The "Household Cyclopedia" :
Is found in new whiskey, more especially from rye, corn, and potatoes. It is
a nearly colorless liquid, of a powerful odor of new whiskey, causing
irritation of the nostrils and fauces. It boils at 296 Fahr., and has a
density of 0.818. In its solvent forms and chemical relation it resembles
alcohol. Swallowed, it acts as an instant poison. When liqueurs containing
it are long kept, it changes into ethers, and becomes innoxious. There are
probably several bodies compounded together under the general name of fusel
oil. It may be detected by adding to the suspected liquor in a glass some
fused chloride of calcium. The oil, if present, will be liberated, and may
be recognized by its smell.
Has anyone tried doing this little bit of chemistry to measure their fusel
oil content (maybe by back titration ?).
I'm guessing this is the original test that the cops use to do when trying
to determine if hooch was moonshine or not (i.e. as mentioned in the Hokonui
Moonshine label .."passed all tests.."
Would it be a useful test to gauge when to cut for tails ?