A Brewer’s Guide to Home Distilling Equipment

Distilling your spirits at home can be a fun and rewarding hobby, and with the right equipment, it’s easier than you might think. Imagine the satisfaction of sipping on a smooth, handcrafted vodka or gin that you made yourself. Not only is it a unique and personal experience, but it can also allow you to experiment with different flavours and ingredients to create your perfect spirit.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the home distilling equipment available and provide tips and tricks to help you get started on your home distilling journey. So, let’s get started and discover the wonderful world of homemade spirits!

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Is Brewing Spirits Illegal in Australia?

It’s legal for individuals to distill spirits as long as they have a valid distiller’s license. The Australian Government Department of Home Affairs oversees the production, importation, and exportation of alcohol. There are even some exceptions to this rule.

For example, some states in Australia allow individuals to distill small amounts of spirits without a licence (typically up to a few litres per year) for personal use as long as they are not sold or shared with others. Additionally, some organisations offer classes or workshops on home distilling, where participants can learn about the process and distill spirits under the supervision of a licensed professional.

It’s important to note that laws and regulations regarding home distillation may vary between states and territories in Australia, so it’s best to check the ones applying to your area before starting to make your spirits at home.

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What Equipment Do You Need for Distilling?

If you’re interested in distilling spirits at home, there are a few essential distilling supplies that you’ll need to get started. Here is a list of the vital pieces besides a steam boiler and conditioner for de-foaming you’ll need to create spirits at home.


The still is the most significant piece of equipment you’ll need to get started. There are different types of stills, including pot, reflux, and column stills. Choose an option that is appropriate for your needs and budget.

Fermenting Vessel

Before you can start distilling, you’ll need to ferment your base ingredient (such as grain, fruit, or vegetables) to create a low-alcohol liquid called “wash.” You’ll need a fermenting vessel to hold the wash while it ferments. A large food-grade plastic bucket and a glass carboy are both acceptable options.


A hydrometer is a device that calculates a liquid’s specific gravity. You can use it to determine the alcohol content of the wash before and after distillation.


A thermometer is essential for monitoring the temperature of the wash during the distillation process. That’ll help you control the purity of the final product.

Collection Containers

You’ll need a collection container (or containers) to hold the distilled spirits as they come off the still. Glass or stainless steel containers are best, as they are inert and won’t affect the final product’s taste.

Distilling Accessories

There are many other accessories and distilling supplies that you may find helpful when distilling spirits at home, including a wash tub, a stirring spoon, and a funnel. By gathering these items, you’ll have everything you need to get started – just remember to use your equipment responsibly.

How to Choose the Right Home Distilling Equipment?

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Distilling alcohol at home can be fun and rewarding only if you choose the right equipment to ensure a safe and successful experience. Here are some tips to help you choose the right home equipment pieces:

Determine Your Needs

The first step in choosing is to figure out precisely what you need it for. Will you be distilling small batches of spirits or larger quantities? Do you want a simple setup or something more advanced? Knowing your needs will help you narrow your options and choose distilling supplies suitable for your specific goals.

Consider the Size and Capacity

Home equipment for distilling comes in various sizes, from small tabletop stills to large floor-standing models. Make sure to choose the appropriate accessories for the number of spirits you want to produce. Create a setup that is easy to store when not in use.

Pay Attention to the Materials

It’s important to choose equipment made of high-quality materials built to last. Look for stills and other equipment items made of stainless steel or other durable materials, and make sure that all components are well-constructed and free of defects.

Think about Ease of Use

When shopping, it’s crucial to consider how easy it will be to use too. Look for stills and other equipment that aren’t complicated to assemble, disassemble, and clean. It’s also a good idea to choose a setup that comes with clear and concise instructions.

Look for Additional Features

Some extra features are also worth considering. These can include a built-in thermometer, a sight glass for monitoring the distillation process, and a reflux column to increase the purity of the final product. Consider the features that will be most helpful for your specific needs and choose equipment that has them.

To Sum Up

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced distiller, various distilling item options are available to suit your needs and budget. Remember to check the laws and regulations in your area before attempting to distill and get a valid distiller’s licence if required. We hope this guide has helped introduce you to the world of home distilling and has inspired you to explore this fascinating hobby. Happy distilling!