Olympic Distillers


Copper vs stainless steel moonshine stills

Stainless Steel vs Copper Distilling Equipment

We sell both stainless steel & copper stills and both have their own benefits & drawbacks. The question is always asked by new distillers: “when you have stainless steel vs copper, which is better? ” Stainless steel is cheaper than copper.  Stainless steel has lower heat transfer qualities when compared to copper, and stills made from stainless steel are harder to control and adjust during distillation. Adjustments to heat input or cooling water take longer to show up on a stainless still, while with copper, adjustments show up almost instantaneously. Stainless steel has many qualities that are desirable, such as resistance to tarnishing, lower cost, high strength and ease of cleaning.  

The qualities of copper allows for better control and stability, and improves the outcome of the final distillation of alcohol in terms of flavor. However, copper tarnishes quickly, and is harder to clean. Copper also naturally reduces bacterial contamination (which is why it is also used for water pipes) and absorbs the sulfur produced during fermentation. Copper has been used to make stills since ancient times, and as successive generations have found, it remains the best option thanks to its unique properties and natural advantages in the distilling process. For superior results when distilling alcohol, use copper. For a lower cost, more durable and easy to clean alternative use stainless steel. You can add copper mesh to a stainless steel column to remove the sulfates, and our stainless flute columns have copper bubble plates built in that will also do the job of sulfate removal.

So there you have it. We hope this helps you make an informed decision when purchasing your new still.