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What does methanol smell like?

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  • potstillman
    Not meths - the denatured stuff - but actual methanol ... Is it an alcohol-type smell, or something completely different? Could it be the stink I ve been
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 4, 2002
      Not meths - the denatured stuff - but actual methanol ...

      Is it an alcohol-type smell, or something completely different?
      Could it be the stink I've been trying to identify (kinda
      vinegary/ammonia-ry)?

      Cheers,

      Andy
    • peter_vcb
      smells like drinkable ethanol
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 4, 2002
        smells like drinkable ethanol

        --- In new_distillers@y..., "potstillman" <potstillman@y...> wrote:
        > Not meths - the denatured stuff - but actual methanol ...
        >
        > Is it an alcohol-type smell, or something completely different?
        > Could it be the stink I've been trying to identify (kinda
        > vinegary/ammonia-ry)?
        >
        > Cheers,
        >
        > Andy
      • Still Man
        Hi, thanks for the reply, but why then do I read posts from people saying that they can smell methanol in their output? peter_vcb
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 4, 2002

          Hi, thanks for the reply, but why then do I read posts from people saying that they can smell methanol in their output? 

           peter_vcb <viciousblackout@...> wrote:

          smells like drinkable ethanol



          Get a bigger mailbox -- choose a size that fits your needs.

        • Mike Nixon
          peter_vcb wrote: Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: What does methanol smell like? smells like drinkable ethanol ======================= Still Man replied: Hi,
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 4, 2002
            peter_vcb wrote:
            Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: What does methanol smell like?

            smells like drinkable ethanol
            =======================
            Still Man replied:

            Hi, thanks for the reply, but why then do I read posts from people saying that they can smell methanol in their output? 
            =======================
            Probably because they have assumed that what they are smelling is methanol.  Peter is right.  The smell that many associate with 'meths' is that which you get with commercial 'methylated spirits', which is ethanol adulterated to make it unpleasant to drink.  Called 'meths' because methanol is the primary adulterant, but often accompanied by other substances and dyes.  Try putting a drop of commercial methylated spirits on a piece of glass and letting it dry.  Chances are that you will be left with an oily residue with the strong smell that many associate with meths.  This is not methanol, which would have evaporated, but all the other things that are added to try and stop people drinking it.
             
            There are several relatively harmless congeners with low boiling points that have strong smells.  Ethyl acetate (which some find quite pleasant, and is used in many foodstuffs) and acetic acid (vinegar - sharp) are just two.  A mixture of just those would give an unpleasantly acrid-sweet smell, and is probably what some distillers think is methanol.
             
            Mike N
             
          • Snowblind Moose
            As Peter_vcb said - the heads I get smell just like the drinkable stuff. I m not sure what the other folks mean when they say they can smell the methanol,
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 4, 2002
              As Peter_vcb said - the heads I get smell just like the drinkable
              stuff. I'm not sure what the other folks mean when they say they can
              smell the methanol, unless the concentrations I'm getting are so low
              in actual methanol content that it's undetectable.

              The oposite is true for the "tails" - there is a DEFINITE strong "wet
              cardboard" smell and an "off" taste.

              S.M.




              --- In new_distillers@y..., Still Man <potstillman@y...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi, thanks for the reply, but why then do I read posts from people
              saying that they can smell methanol in their output?
              > peter_vcb <viciousblackout@y...> wrote:smells like drinkable
              ethanol
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > Get a bigger mailbox -- choose a size that fits your needs.
            • peter_vcb
              if you are brewing just sugar washes you will get no methanol. you will get some ethyl acetate at the start though which smells bad (to some). when people say
              Message 6 of 6 , Nov 5, 2002
                if you are brewing just sugar washes you will get no methanol. you
                will get some ethyl acetate at the start though which smells bad (to
                some).

                when people say they smell meths i just presume they mean a smell
                like methylated spirits/nail varnish/turps/white spirit. a sharp
                nasty smell as oppossed to the wet cardboard smell

                --- In new_distillers@y..., "Snowblind Moose" <tonkay1@y...> wrote:
                > As Peter_vcb said - the heads I get smell just like the drinkable
                > stuff. I'm not sure what the other folks mean when they say they
                can
                > smell the methanol, unless the concentrations I'm getting are so
                low
                > in actual methanol content that it's undetectable.
                >
                > The oposite is true for the "tails" - there is a DEFINITE
                strong "wet
                > cardboard" smell and an "off" taste.
                >
                > S.M.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In new_distillers@y..., Still Man <potstillman@y...> wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi, thanks for the reply, but why then do I read posts from
                people
                > saying that they can smell methanol in their output?
                > > peter_vcb <viciousblackout@y...> wrote:smells like drinkable
                > ethanol
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > ---------------------------------
                > > Get a bigger mailbox -- choose a size that fits your needs.
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