Components of a traditional pot still:Pot – where the wash is heated.Swan Neck – where the vapours rise and reflux.Lyne Arm – transfers the vapour to the condenser.Condenser – cools the vapour to yield distillate.
The thump keg is one of the most clever and iconic design elements of the traditional hillbilly still whose purpose, briefly stated, is to distill the output of the pot still a second time, without actually having to run the distillate through the still twice.
The moonshine is caught in a jar, jug, or bucket. The alcohol from a first “run” through the still is a rough-tasting product called “singlings.” A second run of the singlings mellows the taste. The moonshiner then “proofs” his whiskey, mixing weak and strong liquor to get the desired strength.