Home distilling

#1
Home distilling? Has anyone had a go at this and, if so, what equipment did they use?
 
#3
JoseyWales said:
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.
 
#4
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? :D

Litotes
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#5
JoseyWales said:
I use Wine Rack.
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.
 
#7
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 £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,

Pip pip!
 
#8
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.
 
#10
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.
 
#11
Milesy said:
Home Distillation is not illegal because of tax reasons for the Goverment regardless of what some people may say.
References please.

From http://homedistiller.org/

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 £19.56 per litre) and to pay a fine of whichever is the greater of £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.


msr
 
#12
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"
 
#13
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.
 
#14
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 8)
 
#15
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.
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
Gren said:
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.
Gren

You'll be pleased to know that home brewing of beer is not illegal, and that there is no duty charged on such beer either in the UK (s41 Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1981 - "The duty on beer produced in the United Kingdom shall not be chargeable on beer produced by a person who produces beer only for his domestic use"), or in the rest of the EU (I'm sure that it's somewhere in Directive 92/12EEC - it's nearly time for bo-bo's and I can't be arsed to look in my big purple book of law). However, I think that you'll find that making sloe gin doesn't involve fermenting marrows.

Milesy

The "antiquated legislation" - The Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 and Finance Act 1992 - is the current law of the land in relation to this aspect of excise law.

The Customs and Excise Management Act, The Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act, & The Tobacco Products Duties Act all date from 1979. The most recent piece of Excise primary legislation is the Betting and Gaming Duties Act 1981.

And whilst "common sense and deduction (might) say otherwise in your mind" you're wrong. :twisted:
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
msr said:
Milesy said:
Home Distillation is not illegal because of tax reasons for the Goverment regardless of what some people may say.
References please.

From http://homedistiller.org/

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 £19.56 per litre) and to pay a fine of whichever is the greater of £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.


msr
May I, msr, refer you to s25(1) ALDA79 "Save as provided by or under this Act, any person who, otherwise than under and in accordance with an excise licence under this Act so authorising him - (a) manufactures spirits, whether by distillation of a fermented liquor or by any other process, or (b) uses a still for distilling, rectifying or compounding spirits; or (c) distils or has in his posession any low wines or feints; or (d) not being a vinegar maker, produces or makes or has in his posession any wort or wash fit for distillation , shall be liable on summary conviction to a penalty of level 5 on the standard scale".

Additionally, ss170 & 170A CEMA79 have some very stern things to say about "Penalties for the fraudulent evasion of duty etc" and the "Offence of handling goods subject to unpaid excise duty" - These are criminal offences too.

Whilst s9 FA92 does indeed impose civil penalties in many of the excise regimes where criminality is not suspected, HMRC does carry a FOGB stick. s170CEMA79 offences carry penalties of up to 7 years in jail on indictment, a FOGB Fine, or, both.

Edit to add, and yes HMRC would confiscate the still, seize any spirit, and generally make life miserable. I refer you to the estimable/excrable programme produced by the Bee Bee Cee in the 1980's called "The Duty Men" where a still was seized by the then Belfast Criminal Investigation Unit of HMCE after a period of covert observation, in which they managed to avoid treading on the toes of (perm any from as many) Green Army/THEM/14 Int/Provos/Stickies/UDA/UVF/Red Hand Commando/The Brownies/The Wood Craft Folk
 
#18
The homebrew shop I use sells a home still. Asked the woman what it was for, she came over all shifty and said "distilling flower essences for perfume. And stuff". They also sell bags of activated charcoal, good for filtering the fusel oil out. You really dont want high concentrations of that

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusel_alcohol

Theres also Turbo yeast etc

I used to know a bloke down in Gloucester who had a still in a mine, made very convincing calvados tyle stuff, he used to filter his through a tank of fullers earth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fullers_earth

Very useful stuff, can also be used to take the red out of red diesel. Not the same tank as you use for purifying poteen obviously
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
salforddude said:
I used to know a bloke down in Gloucester , he used to filter his through a tank of fullers earth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fullers_earth

Very useful stuff, can also be used to take the red out of red diesel. Not the same tank as you use for purifying poteen obviously
And, if you're caught you'll lose your vehicle and be assessed for the duty evaded (there's more than one marker in Marked Gas Oil). And I can imagine that the Adj/RSM will be mightily impressed too.
 
#20
I realise theres more than one marker. Fullers earth just takes the red out. which is what I said. Also, since the thread is about home distilling activities I assumed that evading the governments wholly excessive tax loading on certain things might not be too far from peoples minds.
 

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