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HMRC internal manual

Spirits Production Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Introduction - Glossary

| ALCOHOL | Ethyl alcohol or ethanol. | || | ALDA | The Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 | | BUB | A mixture of yeast and wort for promoting fermentation | | CAP | The Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union. | | CEMA | The Customs and Excise Management Act 1979. | | CONDENSER | A heat exchanger which condenses the vaporised alcohol into its liquid form to be collected via the low wines or spirits safe. | | DIASTASE | An enzyme, developed by the malting process, which converts starch to sugars during mashing. | | DISTILLER | A person holding a licence to manufacture spirits. | | DISTILLERS WAREHOUSE | An excise warehouse approved by us under section 15 of the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979, for the storage of the spirits produced at a distillery. A limited range of operations, such as racking, can be carried out in a distiller’s warehouse. | | DISTILLERY | Premises where spirits are manufactured whether by distillation of a fermented liquor or by any other process. | | DRIP | The measured quantity of liquid sufficient to cover the bottom of a gauged vessel and any curved junction. | | EU | The European Union. | | ENZYME | A protein substance produced by living cells which, in the presence of other substances, acts as a catalyst. | | FEINTS | Spirits conveyed into a feints receiver. | | FREE CIRCULATION | Goods are in free circulation when the import formalities have been complied with and any customs duty has been paid and not wholly or partly refunded. | | GRAVITY | The ratio of the weight of a volume of liquid to the weight of an equal volume of distilled water, both volumes being measured at 20°C.
“Original gravity” is the gravity of wort before it is fermented.
“Final gravity” is the gravity of wash when taken to be distilled. | | GAUGING | The process by which a vessel is calibrated. | | HMWR | The Excise Goods (Holding, Movement Warehousing and REDS) Regulations 1992. | | INWARD PROCESSING RELIEF (IPR) | Relief from customs duty on the importation of goods from countries outside the EU for process and re-export outside the community. | | IRISH WHISKEY | Whiskey which has been distilled and matured in Northern Ireland or in the Republic of Ireland or partly in one and partly in the other. | | LOW WINES | Weak spirits obtained from the distillation of wash. | | POTABLE | Fit to drink. | | PROCESS | An operation carried out in order to manufacture spirits, including operations on spirits after their manufacture. | | RTR | The Revenue Traders (Accounts and Records) Regulations 1992. | | SAFE | A secure box with transparent panels designed to enclose the tail or outlet pipe of the worm or condenser. It provides an opportunity:

  • to watch the flow of spirits or feints;
  • to test for quality and strength; and
  • to route them to the spirit receiver or feints receiver as appropriate.    
      SCOTCH WHISKY Whisky which has been distilled and matured in Scotland and meets the definition set out in the Scotch Whisky Act 1988 and the Scotch Whisky Order 1990.
      STILL The apparatus, or any part of an apparatus, in which spirits are produced.
      TAX WAREHOUSE A premises approved for the production, processing, holding, receipt or dispatch of excise goods under duty-suspension arrangements.
      TSR The Spirits Regulations 1991.
      WASH Wort in which fermentation has begun. After fermentation, the wash will form the raw material for the distillation process.
      WASH BACK A vessel in which wort is collected and fermented into wash.
      WASH CHARGER A vessel in which wash is collected from the wash backs for removal to the still.
      WHISKY OR WHISKEY A spirit drink produced by the distillation of a mash of cereals which has been:
  • saccharified by the diastase of the malt contained therein, with or without other natural enzymes;
  • fermented by the action of yeast; and
  • distilled at an alcoholic strength less than 94.8% vol, so that the distillate has an aroma and flavour derived from the raw materials used and matured for at least three years in wooden casks not exceeding 700 litres capacity.    
      WORM A coiled pipe surrounded by cold water in which the distilled spirit vapour is condensed, to be collected via the low wines or spirits safe.
      WORT Any infusion, solution or mixture intended for fermentation as part of the process of manufacturing spirits.