It is illegal in Illinois for residents to own or operate a still for any reason. A license is required to manufacture spirits, fuel, essential oils, etc.
(235 ILCS 5/10-10) (from Ch. 43, par. 192) Sec. 10-10. Upon the issuance of any such search warrant, it shall be the duty of the officers executing the same to forthwith enter the house, building, premises, boat, vehicle, receptacle or other place therein described, either in the day time or night time, by force, if necessary, and to remove therefrom and confiscate any alcoholic liquor manufactured, possessed or kept for sale, contrary to the terms of this Act, and any machinery, equipment or material used in connection therewith, and to hold such property until all prosecution arising out of said search and seizure shall have ended and determined, and it shall be the duty of the officers executing such search warrant to arrest any person or persons found using or in possession or control of such alcoholic liquor, articles or things.
Alcohol fuel and essential oils can be manufactured if you apply for a fuel alcohol permit, which also requires federal fuel licenses before you can apply for the state permit.
To legally distill spirits for commercial production you need to apply for a Class I Distillers License.
A Manufacturer's license consists of the following license classes and fee amounts:
REQUIRED: In addition to the above application and its supporting files, you must provide the Illinois Liquor Control Commission with copies of your Federal Basic Permit (http://www.ttb.gov/forms/f510024.pdf) and all Federal Label/Bottle Approvals (http://www.ttb.gov/forms/f510031.pdf).
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.
All alcoholic liquor unlawfully manufactured, stored, kept, sold or otherwise disposed of, and the containers thereof, and all equipment used or fit for use in the manufacture or production of the same which are found at or about any still or outfit for the unlawful manufacture of alcoholic liquor on unlicensed premises are hereby declared contraband, and no right of property shall be or exist in any person owning, furnishing or possessing any such property, liquor, material or equipment, but all such property, articles and things, including alcoholic liquor, shall be sold upon an order of the court
Being caught in the process of producing moonshine the fine is $1,000 and a misdemeanor offense. If the distilling continues the changes increase to a Class 4 felony. The still, equipment and spirits will be sized as well.
Current federal laws allow citizens the right to own a still and operate it for non-alcohol production.
This means legally you can: