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Tips for Starting a Distillery

09/2/2021 • Shawn Patrick

Do you have a passion for good craft spirits? Are you looking for some tips to help you perfect your spirit crafting skills? The wave of new craft distilleries that have been established in recent years has enticed many spirit enthusiasts to consider trying their hands at crafting their own spirits.

Choose an Adequate Water Source

Since water is a critical element in the alcohol production process, it is essential to remember that unfiltered tap water is never to be used to produce spirits. As you may know, tap water contains chemicals like chlorine, fluoride, bromate, and chlorate. These minerals can wreak havoc on your mash which is why filtered water is used. Water from natural sources like springs and streams is also used in various steps of a craft distillers process.

Use an Industrial Fermenter

In the spirit distillation process, a fermenter is a vessel where yeast, grains, and water slurry are fermented. Essentially the yeast consumes the sugars in the grain to produce alcohol. There are a variety of fermenters on the market. It's important to look for one that suits your process and maintains optimal conditions for microorganism growth.

Install Proper Floor Drainage

Every step of your process contains large equipment that will need to be cleaned regularly. That, combined with any waste produced from the process, will leave you with a sludgy floor if not properly drained. Consult a professional when planning out the layout of your equipment and where the optimal drain locations are on your production floor. 

Know TTB Regulations

The federal government regulatory body that governs liquor production is the Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The TTB has specific regulations for much of the distilled spirits process, from what classifies a type of spirit to bottling specs. Make sure you understand what is required to stay compliant and have you prepared for an audit, should one ever arise.

The labor of love that is craft spirit distilling comes with a host of nuances and trade secrets. Aside from the crafting process, investment, and marketing, there are legalities and regulations that you must familiarize yourself with. 

The authorities thoroughly regulate the liquor trade. Great care must be taken to adhere to all of the governmental policies in place regarding these facilities and their processes. As long as you remain in compliance with the protocols, you can keep your attention towards what matters most, creating a fantastic tasting products.