State Overview state laws

Owning a still or opperating a still without a license in illegal in Hawaii. Owning a still is illegal even if it is not used, nor can it be used for basic usage like distilling water. A permit can be requested to use a still for non-ethanol use for things like essential oils, but this can also be denied.

Liquor laws for Hawaii

281-111 Condemnation of property or liquor; disposition.
Any still, plant, or other equipment shown to have been used for the manufacture of liquor in violation of this chapter and any liquor manufactured or sold in violation of this chapter shall be subject to summary seizure as herein provided or to subsequent seizure, and may be condemned and adjudged forfeited to the State, in addition to any penalty separately provided for the violation, the same to be enforced by appropriate legal proceedings in the name of the State. All such property and liquor so condemned and forfeited may be ordered by the court having jurisdiction (1) to be wholly or partially destroyed, or (2) to be sold, wholly or partially, for the account of the county wherein the same were seized; provided that the court may order any such liquor, if suitable, to be delivered to the department of health for distribution to any public institution for use therein for medicinal purposes.

Hawaii does allow residents to produce beer and wine for personal and household usage.

Stat. ยง281-3
It shall be unlawful for any person not having a valid license to manufacture or sell any liquor except as otherwise provided in this chapter; provided that the head of any family may produce for family use and not for sale an amount of wine not exceeding 200 gallons a year, and an amount of beer not exceeding 100 gallons a year.

Fuel manufacturing state laws

I could not find any information about ethanol used for fuel production in Hawaii. Since it is illegal to own a non-registered still this means a license of some type is required.

Legal manufacturing licenses & regulations

Hawaii does offer distillery licenses but no proper information was available.

There are several licenses you need to request to legally manufacture spirits. Below are the federal licenses only. Additional state requirements will need to be followed as well.

You must submit a request for a license to manufacture spirits: TTB 5110.41 Basic permit.

This license only allows you to produce spirits. You also need a license for the distilling equipment / distillery: TTB 5100.24 Distilled spirit plant

For manufacturing ethanol fuel you will need to submit a request for a TTB 5110.74 for a federal license.

Posession stills & moonshine

It is illegal to transport distilling equipment or distilled moonshine or be in possession of it even in your own home or property.

281-101 Manufacture or sale without license penalty.
If any person, acting in person or by or through any agent, servant, or employee, manufactures or sells any liquor, either directly or indirectly, or upon any pretense or by any subterfuge, except as authorized pursuant to this chapter, the person shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both

Federal laws

Current federal laws allow citizens the right to own a still and operate it for non-alcohol production.

This means legally you can:

Each state and even counties have their own laws that may supersede federal laws.

It is your responsibility to know the laws in your area.