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44097Re: [new_distillers] Re: Test for harmful substances in batch

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  • Zapata Vive
    Aug 28, 2013
      The other thing to remember is that methanol is not bad per se.  It exists in many foods and beverages in varying degrees.  In fact many spirits which are produced in Europe have higher levels than are allowed in US products, making import or domestic production of some fruit brandies difficult/impossible.  See the craft brandy making ebook that is circulating freely for a section on minimizing methanol, mostly via fruit prep and fementing methods, NOT distilling techniques.  (I guess I can dig up a link if ya'll can't find the brandy book, I think it was published by a University up north, maybe Michigan? It's a good read, especially for a free book)

      It's not that people are dying from high levels of methanol in the EU, it's just that they have traditionally made these beverages, proven their methanol concentrations are manageable, and so their regulations allow it. 

      If you make booze in any of the accepted ways, I just don't think you can make or concentrate methanol to a harmful level.
      Heck, orange juice has high levels of methanol, but nobody is going blind from it.  Well, except me, in the morning, OJ is way too bright for my sleepy eyes.  My black coffee is much less glaring.

      On Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 1:24 PM, Paul <self.adhesive@...> wrote:

      I think the experts would say you are overplaying the methanol risk. Z Bob has stated here several times that methanol is only a danger when it is deliberately introduced to adulterate booze by unscrupulous persons. It occurred during the prohibition era in the US, and regularly makes the headlines in third world countries when large numbers of people drink it and get sick thus giving home-distilling a bad rap for the wrong reasons.

      Further, Bob recently stated it has been found that due to hydrogen bonding, and contrary to popular opinion, methanol is not readily concentrated and removed in foreshots and heads but appears across the distilling session. It could be this is one reason why distillers expose distillate to the atmosphere for a day or two - to allow remaining lighter volatilies to evaporate and disperse.

      If the many people here have not found methanol to be a particular danger, I'm not sure why it should be for you.


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