Anyone on here permitted to make their own ethanol?

I’m asking out of curiosity. It does require applying for a federal permit from the ATF. Seems like it’s not a good idea to open up a cannabis facility to the Feds, but the topic has come up multiple times

Getting a Distilled Spirits Permit(DSP) is a lengthy and sometimes expensive process. You are basically in line with any type of company that wants to generate drinkable ethanol whether for industrial use, like fuel additive, or consumption, whiskey making.

The “easier” option is to make an arrangement with a facility that already has a permit and get them to let you provide the materials in trade for ethanol at the end.

The cowboy way to do it is to have empty tax-paid barrels laying around and fill them back up with bootleg shine.


I’m way out in the boondocks. I know a few people with big stills in their backyard. They have offered me peach and corn derived ethanol to use in my extractions, but I don’t think they are breaking 120 proof or so, so I’ll stick to the lab grade stuff for now.

I know Rainer still tells you to get a fuel alcohol permit, bit it is still federal, so I have stayed away from it this far.

assuming you have a recovery still of your own, it’s pretty easy to go from 120 to 190. not legal though.

Throwing spent cannabis in with the sugar wash so you can claim you’re “reclaiming” your alcohol might be sufficient obfuscation…


Please excuse me if this should be its own topic, this is my first post on this site and I figured it was relevant to this topic. I have a few years of experience with hobby ethanol distilling and I’m currently getting a small lab set up for hemp extractions using ethanol (been lurking on this forum for about a month before posting as to not ask any dumb questions that have already been answered).

Given the $75/gallon price tag on this solvent and not currently having any way of reclaiming it, I’ll be making my own for the time being. I know the topic of reclaiming ethanol with a copper still has been answered with a relatively unanimous “bad idea” consensus, but what about using a copper still head for making the solvent from a sugar wash? Is it likely to leave any copper compounds in the final product?

Also, do you think 180 proof would suffice? I can make azeo, it just takes longer to do so with my current column setup. But I’d rather take that extra time on the ethanol manufacturing side than deal with issues further down the line in making my extract.

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I’ve tried making my own ethanol, but it just doesn’t make sense when you can recover most of it pretty easily with a panda and a rotovape.

As you will read all over the forums, water pulls chlorophyll. If your going to shatter or distillate, you will need to winterize. This process can usually take 4-24 hours pending how cold you want to go and how you are achieving it; via dry ice or a deep freezer.

I personally am using anhydrous ethanol right now and I’m achieving really good results, but it’s recommended to use 190 proof. When the water and ethanol are in the perfect azeotrope, the water won’t pull the chlorophyll.


Ah, so the fact that it’s an azeotrope makes the remaining 4.4% of water not pull the chlorophyll. That makes sense given the bond. Alrighty, well it only takes another 2 hours of distilling time to make 5 gallons of azeo rather than just making 180 proof. Glad I asked before I went and cut corners. As soon as I have the funds, a rotovap is definitely next on the purchase list. Thanks for that!