http://forum.northernbrewer.com/view...=41000&start=0The law usually only worries when it is sold though. If they miss their cut on the tax, they will hunt you down.
I've always heard that making eisbock is illegal, not that any law covering it at the homebrew level is actually enforced
http://www.patriotunderground.net/20...pple-jack.htmlNo self respecting Patriot would ever go without making a batch of Apple Jack every winter. Heck, good ol' George Washington used to make barrels of it! It is the absolute easiest (and most tasty!) form of liquor anyone has ever made while living in the great white north! This finally solves the riddle why anyone in their right mind would EVER want to live in a climate with such a cold, harsh winter!
Now, thanks to good ol' Thomas Edison and his electric current and the artificial refrigeration technology developed by William Cullen way back in 1748, anyone can make it these days! As an added bonus, he that hath the best freezer, will hath the best hootch!
Why is that one might ask? Well, the colder you go, the higher the proof! For an idea of what you can get, at zero degrees you'll make 15%, minus ten will yield 21%, minus twenty will yield 27%, and minus thirty will yield 33%. That is 30, 42, 54, and 66 proof respectively! So for the colonial Americans, the rougher the winter, the better the summer! Not bad for no still huh? Speaking of stills, a note on legality here:
"In the United States the production of applejack, since the process used is considered distillation, is illegal. The ATF&E considers this the same as operating a still, and therefore this should not be attempted without licensing."
Now, for historical purposes only, here is how it was done by the Original Patriot Type Folk!
"Take a wagon of good apples plucked during the peak of ripeness and mash them well into a barrel, removing the bodies to leave the juices. The fellow now prepares sweet water by adding four scoops of molasses sugars dissolved into one jug warm water. He adds this to the barrel at a rate of one portion of sweet water to one portion of apple juices. He adds lastly to the barrel one scoop of yeasts. Having done these steps he then loosely caps the barrel to exclude vermin and places in the cold cellar to await the coldest freezings of winter. On the harshest of winter days when it is too bitter for all else, he will venture into the cellar and using a holed ladled covered in mesh cloth, he removes all the frozen waters leaving behind the prepared elixir. Five full barrels of the prepared mixture will give remnants of one full barrel of elixirs."
So to help understand it, in today's English it shakes out like this:
One gallon apple juice with no additives or preservatives what-so-ever.
Four pounds of dark brown sugar dissolved into one gallon of hot spring water.
Cool the sugar water mix.
Add two packets of wine yeast.
Mix all together and allow to ferment until the yeast are almost all dead.
(Using an air bubbler, wait until there is less than one bubble per minute.
Without the bubbler, wait at least two weeks.)
Filter the mix into freezer safe plastic jugs.
Place in the coldest environment (deep freezer) available and freeze overnight.
Shake in the morning.
Repeat this cycle for one week.
(replicates the freeze thaw cycle during a winter season)
Starting day eight, shake and filter out the ice.
Return the liquid to the jug. Repeat until it will no longer freeze.
Posted by Will at 10:30 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook
BogSpores said... Awesome article! I can hardly wait to NOT do this soon! (ATF blows).
May 31, 2013 at 9:01 AM
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I don't see a location by your name, so I can't speak to the legality of it specifically where you are at. Here in the US it is illegal to distill with heat. You can concentrate with a freezing process because it isn't considered distilling. There is debate on that, but I saw a podcast recently where they showed you how to create eisebier and how to make it (freeze concentration) and they said they called the ATF (who told them they don't monitor anymore and sent them to a tax agency), and the tax agency told them that they don't care if home makers freeze concentrate their beverages. Heated stills are another story entirely.
In other countries, however, it may be completely legal to build a still and make real apple jack. Check the laws in your area.
It is not legal anywhere in the US to distill spirits without a federal license (application for fuel), even for personal consumption.
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms:
“You cannot produce spirits for beverage purposes without paying taxes and without prior approval of paperwork to operate a distilled spirits plant. [See 26 U.S.C. 5601 & 5602 for some of the criminal penalties.] There are numerous requirements that must be met that make it impractical to produce spirits for personal or beverage use. Some of these requirements are paying special tax, filing an extensive application, filing a bond, providing adequate equipment to measure spirits, providing suitable tanks and pipelines, providing a separate building (other than a dwelling) and maintaining detailed records, and filing reports. All of these requirements are listed in 27 CFR Part 19. Spirits may be produced for nonbeverage purposes for fuel use only without payment of tax, but you also must file an application, receive ATF’s approval, and follow requirements, such as construction, use, records and reports.”
Freezing an alcoholic beverage containing ethanol with the intent to increase/concentrate the amount of alcohol does meet the definition of distillation. Many people assume that distillation equals use of a still and that is not correct.
I was not aware of ANY state in the US that allows you to distill alcohol for personal consumption but was actually just answering based on where I reside.
Here is the ATFs definition of a distilled spirit....and freezing so you can intermittently and repeatedly remove the ice build up falls into the definition of a distilled spirit....Distilled spirits. Section 117(a) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (27 U.S.C. 211(a)) defines ?distilled spirits? as ethyl alcohol, hydrated oxide of ethyl, spirits of wine, whiskey, rum, brandy, gin, and other distilled spirits, including all dilutions and mixtures thereof for nonindustrial use.
Fractional freezing is not distilling which is why brewers can make eisbier and not be a licensed distiller. No need to worry about the ATF coming after you.
op still manifesting... hang on and have a sip of last year's jack while I crystallize my thoughts...