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  • Robert Sheridan
    ... From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com Date: Sunday, February 23, 2003 03:34:58 PM To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com Subject: RE: [new_distillers] posion
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 23, 2003
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      -------Original Message-------
       
      Date: Sunday, February 23, 2003 03:34:58 PM
      Subject: RE: [new_distillers] posion
       

      thanks for the info that puts my mind at ease

      regards dave

       "Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)" <Tony.Ackland@...> wrote:

      David,

      > hope this is not true but i heard a tale of woe

      No, its not true

      > I was told the other day that if the temp goes over 86deg.Australian
      > then it can cause blindness as it is claimed that the same by-products
      > that are in Metho that if drank sends one blind is the same found in
      > alc distilled over the temp of 86deg. 

      degrees "celcius" are used by most of the world, not just Australia, but anyhow back to the question ...

      When yeast is fermenting sugar into ethanol, they also make trace amounts of impurities.  Most of these are of concern for the flavours they add, but some are also poisonous if consumed in great enough amounts.  Fortunately for us, their quantity present is very small. 

      Below 78C (172F) are whats most called "foreshots" - stuff like methanol, acetone & ethyl acetate.  These are the products that come out first out of the still.  To be sure that you've got rid of any of these, you simply throw away the first 50-100 mL (2-4 fl.oz) collected per 25L (6 gal) of wash.

      Most of what comes off next is mostly ethanol ("the good stuff").

      As the purity drops, and the temperature increases, the "tails" start coming through.  These are compounds like propanol.  For us, the only real concern with the tails is the flavour that they add.  The flavours can be benifical if trying to make a flavoured spirit like rum or whisky, and so you do actually try and collect some of them.  Collect too much though and the flavour will be overpowering.  The sooner you make the "cut", the less you've collected.  It all depends on what flavour you're after.  When making a clean vodka, you'd not want anything after 80C (176F), whereas a rum you may take up to 92C (198F). 

      When collecting these foreshots & tails you find that theres very little volume present - and most of that is still ethanol anyhow.  The concentrations that you end up with are still very very low - see the details in http://homedistiller.org/methanol.htm  Regular alcohol poisoning is your concern.

      Metho is a different story.  This is an industrial solvent, and may contain many different impurities, of unknown composition, in high concentrations.  It cannot be safely "cleaned up" either by filtering or distilling.

      Tony


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