According to The Advocate, the joke is that there are only two “flavors” of moonshine (unaged whiskey) — legal and illegal. Astonishingly, here in Louisiana you can’t find a ruling or statute on making moonshine at one’s premises for personal consumption. The good news for law-abiding drinkers is that there are a growing number of federally licensed moonshine producers. Located mostly in traditional Appalachian moonshining states, artisans with names like Midnight Moon, XXX Shine, Stillhouse, Firefly and Catdaddy are brewing up sophisticated “white whiskies” that are smooth and sometimes flavored. And their formulas are authentic.
1. Is owning a still legal?
Owning a still for personal home use is not legal. The state ATF defers to federal law (Title 27, Chapter I, Subchapter A), which, on the grounds of tax avoidance, zero quality control and possible explosions, sternly prohibits the activity. Anyone wishing to become a legal distiller will have to have a clean record to receive a federal license and also will need to bring a substantial amount of capital to the table. This means that not just anybody can set up moonshine still in his barn. He will have to proceed through proper channel and obtain the necessary license, set up the equipment and machinery and get it assessed before he can proceed to manufacture moonshine. He must pay taxes on his moonshine production and carry on in a proper and legal manner.
2. Is it possible to get a “student permit” to distill alcohol as part of a school science project?
Yes, it is possible to obtain a student permit to distill alcohol as part of a school science project by contacting the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. An authority figure at the school must write an application to the Bureau specifying the duration and location of the science school project, in order to get permission to set up a temporary “Alcohol Fuel Plant” in which the experiment may be carried out. The high school or elementary school at which the experiment is to be carried out can then conduct the experiment with the students under the supervision of a responsible adult.
3. What kind of a permit do I need to distill ethanol in Louisiana?
Louisiana statute, Title 26, Chapter 1, Part II states that a license must be obtained before dealing in liquor. The Liquor Manufacturer/Supplier permit is issued to any person who makes, blends, rectifies, or processes any alcoholic beverage containing more than six percent alcohol by volume.
4. Is it legal to distill essential oils and water?
It is legal to distill essential oils and water under a Federal Alcohol Fuel Permit, the form for which is as follows: http://www.ttb.gov/forms/f511074.pdf
For more information please visit the website of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.
Finally, we are not lawyers, this info is for your entertainment only, so be sure to consult a crafty moonshine laws lawyer before spending any monies on your own distillation plant!
“Remember, the distillation of ethyl-alcohols is illegal without a permit per federal moonshine laws and is inherently dangerous because of ethanol’s flammability (never operate a homemade still indoors). For more moonshine laws and other moonshine still permit information, visit: http://www.ttb.gov/spirits/faq.shtml”
http://www.ttb.gov/spirits/index.shtml – Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Distilled Spirits
http://www.atc.rev.state.la.us/alcohol-applications-manufacturer.php – The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control