Stills and the law behind
Distilling Moonshine and Spirits
By: Jonathan Zajac
While Stills are commonly used for the distillation of many products like essential oils, perfumes and flavoring for food. The most common use is for the distillation of Moonshine and spirits. Although it is legal to own a still it is illegal to produce moonshine and distilled sprits without the proper permits. So unless you want to wind up in Jail and or owe a hefty fine of $5,000 and up, please read the rest of the article to learn about the proper avenues to go about obtaining the proper documents and permits.
While individuals of legal drinking age may produce wine or beer at home for personal use, Federal law strictly prohibits individuals from producing distilled spirits at home (see 26 United States Code (U.S.C.) 5042(a) (2) and 5053(e). Producing distilled spirits at any place other than a TTB-qualified distilled spirits plant can expose you to Federal charges for serious offenses and lead to consequences.
Federal law states that it is legal to own a still of any size. It doesn't matter if you have a 1 gallon still or a 100 gallon still. According to the federal government, it is legal to have a still for decoration, distilling water, distilling essential oils, etc. The still does not need to be registered with anyone and no permits are needed as long as it is not being used to distill spirits. However, it is illegal to distill alcohol without having either a "distilled spirits permit" or a "federal fuel alcohol permit." It does not matter if the alcohol is for personal use only and not for sale.
A common misconception most people make is that only stills that are 1 gallon and smaller are legal. This is false. The law states that stills 1 gallon or less that are not being used to distill alcohol are not tracked by the TTB, It is perfectly legal to own a still larger than 1 gallon so long as it is not being used to distill alcohol or it is permitted to be used for distilling fuel alcohol or spirits.
If a person wishes to legally distill alcohol, they have two options. The first option is to obtain a Federal Distilled Spirits Permit. This is the permit that industry giants like Jack Daniels possess, which makes it legal for them to distill and sell to the public. This permit is very difficult to get. Unless you're opening a distillery with the intention of selling your product in liquor stores the chances of getting issued a permit is very unlikely it is way too expensive and complicated for a home distiller to obtain. Instead pursue a fuel alcohol permit.
A Federal Fuel Alcohol Permit is free and easy to get. Most people obtain this permit very easily and in most cases the government usually doesn’t check up on the permit holders. Just be advised that the federal government will expect that you're putting your alcohol in your lawnmower or any other machine and not drinking it! If you're not planning to use your still for alcohol you do not need to get a permit or register the still with the federal government. Federal rules state that stills only need to be reported and registered if the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau asks the manufacturer to do so. Though, again, if you are using it to distill alcohol, you will want to get a federal fuel alcohol permit or a spirit distiller’s permit, if that's what you're using it for.
State distilling laws are different in every state. Some states have no laws on owning a still, but prohibit the distillation of alcohol while other states prohibit possession of a still unless it's for fuel alcohol. Some states may prohibit possession of distillation equipment and distilling altogether. You'll need to research more about your states laws. Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau regulations state that still manufacturers need to keep customer info. Additionally, these records may also be requested by the federal TTB and still manufacturers are required to submit them if asked.
Federal law provides no exemptions for the production of distilled spirits for personal use. Under no circumstances should you ever distill or sell alcohol without a permit. If you choose to distill alcohol, make sure to obtain all fuel and or spirit permits.
~~ Buy A Moonshine Still with Confidence from The Distillery Network Inc. (www.buyamoonshinestill.com)~~
~~These units are ready to use. Start making your mash today with confidence that only the best moonshiners ever could have that your unit is in the mail already shipped on the next business day. You can always call us at 1-603-997-6786 and get an updated tracking number.~~
~~My 6 gallon units have been known to bring back over a gallon of output per run. My units are very efficient, using the thumper keg as a double purification unit, you will guarantee yourself 170 proof on your first run. STOP WASTING TIME. The possibilities are endless with one of my units.~~
~~Please read our warranty before purchasing. YOU ARE COMPLETELY COVERED your first 30 days from any type of defects and damages. and after that period, you will have a lifetime warranty on all repair work.
~~About half of our customers buy our units for artwork for their house or barn. It is a great conversation piece, but also offers functionability. The dependability of my unit will ensure your survival even during the harshest of conditions. Copper is a very durable metal. dont be fooled into buying a stainless steel unit, do your research on what magical powers copper possesses and the affects it has on the product being produced, you will be astounded . ~~
~~YOU WILL NEVER need to buy another distillation unit again if you buy one of our units, for our lifetime warranty covers you in case of any issues. ~~
~~Please rest assured in knowing that this is the unit that will get you familiar with distillation. This unit is perfect for the beginner just getting into distillation all the way to the Popcorn Sutton level moonshiner. however, i have had many big time distillers buy my smaller units to cut down their product even more ( they are running 50 plus gallon units, then using my still to purify the pure product) EVERYONE NEEDS one of these units. protect yourself with one of these stills. let the warranty and my customer service protect your still. Please call 603-997-6786 and as we say here in New Hampshire... "STILL FREE OR DIE"~~
~~~~There are NO comparisons, my distillation units are the best units out there, made with 20 oz copper sheeting. The Traditional style moonshine still will always be popular. there are imitators, but please, look at the craftsmanship of my still and style and compare it to others, there is no competition. Every piece we send out gets tested before we ship it to guarantee another satisfied customer. ~
~~Moonshine stills have been around for centurys and there is currently a RENAISSANCE forming around hobby distilleries. With commercial and industrial distilleries popping up in cities by the dozens, an individual may ask themselves, "how hard is it to make my own spirits (make moonshine)"? Well, the answer may astound you. Upon recieving my still all you need to do is fill her up and heat her and still. THATS IT. please call me if you have any questions in regards to any of my products. I look forward to speaking with you. ~~
~~~~You can even use it inside, on a stove top, however i dont recommend doing so. All of my units are made with completely lead-free materials to ensure safety to my customers. All of the solder we use is completely lead free silver bearing solder and the flux is water soluble. we dont just slap these units together over here, we build these with pride, by hand, all year long. The Hobby Distillery market is exploding and i have been supplying customers with my stills for quite some time with ZERO complaints. This is why i am now offering a lifetime warranty certificate with every order. This ensures you the highest level of professionalism and guarantee behind our craftsmanship.~~
~~You may be hesitating to purchase your first unit from us, however, we have been building these for any years and if you look at our competitors stills at the bottom of the pots you can tell that they just slap a bottom on, they don't care. well we care here at The Distillery Network Inc, every still we make is perfectly fitted for each piece, no slapping together stuff here. what we enjoy building is quality products that people can admire for not only their excusite and unique beauty, but also their craftsmanship that just cannot be matched.we have the ability to build massive distillation units for an affordable price.~~
~~This is your one stop shop for everything you need to get started distilling your own spirits. the units we sell are the strongest, toughest, most unique and traditional styled designs out there. no one can compare .~~
~~~~~Many people wonder what it takes to distill your own spirits , make your own water, make your own gas, make your own essential oils, make your own purfumes. well with a little research, it is VERY easy. Anyone can use one of my units , theres no science to it, it is plug and play. ~~~~~~