Re: Question Methanol dangers using a fractionating Still
- Hi Link and Jeremy.
In my opinion isn't possible to fix the quantity of methanol without
knowing the type of still you have.
I mean: by using a pot still you'll have some quantity of methylic
alcohol, by using a fractionnating refluxed column the quantity will
That quantity depends also from the alcoholic percentage of mash you
Let me say, also, that isn't true that methanol is completely
eliminated with the "heads": it will accompany the distillation till
the end (at decreasing rate, of course) because a physical law say
In fact the boiling point of a mash depend from the alcohol
percentage: gradually the alcohol evaporate and so the mash boiling
point increase because the quantity of alcohol into the mash
At a certain point the boiling temperature will reach the boling
point of ethylic alcohol, so also it will start to boil; but this
fact doesn't mean the end of methanol, no: it is still into the
vapours (at low concentration, of course).
If you have a fractionnating refluxed column you don't take any
risks: the reflux will be able to separate very well the heads, but
if you have a pot still things are a little bit different.
In this case you can only count of the capability of your pot still
to reflux down the ethylic alcohol in the beginning of the
distillation: in this case the percentage you wrote (about 0.2%)
is , in my opinion, a little bit optimistic.
Anyway we have a godd judge that help us a lot: our nose and our
Till you fill a biting smell you don't have to collect: it's the
ethyl acetate, that give the sensation of a lot of needles into your
This component follow the meth and is immediately before the ethylic
alcohol, but is still belonging to heads so you don't have to
Hoping to have given some help.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Link D'Antoni <link2d@...>
> This is an over simplification of the process.
> Everything vaporizes (turns to vapor)at different
> temperatures. Water at sea level turns to vapor @ 212
> F (100c). Methanol at, i believe, @ 168 F and Ethyl
> Alcohol @ 172 F. As the lower boiling (lighter)
> components boil off the temp will them move up.
> Methanol will vaporize just ahead of the Ethanol and
> will condense just ahead of the Ethanol. That is why
> we pull off the first .10% (fore-shot) after the
> initial condensation. I personally pull off .2%
> Example: In a 5 gallon wash
> 3790 ml x 5 = 19,950 ml x .2% = 38 ml
> I will pull off 38 - 40 ml of the first to drip from
> the condenser.
> I have not gotten brain damage yet... which is
> I hope that this helps some.
> --- Jeremy McCoy <realmccoy333@...> wrote:
> > I am in the middle of building a fractionating
> > still. What are the
> > dangers of no disposing of the methanol first
> > created. My
> > understanding is the vapour will likely hit the pot
> > scrubbers and
> > condence down the coloum again, therefore the
> > methanol remains. Is
> > this correct
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