In 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.