Methanol is one of the compounds liberated from wood in destructive
distillation, where the wood is heated until it starts to break down and the vapors are collected. That's where the the name "wood alcohol" comes from, and it has no bearing on the distilling we do.
Methanol is created during fermentation, though fermenting pectins in fruit and fermenting (I'm not exactly sure what) in grain. It's not produced at all in fermentation of sugar washes. Even in fruit and grain wash fermentation, the amount of methanol produced is not harmful to drink, but it is
concentrated in the foreshots and heads that we discard in spirit runs. Although it's commonly thought that methanol is the reason for the harsh flavor notes in those discarded fractions, methanol is almost tasteless in ethanol. It's the discarded acetone, acetaldehyde, and ethyl acetate that give most of the harsh flavors.
Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "covepointrd" <2x4woodbug@...> wrote:
> I believe methanol is a product of wood fermentation. If you don't have wood chips in your fermentation vessel, you should have no methanol. Also, someone correct me if I am wrong, but methanol boils before ethanol and will be part of the heads of which you dispose of.
> --- In email@example.com, regal de silva wrote:
> > I use 3-1/2 tea cups of sugar, 2 liter water to make the mash and add a packet of 12 grams ï¿½bakers instant dry yeast..and leave ï¿½the wash for 30 days. Thereafter I freeze 2 half bottles at a time and obtain the liquor. ï¿½Is there methanol in the liquor I obtain. ï¿½Is it harmful to drink. ï¿½I follows recommended temperature at every stage. I intend to do pot distillation later.
> > I await some advice and guidance from your experienced people!
> > Raymondï¿½