Distilling pure spirits often comes with rumours around blindness and other side effects - this usually comes from the consumption of methanol. If the correct distilling method has been used you will make safe to consume spirits. Please see the individual instructions relating to the specific still being used for distillation in order to consume safe levels of methanol and ethanol.
Distilling alcohol for making spirits is not dissimilar to fermenting wine or homebrewing beer. It isn't difficult to make great spirits at home, but you do have to ensure you're following the rules of your location.
In most countries, it is illegal for an individual to use a still for the purpose of making your own pure alcohol. Yet, it's not against the law to own a water distillation unit or a simple air distillation unit (under 5 L (1.1 US Gal) in Australia) and many people already use these devices to distil water or to make essential oils.
If you are in a country where amateur distillation is not permitted, you will need to purchase the base alcohol from a store in order to create your own liqueur, spirit or schnapps. Low-priced vodka or gin is ideal for this purpose. Please note, that using Still Spirits flavourings and yeasts is legal in every country.
In most countries where home distilling is illegal, local authorities have historically been reluctant to move against citizens who are producing alcohol for their own personal consumption. Yet authorities in all countries around the world will prosecute anyone producing alcohol for sale without a license. Still Spirits strongly recommends that you check the legal status of amateur distillation in your country beforehand.
In New Zealand, Austria, Italy, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine it is perfectly legal to home distil for personal use, but elsewhere it is not. Ask for advice or contact your local Customs & Excise Department.
- In New Zealand, it is legal to distil your own spirits and liqueurs for personal consumption.
- In Australia, it is legal to own a still with a capacity under 5 L (1.1 US Gal) without a licence from the Australian Tax Office (ATO), but ONLY if it is not used for producing alcohol. It can be used for distilling water or essential oils. Any distillation of alcohol for consumption in Australia requires a licence from the ATO.
- In the USA and Canada, it is illegal to produce alcohol for consumption without a licence from the relevant authorities.
- In the UK, it is illegal to manufacture spirits without a distiller’s licence which is required under the provisions.
Alcohol for Bio Fuel
Bio fuel can be made using the same process as distilling spirits in the Turbo 500. On 30 June 2007 the UK Government made it legal for people to produce up to 2,500 L (660 US Gal) annually without the need to pay duty or to hold a permit. Always check with car manufacturers as to the level you can add. The USA authorities have recently allowed distillation for fuel alcohol and you can get a permit from the Federal Government.