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methanol & tails

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  • derek geoffrey redman
    This is an awesome newsgroup and homedistiller.org is one helluva website. Anyways, I have a problem that you people may be able to help me with... I know a
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 5, 2001
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      This is an awesome newsgroup and homedistiller.org is one helluva
      website. Anyways, I have a problem that you people may be able to help
      me with...

      I know a guy in Canada who has distilled a couple of washes so far with
      a small pot still on a stove top. The first time he made some Apple
      Schnapps from a 14% wash that was pretty good. Incidentally, he set
      aside the first 50mL of distillate for each 6L batch of wash to get rid
      of the methanol. Next, this guy tried to make a rum from a brown sugar
      wash at 11% but I'm wondering if it was sufficient to throw away the
      first 50mL of distillate for each 6L batch of wash to get rid of the
      methanol. I'm assuming there were no undesirable bugs in the wash that
      could produce extra methanol. I think that he simply did not monitor
      the vapour temperature very well throughout the process.

      If the still is heated too quickly to temperatures >70 degrees celsius,
      is it possible to have methanol in the distillate collected after the
      first 50mL?

      How careful do you have to be with cutting off the tails? Is it more a
      matter of the preferred flavour or is there a real risk of being
      poisoned? If you can light a drop of the distillate collected from the
      tails and still get a blue flame, does that indicate an edible product?

      With this much doubt, would you recommend a re-distillation?

      Thanks in advance,

      geoff
    • Ian Macsween
      I am a new member of this group - but I built my first still many years ago thanks to the metalwork shop and the science labs in the senior secondary school
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 5, 2001
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        I am a new member of this group - but I built my first still many years ago
        thanks to the metalwork shop and the science labs in the senior secondary
        school where I was a teacher. My first thought is that if you really want
        to make good moonshine, why dick around with a small "stovetop" model? I
        had one shipped from New Zealand - prior to the bin Laden scare - with no
        problems at all. It is far more sophisticated than any individual could
        possibly build - and it is foolproof. It is also inexpensive.

        Obviously you care enough about your health to take necessary precautions -
        otherwise you would not be asking others on the "net" for advise. Explore
        other net sites like - http://homedistiller.org - and others - there are
        also books available. Don't take any tips from guys like me as being
        gospel - because we all have our different methods. I doubt that you will
        ever get "poisoned" from bad shine - just headaches etc. - unless you have a
        serious quantity intake problem. The clear blue flame that you allude to is
        not an indication of quality - just high alcohol. However, the colour of
        your product is important. If it has a slight blue tinge - or is not
        crystal clear - don't drink it. The thermometer is the most important part
        of your still - you MUST use one - and abide by the temp. readings. I trust
        that you already know what temp. to start your cooling process and when to
        stop it? Yes, it is important to: turn on the water to cool your mast when
        temp goes to 65c -get rid of the FIRST 50ml shine - won't kill you - but we
        are advocating quality here not hangovers - monitor your drip - it will
        hover around 83c for quite a while then start climbing - you will notice the
        drip slow perceptible at 92c - DO NOT continue to collect alcohol after
        92c - unless you like rotgut moonshine. A bigger still will make your time,
        effort and the small amount we spend in turbo yeast, sugar, and electricity
        far more productive.

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "derek geoffrey redman" <redmans1@...>
        To: <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 3:49 PM
        Subject: [new_distillers] methanol & tails


        > This is an awesome newsgroup and homedistiller.org is one helluva
        > website. Anyways, I have a problem that you people may be able to help
        > me with...
        >
        > I know a guy in Canada who has distilled a couple of washes so far with
        > a small pot still on a stove top. The first time he made some Apple
        > Schnapps from a 14% wash that was pretty good. Incidentally, he set
        > aside the first 50mL of distillate for each 6L batch of wash to get rid
        > of the methanol. Next, this guy tried to make a rum from a brown sugar
        > wash at 11% but I'm wondering if it was sufficient to throw away the
        > first 50mL of distillate for each 6L batch of wash to get rid of the
        > methanol. I'm assuming there were no undesirable bugs in the wash that
        > could produce extra methanol. I think that he simply did not monitor
        > the vapour temperature very well throughout the process.
        >
        > If the still is heated too quickly to temperatures >70 degrees celsius,
        > is it possible to have methanol in the distillate collected after the
        > first 50mL?
        >
        > How careful do you have to be with cutting off the tails? Is it more a
        > matter of the preferred flavour or is there a real risk of being
        > poisoned? If you can light a drop of the distillate collected from the
        > tails and still get a blue flame, does that indicate an edible product?
        >
        > With this much doubt, would you recommend a re-distillation?
        >
        > Thanks in advance,
        >
        > geoff
        >
        >
        >
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        >
        >
        >
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        >
        >
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