Cleaning a Stainless Steel Moonshine Still

Cleaning a Stainless Steel Moonshine Still

Posted by Mary on Apr 5th 2016

If you want to continue to produce a high-quality distillate, then you’ve got to take care of your distillation equipment—and that includes regular cleaning. In many cases, you could use warm water and dish soap or even vinegar to clean your equipment, but we recommend using the Brewhaus Equipment Cleaner and the Brewhaus Equipment Rinse. The equipment cleaner and rinse are only a dollar and some change, so I consider it worth it to pick those up just because they’re made especially for cleaning stainless steel, soft metals, and plastics and removing organic and mineral deposits.

How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Moonshine Still

We recommend using first the Brewhaus Equipment Cleaner and then the Brewhaus Equipment Rinse in order to safely and thoroughly clean your stainless steel moonshine still because, again, they were developed especially for cleaning stainless steel and removing organic and mineral deposits.

1. First things first: After removing your unit from heat, remove the thermometer (and bung, if you have one) from the top of the column to facilitate air flow, which is extremely important.

2. After the unit is completely cool, remove the column from the kettle. Run clean, hot water through the column from top to bottom to rinse away any residual oils.

3. Empty the kettle and rinse with hot water.

4. Next, add Brewhaus Equipment Cleaner to hot water (150-180'F) to clean the equipment. You’ll want to use 1/2 - 1 oz Equipment Cleaner per gallon of water. Remember to never use abrasive or corrosive materials on your unit and always clean with a gentle hand.

5. Dissolve 1 Tbsp of the Brewhaus Equipment Rinse in 1 gallon of hot water and use it to rinse the equipment. Allow all equipment to dry thoroughly.

Note: If you used the Brewhaus Equipment Rinse, then rinsing with hot, regular water is not necessary, but you can if you’d like.

How To Clean Ceramic Raschig Rings

This is another product that our Equipment Cleaner was made for, and the instructions are nearly identical to those above. One of the best things about the ceramic Raschig Rings is that they last pretty much forever—at least until you lose them—unlike copper mesh. Just like any other piece of distillation equipment, regular cleaning is a must. Here’s how you do it:

1. Combine Brewhaus Equipment Cleaner with hot water (150-180'F; 1/2 - 1 oz Equipment Cleaner per gallon of water) and add your Raschig Rings.

2. Soak for 30 minutes.

3. Rinse thoroughly with regular drinking water or with Brewhaus Equipment Rinse.

How To Clean Your Copper Mesh

Ideally, you’ll want to clean your copper mesh after every run, but you might be able to get away with cleaning it every couple of runs if you’re lucky. Just remember that the quality of your copper mesh does make a difference in your product, and you never want to use copper that shows blue corrosion or is too discolored. Once your copper mesh gets to the point that it doesn’t look clean any more—even if you just cleaned it—you’ll want to throw it out. Unlike the Ceramic Raschig Rings, copper mesh does have a life span.

1. Fill a container with the cleaning solution of your choice: Either straight citric acid, straight vinegar or a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. Any one of these solutions are acceptable for cleaning your copper mesh, and you will find some people who feel strongly or against any one of these methods. Simply choose the liquid that you personally prefer.

2. Unroll your copper mesh and soak it in the mixture for a few hours.

3. Rinse with drinking water, and then hang to dry.