Federal regulations require distilled spirits to include certain ingredients and to be made a certain way. For example, bourbon whiskey is defined as whiskey produced in the U.S. that does not exceed 80% alcohol by volume, is made from a fermented mash of not less than 51% corn, and is stored at not more than 62.5% alcohol by volume in charred new oak containers.
You must provide the TTB with the following information about your products:
- The types of spirits you plan to distill;
- The ingredients you intend to use to make each spirit;
- How much of each spirit you will distill;
- How much of each spirit you will age and store at your DSP; and
- The location and type of container you will use to age and store each spirit.
Answering these questions will also help you to decide the type and size of equipment you’ll need to start your distillery. For more information on acceptable formulas, visit the TTB’s website.
After you settle on your major pieces of equipment, you’ll need to draw a floor plan of your distillery showing those major pieces of equipment. The TTB will also want to see which parts of your distillery are used for production and storage of products on which you have not yet recorded federal excise taxes (also known as “untaxpaid spirits”). These areas need to be separated from areas accessible to the public. Some system manufacturers, such as Corson Distilling, have staff on hand to help with this process and to prepare the drawing.