13 Δεκ Why Is Brewing Beer Legal and Moonshine Illegal
It all started right after the American Revolution, Spoelman explains, when the government began imposing excise taxes on alcohol to pay off its war debts. From the beginning, American farmers who produced the grain used in the moonlight didn`t have it – after all, they were just fighting British tax tariffs. This tension eventually led to the Whiskey Rebellion, in which George Washington led a crackdown on farmers who made money by distilling their grain in the moonlight. Plus, homemade beer still only gives you ethanol, not methanol, so you don`t have to worry about homebrewed beer. Officially, the U.S. government considers moonshine an “imaginative term” and does not regulate its use. Correction, October 26, 2007: The original version states that it is illegal to brew alcoholic beverages at home. Before 1978, winemaking was actually authorized by the government. (Return to the corrected sentence.) You`ve never had moonlight if you think it`s something like beer. It is rather a very strong whisky. And moonshiners can make a bank. You can bring in more than $100,000 per year in a legal transaction [source: Harvison]. And probably earn even more if it is an illegal operation.
A moonlight bust in Tennessee brought back 1,000 moonshine pots, with a market value of $50,000 [source: Young]. And for someone who has never drunk alcohol before, they have a low tolerance, and even a moonlight will affect them a lot. But just a beer won`t be so harmful to them, even if it`s still not good. So when people make homemade moonshine, sell it, or keep it for themselves, the government is missing out on the money they could have made from alcohol. The problem with moonshine is that people who do it often don`t know what they`re doing, so they let the methanol get into the final moonshine. 😛 Then you have to deal with those who say that legal moonshine, by definition, cannot be moonshine at all. To make a good moonshine safely, you need to be able to prove it and make sure it doesn`t contain too much alcohol. However, experienced moonshiners can simply shake a moonshine glass by measuring density based on the size of the bubbles and how quickly they burst. The larger the bubbles and the faster they burst, the higher the alcohol content [source: Moonshine Heritage]. Today, federal regulations state that a two-adult household can brew up to 200 gallons of wine and the same amount of beer each year. Depending on where the beer was made and the type of beer, it is only taxed at $0.11 to $0.58 per gallon (3.79 litres). Are you a NASCAR fan? You owe it to the moonshiners.
During Prohibition in the 1920s, smugglers illegally selling moonlight discovered a common need to evade federal tax officials. This has led to vehicles with increasingly inflated engines – and informal bragging races. Prosecutors point out that moonlight poses serious health risks, including heavy metal toxicity. So how dangerous is it? There is no inspection of the manufacturing process, so the quality and degree of contamination vary. (There are informal and inaccurate ways to test the purity of the hooch: you can light something up and look for a blue flame, or shake the pint and look for clear drops of liquid that dissolve quickly.) In addition to drinking too much and doing something stupid — oh, like attacking someone with a chainsaw and fire extinguisher — the biggest risk is lead poisoning, as a homemade distillery can be made of car radiators or pipes that have been dangerously welded together. A study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine in September 2003 found that more than half of moonlight drinkers have enough lead in their bloodstream to exceed what the CDC calls a “level of concern.” In fact, even buying or owning any type of distillery (the container used to distill spirits) is illegal in many countries. The same was true for fermenting beer and wine — it was only legal if you got a federal license before launch. And it was a big effort. But then the laws changed. In 1979, Prez Carter signed a bill legalizing home brewing. After that, each adult was allowed to brew up to 100 gallons of beer per year.
(Beer for personal use only – you were not allowed to sell it. A federal license was still required for the sale. But you can brew it and drink it yourself, no license required.) While the illegality of home distillation appears to be a barrier in the current craft alcohol boom, the federal government argues that it is a way to protect consumers. One of the ways the government has been able to commercialize this legislation is by alluding to the idea that making moonshine at home is dangerous because it can be contaminated with toxic heavy metal particles. These avoidable risks include contamination of the spirit drink with methanol, which is known to cause blindness. Other risks that can come with distilling your own moonshine include hobby-related hazards such as fan stills. In fact, it`s not illegal in most states and you don`t need to have a license. I brew beer at home and I don`t have a license. Apparently, I can brew up to 100 gallons a year, 200 gallons in some places. However, distillation is illegal/regulated in many countries, so you might think so. Beer can also be bad, like any alcoholic substance, but it would take a lot more beer to drink in a short period of time to be harmful. Yes, moonlight = – or strong, homemade alcoholic beverages – is dangerous.
One of the biggest differences between Moonshine and Homebrew is their creation. All depend on sugar and yeast for fermentation, but not in the same way. To make beer, boil the malt extract, hops and grains in water before straining the mixture and fermenting with yeast for about 10 days. At this point, add a solution of sugar/boiled water to the yeast mixture, pour it into bottles and let it sit for a few weeks [source: American Homebrewers Association]. While you may see “moonlight” on your local liquor shelves, it`s not exactly the most accurate nickname for a bottled brand. Light whiskey in the style of moonlight might be for sale, but technically moonshine is moonshine because it is produced illegally. Even though moonshine is illegal at home, you may still be curious about how to do it properly. Making moonshine is easier with a step-by-step recipe, but that doesn`t guarantee you`re doing it right.
It is still illegal. When the moonlight leaves the distillery for the last time, it should look as clear as fresh water. And the taste? Some say it taste like corn; Others compare it to alcohol. It probably depends on the manufacturer. Some distillers add fruit aromas to the moonlight to make it smoother and easier to drink. While homemade beer or wine contains about 5-15% alcohol by volume, moonlight can reach more than 80% alcohol by volume [source: California State University, Homebrewing, Moonshine Heritage]. It`s a huge kick. Although prohibition ended in 1933, it did not really solve the problems faced by home brewers.