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Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by tacmotusn, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    George Washington, our first president was a home distiller of alcoholic spirits. Fact!
    Why and how did we get to the point where it is the crime it is today.
    I have started this thread due to my interest in this issue as a skill to hone for the future. I have read some books on the subject, I have some books on the subject, and I have a lot to learn. I have hopes that this thread will grow and glean some excellent input from the Monkeys here as well as be a source for compiling links to resources, and info to be found elsewhere. Please help.
    I'll start; Moonshine | New Georgia Encyclopedia
    My dad and a neighbor routinely made and consumed homemade beer. Other families I knew of made excellent wine. Some of both of which I sampled. That Amish gal had some excellent homemade cherry wine kept in a jug under the kitchen sink. I guess I am pretty lucky not to be caught sipping that in an empty house except her and I. I have been sipping liquor since 13 or 14. Never had much of a problem with it. I know my interest in moonshine started early. I clearly remember reading in my teens (60's) it was legal for head of household to produce up to 2 gallons of spirits (that's distilled liquor, not wine or beer) for home consumption. I have not been able to confirm that now, or confirm when the law changed or why. That 2 gallon household thing was what George Washington exercised his right to do in his own home for home consumption. It's total BS, 90% of the laws we have today that govern what we do in our own homes or on our own property. jmho
    Yard Dart, kellory and Brokor like this.
  2. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  3. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Brew, Sip, Don't tell !
    Yard Dart, ditch witch and oldawg like this.
  4. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+


    There's a brew club in this region that has an equal mix of beer makers and shiners, that also has a couple of feds as members. I can never decide if joining would be a good idea (get in good with The Man) or a very, very bad idea.
    chelloveck, kellory and Yard Dart like this.
  5. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Forget about getting a permit unless you want to give .goob inspection access whenever they want to check out your operation. Also gives them a reason to monitor you because they know you are a law breaker and will make over your limit to sell [sarc1].
    Yard Dart likes this.
  6. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    This site has a bunch of recipes, and much more. This link will take you to Dandelion-Moonshine. The right side of the page lists others.
    Dandelion Moonshine
    building a small still video ...
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
    Yard Dart and Mountainman like this.
  7. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    A friend of mine in Indiana wanted to distill his own for personal consumption. He contacted state excise police and also BATFE asking what permits or whatever he needed to do for small quantities for personal consumption. Answer from both state and Feds was go for it, he needed nothing since quantity (I don't know specific quantity) wasn't a lot and he wasn't selling it. Tried several of his brandy and whiskey flavors, good stuff.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  8. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    The reason whiskey is regulated today is to get the tax money--the whole reason for prohibition.
    Brokor and Yard Dart like this.
  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    ONE of the main reasons for prohibition, you mean. ;) Another reason for prohibition was to criminalize good, sovereign people and institute a massive police force and government headhunting bureaucracy. Of course, some would argue this was a mere side-effect, and perhaps that's true. Regardless, we cannot ignore the involvement of corporations and THEIR chance to profit, either. Taking into account just J.D. Rockefeller's donations to the Anti-Saloon League, a clearer picture begins to emerge. Of course, it's all about money and control!

    Anyway. Moonshine.

    This wouldn't be a proper thread on moonshine without Popcorn Sutton, so here goes...

    ditch witch and tacmotusn like this.
  10. PLA

    PLA Monkey

    I am open to a discussion if the tinfoil is kept out of the thread but its already digressing into another " this law is BS " so lets turn it into a rant against the gov

    If a discussion is what you want I come from a long line of manufacturers and distributors, I have a degree in Biochemistry and unlike most who enter this subject online I have real hands on experience running a distillery legally for fuel.

    The first requirement for you to get past is its 2014 not 1714, the hillbillys like Sutton are not who you should emulate unless you have a desire to end up just like him in jail or dead. Doing it one way because that's how Washington did it is chemically unsound and plain stupid. Its a romantic notion and not a practical one using techniques developed 300 years ago to produce something nature does as a waste by product, on purpose. You want romantic, drive a buggy, carry a flintlock and watch your kids die from the flu because you didn't vaccinate them. Ass backwards is still ass backwards, no matter how much a folk hero they are to the educationally challenged

    Copper stills- only reason these became popular was the ease copper can be formed into shapes and soldered. This is also why the booger eaters online shouldn't attempt it ( or maybe they should, the herd needs thinning) as alcohol dissolves lead very well and will deposit it on your optic nerves with precision. Its also a source of heavy metal poisoning as most copper available today is copper alloys which break down during heating and cooling repeatedly.

    You want the easiest way to get alcohol out of a batch of mash? Freeze it. All the crap about needing a special hiding places and secret handshakes are BS. All the romance of running a still is totally unrealistic on the small scale operation level. Water freezes at a much lower temp than alcohol so freeze it and pick the ice out after, throw the ice out, whats left are the solids and the alcohol,

    The last plant I ran was an experimental triple column built from stainless steel. It would have fit in any lab or hospital, consistent and repeatable results, not guessing about why things didn't work like the open air operations romanticized on the Discovery channel but in reality on average have failed fermentation, and a high level of risk of poisoning.

    If you are interested in me continuing Ill be happy to share knowledge but I will kill the sacred cows, YMMV
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    The pool of knowledge in the shade of the Monkey Tree, is both wide and deep.
    There are many types of experts here, and I welcome expert knowledge.
    Assuming the OP has no objections, pray continue.:)
  12. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

  13. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Hm. I get the idea --
  14. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    We used a large Erlenmeyer flask and a hot plate to produce some of the finest spirits you have ever sipped. We kept it going 24/7 in preparation for the weekend parties. One in particular roused the PTB and we had to relocate our stash. Looked awful to have people laying all over the lawns, walkways, and steps with that glazed happy expression--lol.
  15. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    Ours is a stainless steel reflux with a 3 ft column. Does the job nicely without requiring any secret handshakes, tho it strips flavor so efficiently that there's little point to running anything besides sugar mash through it. It can be run as a pot still by changing and adding a few things but we haven't done that yet.
  16. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Ah, Well, Actually, the above statement is EXACTLY BackA$$wards......

    Alcohol Freezes at a much LOWER Temperature, (-114°C) than Water.... 0°C

    The same procedure will also remove Water from ANY Petroleum Product. Stick it in a Cold Storage and then decant the Fuel, off the Top of the Ice....
    PLA and kellory like this.
  17. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    There is a new product on the market for distilling water. It is a stainless set of pots w/connecting gear. IMO it would work OK for a small still for other things.
    Cruisin Sloth, tacmotusn and Brokor like this.
  18. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    more info please. pm if you wish. thanks
  19. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I don't know a great deal about distilling to produce alcohol, just the basics and enough not to kill myself if I had to do it. I do know that old timers like Popcorn Sutton and many other hillbilly types are not stupid hicks, they possess knowledge passed on to them for generations and they are really good at what they do. Much of the bootlegging done supplied spirits to Americans back when it was illegal, and I cannot think of anything MORE American than moonshining aside from apple pie, dissent and revolution. I am sure if we went around and asked anybody who has ever had Sutton's shine if it wasn't some of the best they ever had and they would say it was the very best.

    I don't know if freezing would work in a grid down scenario, and lots of moonshiners use the old method because that's the best way to get it done, with fire and a boiler. Now, professionally speaking, sure -anything can be done, pretty much. Going the "legal" route would certainly eliminate some of the risks involved, but being taxed and licensed and inspected and held to account for even the slightest error in quantity could spell disaster. And, who really cares about the government, anyway? Slaves, maybe. I do not fear the government, my government should fear its people. That said, I don't have anything to prove, so I would check all "laws" and be sure I can make my own for personal use without having men in black ski masks and machine guns break down my door. If I really wanted to be a rebel, though...all bets are off.

    Live free or don't -your choice.
    Tully Mars, tacmotusn and ditch witch like this.
  20. PLA

    PLA Monkey

    You are correct, I did get temps for freezing backwards, the result is the same regardless.

    A quote from a long time family freind says there are 2 kinds of whiskey . There's selling whiskey and drinking whiskey . Never confuse the 2 and never try to make 1 from the other

    I'll post more later when I'm more awake but suffice ethanol is ethanol, there are many ways to flavor it using variations in temp and base sugars prior too and during distillation, not to mention additives after
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
    Brokor likes this.
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    Alcohol Fuels
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