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Offline John Barleycorn  
#1 Posted : Friday, June 21, 2013 7:51:05 AM(UTC)
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Here's a white paper I put together that (I believe) addresses the specific sections of 26 USC Chapter 51 - DISTILLED SPIRITS, WINES, AND BEER that must be changed in order to achieve legalization of home distilling.

The idea was to take care of some of the grunt work. Specifically, to identify how much of the existing law requires modification. If the changes were colossal, most politicians would probably decline involvement. As it turns out, the scope and number of changes appear very reasonable.

Anyway, here's the doc. I'd like to see some discussion regarding these changes in this thread.

Also, if you're willing, please start reviewing 26 USC Chapter 51 to see if you can find things that are not covered by the proposed changes.

[ATTACH]889[/ATTACH]

NOTE: This is an "open document." Please use it in any way you see fit ... copy it, distribute it, modify it to suit your needs.

Regards,
--JB
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Offline scotty  
#2 Posted : Friday, June 21, 2013 9:57:42 AM(UTC)
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mine opens to jibberish????
Offline John Barleycorn  
#3 Posted : Friday, June 21, 2013 10:47:56 AM(UTC)
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I just downloaded the posted pdf file and it looks good to me. Any chance you opened it with the wrong app?
Offline scotty  
#4 Posted : Friday, June 21, 2013 12:16:58 PM(UTC)
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I just clicked the link you put up
Offline muadib2001  
#5 Posted : Friday, June 21, 2013 1:06:12 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: scotty Go to Quoted Post
I just clicked the link you put up

Download and install this to enable reading a PDF.

http://get.adobe.com/reader/

Good read, John! "Processor" is misspelled on page 9 and page 4 is blank.
Offline Gravelier  
#6 Posted : Friday, June 21, 2013 3:35:52 PM(UTC)
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Hey JB:

Read your entire PDF and it looks excellent to me. I would like to start sending this off to senators and rep's with a cover letter. However, I would like some kind of universal agreement that it is ready to send first. Great work and it definitely took a great effort on your part to put it all together. My many thanks to you for your efforts.

G.
Offline futurenmc  
#7 Posted : Friday, June 21, 2013 5:36:58 PM(UTC)
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JB, GREAT WORK!! you are much better with your words then I. I believe that there is a lot of us out here that will stand for this. I know personally if I had a "lawfully" correct paper backing me it would boost my confidence on the matter. Thanks for taking the time to write that up, i know that i sure as hell couldn't have done that. Do you think having a lawyer or PA read over this could help us out? Maybe they would see something that their eyes are trained for? Thanks again
Offline Maddawgs  
#8 Posted : Friday, June 21, 2013 11:13:53 PM(UTC)
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Hi JB,
Great job on the white paper. I would suggest a few changes to items on page 10."You must register your still before you set it up and use it." I would allow for a one time exemption for those of us who have already purchased stills to register upon adoption of your suggested changes.
"You must store your distilled spirits in containers that are one gallon or less in size." If you do several pot still runs to build up for a spirit run this would put you outside the law.
"You may not remove the spirits that you distilled from your home." Not sure about this one. I have often brought alcohol to friends houses and they have often brought alcohol to our house to sit and enjoy a few drinks as a cheaper alternative to going to a bar and this would put us outside the law. Also "home" suggests dwelling so if you are enjoying a drink in your yard you could be breaking the law

On page 11 for still size We should come up with a still size. Most of us have stills in the 3 to 15 gallon size. The 15 gallon is a popular and often suggested option so I (I do have a 15 gallon) would hope for this a suggested max size.
Again great job, this goes much further than wording in the petition going around.

Maddawgs


Offline John Barleycorn  
#9 Posted : Saturday, June 22, 2013 2:50:36 AM(UTC)
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"Hi All,

Thanks for the positive feedback. I'll try to get spelling & formatting errors corrected & repost before Monday morning.

I think we should continue to review and ""test"" the changes against the different sections in 26 USC Chapter 51. What I mean by that is to take a few sections in the law & read it. Look for things that were missed. The great thing about the Internet and its forums is numbers ... and many hands make little work. So futurenmc, if you know folks with the proper legal training that would be willing to volunteer some free time, it would be great to get some help from them.

Md, your post is also what we need ... to understand what the changes do ... and don't do ... and adjust as necessary. So I'll make a few comments.

Quote:
on page 10.""You must register your still before you set it up and use it."" I would allow for a one time exemption for those of us who have already purchased stills to register upon adoption of your suggested changes.
Currently, any of us who are currently distilling spirits are breaking the law. If and when home distilling becomes legal, you could immediately register your still. I would expect vendors to provide template registration letters (like a pdf that could be edited ... with instructions) and/or a website where you could enter the appropriate information and simply click ""Submit.""

If you already have a still, that meets the requirements that eventually show up in the CFR, then legally you would not be able to set it up until it is registered. I don't think simple possession would pose any problems -- but we should make sure of this. A still is ""set up"" when it's over a heat source. If you have internal heating elements, I think it would be sufficient to simply remove them from your boiler until you are registered.

Quote:
""You must store your distilled spirits in containers that are one gallon or less in size."" If you do several pot still runs to build up for a spirit run this would put you outside the law.
I am probably splitting hairs with this one. But ... there isn't any limit on the total volume of spirits you possess (other than the annual limit), only the size of the containers that you use to store them. So if you have, say five containers of low wines, and those low wines are stored in five different one gallon jugs, you won't be outside the law.

This is all because of certain regulations that attach to the definition of a ""warehouseman."" To avoid all of that mess, if your spirits are stored in containers that are one gallon or less, you won't fall within that definition, since you won't be storing ""bulk distilled spirits."" That's based on my understanding.

Quote:
""You may not remove the spirits that you distilled from your home."" Not sure about this one. I have often brought alcohol to friends houses and they have often brought alcohol to our house to sit and enjoy a few drinks as a cheaper alternative to going to a bar and this would put us outside the law. Also ""home"" suggests dwelling so if you are enjoying a drink in your yard you could be breaking the law
I'm not sure if the proposed changes thoroughly covers all of the ""removal"" language in the law. So we'll have to continue to scrub through Chapter 51. Until we're sure, this would be a CYA guideline.

Basically, this is all related to the bonding requirements. That is, when you remove a spirit from the place where it is produced, you reach a trigger point where taxes must be paid (just like removing anything from a bonded area or facility). Some of the language uses terms like ""distiller"" (which wouldn't apply with the proposed changes) but Chapter 51 is loaded with the phrase ""no person may"" ... I'm just not sure if anything was missed. I'm also not sure if it would apply only to bonded areas.

In any case, it's a gray area. But I totally agree with you. Along with the things you mention, it would cool to be able to participate in competitions and that sort of thing.

Quote:
On page 11 for still size We should come up with a still size. Most of us have stills in the 3 to 15 gallon size. The 15 gallon is a popular and often suggested option so I (I do have a 15 gallon) would hope for this a suggested max size.
This is a potentially big issue. Clearly, the TTB will want to regulate this. A hobbyist who wants to use a 300 gallon still will probably raise a few eyebrows at the TTB ... and get a big thumbs down. I would expect that a 15 gallon max would cover a majority of existing hobbyists.

Again, thanks for the comments. Let's keep digging through Chapter 51 to find things that were missed.

Regards,
--JB"
Offline Alli  
#10 Posted : Sunday, June 23, 2013 3:58:14 AM(UTC)
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"JB,
Thanks for all your hard work putting this together. The Registration section says:

{Every person having in his possession or custody, or under his control, any still or distilling apparatus set up, shall register
such still or apparatus with the Secretary immediately on its being set up, by subscribing and filing with the Secretary a
statement, in writing, setting forth the particular place where such still or distilling apparatus is set up, the kind of still and
its capacity, the owner thereof, his place of residence, and the purpose for which said still or distilling apparatus has been
or is intended to be used}

To me it is more what this section does not say than what it does say. I take this to mean that once a still is set up, a permit is required - it does not say that it can't be operating at the time the permit is submitted. I suggest this as a safeguard in the age of The Sequester when a legal permit might take a year to get, specially during the initial onslaught of applications.

The other side of that coin is why should a permit be required at all since all we are doing is concentrating the existing alcohol in an already legal to make wine or beer (in the wash)?

If I understand what you are proposing and I think I do, we need to make it abondantly clear that the new law change:

{The aggregate amount of distilled spirits exempt from tax under this subsection
with respect to any household shall not exceed that amount which is distilled from the beer and wine that is legally
produced within a household under § 5042 (a)(2) and § 5053 (e) of this Part.}

means that the 100/200 gallon rule applies to mash intended for distillation, not the final distilled product itself. The amount of spirits distilled from 100 gallons of mash will differ depending on the ABV of the mash, the still and the operator.

I agree that a reasonable/sensable limit should be put on still size for the hobbyest. StillDragon is now making an 8"" tower that produces 2 liters of alcohol an hour (wow!)- the stills are going to keep getting bigger and bigger and unless we put a cap on what hobby distilling really is, the manufactcurers will make whatever people will buy. I'll go along with whatever the majority thinks, but a 15 gallon boiler should be about big enough for any one. I saw a show on medical marijuana lately (in California of course) where an old guy had a greenhouse that must have been 15 feet wide and 100 feet long that was full of 8' tall pot plants - he tied to tell the cop that he was growing it for personal use.

If we get to the point where we can distill legally, I think we should be able to take it anywhere we please. To say that legally distilled alcohol must be kept/consummed on the same premise it was distilled is silly. No one is going to do it, so why put a stip in the law that will immediately be ignored.

The one gallon limit on storage is fine. When redistilling a run, one should not need anything bigger than a milk jug (or 2 or 3) to store the previously run products.

Just my thoughs. Alli"
Offline Hokey  
#11 Posted : Sunday, June 23, 2013 8:02:50 AM(UTC)
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Hi JB. You da man. Great work. I I could I would send you a jar of my just finished 5 generations UJSM. I only wish that we could get away with not having to register the stills. I agree that it should not be an issue if the hobby was not illegal but with registration of anything comes registration fees. Someone in govt will have to get paid to keep all that info. Or at least that is the excuse they will use. However there is no registration for wine makers or beer brewers. That is a small issue however and certainly not a deal breaker for me.
Again awesome job. Thank you.
Offline Maddawgs  
#12 Posted : Sunday, June 23, 2013 9:59:24 PM(UTC)
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Hi Hokey,
I agree. I would like to see this treated the same as home beer and wine making which have no registration or licensing (or fees). I have been reading 26 usc and so far it seems that all that was done was to allow these was an amendment in created 1978 that set gallonage limits and removed any tax liability in sections dealing with beer and wine. I'm still reading and trying to understand some of the verbage but it seems to me that having similar wordage added to the section for distillation added would be the easiest course. So far I have found nothing that pertains to home brewing of beer and wine that deals with self policing, legal, or taxing, or fees. I think if we attempt to deal with these issues when the creators of the 1978 ammendment chose not to we are possibly creating more probems for ourselfs. I'm in the middle of several large home projects right now but as soon as I have some time I intend to devote a bit of it to careful examination of the 1978 ammenbment.
Maddawgs
Offline John Barleycorn  
#13 Posted : Monday, June 24, 2013 1:07:03 AM(UTC)
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"Don't worry about self-policing ... that topic was just a curiosity of mine in another thread.

I was going to post an updated doc this morning that had a few grammar/spelling/formatting corrections ... but I'll hold off just a little while ... to see if I can address the still size and registration requirements in the proposed changes.

Just keep a few things in mind. We can propose anything we want. But whether or not certain proposed changes would be accepted is another matter ... and that supposes that we can even find a politician that is willing to take up the cause. I would be surprised if still registration requirements would be waived unless there is a compelling reason to do so. The argument for registration will most certainly be that it will continue to be a tool to monitor for abuse. And yes, I believe there would be some fee (an administrative fee). A good example is the salt water fishing registration that many of us have had to deal with over the past few years. Although there is no ""fee"" for the identification card per se, there is an administrative or processing fee, unless you live in a state like New Jersey, where they side stepped things to allow truly free registration. No matter what you call it, it's still a fee.

Anyway, I'll try to get at least the still size and registration issues address & I'll post an updated version of the doc.

Thanks for all of comments.

Regards,
--JB"
Offline RandyMarshCT  
#14 Posted : Monday, June 24, 2013 3:17:01 AM(UTC)
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John, would you mind if I posted a link to this thread on HD? I won't post a copy of your work, just a link to this specific thread so some of the readers on HD can have a look at it and maybe offer feedback. I feel that your work is something we all can stand behind.
Offline John Barleycorn  
#15 Posted : Monday, June 24, 2013 3:39:41 AM(UTC)
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"Hi All,

I'll just continue to update my original post at the top of thread with the latest doc. Just keep an eye on the edit date/description for changes.

--JB"
Offline John Barleycorn  
#16 Posted : Monday, June 24, 2013 3:41:47 AM(UTC)
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Hi Randy,

First, welcome to the forum!

Quote:
would you mind if I posted a link to this thread on HD?
I wouldn't mind at all -- the more eyes the better!

Regards,
--JB
Offline hstuurman  
#17 Posted : Monday, June 24, 2013 10:48:37 PM(UTC)
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"John,

this is a great paper! would you mind if I use it as a baseline for our dutch quest?
One question, why did you choose for a 15 gallon boiler?

Henk"
Offline Maddawgs  
#18 Posted : Monday, June 24, 2013 11:06:49 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: John Barleycorn Go to Quoted Post
Don't worry about self-policing ... that topic was just a curiosity of mine in another thread.

I was going to post an updated doc this morning that had a few grammar/spelling/formatting corrections ... but I'll hold off just a little while ... to see if I can address the still size and registration requirements in the proposed changes.

Just keep a few things in mind. We can propose anything we want. But whether or not certain proposed changes would be accepted is another matter ... and that supposes that we can even find a politician that is willing to take up the cause. I would be surprised if still registration requirements would be waived unless there is a compelling reason to do so. The argument for registration will most certainly be that it will continue to be a tool to monitor for abuse. And yes, I believe there would be some fee (an administrative fee). A good example is the salt water fishing registration that many of us have had to deal with over the past few years. Although there is no "fee" for the identification card per se, there is an administrative or processing fee, unless you live in a state like New Jersey, where they side stepped things to allow truly free registration. No matter what you call it, it's still a fee.

Anyway, I'll try to get at least the still size and registration issues address & I'll post an updated version of the doc.

Thanks for all of comments.

Regards,
--JB

Hi JB,
Love the changes, they are almost exactly what I was thinking. While not to crazy about it, I agree with you that there may be no way around a fee of some sort. Also good to see the HD forum may start to get involved. When final revisions are done, with your permission I would like to contact the originator of the petition on thepetionsite to see if we can get it attached or set up a new petition using your white paper. They do have the ability to find a sponser in congress.
Maddawgs
Offline John Barleycorn  
#19 Posted : Monday, June 24, 2013 11:34:23 PM(UTC)
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"Hi Henk,

Quote:
would you mind if I use it as a baseline for our dutch quest?
I don't mind at all.

Quote:
One question, why did you choose for a 15 gallon boiler?
That was to accommodate the larger milk-can type boilers. But that's going to be changed to 15.5 gallons in the next version to account for all of the half-barrel boilers out there.

Regards,
--JB"
Offline John Barleycorn  
#20 Posted : Tuesday, June 25, 2013 12:17:10 AM(UTC)
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"Hi Md,

Quote:
When final revisions are done, with your permission I would like to contact the originator of the petition on thepetionsite to see if we can get it attached or set up a new petition using your white paper.
I think it's close to a final version. I'll put up the latest version (0.3) before the day is out ... and give things another day or two for comments ... to make sure we're not missing anything important.

WRT the petition, please pm Randy (RandyMarshCT)... I believe he has direct access to the petition/petitioner, so it would be good to coordinate with him.

We still need a FAQ (I started one yesterday) and a PowerPoint slideshow (for a potential champion) ... a youtube video would be nice as well (to make our case to the public), but that's way beyond my abilities. For ourselves, a simple Do/Don't list for dealing with politcians/public might be helpful. Then it's time to start shopping for politicians.

Regards,
--JB"
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