Originally Posted by OdinOneEye
Why make apple jack when we can get cheap apple brandy from the store?
Why brew cider when we can buy Woodchuck at the store?
I don't really understand the point of your questions. I think you are referring to my post where I mentioned that the risk of freeze distilling is the same as putting grow lights in the attic, and I gave my 2 cents in response to someone asking "how would the feds even know?" I could be wrong, but it sounds to me like you are reading my post as saying people should not distill because they can buy brandy, which I never said. Please, go back and read what I said in context if this is what you thought that I meant. My point of asking, rhetorically, why someone would want to distill when they can buy a better quality brandy for very little is to point out that some brewers, myself included, and every homebrewer I have talked to have thought about distilling because of the challenge of it -not for the quality. That is not an absolute with everyone- it's just my 2 cents based on what I have heard. I did not intend to suggest that because someone can buy cheap apple brandy, there is no point in distilling. The reason not to distill, if you decide not to, is the legality of it. If you go back and read my post, I think it's clear I was giving my opinion that the risk with distilling is that many of us want the challenge of doing it to say
we did it, and the risk in getting in trouble stems directly from telling people. I pointed out that the cheapest apple brandy will be better than freeze distilled hard cider (which will have concentrated fusel alcohols and methanol) to support my statement that my motivations to consider freeze distilling were for the challenge- not for quality- and if you do something for the challenge/thrill of it, then you are more likely to talk, and consequently, get caught. This is in direct response to the question that was asked- "how would the feds even know." Yes- it's a long shot-but that is how the feds would theoretically know. I can tell from experience that no one shows their still/grow lights or whatever to their enemies. Those who get busted, get busted because of "friends."
I'm an attorney, so that is how I looked at the question that was asked. When someone asks about doing something illegal, if I respond, and even if I do it somewhat anonymously on a message board, I will say that you shouldn't break the law, and you could get caught even if you think you won't. There are ethical rules that actually say that's the answer I'm supposed to give (more or less), and even if I posting anonymously, that is pretty much how I think of these things because of my career choice. I also took an oath saying that I'd never advise a person to break the law, so that's where I'm coming from.