5 Biggest Mistakes You Must Avoid When Starting Out With Distilling
Making your own spirits isn't complicated however there are some pro tips that will make it easier, better and cheaper in the long run. Here are the 5 biggest mistakes you must avoid when starting out with distilling.
1. Getting a system that is too small
Generally speaking, the larger the system the more cost effective it is to run. Using the 4L Air Still for example, it will cost around $6.50 per 1L bottle of 40% ABV alcohol, compared to the larger 25L Turbo 500 which will cost around $3 per 1L bottle of 40% ABV alcohol. If you're short on space the Air Still is a great option, and if you've got a bit more room and access to a water supply, the Turbo 500 works out to be a better investment in the long run.
2. Not using proper distilling yeasts
Going rogue can have devastating consequences. When you use random yeasts and ferment random things, you could be producing dangerous methanol which can be deadly to drink. Stick to reputable systems and yeasts specifically designed for distilling. Here is our yeast guide if you want to learn more about the different distilling yeast strains we sell.
3. Not following the instructions step by step
No matter how small or insignificant the step may seem, do it. People get into trouble when they skip steps or make substitutions. If you follow the instructions to the letter, you can't go wrong. You will get step by step paper instructions with your purchase, and we also have how to videos on each listing which we recommend watching so you have a good idea of the process.
4. Lack of temperature control for the wash
The single most important factor in spirit quality is the temperature the yeast ferments at. If it's too cold, the yeast will fall asleep. If it's too hot, the yeast will die. Each yeast will have its temperature range on the back of the packet, so be sure to keep the fermentation temperature in this range. If you can't, we sell heat pads if you need to heat your wash up, and we also have a heating and cooling fermentation system for optimal temperate control.
2. Trying to cheap-out on the equipment and yeast
The initial set-up is an investment and you get what you pay for. For example, the Turbo 500 comes in stainless steel and copper, and while copper is more expensive it removes more sulphur from the wash, making a smoother spirt. Ongoing, spending a few extra dollars for the higher quality yeast and essences is normally worth it for better taste and quality. The highest quality yeast we sell is the Pure yeast, but this needs to be fermented between 20°C-24°C, so you will almost certainly need temperature control. Otherwise, the Classic 6 yeast is our best all-rounder, with an easy to manage fermentation temperature between 15°C - 30°C. Our best essence range is the Classic essences, and our biggest and most popular essence range is the Top Shelf essences.
It might all seem a bit overwhelming at first, but once you have your initial setup and do your first batch, it's like riding a bike.
Ready to get stared? Check out our best selling starter kits below: