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HMRC internal manual

Spirits Production Manual

Technical guidance: What sort of records do distillers keep?

The type of records a distiller keeps will depend greatly on the method of production used. Though not all distillers keep the same types of record, all need records which allow them to control and monitor the efficiency of their production processes.

The following list is an example of the types of records a cereal distiller would keep.

Cereals orders  
Cereals receipt advice * Usually a weighbridge ticket.
Cereals stock return * Receipts, usings, screenings, opening and closing stock.
Cereals refund claim  
Cereals invoice  
Cereals Laboratory / Supplier Advice * Predicted spirits yield (PSY); moisture contents analysis.
Grinding book * Cereals weighed and ground.
Mashing Log * Size of mash.
Draff records * Quantities and disposal of draff.
Tunroom log * Volume of worts collected by dip and temperature correction. OGs and FGs of worts, inc temperature correction.
Addition for work * Advice of current addition to the stem reading of saccharometer for original gravities.
Yeast log * Receipts, usings and stock balance of yeast.
Stillhouse logs * Dips of spirits vessels and times of activities.
Charges book * Record of spirits accounts taken.
Production programme * Annual target with period by period breakdown.
Laboratory records * May contain:


  • percentage (hot water) extract for cereals;
  • predictable spirits yield from cereals;
  • records of distillation analysis to ascertain strength or OGs of worts / wash; and
  • spirits and by-product analysis.    
      Production return / compare * The production return, also known as a compare or statement of produce, is drawn up at the end of each distillation period from data extracted from the production records listed above.

SPIR5180 - SPIR5190 gives guidanceon the way you may make use of some of these records during the audit.