August 15, 2005

Watchin' out for the revenuers.

It’s time for my next re-enactment. Before you say anything, yes I realized I just got back in town and I’m leaving again. We are really looking forward to this weekend. I know I say that before every re-enactment that I do, but it’s true. If we didn’t enjoy doing it, we wouldn’t.

My new still will not be coming with for this event. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that Trail of History will be the first time I take it to an event. There are other supplies I need before I can demonstrate with it. Mainly I need oak barrels and kegs for the mash and finished product, or at least a facsimile of the finished product. Due to various Federal, State and local laws I won’t be making whisky at the events. There also won’t be enough time for me to make real whisky at an event. I have to give the mash time to ferment and I can’t do that in 2-day weekend. While I could always have the mash fermenting at home and transport it to the events, I decided not to do that either. I could just see me spilling the mash all over my other gear. I’m just not willing to risk it.

I do need to do some research into the legality of actually distilling in Illinois. My research to this point ended with my confirming that just owning a still is not illegal, and since I’m using it for educational purposes, I’m also covered. However, if I decided I wanted to try actually to make some whisky one time, can I? Right away, some of you are going to say yes, and tell me I can make up to a certain amount. Different people have given me various amounts I can make for personal consumption. My response to that is; where can I find this in the law? There are three distinct different ways to make alcohol, brewing, fermenting and distilling. I’ve found legislation on brewing and fermenting (making beer and wine); however, I have found nothing on distilling, yet.

There is also the fun issue that each state may have a different law on distilling. What you can do in West Virginia may not be the same as here in Illinois. Plus, once you get inside the state, there is always the possibility that a local ordinance restricts you even further. What I’m mainly concerned about is the Federal and Illinois state law. Local ordinances are something I can contact the city attorneys about details. What I don’t want to do is contact the State’s Attorney’s office regarding this with out prior information on the law. Why bring down unwanted attention on myself if I don’t have to?

To be honest I haven’t searched very hard yet. There is plenty of time for me to do so before I even think of actually starting the process. However, I figured that on the chance one of my readers already knows this answer and can point me in the right direction, I would use that resource first.

Posted by Contagion in Re-enacting life. at August 15, 2005 05:03 PM | TrackBack

There's a home brew / hydroponic supply store on S. Alpine. They should know what the law says on home brewing. I don't remember the name of the place, but it's easily found, south of Broadway on Alpine.

Posted by: Wes at August 16, 2005 01:01 AM