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Re: Good Ol' Methanol

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  • jcmca
    hell, DP, and you thought you were sharing something good with us. amazing how many different takes folks have on a subject. thanx a bunch for trying,
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 2, 2005
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      hell, DP, and you thought you were sharing something good with us.
      amazing how many different 'takes' folks have on a subject. thanx a
      bunch for trying, anyway. i, for one, found your info interesting.

      best!
      John

      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "dropped_pie" <dropped_pie@y...>
      wrote:
      >
      >
      > Anyone who makes his or her own spirits knows that the public
      > perception is:
      >
      > Homemade Alcohol = Methanol = Death
      >
      > I've lost count of how many times I've explained that this just
      isn't
      > true and I'm sure I'm not alone. The result, I think, is that the
      > home-distilling community has become paranoid about methanol.
      Whether
      > or not you agree, here is some background information that will add
      > some colour next time you are drawn into the methanol conversation:
      >
      >
      > Fact 1 - Methanol is not poisonous.
      >
      > This is true, but does need to be qualified. Methanol is not
      > poisonous, but alcohol dehydrogenase (the enzyme responsible for
      > breaking it down) turns it into formaldehyde, which is broken down
      to
      > formic acid, and these two certainly are toxic. The important point
      > to remember is that the toxic compounds are only produced when the
      > methanol is metabolised and under normal circumstances this does
      not
      > occur.
      >
      >
      > Fact 2 – Ethanol is the treatment for Methanol poisoning.
      >
      > Ethanol and methanol are removed from the body via three methods:
      >
      > You breathe them out unmetabolised.
      > You piss them out unmetabolised.
      > You metabolise them.
      >
      > The good news is alcohol dehydrogenase prefers to break down ethanol
      > – with around 10 times the affinity for ethanol that it has for
      > methanol. Ethanol and methanol both naturally occur in fruit juices
      > with a methanol concentration of 100 parts per million (ppm) not
      > being extreme. Even unfermented fruit juice, however, also contains
      > ethanol in quantities generally 20 times greater than that of the
      > methanol. When ingested in this ratio the lungs and kidneys remove
      > practically all the methanol while the ethanol is being metabolised
      > and almost no formaldehyde is produced. Not surprisingly, if you
      turn
      > up to hospital after drinking pure methanol they will quickly put
      you
      > on an ethanol drip to stop the methanol from being metabolised.
      >
      > Whilst it's possible to establish what constitutes a fatal dose
      > of straight methanol, when combined with ethanol it's the
      > ethanol/methanol ratio that needs to be considered in determining
      > toxicity. Fermentation and distillation may increase methanol
      > concentration, but result in a much greater increase in ethanol
      > concentration so the toxicity is actually reduced.
      >
      >
      > Fact 3 – Methanol tastes good.
      >
      > Most people associate methanol with methylated spirits and assume
      > that it has a solvent-like smell and taste. This is not correct -
      > methylated spirits is 95% ethanol and although methanol was once
      used
      > to denature it, it's too easy to remove and has been replaced by
      > other chemicals that pose more of a challenge. Most methylated
      > spirits contains no methanol. The truth is pure methanol actually
      > tastes and smells sweet - so sweet that it's used in the
      > artificial sweetener aspartame (Nutrasweet).
      >
      >
      > Fact 4 – The diet coke might get you before the bourbon.
      >
      > The aspartame in diet drinks is metabolised to produce, among other
      > things, methanol which is released soon after ingestion. Aspartame
      is
      > 10% methanol by weight and although it is consumed in small
      > quantities, unlike natural sources of methanol, it is not
      accompanied
      > by protective ethanol. Unless you add ethanol to a diet drink all
      the
      > methanol will be converted to formaldehyde and formic acid. There
      is
      > considerable debate about the safety of aspartame for this reason.
      >
      >
      > Fact 5 – Adulteration (and not technique) is the enemy.
      >
      > Make no mistake, people have died from drinking bootleg alcohol
      > containing methanol. The question is how did it get there? If you
      > distil and don't separate the heads the ethanol would still be
      > sufficient protect you from the methanol toxicity. Even the heads
      > themselves contain enough ethanol that the methanol probably
      > wouldn't be metabolised, but that isn't the point – you
      > can't drink heads because they taste poisonous, irrespective of
      > whether they are or not. The situation is self-limiting: heads
      taste
      > so bad that a sane person couldn't drink enough of them for the
      > methanol to do them any real harm.
      >
      > The truth is that poor fermentation/distillation technique won't
      > kill you (just make you feel like you're going to die). To create
      > a toxic level of methanol you have to physically add it – it's
      > just not possible to make a palatable spirit by fermentation and
      > distillation that contains enough methanol to kill. Every instance
      of
      > fatality resulting from bootleg alcohol I have been able to find
      has
      > been due to nice clean methanol being sold as ethanol and not from
      > sloppy distilling practices. The problem is that the media regards
      > all homemade spirits as the same when clearly they are not.
      >
      >
      >
      > The message is don't worry about methanol – it's a natural
      substance
      > and your body is quite capable of dealing with it in the quantities
      > it naturally occurs. Wine makers don't worry about the methanol
      > that occurs in their wine and good wine always contains it. Your
      > spirits will have a perfectly safe level of methanol as long as you
      > don't add methanol to it. Sleep secure in the knowledge that it
      > will be the ethanol and not the methanol that kills you.
      >
      >
      > Cheers,
      > DP
    • yttrium_nitrate
      If you think that s bad, watch out for DHMO... http://www.dhmo.org ... quick! ... do anything ... tive/
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 3, 2005
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        If you think that's bad, watch out for DHMO...

        http://www.dhmo.org


        >
        > but _never mind_! we all must promptly panic because there is an evil,
        > nasty drug in the beverage that we thought healthy for our children!
        quick!
        > to the lawyer's office! sue the dairy conglomeration! but before we
        do anything
        > rational.... PANIC!
        >
        > *runs around screaming in loose-bladdered hysteria*
        >
        >
        > Saul
        tive/
      • jcmca
        we are going to have to quit our hobby as it is in our mashes in LETHAL doses! even more so in my homebrews!! the end of the world is nigh!! best! John ...
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 3, 2005
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          we are going to have to quit our hobby as it is in our mashes in
          LETHAL doses! even more so in my homebrews!! the end of the world is
          nigh!!

          best!
          John

          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "yttrium_nitrate" <incatare@h...>
          wrote:
          >
          > If you think that's bad, watch out for DHMO...
          >
          > http://www.dhmo.org
          >
          >
          > >
          > > but _never mind_! we all must promptly panic because there is an
          evil,
          > > nasty drug in the beverage that we thought healthy for our
          children!
          > quick!
          > > to the lawyer's office! sue the dairy conglomeration! but before
          we
          > do anything
          > > rational.... PANIC!
          > >
          > > *runs around screaming in loose-bladdered hysteria*
          > >
          > >
          > > Saul
          > tive/
        • David W Lunsford
          I cant believe there is a website on DMHO...water....(learned that on distillers)...maxtonnage
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 3, 2005
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            I cant believe there is a website on DMHO...water....(learned that on
            distillers)...maxtonnage








            At 02:53 PM 3/3/05 -0000, you wrote:
            >
            >
            >If you think that's bad, watch out for DHMO...
            >
            >http://www.dhmo.org
            >
            >
            >>
            >> but _never mind_! we all must promptly panic because there is an evil,
            >> nasty drug in the beverage that we thought healthy for our children!
            >quick!
            >> to the lawyer's office! sue the dairy conglomeration! but before we
            >do anything
            >> rational.... PANIC!
            >>
            >> *runs around screaming in loose-bladdered hysteria*
            >>
            >>
            >> Saul
            >tive/
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Distillers list archives : http://archive.nnytech.net/
            > FAQ and other information at http://homedistiller.org
            >Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
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