Purchasing a Still
First remind yourself of the legal
situation for where you live.
Then check out the photos of stills for
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
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
If you're in New Zealand, give my mate Pete Sayers a call at the
, 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 : firstname.lastname@example.org
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 :
(America) Inc. ph (817) 271-8041
A 25cm column that produces 95% at 1.2L /hour!
Mile High Distilling
Fermtech & Still
(New Zealand)- also flavours & yeasts.
(New Zealand)- still manufacturer.
Zealand) - lists suppliers of the Fermtech & Still Spirits
US based still makers
See the photo page - Stills for
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.
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
- 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
- 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,
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
- 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
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.