[Artemisia] Alcohol Judging

Richard & Florence Evans rcfaevans at Comcast.net
Fri May 9 19:15:34 CDT 2008

I honestly think that this may have been misstated on the judging form due 
to the fact that we had little time and that we were jammed in a minivan 
trying to judge the brewing entries. (Alchohol wasn't allowed on the Site 
itself.)  If this was my form, I apologize.  But, since I was there and know 
exactly what was said, please accept this explanation:

No one was actually suggesting that one should actually break the law and 
distill.  Quite the contrary, we agreed we would have to disallow the entry 
because it broke civil law and therefore corpora law.  What we were trying 
to communicate was that, while judging the Authenticity portion, if one uses 
a mundane item, one needs to explain why.  Now, we know it is against the 
law.  We also know grinding lead for paint can cause nerve damage.  I simply 
feel, speaking as a judge, that anytime one replaces a Period item with a 
mundane item, it should be explained.  That's all...nothing else...no hidden 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mark" <whitewolf at lolopeak.com>
To: "Arie" <artemisia at lists.gallowglass.org>
Sent: Friday, May 09, 2008 2:49 PM
Subject: [Artemisia] Alcohol Judging

While reviewing a judging sheet from last weekends Arts & Sciences.

I came across what I feel is a troubling comment, it seems that in judging a 
liquor the comment was made something like "why did you not distill the 
alcohol yourself".

To suggest that someone should distil or that your score might be higher if 
you had presents several problems.

1)                  Distillation of beverage alcohol is a violation of 
federal law.  It is illegal in every state.  Unless you have both state & 
federal licenses to do it commercially.  This requires a list of 
requirements that is nearly endless. Including posting a $5,000 bond with 
the feds, plus whatever your state wants.

Yes, it is done.

I earn part of my living selling stills, still parts, yeast & other 
components that are specifically intended for doing just that.

I always point out that I can legally sell you this, and you can legally own 
all of it, but if you actually use it, it is illegal!

2)                  There are potential poisoning problems involved in 
distillation.  While the potential is generally exaggerated, they are real & 
deserve attention.

3)                  These are in fact separate activities.  Making a liquor 
& making the base alcohol are decidedly different processes.  They have 
little in common other than the beverage alcohol involved.

I repeat for emphases   Distillation of beverage alcohol is an illegal 
activity.  There is no provision in Federal Law (CFR-27 is the relevant 
section) for anyone to get permission to legally distill for personal 
beverage usage.

In my opinion:

Anyone who is in any position of authority, which includes judges in a 
competition, should not be suggesting that someone should be distilling, or 
that their scores might be higher if they had.

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