The still shown below was given to my grandfather as a gift, but it is a fully working still which would theoretical create distilled water, alcohol, etc (we never really tested it). It may not be homemade, but it is perfect for explaining the basic process.
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Step 1: The Process
To start you need a "Fermented Mash"- "Braga" (recepies will be at the end). The braga is what originally contains the alcohol.
Once you have the braga, you will place it into into the container which is heated. The braga will boil, causeing the alcohol (which has a lower boiling point than water) to evaporate, go up the tube, and into the "Zmeevik" (curly tube in the refrigerator, aka the condensator). In the zmeevik, the alcohol condensates (do to the lower temperature caused by cold water in the refrigerator) and drips into the cup (or bucket if your makeing a lot).
Make sure the thermomiter never goes above 90 degrees(centigrade) (at 100 degrees (centigrade) water starts to boil; if this happens, it means there is no more alcohol in the braga).
You can now through the alcohol-less braga away.
Congradulastions! You have made your first "Samogon" (which means self distilled or moonshine).
Step 2: Making your own still
1)a kettle (the kind you put on the stove to heat)
2)a copper tube (a few yards)
7)a drill bit with the same diameter as the thermometer
First, you need drill a hole in the lid of the kettle. Into the hole, insert the thermometer and glue in place with a thermally resistant glue, making sure that the glue forms an air-tight seal around the hole.
Now you have to make your zmeevik. Take the copper tube, find a larger round object, like a fire extinguisher, and wind the tube around the round object. Remember to put sand in the tube so that it doesn't bend flat. Leave a length of tube at the beginning and end of the tube (end A & end B). It should be a spiral.
Drill a hole with the same diameter as the tube near the bottom of bucket.
Step 3: Braga!!!
This part is relatively easy. The recipes!:
1*)600 gramms sugar, 20 gramms yeast, 3 litters water: mix everything together & set in a warm place for a week.
2)600 g. syrup, 20 g. yeast, 3 litters water: see (1)
3)a can of tomato paste, bottle of beer, 1 kilogramm of sugar, 3 litters of water: mix ingreidients, let sit in a warm place for 4-5 days.
To make whiskey you need a braga made from mashed up barley (the process is much the same).
- I used this one
Step 4: Distilling
Make sure everything is air-tight.
Now you can light the stove (turn on the hot plate), so that the braga starts boiling.
Make sure that the thermometer never goes up to 100 degrees centigrade. At 100 degrees centigrade water startes boiling and instead of booze you get water vapors.
The first 100 ml of ever liter and last 300 ml of ever liter of your samogon should be thrown away (poured down the drain) because the contain harmful chemicals.
Step 5: Filtration
Take natural wood charcoal (without lighter fluid), grind it into a powder, and place it into a bottle with you samogon. Close the lid and start shaking the bottle. when afterwards take a clothe or bangage and filter the concotion ( this is just to keep your still clean) and pour it back into the kettle. Repeat the distilation process.
For really pure alcohol you ned to do the distilation and filtration process 3-4 times.
Step 6: Testing
Take a little of your alcohol, put it in a seperat glass, pour in a tiny bit of KMnO4. If the Alcohol turns pink/purple it is "unclean" and should be distilled & filterd again. if the alcohol becomes slightly pink or stays clear, it is safe to drink.
Step 7: The End
Remember, you have to dilute the alcohol so that only 40% of your drink is alcohol (you about 100% alcohol from your still). Mendeleev, (the guy who made the periodic table of elements) researched vodka, and discovered that 40% alcohol is the best proportion.
P.S.: to make whiskey you need to use barley braga and keep the resulting alcohol (diluted to 40% alcohol) in an oak barrel for at least 3 years. (I'm not sure, but I think the filtration method is the same).
P.S.S.: Remember, THIS IS REAL ALCOHOL! the laws of your country, state, etc. apply.
Alcohol is not recommended for children younger than 18, pregnant women. Do not drink alcohol and operate heavy machinery. Read a vodka label for the full message.