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  • Harry
    I wish people would do some G-E-N-U-I-N-=E research before spreading half-truths, assumptions and downright fallacies. Particularly the newcomers to the
    Message 1 of 44 , Apr 6, 2006
      I wish people would do some G-E-N-U-I-N-=E research before spreading
      half-truths, assumptions and downright fallacies. Particularly the
      newcomers to the hobby. Please read the Homedistiller.org site.
      The information is here in the archives, and on Tony's
      Homedistiller.org site. We each have 2 eyes, 2 ears, & 1 mouth.
      Please use them in that proportion. Rapid accumulation of quality
      knowledge will be your reward. Then we can all get on with the
      business of happy hobby distilling, instead of ploughing old ground.

      This is a direct extract from Tony's site, a resource with many
      thousands of hours input by a chemical engineer and distilling
      enthusiast. He is also our mentor, for those who came in late.

      A simple (but effective) rule of thumb for this is to throw away the
      first 50 mL you collect (per 20 L mash used) for a reflux still. If
      using a potstill, make it more like 100-200 mL. Do this, and you
      have removed all the hazardous foreshots, including the methanol. To
      get a really clean distinction between the foreshots and the rest of
      the alcohol, increase the reflux ratio to the point where you're
      taking off this first 50 mL at a very slow rate (eg 1 drop per
      second). This will give a very stable equilibrium within the column
      to allow all the methanol to collect at the top of the column and be
      in this first portion.

      If you are doing a double or triple distillation with a pot still,
      don't worry about removing the heads & tails on the first pass. Wait
      for the second run, when they are more distinct & easier to
      seperate. Once you have removed them, they are gone, so much less
      will need to be discarded from the subsequent runs, other than that
      dictated by taste, and any improved seperation that may result from
      running a more pure distillate through the still.

      How dangerous are the various fusel oils ? I've got some of them
      listed below.
      The ones with toxicity data listed are ...

      Methanol : usual fatal dose 100-250 mL
      1-Pentanol : LD50 (rat) 3030 mg/kg
      3-Pentanol : LD50 (rat) 1870 mg/kg

      Compare this to the amounts present in distilled spirits. The data
      in Wheeler & Willmotts "Spirits unlimited - a complete guide to home
      distilling" gives :
      Home distilled spirit (untreated): methanol 0.0067%, ethanol
      99.632%, fusils 0.361%
      Commercial vodka: methanol 0.013%, ethanol 99.507%, fusils 0.48%
      Poor quality home distilled spirit : methanol 0.0186%, ethanol
      98.453%, and fusils 1.528%

      If you're talking about untreated spirits as being dangerous, then
      to reach the LD50's that are published, you'd need to consume 149 L
      to be affected by the methanol, or for a 90kg bloke, about 58 L for
      the pentanol, from the "good" homemade stuff. That would be one hell
      of a session ! Even on their "poor quality" brew you'd need 11 L for
      the fusels. Stock standard pissed-as-a-newt high-school-student
      alcohol poisoning is the greater problem.

      Now their "home distilled spirit" was at a time when their best
      design was only putting out roughly 75% pure ethanol. What's the
      story from like a Nixon-Stone or Euro doing 95%+ purity ?

      Compare that to the levels of methanol etc that you get via other
      sources ...
      Methanol & Other Impurities

      Methanol is formed when fermenting beverages high in pectins - eg
      grapes and berries. Starting with a grain or sugar based wort, in a
      clean fermentor with a yeast culture from a well aereated source
      will result in small/none formed.

      Carl from Hambletonbard (makers of Alcotec yeasts) details ..
      Methanol, you will typically get around 2 or 3 parts per million (or
      milligrams per litre if you prefer) of methanol produced during
      fermentation of a standard 6kg type Alcotec - this is extremely low
      even compared to commercial products. We don't have a great deal of
      data on methanol because whenever we have tested for it we have got
      extremely low results.

      Mike explains about the pectin ..
      The methanol comes from the pectin, which mainly composed of methyl
      esters of galactose. When pectin breaks down, by enzymes introduced
      by microorganisms, or deliberately introduced, the methyl esters
      combine with water to produce methanol, so the aim should be to
      leave the pectin well alone if you can.

      I think Jack would agree that what he means is that fermenting at a
      high temperature, or adding pectin enzyme, or trying for an abv
      higher than 12% all increase the risk of methanol being produced, so
      his advice about low temperature fermentation, adding no exra
      enzymes, and a target lower than 12%abv is all good stuff.

      You are already being exposed to methanol from other sources. Some
      fruit juices are naturally high in methanol - for example apple
      juice can have 0.2-0.3% methanol, or if derived from pulp by
      enzymatic degradation, the levels can be 2 to 3 times higher.

      Johan found ..
      orange juice contains 10 to 50 times as much methanol as sugarmash.

      The lethal dose of methanol is at least 100 ml that is equal to
      about 80000 mg or you need 27000 liters of mash at least to get that

      I hope (read PRAY) that will finally put this to bed, at least until
      the next guy with half an idea wants to have an ill-informed say.

      regards Harry
    • David Eastham
      ... Do it on the spirit run, save time on the stripping run.
      Message 44 of 44 , May 7, 2011
        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "adam" <bluwater2828@...> wrote:
        > I have been doing stripping runs and collecting that then removing my methanol when I spirit run. Should I remove the methanol from durring beer striping or spirit runs. Or both?

        Do it on the spirit run, save time on the stripping run.
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