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Potential Odors and Their Influence on Neighbors


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Hi guys,

I've read a few posts touching on this subject but wanted to see if I could drill down a little based your experience. We are about to view a space and the manager has some concerns about the odors affect neighboring tenants. The space is a basement below retail shops - not sure the nature of the business yet.  We are a super small operation, planning to distill about 4 times a month. We will be fermenting fruit for brandy, and not working with grain or cooking/heating mash. 

Based on my observations at other distilleries, the highest odor output results during distillation. Sure, it always smells like alcohol and fermentation on-site, but outside these facilities I don't detect much odor. Breweries, on the other hand, seem to have a much more significant um....odor footprint. 

I told the manager that our closed fermentation process is not likely to produce any real noticeable odor outside the facility, and that alcohol odor will be noticeable during distillation only. I realize that's not totally accurate, but I don't want her to think that distillation is this super stinky operation, which I really don't think it is.

Please let me know your thoughts if you get a chance.



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Your bigger issue will probably be having an f1 occupancy or even h under another retail space.   If it stay f1 and to not have any classified areas, you will need lots of ventilation which should eliminate any odor issues.  

For me the time in the process with the most odor is mashing and fermenting.  It does depend on the fermentation as some have a lot more aroma.  If you pipe your fermenters outside which you will probably want to do anyway to eliminate the chance of suffocation from a co2 buildup, odor won't be an issue.  

Barrels are the other source of traditional aroma in a distillery.  I have found it takes a lot to really get that whiskey smell in the air.  

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Thanks Bluefish  that's a huge help. Since we currently have no barrel aging and will be in fact piping CO2 out, that should address her biggest concerns. And yes, we are viewing first and then checking with the city for use. Thanks again.


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