Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully applied?

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Zymotik
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Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully applied?

Post by Zymotik » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:55 am

Hi Gents,

I've been looking at making my own Gin as the sloe crop this year has been amazing! Has anyone successfully obtained a distil licence for their home brew? There are now a number of easy to use distil pots/reflux heads such as the Air Still and T500. If these are readily sold and available, surely someone is doing it legit?

The licence application form is here: http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPort ... P363_27885

Cheers,

Ian

Nofolkandchance

Re: Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully appl

Post by Nofolkandchance » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:17 am

There's rules on this forum you know and discussing distilling is big no no [-X

Be prepared for this to be closed down very quickly................................... Just a friendly warning, thats all

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Jim
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Re: Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully appl

Post by Jim » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:31 am

Nofolkandchance wrote:There's rules on this forum you know and discussing distilling is big no no [-X

Be prepared for this to be closed down very quickly................................... Just a friendly warning, thats all
Unlike most discussions on distilling that appear the op wants to do it legally, which is fine. :)
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asd

Re: Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully appl

Post by asd » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:57 am

It is well nigh impossible to obtain a licence to home distill. Actually, I will go further, and say it is absolutely impossible. These kits you can buy are legal to sell, and to own, but illegal to use. The HMRC are tasked with protecting the revenue of this country - they are extremely reluctant to grant a licence for any organisation where there is a still of less than 18 hectolitres (1,800 litres) (400 gallons approx) as the largest, as the costs of inspecting the bonded warehousing (which you need for legit. distilling) are too high when set against the revenue likely to be reaped from a small still. So, IMHO, any discussion of using air stills, T500 etc. is discussing something illegal. Even if pigs could fly, and a licence was granted for an air still, you'd have to pay the duty, keep the books, put the security measures in place, etc. just as for any other distillers. Why would you do that? Also, in my view, those pieces of kit are a load of cr**p.
However,There is a small, commercial, microdistilling industry beginning to start in the UK, as a few enterprising folks have submitted proposals to HMRC for apparatus below 18 Hl, (around 250-500 litre, as I remember) but they have clear business aims, and pay their revenue. Other commercial setups have applied for small scale rectification licences - which are I think easier to obtain. So, I think any discussion of "home distilling" should not be allowed on this site, unless it's merely asking or answering the question the OP asked - but it's not my site.

Simon.
Last edited by asd on Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nofolkandchance

Re: Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully appl

Post by Nofolkandchance » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:47 pm

Just knew where this thread was heading :bonk

fatbloke

Re: Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully appl

Post by fatbloke » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:33 pm

Last time I researched this, there was no such thing as a home brewers distilling license. The guidance said that there's basically a minimum of something like 7000 litres per annum. It's easy to find lots of info elsewhere but presuming 10% result, 70k litres isn't home brewing.

I seem to recognise the form thats linked, is for a commercial license application...

asd

Re: Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully appl

Post by asd » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:33 pm

The 7000 litres refers to cider - you don't have to pay duty on the first 7000 litres of cider you produce commercially. You still have to fill in a form, though. Beer at home, yes, cider at home, yes, spirits at home, no, microbrewery registration, pretty easy, cider house registration pretty easy, distillery almost impossible unless you have mega deep pockets.
Actually we are fairly lucky regarding home alcohol production in the U.K.- I think you have to get a licence, or register, to make more than about 200 litres of beer per annum in Germany of all places!

Simon.

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FUBAR
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Re: Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully appl

Post by FUBAR » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:30 pm

asd wrote: Actually we are fairly lucky regarding home alcohol production in the U.K.- I think you have to get a licence, or register, to make more than about 200 litres of beer per annum in Germany of all places!

Simon.
I think New Zealand have the most sensible laws in the world regarding home brewing.
I buy my grain & hops from here http://www.homebrewkent.co.uk/


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Nofolkandchance

Re: Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully appl

Post by Nofolkandchance » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:54 pm

FUBAR wrote:
asd wrote: Actually we are fairly lucky regarding home alcohol production in the U.K.- I think you have to get a licence, or register, to make more than about 200 litres of beer per annum in Germany of all places!

Simon.
I think New Zealand have the most sensible laws in the world regarding home brewing.
I''ll second that =D>

Ribbit

Re: Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully appl

Post by Ribbit » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:34 pm

Present HMRC advice for LEGAL personal stills in line with the 1979 Act is 5 ltr capacity maximum (which is fair enough, a 5 ltr still capacity for personal use is fine - though the Legislation was more concerned with allowing personal production and use rather than still size, and I know this because I LISTENED TO THE DEBATE - this legislation and debate didn't get much in the way of coverage, and the only adequate report was on BBC Radio 4's Yesterday in Parliament), along with improving the licensing situation for small commercial start up distilleries. The personal distilling puts it on a similar footing to growing tobacco for personal consumption;

HMRC will also offer a FREE distillation license for personal use (though there was no requirement for a license with the 1979 Act, or in the intent of the legislators, which is important in Court).

Phone them up and talk to them, they are not monsters (even though these days they are more than a bit prone towards making it up as they go along).

People have phoned them up and talked to them recently, and 5 ltr maximum still capacity and a free license to use it, is what has been offered (hence the above).

There is an excellent Italian Company called La Ramera that make nice 5 ltr and under pure copper stills, and they do market their products on Ebay.

PS Copper is important for stills, the Verdigris (or 'patina') neutralises some of the sulphur compounds and off-notes, so don't polish the inside, just sterilise if it hasn't been used for more than a few days with a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar (distill it), and then a clean of just water (distill it).

asd

Re: Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully appl

Post by asd » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:41 pm

So, you are saying it IS possible for legal personal distillation of alcohol? If so, I am sorry I was so "pigs might fly" etc. in my earlier post. Do you know of anyone who has one of these licences, and are they duty exempt? Because if so, to quote Capt. Jack Sparrow, "That's really interesting".

Regarding tobacco: My Dad used to grow his own tobacco, and send it off to the Tilty cooperative in Essex to get it cured. Not sure if anything like that happens now.

Simon.

shazza

Re: Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully appl

Post by shazza » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:24 pm

Actually we are fairly lucky regarding home alcohol production in the U.K.- I think you have to get a licence, or register, to make more than about 200 litres of beer per annum in Germany of all places!
Why, in the name of (choose your deity) would you be arsed to homebrew in Germany? My lads were in Berlin earlier this year and Lidl's Perlenbacher was around 2yo-yos per 6-pack. Superior brews available at pro rata prices but unless you want to make some vanker-sthyle pissen, while grooming your moustache and soiling your lederhosen and feeling superior to your fellow man you'd be far better off devoting your time to drinking tax-paid, excise compliant great beer at great prices.

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Re: Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully appl

Post by oldbloke » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:37 pm

Ribbit wrote:Present HMRC advice for LEGAL personal stills in line with the 1979 Act is 5 ltr capacity maximum
Wow, that's quite a change from what I thought the position was. Got any links to the relevant legislation etc? Can't see anything suggesting this as a possibility in ALDA79 or on the HMRC website.

Mind you, a 5litre (call it a gallon) still is only going to make 2 (3 if you're lucky) bottles of spirits per run.
Last edited by oldbloke on Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Hanglow
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Re: Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully appl

Post by Hanglow » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:57 pm

shazza, most people here in the uk do not homebrew just to save money (although of course you can, in the long run), it can be quite expensive in equipment and especially time at the end of the day. I do it as it interests me and it's fun to do mainly . We have over 1200 breweries here now, almost as many as Germany in a much smaller area but I'll still homebrew.


Germany has many great beers but they are great german beers, and a lot of people like great british beers, or great belgian beers or great american beers, so if some german student or hobbiest decides they want a good bitter or scottish IPA or doubel or a coffee infused bacon double banana 'murica [censored] yeah beer then all the power to them. Outside of Berlin it's pretty hard to get foreign beers, so I can understand people wanting to homebrew.


Back on topic, intriguing about the 5l still, is there a UK govt. website with info about this?


well that was a drunken ramble :o
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Bottled: Home grown Halletau Mittelfruh golden ale, centennial golden ale, Brown Kolsch, Strong Burton with Brett C

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Pinto
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Re: Homebrew Distillers licence-Has anyone successfully appl

Post by Pinto » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:38 am

FUBAR wrote: I think New Zealand have the most sensible laws in the world regarding home brewing.
Customs Act 1996
Excise Regulation 9
"Any person who produces beer, wine or spirits for his or her own consumption is exempt from excise tax"

Does it need to be any more complex than that ?? :) Its just HMRC are a bunch of money grabbing B*#@ards....
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