How to Make Alcohol - Discussion

Would you like to exchange your experiences with other schnapps distillers? Everything in this forum revolves around distilling spirits at home - how to make alcohol. Please observe our forum rules (see Helpful tips for use).

June 2018:

It has now been an unbelievable 16 years (!) since the last major change to the website and forums. When you think that two to three years are an eternity for the Internet sector, that is really something. In any case, there has been so much going on in terms of technology that it has become urgently necessary to completely redesign not only the forums, but also the entire website, from scratch and bring the programming up to date. Naturally, along with this we also introduced various new features; for example it was high time we allowed pictures to be uploaded with a forum post too or enabled users to subscribe to the forums via RSS feeds. And of course we have subsequently included pictures that are saved on external websites and were then integrated here using an img tag, so that no valuable information is lost. In any case, we hope you continue to have fun swapping experiences and trying things out.

Juni 2002:

At this point, we would first like to extend a big thank-you to all the users of our specialist questions for their lively involvement. Without you, we could never have developed such an informative and high-quality reference guide in such a short time (the first post dates from April 8, 1999). The large number of posts and high numbers of visitors made it necessary for us to develop the specialist questions ourselves using PHP and MySQL (at last no more annoying advertising banners!). During the course of this, we have hopefully introduced several improvements.


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So, that’s it. We hope you have a lot of fun swapping experiences, reading, posting and naturally also trying things out afterwards. Dr Malle & Dr Schmickl Dr. Malle & Dr. Schmickl

Copper still oxidation

Allan H am 06.03.2023 16:54:20 | Region: Central USA

Hello All, I have running shine for a few years now using a stainless steel pot with a copper column. It is simple and produces. last year I decided to acquire an all copper setup.

I ran my first batch after a vinegar run and everything worked great. Due to life it was about 6 months before aI was ready to do another run in the copper still. Saturday just for good measure, I ran another vinegar run, then rinsed everything with water. today I just looked at my pot and there is oxidation already on the copper. What am I missing? Do I have to run Vinegar immediately before every batch?

Thank you in advance.

RE: Copper still oxidation

Schmickl am 07.03.2023 10:11:12 | Region: Carinthia

Never, never, never, and again NEVER (!!!) treat copper with vinegar, if it's used for food purposes. Copper and acetic acid react chemically and form verdigris (copper acetate), which is highly poisonous! So, if you want to have a blank, shiny copper surface, treat the copper with another acid, e.g., saturated citric acid solution. Thereafter rinse thoroughly with hot water to get rid of the acid completely.

BTW, it's not necessary at all to have a blank copper surface each time you perform a distillation. The dark coating which forms over time is patina (copper oxide) and doesn't harm at all. To enhance the copper metal effect on the steam flow, fill the space of the still head and, if applicable, the column with copper wool.

RE: Copper still oxidation

Jed Todd am 15.10.2023 19:03:44 | Region: U.K.

I clean all my copper with dissolved Citric Acid prior to a run. I also dissolve and mix into the wash, 30g of Citric acid, per 25L batch, prior to Distilling, is it true that the acid converts any sulphur from the fermentation into harmless salts, thus giving more Hearts and less fores, heads and tails? My useable volume has increased since doing this. Thanks in advance

RE: Copper still oxidation

Schmickl am 17.10.2023 06:45:34 | Region: Carinthia
No this is not true. You should add the citric acid before the alcoholic
fermentation starts. Adjust the pH to a level of about 3.0 to 3.5. This
level is needed to avoid activities of unwanted microorganisms, which
occur unfortunately in every unprotected mash and spoil it. The perfect
base of any abominably tasting brandy: larger fractions of heads &

tails and less hearts.

Professional distillers and wine makers add so-called "acid blends"
(available at any winery / distiller supplier) in stead of pure citric