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Home Brew Alcohol The RedPox1st Way – How To Distill – Make Moonshine / Poteen

Times are hard, the country is in ressesion, the credit crunch is on, etc.. so what could be better than getting shitfaced on your own high strength (40, 60-80%) alcohol?

Let me start by saying: It Is Illegal To Distill Alcohol In The UK Without A License therefore this post is a “”hypothetical”” post, you should not try this at home unless you live in a country (like NewZealand) where the goverment are not theiveing bastards that tax you on everything humanly possible!! So if there’s any coppers out there reading this let me asure you this post is a totally fictitious story and not a documented project!

With that out of the way lets get pissed!

A good night

A good night

What is alcohol?

Alcohol is basically sugar & water fermented by yeast, Sugar can come from most edible foods so beer is made with malt and wine with grapes, most food containing starch can be fermented into alcohol. the yeast breaks down (eats) the sugar contained in the food (known as fermentation) and releases (shits & piss’s) both alcohol and carbon dioxcide (CO2). So the next time your havining a drink just remember you drinking another living organisms (yeast) piss!!!!

How do you make alcohol?

You mix some sugar and water, add some yeast and leave it alone somewhere warm until it finish’s fermenting and Hey Presto you have alcohol! easy.


Why distill alcohol?

Yeast is an amazing living organism that  as I have mentioned eat’s sugar and piss’s alcohol, but yeast can only do so much before it gives up. Yeast will multiply and continue to make alcohol until the food runs out of there is to much alcohol in your mix for it to survive. most yeast will reach 7-10% volume of alcohol, special wine yeast can reach upto 17% alcohol and  then some specialized super yeasts (given the right conditions) can reach upto 23% vol of alcohol but thats the top of the range.If you want alcohol stronger than 23% you will have to distill it to increase the % volume.

A working Poteen still

A working Poteen still

What is distillation?

Distillation is basically boiling your sugar&water mix(wash) to remove as much water as possible so you can increase the % of alcohol in it. For example if you were to distill 24ltrs of 10% wash you could end up with 4ltrs of 60% wash, I dont know about you but 4ltrs of 60% alcohol would go a long way! Because alcohol has a lower boiling temperature than water it can easily(with the right equipment) be separated.

What is Poteen, Moonshine, etc…?

These are a form of distillate (distilled alcohol), Poteen (Poitin) is an Irish drink fermented from potatoes and then distilled as I am from Ireland I have had first hand experience of this drink and believe it is neither kind to your taste buds or your liver but fuck me! it does the job. Moonshine is the same only in the USA it is made with corn and sugar. I wont go into either history but if you would like to now more go to this Wikipedia page and knock yourself out.

The ancient art of Yoga Vs The Irish art of getting pissed

The ancient art of Yoga Vs The Irish art of getting pissed

Now to the good stuff!

Times have changed, you no longer have to risk your life trying to manufacture your own still which would more than likely explode (as homemade stills have a habit of doing) and take half the neighborhood with you! You can just hit our beloved EBay and get one shipped to your house from Ellie‘s (who is an extremely helpful and friendly lady) homebrew shop for as little as £157.94 including delivery!

Now, since I am an extremely devote catholic and law abiding citizen who would never dream of letting a drop of the Devils Brew (alcohol) pass my lips I would never buy her SmartStill for anything other than distilling water 🙂

The Smart Still

The Smart Still

You will need a couple of more items but if you dabble in home brew you will more than likely have them lying around, if not you could email the lovely Ellie at who would be happy to advise and supply you everything you need and within as ittle as 10 days you could be drinking your own (petrol grade) alcohol.

Thats good drinking

Thats good drinking

The Process:

Due to me being gee eyed while writing this (testing my fire water 🙂 ) I have had to stroke this next segment from Ellie’s description of the SmartStill.

This machine is a real brill idea. It will distil water, produce essential oils and also produce safe, clean-tasting vodka with the minimum of effort. But before I explain all about it I need to say that whilst it is legal for me to sell this machine and for you to buy it, to distil alcohol in the UK you need the appropriate licence and permits.

A summary of this Vodka Machine:

This machine is known as The Smartstill

It can produce up to 60% clean spirit

It can produce essential oils

It can distil water

It’s ready to use

It comes complete with a pack of Triple Distilled Yeast and a pack of Turboklar clearing agent

Its absolutely fab!!!

This machine is very well made, easy to keep clean and very simple to use. It runs off a 240v mains supply and is rated at 320w. To distil water simply fill the stainless steel chamber with 4 litres of tap water and switch on and it will slowly heat up and the distilled water drops through into the collecting pot and when finished the machine switches itself off automatically.

For the production of essential oils you put your petals (Lavender, Rose, Lilac etc) in water in the chamber and this time as the water boils so the oils from within the petals are burst and these are given off get deposited into the collecting pot. These oils can then be added to bath water to give nice smelly baths or used in your burners etc.

But by far the best feature of this machine is its ability, where legal to distil alcohol. Although it will distil any form of alcohol it is stongly recommended that you use the Triple Distilled Yeast as only this yeast has been designed especially for this type of machine. So that you get a completely clean, safe and pure distilate you must first have a very clean fermentation and this is what this yeast will give.

You need a 25 litre food grade fermenting bucket or carboy, to which you add 21 litres of water at around 30 degC. Then you mix in 6kg of granulated sugar until it is dissolved and then you add the yeast sachet and its sachet of carbon. This carbon keeps it fermenting cleanly. After about 10-14 days the fermentation is finished and the liquid is cleared using a Turbo Clear sachet which will take all the carbon out to give you a nice clear ‘wash’ which will be around 16% abv and you will have 24 litres of it. It is best at this point to syphon this clear wash into a clean fermentation bucket or similar container. Then 4 litres of this wash is put into the stainless steel chamber and the machine is switched on. The machine works automatically and is set to boil the wash at 78degC which is the temperature that ethanol is extracted. The ethanol spirit is then deposited into the collecting pot after passing through a carbon filled bag to purify it further. When you have collected 800ml, approximately 2¼ hours later the machine is switched off and you will have approximately 60%abv clean spirit which it is suggested you add 400ml of water to and this will then be 40%abv commercial quality Vodka. You can then add another 4 litres of wash to your machine and start the whole process again. From your bucket full of 24 litres of wash you will end up with 4.8litres of 60% spirit or 7.2 litres (or about 9½ bottles) of 40% vodka. This vodka can then be used as it is or have any number of essences added to turn it into Whisky, Rum, Gin, Bourbon, or any number of liqueurs or schnapps. I list a range of essences from the Prestige Company of Sweden and hope to have a further choice from New Zealand soon.

So that is how this machine works. It has been adapted to enable it to produce nice clean and very safe spirit and it should not be confused with cheaper models (usually painted white) which are meant to distil water only. Also please remember that when you distil alcohol to drink it is important to produce ethynol which is a clean alcohol which is why the Triple Distilled Yeast is stongly recommended. Any other yeast could give a small amount of methanol which is not good as methanol is a poison.

I think this will give you a very good idea of just what this machine can do and how easy it is to use over and over again. If you have any further questions please message me and I will try to answer them. I have been using my machine for over a year without any problems and will provide my email address with every machine I sell so that I can provide any help you may need. Apart from the wash that is uses to produce the spirit the only consumable item its needs are the little carbon ’tea-bags’ which fit in the connector to purify the finished spirit. You need one of these for each day the machine is used (and you can get through the whole of the 24 litres of wash in one day) and these carbon bags cost £2.29 for a pack of 6. You do get a set of carbon bags with the machine.

To use this machine to produce alcohol you need just normal wine making equipment. I would suggest the following would be useful: 2 brewing buckets with airlock, syphon, hydrometer, thermometer, spirit hydrometer, mixing spoon, steriliser. If you don’t have any of these I can supply all of them for an additional £34.99 – just let me know and I will list them for you.

Thanks Ellie 🙂

So to cut it down to price conscious basics once you have the equipment it will cost you the price of 6 bags of sugar (about £5.50) , special yeast and clearing agent (£4.98 from Ellie) for 4.8litres of 60% spirit or 7.2litres (or about 9½ bottles) of 40% spirit, if like me you are a complete pisshead and gluten for punishment you could distill your distillate again to make it stronger eg. end up with 2litres of 80% alcohol 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


It really is that easy and that cheap, But please Drink Responsibly (wear a napkin) or you could end up like me:

Drink! Feck! Arse! Girls!!!!

Drink! Feck! Arse! Girls!!!!

Until we meet again 🙂


March 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 23 Comments