A hello and how are you today! There isn’t a day I go out the door without worrying about my legal responsibilities. Home distilling will be something a bit more advanced than brewing a few quarts of homemade beer or wine for personal consumption. Each state is different in its laws, but if you happen to be near peach or apple country you may find yourself with a new business making a local confection with your county’s agricultural abundance. We should all take note of this because jobs are scarce now and at the same time, come harvest time there are a lot of farmers looking to sell produce that you can make into brandy or fermented ciders.
Some of the links on this site will give you a few minutes free advise on what the laws are state to state. Remember that in Kentucky the local folks think their home distilled whiskey is far superior than any commercial brand; but unfortunately their State and Federal governments don’t think much of this cultural heritage! In some states we have “dry counties” and “quota licenses”. Trust your lawyer and start looking at business opportunities!
Home distilling is a potentially dangerous process and should be done with some professional equipment – preferably in a separate building set apart from your house just as a fire hazard prevention. If on the other hand you want to start your own business I would encourage you to go for it and talk to a local lawyer that knows the regulations. Start small, throw a party, let the locals come over and sample your product; hire a band and have some barbecue, and don’t forget let’s hear from you on how you’re doing and I’ll hop on a bus to come visit!
For Florida and Alabama, reasonably priced manuals on getting started and business regulations. One book on how to start a brewery legally is on my shopping cart right now!
Home distilling conferences at your local Cooperative Extension? Yup! Consider contacting them and think about all the family farmers you’re going to help out!
We’re putting this link up for entertainment purposes only. In no way does “thekegger” endorse making your own equipment out of old rain barrels and lawn hoses — but this site is a hoot! Everything you need to know about home distilling but “thekegger” reminds you all: avoid complications and comply with local and Federal laws.
Hoy! From Australia, kits and stuff. Check your local laws first.
A community of international home distillers? A site from Finland and we hope to hear from them soon, Chester has couch space if they want to come visit New York!
We’ve heard from Smiley before; he left us a hyperlink when he published his book “The Compleat Distiller”. Smiley also offers “flavoring essenses” but we haven’t tested them out. How you doin? Hope the book’s selling good!
This is a nice article about what’s legal and what’s illegal. Imbibe is a nice new magazine devoted to our type of stuff, and it is a nice site for browsing. Note that the writer of this article tasted some home distilled apple brandy that just smelled like walking through an apple orchard during spring!
How to, legal equipment and a lawyer service by hyperlink. These are not free services; if you contact the lawyers they will charge you an hourly fee; but in the long run, a legal review of your business plan will save you dollars in the long run. (don’t forget to invite us to your launch and we’ll bring some barbecue)
This is the grandaddy of the web sites for methods and recipes but caution must be exercised here in the grey area of moonshine production. In now way do we endorse building your own equipment or distilling without local state and county regulations! By all means consult your cooperative extension and find out that home wine and beer making can become a profitable business down the road. I’m even thinking of starting my own barbecue-stand and -dive-bar after writing this piece.
Herein: Flavorings guides, recipes and diagrams; this site is comprehensive. You might even want to contact these folks with some advice on getting started. The Limoncello recipe is something you can do in your apartment but again this just involves infusing vodka with lemon zest and other spices without any heating. I must stress that home distilling is not something we can do in our apartments. The fire marshal and revenuers will come knocking at the door.
There is also the question of methanol accumulating at the top of your distilled product. What? I’m not a chemist here, how the heck did that come about? You need to discard this or face a tremendous hangover or worse! Hopefully care will be taken and have a product safe for human consumption.
You might even have to check local zoning regulations because of the potential fire hazard involved in distilling, but hey, they do it without too much trouble in Ireland and Scotland, so …?
Again your best bet is consulting the local cooperative extension agent. Modest starts like this ended up with one of the biggest new breweries opening in Brooklyn by a local guy that basically took over decaying industrial space and creating a multi-million dollar enterprise. His new brewery started on not that much initial capital either. Chester quotes, “…from tiny acorns mighty oaks grow.”