Whiskey

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THE CIDER MAN

Re: Whiskey

Post by THE CIDER MAN » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:40 pm

hi to all
can anyone tell me if you can age alcotec spirit base kit 20%

mshergold

Re: Whiskey

Post by mshergold » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:51 pm

Do you mean will it keep, or can you make it taste like whisky? If you mean the latter, I'd imagine no, as whisky starts life as a kind of strong beer (or at least a wort). from this a clear spirit is distilled. The colour comes from the barrels it's matured in. I may be wrong.

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Re: Whiskey

Post by Eadweard » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:59 pm

Yes, whisky starts as a clear spirit and the colour comes from the wood...and quite possibly caramel as they're allowed to add that.

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Re: Whiskey

Post by nubruer » Wed Apr 05, 2023 10:44 pm

[quote=Pinto post_id=732049 time=1421068476 user_id=9938]
[quote="jimpy0"]the own consumtion rule does not apply to Alcotec kits which manage 23% ish ABV, base alcohol to which you add flavours.
I did a 5 litre kit last year and made white rum, tequila, american and Tennessee bourbon, all very drinkable with good taste, i think they're more about flavour as opposed to strength and falling down after imbibing.[/quote]

Agree wholeheartedly :) the "alcotec" type kits get away with it tho because no "D" is involved in the process....
[/quote]

Could you take output of a 20%ABV kit and freeze distill to up the alcohol concentration?

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Re: Whiskey

Post by themadhippy » Thu Apr 06, 2023 12:14 am

Could you take output of a 20%ABV kit and freeze distill to up the alcohol concentration?
you could ,as long as you live somewhere were freeze distillation is legal
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Re: Whiskey

Post by MashBag » Thu Apr 06, 2023 7:48 am

I get that the kits are "brewing"
I get that actually distilling is illegal.
Is the act of freezing illegal?

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Re: Whiskey

Post by Cobnut » Thu Apr 06, 2023 8:54 am

I'm not sure I'd agree that distilling is illegal.

HMRC are really all about the R (Revenue). Meaning they want to capture £££ from distilling activities.

There's a bloke I know locally who bought one of the Grainfather alembic stills for his G30 and wrote to HMRC to check whether there was an issue with him making small batches of spirits using this kit (we are talking about a few litres). Their response was that they weren't bothered (paraphrased).

He laminated the letter and stuck it to his wall as a kind of "permission certificate".

IMHO if you keep it really small and don't try selling it, the revenue they're missing out on is so small that it really isn't worth their while to investigate.

5L of 40% ABV spirit is worth about £60 in tax. Which is a couple of hours worth of someone in HMRC's time. Literally a drop in the ocean.

btw he brought some of his homemade whisky to one of our meetings and it was lovely. It was only a couple of years old, but had been aged as a small batch with some oak. Small batch with an oak spiral or a small barrel means much greater contact area between the spirit and the oak = much faster take up of the flavour and aroma components from the oak c.f. a 200L or greater size cask they use in commercial whisky making.
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MashBag
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Re: Whiskey

Post by MashBag » Thu Apr 06, 2023 3:27 pm

I agree, but if they cant be arsed to enforce, (unless you are a complete tit) doesn't stop it being illegal.

LOL at "permission certificate" they certainly known where to find him now though :D

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Re: Whiskey

Post by Northern Brewer » Thu Apr 06, 2023 7:40 pm

MashBag wrote:
Thu Apr 06, 2023 7:48 am
I get that the kits are "brewing"
I get that actually distilling is illegal.
Is the act of freezing illegal?
In the UK, it's illegal to "manufacture spirits" without a licence by any means, distillation or otherwise under section 25 of the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 :

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1979/4/section/25

So if you wanted to freeze a 4% beer up to 8% then that's no problem - the end result is not a spirit, so you don't need a licence to make it. But freezing a beer of 13% to take it up to 26% would be considered a spirit and so would need a licence.

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Re: Whiskey

Post by drjim » Thu Apr 06, 2023 9:16 pm

Wonder how the brew dog tactical nuclear penguin works then, the DIY Dog recipe says up to 32% using a domestic freezer....

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Re: Whiskey

Post by MashBag » Fri Apr 07, 2023 7:20 am

Ididn't know brewdog recommended destilling 😂😂.

I guess 'cos it is written does not become illegal until you do it.
Last edited by MashBag on Fri Apr 07, 2023 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Whiskey

Post by MashBag » Fri Apr 07, 2023 7:22 am

Northern Brewer wrote:
Thu Apr 06, 2023 7:40 pm
MashBag wrote:
Thu Apr 06, 2023 7:48 am
I get that the kits are "brewing"
I get that actually distilling is illegal.
Is the act of freezing illegal?
In the UK, it's illegal to "manufacture spirits" without a licence by any means, distillation or otherwise under section 25 of the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 :

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1979/4/section/25

So if you wanted to freeze a 4% beer up to 8% then that's no problem - the end result is not a spirit, so you don't need a licence to make it. But freezing a beer of 13% to take it up to 26% would be considered a spirit and so would need a licence.
Why is 26% considered a spirit. Is that the definitive number therefore 25% is not?
I thought spirits were 40%

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Re: Whiskey

Post by Northern Brewer » Sat Apr 08, 2023 7:56 pm

MashBag wrote:
Fri Apr 07, 2023 7:22 am
Why is 26% considered a spirit. Is that the definitive number therefore 25% is not?
I thought spirits were 40%
I was just using an arbitrary number to give a flavour of the arguments, that was low enough to be plausible but high enough to keep clear of the 14-25% range where it gets complicated with the all the exemptions for advocaat, port etc and I couldn't be bothered to look up how that affects things.

But in legal terms, broadly anything above 15% ABV is considered a spirit unless it falls into one of the exemptions. One of which is for beer - but that requires a mostly barley grist fermented by yeast, but not doing anything else to increase the ABV like freezing or distilling.

It gets really complicated, no least because the rules on duty don't quite match the rules on what a licence is needed for and all the duty rules are changing in August. But broadly - people have been trying to dodge alcohol taxes for centuries, and in that time HMRC have closed pretty much any loophole that might be easily accessed by homebrewers.

And you can pretty much do anything you like as long as you have the right licence - I imagine that Brewdog needed a spirits licence to sell the original Tactical Nuclear Penguin, and it certainly used to be the case that you needed a spirits licence to make/sell a beer like Desperados that has tequila added, even though it's only 5% in total. But a spirits licence is harder to get than a brewing licence.

So it's more a question of what can I do without getting a licence?

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Re: Whiskey

Post by MashBag » Sun Apr 09, 2023 7:15 am

It gets really complicated, no least because the rules on duty don't quite match the rules on what a licence is needed
What a very good point.

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