What is the best still for beginners?


Most people who are interested in home distilling never get started because they fail to find a beginner friendly alcohol distiller. That’s why I decided to write this article on the best alcohol still for beginners, helping folks get started who would most likely give up on trying home distilling, thinking it was too difficult, unsafe or costly.

Introducing the Still Spirits Air Still, the best still for beginners!

The Air Still is by far the best still for beginners, it’s ease of use, convenient design and cost effectiveness makes it the perfect choice for beginner distillers to get started in the hobby. I’d heard mixed opinions about the Air Still over the last few years, so I thought best I grab one for myself to see what all the fuss was about. My thought prior to purchasing was the Air Still was mainly suited to people who have limited space i.e live in apartments etc. But after purchasing one and giving it a run at home, along with all the other gear I’ve put together in my Moonshine Kit, I soon came to the conclusion the Air Still is the perfect beginner still.
As you will see in detail below along with some pictures I took when I received it at home and set it up in my kitchen, it ticks all the boxes! With a Still Spirits Air Still, you can get started without any knowledge of distilling whatsoever and in 7-10 days, be enjoying your first batch of Moonshine!

still spirits air still best beginner still
still spirits air still on kitchen bench

Convenient design

Designed with convenience in mind, the Still Spirits Air Still is the size of a large kettle, so it can be operated on your kitchen bench, perfect for people with limited space. There is no need for cooling water pipes or pumps (these are required with all other stills on the market), this is the number one reason why I believe the Still Spirits Air Still is the best still for beginners.

Quality product

The Still Spirits Air Still has been around for many years, the design has been tweaked to perfection. Still Spirits are a quality New Zealand company, originating from a small home brew store in the early 1990’s, they began developing products perfectly suited to beginner home distillers, making it super simple for people to get started in the hobby.

still spirits air still box instructions

Easy to use

The standout reason one would choose the Still Spirits Air Still as the best still for beginners, is it’s simplicity to use. Literally all you need to do is follow the instructions provided, plug the unit into the power supply, wait for it to do it’s thing, then enjoy the product you’ve produced, all in the comfort of your own home!

Easy to maintain

Another great advantage of the Still Spirits Air Still is it’s easy maintenance, as a beginner the less cleaning/maintaining you need to do the better, giving you more time to focus on enjoying the process. Simply give it a wash out after each run, let it dry then store it away for next time.

still spirits air still fan

Safe to operate

The Still Spirits Air Still is just as safe to operate as your kettle at home. As long as you follow the instructions and treat it with respect, just as you do when making tea or coffee with your kettle, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to safely distilling at home!

Cost effective

To buy a quality moonshine still suited to experienced distillers you’re looking at a minimum $500. There’s no need to spend that much money when you’re a beginner just getting started. The Still Spirits Air Still is priced just right, giving beginner distillers a quality product that will last years and years but at half the cost! If you decide to continue this hobby, you will still get great use of the Still Spirits Air Still. As an experienced distiller, I use it for making small batches, testing new flavors, ingredients etc. That way I don’t risk wasting a lot of alcohol when I’m experimenting.


Air Still vs Pot Still (Which is best for beginners)

When you’re new at distilling and trying to make a decision on which beginner still is best for you, you need to take into consideration the following question:

Do I want to try this new hobby the easy way, or the harder way?

The key to trying something new and succeeding at it, is setting yourself up so it’s as simple as possible to achieve what you’re trying to achieve i.e. get your feet wet before diving in the deep end of the pool.

That’s where the Still Spirits Air Still shines most bright, anyone who can follow instructions on how to bake a simple cake, can use the Air Still to distill their own alcohol. When it comes to operating the still, it’s as simple as turning it on and waiting for it to finish distilling, easy!

In comparison the traditional designed pot stills are much more bulkier in design (taking up more space), you need to run a condenser with water (usually involving a pump) in order to cool the alcohol vapor back into a liquid form and they require a separate heat source either on a stovetop/electric element etc.

Sounds a bit more complicated right….well it is

So when it comes to making your decision on which is the best still for beginners, going back to my original question above will give you your answer…

If you want to try distilling the easy way: Get a Still Spirits Air Still

If you want to try distilling the harder/traditional way: Get a Pot Still

Either way you will still create a great product that you will be able to enjoy and share with your friends and family. I still distill with my Air Still today even as an experienced distiller. As your experience grows using the Air Still or a traditional Pot Still, you can then look upwards towards making your own custom still or purchasing a professionally built one. The possibilities are endless when it comes to distilling, which ever option you choose as a beginner still, I’m sure you’ll enjoy every drop you create!

If the Still Spirits Air Still is your choice for your beginner still, you can take a look at it over at Amazon below

Still Spirits Air Still

If the Pot Still is your choice for getting started as your beginner still, you can take a look at it over at Amazon below

Alcohol Distiller (Stovetop)
VEVOR 30L 7.9Gal Water Alcohol Distiller 304 Stainless Steel Moonshine Still Wine Making Boiler Home Kit with Thermometer for Whiskey Brandy Essential, Sliver[/amalinkspro

Common beginner questions about the Air Still

How does an air still work?

An Air Still works as an alcohol distiller that uses a fan to cool down the alcohol vapor, condensing it back into a liquid, compared to traditional alcohol distillers which use water as a cooling method.

This reason alone is why the Still Spirits Air Still is the most beginner friendly still. Traditional cooling methods using water can be quite difficult to setup and can take a lot of time to get working properly as there is a fair amount of tweaking involved. The Air Still is simply a perfectly designed beginner alcohol still.

How long does an air still take?

The Still Spirits Air Still will take approximately 2 hours to distill 4lt of sugar wash into 700ml of alcohol. The air still will begin dripping alcohol after 1 hour from starting, with the process usually completed after 2 hours.

How much alcohol does an air still make?

An air still will make approximately 700ml of alcohol per 4lt of sugar wash. Following the Still Spirits process and using the recommended ingredients for making the sugar wash, you can expect to distill 700ml of alcohol at 60% ABV.

What can you make with an air still?

An Air Still has the ability to distill alcohol, water and essential oils. The air still operates differently to water distillers due to having a preset temperature cutoff for heating the liquid, being purposely designed for alcohol distillation, though still having the ability to distill water and essential oils if required.

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