opening a legal distillery in the U.S.

Little or nothing to do with distillation.

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Uncle Jesse
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opening a legal distillery in the U.S.

Post by Uncle Jesse » Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:38 am

i shouldn't even mention it cause i don't want to jinx it, but i believe i am going to be in a position to try to open a legal distillery soon. i have the paperwork and most of the equipment. i should have my 10bbl (300 gallon) copper still in about a month. it's basically a larger version of the one i already have which is 10 gallon and on which i learned how to distill.

i hear it takes about 6 months minimum for the alcohol and tobacco folks to get a federal license to me...and that's not to mention the hassles of state and local approval and licensing.

i have all the skill i need, fingers crossed hoping i can make it work in the real world.

nothing ventured, nothing gained...hopefully it will work out and you folks can come visit my legal distillery to talk shop in the future.
If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.

Rebel_Yell
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Post by Rebel_Yell » Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:09 am

Congrats!

You just sing out when the open house is gonna be held. You'll get visitors.
I would rather teach a pig to sing than argue with an Idiot.

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Tater
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Post by Tater » Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:03 am

cool
I use a pot still.Sometimes with a thumper

TRANSPLANTED HILLBILLY
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Post by TRANSPLANTED HILLBILLY » Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:36 pm

Most excellent UJ. If time and modesty allow, I would be curious to know how much lawyerin' and hours of reading the CFR have been / will be consumed by this endeavor.

Good Luck & Godspeed

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Big J
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Post by Big J » Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:10 am

That's fantastic, good luck! Let us know when we can buy a bottle. :D

Cheers,
J

maze48
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Post by maze48 » Sat Aug 12, 2006 6:00 am

That is really cool 8) . Have you selected a name for your new distillery?

stoker
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Post by stoker » Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:28 am

cool indeed

and what will you make? will you use your still for just one drink?
-I have too much blood in my alcohol system-

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Post by Pieterpost » Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:47 am

WOW ! Congratulations! You're realizing a dream many of us have ! Personally I would love to work/own a distillery !

drunk2much
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Post by drunk2much » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:43 am

Congrates.
Are you taking applicantions? ha ha kidding. What type of spirtit are you gunna produce? And where did you land a 300 gallon still (GWkent)?
when is never enough?

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Post by The Chemist » Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:59 pm

You're a braver man than I!!! Good Luck, and all the best wishes!!

(And I want some of the first to come off, for testing and following through maturation...gratis)
Purposeful motion, for one so insane...

Uncle Jesse
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ok

Post by Uncle Jesse » Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:10 am

the name i've chosen is 'pioneer spirits' and i plan to produce traditional sour mash american whiskies but i'm not sure how they will sell, so i'll be producing whatever the market will bear. many wineries and orchards near me and i hope to take advantage.
If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.

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Post by hornedrhodent » Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:57 am

Are you going to have the time to run a distillery as well as administer this site?

Uncle Jesse
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yes

Post by Uncle Jesse » Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:00 pm

of course i'll still be around homedistiller.

i leased a building, hired an architect, got property and liability insurance, and opened the company bank account.

i've started the federal paperwork which is a nightmare of minutiae.
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oldpete
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Post by oldpete » Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:50 am

didnt anybody ever wonder where you learned to distill? i mean just kinda funny in my mind how you can be just an average joe and then apply for all the permits to become legit but where did you get the skill from?

Uncle Jesse
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...

Post by Uncle Jesse » Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:03 am

oldpete wrote:didnt anybody ever wonder where you learned to distill? i mean just kinda funny in my mind how you can be just an average joe and then apply for all the permits to become legit but where did you get the skill from?
what does it matter?
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drunk2much
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Post by drunk2much » Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:13 am

oldpete Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:50 am Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

didnt anybody ever wonder where you learned to distill? i mean just kinda funny in my mind how you can be just an average joe and then apply for all the permits to become legit but where did you get the skill from?
I have wonder the same thing. How do you go from being a hobbiest in a garage to a legal producer selling to the market and the government doesnt seem to care where ya learned or how long you have been knowledgeable in the field. Which leads me to belive that this whole game of paranoia is some what overdone as long as none of use does anything to stupid. (but then again there is always someone to screw it up for the responsible ones!)
when is never enough?

Uncle Jesse
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...

Post by Uncle Jesse » Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:21 am

i can't believe you guys are so afraid of knowing how to distill. come on! it's not illegal and no knowledge is forbidden to us.

what are they concerned about? losing revenue. unless you're out there selling booze then i doubt you'd raise much suspicion. i dont know about the rest of you but the amounts i produced at home would make it ridiculous to sell any of my product. there just isn't enough of it and the economy of scale is far too small to make it profitable.
If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.

Rotgut
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Post by Rotgut » Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:02 pm

i wish you only the best and have fun with it(not like one couldnt)

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Post by oldpete » Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:30 am

im not really afraid of the man, im pretty much a libertarian, i got bored i class and build a replica civil war cannon. just kinda view it as odd that if you are willing to pay taxes and jump through hoops your suddenly a friend of the government

Uncle Jesse
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...

Post by Uncle Jesse » Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:23 am

im not really afraid of the man, im pretty much a libertarian, i got bored i class and build a replica civil war cannon. just kinda view it as odd that if you are willing to pay taxes and jump through hoops your suddenly a friend of the government
so, anyone who gets licensed and opens a legitimate business is a friend of government?

you make no sense, sorry.
Last edited by Uncle Jesse on Tue May 15, 2007 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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KatoFong
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Post by KatoFong » Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:29 am

I think they're just a little surprised that the government isn't concerned about your ability to use the still. My understanding from what I've read is that one of the major difficulties in opening a legit distillery in America is that to be licensed, you have to own a still, but to own a still, you have to be licensed (in the government's eyes, that is...obviously, it doesn't hold true in practice). It's a bit surprising that, with a catch 22 that big, the government isn't also concerned with your ability to use the still properly.
Which leads me to belive that this whole game of paranoia is some what overdone as long as none of use does anything to stupid.


What paranoia? We're posting about our activities online where anyone can see. Including, if they care, the government. If anyone here is paranoid, posting online in a public forum is a funny way to express it.

Uncle Jesse
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hmmm

Post by Uncle Jesse » Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:09 pm

it's not illegal to own a still. it's illegal to produce potable spirits without a license, however. you have to have your still in place to get it licensed, then they note the serial number. every legit still made by a commercial stillmaker has a serial number on it.

there are many, many hoops to jump through, including a background check, purchase of a bond etc.
If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.

Uncle Jesse
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...

Post by Uncle Jesse » Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:11 pm

incidentally, there is a sort of learners permit for distillers. i forget the exact details, but why go for that when the expense isnt much different from a full-blown license?
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KatoFong
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Post by KatoFong » Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:13 pm

I'm not sure if you're willing or able to disclose this, but curiosity begs me to ask. What, exactly, do you have to go through to open your distillery?

Grayson_Stewart
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Post by Grayson_Stewart » Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:19 pm

It's not illegal to own a still. it's illegal to produce potable spirits without a license, however.
This topic comes up quite often and there are generally alot of confusing statements made about the legality. This may be due to the numerous countries represented here on the board and even the subsections within those countries like the states here in the US or because of the truly confusing wording and self contradicting statements made by those writing the laws.

I copied the following off the US Code section from Cornell School of Law website:

§ 5601. Criminal penalties

(a) Offenses
Any person who has in his possession or custody, or under his control, any still or distilling apparatus set up which is not registered, as required by section 5179 (a) shall be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, for each such offense.
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/ ... -000-.html

§ 5179. Registration of stills
(a) Requirements
Every person having in his possession or custody, or under his control, any still or distilling apparatus set up, shall register such still or apparatus with the Secretary immediately on its being set up, by subscribing and filing with the Secretary a statement, in writing, setting forth the particular place where such still or distilling apparatus is set up, the kind of still and its capacity, the owner thereof, his place of residence, and the purpose for which said still or distilling apparatus has been or is intended to be used (except that stills or distilling apparatus not used or intended to be used for the distillation, redistillation, or recovery of distilled spirits are not required to be registered under this section).
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/ ... -000-.html

I'm sure after reading that last sentence in parenthesis there are alot of homemade distilling units made exclusively for water :D
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Uncle Jesse
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yes

Post by Uncle Jesse » Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:23 pm

it is perfectly legal to own a still for many uses. ethanol fuel being one of them in california. you need the federal permit but the state doesnt care. also people use stills for perfumes, water and so on.

now, as far as opening a legal distillery there are many, many steps. but to simplify it:

1. city approval including environmental health, fire, food codes etc
2. federal approval including very detailed information about processes etc.
3. state approval

taxes for a distillery are filed 2x/month, make money or not. it is all very complicated and i'm only starting to understand the intricacies while working on the paperwork for the feds.
If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.

LONEEAGLE155
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Post by LONEEAGLE155 » Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:03 pm

Jesse I think it is great that you are branching out and after you are up and running I would love to buiy a couple of bottles of pioneer spirit so please keep us updated and let us know how to have them shipped to us put me down for a couple of bottles
JD

golden pond
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Post by golden pond » Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:50 pm

By the way Jesse, are you planing on aging this liquor or selling it as is??
Never follow good whiskey with water, unless you're out of good whiskey!!!

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Post by Enlikil » Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:59 am

I think its awsome that you are going to the next step.
let me know how it all pans out.
I think it would be kool to own a distillary and make like 100 gallons a year hehe and just break even..... would be neat.

Uncle Jesse
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good question

Post by Uncle Jesse » Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:08 am

By the way Jesse, are you planing on aging this liquor or selling it as is??
both. i'll set some aside to age and sell some. i plan to make corn whiskey at first, and to approach local wineries and farmers for brandies. i'm hoping some local wineries might be willing to contract brandy work out to me.

but, whatever the market will bear. if cinnamon schnapps with heart-shaped gold flecks is what sells, well, i'll lower my standards and go for it...
Last edited by Uncle Jesse on Tue May 15, 2007 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.

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