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How do I start my own Distillery??

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  • Ryan
    I am very interested in starting my own distillery for personal use but I may want to venture into starting my own business... Any info anyone has would be
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 28, 2006
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      I am very interested in starting my own distillery for personal use
      but I may want to venture into starting my own business... Any info
      anyone has would be greatfully excepted.. I am in the US so if anyone
      has a clue on how to deal with the ATF that woul d be great also.

      Thanks,
      Ryan
    • Larry
      ... If you want to drink it yourself, the simple way to do it is to get a permit to distill less than 10,000 gallons of ethanol for fuel, and divert a little
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 29, 2006
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        At 09:45 PM 07/28/2006, you wrote:

        >I am very interested in starting my own distillery for personal use
        >but I may want to venture into starting my own business... Any info
        >anyone has would be greatfully excepted.. I am in the US so if anyone
        >has a clue on how to deal with the ATF that would be great also.

        If you want to drink it yourself, the simple way to do it is to get a
        permit to distill less than 10,000 gallons of ethanol for fuel, and divert
        a little for your own consumption, or just forget about it and distill for
        your own use illegally.

        Wine and beer can be made for home use (up to 100 gallons/year), but
        distilling, even for home consumption, is a different matter. You can ONLY
        make fuel alcohol, nothing for consumption. Everything you distill must be
        denatured (poisoned).

        You don't have to denature it until it leaves your premises, but you must
        be able to demonstrate that you have a way to poison it before it leaves
        your premises. Simply mixing gasoline in with it will do the trick.

        Of course it's illegal to be drinking what you're distilling as fuel, but
        so long as you're only drinking it yourself, at the place where it's being
        made for fuel, you'd be pretty hard to catch at it.

        Carrying it around to parties, and (especially) selling it, puts you into a
        different risk-level.

        If you got a fuel permit, and if the ATF made a surprise visit to inspect,
        it probably wouldn't be a good idea to have some of your fuel sitting
        around aging in oaken kegs or barrels, or gallon jugs with toasted oak-chips...

        Mostly, I hear that the ATF doesn't make any unusual efforts to arrest
        small home-moonshiners because it costs so much in time and materials to
        make moonshine that it's a losing proposition to be out trying to compete
        with major distilleries selling it... they have things so efficient that a
        moonshiner winds up working for less than minimum wage if he's trying to
        sell at competitive prices.

        From what I understand, the fuel permits aren't hard to get, so long as
        you have a stillhouse that's separate from your residence, and not too
        close to anyone else's house, either.

        If you're making it on your kitchen stove, a permit isn't going to be
        forthcoming, for saftey reasons. Also, the permit DOES alert ATF that you
        might need the occasional surprise inspection.

        If you own your own business, and use your ethanol in your company
        vehicle(s), OR if you sell E85, you can get tax breaks, meaning that the
        government will essentially pay you to use your still.

        You just need to line up a few friends with E85 cars to sell your output
        to. Someone was also telling me that the USDA had a website that told about
        tax breaks, etc. you could get from distilling fuel alcohol.

        If you want to start a serious micro-distillery, specifically making
        whiskey for sale, I've seen recent discussions on the subject on the
        Distillers (vs New_distillers) forum, talking about it costing between
        $100,000 and $600,000 for initial equipment and permits (mostly equipment).

        These guys are talking in terms of thousands of gallons per year, all of it
        for sale as consumable whiskey, though.

        You aren't going to make a living by visiting www.brewhaus.com and buying
        one (or more) of their Pro Extractors, then sellling the output.

        Look at it this way...

        A 375ml bottle of Ezra Brooks 92 proof, costs about $7 in a liquor store.

        It will cost you a dollar, simply for the bottle, and a liquor store
        probably pays someone about $3.50-$4.00 for that bottle of liquor.

        Considering that you're hopefully making a superior product, so your stuff
        is selling for $10.00 per 375ml bottle, that will mean that a liquor store
        is paying you about $5.00 per 375ml bottle.

        The bottle itself is costing you over a dollar (with shipping), before you
        ever get into the cost of printing the labels, getting sealable caps and
        equipment to seal them, and actually making the whiskey (Mash & Propane
        ain't free).

        When you look closely at all of those costs, and the time/labor involved
        for a $10.00 pint of liquor that gives YOU $5.00, you begin to understand
        why ATF isn't all that worried over you selling your output... it's a loser.
      • tyler_97355
        If you plan on legally distilling alcohol in the US, you are looking at a lot of money. I am in the process of starting up a commercial micro-distillery. I m
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 29, 2006
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          If you plan on legally distilling alcohol in the US, you are looking
          at a lot of money. I am in the process of starting up a commercial
          micro-distillery. I'm looking at a price tag of around $680,000.

          First off you have your federal permit which is $1000. Then, depending
          on the city and stae that you live in, you will have a state permit,
          and possibly a city permit or business license. You will also be
          paying $2.14 in tax per 750ml bottle at 80proof. You will also need a
          bond (minimum $6000) to cover the tax of the alcohol you have at your
          distillery, or it transport.

          You also need to consider the fact that the ATF will not let you
          legally distill alcoho for consumption at a residential facility(your
          home). You will neet to buy or lease a commercial/industrial building
          to do your distilling in.

          So essentially, if you already own a business or a piece of non-
          residential land, you can probably get away with legally distilling
          for about $2000 a year, plus the tax on your alcohol.

          Any more questions, feel free to email me.

          -Tyler





          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Ryan" <ryan_c25@...> wrote:
          >
          > I am very interested in starting my own distillery for personal use
          > but I may want to venture into starting my own business... Any info
          > anyone has would be greatfully excepted.. I am in the US so if
          anyone
          > has a clue on how to deal with the ATF that woul d be great also.
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Ryan
          >
        • lveska
          Maybe outsourcing your production ultimately might be one solution - you still get to design the product, but get it manufactured offshore... see:
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 5, 2006
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            Maybe "outsourcing" your production ultimately might be one solution -
            you still get to design the product, but get it manufactured offshore...
            see: <a
            href="http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.11/absinthe.html">The
            Mystery of the Green Menace</a>
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