Re: [new_distillers] Re: 2 newbie questions
- This is from the BATF FAQ page. It may help you although you still need to approve it with the school powers. As usual it looks like a red tape nightmare to jump through all the hoops to do it legally.
G10: Have you heard about the science fair project or school project where a student builds a homemade still, lets leftover food scraps ferment and turn into alcohol, burns the alcohol in a lantern, and compares the alcohol to other sources of energy?
Well, under current law and regulations, we cannot allow you to conduct experiments involving distillation of alcohol at your home.
As an alternative, Federal law allows us to issue a permit for an alcohol fuel plant, or AFP. Under this type of permit, experiments with alcohol fuels can be conducted at locations properly qualified with ATF.
Here's what has to be done:
An authorized representative of your school (a teacher or other school official) must complete and forward an application form 5110.74 to us to establish a small AFP at your school.
The experiment must be conducted at your school under appropriate adult supervision.
The school official must tell us how long the experiment will last. They may allow for additional time in case your experiment is selected for additional competition or display at a regional or area science fair. And,
The school official must describe the adult supervision that will be provided. We require this because we are concerned about the safety of children handling hazardous materials and using distillation equipment with alcohol-even with adult supervision.
These steps apply primarily to students who are in elementary through high school. Make sure your application is filed as soon as possible to allow enough time for us to process it. You cannot begin the experiment until we issue you a permit.
Application form 5110.74 and additional information are available from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, National Revenue Center, Spirits Unit A, 550 Main Street, Room 8002, Cincinnati, OH 45202-3263, 1-800-398-2282 or (513) 684-7150, natlrevctr@....
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- I wanted to thank those who responded to my questions.
As for yeast culturing and lab technique, that all sounds pretty much
what I remember doing for bacteria when I was doing food micro and water
quality work. And improvising in the lab is easy. We used a pressure
cooker in the one lab I worked in place of an autoclave, we also built
our own incubator from an old refrigerator, a light bulb wired through a
thermostat, and a small fan to circulate the air to keep a constant
temperature. Cooking agar and pouring slants and plates etc. is
familiar. I think I may still have a couple of inoculating loops
somewhere in the stuff.
On the matter of the project, I had already figured that it would be
easier to get a fuel permit, and keep everything to do with the project
off of the school grounds. At least here, the kids have to document
everything, and do a display board with an attached book showing all the
steps involved in the project. Pictures of the still, as well as charts
and graphs are all that would be needed. When we did the electroplating
project with my other son, I had to sign a form saying that I would be
supervising him when using harmful chemicals and electrical equipment.
With rising fuel prices again, and the recent announcement of the energy
industries idea of how to pander to the environmentalists, I just think
that fuel alcohol at a local, even user level still makes a lot of sense.
Making bio diesel out of old cooking oil? Yes it can be done, but at the
quantities of diesel consumed in this country, we can't use that much
cooking oil, we have to look at direct production of oil producing plants
just for fuel. It would be a good project, but I don't own a diesel
engine of any kind to use as a proof of concept vehicle. I had figured I
could convert a lawn mower easy enough to burn alcohol for that
demonstration, and that is something I already own. Hydrogen? Have any
of you looked closely at the Hydrogen powered vehicle initiative that our
administration is pushing? The plan is to use electricity ( generated by
fossil fuels) to power a plasma furnace to strip Hydrogen from natural
gas, another fossil fuel, to use to power vehicles. Making the cars burn
slightly cleaner is going to be little help if we are burning fossil
fuels in greater amounts to harvest hydrogen. A project to harvest
hydrogen from water, most obviously sea water would be a good project,
but again, gets into areas that get iffy due to safe handling of the
fuel. Our economy and transportation system is already built around, and
knows how to safely handle liquid fuels, we have the knowledge of how to
produce alcohol effectively, we just need to continue to hammer at the
system to make more people aware that it can be done, and should be done.
I think the biggest obstacles to efficient and rational energy policies
are our government and the big business interests that control the
government and has created the unworkable energy policies we have now,
and have had proposed for us to live under for the foreseeable future.
Sorry about the rant, but the more I thought about this, the more worked
up I have become. I will mine the resources, and will keep the list
informed as the project goes forward, or not.
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I do some "home microbiology" too. I bought a reasonably priced
stove top autoclave from ebay, the brand is "All American". Its
pretty easy now to buy media and other supplies off the internet.
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> As for yeast culturing and lab technique, that all sounds prettymuch
> what I remember doing for bacteria when I was doing food micro andwater
> quality work. And improvising in the lab is easy. We used apressure
> cooker in the one lab I worked in place of an autoclave, we alsobuilt
> our own incubator from an old refrigerator, a light bulb wiredthrough a
> thermostat, and a small fan to circulate the air to keep a constant
> temperature. Cooking agar and pouring slants and plates etc. is
> familiar. I think I may still have a couple of inoculating loops
> somewhere in the stuff.
> 2. Does anyone have any information or links to information raising andTry this site. www.fungi.com
> maintaining yeast cultures? I have made beer and wine in the past, and
> bake bread from time to time, but being the cheapskate that I am, it
> seems that if I wanted to be making alcohol in quantity for whatever
> reason, it would be more economical to get a good yeast and culture it
> rather than buy new expen$ive yeast from the supply store every time I
> want to make a batch. I worked for a while in a microbiology lab when I
> was in grad school, so my sterile technique is okay, I am just not up on
> the proper growth media and care and feeding for long term culture
> maintenance on yeasts.
This site is a site all about mushrooms, but it sells a COMPREHENSIVE
list of lab supplies. They have everything from agar to laminar flow
hoods. No minimum orders. Fair prices. If thy don't have it, you don't