A recent question, though vague and needing some work to be a good question, touches on distilling. Legality has been discussed in this (meta) forum, but I wasn't able to find anything in the FAQ's that specifically said, "Brewing, not distilling", or "Beer/Wine/Sake, not liquor".

What is the definition of what we want this site to cover?

  • Presumably, this was covered in the proposal phase of the SE, but I wasn't around then, so it may not have been.
    – baka
    Mar 22, 2011 at 18:06
  • 1
    I'd also be interested in knowing if this was discussed during proposal phase.
    – drj
    Sep 23, 2011 at 18:10
  • 2
    Why do people assume its illegal to discuss distillation and distilling? First amendment anyone??
    – brewchez
    Feb 17, 2012 at 3:33
  • In meta sites, upvotes on a question typically indicate "yes." Take that and add to it the fact that the #1 answer here with 15 upvotes is in favor of including distilling (and there is no real stated reason against including it) and I'm having trouble seeing why we close distilling questions.
    – Preston
    Nov 3, 2015 at 4:24

4 Answers 4


I vote yes - bring it on topic. Making spirits, particularly whiskey, is incredibly similar to making beer. Malt, yeast, temperature control, fermentation, etc. It'd be a little strange to propose an area51 site for "fermenting malt sugars using yeast but not producing beer, wine, champagne, mead or sake".

Here in Australia, stilling batches under 5L in volume is perfectly legal. Most LHBS stores sell stills and many brewers either have their own, or have a friend that does. I'd suggest that American legal questions are "too local" and should be flagged as off-topic.


It appears, from the proposal phase, that distilling was voted as off-topic:


  • 1
    Agreed, I'd never seen that. I personally agree with the sentiment, though at this phase, I'd feel the need to err on the side of allowing anything that might help the site get off the ground. That being said, I don't think including distilling would help the site grow in a coherent way.
    – Mlusby
    Mar 22, 2011 at 19:16
  • 1
    @mlusby yes, allowing distilling seems to bring as many cons as pros.. maybe more. Mar 24, 2011 at 1:42
  • 5
    Ignoring legality, what cons are there? Mar 26, 2011 at 7:25
  • 1
    Thanks for including the link. I wonder if the votes of 17 people reflect an international participant population.
    – drj
    Sep 23, 2011 at 18:17

Distilling is legal in a lot of countries. I'm in New Zealand and often experiment with distilling as well and beer brewing. I'm sure it would be very useful if my friends and I could ask distilling questions here.

  • 2
    I'd think that using tags to distinguish the distilling questions should be sufficient to avoid diluting the beer brewing primary emphasis.
    – drj
    Sep 23, 2011 at 18:19

Perhaps a distilling.stackexchange.com that is separate from homebrew.stackexchange.com should be started for everyone else who lives in jurisdictions where home-distilling is legal?

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .