Skip to content

Why is moonshine illegal?

Why is moonshine illegal?

Why is moonshine illegal?

Moonshine refers to illicitly produced or homemade distilled alcohol, typically made in small quantities and without proper licenses or regulations. The legality of moonshine varies by jurisdiction, and the reasons for its prohibition or regulation are multifaceted. Here are some common reasons why moonshine may be illegal or subject to strict regulations:

  1. Safety Concerns: Homemade distillation processes can be dangerous if not done correctly. There is a risk of explosions, fires, and the production of toxic substances, such as methanol, which can be harmful or even fatal if consumed.
  2. Quality Control: Moonshine production often lacks the quality control measures that legal and regulated distilleries adhere to. This can lead to the production of alcohol with unpredictable potency and impurities, posing health risks to consumers.
  3. Taxation: One significant reason for regulating the production of alcohol is the collection of taxes. Governments often impose excise taxes on alcoholic beverages to generate revenue. Unregulated production and distribution of moonshine can result in lost tax revenue.
  4. Illicit Trade and Organized Crime: Moonshine production outside legal frameworks can contribute to illicit trade and organized crime. It may be associated with smuggling, tax evasion, and other illegal activities.
  5. Consumer Protection: Legal alcoholic beverage production is subject to regulations aimed at ensuring consumer safety. Moonshine produced without proper oversight may not adhere to these regulations, putting consumers at risk.
  6. Control of Alcohol Consumption: Governments regulate the production and sale of alcoholic beverages to manage and control alcohol consumption within society. Unregulated moonshine production could contribute to excessive alcohol consumption and related social issues.

It’s important to note that regulations surrounding the production and sale of alcohol vary widely from country to country and even within different regions. In some places, individuals are allowed to produce a limited amount of alcohol for personal use, but selling or distributing it without proper licensing remains illegal.

If you are interested in producing alcohol, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations governing alcohol production in your specific location. Engaging in legal and responsible practices ensures safety, quality, and adherence to the law.

Why is moonshine illegal?

Moonshine, which refers to illegally produced and untaxed distilled alcoholic beverages, is illegal for several reasons:

  1. Safety Concerns: Homemade or illicitly produced moonshine can be extremely dangerous because it’s often prepared in unregulated and unsanitary conditions. This can lead to contamination and the production of alcohol with high levels of impurities, including methanol, which can be toxic and even lethal if consumed.
  2. Lack of Regulation: Legal alcohol production is subject to government regulations to ensure the safety and quality of the product. These regulations cover aspects like production methods, labeling, and the alcoholic content of beverages. Moonshine production typically bypasses these regulations.
  3. Tax Evasion: One of the main reasons moonshine is illegal is because it involves the production of alcohol without paying the required excise taxes. Governments depend on these taxes to fund various public services and infrastructure, and illegal alcohol production represents a loss of tax revenue.
  4. Underground Economy: The production and sale of moonshine often occur in an underground or black market economy. This can lead to illegal activities, tax evasion, and the potential for organized crime involvement.
  5. Health Risks: The production of moonshine does not adhere to safety and quality standards, which can result in health risks for consumers. Illicitly produced alcohol may contain harmful substances or be contaminated, leading to serious health consequences.

In some cases, individuals may produce homemade alcohol for personal use, but it is typically subject to quantity limitations and regulations. However, large-scale moonshine production and distribution are illegal in most countries due to the associated risks and the need for government oversight and taxation.

What are the reasons why moonshine is illegal in the U.S.?

If you sell a jar of moonshine for say 20 dollars, you take that 20 dollars put it into your pocket. The goverment is now wondering were there part is of the 20 dollars. Sales tax, everyone knows that no matter what it is you are trying to sell, make or buy the goverment is going to get there piece of the pie.

There are other reasons to such as USDA reasons, how clean are the tools and the envirment that surrounds the product. Then there are other crazy rules that are to complexed such what state what proof and many more laws and guid lines a moonshiner must obey buy, so it still breaks down to the goverment must rule.

What are the biggest differences between Brazil and Mexico?

Making Moonshine looks like a lot of work for something that isn’t that profitable, and is illegal, so why do people do it?

Making anything can be a lot of work. I make lasagna a couple times a year…it’s a half day job, and a lot of work.

It can be a lot of work, but it’s divided up in two or 3 sections. First, you mix the ingredients to ferment and add the yeast. Then you wait as it ferments. Then you clear it or wait for it to clear. Then you take the cleared liquid and distill it. Then you proof or cut it and bottle it. So, the process is done over a few sessions…not so onerous all at once.

As far as profitable, I don’t recommend selling it. It can be very rewarding just making it for yourself and sharing it with friends…some pretty impressive bragging rights for producing your own alcohol! Illegal…in some places, not all places. And I don’t think the law is really interested in busting someone for making it in their basement for their own enjoyment. And, believe me, you’ll save a crap load of money making your own. A little sugar, water, yeast, whatever other ingredients you choose for the type of alcohol you make. Equipment may cost a bit to set up, but it pays back quickly in dollars saved.

I bought a book from Amazon a few months ago which has become my new ‘bible’. It walks through the process in easy to understand language, gives lots of recipes for lots of liquors and liqueurs, even sources for equipment. It’s ‘How to Master Moonshine’ by RW Marshall, and as I said, I ordered it on Amazon. I’ve made lots of my own now, and all my friends are in awe that I can make my own whiskey, rum and moonshine now! I don’t sell it though. I don’t want that risk, or stress…but I’m saving lots of money not going to the liquor shop!

What exactly is moonshine that makes it illegal in a lot of places?

The main reason is that unlike liquor store/bar liquor, with shine the .gov isn’t getting their cut.

The BATFE is a TAX agency as much as an anti fun agency. In fact, before they were the ATF, their cops were called “revenooers”, for “Revenue Agents” who were tasked with shutting down Tax Free Liquor production & distribution.

Now, some folks will tell you it’s because the Gubment only wants ta protek yall from poison shine made in car radiators, but that’s just the lie to make their Taxin’ more believable.

Note that you can purchace some really good copper kettle stills these days, and even some fractional tower stills… but only to make “fuel grade ethanol”, though there has been somenlimited dispensation given to allow small quantities of alcohol for personal consumption, but by ghu you better not sell or trade any of it or Batman will kick in your face.

Making Moonshine looks like a lot of work for something that isn’t that profitable, and is illegal, so why do people do it?

I do it as a hobby. The illegal part doesn’t concern me, as the very essence of my being is as illegal as it gets.

I find it fun to handpick your equipment for the product you are going to produce, like customizing a car. I like combing over every single ingredient in the mash or wash and preparing it perfectly, like a memorized cooking recipe. I like to fire up the still and feel the heat radiate off of it.

I like to hear the boiler thumping with the bubbles of alcohol vapor. All of your work comes to fruition when those crystal-clear drops start falling from the condenser and into the jar. The taste is better than anything you can buy, and the satisfaction is most certainly something you cannot buy.

While it is a decent amount of work, you are enjoying every moment of it.

It doesn’t seem like it’s profitable, but it really is. Let’s say you go the store and buy a 750-ml bottle of vodka, whiskey, gin, rum, etc. You will be spending somewhere between $20 and $50, which is not too bad, right? What if I told you I could duplicate that drink for approximately 70 cents?

Yes. I said 70 cents. That can sure save you a lot of money and potentially make you a hell of a lot more if you sell it cheaper than commercial to a tight-knit customer base. I will give the example that “I totally did not do it and am only recalling a dream.”.

In this dream, I was in high school when I started moonshining. High schoolers love to party (with bonfires), and alcohol was in very short supply. That was until I came along. Seeing as I had a monopoly on the market, I could charge whatever I wanted.

I charged $1/fl oz, which is $128/gal. I could barely keep up with production due to such an overwhelming demand. I was pumping out batches left and right. It cost me about $3.50 to make a gallon, which I would turn around and sell for $128 per gallon. A 3,557% profit margin. Each batch was 4 gallons of 191 proof, which was diluted out to 10 gallons of 80 proof. This comes out to $1,280 for about 8 to 10 hours of work total per batch. Yeah. Profitable is an understatement.

Now take those numbers and scale it up to the size of a small town or city that is “dry” due to local laws. You can make an absolute fortune.

It isn’t just the money, though. Moonshine is also leaps and bounds ahead of 95% of commercial alcohols in terms of quality. In fact, after educating yourself on the production of moonshine and commercial alcohol, you will look at commercial alcohols with disgust and happily choose moonshine whenever it is available.

Did you know that you can get absolutely blackout drunk and wake up without any hangover whatsoever? In fact, you will wake up more refreshed and feeling better than you usually do after a night of heavy drinking. Of course, most people will scoff at this notion and call it bullshit. They think this is because it is physically impossible with commercially available alcohol.

You see, when alcohol is being distilled, there are three parts to it. The first third of liquid that comes out of the still is known as the “heads.” This part of the run will contain some really nasty stuff such as acetone, formaldehyde, and methanol, which are all toxic. The middle third of the run is known as the “hearts.”.

This is the cleanest, purest, and best-tasting alcohol that will be produced. This is the good stuff. The last third is the “tails.”. This stuff is almost as bad as the “heads,” as it contains heavy oils, dirty water, and other nasty things. It also smells like fermenting toe cheese.

A good distiller will make the “cuts” where he knows where the “heads” stop and the “hearts” begin. He will also know when the “hearts” have run out and the “tails” are beginning. Making these “cuts” is absolutely crucial in collecting only the clean, good alcohol, which are the “hearts,” and leaving out the nasty shit, which is discarded. The nasty stuff in the “heads” and “tails” is what is responsible for causing hangovers.

Now commercial distilleries are taxed on every drop of alcohol they produce. The government doesn’t care if it is heads, hearts, or tails. They tax it all. The distilleries are trying to make maximum profit margins, so they make their cuts farther into the heads and tails of the run, which provides more product at a lower quality. A quality that 99.9999% of consumers think is good enough. This is reason #1 why commercial alcohol stinks and why you get hangovers from it.

Excluding micro-distilleries, the large distillers run something called a “continuous still.”. Now, when distilling, you boil (distill) the alcohol out of your mash and collect it then dump out your spent mash (no alcohol left) before refilling the boiler with mash and doing another run. These “continuous stills” actually never shut off because it decrease profit margins due to wasted time. So what they do instead is run the still until the mash is spent.

Once spent, the heat remains on, the mash is drained and new mash is pumped in. The entire time the still is heated while the mash is being drained, more and more nasty shit is coming out of the previous product. Also, the boiler is not cleaned out between runs, which leads to absolutely disgusting conditions inside the still. These are still only cleaned out after a couple dozen runs. F**king nasty.

So when you drink commercial alcohol, you are drinking alcohol contaminated with some truly toxic and disgusting things, which are actually responsible for a decent amount of liver damage on top of the alcohol. Not to mention head-splitting headaches and a deathly feeling the next day.

Drinking adequate water and consuming vitamin B is the other half of the hangover. The stuff I drink is without a doubt the cleanest, best-tasting alcohol produced.

What are the reasons why moonshine is illegal in the U.S.?

Moonshine was made on farms all over America, because it was a cheap compact way to transport your grain to market. And literally from the beginning, the government wanted it’s cut. This nearly caused a small civill war known as the whiskey rebellion. And the rest as they say is history.

The Whiskey Rebellion was a 1794 uprising of farmers and distillers in western Pennsylvania in protest of a whiskey tax enacted by the federal government. Following years of aggression with tax collectors, the region finally exploded in a confrontation that resulted in President Washington sending in troops to quell what some feared could become a full-blown revolution.

Opposition to the whiskey tax and the rebellion itself built support for the Republicans, who overtook Washington’s Federalist Party for power in 1802. The Whiskey Rebellion is considered one of the first major tests of the authority of the newly formed U.S. government.

When did it become illegal to drink moonshine in the United States?


there is no law ,nor ever was, controlling what You Consume.

The law about untaxed, unregulated liquor being Made, Distributed, Transported, Possessed, Sold dates back to the Whiskey Rebellion, about 1782, when first tried. After Prohibition, Fed. law made illegal the home distillation of anything. You could make wine and beer for own consumption; but in 1932, you needed Fed tax stamp to distill. This was because many poisoned or blinded from bad hooch or Methanol in the ‘twenties.

distillation, Safely, especially with fermented fruit juice, requires fractional distillation to reduce fusel oil, acetaldehyde, and methanol that might be in the batch. This is why brandy stills have that double bulb condenser. Top one is to remove the more volatile, lower boiling point, Bad stuff.

Why is moonshine legal in Tennessee?

It isn’t. Moonshining isn’t legal anywhere. Moonshining means distilling alcohol without a license and without paying the requisite taxes. Tennessee and Kentucky happen to have a topography that makes it hard to cover by motorized vehicles, so it’s easier there than in other places. And, there is a culture there that doesn’t care for Revenuers (federal agents whose job it is to find and destroy stills and bring the operators to justice). So, it happens there, but it’s not legal anywhere in the US.

Distilled spirits made in the way moonshine is made, but made by legal, licensed, and taxed distillers is made in several states and sold in stores, but in as much as it is made legally, it isn’t “real moonshine” in that regard.

What does it mean to call someone a “twatwaffle”?

What kind of alcohol is in moonshine?


Moonshine is defined as a homemade, un-aged whiskey, marked by its clear color, corn base, and high alcohol content (sometimes peaking as high as 190 proof).

Moonshine is a term used to describe illicitly produced or homemade distilled alcohol. The type of alcohol in moonshine is typically ethanol, the same type of alcohol found in legally produced spirits. Ethanol is the psychoactive ingredient responsible for the intoxicating effects of alcoholic beverages.

Moonshine can be made from various base ingredients, and the choice of ingredients can influence the flavor and characteristics of the final product. Common base ingredients for moonshine include:

  1. Corn: Corn-based moonshine, often known as corn whiskey, is a popular choice. Corn contributes to a distinctive flavor profile.
  2. Fruit: Some moonshiners use fruits such as apples, peaches, or grapes to produce fruit brandies or fruit-infused moonshine.
  3. Sugar: Sugar-based moonshine, often referred to as sugar shine or sugar wash, is made using sugar, water, and yeast to produce a fermented liquid that is then distilled.
  4. Molasses: Molasses, a byproduct of sugar production, is used in some moonshine recipes. This can result in a product similar to rum.

The distillation process is a key step in moonshine production, as it concentrates and purifies the alcohol. However, homemade distillation can be dangerous if not done correctly, and it may result in the production of toxic substances like methanol. This is one reason why moonshine is often subject to legal restrictions and regulations.

It’s important to note that while some people may produce moonshine for personal consumption in regions where it is legal to do so, selling or distributing homemade alcohol without proper licensing is typically illegal and can pose serious health and safety risks. Additionally, commercially produced and regulated spirits adhere to specific quality and safety standards, providing a level of assurance for consumers.

Is there 99% alcohol in moonshine?

Moonshine is usually distilled to 40% ABV, and seldom above 66% based on 48 samples. For example, conventional pot stills commonly produce 40% ABV, and top out between 60% and 80% ABV after multiple distillations. However, ethanol can be dried to 95% ABV by heating 3A molecular sieves such as 3A zeolite.

Is Ole Smoky actually moonshine?

Experience the magic of moonshine at Ole Smoky Distillery’s unique locations. Step back in time at “The Holler” and “The Barrelhouse” in Gatlinburg, TN, where rustic charm and traditional distilling methods will transport you to the Prohibition era. Taste the distinct corn whiskey flavors that made moonshine famous.

What is real moonshine made of?

The traditional ingredients for moonshine are corn and sugar, and during fermentation, the sugar produces ethanol, which makes hooch or moonshine. During distillation, alcohol separates from the mash.

Real moonshine typically refers to illegally produced or homemade distilled alcohol. The ingredients used in moonshine can vary, and the choice of ingredients influences the flavor and characteristics of the final product. Moonshine is often made from readily available and affordable ingredients, and the base ingredient can include:

  1. Corn: Corn-based moonshine, often referred to as corn whiskey, is a common type. Corn contributes a distinct flavor profile, and corn-based moonshine is associated with a sweet and robust taste.
  2. Fruit: Some moonshiners use fruits such as apples, peaches, or grapes to produce fruit brandies or fruit-infused moonshine. This can add fruity notes to the final product.
  3. Sugar: Sugar-based moonshine, known as sugar shine or sugar wash, is made using sugar, water, and yeast to produce a fermented liquid. The use of sugar can result in a neutral or mildly sweet moonshine.
  4. Molasses: Molasses, a byproduct of sugar production, is used in some moonshine recipes. This can produce a product similar to rum, with a rich and dark flavor.

The distillation process is a critical step in moonshine production, as it concentrates and purifies the alcohol. However, homemade distillation can be risky and may lead to the production of toxic substances, such as methanol, if not done correctly. This is one reason why moonshine is often subject to legal restrictions and regulations.

It’s essential to note that making moonshine without the proper licenses and adhering to safety regulations is illegal in many places. Commercially produced and regulated spirits undergo quality control measures to ensure safety and quality, and consuming illicitly produced moonshine can pose serious health risks.

If you are interested in distilled spirits, it is advisable to explore legal avenues, such as learning about homebrewing or pursuing a legal distillation process in regions where it is permitted. Engaging in legal and responsible practices ensures safety, quality, and adherence to the law.

How do you feel about Sabine now being a Jedi and able to use the force?


Moonshine, the liquor itself, is not illegal. However, colloquially, we refer to moonshine as an alcohol produced by a distillery that either does not have proper business permits or hasn’t paid the excise taxes to the government to make it legal to sell. There are several distilleries that have gone through the proper hoops to make and sell “moonshine,” which you can find at many liquor stores.

It’s illegal because the government wants to collect huge taxes on its production. We pay taxes on everything, from gasoline to popcorn. No different. Every government in the world taxes alcohol to some extent. If you want to try making your own, here’s something really easy.

Take a gallon of warm water. Add a kilogram of plain white sugar. Let it cool to room temperature. Add a wine yeast like champagne…you can get at any wine supply store or u brew. Mix and let ferment covered with a cloth (unless you want bugs in it). Don’t seal it; gas has to escape!! It’ll take a few days. Then let it settle out, and carefully pour the clear liquid into some plastic pop bottles.

Put it in the freezer for a couple days. Pour off what doesn’t freeze—it’s alcohol!! Instant vodka!! It won’t hurt you; it’s only sugar, water, and yeast! I learned that from a book I got on Amazon called How to Master Moonshine by RW Marshall. I love it! Lots of recipes too!


You are making a dangerous drink in a dangerous device. Why would you think that after all the medical problems from moonshine and the deaths from manufacture, that someone wouldn’t have made it illegal?

It’s also presumed that someone making it will share or sell it. That violates a large number of health and food laws, even if moonshine wasn’t illegal. So they made specific laws against moonshine to cover those cases more thoroughly.

Why is moonshine illegal?

error: Content is protected !!