Monday, October 13, 2014

Legalization of Home Distilling

There is still movement in the Legalizing of Home Distillation.  My son Matt is in contact weekly with senators and Representatives on this topic. He has Been to DC recently and met with some of our Senators.
 National Geographic is about to  produce a documentary on home distilling. Hopefully this will shed some light on our hobby distilling and help to get legalization moving forward. We don't know the date on the airing of this documentary.  We will post this when we find out.

Friday, August 29, 2014

100% Malt all grain wihiskey moonshing

Here is a recipe that is very good and I think most of you can do this at home.

I like to do this recipe 40 lbs (18kg) of malt at a time, for a couple reasons. 1) 15 gallons of strike water for mashing fits perfect in a half barrel (15.5g) keggle. 2) It gives 2 - 10 gallon runs, perfect for a half barrel still.
  I run it with 100% Red Wheat malt, but the recipe will work identically for a 100% Barley Malt AG whiskey.


14 gallons water (plus 8 gallons water at yeast pitch time)

1 gallon backset (I freeze 1/2 gallon in zip-lock bags for this purpose) 

4 tsp gypsum

40 pounds milled Wheat or Barley Malt

Mashing and Fermenting:

Bring the water (14g), backset and gypsum to 160 degrees F  (strike temp).
Put 20 lbs  milled malt in each of 2 20 gallon  fermenters, or all 40 lbs in a bigger barrel if you have a 30+ gallon barrel.
Stir in half the water into each fermenter (7.5g) Temp should settle at 148F Put the lids loosely on, and wrap the barrels up tight in blankets to hold the mash temp. Stir every 30 minutes.
After a couple hours remove the blankets and point a fan at the barrels, it helps cool them much faster to pitch temp.
When the temp is below 80F, add 4 more gallons water per barrel, and take a large spoon or mash paddle and whip the mash up to a froth to aerate it well.
Pitch your favorite yeast. We recommend PrestigeWhiskey pure with AG. (Ferment on the grain) This will ferment to .990 (Dry) and taste great.

 For a pot still after its done fermenting (1-2 weeks depending on temp)
Pull 5 gallons of the clear liquid off the top of each barrel, for a 10 gallon stripping run. (save and freeze the backset after distilling in zip-locks for next time. Combine the 2 stripping runs and do a slower spirit run.
Make your cuts to taste and age on oak as long as you can keep your hands off it.

Yield from 40 lbs  malt is about 2.6 gallons (10l) 60% (avg) before cuts. Do your cuts to your taste preference. You should get 1.4 gallons 67%, after cuts. 

We hope you like this and enjoy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

HBS Copper

We have started a new division of Hillbilly Stills.  The name of this division is HBS Copper. It is dedicated to all american made distillation equipment. We are building very heavy commercial copper stills in the range of 250 gallon and below. We are currently investigating adding steam heat to our  copper stills
 We are committed to bringing back american jobs to our community.  We can build anything the customer wants, from an old traditional pot still, to new technology columns stills. From Whiskey stills to Vodka stills, we can build it.
 We will be having product highlights coming soon. Please feel free to give us a call if you have any questions about our products.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Product Highlight: 2.5 Gallon Charred Oak Barrels

charred white oak barrel
Whether you’re a DIY distiller, brewer, or run a professional distillery or winery, there’s no denying that aging your concoction in a charred oak barrel gives its taste an extra bit of flair.  For centuries, the oak tree has produced the preferred wood necessary to stave off oxidation, soften wine tannins, ferment various brews, and age spirits to perfection. 

Whether for fermentation, aging, or simple storage, our 2.5 gallon charred white oak barrel is more than functional; it’s an eye-catching conversation piece designed to enhance your man cave, wine cellar, bar area, or patio deck in a way that no mini fridge or keg could ever do. 

Each oak barrel includes:
  • A matching wooden stand
  • A bung & spigot
  • A storing tablet
  • Between 4 and 6 hoops
  • 2.5 gallons of volume – that’s a lot of room!

About the Author: Hillbilly Stills has the best online selection of handmade, high-quality DIY distilling equipment, fermenting chemicals, copper stills, and other distilling accessories anywhere on the web.  Shop their online store today and be drinking your own brew, wine, or spirits in short order by visiting

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Oak Barrels and the Aging Process

oak barrels

For literally thousands of years, wooden barrels have been used to store, transport, age, and flavor alcoholic beverages of all types. From beer to wine to spirits, humans have relied on barrel aging to give their alcohol that last bit of perfection. However, the purpose of using wood barrels wasn’t for aging in the beginning, but more for storage, and the idea of barrel aging for taste was an unexpected result.

Long ago in ancient Mesopotamia, people used palm wood to fashion barrels used to store alcohol. However, palm wood is difficult to bend into barrels, and by the time the Roman Empire had come to fruition, the use of oak barrels had become the most prevalent form of storage.

Regardless of the type of alcohol stored, distillers soon realized that oak barrel aging made their beverages less harsh, better tasting, and added individuality to their particular process.

What is it About Oak Barrels?

Because oak is a relatively porous wood, it allows for a certain amount of evaporation and oxygenation, but not to the extent that oxidation (the same process that causes rust to form on metals) or spoiling occurs.

When a certain amount of evaporation is allowed, some alcohol and water is removed, leaving more of the natural taste of the liquid behind. In the case of wine aging, the small bit of oxygen that makes into the barrel acts upon the tannins in the wine, making it softer to ingest and giving it a more pleasurable taste overall.

Alcohol can be fermented in oak barrels, or it can be aged in oak barrels after fermentation. There is an important distinction to be made between the two processes, particularly that alcohol which is fermented and then aged in the oak will take on more of the taste characteristics of the wood than if it were just fermented in it.

The effects of oak on alcohol are exceptionally prevalent when working with wine as the phenols in the oak produce a chemical reaction that gives the wine a bit of vanilla flavor and/or extra sweetness. The amount of char on a barrel also affects the tannin levels, and the ellagitannins in wood provide an extra layer of protection against oxidation and reduction.

About the Author: Hillbilly Stills is a company made up of hillbillies who have a love for all things distilling and ingesting alcoholic beverages. They specialize in DIY distilling for the home brewer, as well as equipment and accessories for bigger operations. Whether you’re a regular guy who wants a new hobby or to drink for less, or you’re running a retail distillery, Hillbilly Stills has all the distilling tools, guides, and equipment you need to make it happen. Visit today to view and purchase their products!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Product Highlight: 50 Gallon Stainless Steel Fermenter on Wheels

Humans have utilized fermentation since the Neolithic age, making alcohol production and consumption some of the oldest human practices still alive today.  Nowadays, we have it much easier, and if there was ever a prime time to be a human who practices the science of zymology, that time is now. 

With the Hillbilly Stills 50 gallon stainless steel fermenter, you get 50 gallons worth of portable, reliable fermenting power that would make your Neolithic ancestors green with envy.  Made with 1.4mm 304 stainless steel, this distilling fermenter is a durable and affordable option for both professional and home distillers. 

Aside from its reliable construction, this fermenter for distilling your favorite spirits also comes equipped with sturdy legs and wheels, making it easy for one person to move if necessary.  Best of all, our fermenter won’t roll away when you aren’t looking thanks to the included wheel locks. 

Like all of our distilling equipment, each one of our 50 gallon stainless steel fermenters is hand-built by us, right here in the U.S.A.   When quality and affordability are what you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with any of the gear manufactured by Hillbilly Stills.

About the Author:  At Hillbilly Stills, we live to distill, we distill to drink, and we drink to live.  Summon your inner bootlegger today by visiting and find everything you need for DIY distilling for a great price, all in one place.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

5 Great Alcohol Based Snacks for the 4th

Drunken Gummy Bears

If you don’t mind picking out the red, white (clear), and blue gummy bears from an assortment of
colors…Or, if you can procure the proper colors to begin with, this is a great liquor based snack that can go a long way at a 4th of July shindig.  Best of all, drunken gummy bears are easy to make, they just require a little advanced planning.

  1. Procure gummy bears in appropriate colors.
  2. Place gummy bears in a container that can be sealed.
  3. Cover the gummy bears in your favorite clear liquor.  We’re going with moonshine, of course.
  4. Seal the container and wait 24-48 hours.
  5. The gummy bears will swell with the alcohol they have absorbed.  Eat them.  Be merry.


Any Sam Adams Beer Product

"I totally approve."
Sam Adams (the man) was an original founding father.  A true champion of freedom.  Sam Adams (the beer company) is the only national beer company left that is still 100% American owned and operated.  Need we say more?  Other brands may plaster the flag all over their beer cans, but true patriotism isn't when you claim to make “American beer” while you manufacture your beer in…not America.  Anyhow, you get the point.  You want to show your patriotism?  Buy American as often as you can.  At the least, drink American on the 4th.  Taste the frothy freedom as it goes down your American throat.  Make Sam Adams (the man) proud of you by drinking Sam Adams (the beer). 

  1. Go to beer store.
  2. Buy Sam Adams beer.
  3. Drink it.


Moonshine Infused John Daly

While golf is not originally an American sport, it’s still more American than soccer.  John Daly is an American pro golfer, and that’s good enough for us.  Also, he apparently likes alcohol, so we have that in common, as well.  Forego the Arnold Palmer in favor of a John Daly.  The recipe is easy:

  1. Half lemonade.
  2. Half tea.
  3. An appreciable amount of clear liquor.  Again, we’re going with moonshine because drinking vodka on the 4th of July is as American as watching Rocky IV and cheering for Ivan Drago


Star Spangled Sangria

Oh I love that sangria wine, when I’m drinkin’ with old friends of mine.  Sangria is originally a concoction of Portuguese and Spanish origin, but hey, we’re America…we took it fair and square and made it our own.  In the South, it’s big.  Sangria typically consists of wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener (could be honey, sugar, syrup, or orange juice), and a small amount of brandy.  Enough talk, here’s how OURS is made:

  1. Combine strawberries, blueberries, and pineapple cut into star shapes (start shaped cutters can be found in stores) into a large pitcher.
  2. Add two bottles of white wine, 1 cup of triple sec, ½ cup of berry flavored or regular clear liquor (we WILL NOT say the word “vodka” for reasons aforementioned), ½ cup of fresh lemon juice, ½ cup of simple syrup.
  3. Stir, chill, & drink.
If you run out, repeat steps 1-3 above.


Patriotic Pop Rocks Shooters

Aside from the colors being red, white, and blue, this one has an added point of patriotism: the pop rocks.  Remember the“rockets’ red glare” and “bombs bursting in air”?  Those lines in the National Anthem are the reasons we have fireworks on the 4th.  Plus, Americans just like to blow stuff up because it’s cool, but we digress.  The point here is that the pop rocks mimic those explosions in your mouth in pretty much the only safe way possible. 

You’ll need:
  • Light corn syrup 
  • Red or blue Pop Rocks candy 
  • Grenadine 
  • Half and half 
  • Maui Blue Hawaiian Schnapps

Here’s what you do:
  1. Rim a glass with corn syrup, then dip the glass rim in the Pop Rocks.
  2. Fill glass 1/3 full with grenadine.
  3.  In a separate container, mix one part half & half with two parts Maui® Blue Hawaiian Schnapps.
  4. Slowly pour the creamy Schnapps mixture over a bar spoon or (the back of a regular spoon), allowing the dense mixture to rest on top of the grenadine.
  5. Serve it up.