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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: punatic on July 08, 2012, 02:18:53 PM

Title: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: punatic on July 08, 2012, 02:18:53 PM
The Secret Life of... (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2018631387_liquor08m.html)

Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: tumarkin on July 08, 2012, 03:52:02 PM
You gotta love the last lines, quoting the enforcement officer, Dixon...

"There's a lot of romance surrounding the operation of a still," Dixon, the enforcement officer, acknowledged. Folklore, too.

"It's just kind of a cool thing," he said. "I don't know how else to put it."

He hastened to add, however, that it is still a crime.

The time is coming, though it'll likely be slow in coming, when we'll be able to home distill just as we home brew beer... or wine... or mead.

The time may even come when the AHA takes on a role in making that possible (at least I hope so and think that would be appropriate.... do you?).
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: tygo on July 08, 2012, 06:49:06 PM

The time may even come when the AHA takes on a role in making that possible (at least I hope so and think that would be appropriate.... do you?).

I do.  But the AHA doesn't.  They're afraid of being painted with the "moonshiners" brush.  I think they feel that it will diminish their credibility in defending homebrewing, which is legal on a federal level.
   
Title: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: denny on July 08, 2012, 06:59:50 PM
I can't speak for the AHA, but my feeling is that it's a separate issue.  I don't have any problem with legalizing distilling at home, but I also don't feel it should be part of the AHA agenda.


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Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: tygo on July 08, 2012, 07:17:28 PM
Seems like a natural extension of the organization's objectives to me.  The only big bright line I see is the federal legality and that's the one the AHA doesn't want to cross in their lobbying efforts.  Our hobby is making booze.  Why is distilling that booze verboten? 

but I also don't feel it should be part of the AHA agenda.

I wonder how many of the AHA members agree with this.  It would be interesting to include the question on one of the survey's the AHA does.
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: jamminbrew on July 08, 2012, 07:51:46 PM
Maybe the AHA should have a separate division, called the ADA? (American Distillers Association) A separate entity, with the same support and resources the AHA has.
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: punatic on July 08, 2012, 09:07:14 PM
Bill Owens beat them to it:
American Distilling Institute (http://www.distilling.com/)

You'll note a LOT of the same players there as in brewing.
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: euge on July 08, 2012, 09:34:53 PM
Bill Owens beat them to it:
American Distilling Institute (http://www.distilling.com/)

You'll note a LOT of the same players there as in brewing.

Thank you very much sir. Found a very interesting page there.
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: punatic on July 08, 2012, 09:56:31 PM
Yes, it is einen verbotener gegenstand here.  But, rest assured, there are plenty of people and places to discuss it out there.  The BA and AHA choose not to participate in the discussion.
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: tumarkin on July 09, 2012, 03:29:20 AM
I can't speak for the AHA, but my feeling is that it's a separate issue.  I don't have any problem with legalizing distilling at home, but I also don't feel it should be part of the AHA agenda.

I understand that is the current AHA/BA thinking, but as a member speaking to a Governing Committee member, Denny; I'd ask you (and the others on the Committee) to rethink that stance. There is a fundamental similarity between beer/wine/mead and distilled spirits. There is a large and growing number of BA professionals who are expanding into distillation. It's a natural step - professionally or for home use.  Being able to distill the beer I brew or the mead I make is not a huge stretch, as long as it's for home use, not for sale.

As a member, I would like to see the AHA support this as well. Just my thoughts, but I suspect they're shared by many members. If we keep the topic open to discussion (not just here on the forum, but in general), I suspect that over time it will become a majority opinion.
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: nateo on July 09, 2012, 04:53:59 AM
I don't think distilling should fall within the purview of the AHA. I think there is a lot more general acceptance of beer and wine consumption than spirits, and I don't see the value in fighting the neo-prohibitionists on this topic. I think it would only take one kid with a poorly designed still blowing himself up for the AHA to lose a lot of credibility.
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: weithman5 on July 09, 2012, 05:52:20 AM
i don't think it needs to be part of the AHA mission.  The AHA supports a legal hobby.  There is nothing stopping our members from forming a new organization to pursue legalizing home distilling.  I would wager many   are members of other organizations that support hobbies.  I don't see our resources used for this any more than I would expect a model railroad, gardening, cross-stitching, motorcycle, fishing, organization to be involved.
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: gmac on July 09, 2012, 07:48:13 AM
I always thought the AHA should do more to promote cross-stitching...

I don't see it as an AHA issue either.  But, I did a search and as far as I can tell (and this is by no means perfect), no one up here in Canada has ever been prosecuted for making spirits at home.  Selling, yes but never for making for personal use even though it's technically illegal.  Has me thinking...
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: gogreen437 on July 09, 2012, 08:43:40 AM
Seems like a natural extension of the organization's objectives to me.  The only big bright line I see is the federal legality and that's the one the AHA doesn't want to cross in their lobbying efforts.  Our hobby is making booze.  Why is distilling that booze verboten? 

You could argue the similarities, but it seems just as logical (if not more so) that an organization named the American Homebrewers Association would largely concern themselves with brewing.  It is easy for me to say this because I have no interest in distilling, but choosing not to dilute the mission makes sense to me. 
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: erockrph on July 09, 2012, 09:15:24 AM
I would love to try my hand at distilling if it could be done safely and legally, and I can definitely see the synergy between homebrewing and home-distilling, but I don't think the AHA should dilute its focus by taking on distilling. We don't cover winemaking, so why would we cover distilling? If there was an overarching organization representing vintners, brewers and distillers together, that would be different.
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: Slowbrew on July 09, 2012, 09:23:58 AM
I think the AHA could publish a statement of support concerning the efforts of a group that is using legal channels to change the law around distilling.  I don't think it is an area the AHA should directly involved in.  This organization has done a tremendous job promoting the legal rights of Americans to brew beer and wine in their home. 

Currently distilling is illegal here in the states and an organization that is promoting a practice that is illegal is standing on awfully shaky legal ground.  I would hate to see the AHA targeted by Federal investigations due to this type of campaign.  I hope they continue to be very cautious on this topic as they have been invaluable to craft brewing community and will continue to be going forward.

I personally would like to see the laws change.  I will support legal efforts to make this happen.  I don't believe the AHA is the correct forum for this effort.  YMMV

Paul
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: 1vertical on July 12, 2012, 10:23:20 PM
It's like night following day...someone makes a comment about a weird yeast Distilling, someone else posts about the "human cultured" yeast AHA not being the forum....
    There fixed it for ya....haven't we talked all about this in a prior thread?
Turtles are so so kewl!
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: punatic on July 12, 2012, 11:11:40 PM
Currently distilling is illegal here in the states and an organization that is promoting a practice that is illegal is standing on awfully shaky legal ground.  I would hate to see the AHA targeted by Federal investigations due to this type of campaign.   I hope they continue to be very cautious on this topic as they have been invaluable to craft brewing community and will continue to be going forward.

Yes, let's hope we are not promoting a practice that is illegal, such as homebrewing, in states like Alabama and Mississippi!

Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: onthekeg on July 13, 2012, 11:57:33 AM
I know a guy with a reflux still.  It is convertible to a pot still also.  Works good with a water based feed source.
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: Slowbrew on July 13, 2012, 01:33:17 PM
Currently distilling is illegal here in the states and an organization that is promoting a practice that is illegal is standing on awfully shaky legal ground.  I would hate to see the AHA targeted by Federal investigations due to this type of campaign.   I hope they continue to be very cautious on this topic as they have been invaluable to craft brewing community and will continue to be going forward.

Yes, let's hope we are not promoting a practice that is illegal, such as homebrewing, in states like Alabama and Mississippi!

Sorry if my context was off a bit. 

My statement was aimed more at the article, which seems to encourage people to violate Federal law by running stills at home.  It wasn't my intention to say that an organization can't petition the state to get a law changed. 

Feel free to point how I'm mistaken if you'd like.
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: punatic on July 13, 2012, 03:04:58 PM
I am all for an organization that promotes changing a law.  It is a fundamental part of how our governments work in the USA.

But, to effectively ban conversations about one activity because it is illegal, while promoting another activity that is illegal in some jurisdictions, seems hypocritical to me.  It's OK to talk about homebrewing in Alabama and Mississippi (wink wink), but don't you dare speak about home distilling.  It's illegal!  Well, so was homebrewing until the laws were changed thirty some-odd years ago.

As far as this being a homebrew only forum, I direct your attention to the multitude of non-homebrewing topics covered on this forum.   

Distilling begins with fermenting.  Whiskey is essentially distilled beer.  Distilling  has more to do with brewing than most of the topics discussed in the The Pub and All Things Food categories on this forum.

I'm not saying that we should teach people how to build and operate illegal stills at home.  But, I don't think we should be prohibited from discussing distilling laws, law makers and coordinating ideas about how to change the laws that prohibit home distilling.  There are a lot of like-minded people gathered here discussing the legal precursor steps of distilling already. 

Many of the brewing suppliers and brewers that are involved in craft brewing are also involved in craft distilling.  Why do you suppose that is?
 
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: euge on July 13, 2012, 07:34:20 PM
I think my biscuits are better now for my participation in the AHA. ::)
Title: Re: An Interesting Article in Today's Seattle Times
Post by: punatic on July 13, 2012, 08:54:56 PM
I bet you make them with spent grains.