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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: weazletoe on October 15, 2010, 10:25:53 PM

Title: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 15, 2010, 10:25:53 PM
   I was doing some research on making a still. For water of course. I mean, distilled water is expensive. And, I got to thinking, just out of curisoity, if one were to distill 5 gallons of let's call it 8% abv homebrew, distilled alcohol could one expect to have?
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: euge on October 15, 2010, 10:34:02 PM
Maybe half a gallon of rotgut.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: corkybstewart on October 15, 2010, 11:00:15 PM
Maybe half a gallon of rotgut.
Not sure about the quantity(probably less than 1/2 gallon) but why would it be rotgut?  I have a couple of friends who distill everything from fermented sugar water to homebrewed beer and they make some of the finest products I've ever tasted, bar none. 
If you were to try this go very easy on the hops(from experience), hop aromas can get really concentrated.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 15, 2010, 11:47:08 PM
If I were to ever distill something other than water, it would be hopless. I was thinking two row, and maybe some peat smoked malt. Perhaps a bit of rye? But, then again. That would be illegal.  ;D
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: corkybstewart on October 16, 2010, 01:12:18 AM
If I were to ever distill something other than water, it would be hopless. I was thinking two row, and maybe some peat smoked malt. Perhaps a bit of rye? But, then again. That would be illegal.  ;D
Everything these guys have distilled has been for my alcohol lamp, even the absinthe.  But a little hops is really quite good.  So is Thai basil, juniper berries etc.  The smoke from the alcohol lamp smells so good.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tschmidlin on October 16, 2010, 05:37:25 AM
If I were to ever distill something other than water, it would be hopless. I was thinking two row, and maybe some peat smoked malt. Perhaps a bit of rye? But, then again. That would be illegal.  ;D
You can totally distill two row and peat smoked malt or rye legally, not an issue.

Just don't mash and ferment first.   ;)
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tumarkin on October 16, 2010, 12:58:29 PM
Maybe half a gallon of rotgut.

Absolutely don't agree. First of all, you'd likely get about a gallon, and it could be quite good. Distillation technology is very old and pot stills are very simple. Home distillation of potables is illegal but with a little learning & care, you can produce quite enjoyable drink that won't make you go blind.
                                                                     
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: beerocd on October 16, 2010, 01:16:09 PM
Let's use a horrible math example - someone will be along shortly to correct me...  8)

Eight percent of five gallons. Lets round to ten because it's early. So that's half a gallon, if you are using a fractional still and getting in the high nineties for purity. Traditionally what we consume is much less than that, so if you use a pot still you would get a bit over a gallon, then re-distill it to clean it up and to get a little more than half a gallon. Then you would need to cut it - to make it drinkable. So - yeah you could get a gallon, drinkable, out of this situation.

So, all I got left to say in IB4TL !!!
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: denny on October 16, 2010, 03:26:47 PM
Guys, distilling is not what this forum is about.  I'd appreciate it if this topic is dropped.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 16, 2010, 04:08:40 PM
Hope I dont take this thread in the wrong direction but isnt it funny how distilling is the taboo subject. Strange especially cause home brewers fight to legalize brewing. Fight for the freedom to "make your own" stuff.

I know when I tell some of the uninitiated that I brew my own beer and make wine they instantly think moonshine. There is sort of a taboo about makeing alchol for consumption at home.Like you make it in your bath tub or something.

Isnt it sort of like the coke heads looking down on the crank heads? OR maybe there is a better analogy.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tumarkin on October 16, 2010, 04:15:17 PM
Guys, distilling is not what this forum is about.  I'd appreciate it if this topic is dropped.

Denny, how is talking about distilling (not actually practicing it, of course) further from "what this forum is about" than talking about bbq, cooking, cheese making, etc?

Perhaps if we talk about it, we might realize there is a significant and/or growing number of homebrewers who'd like to see the laws against home distillation changed. It's not that far off from legalization of making beer or wine. It might be something we want to look at regarding our lobbying & legalization efforts.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: denny on October 16, 2010, 04:55:19 PM
Mark, you make a very valid point, but the mods received a couple of comments about it, so I'm just trying to please everyone.  You know how easy that is!  But you notice I didn't lock or delete this thread.  Let's just treat it gingerly, like the Bible thread, and I think everything will be OK.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: beerocd on October 16, 2010, 05:05:15 PM
Since it's not locked.

While I was outside heating my strike water I was thinking. This is the same as the current AHA situation except now it's all 50 states in the case of distilling vs a handful of states in the case of homebrew. Is there anyone lobbying for home distilling?
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 16, 2010, 05:28:29 PM
Its also weird that distillation does not make alcohol. Fermentation does. http://www.gin-vodka.com/legal.html

Now that making alcohol is legal no reason distillation shouldnt be.

The law says you are not allowed to own distillation equipment at all, even if you are not using it to create alcoholic beverages.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 16, 2010, 05:36:04 PM
Guys, distilling is not what this forum is about.  I'd appreciate it if this topic is dropped.

  Sorry Denny. Didn't mean to cause a stir. I really gotta stop watching the History channel. It give me all kinds of ideas. You shoulda seen me the first season of Meteorite Men was on!!!  ;D
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: euge on October 16, 2010, 05:42:16 PM
Its also weird that distillation does not make alcohol. Fermentation does. http://www.gin-vodka.com/legal.html

Now that making alcohol is legal no reason distillation shouldnt be.

The law says you are not allowed to own distillation equipment at all, even if you are not using it to create alcoholic beverages.

It's quite a bit more hazardous than brewing. We spill stuff. Maybe burn our leg.  ::)

Stills can explode plus distilled spirits are highly flammable and can burn your house down.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 16, 2010, 05:44:59 PM
So is a propane tank and burner. More so than alcohol vapor.

And if that were actually the reason, turkey fryers should be illegal too.

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123007008

http://www.spike.com/video/turkey-fryer-fire/2684258
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: denny on October 16, 2010, 05:49:56 PM
Guys, distilling is not what this forum is about.  I'd appreciate it if this topic is dropped.

  Sorry Denny. Didn't mean to cause a stir. I really gotta stop watching the History channel. It give me all kinds of ideas. You shoulda seen me the first season of Meteorite Men was on!!!  ;D

Hey, Barry, from a theoretical standpoint I think it's an interesting subject.  We just need to make sure that's the path it stays on.  Unless it goes pear shaped or I hear from the AHA that it's not a good idea, the topic stays open.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: euge on October 16, 2010, 06:01:19 PM
So is a propane tank and burner. More so than alcohol vapor.

And if that were actually the reason, turkey fryers should be illegal too.

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123007008

http://www.spike.com/video/turkey-fryer-fire/2684258

Sorry cap you won't convince me with that argument. Distilling is a specialized skill.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: beerocd on October 16, 2010, 06:04:38 PM
No, you can OWN a still. You CAN'T separate alcohol from water legally. You can extract essential oils and distill water all you want. There's a certain size that won't even get anyone's attention (sears even sells a water distiller) - but once you buy the big mamba jamba stuff cuz you're making "perfume" you might get a visit.

Skymall used to sell a tabletop still. The ad copy totally said it was legal to own and use because of the low quantity it could produce. That was in the early 90's - I haven't seen it since. And I have since found out even distilling an ounce would be illegal.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 16, 2010, 06:25:03 PM
Not in PA. No stills are legal. At least that is the way it was the last time I looked. Also in PA it is illegal to own a liquor store or sell liquor at all. How bout that? Only the state can legally sell liquor.

Euge, how come you cant become convinced? Do you understand the dangers in distilling alcohol? It may not be as dangerous as you think. This is what they want you to believe though to justify this out dated law.

No more dangerous than keeping propane in your garage, in fact less dangerous.  

Is it dangerous? Yes.Is it skilled? Its just a matter of whether or not you want a law telling you what you can and cant do.

It is legal in any state to buy propane in large quantities. Welding supplies, very dangerous. No licensees needed. Could you burn a house down with improper distilling? Yes. But an easily improperly handled propane tank or acetylene tank can take out a whole city block.

What do you think is the danger that we need to be protected by a law?
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tumarkin on October 16, 2010, 06:29:20 PM
thanks, Denny,
I (we?) appreciate that it isn't being shut down. It would be a damn shame if it were. If we talk about it we may find that there is significant interest in distillation, and efforts to make it legal. That would be an uphill fight in this country. And a lot of that has to do with taxation issues - the first tax ever in this country was on whisky.

A quick google search shows that there are efforts to legalize home distillation. A MI congressman introduced a bill in 2001 to legalize home distillation. It was recently legalized in New Zealand, may be soon in Hungary. It'll be a while before that happens here, and it won't happen if we don't talk about it.

This is an issue of importance to our pro brewing brethren as well. I don't think anyone would argue that the craft brewing industry has benefited immensely by brewers who got their start & training as homebrewers. There is a large & growing movement of craft distillation (Anchor, Dogfish Head, Rogue, Ballast Point, and more all the time). If a brewery wants to venture into distillation, how does the brewer get the experience or training to do so before trying it as a business? You can go to Herriott Watt & and their brewing AND distillation program in Scotland. There are probably similar programs here, but you can't legally experiment at home. If you try, you risk having your home taken away.

As I said, it would be an uphill battle to legalize home distillation, but it certainly won't happen if we don't talk about it.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: euge on October 16, 2010, 06:49:45 PM
Well, maybe more laws concerning distilling could be created. For instance a special home-distilling permit if one has taken the required training courses and completed certain exams. At this point the permit holder would be expected to know how to use the proper equipment and practice safe distillation. Perhaps also there would have to be an equipment inspection at some point.

My concerns are that it isn't to be trifled with; gaining experience in the company of a knowledgeable distiller would be optimal. I'm not against distilling. Just don't want anyone to get hurt either from an accident or bad booze because they found some info on the web and decided to "try it".
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 16, 2010, 07:15:00 PM
  Unless it goes pear shaped or I hear from the AHA that it's not a good idea, the topic stays open.


 Oh man, my buddy dated a ghirl who was pear shaped. That didn't last long!!  :o
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 16, 2010, 07:20:37 PM
 I was always under the impression that bad booze came the the shiners adding funky ingredients to the mash. Now, I'm starting to lean the is also the danger of not boiling off the right alcohol? (and FWIW, I really have no plans of trying any such thing, anytime soon. So, based on my complete ignorance of the subject, I'll live, and keep my sight for a while longer.)
  And, I think I might head over to a distillers board, and ask future "water distilling" questions there. It would be more approrpiate to ask them them than a beer board.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: denny on October 16, 2010, 07:35:35 PM
And, I think I might head over to a distillers board, and ask future "water distilling" questions there. It would be more approrpiate to ask them them than a beer board.

That's what I was getting at.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: bluesman on October 16, 2010, 09:20:22 PM
And, I think I might head over to a distillers board, and ask future "water distilling" questions there. It would be more approrpiate to ask them them than a beer board.

That's what I was getting at.

Here's the place to get the meat and potatoes of this process. For those interested.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=709
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: 1vertical on October 16, 2010, 11:28:47 PM
Dang Barry, there ya are in idaho....next to the biggest silo of malt ever seen by a human....
I am jealous. just think of the rocket fuel you could produce to add to your green flex fuel
vehicle....I wonder what if a guy started Mad Max auto company and started making hiz own
autos out of junkers....and selling em at a price that joe sixpack could afford on less than
a years salry.  Ahhhh the american dream...And sell em the fuel from alcohol too!!!

Seriously, I am thinking along the same lines and need to spend some time on some
distillation boards...which there are quite a few....

How does a guy get a  rail head spur for a 75 foot length...onto hiz property???
Hell then I could buy bulk malt and coal and be in buziness... the coal sales could finance and heat
the alcohol plant I could build for the new e15 fuel now allowed by law.....then the RR could pack it away.
Coal from the mines is around $26 a ton...and the rail could get it here eazily

I need investment capitol  $$$$$
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: akr71 on October 17, 2010, 12:23:43 AM
Why not do a big mash and ferment with wyeast 4347 Eau de Vie.  Its got an reported alcohol tolerance of 21% ABV.  You might want to start with a regular beer yeast first to get some esters and yeast character in there.  Maybe 2row with a good dose of peated malt.

At the end of all that, freeze concentrate it like a Eisenbock.  Absolutely no distilling necessary and its nice and legal.  ;)

If you can get a 5 gallon batch to 15% with the 4347 and freeze out 1/3 of the water, you are up to 25%ABV, half the water and you are upto 30%ABV.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: 1vertical on October 17, 2010, 12:46:30 AM
Why not do a big mash and ferment with wyeast 4347 Eau de Vie.  Its got an reported alcohol tolerance of 21% ABV.  You might want to start with a regular beer yeast first to get some esters and yeast character in there.  Maybe 2row with a good dose of peated malt.

At the end of all that, freeze concentrate it like a Eisenbock.  Absolutely no distilling necessary and its nice and legal.  ;)

If you can get a 5 gallon batch to 15% with the 4347 and freeze out 1/3 of the water, you are up to 25%ABV, half the water and you are upto 30%ABV.

F.Y.I. Methinks distillers malt is 6 row....fwiw
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 17, 2010, 12:57:45 AM
I was under the impression that "freeze distillation" or any concentration of alcohol by any means is illegal.

The stories of people going blind and all that are what weaze said. These troubles start in the fermentation. It comes from putting whatever into the mash to raise the alcohol level. Dont want any wood in there. There are several different easy tests to test for methanol. If you have healthy fermentation it is very hard to make methanol. It has nothing to do with the distillation really.

I dont see what the big deal is. Almost any activity can be very dangerous if you dont do it properly. Making cured or fermented meats is more dangerous than distilling.

New Zeland is the model.Its been legal in NZ for several years now and it is a popular hobby. Hasnt been one single incident of sickness (maybe a little projectile vomiting.) blindness or explosions yet.

Its illegal for one reason, and one reason only. It has nothing to do with our safety, if it did a whole lot more things would be illegal.

Licenses, Permits, Equipment inspection? Wow. Thank goodness they dont make us do that for home brew.

It will be legal soon. Just has to go through the layers and layers of BS.

http://homedistiller.org/faq.htm

Here is someone legally distilling in NZ. Check out this set up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LplnDNcpjas

In NZ they call themselves homebrew distillers.





Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: akr71 on October 17, 2010, 02:42:35 AM
F.Y.I. Methinks distillers malt is 6 row....fwiw

If you say so... I have no idea.  All I was getting at was that you could make some pretty high test homebrew, if you really wanted to - no distillation required.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tumarkin on October 17, 2010, 03:31:02 AM
Why not do a big mash and ferment with wyeast 4347 Eau de Vie.  Its got an reported alcohol tolerance of 21% ABV.  You might want to start with a regular beer yeast first to get some esters and yeast character in there.  Maybe 2row with a good dose of peated malt.

At the end of all that, freeze concentrate it like a Eisenbock.  Absolutely no distilling necessary and its nice and legal.  ;)

If you can get a 5 gallon batch to 15% with the 4347 and freeze out 1/3 of the water, you are up to 25%ABV, half the water and you are upto 30%ABV.

Freeze concentration is essentially considered distilling from a BATF legal perspective. They consider that a no no.

But in regards to Eau de Vie........The other night, I had a chance to taste Armand' Spirit, an Eau de Vie made from Olde Geuze by 3 Fonteinen. Check out the following link   
http://www.dogfish.com/forums/the-bar/9606/22/10/2009/success-at-brouwerij-3-fonteinen-after-rebounding-from-tragedy.htm

Apparently a warehouse thermostat failure caused a warehouse of gueze to way overheat. They decided they wouldn't put it out on the market & came up with the creative idea of fermenting it.

On the subject of methanol & going blind..... mostly a myth. Very little reality there. Most incidences were in regards to illegal bootleggers adding cheap s*** to moonshine, making it with lead from old car radiator copper, etc. You're not going to get any or much methanol in a reasonably managed home distillation.

The reality is that the methanol volatilizes first. Then the alcohol is next. You discard the feints from the first and last runnings, and keep the middle of the run. Heads, Hearts, Tails. The skill is in knowing when to start saving the hearts, and when to start discarding the tails. Actually, they generally don't discard it but rather throw it into the next distillation batch to be cleaned up. You don't want any of the cogeners in a vodka, just neutral spirits. But in a whisky, you do want just the right amount as that's where the flavor comes in. Too much and you get headaches, just right and you taste heaven. Apparently the distinction is made by watching the temperature changes, and also by sniffing/tasting as you go. Nothing we couldn't learn if it was legal and we could play with the process.

Fuel distillation's another deal, you want to get as close to 100% alcohol as possible. I'm more interested in pot still distillation. Don't know that I could ever achieve the nectar they produce in Scotland, but I'd sure like to try.

Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: fatdogale on October 17, 2010, 03:38:14 AM

The stories of people going blind and all that are what weaze said. These troubles start in the fermentation. It comes from putting whatever into the mash to raise the alcohol level. Dont want any wood in there. There are several different easy tests to test for methanol. If you have healthy fermentation it is very hard to make methanol. It has nothing to do with the distillation really.

I'm no distiller, but I think I've read the methanol is a product of the distilling process.  I think you're supposed to toss the first runnings (heads) because it contains methanol, collect the middle runnings, and toss the final runnings (tails) because it contains the higher alcohols (nasty tasting fusels).  You'll get methanol from corn squeezin's, cane sugar, malted barley...whatever you're fermentng and distilling.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tschmidlin on October 17, 2010, 05:45:54 AM
Freeze concentration is essentially considered distilling from a BATF legal perspective. They consider that a no no.
No they don't.  Basic Brewing Radio talked directly to TTB about it, and they said it was cool.  IIRC, no problem for homebrewers, and for pros they need to pay some taxes, that's it.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: MrNate on October 17, 2010, 05:55:37 AM
I officially voice my concern.

Denny's advice, in true fashion, is sound.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 17, 2010, 11:49:04 AM

The stories of people going blind and all that are what weaze said. These troubles start in the fermentation. It comes from putting whatever into the mash to raise the alcohol level. Dont want any wood in there. There are several different easy tests to test for methanol. If you have healthy fermentation it is very hard to make methanol. It has nothing to do with the distillation really.

I'm no distiller, but I think I've read the methanol is a product of the distilling process.  I think you're supposed to toss the first runnings (heads) because it contains methanol, collect the middle runnings, and toss the final runnings (tails) because it contains the higher alcohols (nasty tasting fusels).  You'll get methanol from corn squeezer's, cane sugar, malted barley...whatever you're fermenting and distilling.

True, and to clarify, methanol is not created from the distilling process, only concentrated from the beer. You can get methanol in trace amounts from the husks of the grains and or the pectin in the fruit. Like you and others have said, you just have to discard the first drippins.

But the real danger with producing methanol in high quantities comes from the fermentation.  Very hard to do if you are using good ingredients and not using antifreeze and what not.

The point is that there is this false belief that distilling is very dangerous. Its a myth. A still isnt a "bomb" There are no big giant explosions, houses burning down, people going blind, dying. Its all BS.



Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: Mikey on October 17, 2010, 12:53:27 PM
People went blind because during prohibition they used car radiators, assembled with lead, as heat exchangers. It was the lead that cause the problems. I'm not saying you don't need to be careful even with good equipment, but it's not that hard to do it correctly.

As for blowing up, that could happen if the outlet from the distilling kettle clogged. It would be wise to have an over pressure device on it, like what's installed in pressure cookers.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: beerocd on October 17, 2010, 01:58:06 PM
I officially voice my concern.

The whole thread? There's no "how-to" discussion going on. And the "jacking" method, I heard that podcast last year. The Jamil Show episode on Eisbock. Podcast link (http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/The-Jamil-Show/Eisbock-The-Jamil-Show-02-26-07) Totally legal.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: beerocd on October 17, 2010, 05:12:44 PM
People went blind because during prohibition they used car radiators, assembled with lead, as heat exchangers. It was the lead that cause the problems. I'm not saying you don't need to be careful even with good equipment, but it's not that hard to do it correctly.

As for blowing up, that could happen if the outlet from the distilling kettle clogged. It would be wise to have an over pressure device on it, like what's installed in pressure cookers.

maybe that's why they seal the holes with a flour paste instead of welding the thing completely airtight? I saw a POPCORN video where he had a handful of dough and he was cramming it into all the joints. Although I think he's blown a few up and started fires during his career. Of course his still would take up a whole garage - he was a pro.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 17, 2010, 07:45:43 PM
Blindness is caused by methanol poisoning but obviously you can be poisoned by lead. Methanol can poison the optic nerve to the point where it will die. For this to happen you would have to drink some thing that was nearly 100 percent methanol.

Methanol is created from pectin and cellulose in the beer. Its very unlikely that someone could achieve this useing regular ingredients but even so it is not hard to make sure that the hooch has no methanol. The explosion risk stories come from big giant rigged make shift stills that are fire heated and leaky. These where put together with found objects by moonshiners in the woods.Then they would store the alchol that they made around the still and near the flame. Then leave the still running and unattended.

Todays home distilling equipment has many safety features such as electric heat sources and temp control.

Some of the stuff available in NZ is really neat.

I hope that the laws change here because we should have the right to make what we want as long as it does not hurt anyone else.

After all, it is only taking beer to the next level...right?  ;D
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tumarkin on October 17, 2010, 08:10:52 PM
I hope that the laws change here because we should have the right to make what we want as long as it does not hurt anyone else.

After all, it is only taking beer to the next level...right?  ;D

If this were in the bible thread, I'd say "Amen, brother!"

as to taking beer to the next level, I've been known to refer to distilled product as 'Beer that got too close to the fire.'

That comes from a little fantasy scenario that came from the deep recesses of my twisted brain after I'd read about very early distillation in Scotland. I'm not saying it happened this way.... but it could'a in a mythopoetic sorta way, maybe??

The early Pictish peoples in Scotland built arched stone houses, shaped somewhat like a bee hive. They were accomplished brewers (see stories of early heather beers). So give me a bit of suspended disbelief for a moment, and imagine a group of those early Picts somewhat in their cups from a night of drinking round the fire. They drank their ale from shallow bowls. Imagine that one of them set down his bowl 'too close to the fire.' Close enough that, given a bit of time, it started to steam. That steam rose up, hit the colder stone ceiling, condensed and dripped in a runnel down the wall. Now imagine that one of those happily inebriated fellows noticed that dripping, running stream.

Hell, this is my dream; so let's imagine that it was the brewer of that heather ale. He notices the dripping stream, and curiosity causes him to reach out his finger and touch the dripping liquid. It's only human nature to then stick that wet finger into his mouth. Wow!!!! Can you imagine his reaction? He's the brewer, so he's obviously one of the brighter guys in the clan and he puts an empty bowl beneath the runnel to catch the drips. He collects a bit more in the bowl and passes it around the circle. Wahooo!! it's party time, with maybe some significant, shamanistic back story that develops over time.

Well, it could have happened that way....... as I said, it's my mythopoetic fantasy so enjoy it, or ignore it.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 17, 2010, 09:30:23 PM
WOW! I thought I had an imagination!!! My hats off to you, good sir.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 17, 2010, 10:08:56 PM
I love it!

Although I am picturing a bunch of sweaty bearded Scots crowded into a steamy hut licking the walls.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tschmidlin on October 17, 2010, 10:18:29 PM
I like it :)

It might have been more like, "since beer is good to drink, I'll be it will be even better if we cook some meat in it and eat that stew . . . hey wait, why am I still sober after three bowls of the stew?  Where did the fun part go?"  And then your story picks up. :)
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: dean on October 17, 2010, 11:10:53 PM
I've been watching TV a lot for the last several weeks and just yesterday the History Channel did several shows back to back about making whiskey, shine, bourbon, scotch.... very interesting.  Maybe I can't drink beer but doc didn't say a couple shots would be a problem for me.... maybe I'll look into changing a few parameters in my hobby.  I doubt it is worth any legal department wasting their time over me making a pint two or three times a year... but who knows?   ::) 
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 18, 2010, 12:20:30 AM
Those are exactly the shows that got me thinking, againg. If they don't want people trying, then it should not be on tv! I blame the History channel!!!  ;D
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: rabid_dingo on October 18, 2010, 08:18:21 AM
Saw the same run...It does stir the imagination.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: denny on October 18, 2010, 09:43:41 PM
After much discussion, this thread will allowed to continue as long as the content doesn't stray into the distillation process.  This corresponds with the trend of breweries getting involved with distillation.  We've put a lot of effort into disproving the notion that homebrewers are moonshiners and don't feel that the organization as a whole benefits from discussions that confuse that effort.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: corkybstewart on October 18, 2010, 10:21:05 PM
After much discussion, this thread will allowed to continue as long as the content doesn't stray into the distillation process.  This corresponds with the trend of breweries getting involved with distillation.  We've put a lot of effort into disproving the notion that homebrewers are moonshiners and don't feel that the organization as a whole benefits from discussions that confuse that effort.
One afternoon I was brewing and a couple of cops showed up at my house regarding a former employee.  The first one out of the car says" Looks like you're running a still, whatcha doing? '  The other one says"You're an idiot, he's brewing beer and it's legal.  I do it sometimes"
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: dbeechum on October 18, 2010, 10:45:01 PM
Yeah, have had that conversation a few times.

Never had an officer actually recognize what I was doing though.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tumarkin on October 18, 2010, 10:46:49 PM
After much discussion, this thread will allowed to continue as long as the content doesn't stray into the distillation process.  This corresponds with the trend of breweries getting involved with distillation.  We've put a lot of effort into disproving the notion that homebrewers are moonshiners and don't feel that the organization as a whole benefits from discussions that confuse that effort.

I don't necessarily agree with this line of thinking. I'm not a moonshiner, I don't distill (yet). But learning about and discussing the distillation process helps further my understanding & appreciation of single malt whisky - it doesn't mean that I'm moving to the hills and getting a fast car to outrun the revenooers.

I'm glad that there is recognition somewhere up the line that our discussions are in line with "the trend of breweries getting involved with distillation." As I'd pointed out previously, a lot of the creativity in the craft brewing industry can be traced to brewers who learned their craft at home and then went professional. Unfortunately, there's no legal way to mirror this in distillation. No legal way for brewers to become home distillers and experiment and develop their chops or try something new. That can and should be changed.

I firmly believe it's possible, no desirable, for us to bring the discussion of home distillation out of the shadows and start to lobby for it to become legal. I understand that there are those in the anti-liquor, neo-prohibitionist, right wing that will be appalled by any such efforts, not to mention that the big liquor lobbyists would be up in arms...... but the discussion has to start somewhere.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 18, 2010, 10:49:52 PM
One of the shows I saw, featured a distillery that was very much like a micro brewry, restraunt. You go in for dinner, sample some different whiskeys, and have a nice night. I thought it was interesting that they used different types of caramel extracts to get the flovor and coloring that barrel aging creates. (hope that does not stray to far into the process)
 I also thought it was real cool the place, of which name I forget, is right here near me in Bosie, ID. Dude said it took about 2-3 years to really catch on, but now runs a thriving business. How great would it be to see such places spring up all over in the next few years?! Hopefully, laws will lax a bit. This whole deal about the government worrid about our safety is just a way to not have to admit it's all about money. Sure, maybe they would lose some tax dollars by legalizing it, but do you not think there would be a small offset in the tax dollars then spent on grain, equipment, ingridents, etc... Would be so nice to see it legalized.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 18, 2010, 10:56:51 PM
I don't necessarily agree with this line of thinking.

  I think Denny' point is there are a lot of generalities about us as homebrewers. A lot of people think we are nothing but moonshiners. So, let's say someone with this ignorant mantality is lukrking this board. They see a thread about distillation, with procedures. This is only going to add fuel to their fire.
   I may be taking his post the wrong way, but I think this was the line of reasoning.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tschmidlin on October 18, 2010, 11:07:35 PM
I firmly believe it's possible, no desirable, for us to bring the discussion of home distillation out of the shadows and start to lobby for it to become legal. I understand that there are those in the anti-liquor, neo-prohibitionist, right wing that will be appalled by any such efforts, not to mention that the big liquor lobbyists would be up in arms...... but the discussion has to start somewhere.
I totally agree with this point Mark, I just don't think this is the place for that type of discussion.  I'm sure there are distillation message boards that would fully support this type of conversation, but then of course there you're just preaching to the choir.  That's not really helpful, is it?   :)
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: bonjour on October 18, 2010, 11:09:19 PM
At this time distilling is illegal. This board is supported by the AHA, We cannot support any illegal activity here. It is that simple.
Discussion of how to make it legal, that we can handle.  
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tumarkin on October 18, 2010, 11:10:01 PM

   I may be taking his post the wrong way, but I think this was the line of reasoning.

I don't think you're taking his post the wrong way. I understand the line of reasoning. I just don't agree with it.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: bluesman on October 18, 2010, 11:20:05 PM
I don't necessarily agree with this line of thinking.

  I think Denny' point is there are a lot of generalities about us as homebrewers. A lot of people think we are nothing but moonshiners. So, let's say someone with this ignorant mantality is lukrking this board. They see a thread about distillation, with procedures. This is only going to add fuel to their fire.
   I may be taking his post the wrong way, but I think this was the line of reasoning.

You are correct Weaz...This is exactly the reasoning behind the statement that Denny made.

I think we can all agree that we would like to see this process become legal on the "home" scale some day, and would like to to have discussions to the liking. However we do not intend to entertain discussions that stray from the legalities that confront us, more specifically "the distillation process".

Thanks for your cooperation.

Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: BrewArk on October 18, 2010, 11:26:14 PM
At this time distilling is illegal. This board is supported by the AHA, We cannot support any illegal activity here. It is that simple.
Discussion of how to make it legal, that we can handle.  

I've been homebrewing since the late '80s, and making mead and wine for a couple of years.  I've never really been interested in distilling myself.  

My sister & brother in-law have become partners in a boutique distillery: (here's the shameless plug) http://www.yeolgrogdistillery.com/ (http://www.yeolgrogdistillery.com/) that will hopefully be at market soon.

It can be done legally, there's just huge barriers to entry.  Given the nature of the product and process, I'd agree that it should be made more difficult to produce than beer or wine.  If that makes me a right wing neoprohibitionist - well that label would get quite a few laughs from the people that know me.

Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 19, 2010, 12:42:42 AM
Slivovica?
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: Mikey on October 19, 2010, 01:45:47 AM
Distilling can be legal, just like homebrewing can be illegal. Look at all of the people that openly posted here from states where brewing was/is illegal. Sorry, I don't buy the illegal argument as reason not to discuss it.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 19, 2010, 01:52:45 AM
Whatever the AHS's reason for not wanting us to discuss the process here, I respect, and hope everyone else feels the same way. As I stated before, I don't feel the reason is legalaties. The AHA is here to promote HOMEBREWING, not distilling. A large part of the population that does not brew, views it as one in the same. So, they don't want to give any so called "lurker on this board" any more reason to think we are rum runners. The right to home brew has been fought long and hard in many states, and  still happening in some. So, let's not give these guys with thier panties in a wad any more reason to think we are moonshiners, by discussing processes here.
   That bein said, I would just like to add, I like turtles.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: Mikey on October 19, 2010, 01:58:04 AM
I'm completely fine with following their rules, but as far as being referred to as a moonshiner, I think that's funny as hell and kind of enjoy it.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: uthristy on October 19, 2010, 01:06:42 PM
I'm completely fine with following their rules, but as far as being referred to as a moonshiner, I think that's funny as hell and kind of enjoy it.

Its all fun n games till the local cops bust in and charge you, yes you may win in the long run but at what cost?
Here in my part of Fla. moonshine is very real and hoping the cops would know the difference is asking alot. I made sure to tell everybody I brew beer and always offer samples to avoid any problems.

<snip>

So not everybody shares our love of beer and its best not to give them any ammo against the hobby.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: denny on October 19, 2010, 03:29:43 PM
I don't necessarily agree with this line of thinking.

  I think Denny' point is there are a lot of generalities about us as homebrewers. A lot of people think we are nothing but moonshiners. So, let's say someone with this ignorant mantality is lukrking this board. They see a thread about distillation, with procedures. This is only going to add fuel to their fire.
   I may be taking his post the wrong way, but I think this was the line of reasoning.

That's exactly it, Barry.  We have an uphill battle with many legislators trying to convince them that if they legalize homebrewing, they won't be creating moonshiners.  We don't want to add to that mistaken impression.  Frankly, I really wish one of you guys who are interested in this would create a place where you could all discuss it.  It's outside of the AHA's mission, and I'd rather not have it going on here.  That's my opinion only....
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: BrewArk on October 19, 2010, 05:03:31 PM
<snip>

That's exactly it, Barry.  We have an uphill battle with many legislators trying to convince them that if they legalize homebrewing, they won't be creating moonshiners.  We don't want to add to that mistaken impression.  Frankly, I really wish one of you guys who are interested in this would create a place where you could all discuss it.  It's outside of the AHA's mission, and I'd rather not have it going on here.  That's my opinion only....

Respectfully, I disagree.

If the mission is homebrewing and we want to stick to that, let's do it (TechTalk?).  If we are opening the box and going for barbeque, music, hockey, each other's health, etc. then I think distilling is just as valid.

I don't believe the majority of "lurkers" on the board are bored legislators.

Just my opinion.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: denny on October 19, 2010, 05:12:32 PM
The difference I see is that BBQ, music, health issues, etc. are legal.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 19, 2010, 05:19:34 PM
And not adding to the myth that homebrewers are up to anythnig shady.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: Hokerer on October 19, 2010, 05:45:38 PM
And not adding to the myth that homebrewers are up to anythnig shady.

Maybe not "shady" but could definitely be construed as "sinful". As in, some of that BBQ stuff looks absolutely sinfully good. :)
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tumarkin on October 19, 2010, 06:30:44 PM
And not adding to the myth that homebrewers are up to anythnig shady.

Well, if'n I was a moonshiner, I'd want to set my still up in the shade.

All jokes aside, I certainly understand the AHA concern about the discussion of distilling (from a hands-on technical viewpoint) and in regard to possible efforts to legalize distilling. Our mission & purpose are about beer and brewing, not distillation, wine-making, etc. I can see where some might think it's not in the interest of the organization, or even might be bad for our primary interests, to consider efforts to legalize home distillation.

On the other hand, there is a strong and direct tie in between beer and whisky distillation, not to mention cross-fertillization with whisky barrels being used to age beer and even in some cases beer barrels being used to age whisky. I firmly believe that if we homebrewers had the freedom to learn to safely distill at home, our creativity, experimentation and willingness to explore & push the limits would benefit the craft brewing industry and their ventures in distillation.

While this currently may be a minority opinion and interest, I'd like to see us continue our discussions here rather than take it to a distillation forum in the hopes that more home brewers may become interested in making home distillation legal. It may be a while before that would gain enough traction to become a goal of the AHA but we have to start somewhere. Its both an issue of freedom (and I think most home brewers are in favor of that) but also of huge p[otential benefit to our interest in alcoholic beverages. If I had a brewery, I'd like the freedom to brew, distill, make a mead or a wine, blend all of 'em (or some of /em) together - in short to follow my creativity and taste wherever it might lead.

That is not currently possible with our laws today, but I can dream about the time when it might be possible. If enough of us share that dream we can make it happen. If we discuss it, we might find that more share that dream in our organization than we suspect... and if not, then maybe we'll convince them that we have a viable plan, but only if we continue to discuss and build interest & consensus.

(how's that for diplomaticly stating the postition?)
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 19, 2010, 06:34:37 PM
Very well said. Thank you.

mrnate. Thats what I meant to say.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: bluesman on October 19, 2010, 06:39:47 PM
I can dream about the time when it might be possible. If enough of us share that dream we can make it happen. If we discuss it, we might find that more share that dream in our organization than we suspect... and if not, then maybe we'll convince them that we have a viable plan, but only if we continue to discuss and build interest & consensus.
(how's that for diplomaticly stating the postition?)

It is my hope that someday your dream will come true because without dreams there is no hope.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 19, 2010, 09:57:25 PM
And without questions, there are only statements. (or something like that)
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tumarkin on October 20, 2010, 11:22:21 AM
ok, so let's take this in a more 'pc' & socially acceptable direction for a bit..... apparently there are a bunch of us who love distilled products. what's your favorite(s)?

Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: beerocd on October 20, 2010, 11:35:05 AM
ok, so let's take this in a more 'pc' & socially acceptable direction for a bit..... apparently there are a bunch of us who love distilled products. what's your favorite(s)?

My favorites are the types that would come out of a pot-still as opposed to those from a fractionating column.
Slivovic for example is a very clean drink, but has lots of flavor. Vodka, is TOO clean and flavorless for me.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 20, 2010, 12:03:18 PM
1.Single Malt,

2.Bourbon,

3.Slivovitca.

There is a LOT more involved with the first two other than just distilling.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tumarkin on October 20, 2010, 12:46:47 PM
ok, so let's take this in a more 'pc' & socially acceptable direction for a bit..... apparently there are a bunch of us who love distilled products. what's your favorite(s)?

My favorites are the types that would come out of a pot-still as opposed to those from a fractionating column.
Slivovic for example is a very clean drink, but has lots of flavor. Vodka, is TOO clean and flavorless for me.

I don't think you'll get much disagreement on that. Flavor is why most of us brew our own beer. While my taste in liquor is pretty eclectic; my favorite, by far, is single malt whisky. Hard to narrow that down to a favorite, but Talisker ranks pretty high (as does Springbank, Highland Park, The Macallan, Ardbeg and many others). Really depends on my mood & the time/place.


Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: akr71 on October 20, 2010, 01:31:28 PM
1. single malt whisky (including Scotch)
2. congnac (brandy will do and is usually easier on the wallet)
3. rye or blended whisky
4. amber rum

I've never had the pleasure of trying a decent bourbon.  I'd bet that if I did, it would overtake rye in my list.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: 1vertical on October 20, 2010, 01:47:51 PM
I guess my favorite is Ole Purple Sack Head....

Crown Royal  It is just so smooth to me

Next is my recently discovered affinity for Cognac
but it is not ez on the ole pocketbook...triple distilled grape...
For all the distillation that happens to that grape, there is a LOT of flavor
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tygo on October 20, 2010, 02:00:04 PM
1) Single malt scotch (any, but especially Glenfiddich and Glenmorangie.  Or a good Islay if I'm in the right mood)
2) Bourbon
3) Blended scotch

I also enjoy a good vodka martini from time to time.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tschmidlin on October 20, 2010, 04:26:18 PM
I don't drink a lot of hard liquor, but when I do . . .

Gin and tonic - Bombay Sapphire, Pacific Voyager, Dry Fly
Whisky neat - Glenmorangie, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Macallan, Oban, etc.
Whiskey neat or with diet (including bourbon and rye), depending on how good it is
Spiced rum (with diet or other mixer)

There are some seasonal things we do, eggnog with whiskey and/or rum, bloody marys are a Thanksgiving morning tradition, apple jack with mulled apple cider for halloween, etc.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: beersk on October 20, 2010, 06:55:52 PM
Guys, distilling is not what this forum is about.  I'd appreciate it if this topic is dropped.

  Sorry Denny. Didn't mean to cause a stir. I really gotta stop watching the History channel. It give me all kinds of ideas. You shoulda seen me the first season of Meteorite Men was on!!!  ;D

No because this is what the government would want: stupid, ignorant obedient citizens. 

Distilling, to me, isn't worth the effort.  The cost-benefit analysis of distilling vs. going out and buying your own bottle of whiskey is a clear choice.  It's cheaper, easier, and less work to buy your own, not make your own.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: beersk on October 20, 2010, 06:58:12 PM
After much discussion, this thread will allowed to continue as long as the content doesn't stray into the distillation process.  This corresponds with the trend of breweries getting involved with distillation.  We've put a lot of effort into disproving the notion that homebrewers are moonshiners and don't feel that the organization as a whole benefits from discussions that confuse that effort.

Why is everyone so afraid to talk about this?  This isn't Nazi Germany for crying out loud.  Freedom of Speech!  Stand up for your First Amendment rights!
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tumarkin on October 20, 2010, 07:07:46 PM
Old news, we are continuing to talk about it, and with the reserved blessings of the mods & AHA powers-that-be.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: beersk on October 20, 2010, 07:14:38 PM
Old news, we are continuing to talk about it, and with the reserved blessings of the mods & AHA powers-that-be.

I know, but I just get so annoyed about people always looking over their shoulders afraid to say something that might be frowned upon.  I'm glad they're allowing it to be discussed.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: denny on October 20, 2010, 07:47:10 PM
Old news, we are continuing to talk about it, and with the reserved blessings of the mods & AHA powers-that-be.

I know, but I just get so annoyed about people always looking over their shoulders afraid to say something that might be frowned upon.  I'm glad they're allowing it to be discussed.

Look, I was an anarchist before you were born, but this isn't the right place for parts of this discussion.  That's all I'm trying to say.  We're all guests here and we all should do as our hosts ask.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tumarkin on October 20, 2010, 08:00:09 PM
[Look, I was an anarchist before you were born, but this isn't the right place for parts of this discussion.  That's all I'm trying to say.  We're all guests here and we all should do as our hosts ask.

Agreed, and what's the favorite distilled beverage of this particular anarchist?
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: denny on October 20, 2010, 08:07:03 PM
[Look, I was an anarchist before you were born, but this isn't the right place for parts of this discussion.  That's all I'm trying to say.  We're all guests here and we all should do as our hosts ask.

Agreed, and what's the favorite distilled beverage of this particular anarchist?

I used to be a gin and tonic drinker before I discovered homebrewing, but I can't remember the last time I drank liquor.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: bluesman on October 20, 2010, 08:17:59 PM
...and if we can't keep this thread in line...

we might drive Denny down to the still.  ;D

So let's behave.  ;)
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tschmidlin on October 20, 2010, 08:37:04 PM
After much discussion, this thread will allowed to continue as long as the content doesn't stray into the distillation process.  This corresponds with the trend of breweries getting involved with distillation.  We've put a lot of effort into disproving the notion that homebrewers are moonshiners and don't feel that the organization as a whole benefits from discussions that confuse that effort.

Why is everyone so afraid to talk about this?  This isn't Nazi Germany for crying out loud.  Freedom of Speech!  Stand up for your First Amendment rights!
First of all, Godwin's Law.

Second of all, you know what makes me crazy?  People who don't understand the First Amendment.

Freedom of speech only refers to the government restricting speech.  Not your employer, not business owners, and certainly not moderators on an internet message board.  You have no right to free speech on this board.

Now where were we?  Oh yes, anarchy.  Denny, were you responsible for the WTO riots in Seattle?   ;D
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 20, 2010, 08:42:17 PM
Look, I was an anarchist before you were born, but this isn't the right place for parts of this discussion.  That's all I'm trying to say.  We're all guests here and we all should do as our hosts ask.

Denny - I'd like to think we're all members.  Not that membership confers a right to flaunt rules, but it is very different than being a guest.

That being said, I don't really have anything to add to the discussion and tend to agree with the concerns/guidelines you've put out there.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: denny on October 20, 2010, 08:55:13 PM
Denny - I'd like to think we're all members.  Not that membership confers a right to flaunt rules, but it is very different than being a guest.

Darn good point.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: a10t2 on October 20, 2010, 09:19:12 PM
Distilling, to me, isn't worth the effort.  The cost-benefit analysis of distilling vs. going out and buying your own bottle of whiskey is a clear choice.  It's cheaper, easier, and less work to buy your own, not make your own.

Isn't that true of brewing as well?
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: denny on October 20, 2010, 09:35:14 PM
Now where were we?  Oh yes, anarchy.  Denny, were you responsible for the WTO riots in Seattle?   ;D

Nah, I was an upstanding hippie businessman by that point.  Those were just kids!   :)
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 20, 2010, 10:01:35 PM
Nah, I was an upstanding hippie businessman by that point. 

Now there's an oxymoron.
 
I'm into Elijah Craig, whiskey sours, gin and tonic, and (flame suit on) Red Stag. Man that stuff is good on the rocks!!
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: denny on October 20, 2010, 10:07:47 PM
Nah, I was an upstanding hippie businessman by that point. 

Now there's an oxymoron.

Not if you live in Eugene!   :D
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tubercle on October 20, 2010, 10:18:47 PM
Look, I was an anarchist before you were born...

 That's funny right there. Hell, I got 8 track tapes older than most folks on here myself ;D

 Tubercle hasn't joined in this illicit discussion so far because, thank goodness, there ain't any illegal distilling going on in South Carolina. ;)
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: Mikey on October 21, 2010, 12:00:34 AM
Look, I was an anarchist before you were born...

 That's funny right there. Hell, I got 8 track tapes older than most folks on here myself ;D

 Tubercle hasn't joined in this illicit discussion so far because, thank goodness, there ain't any illegal distilling going on in South Carolina. ;)

"The tendency to refer to oneself in the third person is often viewed by psychologists as a symptom of narcissism". :D
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 21, 2010, 12:59:19 AM

"The tendency to refer to oneself in the third person is often viewed by psychologists as a symptom of narcissism". :D

 The Weaze does not agree.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: SwashBuckling Drunk on October 21, 2010, 01:36:50 AM
Nah, I was an upstanding hippie businessman by that point. 

Now there's an oxymoron.

Not if you live in Eugene!   :D

My wife and I lived in Eugene when we got married.  We got married at the little stone shelter up on Cape Perpetua (small, intimate setting on the Oregon coast).  After the ceremony, my father-in-law (a cool, retired union sheetmetal man from St Louis) shook my hand and said to everyone "I'm just glad your not one of those damn Eugene guys".  Needless to say, the crowd was roaring.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: bluesman on October 21, 2010, 02:36:29 AM

"The tendency to refer to oneself in the third person is often viewed by psychologists as a symptom of narcissism". :D

 The Weaze does not agree.

The bluesman is ROTFLHAO.  ;)
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: punatic on October 21, 2010, 02:38:42 AM
Until Jimmy Carter legalized homebrewing in 1979 making your own beer was against the law too.  It seems funny to me that some homebrewers find discussing distilling objectionable.  To me it's the next step in the process.  A big part of distilling is the fermentation process that comes first.

Yes distilling alcohol is illegal in the U.S.  The big taboo is that the US Treasurery Department feels that ALL distilled spirits must be taxed; in other words, lost tax revenue.  Are they overly concerned about lost revenue from homemade beer, mead or wine?  Talking about distilling is not illegal.  

There is a great deal of misinformation about distilling and distilled spirits out there; even more so than misinformation about homebrewed beer. Think about the misinformation you encounter about homebrewing, then take the stories you hear about distilling with a grain of salt.  Very high quality distilled spirits can be made on a small scale.  With a bit of caution, the chance of hurting oneself or others can be reduced to zero; much the same as using glass carboys for fermenting safely.

Craft distilling is taking off now like craft brewing did 20-30 years ago.  That's very exciting!  Home distilling is legal in some countries, including New Zealand.  I think it can be legalized in the U.S. too if people make the effort to educate the public and dispel the ubiquitous myths surrounding home distilling.

Perhaps Denny is right.  This may not be the right forum for discussing distillation.  
Tony Ackland of New Zealand has put together an excellent home distillers’ forum at:
http://www.homedistiller.org/

Another excellent forum is the Artisan Distiller at:
http://www.artisan-distiller.org/
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: Mikey on October 21, 2010, 02:46:42 AM
+1 Punatic.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: punatic on October 21, 2010, 04:00:08 AM
Oh yeah... did I mention, the first rule of Fight Club is you don't talk about Fight Club? ;)
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: beersk on October 21, 2010, 04:23:06 AM
Distilling, to me, isn't worth the effort.  The cost-benefit analysis of distilling vs. going out and buying your own bottle of whiskey is a clear choice.  It's cheaper, easier, and less work to buy your own, not make your own.

Isn't that true of brewing as well?

From what I gathered by talking to a guy once who distilled his own spirits, it's A LOT of work. Homebrewing gains you way more than buying beer.  Distilling your own gains you way less than buying your own.  You might get higher quality, but it's gonna cost ya.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: a10t2 on October 21, 2010, 04:28:35 AM
True. The aging requirements alone (for whiskey, anyway) are a pretty significant barrier to entry.

I was just saying that I don't think you can justify homebrewing from a cost-benefit perspective.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tschmidlin on October 21, 2010, 04:48:16 AM
Now where were we?  Oh yes, anarchy.  Denny, were you responsible for the WTO riots in Seattle?   ;D

Nah, I was an upstanding hippie businessman by that point.  Those were just kids!   :)
Your minions though, right?  ;)
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: punatic on October 21, 2010, 05:00:05 AM
Distilling, to me, isn't worth the effort.  The cost-benefit analysis of distilling vs. going out and buying your own bottle of whiskey is a clear choice.  It's cheaper, easier, and less work to buy your own, not make your own.

Isn't that true of brewing as well?

From what I gathered by talking to a guy once who distilled his own spirits, it's A LOT of work. Homebrewing gains you way more than buying beer.  Distilling your own gains you way less than buying your own.  You might get higher quality, but it's gonna cost ya.

"Talking to a guy once," should not be the sole source of decision making information.
Is brewing a LOT of work?  What if distilling was less work and at least as enjoyable?
On what do you base your conclusion that "distilling your own gains you way less than buying your own"?
What if you could make a beverage that didn't give you hangovers? (read congener free)
Is high-end quality 100 proof vodka at $2.50 a litre what you mean by, "It's gonna cost ya"?

Perhaps a bit of reading might change your mind... (see the links in my previous post)
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: punatic on October 21, 2010, 05:21:18 AM
True. The aging requirements alone (for whiskey, anyway) are a pretty significant barrier to entry.

I was just saying that I don't think you can justify homebrewing from a cost-benefit perspective.

Legally, in the U.S. to be sold as whiskey, it must be aged in oak barrels for at least three years.
Are you looking to sell legal whiskey?
Cost-benefit perspective?  On a hobby?  Really?
Research, or better yet try some (legally available) White Dog whiskey. 
Young, non-oaked, unhopped, distilled, beer.
YUM!
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 21, 2010, 05:57:25 AM

Cost-benefit perspective?  On a hobby?  Really?


This has been a sore spot with me for a while, and it's good to see someone who shares my view.  People are worried about it being cost effective. Weather homebrewing is cost effective or not has no relevance. It's a HOBBY. What homebrewer, or even distiller for that matter has ever said, "well, I started making my own, because i'm such a lush, it's cheaper." No one!! We do it becuase we enjoy it.
  Does a guy take flying lessons, buy a plane, pay for storage and upkeep, and fuel on it, because it's cheaper than buying a 300$ ticket? NO WAY!! It's hobby. It's something to be enjoyed. Cost effectiveness is irrelavant.
  There, now my rant is over. This is a topic that comes up time and again that really bugs me! Back to your regularly scheduled distilling thread.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: punatic on October 21, 2010, 06:14:09 AM
Nicely said weazletoe.

BTW it's still Wednesday here, but I am in agreement with your signature and avatar.  Lucky ting I live Hawaii!

Regarding your name... is that kinda like camel toe?  :o
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: phillamb168 on October 21, 2010, 08:00:50 AM
http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/10/scotch-and-chocolate-pairings.html

For the whisky tangent we went off on earlier ^^^

Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: bluesman on October 21, 2010, 10:31:04 AM
I'm alomost afraid to add up the costs of supplies, equipment, association dues, ingredients etc... that I spend in a year on homebrewing.  Not to mention the cost for me to fly across the country and stay in San Diego next year for NHC.  It would be a whole hell of alot cheaper for me to just go out and buy 12 cases of Dogfish Head 60 than for what I spend homebrewing in a year.  Honestly...cost is probably the last consideration for me.  I enjoy homebrewing...it's my hobby and a big part of my life.

Distilling would probably follow the same vein...at least that's my guess.

Let's just leave it at that.

Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tumarkin on October 21, 2010, 11:17:56 AM
Punatic, I like where you're coming from (and I don't mean Hawaii, although I like that too).

As to aging, it is both time consuming and expensive. But it's one of the keys to making great whisky. A keg loses about 2% a year, so a 12 yr single malt lost almost 25% of the original volume to aging. This loss is called the Angel's Share (one of the most poetical descriptions, gotta love it!).

Cost is not the issue, as Weaze said.... it's a HOBBY. Cost isn't the issue (well, let's be honest, it is an issue, but we don't let it stop us). It's all about the process, the quality, and the satisfaction we get from making our own..... whether it's beer, whisky, cooking, bbq, woodwork, music, .......whatever our hobbies are.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: punatic on October 21, 2010, 02:02:42 PM
One of the top stories on the AHA website is Homebrewing is Legal in Kentucky Now!  Right on!

Just a thought... Were homebrewers in Kentucky discouraged from participating in this forum before homebrewing was legalized there?  

One of the greatest strengths of our country is that we have the right, and the means to change laws that we believe are unjust or do not make sense.  One of the great strengths of the Brewers Association is being an advocate and a lobby for changing laws we believe are unjust or do not make sense.

How can we work towards making changes if the subject of the change is discouraged from being discussed?

Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: a10t2 on October 21, 2010, 02:43:09 PM
This has been a sore spot with me for a while, and it's good to see someone who shares my view.

Yes, it's good to know we all agree that brewing is a worthwhile hobby even though it isn't cost-effective. Then again, since we're all brewers, we already knew that. ;)
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: denny on October 21, 2010, 02:50:55 PM
Just a thought... Were homebrewers in Kentucky discouraged from participating in this forum before homebrewing was legalized there?

Not at all, because this forum is about homebrewing.  It's NOT about distilling.  That's the difference.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: Mikey on October 21, 2010, 02:53:10 PM
Just a thought... Were homebrewers in Kentucky discouraged from participating in this forum before homebrewing was legalized there?

Not at all, because this forum is about homebrewing.  It's NOT about distilling.  That's the difference.

But, by definition the Pub is "A place for discussion of not strictly beer related topics."
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: dbeechum on October 21, 2010, 03:05:06 PM
Here's my take away on things. The AHA has a core mission - finish legalizing homebrewing in all 50 states. Beyond that we have other goals like make sure that everyone can freely use their homebrew in manners consistent with how the heck we use it. (e.g. take it a club meeting, comps, your neighbors fourth of july party), shipping, etc.

I suspect there's a healthy, but not overwhelming, percentage of the membership that would think it fun to dabble in distilling. Since homebrewers already get the gimlet eye from some folks, including those in legislative branches around the country, wouldn't it be more fruitful to our goals to not foster discussion on a topic that distracts from and could be used against them?

Who knows, in the future, maybe there'll be an organization that attempts to crack the federal nut around distillation, but that's not this group right now.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: Steve on October 21, 2010, 03:41:36 PM
After much discussion, this thread will allowed to continue as long as the content doesn't stray into the distillation process.  This corresponds with the trend of breweries getting involved with distillation.  We've put a lot of effort into disproving the notion that homebrewers are moonshiners and don't feel that the organization as a whole benefits from discussions that confuse that effort.

     We are homebrewers and not moonshiners.  This forum is provided to AHA members and those interested in the hobby of homebrewing, not those of the IMA (Illegal Moonshiners Association).  Despite free speech, we must respect the laws, which also protects our rights as homebrewers.

Perhaps Denny is right.  This may not be the right forum for discussing distillation. 
 
     If anyone in this topic or forum is interested in discussing the process of distilling, altering taxation policy or changing the laws pertaining to home distillation, please share your views on the distillation forums which punatic displayed in his reply where it's an appropriate topic of discussion.

Keep the AHA forum topics on legal homebrewing and not on currently illegal pastimes.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 21, 2010, 06:36:13 PM
Yes, it's good to know we all agree that brewing is a worthwhile hobby even though it isn't cost-effective. Then again, since we're all brewers, we already knew that. ;)

Off topic, and maybe for another thread, but I'm curious as to why everyone feels that homebrewing is not cost effective.

Setting aside the cost of equipment (a sunk cost at this point) and the cost of my time (what else would I be doing?), I can definitely make 5 gallons of very good Belgian-style ale for MUCH cheaper than it would cost me to purchase 5 gallons of Belgian-style ale.  I brew mostly Belgians these days, but I'm pretty certain this would work out for just about ANY style.

Perhaps it's the ludicrous tax burden we bear here in Cook County?
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 21, 2010, 06:56:32 PM
Distilling, to me, isn't worth the effort.  The cost-benefit analysis of distilling vs. going out and buying your own bottle of whiskey is a clear choice.  It's cheaper, easier, and less work to buy your own, not make your own.

Isn't that true of brewing as well?

From what I gathered by talking to a guy once who distilled his own spirits, it's A LOT of work. Homebrewing gains you way more than buying beer.  Distilling your own gains you way less than buying your own.  You might get higher quality, but it's gonna cost ya.

Hey beersk, Didnt you say something like "it isnt all about the money" in that thread about selling Coors in a brewpub? I just figured you were rich and would open a brew pub for philanthropic reasons.  ;D

Any way, if I could legally distill I would first build a beautiful still, BEAUTIFUL. Then I would spend a couple of years perfecting some whiskey recipes. Pic one to be a single malt. Then I would buy the finest oak barrels and fill them.

Then I would study some nautical maps.Get someone with a boat to help me take them out to sea and then anchor them on the bottom in perhaps hidden location. After 10 years (should I survive) I would go back to retrieve a couple of barrels.

So it certainly wouldn't be about saving money with me. Still, I think I could pull it off on a reasonable budget.

Problem is I am running out of time to realistically do this. Its important to me that they change the law soon or my dream may never be realized.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: punatic on October 21, 2010, 07:00:17 PM
Whiskey is essentially distilled beer.  The next logical step in the process.  Many of us brewers think about that.  Many follow that path - like a hero of mine, Fritz Maytag:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6-93Iuupfs
and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRYWNfSM8R4&feature=related
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: a10t2 on October 21, 2010, 07:00:29 PM
Off topic, and maybe for another thread, but I'm curious as to why everyone feels that homebrewing is not cost effective.

Just the time involved. Obviously that's a crazy way to look at any hobby, but if we're talking about a true cost-benefit analysis, you'd have to include a fair value for what your time is worth. Which is why I was saying it's unreasonable to think that about distilling, but not brewing.

Actually, even the equipment costs can be amortized fairly quickly. I've probably invested more in the equipment than most (just under $2000) and after 48 batches the equipment and ingredients are under $1 per 12 fl oz.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 21, 2010, 09:04:46 PM
I don't know that I even see the time as a cost, at least monetarily.  It's an opportunity cost, in that I could be doing something else with my time, but since I'd rather be brewing it's also a benefit (not to mention the great smell of malt and hops that fills the house).  I'm brewing in off hours (weekends and evenings) when I'm not getting paid anyway.  Could I be raking leaves?  Working out? Sure, but I enjoy brewing a whole lot more.

Most of my equipment (and I don't really have anything fancy, so that's a consideration) would have been amortized in the 90's...

Honestly, every time I spend $50 for beer at the liquor store I think, damn I could've brewed 5 gallons for that!  Add in (or subtract) re-using yeast and I think homebrewing is pretty darn efficient.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: beersk on October 21, 2010, 09:18:07 PM
Distilling, to me, isn't worth the effort.  The cost-benefit analysis of distilling vs. going out and buying your own bottle of whiskey is a clear choice.  It's cheaper, easier, and less work to buy your own, not make your own.

Isn't that true of brewing as well?

From what I gathered by talking to a guy once who distilled his own spirits, it's A LOT of work. Homebrewing gains you way more than buying beer.  Distilling your own gains you way less than buying your own.  You might get higher quality, but it's gonna cost ya.

Hey beersk, Didnt you say something like "it isnt all about the money" in that thread about selling Coors in a brewpub? I just figured you were rich and would open a brew pub for philanthropic reasons.  ;D


Ahhhh shat up!!!  jk :)

By "cost ya" I was more talking about the process of distillation which can take HOURS.  Brewing doesn't take 12 hours, at least not for me.  And I've heard it can take longer than that if you're wanting more quality stuff than you can buy.  I'm just sayin...y'all can distill all ya want, it's not worth it to me. 
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 21, 2010, 09:32:51 PM
Indeed it takes time consumption to a new level. But for some that just wont matter.It would be a labor of love, taking beer to the next level, spending hours even years.

But generally that is what a hobby is about.

Guess it depends what you are in it for.

Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tubercle on October 21, 2010, 10:28:07 PM
"The tendency to refer to oneself in the third person is often viewed by psychologists as a symptom of narcissism". :D

 Tubercle's court appointed psychiatrist told him once "you need to love yourself more".  Tubercle said "Dang! I'm up to 3 times a day now!" :-\

 On a serious note, somebody said something about taxes, blah, blah, blah.

 This country (the USA, that is) fought it's own countrymen to gain freedom from oppressive taxes. One of the first acts of the new gov't was to lay a new tax...on whiskey. I don't know the numbers but I'm sure the revenue is significant from distilled spirits and that won't be going away soon. Most laws read "the manufacture, possession or distribution of untaxed liquor".   

Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 21, 2010, 10:47:02 PM
 I just want to say, I n my opinion, this is one of the most interesting topics I've seen discussed here, thats' not beer related. Thank you, AHA & mods, for keeping it open. See? We told you we could play nice!  ;D
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 21, 2010, 10:57:45 PM
But it is beer related. Whiskey is distilled beer.

Just checkout punatic's videos.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: punatic on October 21, 2010, 11:57:02 PM
From the TTB.gov website - federal tax rate on all distilled spirits is $13.50 per proof gallon - which translates to $2.14 per 750mL bottle of 80 proof spirits.

"A proof gallon is a gallon of liquid that is 100 proof, or 50% alcohol. The tax is adjusted, depending on the percentage of alcohol of the product."

To keep it relevant, do you know what amount of federal taxes you pay on purchased beer?  Take a look at the tax chart at the TTB.gov website:
http://www.ttb.gov/tax_audit/atftaxes.shtml
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 22, 2010, 01:54:07 AM
If you want to look at it in economist terms, think of the amount your paying in "rents" extracted at every level.  Particularly with the archaic distributorship laws.  Everyone gets their piece and the consumer pays an inflated prices.

I prefer not to dwell on taxes, as I live in Chicago and the taxes are high and climbing.  And property tax bills come out soon.  High and climbing.  But now we've moved on to taxes, which is not beer related...
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 23, 2010, 01:26:25 AM
OOO here is another good one from Fritz Maytag.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkDMXYBQ5mQ
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: punatic on October 23, 2010, 09:41:34 AM
Thanks for the link capozzoli.  Good stuff! 

Another hero of mine was intrigued with the beer - whiskey relationship.  Michael Jackson.  I have learned much on both subjects from him.

BTW, you bear a striking resemblance to Julia Child... 
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: capozzoli on October 23, 2010, 12:00:19 PM
I get that a lot.

And may I point out that you look a lot like the Tiki on the Hawaii Brady bunch two part episode.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: animaldoc on October 23, 2010, 01:22:47 PM
Setting aside the cost of equipment (a sunk cost at this point) and the cost of my time (what else would I be doing?), I can definitely make 5 gallons of very good Belgian-style ale for MUCH cheaper than it would cost me to purchase 5 gallons of Belgian-style ale.  I brew mostly Belgians these days, but I'm pretty certain this would work out for just about ANY style.

   Aaah, but you cannot "set aside" these factors.  They *are* costs of production of your homebrew ....  you can choose to discount your time ("donate" it to the cause), but as I think was previously mentioned there is an "opportunity cost" -- something else you could be doing, possibly for profit ........ the cost of equipment can be amortized down fairly well but still has been offered up as $1 per 12oz ......

  ..... but these costs are part of what makes up the price of the commercial beer that you buy.  A direct comparison is not possible without factoring in these expenses.  What you are looking at is more the "marginal cost" - how much additional cost am I incurring to manufacture the next unit of product - which is simply the cost of the raw materials used in production if all additional expenses are fixed (ie you don't have to buy more equipment or hire another employee to make the next unit)

-- Scott
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: beerocd on October 23, 2010, 02:52:38 PM
Been a while since one of these discussions came up.

If you analyze everything - it's soon not worth doing anything. The cost of your kitchen, taken as a percentage of your mortgage, and all the equipment in it - then the cost of your time to shop, prep, and cook. You should NEVER eat at home by that line of reasoning.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: denny on October 23, 2010, 03:35:39 PM
If you analyze everything - it's soon not worth doing anything.

That's only true if you consider cost the only reason to do things.  I fully recognize the cost of homebrewing in terms of equipment, ingredients, and time...but I don't care.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: beerocd on October 23, 2010, 04:02:12 PM
That's only true if you consider cost the only reason to do things.

Well, that's the direction the conversation was going. Why analyze if you don't care?

If your equipment is 5 years old or more - it's fully depreciated. So we can get back to consumables only comparisons.
Then we can compare where we get grains, utility costs, efficiency, thermal dynamics, blah blah blah.

I boiled my beer in one of these this weekend
(http://www.festivals-and-shows.com/images/kettle-popper-80-quart-kettle-corn-machine-1500-obo-new-york-ny-21322042.jpg)
10 years old and no diamond plate. It adds no equipment costs to the beer.

If a Doctor makes a beer, and a McDonald's worker both make the same beer - is the Doctors beer "worth" more? So we should agree upon a reasonable cost per hour to pay ourselves for brewing and if we're all getting paid the same, then we can leave it out of the equation.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: narvin on October 23, 2010, 04:17:40 PM
I'm salaried, and I don't mow lawns or babysit on the weekend for extra cash. The opportunity cost of brewing, watching tv, or laying in bed all day is the same - $0.  That said, I still wouldn't brew if I didn't like beer and didn't like creating things.  At this point, I could take or leave the process and all the cleaning though.

Plus, if I wasn't spending my hobby money on brewing equipment, I'd probably be doing something else costly would my time like collecting old pinball machines or antique wigs.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 23, 2010, 05:54:26 PM
I'm just saying, I can spend $50 to buy four bottles of Chimay, or I can spend $50 to brew 5 gallons.

The choice is clear, and I think it's cost effective.  Not that I won't buy Chimay now and then just to have the real deal.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: tumarkin on October 23, 2010, 06:05:03 PM
and if you're going to distill (should it ever become legal to do at home), you'll have all those equipment costs, opportunity costs, materials costs as well. plus you have to build or buy your still, still more cost (pun intended). and if you want to make whisky, you'll also have the cost of barrels, storage, etc. I'm with Denny, I recognize the costs, but I don't care. This is my hobby, and compared to fishing, golf, flying, etc, it's relatively cheap.

an additional cost with whisky, is the angels share (in addition to the real cost of cooperage & storage space). you lose approx 2% a year in the barrel. I suspect you'd lose more in a small barrel, more surface in contact with the wood relative to total volume. but using the 2% figure, that means you're losing almost 25% of your whisky when aging to a standard 12 years. Totally scary when you contemplate a 21, 25, 30 yr whisky (or older). makes you realize why those whiskies are so expensive.

beer or whisky; you're not going to make a comparable product without significant expense. either it's worth it to you or it's not.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: punatic on October 23, 2010, 07:38:40 PM
If you look at the home distiller forums you will see that those who are making whiskey in places where home distilling is legal, are making distilled mash beverages that they consider to be equal or better than whiskey that they purchase.  However, they are not constrained by producing whiskey to legal standards, i.e. 3 years aging in oak barrels, maximum proof limit for aging, etc. Certainly there are those who enjoy following the traditional methods, but as with homebrewing, ingenuity makes for some interesting and creative hobbying.

From what I see on those forums, home distillers are pretty much the same as homebrewers when it comes to their equipment; many build their own, and many purchase theirs, legally, from homebrew/home distiller suppliers right here in the US.  One supply store located in the Denver area operates legally and in the open.  Their staff is very knowledgeable and helpful.

The first half of distilling is homebrewing.  When home distilling becomes legal (I think when not if), homebrewers will be leading the way.   The state of craft distilling is very much now like the state of craft brewing 20-30 years ago.

We as homebrewers take pride in being rebels of a sort.  We like to think out of the box and explore our creativity.  It is very surprising to me that many homebrewers have such an unfavorable idea of distilling.  If that attitude had been directed at homebrewing, we would still be brewing in secret with a can of PBR malt extract, 10 lbs of sugar, and bread yeast - fermented in plastic garbage cans.

As far as people giving homebrewing the gimlet-eye, when I encounter that attitude I take it as a challenge and an opportunity to educate the unknowing on what a great, and legal, hobby homebrewing is.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: punatic on October 23, 2010, 08:00:31 PM
And may I point out that you look a lot like the Tiki on the Hawaii Brady bunch two part episode.

That was my cousin Kimo in O`ahu.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 24, 2010, 02:05:20 AM
Setting aside the cost of equipment (a sunk cost at this point) and the cost of my time (what else would I be doing?), I can definitely make 5 gallons of very good Belgian-style ale for MUCH cheaper than it would cost me to purchase 5 gallons of Belgian-style ale.  I brew mostly Belgians these days, but I'm pretty certain this would work out for just about ANY style.

   Aaah, but you cannot "set aside" these factors.  They *are* costs of production of your homebrew ....  you can choose to discount your time ("donate" it to the cause), but as I think was previously mentioned there is an "opportunity cost" -- something else you could be doing, possibly for profit ........ the cost of equipment can be amortized down fairly well but still has been offered up as $1 per 12oz ......

  ..... but these costs are part of what makes up the price of the commercial beer that you buy.  A direct comparison is not possible without factoring in these expenses.  What you are looking at is more the "marginal cost" - how much additional cost am I incurring to manufacture the next unit of product - which is simply the cost of the raw materials used in production if all additional expenses are fixed (ie you don't have to buy more equipment or hire another employee to make the next unit)

-- Scott
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: weazletoe on October 24, 2010, 02:10:28 AM
]

   Aaah, but you cannot "set aside" these factors.  They *are* costs of production of your homebrew ....-- Scott


  It's our hobby! Why would we care about the cost effectiveness of it? With the excption of Major, I don't think anyone here is doing this to try and turn a profit, or have it pay for itself. It's a hobby!!
   My wife makes stained glass artwork. If she wants to decorate with a piece of glass work, it's a whole heck of al ot cheaper for her to buy one at that store, than to make one. And figure her tools and equiptment in, it's MUCH cheaper to buy a premade piece of art. She does not do it to save money on stained glass art, she makes it for the enjoyment. Why are so many here hung on wheather or not it's cheaper to buy or make beer? If you have fun doing it, it does not matter what the cost, you just do it.
Title: Re: Distilling
Post by: Slowbrew on November 02, 2010, 03:49:59 PM
As has been said before, Weizz has a good point and one that think we have all dealt with in terms of our hobby.  I don't brew because it's cheap.  It's the first myth I dispel when speaking with people who are considering getting into brewing.  Every hobby has costs. 

No one has ever been able to cost justify golf to me.  Hundreds of dollars (minimum) in equipment, $50, $75+ every time you play and most golfers leave the course frustrated and/or upset about their game.  If someone can show me how that is economical I'll be impressed.  The difference is, no one who plays golf cares about the cost, they care about the game.

It doesn't matter what your hobby is.  Priced #1 Grade tight grained oak lately?

If distilling is ever legal, I'll be there with my kids giving it a try.  If not, well, the liquor store is just down the street.

Paul