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-   -   Question on 100 Gallon Limit (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/question-100-gallon-limit-263633/)

NewEnglandSoul 08-19-2011 04:25 AM

Question on 100 Gallon Limit
I'm sure this has been discussed before and is probably common knowledge for a lot of you, but I've only recently started in homebrewing beer and thinking about winemaking.

Is the usual 100 gallon legal limit for winemaking (200 in a household with two or more adults) distinct from the limit for beer? In other words, if my household brews 200 gallons of beer within a year, can we also make 200 gallons of wine in addition to the beer?

weirdboy 08-19-2011 04:54 AM

I believe they are separate. The limits for each are specified in different sections of the code, and state "wine" and "beer" in their respective sections with regards to the limits.

NewEnglandSoul 08-19-2011 04:55 AM

Does anyone know where I can actually find this information (preferably the legal documents themselves)? Googling is proving a very ineffective research method.

bigbeergeek 08-19-2011 04:56 AM

Oh gawd, be careful talking about that stuff on here. Panties get twisted very quickly once legal matters start flying around... DUCK!

weirdboy 08-19-2011 05:07 AM

U.S. Code for beer:


5053. Exemptions
(e) Beer for personal or family use
Subject to regulation prescribed by the Secretary, any adult may, without payment of tax, produce beer for personal or family use and not for sale. The aggregate amount of beer exempt from tax under this subsection with respect to any household shall not exceed—
(1) 200 gallons per calendar year if there are 2 or more adults in such household, or
(2) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only 1 adult in such household.
For purposes of this subsection, the term “adult” means an individual who has attained 18 years of age, or the minimum age (if any) established by law applicable in the locality in which the household is situated at which beer may be sold to individuals, whichever is greater.

U.S. Code for Wine

5042. Exemption from tax
(2) Wine for personal or family use
Subject to regulations prescribed by the Secretary—
(A) Exemption
Any adult may, without payment of tax, produce wine for personal or family use and not for sale.
(B) Limitation
The aggregate amount of wine exempt from tax under this paragraph with respect to any household shall not exceed—
(i) 200 gallons per calendar year if there are 2 or more adults in such household, or
(ii) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only 1 adult in such household.

KevinM 08-19-2011 06:09 AM

Perhaps, but the position I think many of us take is:

We are not legal experts and any advice we may offer is not a recommendation, suggestion, or definition of the actual law, and that we advise that you consult your lawyer in regards to any laws that may affect you, and that because we are not giving legal advice, that we are not liable for any or all results that may be brought against "you" defined as the person looking at said statements and that what we say in no way defines our interpretation of such laws, and that we are in no way advising to produce more than what is defined by said law.

However, my interpretation, which in no manner is a legal definition, or has resulted in me producing greater than the stated amount, is that I would have on hand, no more than 100 gallons of any alcoholic substance produced in my place of residence which in no way defines me as having produced greater than, or less than the stated amount per us law.

Yuri_Rage 08-19-2011 06:31 AM


Originally Posted by AZ_IPA (Post 3184241)
Well, if you are advocating breaking federal law, I would ask to not post about it on this forum.

So would I. A responsible person asked a responsible question. Some of the answers appear quite irresponsible.

Our hobby is often misunderstood and confused with illegal activity. Some legislators misunderstand it to the extent that they vote against any state legislation to legalize homebrewing (see Alabama) or ban homebrewing where it is already legal (see Alaska). To suggest that we enjoy our hobby outside the boundaries of the law only serves to bolster the arguments to further restrict it.

tchuklobrau 08-19-2011 11:09 AM

+1 Yuri

Also sometimes it is not about what you can get away with. It is about taking a stand and doing what is right. Just because you can do a thing does not mean you should do a thing.

WIP 08-19-2011 03:25 PM

I personally keep my home stuff under the legal limits. 200 for beer and 200 for wine. The reason for that is two fold. 1) I am a professional, my books are checked regularly. If I was to cross my books somehow, I would be in big trouble. I also keep a record book at home so they can see where each batch comes from if needed. 2) I want to distill spirits in the near future, and if questioned, I want my books to reflect all of my stock, distilled or not.

weirdboy 08-19-2011 04:25 PM

To answer your question regarding the limit and cellaring, there isn't any hard and fast proof of how much wine/beer was made in any given year, unless of course you are posting up videos of yourself making every batch. This whole thing basically works on the honor system.

Personally, I keep records of every batch I make along with tasting notes, etc. So it is very easy to look at my brew log and figure out how many gallons I've made in any year.

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