6 Reasons Why Copper Is Used for Distilling Equipment

Copper still manufacturers know that copper isn’t just a pretty face. When it comes to copper distillation equipment, the copper also serves a useful purpose. Here are six reasons why copper is beneficial in the distillation process.

1. Oldest Pedigree: According to Copper.org, “Copper is man’s oldest metal, dating back more than 10,000 years.” Simply by virtue of the technology available at the time, copper would have been the metal of choice for producing all manner of implements used to make ancient man’s life easier. And, since the practice of spirits distillation is some two thousand years old, it makes sense that copper would be the material of choice.

2. Easiest Deformation: As luck would have it, this ancient metal allows for an easy process of changing shape as copper is very malleable. Therefore, very early on in history, it seems clear that the use of copper for different types of vessels was a logical choice, given the fact that production technologies of the time were limited. For distilling purposes, one assumes the use of copper was largely predicated upon ease of use.

3. Antibacterial Properties: Interestingly, copper can eradicate certain types of bacteria and fungi. Copper is commonly used for fungus control in all kinds of agriculture. It is also no surprise that copper piping really is the preferred material for residential and commercial water supply lines as copper is commonly used as an algicide for water purification.

4.  Thermal Transfer Properties: For some miracle reason, no doubt, electrons can move freely through copper. These conducting electrons help copper be a very good conductor of heat (and cold for that matter). For spirits distilling purposes, applying heat and the removal of heat is a requisite. Copper does both very well.

5. Volatile Sulfur Compound Removal: Less than optimal fermentation practices can lead to poor yeast health as fermentation works toward completion. Aside from copper’s antibacterial qualities, the characters of copper allow it to have a chemical reaction inside of distillation equipment to remove volatile sulfur compounds released by the yeast during fermentation. These sulfur compounds can affect the final perceived quality of the finished product. The debate will forever rage on with respect to how much copper is needed in the vapor path to sequester sulfides. However, one thing is certain: you can’t have too much copper in the vapor path. Be warned. though, using copper as a crutch for practicing less than optimal fermentation techniques is not going to produce an elevated spirit.

6. Beauty: Last but certainly not least, copper is for some reason so compelling to look at. When shined up, it’s hard not to stare! Even when the patina has been fully developed, it’s hard not to stare! For some reason it’s almost therapeutic to stare at it. It is mesmerizing. It is magical.

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