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What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

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  • guillearnal
    Hi Guys, hope all is great in your sides... Just got a new distill and I m brand new in this, I have a few ideas I want to experiment with, but I heard from
    Message 1 of 24 , Jun 18, 2014
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      Hi Guys, hope all is great in your sides...Just got a new distill and I'm brand new in this, I have a few ideas I want to experiment with, but I heard from few people that when distilling I should throw away the first 30ml-50ml of the alcohol that comes out the first distill, is there any reason for this? I been told is poisonous, but seems a bit stupid reason... If it's true, why does this happens?Hope you can help me, since I've looked everywhere without luck...ThxG
    • Staleymg
      Yes and I would throw out more actually. The first 100 ml contain methanol and other fusols that make the end product bad. Give them the pitch. Then I go by
      Message 2 of 24 , Jun 18, 2014
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        Yes and I would throw out more actually. The first 100 ml contain methanol and other fusols that make the end product bad. Give them the pitch. Then I go by smell and temp and isolate the heads. Smells chemical and usually finished by the time it gets to 190-195 degrees. 

        Sent from my iPhone

        On Jun 18, 2014, at 8:17 PM, "guillearnal@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

         

        Hi Guys, hope all is great in your sides...Just got a new distill and I'm brand new in this, I have a few ideas I want to experiment with, but I heard from few people that when distilling I should throw away the first 30ml-50ml of the alcohol that comes out the first distill, is there any reason for this? I been told is poisonous, but seems a bit stupid reason... If it's true, why does this happens?Hope you can help me, since I've looked everywhere without luck...ThxG

      • RLB
        It mostly depends on the size of your still.  I have heard it suggested to toss the first 250 ml.  I suggest that you go to homedistiller.org because it s a
        Message 3 of 24 , Jun 18, 2014
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          It mostly depends on the size of your still.  I have heard it suggested to toss the first 250 ml.  I suggest that you go to homedistiller.org because it's a great tool that will answer most of your newbie questions.

          Robert


          From: "guillearnal@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
          To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 8:17 PM
          Subject: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

           
          Hi Guys, hope all is great in your sides...Just got a new distill and I'm brand new in this, I have a few ideas I want to experiment with, but I heard from few people that when distilling I should throw away the first 30ml-50ml of the alcohol that comes out the first distill, is there any reason for this? I been told is poisonous, but seems a bit stupid reason... If it's true, why does this happens?Hope you can help me, since I've looked everywhere without luck...ThxG


        • Bob Glicksman
          It isn t the size of the still, per se. It is the feedstock. Yeast, like any biological organism, uses very complex chemistry and produces many by-products.
          Message 4 of 24 , Jun 18, 2014
          • 0 Attachment
            It isn't the size of the still, per se.  It is the feedstock.  Yeast, like any biological organism, uses very complex chemistry and produces many by-products.  Some feedstock, such as fruits rich in pectin, cause the yeast to produce a few percent methanol.  There are also various aldehydes and other chemicals that might be present.  Some of these have a lower boiling point than ethanol and some have a higher bp than ethanol.  The amount (%) of each of these substances depends upon the feedstock and the strain of yeast (and other variables too, such as fermentation temperature and nutrients).  

            If you distill carefully, you can take off each specific product with the product having the lowest bp coming first, then the next lowest, etc.  The product with the lowest bp is often methanol.  Methanol is metabolized by the human body into formaldehyde -- a deadly poison (sometimes used to preserve specimens in the lab) and can kill you or at least make you blind.  Consequently, it is not wise to drink it in any but a trivially low concentration.  Ditto for many of the other products that come off in the foreshots and some in the heads, until you get to distilling off the ethanol (which metabolizes into acetalaldehyde, which can also be poisonous but is safe to drink in "reasonable" quantities and concentrations).  After the ethanol run, you get the tails which can contain some nasty stuff too, but usually is rejected in any event because the taste is bad.

            Careful and slow distillation is the key to properly separating these substances in the still.  You can burn the methanol and most of the other stuff as some sort of fuel, but yeast makes mostly ethanol, so any "reasonable" sized batch of wash will give you very little of the other stuff -- too little to be of much practical use all by itself.

            Bob


            -----Original Message-----
            From: RLB last2blast@... [new_distillers] <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
            To: new_distillers <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Wed, Jun 18, 2014 8:34 pm
            Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

             
            It mostly depends on the size of your still.  I have heard it suggested to toss the first 250 ml.  I suggest that you go to homedistiller.org because it's a great tool that will answer most of your newbie questions.

            Robert


            From: "guillearnal@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
            To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 8:17 PM
            Subject: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

             
            Hi Guys, hope all is great in your sides...Just got a new distill and I'm brand new in this, I have a few ideas I want to experiment with, but I heard from few people that when distilling I should throw away the first 30ml-50ml of the alcohol that comes out the first distill, is there any reason for this? I been told is poisonous, but seems a bit stupid reason... If it's true, why does this happens?Hope you can help me, since I've looked everywhere without luck...ThxG


          • Robert Hubble
            Great response, Bob, and you beat me to it. I d like to add a bit, if I may, to put things in perspective. The increased separation of the vapor components
            Message 5 of 24 , Jun 19, 2014
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              Great response, Bob, and you beat me to it. I'd like to add a bit, if I may, to put things in perspective.
              The increased separation of the vapor components with slow distillation is mostly seen in reflux, or
              column, stills, stills that boil, condense, and reboil the vapor to skew the final output to higher
              concentrations of the lowest-boiling-point compound.

              Potstills, on the other hand, boil and condense only once, and speed of takeoff does not really affect
              the concentrations of the vapor compounds at any point in the still run.

              It's important to note that in a simple (potstill) run, every drop out of the still has  exactly the same
              compounds in it as every other drop out of the still, but in hugely varying concentrations from beginning
              to end of the still run, and since a reflux still is technically just a long series of potstills, that principle
              also holds true with reflux stills, but with an even greater skewing of concentrations. Essentially,
              separation of compounds in vapor by distillation is imperfect, but is less imperfect in reflux stills.

              To let the real world complicate the theoretical one even more, some compounds in distillation interact
              with other compounds in complicating ways, and these compound pairs (at least I think they are usually
              pairs) are called azeotropes. The reflux stiller is confronted every day with the ethanol-water azeotrope,
              which limits the percentage of ethanol in the distillate to about 96.4%.

              A lesser-known azeotrope is the ethanol-methanol azeotrope, which makes methanol even more
              difficult to separate from ethanol than simple distillation theory would predict, meaning that methanol
              is more broadly "smeared" across the spectrum of a still run than other compounds might be. This
              difficulty of separation of methanol and ethanol by distillation is one of the reasons that methanol was
              used to denature ethanol during America's Prohibition period.

              Not coincidentally, the use of that methanol-denatured ethanol to dilute liquor was where our
              concern about methanol in our liquor first arose. While the naturally-occuring methanol in "regular"
              liquor had never hurt anyone due to its low concentrations (although Calvados, one of the highest-
              methanol spirits gave quite a few headaches), methanol from-the-can killed a lot of people during
              Prohibition.

              So, what to do? As you've been told, pitch the nasty-tasting stuff at the first of a still run, not so much
              to eliminate methanol, which has a flavor virtually undetectable in ethanol, but simply because that
              first stuff tastes and smells nasty. I guess the small amount of compounds Bob names plus the ethyl
              acetate and acetone aren't exactly health food, but they won't kill you in trace amounts (remember
              that ethanol itself is toxic).

              Pitch the nasties so you're making fine spirits.

              Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller


              To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
              From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 23:58:51 -0400
              Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

               
              It isn't the size of the still, per se.  It is the feedstock.  Yeast, like any biological organism, uses very complex chemistry and produces many by-products.  Some feedstock, such as fruits rich in pectin, cause the yeast to produce a few percent methanol.  There are also various aldehydes and other chemicals that might be present.  Some of these have a lower boiling point than ethanol and some have a higher bp than ethanol.  The amount (%) of each of these substances depends upon the feedstock and the strain of yeast (and other variables too, such as fermentation temperature and nutrients).  

              If you distill carefully, you can take off each specific product with the product having the lowest bp coming first, then the next lowest, etc.  The product with the lowest bp is often methanol.  Methanol is metabolized by the human body into formaldehyde -- a deadly poison (sometimes used to preserve specimens in the lab) and can kill you or at least make you blind.  Consequently, it is not wise to drink it in any but a trivially low concentration.  Ditto for many of the other products that come off in the foreshots and some in the heads, until you get to distilling off the ethanol (which metabolizes into acetalaldehyde, which can also be poisonous but is safe to drink in "reasonable" quantities and concentrations).  After the ethanol run, you get the tails which can contain some nasty stuff too, but usually is rejected in any event because the taste is bad.

              Careful and slow distillation is the key to properly separating these substances in the still.  You can burn the methanol and most of the other stuff as some sort of fuel, but yeast makes mostly ethanol, so any "reasonable" sized batch of wash will give you very little of the other stuff -- too little to be of much practical use all by itself.

              Bob


              -----Original Message-----
              From: RLB last2blast@... [new_distillers] <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
              To: new_distillers <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Wed, Jun 18, 2014 8:34 pm
              Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

               
              It mostly depends on the size of your still.  I have heard it suggested to toss the first 250 ml.  I suggest that you go to homedistiller.org because it's a great tool that will answer most of your newbie questions.

              Robert


              From: "guillearnal@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
              To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 8:17 PM
              Subject: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

               
              Hi Guys, hope all is great in your sides...Just got a new distill and I'm brand new in this, I have a few ideas I want to experiment with, but I heard from few people that when distilling I should throw away the first 30ml-50ml of the alcohol that comes out the first distill, is there any reason for this? I been told is poisonous, but seems a bit stupid reason... If it's true, why does this happens?Hope you can help me, since I've looked everywhere without luck...ThxG



            • Crazy Horse
              No its not poison (just tastes STRONG! :-). The myth is ...its methanol and will make you go blind! . Reality is, distillation commences over a period of time
              Message 6 of 24 , Jun 19, 2014
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                No its not poison (just tastes STRONG! :-). The myth is "...its methanol and will make you go blind!". Reality is, distillation commences over a period of time so the volatiles are driven off first in the gradual process of the mash heating up. The ethanol starts at a very high percentage rate (depending on still!) and tapers off over time.
                Methanol can not be made by distillation.
                We throw NOTHING away (other than the mash!) but after getting about 6lts of spirit from our 40lts of mash, we blend it so that all bottles are the same consistency and flavour. Even though the mash has run out, we continue to drive off very low alcohol content spirit as that contains a lot of the flavour we want (we use molasses in our mash) for white rum.
                Steve
                (NZ....land of the FREE distillers!)


              • Crazy Horse
                Ok. Think for a minute. Yeast convert sugars into ethanol.. NOTHING ELSE. Otherwise a bottle of wine or beer would have all the chemicals you are talking about
                Message 7 of 24 , Jun 19, 2014
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                  Ok. Think for a minute. Yeast convert sugars into ethanol.. NOTHING ELSE. Otherwise a bottle of wine or beer would have all the chemicals you are talking about in them!
                  Methanol is not Not NOT produced by yeast! "Destructive distillation" or gas combining is the way methanol is made... so far. There is a "natural" occurring quantity of very very small amounts of methanol in just about everything we consume (a soda from the shop contains more than your mash). Methanol is IMPORTANT to human metabolism in these small amounts.
                  A still can not separate methanol from ethanol so the first drips you get out of your still are simply a higher percentage of ethanol than you would get at the end when water begins to be driven off in greater quantities as the temperature rises.
                  If you were to mix methanol and ethanol together and distil it, that's a different matter but who would pour methanol into their mash!!?
                  6 years we have been distilling in NZ. A mash down every month or so and nothing is thrown away and I can assure you I am not using a Braille keyboard to type this! LOL


                  On Friday, June 20, 2014 4:29 AM, "Robert Hubble zymurgybob@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                   
                  Great response, Bob, and you beat me to it. I'd like to add a bit, if I may, to put things in perspective.
                  The increased separation of the vapor components with slow distillation is mostly seen in reflux, or
                  column, stills, stills that boil, condense, and reboil the vapor to skew the final output to higher
                  concentrations of the lowest-boiling-point compound.

                  Potstills, on the other hand, boil and condense only once, and speed of takeoff does not really affect
                  the concentrations of the vapor compounds at any point in the still run.

                  It's important to note that in a simple (potstill) run, every drop out of the still has  exactly the same
                  compounds in it as every other drop out of the still, but in hugely varying concentrations from beginning
                  to end of the still run, and since a reflux still is technically just a long series of potstills, that principle
                  also holds true with reflux stills, but with an even greater skewing of concentrations. Essentially,
                  separation of compounds in vapor by distillation is imperfect, but is less imperfect in reflux stills.

                  To let the real world complicate the theoretical one even more, some compounds in distillation interact
                  with other compounds in complicating ways, and these compound pairs (at least I think they are usually
                  pairs) are called azeotropes. The reflux stiller is confronted every day with the ethanol-water azeotrope,
                  which limits the percentage of ethanol in the distillate to about 96.4%.

                  A lesser-known azeotrope is the ethanol-methanol azeotrope, which makes methanol even more
                  difficult to separate from ethanol than simple distillation theory would predict, meaning that methanol
                  is more broadly "smeared" across the spectrum of a still run than other compounds might be. This
                  difficulty of separation of methanol and ethanol by distillation is one of the reasons that methanol was
                  used to denature ethanol during America's Prohibition period.

                  Not coincidentally, the use of that methanol-denatured ethanol to dilute liquor was where our
                  concern about methanol in our liquor first arose. While the naturally-occuring methanol in "regular"
                  liquor had never hurt anyone due to its low concentrations (although Calvados, one of the highest-
                  methanol spirits gave quite a few headaches), methanol from-the-can killed a lot of people during
                  Prohibition.

                  So, what to do? As you've been told, pitch the nasty-tasting stuff at the first of a still run, not so much
                  to eliminate methanol, which has a flavor virtually undetectable in ethanol, but simply because that
                  first stuff tastes and smells nasty. I guess the small amount of compounds Bob names plus the ethyl
                  acetate and acetone aren't exactly health food, but they won't kill you in trace amounts (remember
                  that ethanol itself is toxic).

                  Pitch the nasties so you're making fine spirits.

                  Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller


                  To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                  From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 23:58:51 -0400
                  Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                   
                  It isn't the size of the still, per se.  It is the feedstock.  Yeast, like any biological organism, uses very complex chemistry and produces many by-products.  Some feedstock, such as fruits rich in pectin, cause the yeast to produce a few percent methanol.  There are also various aldehydes and other chemicals that might be present.  Some of these have a lower boiling point than ethanol and some have a higher bp than ethanol.  The amount (%) of each of these substances depends upon the feedstock and the strain of yeast (and other variables too, such as fermentation temperature and nutrients).  

                  If you distill carefully, you can take off each specific product with the product having the lowest bp coming first, then the next lowest, etc.  The product with the lowest bp is often methanol.  Methanol is metabolized by the human body into formaldehyde -- a deadly poison (sometimes used to preserve specimens in the lab) and can kill you or at least make you blind.  Consequently, it is not wise to drink it in any but a trivially low concentration.  Ditto for many of the other products that come off in the foreshots and some in the heads, until you get to distilling off the ethanol (which metabolizes into acetalaldehyde, which can also be poisonous but is safe to drink in "reasonable" quantities and concentrations).  After the ethanol run, you get the tails which can contain some nasty stuff too, but usually is rejected in any event because the taste is bad.

                  Careful and slow distillation is the key to properly separating these substances in the still.  You can burn the methanol and most of the other stuff as some sort of fuel, but yeast makes mostly ethanol, so any "reasonable" sized batch of wash will give you very little of the other stuff -- too little to be of much practical use all by itself.

                  Bob


                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: RLB last2blast@... [new_distillers] <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                  To: new_distillers <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Wed, Jun 18, 2014 8:34 pm
                  Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                   
                  It mostly depends on the size of your still.  I have heard it suggested to toss the first 250 ml.  I suggest that you go to homedistiller.org because it's a great tool that will answer most of your newbie questions.

                  Robert


                  From: "guillearnal@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                  To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 8:17 PM
                  Subject: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                   
                  Hi Guys, hope all is great in your sides...Just got a new distill and I'm brand new in this, I have a few ideas I want to experiment with, but I heard from few people that when distilling I should throw away the first 30ml-50ml of the alcohol that comes out the first distill, is there any reason for this? I been told is poisonous, but seems a bit stupid reason... If it's true, why does this happens?Hope you can help me, since I've looked everywhere without luck...ThxG





                • Bob Glicksman
                  If you useturbo yeast to ferment sucrose mixed into distilled water, you will get only ethanol and CO2. If you mash grains or crush fruit, fermentation will
                  Message 8 of 24 , Jun 19, 2014
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                    If you useturbo yeast to ferment sucrose mixed into distilled water, you will get only ethanol and CO2.  If you mash grains or crush fruit, fermentation will produce a lot of additional compounds.  And yes, wine and beer contain methanol, but in trace amounts (country wines made from apples and plums -- fruit containing lots of pectin -- can have more than just trace amounts of methanol in them).  Methanol is made industrially by chemical means, because fermentation would be horribly inefficient (owing to "trace" amounts).  You will not get methanol poisoning by drinking fermented apple juice (hard cider) because the concentration of methanol resulting from fermentation of apple juice is very low (much higher, however, than fermenting grape juice, which is low in pectin).  However, when you distill, you concentrate the more volatile substances; ethanol (which is desired) and also methanol and the other stuff that ends up in the foreshots and heads.

                    Z-Bob is quite correct that a pot still run contains everything that can vaporize, but the more volatile the substance, the more concentrated it is in the pot still run.  When properly operating a reflux still, you can get each and every such substance off all by itself, lowest bp first.

                    You (Crazy Horse) are quite correct that there is naturally occurring methanol in lots of stuff - it doesn't need to be fermented to contain methanol.  I'm not sure why you say that methanol is important to human metabolism in trace amounts, but I agree that trace amounts will not harm you.  This is why wine and beer makers do not have to worry about methanol.  But distillers should be mindful of it.  You can, in fact, obtain pure methanol out of a properly run reflux still and I would not recommend drinking it!

                    Bob



                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Crazy Horse zl1fox@... [new_distillers] <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                    To: new_distillers <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Thu, Jun 19, 2014 2:46 pm
                    Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                     
                    Ok. Think for a minute. Yeast convert sugars into ethanol.. NOTHING ELSE. Otherwise a bottle of wine or beer would have all the chemicals you are talking about in them!
                    Methanol is not Not NOT produced by yeast! "Destructive distillation" or gas combining is the way methanol is made... so far. There is a "natural" occurring quantity of very very small amounts of methanol in just about everything we consume (a soda from the shop contains more than your mash). Methanol is IMPORTANT to human metabolism in these small amounts.
                    A still can not separate methanol from ethanol so the first drips you get out of your still are simply a higher percentage of ethanol than you would get at the end when water begins to be driven off in greater quantities as the temperature rises.
                    If you were to mix methanol and ethanol together and distil it, that's a different matter but who would pour methanol into their mash!!?
                    6 years we have been distilling in NZ. A mash down every month or so and nothing is thrown away and I can assure you I am not using a Braille keyboard to type this! LOL


                    On Friday, June 20, 2014 4:29 AM, "Robert Hubble zymurgybob@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                     
                    Great response, Bob, and you beat me to it. I'd like to add a bit, if I may, to put things in perspective.
                    The increased separation of the vapor components with slow distillation is mostly seen in reflux, or
                    column, stills, stills that boil, condense, and reboil the vapor to skew the final output to higher
                    concentrations of the lowest-boiling-point compound.

                    Potstills, on the other hand, boil and condense only once, and speed of takeoff does not really affect
                    the concentrations of the vapor compounds at any point in the still run.

                    It's important to note that in a simple (potstill) run, every drop out of the still has  exactly the same
                    compounds in it as every other drop out of the still, but in hugely varying concentrations from beginning
                    to end of the still run, and since a reflux still is technically just a long series of potstills, that principle
                    also holds true with reflux stills, but with an even greater skewing of concentrations. Essentially,
                    separation of compounds in vapor by distillation is imperfect, but is less imperfect in reflux stills.

                    To let the real world complicate the theoretical one even more, some compounds in distillation interact
                    with other compounds in complicating ways, and these compound pairs (at least I think they are usually
                    pairs) are called azeotropes. The reflux stiller is confronted every day with the ethanol-water azeotrope,
                    which limits the percentage of ethanol in the distillate to about 96.4%.

                    A lesser-known azeotrope is the ethanol-methanol azeotrope, which makes methanol even more
                    difficult to separate from ethanol than simple distillation theory would predict, meaning that methanol
                    is more broadly "smeared" across the spectrum of a still run than other compounds might be. This
                    difficulty of separation of methanol and ethanol by distillation is one of the reasons that methanol was
                    used to denature ethanol during America's Prohibition period.

                    Not coincidentally, the use of that methanol-denatured ethanol to dilute liquor was where our
                    concern about methanol in our liquor first arose. While the naturally-occuring methanol in "regular"
                    liquor had never hurt anyone due to its low concentrations (although Calvados, one of the highest-
                    methanol spirits gave quite a few headaches), methanol from-the-can killed a lot of people during
                    Prohibition.

                    So, what to do? As you've been told, pitch the nasty-tasting stuff at the first of a still run, not so much
                    to eliminate methanol, which has a flavor virtually undetectable in ethanol, but simply because that
                    first stuff tastes and smells nasty. I guess the small amount of compounds Bob names plus the ethyl
                    acetate and acetone aren't exactly health food, but they won't kill you in trace amounts (remember
                    that ethanol itself is toxic).

                    Pitch the nasties so you're making fine spirits.

                    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller


                    To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 23:58:51 -0400
                    Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                     
                    It isn't the size of the still, per se.  It is the feedstock.  Yeast, like any biological organism, uses very complex chemistry and produces many by-products.  Some feedstock, such as fruits rich in pectin, cause the yeast to produce a few percent methanol.  There are also various aldehydes and other chemicals that might be present.  Some of these have a lower boiling point than ethanol and some have a higher bp than ethanol.  The amount (%) of each of these substances depends upon the feedstock and the strain of yeast (and other variables too, such as fermentation temperature and nutrients).  

                    If you distill carefully, you can take off each specific product with the product having the lowest bp coming first, then the next lowest, etc.  The product with the lowest bp is often methanol.  Methanol is metabolized by the human body into formaldehyde -- a deadly poison (sometimes used to preserve specimens in the lab) and can kill you or at least make you blind.  Consequently, it is not wise to drink it in any but a trivially low concentration.  Ditto for many of the other products that come off in the foreshots and some in the heads, until you get to distilling off the ethanol (which metabolizes into acetalaldehyde, which can also be poisonous but is safe to drink in "reasonable" quantities and concentrations).  After the ethanol run, you get the tails which can contain some nasty stuff too, but usually is rejected in any event because the taste is bad.

                    Careful and slow distillation is the key to properly separating these substances in the still.  You can burn the methanol and most of the other stuff as some sort of fuel, but yeast makes mostly ethanol, so any "reasonable" sized batch of wash will give you very little of the other stuff -- too little to be of much practical use all by itself.

                    Bob


                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: RLB last2blast@... [new_distillers] <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                    To: new_distillers <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Wed, Jun 18, 2014 8:34 pm
                    Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                     
                    It mostly depends on the size of your still.  I have heard it suggested to toss the first 250 ml.  I suggest that you go to homedistiller.org because it's a great tool that will answer most of your newbie questions.

                    Robert


                    From: "guillearnal@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                    To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 8:17 PM
                    Subject: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                     
                    Hi Guys, hope all is great in your sides...Just got a new distill and I'm brand new in this, I have a few ideas I want to experiment with, but I heard from few people that when distilling I should throw away the first 30ml-50ml of the alcohol that comes out the first distill, is there any reason for this? I been told is poisonous, but seems a bit stupid reason... If it's true, why does this happens?Hope you can help me, since I've looked everywhere without luck...ThxG





                  • Crazy Horse
                    Hi Bob, Sorry but NO. My friend is an industrial chemist for Fonterra here in New Zealand and gave me this link:
                    Message 9 of 24 , Jun 20, 2014
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Hi Bob,
                      Sorry but NO.
                      My friend is an industrial chemist for Fonterra here in New Zealand and gave me this link:

                      There is no No NO methanol in natural fermentation of yeast....period. (or ketones, acetates, phenols...)

                      If that doesn't help, good old Wikipedia?

                      Yes, we NEED methanol in our diet:
                      (quote) .According to the FDA, as much as 500 milligrams per day of methanol is safe in an adult’s diet.In the body, methanol is metabolized in the liver, converted first to formaldehyde, and then to formate. As a building block for many biological molecules, formate is essential for survival (end quote)


                      Steve (still drinking the heads and tails!!)



                      On Friday, June 20, 2014 1:44 PM, "Bob Glicksman bobg542492@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                       
                      If you useturbo yeast to ferment sucrose mixed into distilled water, you will get only ethanol and CO2.  If you mash grains or crush fruit, fermentation will produce a lot of additional compounds.  And yes, wine and beer contain methanol, but in trace amounts (country wines made from apples and plums -- fruit containing lots of pectin -- can have more than just trace amounts of methanol in them).  Methanol is made industrially by chemical means, because fermentation would be horribly inefficient (owing to "trace" amounts).  You will not get methanol poisoning by drinking fermented apple juice (hard cider) because the concentration of methanol resulting from fermentation of apple juice is very low (much higher, however, than fermenting grape juice, which is low in pectin).  However, when you distill, you concentrate the more volatile substances; ethanol (which is desired) and also methanol and the other stuff that ends up in the foreshots and heads.

                      Z-Bob is quite correct that a pot still run contains everything that can vaporize, but the more volatile the substance, the more concentrated it is in the pot still run.  When properly operating a reflux still, you can get each and every such substance off all by itself, lowest bp first.

                      You (Crazy Horse) are quite correct that there is naturally occurring methanol in lots of stuff - it doesn't need to be fermented to contain methanol.  I'm not sure why you say that methanol is important to human metabolism in trace amounts, but I agree that trace amounts will not harm you.  This is why wine and beer makers do not have to worry about methanol.  But distillers should be mindful of it.  You can, in fact, obtain pure methanol out of a properly run reflux still and I would not recommend drinking it!

                      Bob



                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Crazy Horse zl1fox@... [new_distillers] <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                      To: new_distillers <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Thu, Jun 19, 2014 2:46 pm
                      Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                       
                      Ok. Think for a minute. Yeast convert sugars into ethanol.. NOTHING ELSE. Otherwise a bottle of wine or beer would have all the chemicals you are talking about in them!
                      Methanol is not Not NOT produced by yeast! "Destructive distillation" or gas combining is the way methanol is made... so far. There is a "natural" occurring quantity of very very small amounts of methanol in just about everything we consume (a soda from the shop contains more than your mash). Methanol is IMPORTANT to human metabolism in these small amounts.
                      A still can not separate methanol from ethanol so the first drips you get out of your still are simply a higher percentage of ethanol than you would get at the end when water begins to be driven off in greater quantities as the temperature rises.
                      If you were to mix methanol and ethanol together and distil it, that's a different matter but who would pour methanol into their mash!!?
                      6 years we have been distilling in NZ. A mash down every month or so and nothing is thrown away and I can assure you I am not using a Braille keyboard to type this! LOL


                      On Friday, June 20, 2014 4:29 AM, "Robert Hubble zymurgybob@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                       
                      Great response, Bob, and you beat me to it. I'd like to add a bit, if I may, to put things in perspective.
                      The increased separation of the vapor components with slow distillation is mostly seen in reflux, or
                      column, stills, stills that boil, condense, and reboil the vapor to skew the final output to higher
                      concentrations of the lowest-boiling-point compound.

                      Potstills, on the other hand, boil and condense only once, and speed of takeoff does not really affect
                      the concentrations of the vapor compounds at any point in the still run.

                      It's important to note that in a simple (potstill) run, every drop out of the still has  exactly the same
                      compounds in it as every other drop out of the still, but in hugely varying concentrations from beginning
                      to end of the still run, and since a reflux still is technically just a long series of potstills, that principle
                      also holds true with reflux stills, but with an even greater skewing of concentrations. Essentially,
                      separation of compounds in vapor by distillation is imperfect, but is less imperfect in reflux stills.

                      To let the real world complicate the theoretical one even more, some compounds in distillation interact
                      with other compounds in complicating ways, and these compound pairs (at least I think they are usually
                      pairs) are called azeotropes. The reflux stiller is confronted every day with the ethanol-water azeotrope,
                      which limits the percentage of ethanol in the distillate to about 96.4%.

                      A lesser-known azeotrope is the ethanol-methanol azeotrope, which makes methanol even more
                      difficult to separate from ethanol than simple distillation theory would predict, meaning that methanol
                      is more broadly "smeared" across the spectrum of a still run than other compounds might be. This
                      difficulty of separation of methanol and ethanol by distillation is one of the reasons that methanol was
                      used to denature ethanol during America's Prohibition period.

                      Not coincidentally, the use of that methanol-denatured ethanol to dilute liquor was where our
                      concern about methanol in our liquor first arose. While the naturally-occuring methanol in "regular"
                      liquor had never hurt anyone due to its low concentrations (although Calvados, one of the highest-
                      methanol spirits gave quite a few headaches), methanol from-the-can killed a lot of people during
                      Prohibition.

                      So, what to do? As you've been told, pitch the nasty-tasting stuff at the first of a still run, not so much
                      to eliminate methanol, which has a flavor virtually undetectable in ethanol, but simply because that
                      first stuff tastes and smells nasty. I guess the small amount of compounds Bob names plus the ethyl
                      acetate and acetone aren't exactly health food, but they won't kill you in trace amounts (remember
                      that ethanol itself is toxic).

                      Pitch the nasties so you're making fine spirits.

                      Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller


                      To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                      From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                      Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 23:58:51 -0400
                      Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                       
                      It isn't the size of the still, per se.  It is the feedstock.  Yeast, like any biological organism, uses very complex chemistry and produces many by-products.  Some feedstock, such as fruits rich in pectin, cause the yeast to produce a few percent methanol.  There are also various aldehydes and other chemicals that might be present.  Some of these have a lower boiling point than ethanol and some have a higher bp than ethanol.  The amount (%) of each of these substances depends upon the feedstock and the strain of yeast (and other variables too, such as fermentation temperature and nutrients).  

                      If you distill carefully, you can take off each specific product with the product having the lowest bp coming first, then the next lowest, etc.  The product with the lowest bp is often methanol.  Methanol is metabolized by the human body into formaldehyde -- a deadly poison (sometimes used to preserve specimens in the lab) and can kill you or at least make you blind.  Consequently, it is not wise to drink it in any but a trivially low concentration.  Ditto for many of the other products that come off in the foreshots and some in the heads, until you get to distilling off the ethanol (which metabolizes into acetalaldehyde, which can also be poisonous but is safe to drink in "reasonable" quantities and concentrations).  After the ethanol run, you get the tails which can contain some nasty stuff too, but usually is rejected in any event because the taste is bad.

                      Careful and slow distillation is the key to properly separating these substances in the still.  You can burn the methanol and most of the other stuff as some sort of fuel, but yeast makes mostly ethanol, so any "reasonable" sized batch of wash will give you very little of the other stuff -- too little to be of much practical use all by itself.

                      Bob


                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: RLB last2blast@... [new_distillers] <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                      To: new_distillers <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Wed, Jun 18, 2014 8:34 pm
                      Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                       
                      It mostly depends on the size of your still.  I have heard it suggested to toss the first 250 ml.  I suggest that you go to homedistiller.org because it's a great tool that will answer most of your newbie questions.

                      Robert


                      From: "guillearnal@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                      To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 8:17 PM
                      Subject: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                       
                      Hi Guys, hope all is great in your sides...Just got a new distill and I'm brand new in this, I have a few ideas I want to experiment with, but I heard from few people that when distilling I should throw away the first 30ml-50ml of the alcohol that comes out the first distill, is there any reason for this? I been told is poisonous, but seems a bit stupid reason... If it's true, why does this happens?Hope you can help me, since I've looked everywhere without luck...ThxG







                    • Crazy Horse
                      Sorry to drag this thread out but the urbane myth of distilling really needs to be put to bed. More on the benefits to health of METHANOL: (quote).. It is
                      Message 10 of 24 , Jun 20, 2014
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Sorry to drag this thread out but the urbane myth of distilling really needs to be put to bed.
                        More on the benefits to health of METHANOL:
                        (quote).."
                        It is important to understand that the human body is well-equipped to use small amounts of methanol produced from foods and beverages, as well as from aspartame. The metabolic pathway is well-understood and well-documented in the scientific literature. First, the methanol from the intestinal tract goes to the liver via portal blood, where the liver enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase converts methanol into formaldehyde. The body very rapidly uses formaldehyde and so formaldehyde never builds up in the body. If the body doesn't need it, formaldehyde is converted to formic acid within seconds. The formic acid will be either excreted in the urine or broken down to carbon dioxide and water.
                        The fact that methanol and formaldehyde are breakdown products of aspartame sounds scary to consumers. Therefore, it is important to know that formaldehyde is produced by our bodies every day in amounts thousands of times greater than you would ever get from aspartame, as it is a key metabolite that is needed to make other essential compounds, including DNA. Also, the known toxic effects of methanol relate not to formaldehyde, but to the build-up of formic acid in the blood. The breakdown of formic acid is slower than the breakdown of formaldehyde, so if there is a very large dose of methanol (or formaldehyde) coming into the body, formic acid can build up and that causes the adverse effects seen in methanol poisoning.
                        To put this into perspective, studies in healthy adults and infants consuming up to 200mg per kg of body weight (50 times the amounts Americans consume on average), showed no change in the levels of formic acid in the blood (1,2)......(end quote).



                        On , Crazy Horse <zl1fox@...> wrote:


                        Hi Bob,
                        Sorry but NO.
                        My friend is an industrial chemist for Fonterra here in New Zealand and gave me this link:

                        There is no No NO methanol in natural fermentation of yeast....period. (or ketones, acetates, phenols...)

                        If that doesn't help, good old Wikipedia?

                        Yes, we NEED methanol in our diet:
                        (quote) .According to the FDA, as much as 500 milligrams per day of methanol is safe in an adult’s diet.In the body, methanol is metabolized in the liver, converted first to formaldehyde, and then to formate. As a building block for many biological molecules, formate is essential for survival (end quote)


                        Steve (still drinking the heads and tails!!)



                        On Friday, June 20, 2014 1:44 PM, "Bob Glicksman bobg542492@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                         
                        If you useturbo yeast to ferment sucrose mixed into distilled water, you will get only ethanol and CO2.  If you mash grains or crush fruit, fermentation will produce a lot of additional compounds.  And yes, wine and beer contain methanol, but in trace amounts (country wines made from apples and plums -- fruit containing lots of pectin -- can have more than just trace amounts of methanol in them).  Methanol is made industrially by chemical means, because fermentation would be horribly inefficient (owing to "trace" amounts).  You will not get methanol poisoning by drinking fermented apple juice (hard cider) because the concentration of methanol resulting from fermentation of apple juice is very low (much higher, however, than fermenting grape juice, which is low in pectin).  However, when you distill, you concentrate the more volatile substances; ethanol (which is desired) and also methanol and the other stuff that ends up in the foreshots and heads.

                        Z-Bob is quite correct that a pot still run contains everything that can vaporize, but the more volatile the substance, the more concentrated it is in the pot still run.  When properly operating a reflux still, you can get each and every such substance off all by itself, lowest bp first.

                        You (Crazy Horse) are quite correct that there is naturally occurring methanol in lots of stuff - it doesn't need to be fermented to contain methanol.  I'm not sure why you say that methanol is important to human metabolism in trace amounts, but I agree that trace amounts will not harm you.  This is why wine and beer makers do not have to worry about methanol.  But distillers should be mindful of it.  You can, in fact, obtain pure methanol out of a properly run reflux still and I would not recommend drinking it!

                        Bob



                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Crazy Horse zl1fox@... [new_distillers] <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                        To: new_distillers <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Thu, Jun 19, 2014 2:46 pm
                        Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                         
                        Ok. Think for a minute. Yeast convert sugars into ethanol.. NOTHING ELSE. Otherwise a bottle of wine or beer would have all the chemicals you are talking about in them!
                        Methanol is not Not NOT produced by yeast! "Destructive distillation" or gas combining is the way methanol is made... so far. There is a "natural" occurring quantity of very very small amounts of methanol in just about everything we consume (a soda from the shop contains more than your mash). Methanol is IMPORTANT to human metabolism in these small amounts.
                        A still can not separate methanol from ethanol so the first drips you get out of your still are simply a higher percentage of ethanol than you would get at the end when water begins to be driven off in greater quantities as the temperature rises.
                        If you were to mix methanol and ethanol together and distil it, that's a different matter but who would pour methanol into their mash!!?
                        6 years we have been distilling in NZ. A mash down every month or so and nothing is thrown away and I can assure you I am not using a Braille keyboard to type this! LOL


                        On Friday, June 20, 2014 4:29 AM, "Robert Hubble zymurgybob@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                         
                        Great response, Bob, and you beat me to it. I'd like to add a bit, if I may, to put things in perspective.
                        The increased separation of the vapor components with slow distillation is mostly seen in reflux, or
                        column, stills, stills that boil, condense, and reboil the vapor to skew the final output to higher
                        concentrations of the lowest-boiling-point compound.

                        Potstills, on the other hand, boil and condense only once, and speed of takeoff does not really affect
                        the concentrations of the vapor compounds at any point in the still run.

                        It's important to note that in a simple (potstill) run, every drop out of the still has  exactly the same
                        compounds in it as every other drop out of the still, but in hugely varying concentrations from beginning
                        to end of the still run, and since a reflux still is technically just a long series of potstills, that principle
                        also holds true with reflux stills, but with an even greater skewing of concentrations. Essentially,
                        separation of compounds in vapor by distillation is imperfect, but is less imperfect in reflux stills.

                        To let the real world complicate the theoretical one even more, some compounds in distillation interact
                        with other compounds in complicating ways, and these compound pairs (at least I think they are usually
                        pairs) are called azeotropes. The reflux stiller is confronted every day with the ethanol-water azeotrope,
                        which limits the percentage of ethanol in the distillate to about 96.4%.

                        A lesser-known azeotrope is the ethanol-methanol azeotrope, which makes methanol even more
                        difficult to separate from ethanol than simple distillation theory would predict, meaning that methanol
                        is more broadly "smeared" across the spectrum of a still run than other compounds might be. This
                        difficulty of separation of methanol and ethanol by distillation is one of the reasons that methanol was
                        used to denature ethanol during America's Prohibition period.

                        Not coincidentally, the use of that methanol-denatured ethanol to dilute liquor was where our
                        concern about methanol in our liquor first arose. While the naturally-occuring methanol in "regular"
                        liquor had never hurt anyone due to its low concentrations (although Calvados, one of the highest-
                        methanol spirits gave quite a few headaches), methanol from-the-can killed a lot of people during
                        Prohibition.

                        So, what to do? As you've been told, pitch the nasty-tasting stuff at the first of a still run, not so much
                        to eliminate methanol, which has a flavor virtually undetectable in ethanol, but simply because that
                        first stuff tastes and smells nasty. I guess the small amount of compounds Bob names plus the ethyl
                        acetate and acetone aren't exactly health food, but they won't kill you in trace amounts (remember
                        that ethanol itself is toxic).

                        Pitch the nasties so you're making fine spirits.

                        Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller


                        To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                        From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 23:58:51 -0400
                        Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                         
                        It isn't the size of the still, per se.  It is the feedstock.  Yeast, like any biological organism, uses very complex chemistry and produces many by-products.  Some feedstock, such as fruits rich in pectin, cause the yeast to produce a few percent methanol.  There are also various aldehydes and other chemicals that might be present.  Some of these have a lower boiling point than ethanol and some have a higher bp than ethanol.  The amount (%) of each of these substances depends upon the feedstock and the strain of yeast (and other variables too, such as fermentation temperature and nutrients).  

                        If you distill carefully, you can take off each specific product with the product having the lowest bp coming first, then the next lowest, etc.  The product with the lowest bp is often methanol.  Methanol is metabolized by the human body into formaldehyde -- a deadly poison (sometimes used to preserve specimens in the lab) and can kill you or at least make you blind.  Consequently, it is not wise to drink it in any but a trivially low concentration.  Ditto for many of the other products that come off in the foreshots and some in the heads, until you get to distilling off the ethanol (which metabolizes into acetalaldehyde, which can also be poisonous but is safe to drink in "reasonable" quantities and concentrations).  After the ethanol run, you get the tails which can contain some nasty stuff too, but usually is rejected in any event because the taste is bad.

                        Careful and slow distillation is the key to properly separating these substances in the still.  You can burn the methanol and most of the other stuff as some sort of fuel, but yeast makes mostly ethanol, so any "reasonable" sized batch of wash will give you very little of the other stuff -- too little to be of much practical use all by itself.

                        Bob


                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: RLB last2blast@... [new_distillers] <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                        To: new_distillers <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Wed, Jun 18, 2014 8:34 pm
                        Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                         
                        It mostly depends on the size of your still.  I have heard it suggested to toss the first 250 ml.  I suggest that you go to homedistiller.org because it's a great tool that will answer most of your newbie questions.

                        Robert


                        From: "guillearnal@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                        To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 8:17 PM
                        Subject: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                         
                        Hi Guys, hope all is great in your sides...Just got a new distill and I'm brand new in this, I have a few ideas I want to experiment with, but I heard from few people that when distilling I should throw away the first 30ml-50ml of the alcohol that comes out the first distill, is there any reason for this? I been told is poisonous, but seems a bit stupid reason... If it's true, why does this happens?Hope you can help me, since I've looked everywhere without luck...ThxG









                      • Zapata Vive
                        QUOTE- Ok. Think for a minute. Yeast convert sugars into ethanol.. NOTHING ELSE. Sorry crazy horse, but this is so wrong, its hard to believe you ve done much
                        Message 11 of 24 , Jun 20, 2014
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                          QUOTE- Ok. Think for a minute. Yeast convert sugars into ethanol.. NOTHING ELSE.

                          Sorry crazy horse, but this is so wrong, its hard to believe you've done much stilling. If that's all yeast does, why do we have thousands of commercial yeast strains?  Why do Belgian ales taste so different from american lagers?

                          Yeast are much more complex than simple ethanol factories, think about it, no life form is that efficient, or that simple. All life forms make waste, they make their own bodies (which aren't made of either sugar or alcohol BTW), they make all the other chemicals of life from DNA to proteins to chemicals we don't even know exactly what the "purpose" is.

                          Here's a simple intro:
                          http://winemakermag.com/1078-understanding-yeasts

                          Here's a bit more advanced article on how yeast use non-ethanol volatiles as signal molecules
                          http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0070219

                          Or read this one, particularly the section on by-ptlroduct elimination. Why would industry be trying to genetically engineer yeast to not produce things you seem to think it doesn't produce to begin with?
                          http://mmbr.asm.org/content/64/1/34.full

                          By the way, you aren't the first person to advocate perpetual recycling and consumption only heads n tails, the commercial guys have been doing it for generations. I dare say a more carefully produced home spirit is better, and miraculously easier on the hangover front.

                        • Grump
                          Using my Turbo 500 reflux still on a 20L turbo yeast 6KG sugar wash the instructions tell me to discard the first 50Ml. Switching to a 20L baker s yeast 5KG
                          Message 12 of 24 , Jun 20, 2014
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Using my Turbo 500 reflux still on a 20L turbo yeast 6KG sugar wash the
                            instructions tell me to discard the first 50Ml.
                            Switching to a 20L baker's yeast 5KG sugar tomato paste wash does the
                            discard amount still remain at 50ml?


                            I also have a large quantity of assorted country wines I've made over
                            the years from a range of fruit from citrus to guava,
                            Were I to place 20L of any of these in the still what amount should
                            likely be discarded for safety?
                          • Jason Schnapp
                            There is a calculation for the amount of wash, to be tossed. Do not toss it. Mark it poison, and use it for cleaning as it is mainly acetone. Acetone is rather
                            Message 13 of 24 , Jun 21, 2014
                            • 0 Attachment
                              There is a calculation for the amount of wash, to be tossed. Do not toss it. Mark it poison, and use it for cleaning as it is mainly acetone. Acetone is rather expensive. Or you can use it for white gas applications, or homemade camp burners etc.


                              On Friday, June 20, 2014 9:04 PM, "Zapata Vive zapatavive@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                               
                              QUOTE- Ok. Think for a minute. Yeast convert sugars into ethanol.. NOTHING ELSE.
                              Sorry crazy horse, but this is so wrong, its hard to believe you've done much stilling. If that's all yeast does, why do we have thousands of commercial yeast strains?  Why do Belgian ales taste so different from american lagers?
                              Yeast are much more complex than simple ethanol factories, think about it, no life form is that efficient, or that simple. All life forms make waste, they make their own bodies (which aren't made of either sugar or alcohol BTW), they make all the other chemicals of life from DNA to proteins to chemicals we don't even know exactly what the "purpose" is.
                              Here's a bit more advanced article on how yeast use non-ethanol volatiles as signal molecules
                              http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0070219
                              Or read this one, particularly the section on by-ptlroduct elimination. Why would industry be trying to genetically engineer yeast to not produce things you seem to think it doesn't produce to begin with?
                              http://mmbr.asm.org/content/64/1/34.full
                              By the way, you aren't the first person to advocate perpetual recycling and consumption only heads n tails, the commercial guys have been doing it for generations. I dare say a more carefully produced home spirit is better, and miraculously easier on the hangover front.


                            • o1bigtenor
                              On Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 5:14 AM, Crazy Horse zl1fox@yahoo.co.nz ... Link dead. ... On Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 5:14 AM, Crazy Horse zl1fox@yahoo.co.nz
                              Message 14 of 24 , Jun 21, 2014
                              • 0 Attachment



                                On Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 5:14 AM, Crazy Horse zl1fox@... [new_distillers] <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                                Hi Bob,
                                Sorry but NO.
                                My friend is an industrial chemist for Fonterra here in New Zealand and gave me this link:

                                Link dead.

                                There is no No NO methanol in natural fermentation of yeast....period. (or ketones, acetates, phenols...)

                                If that doesn't help, good old Wikipedia?

                                Yes, we NEED methanol in our diet:
                                (quote) .According to the FDA, as much as 500 milligrams per day of methanol is safe in an adult’s diet.In the body, methanol is metabolized in the liver, converted first to formaldehyde, and then to formate. As a building block for many biological molecules, formate is essential for survival (end quote)


                                Steve (still drinking the heads and tails!!)

                              • Zapata Vive
                                Hey Bob, please share your brand of turbo. A turbo that pure would be awesome, I d love to make neutral vodka in one pass through a pot still. (Friendly
                                Message 15 of 24 , Jun 21, 2014
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                                  Hey Bob, please share your brand of turbo. A turbo that pure would be awesome, I'd love to make neutral vodka in one pass through a pot still.

                                  (Friendly sarcasm tag in case it isn't obvious in text)

                                  On Jun 19, 2014 9:44 PM, "Bob Glicksman bobg542492@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                                  If you useturbo yeast to ferment sucrose mixed into distilled water, you will get only ethanol and CO2.

                                • Bob Glicksman
                                  OK - you are right. There is probably trace amounts of all kind of other stuff from the dead yeast and nutrients, but there isn t (shouldn t be) any methanol,
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Jun 21, 2014
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    OK - you are right.  There is probably trace amounts of all kind of other stuff from the dead yeast and nutrients, but there isn't (shouldn't be) any methanol, which was where this thread all began.  There are probably lots of sources for trace amounts of methanol in a wash but the primary source seems to be pectin.  At least, pectin (broken down by pectinase) is the primary source for methanol in fermented fruit juice.

                                    Bob


                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: Zapata Vive zapatavive@... [new_distillers] <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                                    To: new_distillers <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                                    Sent: Sat, Jun 21, 2014 10:30 am
                                    Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                                     
                                    Hey Bob, please share your brand of turbo. A turbo that pure would be awesome, I'd love to make neutral vodka in one pass through a pot still.
                                    (Friendly sarcasm tag in case it isn't obvious in text)
                                    On Jun 19, 2014 9:44 PM, "Bob Glicksman bobg542492@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                    If you useturbo yeast to ferment sucrose mixed into distilled water, you will get only ethanol and CO2.
                                  • Zapata Vive
                                    Grump, I don t have an answer for you, but have you seen this link? http://www.artisandistilling.org/ARTISANDISTILLING1.0.0.pdf It has some good info on making
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Jun 21, 2014
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                                      Grump, I don't have an answer for you, but have you seen this link?
                                      http://www.artisandistilling.org/ARTISANDISTILLING1.0.0.pdf
                                      It has some good info on making various fruit brandies.
                                      Cheers


                                      On Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 10:35 PM, Grump fuelgred1@... [new_distillers] <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                       

                                      Using my Turbo 500 reflux still on a 20L turbo yeast 6KG sugar wash the
                                      instructions tell me to discard the first 50Ml.
                                      Switching to a 20L baker's yeast 5KG sugar tomato paste wash does the
                                      discard amount still remain at 50ml?

                                      I also have a large quantity of assorted country wines I've made over
                                      the years from a range of fruit from citrus to guava,
                                      Were I to place 20L of any of these in the still what amount should
                                      likely be discarded for safety?


                                    • Grump
                                      Many thanks for this link, some very useful info there. Now that I have a still I find we much prefer the results achieved from recipes using the still s
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Jun 22, 2014
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                                        Many thanks for this link, some very useful info there.


                                        Now that I have a still I find we much prefer the results achieved from
                                        recipes using the still's output over some of our experiments over the
                                        years in producing wines from our excess fruit so am now looking at
                                        recovering the alcohol from some of the less than optimal results but
                                        have no idea about it's likely methanol content in the heads.
                                        Regards, G.


                                        On 22/06/14 14:31, Zapata Vive zapatavive@...
                                        [new_distillers] wrote:
                                        > Grump, I don't have an answer for you, but have you seen this link?
                                        > http://www.artisandistilling.org/ARTISANDISTILLING1.0.0.pdf
                                        > It has some good info on making various fruit brandies.
                                        > Cheers


                                        > __
                                        >
                                        > Using my Turbo 500 reflux still on a 20L turbo yeast 6KG sugar wash the
                                        > instructions tell me to discard the first 50Ml.
                                        > Switching to a 20L baker's yeast 5KG sugar tomato paste wash does the
                                        > discard amount still remain at 50ml?
                                        >
                                        > I also have a large quantity of assorted country wines I've made over
                                        > the years from a range of fruit from citrus to guava,
                                        > Were I to place 20L of any of these in the still what amount should
                                        > likely be discarded for safety?
                                      • Robert Hubble
                                        Grump, Simply save, use, drink, or sell the part of the still s output that tastes good to you, and do not use, drink, or sell the part that does not taste
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Jun 22, 2014
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                                          Grump,

                                          Simply save, use, drink, or sell the part of the still's output that tastes good to you, and do not use, drink, or sell the part that does not taste good to you (although you can redistill that last part in a number of ways to get useful  spirit), and you can't go wrong.

                                          The methanol "problem", to a legitimate distiller, is a ghost of a memory of a rumor of a murderous and conscious 80-year-old crime.  It has zero bearing on what any of us here are doing now.

                                          Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller


                                          From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                          To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                          Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2014 23:27:32 +1000
                                          Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                                           
                                          Many thanks for this link, some very useful info there.

                                          Now that I have a still I find we much prefer the results achieved from
                                          recipes using the still's output over some of our experiments over the
                                          years in producing wines from our excess fruit so am now looking at
                                          recovering the alcohol from some of the less than optimal results but
                                          have no idea about it's likely methanol content in the heads.
                                          Regards, G.

                                          ---snip---

                                        • Crazy Horse
                                          ......I give up. On Sunday, June 22, 2014 6:59 AM, Jason Schnapp spdjnky_42@yahoo.com [new_distillers] wrote:   There is a
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Jun 22, 2014
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                                            ......I give up.


                                            On Sunday, June 22, 2014 6:59 AM, "Jason Schnapp spdjnky_42@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                                             
                                            There is a calculation for the amount of wash, to be tossed. Do not toss it. Mark it poison, and use it for cleaning as it is mainly acetone. Acetone is rather expensive. Or you can use it for white gas applications, or homemade camp burners etc.


                                            On Friday, June 20, 2014 9:04 PM, "Zapata Vive zapatavive@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                                             
                                            QUOTE- Ok. Think for a minute. Yeast convert sugars into ethanol.. NOTHING ELSE.
                                            Sorry crazy horse, but this is so wrong, its hard to believe you've done much stilling. If that's all yeast does, why do we have thousands of commercial yeast strains?  Why do Belgian ales taste so different from american lagers?
                                            Yeast are much more complex than simple ethanol factories, think about it, no life form is that efficient, or that simple. All life forms make waste, they make their own bodies (which aren't made of either sugar or alcohol BTW), they make all the other chemicals of life from DNA to proteins to chemicals we don't even know exactly what the "purpose" is.
                                            Here's a bit more advanced article on how yeast use non-ethanol volatiles as signal molecules
                                            http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0070219
                                            Or read this one, particularly the section on by-ptlroduct elimination. Why would industry be trying to genetically engineer yeast to not produce things you seem to think it doesn't produce to begin with?
                                            http://mmbr.asm.org/content/64/1/34.full
                                            By the way, you aren't the first person to advocate perpetual recycling and consumption only heads n tails, the commercial guys have been doing it for generations. I dare say a more carefully produced home spirit is better, and miraculously easier on the hangover front.




                                          • John Doe
                                            On a 15 gallon wash, just discard the first 500ml. Why is it so complicated? On Jun 22, 2014 8:25 PM, Crazy Horse zl1fox@yahoo.co.nz [new_distillers]
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Jun 22, 2014
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                                              On a 15 gallon wash, just discard the first 500ml. Why is it so complicated?

                                              On Jun 22, 2014 8:25 PM, "Crazy Horse zl1fox@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                               

                                              ......I give up.


                                              On Sunday, June 22, 2014 6:59 AM, "Jason Schnapp spdjnky_42@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                                               
                                              There is a calculation for the amount of wash, to be tossed. Do not toss it. Mark it poison, and use it for cleaning as it is mainly acetone. Acetone is rather expensive. Or you can use it for white gas applications, or homemade camp burners etc.


                                              On Friday, June 20, 2014 9:04 PM, "Zapata Vive zapatavive@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                                               
                                              QUOTE- Ok. Think for a minute. Yeast convert sugars into ethanol.. NOTHING ELSE.
                                              Sorry crazy horse, but this is so wrong, its hard to believe you've done much stilling. If that's all yeast does, why do we have thousands of commercial yeast strains?  Why do Belgian ales taste so different from american lagers?
                                              Yeast are much more complex than simple ethanol factories, think about it, no life form is that efficient, or that simple. All life forms make waste, they make their own bodies (which aren't made of either sugar or alcohol BTW), they make all the other chemicals of life from DNA to proteins to chemicals we don't even know exactly what the "purpose" is.
                                              Here's a bit more advanced article on how yeast use non-ethanol volatiles as signal molecules
                                              http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0070219
                                              Or read this one, particularly the section on by-ptlroduct elimination. Why would industry be trying to genetically engineer yeast to not produce things you seem to think it doesn't produce to begin with?
                                              http://mmbr.asm.org/content/64/1/34.full
                                              By the way, you aren't the first person to advocate perpetual recycling and consumption only heads n tails, the commercial guys have been doing it for generations. I dare say a more carefully produced home spirit is better, and miraculously easier on the hangover front.




                                            • RLB
                                              Don t give up!  I learned a long time ago that there is no definitive answers in distilling.  If it tastes and smells bad, you re doing something wrong. 
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Jun 22, 2014
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                                                Don't give up!  I learned a long time ago that there is no definitive answers in distilling.  If it tastes and smells bad, you're doing something wrong.  Just do what ever makes you happy.  If you want to dump the first "X" amount do it or don't, it's really okay what you do because you are the one making it.  If you talk to any honest experienced distiller, you will find that none of them make spirits in the exact same way.

                                                (Without being mean or insulting to anyone.)  If I listened to everything I read on New Distillers, I would not waste my time designing and one day building a still that will distill up to 23 gallons of wash or wort in one minute.  I have been told that it will never work even thought the technology has been around for 150 years.  Distilling has not changed a great amount since the very beginning, and no one seems to have all of the answers.  Never give up because no one has all of the correct answers.

                                                Robert



                                                From: "Crazy Horse zl1fox@... [new_distillers]" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                                                To: "new_distillers@yahoogroups.com" <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                                                Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2014 8:23 PM
                                                Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                                                 
                                                ......I give up.






                                              • Robert Hubble
                                                Keep us posted. We ll be interested to hear your results. Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com From:
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Jun 22, 2014
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                                                  Keep us posted. We'll be interested to hear your results.

                                                  Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller


                                                  To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                                  From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                                                  Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2014 18:56:53 -0700
                                                  Subject: Re: [new_distillers] What happens to the first 30-50ml of the distill? Poison? Why?

                                                   

                                                  ----snip----

                                                  (Without being mean or insulting to anyone.)  If I listened to everything I read on New Distillers, I would not waste my time designing and one day building a still that will distill up to 23 gallons of wash or wort in one minute.  I have been told that it will never work even thought the technology has been around for 150 years.  Distilling has not changed a great amount since the very beginning, and no one seems to have all of the answers.  Never give up because no one has all of the correct answers.

                                                  Robert





                                                • Grump
                                                  Thanks Bob, will see how the results turn out. Regards, G. On 23/06/14 02:31, Robert Hubble zymurgybob@hotmail.com [new_distillers]
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Jun 23, 2014
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                                                    Thanks Bob, will see how the results turn out.
                                                    Regards, G.

                                                    On 23/06/14 02:31, Robert Hubble zymurgybob@... [new_distillers]
                                                    wrote:
                                                    > Grump,
                                                    >
                                                    > Simply save, use, drink, or sell the part of the still's output that
                                                    > tastes good to you, and do not use, drink, or sell the part that does
                                                    > */not /*taste good to you (although you can redistill that last part in
                                                    > a number of ways to get useful spirit), and you can't go wrong.
                                                    >
                                                    > The methanol "problem", to a legitimate distiller, is a ghost of a
                                                    > memory of a rumor of a murderous and conscious 80-year-old crime. It
                                                    > has zero bearing on what any of us here are doing now.
                                                    >
                                                    > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller
                                                    >

                                                    >
                                                    > Now that I have a still I find we much prefer the results achieved from
                                                    > recipes using the still's output over some of our experiments over the
                                                    > years in producing wines from our excess fruit so am now looking at
                                                    > recovering the alcohol from some of the less than optimal results but
                                                    > have no idea about it's likely methanol content in the heads.
                                                    > Regards, G.
                                                    >
                                                    >
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