soldering, patching, or melting can require expensive and dangerous equipment, as well as specific knowledge and skills. Always make sure that the materials used in any repair work for your copper still are 100% lead free.
There’s no question that a copper whiskey still is the best choice, considering that is offers health benefits stainless steel can’t match, and is also easy to clean and to repair. In order to distill high quality water, essential oils, whiskey, moonshine, or other spirits, you have to start with the best still. The best copper whiskey still.
Article by: Jim Thomas
Photo credit: "Copper" by fdecomite