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Build a Whisky Still
by Kiteman on April 4, 2008 Table of Contents Build a Whisky Still . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Intro: Build a Whisky Still . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 1: What you need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 2: The Vat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 3: The Column . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 4: The Condenser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 5: Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 6: Poison! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 3 4 4 5 6 6 7 8


dreams. Just as it starts to sprout.4o C.Voltaire. I am in the universe. noun. Filter out the solids.Author:Kiteman MakerDay Enrichment An East Anglian Maker. confidentiality. kites. You now have a wash that is ready to be distilled. and bear the guilt for any wrong-doings without feeling the need to confess them to a higher being. so maybe you would like to start there. I have no religious faith. http://www. Need help on the site? I'm a member of the Community Team. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. non-disclosure.'' ''By reading this article. Set of processes that explain the universe and its contents through hypotheses and theories based on observable evidence. I am a husband. Keep the mixture slightly warm (and sealed from the air) until the yeast has turned the sugar into alcohol. quickly kill it by drying. I am a unique individual. I am gone. Mix the malted grain with hot water and stir until you get bored . all that will remain of me will be the memories held by those that knew me. terms-of-service. not lager) and the general Maker ideal. To quote the famous philosophers. ''READ CAREFULLY. If you don't know about the early stages of whisky distillation. Interested in science. That is. beer (proper beer. browsewrap. plus a healthy dose of accidents. and pure water boils at 100o C. Credo: Faith. its partners. nor will I be resurrected. Apparently. licenses. I will go to neither heaven nor hell.com/id/Build-a-Whisky-Still/ . with my own mind. although I respect those that have (so long as they do not expect others to share it without question). the wash has a strength and taste similar to beer. on behalf of your employer. I am the most recent product of several billion years' worth of random mutation selected by environmental and sexual pressures. agents and assigns. knowledge. ''Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities'' . clickwrap. I assume you are interested in the theoretical transformation of a relatively weak alcoholic mixture into a relatively strong alcoholic mixture. When I die. son and friend. I was not created. here is a quick round-up: Take some grain. we're trying to separate ethanol (alcohol) from water. in perpetuity. ''Faith is believing what you know ain't so'' . a part of the universe. so heating the wash will make the ethanol boil off first. It is now a "malted grain". I teach others and learn from others. ''Cogito ergo sum'' and ''I yam what I yam!''. When I am gone.you are dissolving the sugars from the grain into the water. and add yeast. so drop me a PM.'' Intro: Build a Whisky Still If you're reading this. without prejudice to my ongoing rights and privileges. father.instructables. the distillation of whisky. non-compete and acceptable use policies ("BOGUS AGREEMENTS") that I have entered into with your employer. Pure ethanol boils at 78. to release me from all obligations and waivers arising from any and all NON-NEGOTIATED agreements. and allow it to sprout. shrinkwrap. I take responsibility for my own actions. No god had a part in my genesis. In this case. who spends a lot of time in a very small shed. noun. skills. You further represent that you have the authority to release me from any BOGUS AGREEMENTS on behalf of your employer. licensors.Mark Twain Science. Distillation is the process of separating a mixture of liquids with different boiling points. you agree.

such as paying out for all-copper fittings. you must check local licensing laws to ensure you are not committing an offence. you need to check the legality of distilling alcoholic beverages for personal use. in the majority of countries where you can read this Instructable. column and condenser. you may even want to invest in a purpose-built still. so if you are planning to produce quality drinking-spirits on a regular basis (as opposed to something merely flammable). I will refer to these parts as the vat. or obtain a distiller's license. my images are a mixture of diagrams and stock photos.instructables. you may choose to use different materials to those suggested. Just remember (again) that. This is by no means an exhaustive tutorial. Before constructing your still. http://www. images posted here can (in a UK court of law) be used as evidence against me. something to help water vapours condense before they escape the apparatus and something to cool and trap the alcoholic vapours. Legal point: It is illegal to manufacture spirits in the UK without a distiller's licence which is required under the provisions of section 12 of the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 and this includes manufacture for "own/domestic use".com/id/Build-a-Whisky-Still/ . and if I did it for real. You also need a thermometer with a scale that goes to at least +100o C. This goes against the usual practice here. Since this is more a guide to function than form.Step 1: What you need A still has three separate parts . but I kind of want to keep my job.something to heat the liquid. For this reason.

but they can be reduced. The top of the column needs capping. To increase the area inside. I see a three-foot length of two-inch diameter tube that would be ideal it's an old bed-leg. The column can be connected to the vat by drilling a suitable-diameter hole in the lid of the pressure-cooker. depending on the size of the column and the materials involved. Don't worry if this bit gets blocked or removed. as it has a seal around the lid to keep vapours inside the system. removing the weight-system. welded. This means that you will get water vapours in with the alcohol vapours.it could be as basic as dropping a tin can over the top and epoxying it in place. If you can increase the surface area within the column. Do not worry about removing the weights or blocking the safety-valve. I could use a similar copper tube and fill it with broken glass. as the still is never under pressure unless you do something stupidly wrong. so much the better. A tall column above the vat gives the water vapour a chance to condense and fall back. 2. I could hammer lots and lots of nails into the pipe. this depends on the exact materials you used . The gap between the column and the lid can be sealed with solder. epoxy. A hole can be drilled here. with a hole in the cap to allow insertion of the thermometer. or sealed with a compression-fitting. If I was bothered about rust.instructables. Step 3: The Column Alcohol and water have surprisingly similar properties . I would suggest the use of an old pressure cooker.Step 2: The Vat The vat is the container in which you heat your mash. or fill it with steel wool. Looking in my shed. As with the joint at the bottom.each will dissolve in the other. Image Notes 1.com/id/Build-a-Whisky-Still/ . and is large enough to hold a reasonable volume of wash. http://www.

preferably level with the bulb or sensor of your thermometer. Step 4: The Condenser When the alcohol boils off. as coils of small-diameter copper tubing can be purchased from many DIY stores (sometimes called microbore.com/id/Build-a-Whisky-Still/ . it is the 810mm tubing used to connect up modern central heating systems). You need to cool it so that it condenses into a liquid. and insert one end into a hole drilled into the side of the column at the top. Seal it in place (epoxy again).Image Notes 1. condense and trickle downhill into whatever receptacle you have chosen. Cut off a convenient length.instructables. http://www. it will be a vapour.the alcoholic vapours will cool. and set the other end low down . This is probably the easiest part to obtain. You can't drink vapour. A convenient metal tube.

Wrong. If you get those flavours in a distilled spirit. with some water. then you will get only around 5% of the volume you put in the vat. (Fusel alcohols look slightly oily when they drip.heat is heat). If you hear about people being blinded by illicit booze. Column 3. it means that the vapours surrounding it. or heating the wash too quickly. hot or solvent-like flavour. Neglecting to watch the temperature. watch out for a hangover. can result in concentration of higher-order forms of alcohol called fusel alcohols or fusel oils (because they look oily). campfire. If it starts to rise above 78o C. As previously mentioned. ethanol boils at 78o C. including headaches. you can always pour what you have made so far back into the vat and distil it again. close it. one fluid once per pint of wash.that is your distilled spirit. If the drips from your still start to look odd.Step 5: Operation Put your wash in the vat. Such liquor may be referred to as rotgut. When the thermometer reaches this point. http://www. or coma. correct. If in doubt. Step 6: Poison! Some myths: It is a popular myth that illicitly-distilled booze makes you blind. clinical depression. Keep an eye on the temperature. That is. and remains steady.) How much can you expect to collect? If you are starting with an alcoholic content of 5% ABV (as many reasonable bitters are). Condenser 2. Vat 4. vomiting.com/id/Build-a-Whisky-Still/ . stop the process and save what you have so far. whatever . Heat 5. the bulk of the water is starting to boil. and the vapours you collect will now be making your spirits weaker. Some people say that illicit booze gives you a bad hangover. they made some sort of punch with denatured alcohol or antifreeze. Catch what drips out of the end of the condenser . and can give a spicy. A small amount of fusel alcohols are naturally present in whisky. they did not actually distil it. and passing down the condenser is mainly alcohol. Unfortunately. Thermometer.instructables. Methanol (wood alcohol) makes you blind. You also run the risk of concentrating fusel alcohols in your sprits. and gently heat it (over the stove. nausea. Be aware: Very high concentrations (usually caused by incompetent distillation) can cause acute illness. Image Notes 1. Watch the thermometer rise.

They throw away the residue of the first batch. there is nowhere for pressure to build up.Some people distil the wash twice. and put the spirits through again. Second distillations should be done more slowly. Home-made still tend to explode. and remember to take it easy if you actually dare to drink the resultant liquor.com/id/Build-a-Whisky-Still/ . Disclaimer: I have not actually distilled alcohol for quite some time. and greater care taken to watch the temperature. I used to work in a lab with a license to distil one litre per year. Do not rely solely on this Instructable to inform your distilling activities . and not for human consumption. They are open systems. even after a small snifter or two. since you will not know the exact amount of alcohol you have consumed. Related Instructables distilling basics by pdub77 How to make a still by lemonie Building a Whiskey still by densad Understanding: Drinking Alcohol by )(angman How to Properly Identify Hillbillies by skunkbait How to make moonshine by pdub77 http://www. and do not even think about driving or operation hazardous machinery. they don't. and then I used proper glassware.do some research of your own. Take plenty of water with it. No. check the local licensing laws. as the temperature of the vapours will change more quickly.instructables.

My wife and I love the great fruit flaviors in both. George Rogers Jyssa says: Jan 13.For my first run I'd like to keep the process as simple as possible. The vapur condenses in the column and redistills on further evaporation. fastened with lead-free solder.Thanks . 9:28 AM REPLY Actually the packing essentialy performs extra distillations in the column.however I'd like to know how to make brew and distill a clear potable spirit. 2008. Packing is not necessary for a whiskey still. 2010. seamaas says: Sep 17. 8:55 PM REPLY canadachris says: Jul 26.. its a simple process and Id hate to see someone get ill because of mistakes that could have been easily avoided. and maybe oranges.com/id/Build-a-Whisky-Still/ . what is the best things to use not only in fruit but materials.. Kiteman says: Pot stills I know.razzbries. but the end result is contamination of the downward slope. 5:02 AM REPLY I have a copper still it lacks a "worm". Perhaps because of tilting/moving the still etc. so you should have cleared all of it in the headings. the contents of which you're going to throw away anyway. 12:29 PM REPLY When first using my still.. I'm from NZ so it's perfectly legal to do it here. If you build the thumper safely. 10:21 AM REPLY Rectifier: I'm not sure about what you call the "Acetone" coming out of the still after the main product:) Acetone has a boiling point of 58 degrees C. Id be glad to help out.. 2010. 2008. Lee valley sells a copper mesh for keeping slugs out of the garden that makes an excellent column packing. 2010. Bearcat_Welding says: Aug 6. MT-LB says: Hey and if its undrinkable you could always use it as grease cutter Oct 12. 2008. 2010. 11:06 PM REPLY Never use steel wool. I'm going to be doing every bit of it at home and i would like to know what you would recommand from start to end and the process. by the way. 9:34 AM REPLY http://www. Actually the same effect can be had with a pot-still + thumper. I would like to use. 2010. You're right that heavy metals tend to fall back. What is it? Apr 13. georogers says: Mar 18. but I just don't know how! snakeeyes101 says: Hello. my grandfather owns vineyards in leamington.. since the compounds are non-volatile . 2008. or brazed. Copper only.Comments 50 comments Add Comment view all 212 comments cbs2018 says: cool Apr 21. if you want a drinkable product. HETP = Height Eqv to Theoretical Plate. 8:21 AM REPLY if anyone needs any information about how to make your own homemade alcohol safely. but is discourages water vapours diluting the final product.they would only drip back into the vat. 11:17 PM REPLY I'm a first time starter and im wanting to do Wines and Brandies. then I'd only be concerned with solvents coming through. It will rust away immediately and ruin everything. 2010. but I know from experience that crap ends up in the down side. how do I calibrate the amount of methanol that will come off before I reach the ethanol? Thanks for your help. That would also allow you to reduce the stupid materials that could make it into your product without much for additional supplies. of course grapes. Dec 3..sweaty gym sock (from the TV show M*A*S*H). 1:53 PM REPLY also don't use glass use quartz sand ..or combination of quartz sand and activated charcoal Apr 6. Ontario Canada and we have been making wine and all sorts of spirits for over a decade.. 7:21 PM REPLY Rectifier says: Apr 5.activated charcoal (from a BRITA filter). please let me know. 3:23 PM REPLY I want to make a liquor out of the plums that grow in my backyard. but "thumper" is a new term to me. I know the packing isn't necessary. and would trap any heavy impurities. 2011. The thumper would be easy to keep clean. Kiteman says: triggernum5 says: Apr 13. If we need to do this at a more private setting let me know and we will set-up something with e-mails Thanks Bearcat zhenpenthaye says: Oct 14.. 2011. If you have any other suggestions on fruit. reducing the need for a second distillation. 2011. 3:42 AM REPLY The rust would not carry over into the final product..instructables.

2010.. 8:03 PM REPLY No plastics. beer and alcohol. But don't quote me on that. To really make sure the government won't crawl up your rear end about it. Quietly. to 95%+ Aug 4. you are making beer. 9:16 AM REPLY alex-sharetskiy says: i know Jul 24. i tend to lean toward different approach example: most would argue to use a chemical to make sure your bottles dont explode after bottling. Its also a good way just to reduce the condenser length. lets look at this a bit. Drinking it will make you ill. making spirits is easy and completely safe as long as you do it right. be safe have fun. but loud enough to be unnerving if you think there's ATF in them thar hills. 1:58 PM REPLY a thumper is a vessel filled with water which is between the vat and the condenser which catches any of the mash that is carried with the alcohol vapors. and that should be legal in all 50 states now. too. 2010. 2008. taste it.. since your actually putting the heat to work. jsut in case. chuck out the first 200ml. well my grand father always taught me to just freeze your batch for A COUPLE DAYS in 2 liter pop containers once thawed it will promote any debris left in it to drop so the wine can be racked and it will also kill any yeast left over wow thats a simple chemical free solution.. and the line should run to nearly the bottom of that vessel. 6:04 AM REPLY well I drank the stuff I made. 3:56 PM REPLY canadachris says: No Jul 21. no cadmium.seamaas says: Sep 17.. too. 2010. if I remember ocrrectly. 3:06 PM REPLY brickb says: Sep 6.. and is cheap. 2010. (insulated?) copper line runs into a sealed collector jar or whatever (but it can get really hot).. 2010. no lead... a short. Another line is attached to the lid of that vessel to accept vapor to the condenser. it is sort of like how a bong works or water pipe Aug 4. alex-sharetskiy says: i wanted to distill 70% rubbing alc. You fill the thumper with already distilled liquor.." which is what your not-for-human-consumption rubbing alcohol would have to be to avoid liquor taxes. 2008. i noticed though that most people use too many chemicals when making homemade wines. You will either need to keep the first and last bits of the distillation (where most of the methanol and fusel oils are) if you want "poison.. 2008. 2:25 PM REPLY http://www. Apr 20. 2008. Jul 21. hmm. From your still.. 4:43 AM REPLY They also have a habit of making thumping noises (probably through the same principle as the clicking noises cars make when they are parked and turned off after a long run).instructables. its got a nice taste and a hell of a kick. 2008.com/id/Build-a-Whisky-Still/ . when making your mash crush up and use a third of tablet of non flavored tums per quart or liter this will lower your acidity for pennies too and gives it a shelf taste alex-sharetskiy says: So. 5:37 AM REPLY RFilyaw says: Also. and you could theoretically do it all you want. you might want to pour (pure. 4:42 AM REPLY You would have to poison the mash. Apr 7. stainless steel wool is available. Make sure you put coloring agent in your distillate. Then at no step would the product be fit for human consumption. as a minor. can you legally distill 95% rubbing alcohol? (not for human consumption) Jun 15. REAEARCH!!!! canadachris says: Jul 26. not premix) antifreeze in the mash. 8:45 PM REPLY A thumper is a midway redistillation. 2008. Rishnai says: triggernum5 says: Kiteman says: Oh. smell it . 2010. 9:14 AM REPLY Rishnai says: Aug 4. although minute still toxic. its toxic. if you are underage to drink. 2008. That's just my been-up-for-18-hours on the fly translation of secondhand legalese. and the heat from the new distillate going into the thumper boils the thumper. What comes out of the thumper will be higher abv than a single distillation as long as the liquid in the thumper is stronger than your actual wash.. Otherwise. i guess theyll do anything to push a market for something most things are free and poeple still pay another tip.. Use a reflux still. camden in use with a few other products most high in sodium and the other forms being toxic in some sort of way. Apr 21. It will not rust.. 2:54 PM REPLY canadachris says: No rubbing alcohol isnt ingestable. thank you.

. tyler24ccm says: does anyone know if this will work as a still for reusing acetone or paint thinner from soaked rags? Jul 20. 8:57 AM REPLY hi would it be a lot cheaper to just buy your alchohol and spend your money&time doing something better like building a rocket to the moon or maybe a time machine then you could travel back in time and change the tax laws before they come into being canadachris says: Jul 21. 8:09 AM REPLY LoTriMouS says: The barrel has to be charred (scorched on the inside).you need to check local laws. but there is probably a greater risk of fire or explosion.. 3:59 AM REPLY seamaas says: it's called wort not wash Jul 5. 2008. 2008. maybe I should have tried to write an instructable on it! I've built both a potstill (rum and whiskey). because a little of them go a long way! I generally pitched the first 250mL. 1:15 AM REPLY brb112988 says: Oct 14. 11:04 PM REPLY foo23220 says: All liquors taste the same until they are aged. kept a few litres to drink.) Jul 5. as a feedstock for gin) and a continuous-feed reflux column (an attempt to produce fuel .. Gin.. 2008. 2:33 PM REPLY seamaas says: you're right I forgot. That avoids contaminating a larger batch with rotten fusel oils.. 12:57 PM REPLY Rectifier says: Apr 5. Im sure people who have made enormous profits including the government would do anything to keep the mula pouring in including suggesting that it cant be done. Jan 26. Whiskey even Cogniac from frozen grapes) (The most expensive to make is tequila because it doesnt grow natively and I have to order aguaves and nectar. I segmented my runs into 500mL jars and blended based on smell/taste as well as %ABV as a guideline. 9:13 AM REPLY I live in Canada and. easy and beneficial pocketwise and creatively. 2010. This will cut down on that "moonshine smell" and greatly diminish the hangover. I don't distill anymore because I now live in a small apartment. 2:20 PM REPLY Kiteman says: Actually it's "mash" .) This same gallon would cost me $60 at the store. 10:51 AM REPLY i recentlly fallowed this and made one i dident use the same materialsbut it seemed to work good for me i dident drink the product i wouldnever trust myself enough for that so i dumped it into the gas tank fora 5 hourse snowblower with a bit of gas seemed to work pretty well ranjust like it had a ful tank of gas in it Kiteman says: Woah. Bottomline is it costs me $1 a gallon for exceptional homemade spirits... You do the math. 5:24 AM REPLY codwithchips says: Sep 3. Jul 21. 11:04 PM REPLY You didn't mention... 2010. Whiskey gets its flavor from some kind of wooden barrel. aka vodka. and kept the rest to redistill when I got enough of them. 6:11 PM REPLY Kiteman says: Possibly. 2010. Do your research and brew on. That will contain almost all the methanol/formaldehyde/acetaldehyde content and most of the ethyl acetate.. is to dangerous or impractical but actuality it is cheap.thanks for spotting the typo. DIY biofuel! Oct 14. and generally is made of oak. 2010. Nov 18. 2010.com/id/Build-a-Whisky-Still/ .alex-sharetskiy says: Don't you mean illegal? Aug 4. but you want to discard the first 100ml (at least!) of your run. 1:33 PM REPLY Kiteman says: I don't know .. 2010. so I wouldn't. reflux column (neutral spirits. 2009.. 2008. :( However. http://www.. 2008. Jun 16. Rum. (Vodka. Who knows what you might come up with. 2009. i am an amateur brewer do i should now by now Jul 5.. too busy this week.. 2010. (Wort is part of the beer-brewing process.instructables.wasn't economical but sure was neat to run) Nah.

Simply throw away any product that evaporates (and recondenses) before roughly 160°F. if you read the paper further. but it will end up in the "foreshots".org/cgi/content/full/68/6/2651 "Ethyl acetate is the most abundant ester produced by yeasts and is particularly difficult to separate from ethanol by distillation" Rishnai says: RFilyaw says: Rectifier says: Kiteman says: Apr 7. let alone drink.Coli bacteria. so cutting the product would not suprise me.Kiteman says: The presence of methanol etc in moonshine is a common (and largely American) myth. The clue is in the title: Decreasing the Level of Ethyl Acetate in Ethanolic Fermentation Broths of Escherichia coli KO11 by Expression of Pseudomonas putida estZ Esterase The paper also states that . trace amounts.. along with other compounds of lower boiling points.com/id/Build-a-Whisky-Still/ . What little methanol is in the mash will not end up in the "moonshine". Everything is in there. it pollutes your shine and makes for a brutal hangover. 11:20 AM REPLY I've just thought . I wouldn't want to try ingesting it. Aug 4.I've been discussing small-volume distillation (a gallon or two of wash.it has been separated and thrown away by the distiller! Kiteman says: Apr 7. 2008.however. rum or whatever. either.instructables.I think red wine is particularly high in it. yet illegal buzz. Anything that evaporates at over 200°F is either water or toxic. I'd want to make sure I really know and trust the guy who made it.Distilled French brandy has up to 750mg methanol per 100ml pure ethanol. 10:42 AM REPLY However. white spirits or antifreeze (do you remember the scandal involving french wines some years ago. There is no formaldehyde. 3:58 AM REPLY Methanol is formed naturally by fermentation processes. . The fact of the matter is that as soon as the fermentation process is complete. Too many ways to screw up. and quite bad for you if you inhale too much. promptly remove the wash from heat after the temperature rises above 200°F (after plateauing at 173ish°F for however long it takes to distill roughly 40% of the wash's original volume).. 2008. This is why good moonshine contains so little methanol . Ethanol boils at 173 °F. JakeNotCliff says: Aug 12.asm. I was just recently reading about a distiller of illegal whisky who based himself in the slate mines of Honister Pass as a "front". Like using anything galvanized. the high levels of ethyl acetate are produced by fermentation of sugars by genetically-modified E. 11:01 PM REPLY Also. or make their product taste like "real" whisky. Doing so closer to 173°F will yield even purer shine. 2008. acetaldehyde or ethyl acetate formed in fermentation. 4:57 AM REPLY Methanol poisoning can easily be avoided here. that is. If you've ever sniffed foreshots. This methanol will be concentrated in the "foreshots". but aren't throwing out the heads. Apr 6.4 °F. The myth hangs over from the days of prohibition. let alone harmful. Apr 7. There's one guy I met on a road trip once whose 'shine I wouldn't even be willing to pour in my tank.. you have beer/wine.. because the illicit stills were not driven so far "underground" as they were in the US. both the ethanol and the non-ethanol. In fact. 2008. well below levels where their effects can even be felt. as you point out. though you will have less product in the end. 3:04 PM REPLY You're absolutely right about the true nature of poisoning. where a vineyard had added antifreeze to its wines to make them palatable?). Even if they're not cutting. Methanol boils at 64. when unscrupulous "whisky" makers would add all sorts of unpleasant chemicals to try and disguise the alcohol content to the authorities. This methanol is present mainly in undistilled fruit spirits . there are no associated stories of blindness etc caused by the strange things made in the still.. it simply separates the alcohol from the non-alcohol. 2008. 2009. Either way. distilling it doesn't change the chemical makeup. It still isn't a myth nowadays with unscrupulous moonshiners. Scotch whisky contains up to 26mg/100ml Plenty of safety margin on the whisky. You will note that. 5:11 AM REPLY It was not a myth during Prohibition. 2008. yes? http://www. I made a point of getting the heck out of there and avoiding him! If I were to even consider drinking moonshine. they are from "punches". Rectifier says: Apr 6. Just here is a link to an abstract describing a solution to the problem of ethyl acetate as a fermentation byproduct: http://aem. 2008. Denatured alcohols are so much cheaper. 10:55 PM REPLY True that nobody gets methanol poisoning anymore .we may be at odds over volume .7 °C. Heating that stuff for soldering or welding is not fun. but in incredibly small.many of these products are desirable as organoleptic agents and congeners in beverage alcohols.. or 148. using crap like denatured alcohol (purposely poisoned for legal reasons) and antifreeze to get a legal. Also. it's also true that any fermented mash will contain a very small percentage of methanol created by pectin fermentation. down to a half-bottle equivalent of spirits). or first ~100ml of an ordinary potstill batch. Are you talking about large volumes (barrels)? BTW . although there have been illicit stills in the UK and Europe for as long as in the US (for as long as governments have tried to tax spirits). made up of fruit juices made intoxicating by the addition of cheap denatured alcohol. you know they contain many things that are NOT ethanol and even slightly tempting to drink. those other compounds are present in fermentation. even if you're well-intentioned. Modern instances of poisoning by non-ethanol compounds in illicit booze have been mis-reported as being from stills. His product was of such high quality that local dignitaries and police colluded to hide him and his activities from the Excise. Apr 6. it wouldn't be fun to drink.

I did a few whiskey batches but the effort in making a wash is so much higher. I would tend to run off about a gallon jug of 60% product per batch.. It. may not be a good idea for people there to openly chat about personal distilling. This discussion is making me want to fire up one of my stills again. due to higher thermal mass and greater volumes involved).. view all 212 comments http://www.the only recorded cases of beverage alcohol methanol poisoning NOT involving adulteration of spirits were involving homemade brandy (particularly plum brandy). so it may be a genuine risk to make your own brandy. not like anyone can drink a gallon of rum to themself!). Also.. if anyone is wondering. and aging time so much longer to get good whiskey. I would love to make gin!) and for that matter most of the "ordinary" spirits.instructables.com/id/Build-a-Whisky-Still/ .When I was doing research on methanol before getting into the hobby (seems we all have to do it to feel safe) . I'll admit to having been .and there is no room for buckets of wash and huge kettles.I now share a 450sq ft apartment with my girlfriend while going to school . yielding about a gallon and a half drinkable product. It's a real shame . WRT brandy though . molasses and sugar) .a bit of a drunk at a few times in the past. but a bit larger . 1:15 AM REPLY Not barrels. 2008. 2008. I agree that whiskey is very safe .I'm talking about 20L of wash here.Rectifier says: Apr 8. :( Rectifier says: Apr 8. I never stilled for anyone but myself (and friends.which was then watered down to 40%. but figured that controlling a larger still would be easier and less work per liter of booze (and it is. I talk openly about this because I am not in the USA. 1:18 AM REPLY By the way. at a cost of about $3/gallon for rum (the easiest wash by far. vodka and gin (oh. that's the largest capacity still I ran (a potstill made of an old corny keg with a heating element brazed into the base. that I did mostly rum.. and a liebeg condenser arm). as are rum.