NEED TO KNOW

Maxim - - BE YOUR OWN BOOTLEGGER -

LE­GAL OR UN­LAW­FUL?

The govern­ment won’t splin­ter your door for buy­ing a still, but tech­ni­cally you can use it only to pu­rify wa­ter or ex­tract es­sen­tial oils from plants. (Gas prices got you down? You could ap­ply for an ethanol per­mit.)

WILL IT KILL YOU?

Pos­si­bly. Blind­ness? Ditto. Eye­ball your un­aged ’shine. It should be clear. Smell nail-pol­ish remover? That means methanol. Might be time for plan B: some store-bought booze.

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED

Stills can be dan­ger­ous: You’re es­sen­tially putting a flame be­neath a con­tainer full of flammable stuff. “The num­ber one rule,” says Doug Nut­ter, co­founder of Straitsville Spe­cial Moon­shine Dis­tillery, “is make sure you have good equip­ment and main­tain it.”

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