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 www.hillbillystills.com 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.

Recipe:
  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.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Product Review: Alcohol-Meter Hydrometer Set with Plastic Test Jar

An alcoholmeter hydrometer set is a necessary part of any distilling process. While an alcohol hydrometer can check the density of the brew during the fermentation process, an alcohol meter can be used to find the alcohol percentage. Both tools play an instrumental part in turning your brew into the perfect moonshine or beer.


Our alcohol test kit contains an alcohol meter, a hydrometer, and a plastic test jar. This complete set of distillery tools is a perfect gift for the brewer in your life. With a five star customer rating, you’ll wonder why you haven’t bought this set sooner. Our customers say that our alcohol-meter hydrometer set is a great product at a great price. Made well, works well, and ships to your home quickly. What more can you ask for in an alcohol testing set? For the best alcohol-meter hydrometer set, Hillbilly Stills has you covered. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gifts for the Distilling Dad

If you’ve got a distilling dad we’ve got the Father’s Day presents that will show him how much you really care. Hillbilly Stills specializes in all things moonshine and DIY distilling. We have everything from instructions for beginners to complete, professional-grade still setups for the guys who have been doing it for years. Here’s a look at our top five gift picks for Father’s Day 2014.
 
LIQUOR QUIK™ SpiritMaker™ Tabletop Distiller
Does your dad love spirit making, but doesn’t like to wait? Is he too tight on space to get a big still? Would he like to make moonshine on the go when he travels? In less than an hour he can get 60-65% ABV ethanol with the LIQUOR QUIK™ SpiritMaker™. This alcohol distiller is the size of a small coffee pot and is capable of producing 1.5L of premium spirits just about anywhere. 

Alcohol Meter Hydrometer Set with Plastic Test Jar
When it comes to making moonshine, you’ve got to get your measurements right. Our Alcohol Meter Hydrometer Set is an inexpensive gift that could help your dad improve his batches by ensuring that alcohol content calculations are correct and fermentation readings are accurate. If dad doesn’t have these tools or could use a spare set, this is the gift to go with.


8 Gallon Copper Moonshine Still Kit with Burner
If your dad is ready to start making bigger batches of moonshine or whiskey, our popular 8 Gallon Copper Moonshine Still Kit with Burner is a perfect step up from a 3 gallon still. The kit contains everything your dad needs to get going right down to the hoses and yeast. The still is easy to use and includes a handy instructional manual. Distilling dads are sure to have fun on Father’s Day putting it all together.
 

Brass 2” Sight Glass
A sight glass will give dad a window into the fermentation process so he can see the reflux in action. Our Brass 2” Sight Glass is a high-quality accessory made of copper, brass, and thick tempered glass that is designed to provide flexibility when adding it to your still.


8 Gallon Mash Pot with Domed Lid and Fitting for Electrical Element
Making mash never looked so good when you have a Hillbilly Stills mirror polished mash pot. The 8 Gallon Mash Pot with Domed Lid and Fitting for Electrical Element is as functional as it is attractive. The fitting at the bottom allows you to drain from the pot or add an electrical element, and with the fitting at the top you can attach your column to the pot.


Can’t figure out which of these gifts to give? Then get dad a Hillbilly Stills gift certificate. That way he can have fun on Father’s Day picking out the tools he needs to keep on shining!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Premium Dial Distillation Thermometer

distillation thermometerIn the old days, things could get downright hot for moonshiners when the "revenuer" came calling. For home distillers today, that same heat isn't an issue, at least as long as they abide by their local ordinances (for more information on distillation laws, click here). But that doesn't mean heat isn't a part of the distillation process.

In fact, if there's no heat, there's no ‘shine. Distillation requires careful heating of the fermented sour mash held in the pot (also called the vat or boiler). Different boiling points of each component of the sour mash (water, methanol, propanol and our friend, ethanol) allow for the separation of those components, and ultimately, the collection of nearly pure grain alcohol. Proper boil temperature is critical. You want to heat the mash to approximately 173 degrees Fahrenheit, the boiling point of alcohol. Get it much hotter than that and you risk scorching the mash or "belching" mash into the column.

An experienced distiller learns to manage temperature by feel, but for most of us, a good distillation thermometer is an invaluable piece of still equipment. The Hillbilly Stills 3" Premium Dial Thermometer fits the bill. A precise instrument, it has a 1/2" threaded connector designed to work with many of our copper still heads. This durable unit allows you to monitor vapor temperature to within +/- 1 degree and will dramatically improve your results. Simply thread the connector into the head and you will know exactly when to dial back the heat to the boiler.

A bi-metal thermometer with a full stainless steel exterior, the Hillbilly is built to last. Double-strength glass crystal and a simple, clean design on the easy-to-read 3" face makes monitoring a snap. The 2.5” stainless steel stem yields accurate temperature readings all the way from 0 to 250° Fahrenheit. The body and face are hermetically sealed for years of trouble free performance. A finely crafted instrument, the Hillbilly Stills dial thermometer is designed to deliver excellent shock protection.

You take distilling seriously, and you demand top-quality equipment. You shouldn't ask any less of a thermometer. The careful craftsmanship of the Hillbilly 3" Premium Dial Thermometer is the perfect addition to your Hillbilly Still.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

5 DIY Gifts with Moonshine

moonshineMoonshiners are the original outlaws of the DIY world. We’re capable of creating distillation spaces, putting together stills, and crafting tasty white lightening with little more than corn, sugar, and yeast. Coming up with a few unique DIY gifts is a piece of cake – you could even make the cake with moonshine.  Below is a list of moonshine recipes and ideas for alcohol gift baskets.

Moonshine BBQ Sauce

Nothing goes better with moonshine than some savory smoked and grilled meats. So why not add a little white lightening to the BBQ sauce? For ages, sauce makers have slipped a little hooch in as a secret ingredient, and now moonshine is one of the more popular options for adding some kick to the ‘cue.

It doesn’t take much before the moonshine overrides the other flavors, so be very conservative by adding just about an ounce or two to a gallon of sauce that’s already been cooked or a half cup prior to cooking the sauce. Keep in mind that if you add the liquor after cooking up the sauce, it will retain its potency.

Moonshiners may be known to fly under the radar, but white lightening BBQ sauce is sure to get attention for its robust taste.

Moonshine Blueberry Pops

Gift recipients can cool off with a delicious moonshine infused treat when you mix up a few white lightening blueberry pops. It’s one of the best DIY alcohol gifts for Memorial Day, July Fourth, or Labor Day parties.

All you have to do is:
  • Whip up some simple syrup by combining five ounces of sugar cane and five ounces of water in a pan over medium-high heat. Stir continuously until the sugar completely dissolves. Turn the heat off and let the syrup cool. You should have about 6 ounces.
  • Get about five cups of blueberries and remove any stems before pureeing them. You can do this with a food processor for the smoothest puree or just mash them up by hand real well. This should leave you with about 18 ounces of blueberry puree.
  • Cut yourself up some lemons and squeeze out about an ounce of juice.
  • Pour the puree into a large measuring bowl or cup with a spout. Next, slowly add in the simple syrup and lemon juice until you reach the ideal level of sweetness. (Keep in mind that blueberries may get sweeter after they freeze.)
  • Time to add the ‘shine! Pour about three ounces of moonshine into the mixture and stir it all up.
  • Pour the moonshine mix into popsicle molds leaving a little room at the top. Stick in your sticks then put the tray in the freezer and in about four or five hours you’ll have a delicious DIY moonshine gift.

Mason Jar Wine Glasses

Redneck wine glasses, as they are often referred to, are a great way to incorporate traditional moonshining style into enjoying other refreshments. All you need is:
  • Mason jars (2-6 recommended)
  • Glass candlesticks (2-6 recommended)
  • Epoxy
  • Sandpaper
The process:
  • Use the sand paper to scuff up the rim of the candlesticks so it adheres better. Wash and dry the candlesticks after the sanding so dust doesn’t get in the way.
  • One at a time, flip the mason jars upside down and put a fair amount of epoxy on the bottom of the jar. Carefully place the candlestick on the bottom of the jar and press the two pieces of glass together for the recommended amount of time.
  • Let the jars sit undisturbed for at least 24 hours before wrapping them up.

A Moonshine Watermelon

Watermelons are a sweet staple of summer get-togethers, and this one will make the party even more fun! Better yet is that it’s really simple to make if you already have the moonshine.

Just cut a hole with a 2-3 inch diameter in the top of the watermelon and keep the piece you cut out. Slowly pour in a cup or so of moonshine. Put the cut out piece back in place and clear a space in the fridge for the watermelon to chill for 24 hours.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Have a baking enthusiast on your gift list? A high-content alcohol like moonshine is the perfect base for homemade vanilla extract. All you need is the ‘shine and vanilla beans for this concoction, but there will be a long “fermentation” process, so now is the perfect time to start your extract for Christmas.

All you have to do is get yourself some vanilla beans (we suggest Madagascar or Mexican bean, which can be ordered online) and bottle up some of your moonshine.  Add several bean pods to begin with and let it sit. Keep adding beans every now and then and in about six months you should have some awesome extract to share with friends and family. For an added touch of class, pour the extract into a mason jar or other decorative bottle and top it off with a bow.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Product Highlight: Hillbilly Stills Sparkolloid Clearing Agent

Hillbilly Stills Clears Up The Washing Process
In the interest of refining a home brew product for clarity, color, and sparkle, Hillbilly Stills recommends using a clearing wash before "putting it to bed" to simmer. Washing works wonders and helps make for a fantastic final brew.

After fermentation of the homemade mash is complete, a clearing wash should be stirred gently into the mix so that the "clouds" that are present at that time will settle at the bottom, leaving at the top a blend that results in a fine, smooth flavor.

Before adding the clearing wash, pour the mixture into another container. The product will be cloudy, waiting to receive a "wash job" for further improvement of quality, look, and taste. A clearing agent allows for separation of the cloudy stuff that will settle at the bottom while leaving a clearer product remaining above the sediment. After the first "settling" and "washing", let the mixture stand for a short period of time to make sure no sediment remains. If it does, repeat the process a second time. Let the clearing wash work its magic.

Imagine the transparent, sparkling, liquid refreshment that will be ready for sipping pleasure!

And while we are speaking of transparency and sparkle, we recommend using a clearing agent that is by far the best in clearing washes.

Hillbilly Stills Sparkolloid Powder (a hot mix formula) is the one to use to clarify high pH alcobases, and as one customer says: "a good rye whiskey is a clear rye whiskey."

Sparkolloid is the clearing wash that quickly settles the sediment in the mash, leaving behind the quality of liquid that is necessary for clear color and great taste.

Check out Sparkolloid! Find out what other enthusiastic distillers have to say about this great product. Get acquainted with the guys involved in its creation. Meet all the folks at Hillbilly Stills who are as passionate about the distillation of home brew as everyone else who practices brewing liquors.  To view our entire inventory of distillation products and accessories, visit www.hillbillystills.com.