Want to make something that packs a harder punch than a simple ferment? Read this before you do.
Excerpt from https://www.reddit.com/r/Homebrewing concerning fractal, particularly freeze distillation and its inherent legality.
11 months ago u/stickmaster_flex provided a helpful Public Service Announcement regarding the legality of freeze distillation (Ie applejack, jacking…) Original post OP’s conclusion still left me questioning the wording. It seemed like a rhetoric, or by ‘definition’ thing. I discovered that the Code of Federal Regulations permits you to freeze distill (concentrate) anything up to 24% by volume, provided that ‘processing shall retain vinous character’ I think in what sense vinous could mean is up for debate. I interpreted this as don’t exceed 24% and for me, I’ll take that over nothing. Hope this helps anyone. 1st time post. Legal Information Institute, 27 CFR 24.248 – Processes authorized for the treatment of wine, juice, and distilling material. …
Uberg33k from Immaculate Brewery comments:
“Thank you very much for your response. I want to be certain that my understanding of your response is correct: For the purpose of making Ice Beer for personal consumption, freezing the beer and removing a portion of the water is legal so long as the volume of water removed does not exceed 0.5% of the total volume of the beer. Removing more than 0.5% of the water is not legal. No alcoholic beverage except beer can be frozen and a portion of the water removed, whether or not the beverage is for personal consumption.” (from original post)
The ATF confirmed that was the case. It’s pretty cut and dry. There was some mention of freeze distilling at the 2015 AHA. Basically every pro-brewer stated it was illegal. I seem to remember someone from Miller even stating that they had to change the way they made Icehouse in order to stay out of legal trouble.
tl;dr – It’s illegal. It’s dumb that it’s illegal. If you want to talk about it, please go to /r/firewater.
With all of that being stated, consider the legality. However and despite backlash from the Reddit sub users, I still disagree with the interpretation of the laws regarding this process of distillation. What does vinous taste, really mean? We should fight draconian, prohibition era distill laws for the sake of freedom and tradition.