Discussion in 'Cookery' started by happybonzo, Sep 27, 2008.
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Home distilling? Has anyone had a go at this and, if so, what equipment did they use?
I use Wine Rack.
The two Bonzo brain cells are not working very well at this hour: What is "Wine Rack"?
I was thinking of using a small Burco boiler because they have a good thermostat on them. This way I can regulate the temperature accurately.
I don't want to produce the wrong stuff; Methyl alcohol?. My eyesight is in quite a bad enough state as it is from reading the wrong books.
Illegal in the UK, I thought. Mind you, so is writing on Arrse, reportedly.
And dangerous, not only from the danger of the fumes but because of the methyl alcohol business.
So, when's the party?
Yes, but look at the mess you get into sat there on your jack jones, plastered and shouting at the lap top about how much money you give to charity. Clown.
You need to get off that stuff mate, before you set the house on fire.
Good luck mate.
All you need is a thing called an EasyStill - look on google or e-bay and you'll find one.
In the UK you are allowed to use one to make distilled water for your steam iron.
But, unlike in Scandinavia, you are not allowed to do the following - go onto a home brew site and buy a packet of 'turbo yeast', mix it with about 25 litres of water and wait 10 days for the water to become 20 per cent alcohol.
Then, you musn't run this through the EasyStill, reducing the volume by half to 40 per cent alcohol before adding stuff like Juniper or whatever kind of essence you fancy.
These can be legally obtained through reputable companies on line to produce perfectly good, safe, but untaxed gin, vodka, schnapps etc. (search 'home distilling for them).
The EasyStill costs about Â£145, looks like a coffee machine and is as safe to use as any other electric ironing accessory on the market.
It's just the revenue boys that get upset because anything over 20 per cent alcohol and you have to pay Gordon Brown protection money. Hence extra sweetness of finished product.
This is the only safe method of producing home made hooch, if you bugger about with flames and stills you will either go completely blind or blow yourself up - and you REALLY shouldn't do that,
Going blind is only a problem if you create an alcohol with more of the dangerous crap in it than the undistilled base has. Distilleries have things called "shot" and "feint" safes, where they collect the first bit of the distillation and the last bit - that's the stuff you want to avoid drinking. Even that has loads of ethanol, which is why they chuck the shots and feints back into the still.
Providing you never drink a fraction as it comes out of the still, but always a fraction of the total the still produced on a given occasion, and providing the still produced he predicted amount of spirit for the original bulk, and it sustains a nice blue flame, you should be okay.
This seems to be the bad boy you want
Home Distillation is not illegal because of tax reasons for the Goverment regardless of what some people may say. Home brewing in general is not a big enough market to hit the tax revenue because of the time involved to make small amounts when you are not working on a commercial scale.
The reason it is illegal, as mentioned above is because it is very easy to end up with a unacceptable quantity of Methanol in the end product, which of course as everyone knows destroys the nerves of the eyes, as well as other nasty side effects. Distillation can be done safely in a controlled scientific manner, but it has been shown in the past that most average joes do not have the capacity for it, where as it is easy to brew some beer.
I took the trouble to look this up a while ago in 'Halsbury's Laws of England' which is the legal encyclopaedia used by the courts and lawyers in general. It is very authoritative. Basically, the situation is this. You can't distill alcohol without a rectifier's licence (Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 s18(1)).
If you do and are caught you will be liable to pay the duty on the alcohol in the spirits you make (currently Â£19.56 per litre) and to pay a fine of whichever is the greater of Â£250 and 5% of the duty payable. (Finance Act 1994 s9(2)). Forget getting a license. There are rules about how large (or rather how small) the still can be which would render any home device unlawful and in any case you'd have to pay the duty which sort of defeats the object. As far as I can ascertain, you are not committing a criminal offence by distilling alcohol. All the above are civil matters. I assume that Customs and Excise would seize all your product and your equipment too.
In short, you might say that the consequences of a raid on a genuine hobby distiller making liquor for him or herself would be embarrassing but not necessarily disastrous. As for the likelihood of getting caught; well I have never heard of a case in my lifetime (I'm 47). My own guess is that the Customs an Excise are far too busy chasing drugs and liquor smugglers and dealing with VAT fraud to bother with a small time....... Hang on, there's someone at the door.
There may once have been a reason for tax purposes, hence the antiquated legislation you have provided. Common sense and deduction says otherwise in my mind.
* belated edit * "in my opinion"
You can knock a simple one up using a large pan, pudding basin, round bottomed wok and a simple hose assembly.
Simples says Alexander!!
Pour your base booze into pan, put in pudding basin. put wok on top as lid (this is your condenser) set up hose assembly to ensure constant cold surface on bottom of wok. Result drip drip drip, simple distillation. Repeat as necessary although must admit I only achieved about 50 odd% when testing it but some good wallop anyway when splashed in a mixer, never did get round to adding berries and stuff. I just went to my local pet food wholesaler, bought a sack of corn, threw in a few bags of sugar and some apples and a couple of packets of wine yeast and left in the shed for a few weeks with a "soft"air lock for my starter.
There are plenty of Home distilling sites on the web also here in Aus home destilling is legal, many home brew barns will ship stills and ingredients to UK legally for you
I dont know about the legality of home brewing, but seeing as you can buy the things used to do it quite cheaply from Boots and Wilkinsons, I cant see it being against the law somehow!
Nor I would think is buying a huge marrow, cutting a small opening it the top and filling it with sugar, then reclosing the hole and letting it ferment and continuing the process for a few weeks against the law either.
If it were, sloe Gin would not exist.
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