Author Topic: Distilling  (Read 7725 times)

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Distilling
« Reply #120 on: October 21, 2010, 11:36:13 AM »
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?
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Offline capozzoli

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Re: Distilling
« Reply #121 on: October 21, 2010, 11:56:32 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.

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.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Distilling
« Reply #122 on: October 21, 2010, 12:00:17 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
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 12:03:50 PM by punatic »
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Distilling
« Reply #123 on: October 21, 2010, 12:00:29 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.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Distilling
« Reply #124 on: October 21, 2010, 02:04:46 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.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline beersk

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Re: Distilling
« Reply #125 on: October 21, 2010, 02:18:07 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. 
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Offline capozzoli

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Re: Distilling
« Reply #126 on: October 21, 2010, 02:32:51 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.

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Offline tubercle

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Re: Distilling
« Reply #127 on: October 21, 2010, 03:28:07 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".   

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Offline weazletoe

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Re: Distilling
« Reply #128 on: October 21, 2010, 03:47:02 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
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Offline capozzoli

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Re: Distilling
« Reply #129 on: October 21, 2010, 03:57:45 PM »
But it is beer related. Whiskey is distilled beer.

Just checkout punatic's videos.
Beer, its whats for dinner.

http://theholyravioli.blogspot.com/

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Offline punatic

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Re: Distilling
« Reply #130 on: October 21, 2010, 04:57:02 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
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Distilling
« Reply #131 on: October 21, 2010, 06:54:07 PM »
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...
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline capozzoli

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Re: Distilling
« Reply #132 on: October 22, 2010, 06:26:25 PM »
OOO here is another good one from Fritz Maytag.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkDMXYBQ5mQ
Beer, its whats for dinner.

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Offline punatic

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Re: Distilling
« Reply #133 on: October 23, 2010, 02:41:34 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... 
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Offline capozzoli

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Re: Distilling
« Reply #134 on: October 23, 2010, 05:00:19 AM »
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.
Beer, its whats for dinner.

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