Owning a still in Nebraska is legal as long as it is not used for the production of moonshine or other ethanol related products. Still owners can use their still for the distilling of water or production of essential oils as long as the process does not create ethanol byproducts.
Nebraska liquor control
Application for liquor license nonbeverage
To manufacture ethanol for non-beverage and non-consumption you need a specific license and costs from $50 per year to $300 per year which allows you to manufacture 100 gallons to 10,000 gallons.
Nebraska offers two difference distillery licenses for state residents.
A Micro distillery license is available and requires an application fee of $400, plus $250 for the license. An alcoholic liquor tax bond of minimum $1,000 is required.
A Distillery license is also available and costs $1,000 per year, and a minimum $1,000 bond.
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.
53-1,100. Violations; general penalty.
Any person (1) who manufactures, imports for distribution as a wholesaler, or distributes or sells alcoholic liquor at any place within the state without having first obtained a valid license to do so under the Nebraska Liquor Control Act, (2) who makes any false statement or otherwise violates any of the provisions of the act in obtaining any license under the act, (3) who, having obtained a license under the act, violates any of the provisions of the act with respect to the manufacture, possession, distribution, or sale of alcoholic liquor or with respect to the maintenance of the licensed premises, or (4) who violates any other provision of the act for which a penalty is not otherwise provided, shall for a first offense be guilty of a Class IV misdemeanor and for a second or subsequent offense shall be guilty of a Class II misdemeanor. Each day any person engages in business as a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer in violation of the act shall constitute a separate offense. In any prosecution in which a person is charged with an offense arising out of the failure to obtain a valid license as provided in subdivision (1) of this section, evidence of the failure of the accused to produce such license upon demand shall constitute prima facie proof that a license has not been issued by the commission to such person.
Along with fines and jail time the state also seems to be able to place a lien on the property where moonshine is manufactured, stored or sold.
53-198. Places operated in violation of act; declared common nuisances; violations Any room, house, building, boat, structure, or place of any kind where alcoholic liquors are sold, manufactured, bartered, or given away in violation of the Nebraska Liquor Control Act or where persons are permitted to resort for the purpose of drinking same in violation of the act, or any place where such liquors are kept for sale, barter, or gift in violation of the act, and all such liquors, and all property kept in and used in maintaining such a place, are each and all of them hereby declared to be a common nuisance. Any person who maintains or assists in maintaining such common nuisance shall be guilty of a violation of the act. If it is proved that the owner of any building or premises has knowingly suffered the same to be used or occupied for the manufacture, sale, or possession of alcoholic liquors contrary to the provisions of the act, such building or premises shall be subject to a lien for and may be sold to pay all fines and costs assessed against the occupant of such building or premises for any violation of the act. Such lien shall be immediately enforced by civil action in any court having jurisdiction by the county attorney of the county wherein such building or premises is located or by one of the assistant attorneys general assigned to the commission when directed by the commission.
Current federal laws allow citizens the right to own a still and operate it for non-alcohol production.
This means legally you can: