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Welcome to the hobby of distillation, if you are thinking about trying to distill for the first time then this is the right spot for you. Before you take the time and effort to try to distill, it's a good idea to ask yourself why do you want to distill.

  • If you are looking into moonshining as a way to make money, you should quit right now. Not only will this potentially land you in jail in many parts of the world, you would have fairly hard time making a cheaper product than that made by the major distilleries.
  • If you are looking to make cheap alcohol for yourself, this is probably not the hobby for you. Malting, mashing, fermenting, distilling, and aging a spirit takes a lot of time and effort. When you factor in the value of your time, homemade alcohol is quite expensive, even if you only value your time at minimum wage.
  • If you are interested in distilling because alcohol is not legally available to you (ie: you're underage). Please don't distill. It's not that hard to find someone of legal age to buy you alcohol, and if you happen to kill yourself using homemade spirits it would decrease the chances of home distillation becoming legal in more places.

Distillation is an adult hobby for responsible individuals. Most hobbies are much more forgiving than distillation. If you are not careful while distilling you can ruin your floors and carpets, asphyxiate yourself, start a serious uncontrollable fire, or poison yourself and your friends to name a few consequences of irresponsible action.

There are many good reasons to start distilling:

  • Distilling is fun
  • Distilling is challenging
  • Distilling is an art which takes much practice to master
  • Distilling is a hobby that encompases many aspects: homebrewing, metal smithing, cooperage, etc.

When done properly, distillation is not only fun and rewarding but is also completely safe. Read all you can, learn all you can, and always remember that safety comes first.

For your first run, you should look at:

1. How to make your first still
2. How to make your first wash
3. How to run your first distillation
4. How to flavour your first spirit
5. Uncle Jesse's Beginners Guide to Pot Distillation of sour mash whiskies.