Purchasing a Still

First remind yourself of the legal situation for where you live.

Then check out the photos of stills for sale page.

The real big problem is the cost of postage/delivery. It costs about US$100 to send a still from NZ to the States/Europe and vice versa, so it pays to buy locally.

New ! - see the list of International Suppliers

Shops

You can easily buy a still for around NZ$340 (US$160), however the better ones are up around NZ$600 (US$250).

Buying in the States ? Rick at Brewhaus can help.

If you're in New Zealand, give my mate Pete Sayers a call at the Brewers Barn, 291 Dee St, Invercargill, or phone/fax on (64-3) 214-1202. Pete is really helpful, and sells a large range of different stills. Freight within NZ will be free, and he can knock down stills into several packages for inconspicous delivery overseas. All credit cards taken. Tell him I sent ya.
Pete has finally got email : brubarn@xtra.co.nz

If you're in Melbourne, Australia, try any winemaking shop. Australian Winemakers - Cellar Plus at 106 Peel St, North Melbourne, Vic 3051, (just across the road from the Vic markets, beside la Porcetta's) ph (61-3) 9328-1881 or fax (61-3) 9328-1975 stock books, yeasts, essences, and a limited range of small copper pot stills. Celeste is pretty clued up about it all too.

On the Net

Net Sites include :
Brewhaus (America) Inc. ph (817) 271-8041
Pure Distilling A 25cm column that produces 95% at 1.2L /hour!
Mile High Distilling
Fermtech & Still Spirits (New Zealand)- also flavours & yeasts.
Spirits Unlimited (New Zealand)- still manufacturer.
Aqua Vitae (New Zealand)- homebrew shop.
Brewers World (New Zealand) - lists suppliers of the Fermtech & Still Spirits goodies.
Winesupply - US based still makers


See the photo page - Stills for Sale.

See the full range of Portuguese Copper Alembics and Alquitars at http://www.copper-alembic.com/ - from small decorative units, up to 300L and including commercial units.

See www.coppermoonshinestills.com for copper moonshine stills hand forged in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas. Custom work is available

If you are going to buy off the Web, and try and import back to your own country, have a good chat with the supplier first about how they can help. Obvious things would be like removing any identifying logos or stickers (eg having "Home Still" inscribed on it would be a hard thing for Customs to avoid), and having it split up into various different boxes etc posted on different days. Even so, you still might have a limited success rate at getting it all delivered to you without interception. And you're the one taking the legal risks (not the exporter).

Importing a Still into the United States

(By A. Nonymous) How to import a still into the US:
  • Find a commercial supplier in NZ (Pete at the Brewer's Barn is an honest man and would be my first choice -no, he doesn't know I'm saying this) who will ship the tower and the body of the still in separate packages at least 7 days apart.
  • Pay by credit card over the phone (you might have to stay up late depending on the timezone) - you must NEVER mention the word STILL over the phone - it is a WATER PURIFIER only!!! The US government records all overseas phone calls and holds them in records (on tape) for three years (this is called "evidence for the prosecution") - so the talk must be strictly legal sounding. The credit card is not yours, it's a friends who you repay and buy dinner for the favor.
  • Ask the supplier to put water purifier on the customs documents and to remove all stickers identifying the still as a still. The 2 packages are shipped to 2 separate addresses with fake names on them (these names must not be the names of anyone living at the address, or the credit card holder), and the boxes should have "leave at door-no signature required" written on them. If a signature is given, this is an incriminating paper trail (not good).
  • This means 3 names are needed:
    1. the card holder (real name of the holder-but not you and not billed to your address).
    2. the fake name on the tower going to another friends house.
    3. the fake name on the body going to yet another friends house.
  • Nothing should be shipped to the holder of the credit card or to the actual owner of the stills house, nor should anything be shipped under these names.
  • The phone call placing the order should be at a payphone with a prepaid calling card, which was paid for in cash.
  • Should someone come asking about the still and the person it was shipped to (since there is no signature) your friend denies any knowledge- It will appear as if someone unknown shipped something to your friends house and picked it up before he knew it was ever there (plausible deniability) The card holder is in the clear. Why? the US has no authority in NZ, and when asked about it, the NZ supplier will say "push off, yank, it's none of your business" And besides all the credit card holder bought was a water purifier, right?

    Got a new twist on the import trick....

  • Ship the still components to the same house seven to ten days apart under the same name. The house you ship to should be a friends house that he is going to be moving out of after the first package arrives.
  • After the first package arrives, your friend forwards it to you (in person or mail -repackaged of course). He then moves to his new place, keeping friendly with the new occupants of his old house. (going out for drinks etc.)
  • When the second package arrives, he should stop by his old place to see if he "left anything behind" (I can't find my CD Walkman, etc- says he). On arriving, the new occupants say a package came for him after they moved in- he takes it off their hands (good thing I stopped by). If someone comes asking questions- the new occupants have no idea, and your friend is gone- if found he "has no idea" either. This is only a one time deal, but very helpful. Just make sure to follow the advice about billing and phone etiquette.

    Do remember, that when dealing with companies in the U.S. (like homebrew shops) the customer MUST NOT MENTION DISTILLING OR THEIR OWNERSHIP OF A STILL!! If they do, and the store sells to them, the store can be shut down for aiding in the commission of a felony. They should call/e-mail, place their order, and, if questioned, they should say they use the flavors with purchased spirit, and the turbo yeasts are for fruit wine ports, or light/undistilled vodkas.

    To do otherwise puts the store in a bad spot. They want to sell to you (they most likely want distilling made legal in order to expand their business), but they can't knowingly do so if you mention an illegal act. And, since the BATF has been re-organized and placed under the Attorney Generals' office as the TTB, distilling may be even farther away from being legalized in the U.S.


http://homedistiller.org     This page last modified Mon, 12 Mar 2012 10:25:58 -0700