NEED TO KNOW
LEGAL OR UNLAWFUL?
The government won’t splinter your door for buying a still, but technically you can use it only to purify water or extract essential oils from plants. (Gas prices got you down? You could apply for an ethanol permit.)
WILL IT KILL YOU?
Possibly. Blindness? Ditto. Eyeball your unaged ’shine. It should be clear. Smell nail-polish remover? That means methanol. Might be time for plan B: some store-bought booze.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED
Stills can be dangerous: You’re essentially putting a flame beneath a container full of flammable stuff. “The number one rule,” says Doug Nutter, cofounder of Straitsville Special Moonshine Distillery, “is make sure you have good equipment and maintain it.”