How to Make Homemade Alcohol? - We Answer

Do you have any questions about distilling spirits at home and how schnapps is made? This forum is all about distilling spirits by yourself. 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.


The latest entries in all the forums can be conveniently received via RSS feeds. You have the option of subscribing to RSS feeds in your browser, accessing a special feed reader, or displaying the feed on a website. By subscribing to or integrating an RSS feed,you receive short information blocks with the last 10 entries of the forum you have subscribed to. To find an RSS reader, simply google “RSS reader”. Here are two examples of add-ons to the Chrome browser: Feedbro, offered by Nodetics This reader does not require registration. Or RSS Feed Reader, offered by Available for Chrome, Safari, iOS and Android, registration required. To receive the feed, click on the RSS icon on the right, above the forum, under “Enter search term...”.

Helpful tips on use:

Below are a few rules so we can maintain the high quality in the future as well.
  • This is a moderated forum. This means that anyone can write whatever they want, and the post will also be saved, but the content will only be published once it has been reviewed by our editorial staff, or deleted if necessary. Therefore, there is no point in posting the same contribution multiple times simply because it doesn’t appear immediately.
  • If you would like to see the most recent posts (irrespective of the topic), click Show the latest posts.
  • The forum is very comprehensive, and many topics have already been dealt with extensively. Therefore we recommend using the search function or alternatively the advanced search function before you add a new post in order to avoid having posts with the same content.
  • After you add or answer a post, you then have a chance to change the text you have written. So read through your text again carefully after saving it and click on “Change post” if necessary.
  • If you ask a question, then also expect an answer. Think about this as well when you are wording your question. Hardly anyone will answer vague questions such as “How do I distil schnapps?”, “No oil comes out; what am I doing wrong?” or “The vinegar isn’t fermenting, why?”.
  • The three topic areas, i.e. distilling spirits, distilling essential oils/hydrosols and making vinegar, are divided into three different websites. Each website contains the two forums “Recipes” for all the topics concerning fruit and recipes, and “Discussion” for all the other topics related to distilling spirits, essential oils/hydrosols or making vinegar. If we find posts that are unintentionally in the wrong forum, we will move them to the right forum. These posts have not been deleted, just moved.
  • ANY TYPE OF ADVERTISING WILL BE DELETED WITHOUT EXCEPTION! This also means seemingly “innocent” posts such as “I have a question about...” or alternatively “Does anyone have experience with...” followed by links or pictures to any external shops.
  • The same applies to bizarre posts which most likely come from drunks or don’t have the remotest thing to do with the topic area, e.g. football or “Where can you burn CDs here?” They will be deleted without exception.
  • All forums are STRICTLY ANONYMOUS; so never give any real names or addresses.
  • Any attempt to make personal contact will be deleted immediately.  There are now numerous social networks for this purpose.
  • The authors’ IP addresses are NOT saved!
  • E-mail addresses are not passed on to third parties or used by us in any other way.  You enter your email completely voluntarily and it functions more or less as your ID. In contrast to most other forums, we don’t require any registration or any type of login to be able to participate. Therefore it might happen that a pseudonym is unintentionally used by two people, so there has not been a mix-up in the entries.
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
There are currently 34 entries in the forum.
  • Question 17

    Rum guy  | Uk, 26.08.2021 07:39:19

    If I have 10lt of spirit at 37.5% how much spirit at 70%do I need to add to bring it up to 40% ?


    Just use our "mixing"-calculation-tool see the following link. I have entered your figures already, so there you'll see the result and you can, if necessary, also change them to calculate other concentrations.

  • Question 16

    Azar  | sweden, 11.02.2021 09:24:45

    1. Do you have a fermentation container?

    2. Can I infuse anis with 12 percent dry white wine?

    3. How do you make clear Arak when you are infusing the anis? Will, it not turn to another color during the infusion?


    ad 1: Yes, but only for our own use. You can take an oval bucket right (available at hardware stores), drill a hole in the lid to plug in the fermentation lock.

    ad 2: Infusion: No, too less percent, better use 43 % at least high-quality Spirit: yes, the percentage shouldn't be higher.

    ad 3: yes, this is true, for this reason the infusion should be distilled, or rather make a spirit, this results in a better quality. As already said with tasteless 12 % alc. put the anis in the steamer basket.

  • Question 15

    Glen | New Zealand, 16.11.2020 01:08:31


    What can I use the top of the distillation (higher alcohol ) for after taking it off..Im using the middle for a smoother finish..can the top still be drunk ?




    Since the heads (I suppose you mention this fraction) contain poisonous components, you can't drink it. Even don't use it in the course of your next distillation. This fraction can only used externally, to clean windows or the like.

  • Question 14

    Jos | Brasil, 14.08.2020 13:51:22

    How can i bring the distil to 96% instead of 92%?

    since 96 %vol is the azeotrope of ethanol and water, it’s very difficult, not to say impossible, to reach 96 %vol with the gear of home distillers. If you distill under vacuum conditions, it’s even worse.
  • Question 13

    Leon | United States, 13.08.2020 05:40:30

    I need 150 proof grain alcohol to wash my vape coils. How much 190 proof alcohol do I need to mix with 1 litre of 80 proof to come as close as possible to the desired 150 proof required?

    First convert the unit US proof into %vol (ABV, alcohol by volume):
    190 US proof = 95 %vol (ABV)
    150 US proof = 75 %vol (ABV)
    80 US proof = 40 %vol (ABV)

    Now use our calculator "Mixing", I have done this for you, the link with your values is:

    1.00 liters with 40.00 %vol
    mixed with
    1.75 liters with 95.00 %vol
    2.75 liters with 75.00 %vol

  • Question 12

    Jos | LA, 28.06.2020 08:32:32

    how can i bring the distil to 96% instead of 92%? because i can not put the 92% right back because of vacuum. 

    Since 96 %vol is the azeotrope of ethanol and water, it’s very difficult, not to say impossible, to reach 96 %vol with the gear of home distillers. If you distill under vacuum conditions, it’s even worse.
  • Question 11

    Charles | Bangkok Thailand, 06.05.2020 12:06:31

    Sorry for my bad english in advance.

    I'm planning to get into home distilling so I think i should start practicing fermentation first so I tried to make pineapple wine. I've fermented 5L pineapple pulp with sugar add at SG=1.100 using Lalvin 71B yeast in air lock bucket and the fermentation is stopped and finished after 3.5 days with Final SG= 0.992 which is about 14% abv. Is this normal? why the fermentation period is so short? now I've filtered out all the pulp and let it sit for the dead yeast to settle and will bottle it. Is this action reasonable?

    Thank you


    Within a normal ambient temperature range (common room temperature or a bit cooler), it's not possible to reach 14 %vol. within 3.5 days. I don't know how long it takes at temperatures above, for example 27 °C, I've never tried. But even then, 3 days seems to be quite short.

    Filter only if you want to keep the wine and want to enjoy it without distillation.

  • Question 10

    Simon | UK, 28.04.2020 18:38:05

    I have used your online alcohol calculator but i need to know the following.

    I want to make a bottle of flavoured gin with the finished ABV of 40% in a 700ml bottle I add 140ml of flavoring. soi need to add 560 ml of alcohol to make up the 700ml here is the question, what ABV % does the spirit need to be to give me a full bottle of flavoured alcohol at 40%?

    The answer is quite simple:
    In total you need 700 ml with 40 % ABV. This means you need 700 / 100 * 40 = 280 ml pure Alcohol (100 %). So you have to add 560 ml with an ABV of 280 / 560 * 100 = 50 % ABV.
  • Question 9

    Peter | USA, 24.02.2020 11:04:50

    Do you believe that 91 C is the start of tails regardless of the type of still used (e.g., pot still, reflux still, etc.)?

    Start of tails at 91 °C is a good approach for almost all fruit mashes, if they are not too pulpy. But if distilling for example beer, the hops taste won’t come out before about 91,5 to 92 °C. Cereal mashes are a different story too. So in fact you’re right, the right moment to start with the tails indeed depends on the kind of material you are distilling. To be save and to prevent wasting too much of the last part of the heart fraction (this mistake is done very often in practice!) you should know the smell / taste of the tails already and perform an olfactory separation (with your nose). To do this, collect the distillate in several small glasses, not a big one, at this stage of distillation.
    Note: often it’s easier to recognize the tails in an empty (!) shot
    glass, a few minutes after you’ve emptied (depending on quality, enjoyed or
    poured away) the content of the glass.
  • Question 8

    Mike | U.K., 19.01.2020 10:35:52

    I have a small still, very like the ones you recommend. This morning I carried out my third distillation. To practice, I am diluting shop-bought vodka down to 20%abv and getting 63% back out, which matches with your chart correctly. But this morning I got 8% which makes me think it must be refluxing slightly?

    However, I have also noticed that the mash retains a 5%abv (is that normal?) and that 1000ml of wash input resulted in only 960ml out - I'm thinking I perhaps have a leak, presumably on the seal? The 1000ml input consisted of 320ml 63%abv (from the previous run), but I returned only 240ml at 68%abv. There is obviously a quantity in the remaining wash volume, but I think there must be a leak too. I'd appreciate your thoughts on this, if you have time.

    Going forward, I will be experimenting with a turbo sugar wash (to stop wasting vodka!) and once I think I have the hang of it I'll introduce botanicals and fruits.

    A leak you would notice immediately, you would see a trail of steam or a puddle below your still. So, the losses can only be explained by the empty space in the still: the bigger the empty space, the more steam will not condensate, the higher your observed losses. Therefore it’s only sensible to calculate such balances if the kettle of the still is almost completely full at the beginning and the empty space of the helmet is quite small in comparison to the size of the kettle.
    Second, diagrams like the T-X-Y are measured under laboratory conditions with special devices to reduce influences like air pressure, losses by empty space, reflux effects etc.
    Thus, you should use the T-X-Y not more than a kind of guideline. Under normal conditions and with a common shaped still it’s not really possible to repeat the indicated values. Not to forget the influence of solid parts in the mash. Such components are shifting the curve significantly.
There are currently 17 entries in the forum.

Copy link

Zum kopieren alles markieren und CMD+C (Strg+C) drücken.