Suprised by how out in the open distillation is/was

Discussion and plans for legalizing our hobby.

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Suprised by how out in the open distillation is/was

Postby bhh » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:22 am

So I made a first visit to a local wine and brewing supply store recently and was shocked by the number of stills they had on display. They also had 55# bags of malted rye for about $65 which is nice too!

Anyway, this place is very well known and large, not some backwoods under-the-radar shop. I was chatting with the owner of a while, real nice guy, and sort of mentioned something like, "Looks like you guys are pretty distillation friendly huh?". He sort of laughed and pointed me to the distillation class sign-up sheet and mentioned they actually made a finsihed product in the class. Funny thing was I recognized one of the names on the sign-up sheet, a local well-known contractor.

This shop is in New York state, which let's be honest, is known for being pretty liberal, but is distillation really so decriminalized now in certain areas that it can be so out in the open with no real fear of prosecution?
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Re: Suprised by how out in the open distillation is/was

Postby WIski » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:38 am

Short answer, NO. There are plenty of arrests for owning distillation equipment and producing and/or selling illegal alcohol. Most cases revolve around other illegal activities or a disgruntled friend or spouse. But this is not exclusive. Many stillers have been interrupted by the authorities responding to random activities not associated with the stiller. The best advice to adhere to if you make the decision to commit this Felony is to BE DESCRETE, NEVER TELL, NEVER SELL. Someday craft distillation will be legal and there are a bunch of good folks working on this now. Please see; http://w.homedistiller.org/forum/viewto ... 49&t=57626. Although it's totally understandable how one could think this an acceptable practice by the opinions of our friends and neighbors the truth is, it is not legal yet. Please see; viewtopic.php?f=47&t=44299.

If you decide to jump in the pool, Be Safe, Have Fun, Enjoy the Journey........... :silent:
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Re: Suprised by how out in the open distillation is/was

Postby LWTCS » Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:33 am

Don't really know if this is the case? But there is an EDSP (Experimental Distilled Spirits Plant) permit available.

"An experimental distilled spirits plant (DSP) may be established for specific and limited periods of time solely for experimentation in or development of industrial spirits or sources of materials used to produce spirits or processes for producing or refining spirits."
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Re: Suprised by how out in the open distillation is/was

Postby Pesty » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:26 am

LWTCS wrote:Don't really know if this is the case? But there is an EDSP (Experimental Distilled Spirits Plant) permit available.

"An experimental distilled spirits plant (DSP) may be established for specific and limited periods of time solely for experimentation in or development of industrial spirits or sources of materials used to produce spirits or processes for producing or refining spirits."


That is more of an answer to the problem of getting a legal distillery up and running. That permit allows to you test and develop a new product for the application process of establishing your distillery and recipe(s) before you startup for real.

my local brewshop has always been distill friendly and can get any grain and mill it for me. Ballast Point and White Labs are both San Diego based and where I was buying my rum yeast until they had supplier issues.
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Re: Suprised by how out in the open distillation is/was

Postby bhh » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:00 pm

Yea, maybe they have a farm distillery license which isn't too terribly difficult to get in NY. There are also several craft distilleries in and around the Hudson Valley as well so perhaps one of those distilleries is running the class. Who knows, I didn't sign up for it though, especially after seeing someone I knew's name in the list. Still very suprising to see how little ambiguity or discretion was being demonstrated. He did say the class would be using a reflex column to make a vodka which I was actually a bit suprised by as well (no I didn't ask if VM, LM, or God-forbid - CM ;) )
Last edited by bhh on Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Suprised by how out in the open distillation is/was

Postby skow69 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:04 pm

I don't know what a farm distillery license is but I'll bet it doesn't have anything to do with potable spirits. Sounds to me like they are operating openly because the local police have signaled that they will not invest their precious resources in the prosecution of home distillers. Lots of American communities have made that choice. They would rather have their cops working on crimes of violence and theft.

They probably didn't advertise that position, but years of nonaction would give that impression. If there was any police presence your brew shop guy who is giving classes would be the first to know. The cops know exactly what he is doing, and that is where they would start if they were going to enforce the law.

That doesn't mean that they wouldn't arrest somebody who was annoying people somehow, or making a public spectacle, but as long as it is discrete and no one complains they've got better things to do. How sensible is that?
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Re: Suprised by how out in the open distillation is/was

Postby Deerhunter » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:46 pm

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Re: Suprised by how out in the open distillation is/was

Postby bhh » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:58 pm

@skow69 - a farm distillery license is a license that was created in NY state in 2012 that makes it relatively affordable and easy to get a license to both make AND sell distilled spirits in NY. You are limited to something like 10,000 gallons per year and you have to use NY sourced agricultural ingredients, etc. It is one of the reasons we are blessed with so many local craft distilleries now.

https://esd.ny.gov/nysbeveragebiz/faq.html#distilleries
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Re: Suprised by how out in the open distillation is/was

Postby LWTCS » Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:31 pm

Pesty wrote:
LWTCS wrote:Don't really know if this is the case? But there is an EDSP (Experimental Distilled Spirits Plant) permit available.

"An experimental distilled spirits plant (DSP) may be established for specific and limited periods of time solely for experimentation in or development of industrial spirits or sources of materials used to produce spirits or processes for producing or refining spirits."


That is more of an answer to the problem of getting a legal distillery up and running. That permit allows to you test and develop a new product for the application process of establishing your distillery and recipe(s) before you startup for real.
.


Not how it reads.

FAQ from the TTB website,,,,er,,the answer:

"No. In general, an experimental DSP permit does not cover activities such as refining recipes and perfecting production processes as a precursor to commercial production. The laws administered by TTB, specifically the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 at 26 U.S.C. 5312, provide for the establishment of experimental distilled spirits plants for the production and use of distilled spirits for experimental research. Specifically, section 5312(b) provides for the establishment and operation of experimental distilled spirits plants for specific and limited periods of time solely for experimentation in or development of:
sources of materials from which distilled spirits may be produced;
processes by which distilled spirits may be produced or refined; or
industrial uses of distilled spirits.
TTB regulations at 27 CFR 19.32 and 19.33 implement this statutory provision.
Under the law and regulations, TTB does not have the authority to issue an experimental DSP permit to a person who intends to use standard sources of materials and standard processes. Refining recipes and perfecting production processes do not fall within the meaning of experimentation in, or development of, sources of materials or processes of production, if the sources of the materials and the production processes are consistent with those already established within the distilled spirits industry."

As mentioned, not sure if this applies to the shop mentioned,,,,but I'm pretty sure with a thoughtfully composed application I could get my shop to comply with the EDSP criteria.
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