Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
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wisconsin_cur wrote:Ayoob wrote:It's a bad idea. Never distill your own alcohol. It's dangerous and illegal!
It is only illegal if you do not have a permit and why would anyone raid your home unless you're selling the stuff or maybe bragging to all of your friends and giving them a tote.
It is only dangerous if you use something like an old car radiator or the like to make it... or, I suppose, if you do not treat combustable materials with the appropriate respect.
It is a great idea if you convert your chainsaw or some other engine to run on the stuff. You can make your own fuel and retain some of the benefits of modern living for a few more years into the decline.
katkinkate wrote:The dangerous aspect is methanol. A proportion of methanol is made during fermentation. When you distill it it becomes more concentrated and if you drink too much it can kill you. You'll go blind first as a warning when your liver is almost ready to kark it. I've read that when distilling, if you discard the first 10 seconds or so of distillate you will have removed most of the methanol as it has a much lower vapour pressure, ie. it will evaporate before the ethanol. I suppose if you are distilling using a much slower method than boiling you may have to discard a little more than 10 seconds worth.
burtonridr wrote:katkinkate wrote:The dangerous aspect is methanol. A proportion of methanol is made during fermentation. When you distill it it becomes more concentrated and if you drink too much it can kill you. You'll go blind first as a warning when your liver is almost ready to kark it. I've read that when distilling, if you discard the first 10 seconds or so of distillate you will have removed most of the methanol as it has a much lower vapour pressure, ie. it will evaporate before the ethanol. I suppose if you are distilling using a much slower method than boiling you may have to discard a little more than 10 seconds worth.
You dont need to bring the substance to a boil. When you distill it you are trying to separate the water from the mixture. The way it works it the alcohol has a lower temperature required to make it evaporate. Methanol is has the lowest temperature required. So the first thing to come out of the distiller is methanol. Then as the temp rises it starts to evaporate the other alcohol chemicals.
Because it is illegal, I wont be pursuing this any further Still it is an interesting process.
Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.
During Prohibition, however, an official sense of higher purpose kept the poisoning program in place. As the Chicago Tribune editorialized in 1927: "Normally, no American government would engage in such business. … It is only in the curious fanaticism of Prohibition that any means, however barbarous, are considered justified." Others, however, accused lawmakers opposed to the poisoning plan of being in cahoots with criminals and argued that bootleggers and their law-breaking alcoholic customers deserved no sympathy. "Must Uncle Sam guarantee safety first for souses?" asked Nebraska's Omaha Bee.
By mid-1927, the new denaturing formulas included some notable poisons—kerosene and brucine (a plant alkaloid closely related to strychnine), gasoline, benzene, cadmium, iodine, zinc, mercury salts, nicotine, ether, formaldehyde, chloroform, camphor, carbolic acid, quinine, and acetone. The Treasury Department also demanded more methyl alcohol be added—up to 10 percent of total product. It was the last that proved most deadly.
The results were immediate, starting with that horrific holiday body count in the closing days of 1926. Public health officials responded with shock. "The government knows it is not stopping drinking by putting poison in alcohol," New York City medical examiner Charles Norris said at a hastily organized press conference. "[Y]et it continues its poisoning processes, heedless of the fact that people determined to drink are daily absorbing that poison. Knowing this to be true, the United States government must be charged with the moral responsibility for the deaths that poisoned liquor causes, although it cannot be held legally responsible."
Pops wrote:This place had 4 grape vines of unknown variety, which I took cuttings from early this year, and I now have about 30 new plants. They old vines seem to be doing well without any chemicals and are putting on a good amount of fruit – if they turn out to be tasty I’ll probably take some more cuttings next spring. <snip>
PeakOiler wrote:I have a question for any more-experienced homegrown wine/beer makers (WisJim, Pops, pstarr, et al). Is it OK to add more fresh water to the primary fermenter while the air-lock is still bubbling? Seems to me that not only is CO2 released during the fermentation process, but water vapor as well. Doesn't one need to make up for that lost volume?
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