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The Practical Distiller An Introduction To Making Whiskey, Gin, Brandy, Spirits, &c. &c. of Better Quality, and in Larger Quantities, than Produced by ... from the Produce of the United States [Kindle Edition]

Samuel McHarry
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition $0.00  
Kindle Edition, March 17, 2006 --  
Paperback $4.49  
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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Samuel McHarry, an author who lived in the late 1700's and early 1800's, is best known for his book "The Practical Distiller" which was first published in 1809.

Product Details

  • File Size: 152 KB
  • Print Length: 102 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1449555748
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Public Domain Books (October 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,318,158 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Bit of Americana August 15, 2010
Any buyer who read the description of this book would have known it was first published in 1809 and today is primarily a piece of history. That being said, if you are a home-brewer it is a fascinating bit of Americana, written at a time when home brewing was considered a necessity as well as a god given right. These were not "moonshine" or "hillbilly" stills for making rotgut corn whiskey. They were carefully made devices important for the economny of the times. The words are archaic to our minds, but it shows the literacy of language of that era. Those who could read had a high vocabulary for the time. (Sadly this is not particularly true today.)
Don't expect to learn any secrets of brewing here. Rather, sit yourself down, and imagine yourself as a farmer reading this from the light of a whale oil lamp.
What a found interesting was the amount of safety taken to insure against a fire (or for that matter and explosion).
If you have the time buy this book and read it. It's in my primitive skills library right now.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Historical infomation September 11, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an information book outlining distillation from a histroical standpoint and not really a how to book. It's got some good info, but not a lot of instruction.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wish I'd looked closer - this is very old April 12, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really wish I'd looked closer at the reviews, and not just the title and rating, before ordering. With a name like "The Practical Distiller" I thought I'd be getting something practical, which described the art of distilling as understood in the modern age. Didn't realize until it arrived that it's essentially interesting from a historical perspective (written in 1809) rather than being useful for modern applications. I feel a bit bad about the 3-star rating because it's not really the book's fault that something 200 years old isn't what I was looking for, but I'm kind of surprised it was available and in print in the first place.

As someone who does appreciate the history of alcohol, I may try to work my way through it at some point (though the old-fashioned writing is dense and difficult; on the plus side it's only a paragraph before the author is referring to his peers as blockheads), but I'd like some understanding of the modern technology first before I can properly appreciate the historical perspective.

If you're into this history, this may well be a 4-star book. If you're a homebrewer looking for your first guide to distilling, this is probably two stars at best.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great OLD book August 7, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is really old but interesting, i would give it a 4 out of 10. Read for fun, not for learning how to make good shine. It's just really old book and every good moonshiner should have it. It's a good but but not the best.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Of historic interest only April 19, 2010
This is a public domain book. You can download it for free.

Regardless of whether you pay someone for it, or download it, it's a reprint of an 1809 book on very small scale distillation in the U.S. It was legal at that time, and some of the techniques certainly carry on to the present day, but there are plenty of current books on distillation if that's your interest. This is best for historical interest.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely hilarious April 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is so completely from another time that it's just fascinating to read. You'd think that the writer's planning on conjuring alcohol from the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. As colloquially adorable as this may be, you're not going to be able to follow his "recipes" unless you have some real space to work with, since he's writing for something on the scale of a farm.

Keep your pots sweet!
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How old is this?? July 28, 2008
This book is helpful. But it's main value is historic.
This book was originally published in 1809 when spirit distillation was still legal in the USA. Mainly helpful to farmer/distillers.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not The Book You're Looking For March 25, 2014
Was very excited to get a book that got into the knitty gritty of home distilling, but this is not the book. Unfortunately, the very fist sentence is not only the start of one epically long run-on sentence after the next, but it has the first of many typos. I only bring this up to say that this writing quality sets the tone for the entire book. It's extremely hard to follow the writer's train of thought, and lacks in living up to its promise of being an introduction. Not going to return the book but it before the author self-publishes again it would be wise to hire a proofreader and editor.
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