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Of Spirits Distilled...

>>the modern science of distillation (which, as we all know, is illegal 
>yadda yadda yadda)...
>Actually, that is not precisely true. According to federal law (which 
>means your results may vary), a person can brew up to 100 gallons per 
>annum for personal consumption (200 gallons for head of household). My 
>understanding is that you can legally distill that quantity. So 100 
>gallons of brewed product OR the distilled derivative of that quantity.

I beg to disagree, Lord Tadgh. According to a passage in "Sweet and Hard
Cider" (Proulx and Nichols, mentioned previously), quoting the Chief of the
Ruling Branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, "There are
no provisions in law or regulations to cover the production of distilled spirits
for personal consumption. A person who desires to produce distilled spirits
must qualify as a distilled spirits plan proprietor prior to commencing actual

For those with access to the Federal Register, this is covered in Title 27, Code
of Federal Regulations Part 201.

The bottom line is that it is illegal to produce any distilled spirits in
any quantity
at any time. Period. Note that this also covers any method of obtaining
spirits, such as freezing to make applejack. Why all the fuss? Taxes. In 1980,
the federal government taxes distilled spirits at a rate of $10.50 per proof
(= proof x gallon, I suppose). You can be sure this has increased since then.

Now, to look at this realistically - does someone who distills perfume at home
break this law? Yes. Will they be arrested? No. Likewise if you happen to
a small amount of mead brandy for personal consumption (say, on the order of a
pint). However, if you are selling your distilled spirits and are caught -
well, this
could get ugly. The same thing applies to selling any kind of alcohol without a


Tom Brady  804 Washington St. #4, Blacksburg, VA 24060   SCA: Duncan MacKinnon
   "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin
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