Distilling spirits at home without the proper licensing is illegal, but it's about to get a lot easier to do with the PicoStill from PicoBrew.
You no longer have to keep your moonshining business a secret — depending on what you’re distilling. On April 17, the creator of the PicoStill from PicoBrew home craft beer brewing system introduced what it’s calling the PicoStill, an attachment to the PicoBrew that will allow you to legally distill hop oils or water. So maybe you’ll still have to keep the actual moonshine a secret (because it’s illegal to distill your own spirits at home), but you can, at the very least, own a still.
PicoBrew recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for its most affordable craft brewing system. Known as the Pico C, this must-have device for all craft beer fanatics will set you back just $329. But perhaps more exciting is the newly introduced option of the PicoStill add-on. The accessory can be used to produce hop oil, which can replace the more lengthy process of dry hopping in brewing. Hop oil can quickly infuse beer with the aromas of hops that dry hopping might otherwise take up to a week to accomplish.
The PicoStill makes use of its copper distilling coil and glass infusion chamber, which sits over the Pico C Keg. The coil heats a clean container of water, then the vacuumed container of the PicoStill lets it boil at a low temperature. Then, the resulting vapors run through the hops (or whatever else you may have in the Still), extracting oils, and then cool back down by way of another coil, condensing back into liquid form in another container. Really, it’s just a miniature version of a real still, and is therefore capable of distilling not only hop oils, but also essential oils, water, and sure, spirits as well. Just make sure that you have the proper licenses and permits to do that.
While PicoBrew has yet to let us know when the PicoStill will start shipping, the Pico C is set to make its way to customers in the fall. So get excited, friends. Your brewing and distilling days aren’t far away, and we trust that you’ll treat those days responsibly.
Finally, we offer a caveat emptor: Obtaining a license to legally distill spirits is a lengthy, exhaustive, and expensive process. And distilling without one is potentially dangerous; the penalties for getting caught with moonshine is a hefty fine and jail time after the first offense. Consider yourself warned!