Why is it legal to brew your own beer and make your own wine, but illegal to distill your own spirits?


Or, maybe I'm wrong ...

Any information you all have is greatly appreciated.

As always, thank you for your answers, with no thumbs down from me.



Update 2:

(((((Been there)))))

Pull up a chair and get comfy...

That recipe sure is something, ain't it? :)

14 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favourite answer

    It may be on the books or in Federal regulations that it is illegal, but It would not hold-up in court -- provided you were doing it for private consumption and in privacy.

    Why? John Locke -- The Supreme court has always worshiped that guy. "If a rule cannot be enforced effectively and consistently, then it is not a law." - it is just scribblings. In short: It is just a bluff.


    My recipe for secretly made moonshine.

    ! gallon of apple juice - add 1/2 cup sugar - add 1 oz of yeast - shake well,

    punch air holes in the lid.

    bury in your garden to a depth so the lid just barely shows.

    let ferment for 4-6 weeks. It is ready when you can't stand the smell of the gas coming out of the lid.

    pour contents into a small hospital bedpan -- then place it in the freezer section of your refrigerator. --- All the contaminants will rise to the top and freeze. -- punch a hole in the ice and pour the clear moonshine into an empty jug. = 180 proof white lightening.

  • rowlfe
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Revenue from taxes and safety.

    It is the distillation process which is regulated and taxed, based on the capacity of the distilling unit. It is the capacity that is taxed, not the actual output by volume. The problem with moonshine (illegally distilled neutral spirits) is quality control. It is really easy to introduce keytones into the mix. It is the contaminants in the alcohol which can be poisonous and what gives you a worse hangover. One of the worst is lead, from soldered pipes with a lead based solder. Worse yet is if a auto radiator is used as the condenser, which not only adds lead but zinc and copper oxides as well. All of which are very bad for your health. Metal poisoning is a hard way to go. That said, who is to know if you make your own still? I've made one out of laboratory glassware that could distill a pint an hour or so. If you use corn (or potatoes) for the mash, you will make neutral spirits, i.e., moonshine. An evaporation still is nothing more than a small heater in a covered bucket inside a bigger covered bucket so vapor condenses on the top and then runs down the sides to collect the distillate in the bottom of the bigger bucket. No boiling happens, just warm vapor which condenses much like condensation on the mirror in the bathroom. If you start with sterilized equipment, and prevent any contaminants from the corn or whatever, you will make very pure moonshine, but in small quantities. Moonshiners who make a hundred gallons or more at a time, have a quality control problem that a commercial brewery and distillery does not have. So, the fed rationalizes the law on taxes and safety when it comes to distilling, but NOT on simple wine and beer which does not have the same risks from contamination.

  • 8 years ago

    I used to make dandelion wine, lol. But, Uncle Waynes recipe sounds freakin' disgusting, lol. "Hey, what are these grubs doing in my moonshine?" lol. To make good shine, all you need is some copper tubing, some airline, like in aquariums, and a good sealable cooking pot. Run the copper tubing from the pot, and wrap the airline around it. Run some cold water thru the airline, which helps with the condensation. Cook that dang apple stuff in that, then you get pure, non-poisonous liquor, lol

  • 8 years ago

    Unlicensed distillation is illegal in most legislatures for two main reasons. Firstly incorrect temperature control can lead to the production of higher fractions such as methanol (poisonous) and secondly, badly run stills can explode. Some people were killed by an exploding still in England just a few months ago.

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  • 6 years ago

    Is says that brewing of your own wine and beer for your own consumption is legal as mentioned above. Where is it mentioned that it is legal to make your own wine, and if it is legal then why cant one import home wine making equipment ?

  • 8 years ago

    I've legally distilled my own alcohol, if you have the riight equipment and do it properly, it's fine.

    But there is a potential for harm, anything over about 50% proof is pretty deadly, can lead to a pretty nasty experience. i've got a mate with a home brew/ distill shop, check it out.

    Source(s): www.brewersbarn.co.nz
  • 8 years ago

    Because the taxes are much higher on spirits than on beer and wine, the government doesn't want to miss out on any pennies, if anyone does their own distilling then they clearly have an interest in spirits so chances are if they can't distil themselves then they will go and buy it.

  • 8 years ago

    That's funny to think that's how it's done..

    and here all along my "government" is making "distilled corn whiskey"

    then calling it "ethanol" gas!!...lmbo



    p.s. If and when you drive by an Ethanol plant it smells like corn mash! ...

    It probably has more to do with... blowing something up...it can be very volatile if not handled properly.

  • 8 years ago

    Apart from the tax, the worst that can happen with beer and wine is that it tastes disgusting. If you get distilling wrong you can lose your sight or even your life.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Interesting question sister (((RQ)))

    I'd like to sit in on this one and hear the answers.

    ~takes notes on moonshine recipe~

    ~reads below~


    ~takes more notes~

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