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Can I make my own commercial still? What regs?


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Are there any regulations that would not allow me to make my own Still and other equipment for my own commercial distillery? I looked in the TTB regs and didn't see anything other than giving notice. Are there any requirements like food grade certified welder or? Thanks

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As far as the TTB is concerned, as long as it has a serial number then you are good (and just make one up and tag it somewhere on the still). From what I understand, the issue would come down to your local authorities, mainly the fire inspector, as they may want to see certain safety criteria met (pressure relief valve etc). If you are not using steam, there should be no working "pressure" to be concerned about weld strength and certification, but they better be leak free and of course don't use any brazing or welding material with non-food safe components.

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Cool, thank you. I live in a very rural area, local authority is...not around. Being safe, and having a good product are paramount. I just really like making my own stuff. I want to do a simple pot still, copper, with direct heat, no steam, about 350 gallons. Propane is my only heat source, so I want it to be simple and efficient. So far I have 8 poly fermenters, two stainless tanks and a stainless mash tun, all 350 gallons.

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  • 1 year later...

New Mexico is nothing like Arizona.  We rarely break 100 in the summer.  Anyway, I have a water chiller that should work nicely, or I may set up an evaporative water chiller.

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  • 3 weeks later...

TTB's still regulations are in part 29 of Title 27.  You can access them through TTB's website.  That part requires:

§29.47   Notice requirement; manufacture of stills.

(a) General. When required by letter issued by the appropriate TTB officer and until notified to the contrary by the appropriate TTB officer, every person who manufactures any still, boiler (double or pot still), condenser, or other apparatus to be used for the purpose of distilling shall give written notice before the still or distilling apparatus is removed from the place of manufacture.

Note that you only need to provide this notification when TTB has required you to do so.  .

Next, there are provisions about giving notice of setting up a still.  


§29.55   Registry of stills and distilling apparatus.

(a) General. Every person having possession, custody, or control of any still or distilling apparatus set up shall, immediately on its being set up, register the still or distilling apparatus, except that a still or distilling apparatus not used or intended for use in the distillation, redistillation, or recovery of distilled spirits is not required to be registered. Registration may be accomplished by describing the still or distilling apparatus on the registration or permit application prescribed in this chapter for qualification under 26 U.S.C. chapter 51 or, if qualification is not required under 26 U.S.C. chapter 51, on a letter application, and filing the application with the appropriate TTB officer. Approval of the application by the appropriate TTB officer will constitute registration of the still or distilling apparatus.

(b) When still is set up. A still will be regarded as set up and subject to registry when it is in position over a furnace, or connected with a boiler so that heat may be applied, irrespective of whether a condenser is in position. This rule is intended merely as an illustration and should not be construed as covering all types of stills or condensers requiring registration.

Part 19 then comes into play. 

Sec. 19.79  Registry of stills. 

Section 29.55 of this chapter requires that every person having possession, custody, or control of a still or distilling apparatus must register the still or distilling apparatus. When a person lists a still or distilling apparatus with the application for registration as required by Sec. 19.75(b) and receives approval of the registration,that person has fulfilled the requirement to register the still ordistilling apparatus. See Sec. 29.55 of this chapter for additional provisions regarding stills and distilling apparatus.

I continue to preach that the answers to most questions are in the regulations.  You just have to know how to find them :-) and know what TTB means by the words it uses.

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