Still Spirits Turbo Air Still Review (Is It Any Good?)

The Turbo Air Still by Still Spirits is an easy way for beginners to start making your own spirits at home.

It’s simple to learn and operate and has no cooling water which makes it easy for anyone to run on their kitchen countertop. You can create many spirits with little knowledge or effort using their complimentary additives and flavorings, or can do it yourself using the guides on this website.

But can it make good alcohol? Is it worth the price tag? Or are you just locked into the Still Spirits range of products?

What’s in the box?

The Still Spirits Turbo Air Still comes with everything you need to start making your own spirits. Here’s what’s included in the box.

  • Air Still
  • Spirit Collector
  • 10 L (2.6 US Gal) Fermenter with Thermometer
  • Carbon Filter System
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Distilling Conditioner
  • Boil Enhancers
  • Air Still Fermentation Kit
  • 2 x Flavourings
  • Hydrometer

Additionally, the Air Still comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

We got our AirStill from amazon, which worked out slightly cheaper than the price quoted in my local brew shop.

How the Air Still Works

The Air Still works by taking water, sugar, carbon, yeast, and yeast nutrients and fermenting them over seven to ten days. After that, the mixture is deemed a “wash” and is to be used as the base of the alcohol/spirit you’re making. You’ll need to add the wash to the Air Still and distill the alcohol into a concentrated solution.

From there, you’ll then need to dilute and filter the alcohol. The Air Still does this by taking the 60% distilled alcohol and condensing it even more to 40% alcohol. After that, you can add different flavorings to change the spirit’s taste.

The Best Way To Use The Air Still

In this article, we’re going to give you two options. First, the process Still Sprits recommends to follow, and second our process to make ‘real’ spirits using the still.

  1. StillSprits Process: This involves fermenting sugar using ‘TurboYeast’, another StillSpirits product. Then it’s cleaned up with their clarfier and carbon products, before being run through the still. Once you make your neutral spirit (which isn’t really possible with this still – but we’ll get to that later) then you use StillSprits flavorings to flavor the neutral into a rum, whiskey, gin – whatever you so desire.
  2. Our Reccomended Process: We recommend using the AirStill as you would any regular pot still / alembic still. That means you can make genuine whiskey, rum, brandy or tequila if you make the right wash. Use the air still to perform a stripping run and then later, a sprits run.

    You can also make gin using an AirStill (We love this for small test batches) however we don’t recommend making the precursor neutral/vodka in the airstill as you won’t achieve a good purity. You’ll need a reflux still as well if gin and vodka is the end goal.

If this is your first time ever distilling then we totally endorse using the StillSprits method while you learn the ropes. It’s kind of like shifting from kit beer to all grain brewing. Neither is right or wrong, but we reckon after a while you’ll want to hone your craft and have better control over the final product.

1. How to Use the Air Still (StillSpirits Method)

The Still Spirits Turbo Air Still is straightforward and easy to use. Below, we’ve listed the step-by-step process that the manufacturer (Still Spirits) reccommends on how to use the Turbo Air Still.

  1. Ferment sugar to make the wash
  2. Distill the wash to make a ‘neutral spirit’
  3. Filter the neutral to clean it up.
  4. Add Still Sprits flavorings to create your desired spirit or liquor.

Step 1: Making The Wash

First, you will need to secure the tap to the Air Still Fermenter and also clean and sanitize your fermenter. After that, you need to put a new carbon cartridge in the lid of the Air Still Fermenter, as it helps remove odors resulting from the fermentation process.

From there, add 7.5 L of water to the fermenter at 86 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll then need to add 4.9 lbs of Turbo Sugar and stir it until it dissolves. Next, pour in your Turbo Yeast and the Nutrient sachets. Stir until the two are combined, and let the fermenter sit at room temperature for around 7 days until the wash doesn’t bubble.

Note: if your house is too cold, you might want to use a temperature controller on the fermenter to keep the year happy.

Use the hydrometer to ensure the wash has fermented. The Specific Gravity reading should be below 990 and stay that way for 2 consecutive days. Now you can clear your wash by stirring vigorously to remove gas. Then, add the Turbo Clear Part A and let it stand for one hour.

After that, you can add the Turbo Clear Part B while stirring gently. Let the solution stand for 24 hours, and then the wash is ready for distilling. This whole process should yield at least 2.1 gallons of purified wash.

Step 2: Distilling The Wash

To distill the wash, clean the inside of the Air Still and then fill it with the prepped wash up to the 4 L mark. After that, you can add the Ceramic boil enhancers and the distilling conditioner according to the bottle.

Now, press the reset button on the base of the still and clip the nozzle onto the still head. Once you do that, clip the nozzle onto the still head and fit the top cover of the still in place. Make sure there aren’t any gaps between the lid and the broiler.

The next step is to plug the fan lead into the still socket. Place the spirit collector so that it’s positioned under the outlet nozzle. The main power cord should be connected between the still and the outlet. You’ll need to turn the device on by flipping the switch and listening for a fan to turn on.

Once you do, the wash will take an hour to head up before the distilling process behinds. Alcohol will begin to drip from the still to the spirit collector for up to two hours. You’ll need to let the Air Still run until 23.7 fl oz in the still collector before cooling the still and emptying the remaining wash.

Step 3. Making Cuts

Step 4: Filtering the Spirit

After you collect the alcohol, it will need to be filtered using the Air Still Carbon Filter System. You will need to rinse the carbon cartridge under running water for at least 20-seconds. Afterward, fit the carbon cartridge to the top Filter Holder and place it on top of the larger filter container.

Step 5: Diluting The Spirit

You’ll need to dilute the 23.7 fl oz distilled spirit to 40% by placing 10.1 fl oz of clean water. Fit the top of the Filter Holder with the Filter Container, and then add the distilled spirit, so it drips into the container.

Step 6: Flavoring the Spirit

If you want to add flavors to your spirits, you can add them at this stage. You can use Still Spirits flavoring or use your own. If you’re using bottled mixes, you’ll need to read the instructions on the container. 

Commonly, you’ll need to add a base before adding the flavoring. However, this isn’t always necessary. It’s best to double-check before adding flavoring that way, you don’t ruin your spirit.

The video below from shows how you can add a variety of still sprits flavorings to turn the neutral you’ve distilled into almost any spirit or liqueur you can imagine.

2. How to Use the Air Still (Our Recommended Method)

We recommend using the AirStill as you would any regular pot still / alembic still. That means you can make genuine whiskey, rum, brandy or tequila if you make the right wash. Use the air still to perform a stripping run and then later, a sprits run.

You can also make gin using an AirStill (We love this for small test batches) however we don’t recommend making the precursor neutral/vodka in the airstill as you won’t achieve a good purity. You’ll need a reflux still as well if gin and vodka is the end goal.

Desired Product Can be made with the AirStill?
Whiskey Yes, although the batch size is quite limiting
Rum Yes, although the batch size is quite limiting
Tequila Yes, although the batch size is quite limiting
Brandy Yes, although the batch size is quite limiting
Neutral No
Gin Yes, if the nutrual is prepared in a reflux still

How to make brandy, schnapps, and grappa with the Air Still

You can make brandy %100 from scratch using an Air Still.

Brandy is made from distilled wine, so you’ll need to ferment a wash from grapes. This article talks about which grapes are best for making brandy.

You’ll also want a good quality brandy yeast and yeast nutrient, rather than the turbo yeast that came with the still. We can throw away the clarifying agents and carbon filtering sachets as these are not necessary also.

Then, checkout this guide on how to make brandy at home. We use an alembic pot still in the guide, but you can substitute your air still and it will work equally as well. The only difficulty is the batch size is limited to around 4L with an air still, so you’ll need to perform more stripping runs, and will only be able to make around 8 bottles of brandy at a time (still, plenty for the beginner in our opinion!).

Finally, look into oaking and aging your brandy. This article looks at the best oak to use, and this one explains why you may wish to toast or char your barrel first.

After anywhere from a few months to a few years, your home made brandy will be ready to share with friends and family – Cheers!

How to make rum with the Air Still

The Air Still is also great for making small amounts of rum and cachaca

Rum is made from sugar cane and is known as a sugar wash. This could be from molasses, sugar cane, or different grades of sugar. This article talks about which sugar is best to use for making rum.

You’ll also want a good quality rum yeast and yeast nutrient, rather than the turbo yeast that came with the still. We can throw away the clarifying agents and carbon filtering sachets as these are not necessary also.

We’ve written this guide on the basics of how to make rum. We use an alembic pot still in the guide, but you can substitute your air still and it will work equally as well. The only difficulty is the batch size is limited to around 4L with an air still, so you’ll need to perform more stripping runs, and will only be able to make around 8 bottles of rum at a time (still, plenty for the beginner in our opinion!).

Finally, look into oaking and aging your rum. This article looks at the best oak to use, and this one explains why you may wish to toast or char your barrel first.

If you’re making white rum, it’ll be ready to drink right away, if you’re making spiced rum or dark rum it will need anywhere from a few months to a few years to age. Enjoy!

How to make tequila and mezcal with the Air Still

How to make whiskey with the Air Still

How to make gin with the Air Still

How Much Does it Cost to Run the Still Spirits Turbo Air Still?

The Still Spirits Turbo Air Still is very efficient, so it doesn’t cost much to run. To distill one liter of water costs about $0.40 in electricity. This means you can make a liter of vodka for about $0.40. Compare this to buying a liter of vodka, and you can see that this is very affordable.

The only thing you have to factor in is the price of the ingredients. This includes any flavoring you want to add to your drinks. Pricing will range depending on what you’re adding to your drinks.

For example, to make Vodka, you will need to calculate the following:

  • Cost of ingredients
  • Power
  • Water
  • Bottle

On average, ingredients can cost anywhere between fifty cents to a dollar. It takes at least forty cents to run the machine, as the machine will ned to stay powered on throughout the distilling process. The water and bottle can cost up to a dollar or two. So, the total cost can equal around three dollars per batch.

Pros & Cons of the AirStill

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Efficient at Making Multiple Drinks
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable & Sturdy

Cons

  • Lacking Glass Pot
  • Slow

Who’s the Turbo Air Still best for?

The Still Spirits Turbo Air Still is excellent for anyone who wants to make their own spirits. It’s simple to use and very practical so that you can make many spirits with little effort or knowledge. If you’re looking for a great way to make your own vodka, gin, rum, whisky, or liqueurs, the Still Spirits Turbo Air Still is a great option.

It’s designed to be easy to use, especially for beginners. However, the whole process does take some time. That’s why Still Spirits did their best to make a straightforward machine that only requires a few easy steps. The most difficult part of the whole process is disinfecting and cleaning the machine.

Recommended Modifications

The Still Spirits Turbo Air Still is an outstanding still, but there are a few modifications that you can make to improve its performance.

  • Install a water filter: This will help to remove any impurities from the water, making your spirits taste better.
  • Install a carbon filter: This will help to remove any impurities from the spirit, making it taste better.
  • Install a reflux condenser: This will help improve the spirit’s quality by removing impurities during the distillation process.

Overall, the Still Spirits Turbo Air Still is a great still. However, these modifications will help to improve its performance and make your spirits taste better.

Where to buy the Air Still

We got our AirStill from amazon, which worked out slightly cheaper than the price quoted in my local brew shop.

The original Air Still is made by Still Spirits, a company from New Zealand, but there’s also a few different types of Air Still. These may be cheaper but have higher power draw and don’t include all the accessories, flavoring and yeast like the Still Spirits one does. You can read our full comparison of the best Air Stills here.

Conclusion

The Still Spirits Turbo Air Still is a great way to make your own spirits. It’s perfect for beginners who want to learn how to make their own quality spirits. Just remember:

  • The machine does cost a bit to run, but it’s still affordable compared to buying store-bought spirits.
  • This Still machine is suitable for making a wide range of spirits using unique flavorings.

As we’ve stated, the most significant factor will be the pricing. The process is relatively easy, so we highly recommend this for anyone looking to get into distilling their own unique spirit flavors.

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