If you’re like a lot of people who planted gardens, you have a lot more produce than you ever imagined possible. This can be especially true of tree fruits and berries, but this is a delicious dilemma to have! It’s a terrific opportunity to try your hand at home distilling of fruit based liquors like Calvados, Poire William, eau de vie, schnapps, and grappa . If you’re home-brewing, you already know about fruit wines and even fruit beers, so distillation is a natural extension of your skills. Finding distilling equipment for sale isn’t hard, there are some highly reputable companies dealing in just what you need to get started.

*     Start your fermentation at least one month before you plan to distill.

*     This gives you time to brush up on the ABCs and 123s of distilling.

*     Get a good quality fruit press to make the best mash possible.

*     You need to consider the sugar content of your fruit before you begin distillation. The more sugar, the higher the alcohol output.

Know the Law

Federal laws concerning home distillation are pretty much THOU SHALT NOT even when your state laws might be very different. The feds have even asked distillation equipment suppliers to hand over their customer lists. While home brewing of beer and wine has been allowed for almost 40 years, home distillation of spirits is still in the same place as it was in 1919 – the year that Prohibition came into effect.

Frankly, the more lawmakers at the national level hear from home distillers, the better the chances are that they will change the laws on home distilling even in the face of big donations from the alcohol lobby. It wouldn’t hurt to brew up a little activism with your alcohol, and might even help fuel the renaissance in home distillation.

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