Louwrens van der Merwe,boka stills
moonshine stills

We are extremely fortunate in New Zealand that we can legally distill alcohol for personal use, without being

 labeled criminals or bootleggers, and having to go underground or do it at night by "moonshine".

We are at liberty to experiment, innovate, create and export our skills in this craft.



Q: Why does my distillation column/head look brand new and not like it was made from recycled materials?


A: Rest assure the majority of parts in your column/head are from recycled materials and at the same time, might never have been used before!


Very often I find lots of stainless tubing and other stainless parts at metal recyclers that are end-of-project left overs from dairy factories/shed upgrades/rebuilds that are brand new and even has the foundry logo/name and manufacturing date on it, BUT it was on its way to the crusher! Stainless steel is also one of those metals that, even after years of use, you can clean and polish it to a shine that almost looks new.


Q: Which parts on my distillation column/head is new and not recycled?


A: For hygiene reasons and because scrapyards are not very reliable sources of supply some parts will always be new. All seals, needle valves and alcohol outlet tubes are always new. Depending on availability at metal recyclers, press-on fittings, boiler connecting nuts, tri-clamps and end caps might be new, but is more often than not recycled.


Q: Can I use my pot still as a reflux still if I pack the column with scrubbers?


A: No, unfortunately not. To make it a reflux still you will need a reflux condenser/coil inside the column.


Q: Can I use my Boka column as a pot still?


A: Yes you can. If you remove the packing from your column, increase the water flow to your coil and run the valve wide open, you can run it as a pot still. I have done that many times even with the packing inside the column, but I would recommend that you remove the packing especially if you want to retain flavour.