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What Is The Head On Moonshine? (Solution found)

The first compounds released in the still as it heats up are the lower boiling point compounds which we call “heads”. These compounds include methanol, acetaldehyde and lighter esters. The overall aroma of these chemicals is kind of solvent-like and not very pleasant.

What do the cuts mean in moonshine making?

  • Cuts refer to the alcohol you keep and the alcohol you throw out or re-distill. There are three parts to making cuts. These are the Heads, Hearts, and Tails. The Heads are what comes out first. The Hearts are what comes out midway through the run. And the Tails are the last to come out. The Heart of the run is what you will want to keep.


Can you drink the heads of moonshine?

These contain the most volatile alcohols and should not be ingested, as they contain methanol and other undesirables. Commercial distillers always discard the foreshots and never consume them.

What do distilleries do with heads and tails?

Some distilleries discard the whiskey heads and tails but many municipalities require onsite remediation before dumping them down the drain. Many other distilleries recycle the whiskey heads and tails by adding them to the next batch of fermenting mash.

What is Hearts in moonshine?

The “heart” is the main body of the distillate that the distiller keeps. It is the part of the process where most of the ethanol comes through the still, and also contains pleasant flavour compounds.

Are heads drinkable?

Once the distiller makes the first cut, the heads are generally either disposed of or redistilled in able to collect more alcohol from them. After the distiller has decided that the quality of the incoming distillate is good enough to keep for drinking purposes, they will cut to “hearts”.

How can you tell if moonshine is poisonous?

How to Test for Purity. Folklore tells us one way to test the purity of moonshine is to pour some in a metal spoon and set it on fire. 6 If it burns with a blue flame it is safe, but if it burns with a yellow or red flame, it contains lead, prompting the old saying, “Lead burns red and makes you dead.”

How do you tell moonshine from heads and tails?

Making Heads or Tails of Hearts

  1. Foreshots. When doing a run of Moonshine, you heat your mash to a desired temperature.
  2. Heads. Next, comes the heads.
  3. Hearts. After the heads come the hearts.
  4. Tails. Finally we get to the tails, which get oily from water and proteins that are present.

What part of moonshine is toxic?

Methyl alcohol (methanol) is the bad stuff that could be found in moonshine (or any distilled spirit for that matter). Pure methanol is very dangerous and it is definitely able to cause blindness and even kill people. As little as 10 ml of pure methanol could blind someone and as little as 30 ml could kill someone.

How do you proof down moonshine?

The solution is to proof down slowly, a few drops, or points at a time. 93% to 87% to 83% so on and so forth. If you are going to proof something down, you need to let it sit for at least 24 hours. That is called “marrying” This is especially important during bottling.

What is a Lyne arm?

The lyne arm is a copper tube that connects the head of a pot still to the condenser. The lyne arm is a copper tube that connects the head of a pot still to the condenser. As it leaves the head of the still a lyne arm either angles upwards, is horizontal, or angles downwards.

What is a stripping run in distilling?

When we perform our first distillation – called a ‘Run’ – it is referred to as a stripping run, because we concentrate and strip all of the alcohol out of the wash. Different alcohols come over at different temperatures and in this run, we want to collect them all – the good, the bad and the ugly.

What are distilling heads?

Heads: Spirits from the beginning of the run that contain a high percentage of low boiling point alcohols and other compounds such as aldehydes and ethyl acetate. Hearts: The desirable middle alcohols from your run. Tails: A distillate containing a high percentage of fusel oil and little alcohol at the end of the run.

Why is my moonshine Milky?

One of the most common causes of cloudy moonshine is from minerals found in tap water. If you believe mineral-rich tap water is causing your moonshine to turn cloudy, you should try swapping it out for distilled water.

How much moonshine will 5 gallons of mash make?

A 5 gallon run will yield 1-2 gallons of alcohol. A 8 gallon run will yield 1.5-3 gallons of alcohol. A 10 gallon run will yield 2-4 gallons of alcohol.

How fast should moonshine drip?

Slowly bring your temperature up to 150 °F. Once you reach 150 °F, if your setup has a condenser turn on the condensing water. Next, dial up your heat source to high until your still starts producing. Time your drips as they speed up until you reach 3 to 5 drips per second.

Methanol – Will Moonshine Make You Blind?

When a commercial distiller manufactures moonshine (such as Ole’ Smokey or Sugarlands), a very serious safety risk is the possibility of manufacturing a deadly substance. In contrast to popular belief, professionally produced moonshine will not cause blindness or death or even a nasty hangover if some simple safety steps are observed and followed. What may cause someone to become blind from drinking moonshine will be discussed in greater detail in the following article, which will also show how a professional distiller can be absolutely, certainly, 100 percent certain that this will not happen.

Our distillation apparatus is intended solely for legal reasons, and the information contained in this paper is intended solely for educational purposes.

Methanol Toxicity

When it comes to moonshine, the dangerous stuff to look out for is methyl alcohol (methanol) (or any distilled spirit for that matter). Purified methanol is extremely hazardous, and it has been proven to cause blindness and even death in some cases. Pure methanol at concentrations as low as 10 mL can cause blindness, and as high as 30 mL can cause death in severe cases. A shot glass holds 30 milliliters of liquid, which is the same quantity of liquid as 30 milliliters.

How is Methanol Produced?

Methanol can be found in naturally occurring quantities in various fruits and vegetables. It is also possible that it will be created as an accidental consequence of the fermentation process. methanol is more likely to be found in spirits distilled from fruits such as apples, oranges, and grapes than in others. Methanol may be found in small amounts in both beer and wine. According to studies, wine may contain as much as 329 mg/L of alcohol, whereas lager may have as little as 16 mg/L of alcohol.

Why is Methanol A Concern for Distillers?

So why is wine possibly unsafe to consume after it has been distilled, even if it contains methanol and does not represent a risk of methanol poisoning? The distinction is that the methanol concentration in a given amount of wine (say, 5 gallons) is uniformly distributed across the whole volume of wine. More than 5 gallons, or 28 bottles, would be required for someone to drink a quantity that may be considered potentially harmful. Because methanol has a lower boiling point than ethanol and water, it is concentrated at the beginning of the distillation process.

Methyl alcohol has a boiling point of around 148 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much lower than that of ethanol (the good stuff).

This is why professional distillers always discard the very first drop of shine that they make from each manufacturing run they undertake (more on this below). Here are a few instances of the hazards associated with methanol use:

  • There could be as much as 8 milliliters of methyl alcohol in the first jar after distilling 5 gallons of wine with the abovementioned methanol concentration (329 mg/L), which could be potentially hazardous in high concentrations
  • If the wine contained the abovementioned methanol concentration (329 mg/L) and was distilled, there could be as much as 5 gallon of methyl alcohol in the first jar after distilling
  • If you scale this up to a 100-gallon batch that is distilled all at the same time in a large still, a commercial distiller may possibly be in for a very huge problem if the methanol is not dumped during the process. The distillation of 100 gallons of wine with 329 mg/L of methanol might result in a concentration of 40ml of methanol, which could be lethal if consumed in its whole
  • Nevertheless, it is not recommended.

How to Remove Methanol from Moonshine

There could be as much as 8 milliliters of methyl alcohol in the first jar after distilling 5 gallons of wine with the abovementioned methanol concentration (329 mg/L), which could be potentially hazardous in high concentrations; if the wine contained the abovementioned methanol concentration (329 mg/L) and was distilled, there could be as much as 5 gallon of methyl alcohol in the first jar after distilling.

If you scale this up to a 100-gallon batch that is distilled all at the same time in a large still, a commercial distiller may possibly be in for a very huge problem if the methanol is not eliminated throughout the distillation.

  • 1 gallon batch – discard the first 2/3 of a shot glass from the beginning of the batch
  • 5 gallon batch – discard the first 1/3 of a pint jar from the beginning of the batch
  • In a ten gallon batch, discard the first 3/4 of a pint jar of the mixture.

It’s a good idea to always follow this rule of thumb, regardless of the current temperature. Even though the first batch does not include methanol, the first batch that comes out of the still tastes and smells like rubbing alcohol. Nobody will be impressed by this, as it is by far the weakest material produced over the whole course of the show. It is impossible for a professional distiller to consume or sell the first product generated by a still. For more detail on this subject, please see our article ” Making Moonshine – The Dummies’ Guide “.

Check out the 10 most critical safety recommendations for distillers for much more information about safety.

What is cutting of the Head, Heart & Tail?

But what do these words actually signify in practice? What are they, and what role do they play in the distillation process are still up in the air. Let’s start at the very top and work our way down from there.

The Head

But, in practice, what do these words mean? What exactly are they, and what role do they perform in the distillation process are not well understood. Begin at the top and work our way down the hierarchy of importance.

The Heart

But, in practice, what do these names imply? What are they, and what role do they play in the distillation process are still up in the air! Let’s start at the very top and work our way down the list.

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The Tail

Finally, we’ve reached the end of the road. In order to make a second cut in to the distilled alcohol, the still must be stopped. However, the pot must be allowed to cool down for an extended period of time, during which time the wash stops evaporating. A term used to describe the liquid that continues to flow out of the still is the “tail.” For us, the tail is simply the distillate that has made it into the condenser, while the remainder of the distillate in the column and basket’s chamber is routed back to the wash through pipes in the column and basket chamber.

The volume of the heads, hearts, and tails does not equal the volume of the other three. Therefore, the distiller will need to pay great attention during the whole distillation process in order to decide whether the “heads cut” or the “tails cut” should be performed.

Heads, Hearts, and Tails

Distillers refer to the distillate generated during a spiritdistillation run as the “heads, hearts, and tails,” which are three typical phrases for the distillate. These three components constitute, in effect, the beginning (heads), the middle (hearts), and the end (tails) of batch distillation operations. These three stages of the run are defined as follows by a well-known distillation website:

  • A large percentage of low boiling point alcohols and other chemicals, such as aldehydes and ethyl acetate, are present in the spirits at the beginning of the run. Hearts: The most sought-after middle alcohols from your workout
  • Tails: A distillate with a high concentration of fusel oil and a low concentration of alcohol at the conclusion of the run

Heads: Spirits distilled at the start of the run that contain a high concentration of low boiling point alcohols and other compounds such as aldehydes and ethyl acetate Your run’s middle alcohols, which you’ll be looking for; As a result of the run, the tails include a high concentration of fusel oil and a little amount of alcohol.

Yep. Alcohol Is Yeast Poop

Furthermore, there are several different types of alcohol created inside this yeast faeces. Each of these alcohols has a somewhat different boiling point than the others. However, all of the alcohols that are created are completely miscible with water. Consequently, the distiller cannot simply heat the majority of the fermented wort (now known as beer) until it reaches the boiling point of ethanol. By the way, the boiling point of water is 173.1 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that because ethanol is 100 percent endlessly miscible with water, the actual boiling temperature of a kettle filled with beer will be somewhere between 173.1°F and 212°F (the boiling point of water) in order to produce ethanol in the process.

  1. As a result, the boiling point at which ethyl acetate may be extracted will be anywhere between 170.8°F and 212°F.
  2. In the case of alcohol, 10 percent total alcohol will have a lower boiling point than 7 percent total alcohol, for example.
  3. This occurs as a result of the fact that the alcohol concentration decreases incrementally with each measure of alcohol rendered.
  4. As a result, the ethanol level fluctuates throughout the distillation process, making the distiller’s job somewhat difficult.

Separating the Heads, Hearts, and Tails

There are several different types of alcohol created inside this yeast feces. These alcohols each have a somewhat different boiling point from one another. The alcohols formed, on the other hand, have a high miscibility with water. So the distiller cannot simply heat the fermented wort (now known as beer) to the boiling point of ethanol without first heating the wort to the boiling point of alcohol. As a point of reference, 173.1 degrees Fahrenheit is the boiling point of water. Keep in mind that because ethanol is 100 percent endlessly miscible with water, the real boiling point of a kettle filled with beer will be anywhere between 173.1°F and 212°F (the boiling point of water) in order to render ethanol from the beer.

In this case, the boiling point for ethyl acetate will be anywhere between 170.8 degrees Fahrenheit and 212 degrees Fahrenheit (in Celsius).

Example: A mixture with 10% pure ethanol has a lower boiling point than a mixture with 75% pure ethanol; As these alcohols are rendered out as completed distillate, one last aspect to consider is that the boiling point will continue to rise as a result of this.

Because the alcohol (which has a lower boiling point than water) is being drawn out of the mixture, the temperature within the distillation kettle never stays the same for an extended period of time.

As a result, the ethanol level fluctuates throughout the distillation process, making the distiller’s job somewhat difficult..

Using a Pot Still: Where To Make Your Cuts

Because there is a Quick and Dirty Cheat Sheet at the bottom of this blog, if you need to get anything done quickly, just scroll down until you reach the bottom of this page. Just keep in mind that manufacturing moonshine with a pot still is a skill that will only improve with time and experience. The temperatures listed here are excellent guides, but the more you distill, the better you’ll be able to determine when to make your cuts depending on your own personal preferences in flavor and scent.

A cut is essentially the point at which you begin and end the process of collecting your distillate.

It is also beneficial to name and number each jar because this will assist you at the end of the procedure when you are combining the ingredients together.


The first substance to emerge from the still is the undesirable substance. Foreshots include methanol and other toxins that you do not want to be present in your finished goods. Not only do foreshots contain relatively little ethanol, but they’re also the source of the headache you experience when you’re hungover, as previously stated. In other words, this is what you want to collect—and then toss away. To collect the foreshots, you’ll need to wait until your vapor temperature hits around 175°F (80°C), and Rick suggests collecting at least 4oz each 5 gallon of distillate that you’re distilling.

Once again, this is the bare minimum that we propose for collection and disposal.


The heads are the next step, which you may keep for mixing or re-distilling at a later time. When the heads begin to appear, the vapor temperature will be more than 175°F (80°C), and this will continue until the vapor temperature is around 196°F (91°C). Heads are normally approximately 80 percent abv (160 proof) or higher in alcohol concentration. They contain a lot of evidence, but they’re not nearly as smooth as the hearts, which will be served next.


This is where the action is at its most effective. Hearts, also known as your Middle Run, start off at roughly 80 percent alcohol by volume (160 proof) before dropping to 60-65 percent alcohol by volume, or even 40 percent alcohol by volume if you want it stronger.

Hearts provide you with the fresh flavor you’re seeking for. You’ll begin collecting hearts when the vapor temperature is around 196°F (91°C) and end when the vapor temperature is approximately 203°F (95°C).


In distillation, tails are the last component of the distillate, consisting of everything that comes out after the temperature of the vapor rises to 203 degrees Fahrenheit (95 degrees Celsius) – 207 degrees Fahrenheit (98 degrees Celsius) The use of tails for blending is popular, although Rick does not suggest it for palatable alcohol owing to the combination of lower alcohol level and increased congener content in tails used “as-is.” It is possible, however, to combine the tails with the heads that aren’t being used and re-distill the mixture to produce neutral spirits.

Again, the temperatures indicated here are excellent guides for beginners, but the more you distill, the more you’ll be able to choose when to make your cuts depending on your own personal preferences in flavor and scent.

More Distilling Info For Beginners

More articles containing tried-and-true advice may be found here. Take a peek if you have the luxury of leisure to go into the rabbit hole. Alternatively, you may view our full blog by clicking here.

Everything You Need to Know about Moonshine

Please see the links below for further articles with tried and effective suggestions. Take a peek if you have the luxury of leisure to explore the rabbit hole further. Alternatively, you may view our complete blog by clicking here..

Don’t Worry, Drinking Moonshine Will Not Make You Blind

When talking to the general public about moonshine, the most often heard question is, “Won’t that stuff make you blind?” The answer is no, drinking moonshine will not cause you to become visually impaired. We’ve all had those regrettable mornings after consuming alcohol, if not more so than with other sorts of drink. The source of this worry stems from the fact that a byproduct of distillation known as methanol has been shown to cause blindness in certain people. Combine that reality with the fact that moonshine has an uncontrolled past, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Making Heads or Tails of Hearts

Distilling, like so many other things, is both a science and an art form. When it comes to distilling, a great distiller has his craft down to a science, and his product stands out in every manner. This covers the mash, the temps, the timing, and whatever infusions he may have under his sleeve at the time of writing. The appropriate isolation of the hearts, on the other hand, is the first thing a great distiller will pay attention to. This is most likely the most significant factor to consider while searching for excellent Moonshine.


distillation is a science and an art form in the same way that so many things are. It is the art of the great distiller to have his craft down to a science, and he makes his product stand out in every manner. This covers the mash, the temps, the timing, and whatever infusions he may have under his sleeve at the time of writing this.

The appropriate isolation of the hearts, on the other hand, is the first thing a great distiller will focus on. To obtain excellent Moonshine, this is most likely the most vital factor to consider. Perfect timing, as well as a keen nose and taste, are required for great hearts.


Then there are the heads. Although the heads will not cause you to become blind, the volatile alcohols they contain will cause you to have a severe hangover. Aside from that, the product has a foul smell and taste due to the presence of acetone in it.


The hearts come next, following the heads. The hearts are, without a doubt, the most essential stage in the process of separating exquisite Moonshine from degreaser for engines. Consider this transition to be a gradient, and you’ll begin to see why it’s so tough to make the move. It can be tricky to timing the opening and closing of your first and final jars of hearts, and what smells and tastes fine to you may be scoffed at by a seasoned shiner.


In order of importance: heads, hearts, and so on. When it comes to distinguishing delectable Moonshine from engine degreaser, the hearts are unquestionably the most crucial step. Consider this transition to be a gradient, and you’ll begin to see why it’s so tough to make the switch. It can be tricky to timing the opening and closing of your first and final jars of hearts, and what smells and tastes fine to you may be scoffed at by a more experienced shiner.

So Where Do I Find the Good Stuff?

If you look through internet spirits stores or visit a reputable spirits retailer in your area, the odds are strong that you’ll come across a fantastic brand of Moonshine. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine one brand is superior to another because they all compete for a little portion of the same market. Or perhaps the typical sweet-corn flavor that comes from a full-blown corn Whiskey mash appeals to you. If this is the case, Tim Smith’s Climax Moonshine is a must-try. Alternatively, you can like flavored Moonshine prepared from a sugar mash that is constructed on a more neutral-tasting basis.

If you have distilleries in your area, go visit them and sample their products.

A How To Guide To Cuts and Fractions – Pot Still Run – Learn to Moonshine

This book will educate you about the many fractions that occur throughout the distillation process in a pot still, as well as how and when to make cuts, which will allow you to manage the final flavor and quality of your spirit.

What are cuts?

During a distillation run, cuts are planned moments at which a stiller will split the product flowing from the still into different containers. The ultimate result is a number of various jars of finished goods. Each with its own distinct flavor and alcohol content.

How to know where to make cuts during distillation run?

The different fractions of a run must be understood and recognized throughout the distillation process in order to know where to make cuts during the distillation process.

What are fractions?

In phase transition, fractions are the individual components of a mixture of compounds that may be split into smaller groups of compounds. It is possible in our instance to separate fractions throughout the distillation procedure. If you have a lot of expertise, you can recognize fractions by utilizing still head temperature, abv percent, or by tasting to differentiate them. However, if you understand how your still works, detecting fractions becomes a lot more predictable. Also bear in mind that when the temperature of the still increases and the alcohol content decreases, the two are intimately connected to one another and provide an indicator of what is coming out of your still.

The following is a list of the compounds found in your wash, along with their respective boiling points. This will give you an indication of the temperature at which specific alcohols begin to evaporate from the wash water.

  • Acetone is 56.5 degrees Celsius (134 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Methanol (wood alcohol) is 64 degrees Celsius (147 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Ethyl acetate is 77.1 degrees Celsius (171 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Ethanol is 78 degrees Celsius (172 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 2-Propanol (rubbing alcohol) is 82 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 1-Propanol is 97 degrees Celsius (207 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Water is 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahr
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Many times, while distilling with a pot still, it is desirable to perform numerous stripping runs before performing a final product run. This saves time and makes mixing a lot more convenient. Interested in learning more about how to distill a stripping run? Check out Fundamentals of Distilling A Stripping Run for additional information.

What are the main Fractions that occur during the distillation of moonshine?

There are four primary fractions that must be granted, and these are as follows:

  • First shots– The first shots fraction is collected during the distillation process and includes a high concentration of acetone. It is the first fraction to be collected during the distillation process. Don’t even consider of consuming this noxious substance. Generally speaking, we’ll allow 150 mL per 25L of wash for our Foreshot Fraction during a pot still run to be used. This is disposed of in the garbage disposal. At 50 degrees Celsius, foreshots can begin to emerge from the still. It is composed of acetone, methanol, ethyl-acétate, and ethanol in varying proportions. You should expect the heads portion to have a somewhat pleasant scent with a sting similar to that of a solvent. Because they contain a significant amount of ethanol, it is normal practice to remove the heads and incorporate them into the following distillation process. A general rule of thumb is to take 750 mL for Heads Fraction after Foreshots to ensure enough concentration. Personal preference plays an important role in this selection
  • Nevertheless, you can take more or less personal preference. Hearts– The hearts fraction has the maximum concentration of ethanol and will have a very clean taste, without the sting that may be found in the heads fraction. It can be collected between 78 and 82 degrees Celsius, or if you like a higher alcohol content, between 80 and 50 percent, with low wines of 40 percent. When combining fractions to create the ultimate outcome, keep in mind that Your product’s foundation is comprised of Hearts
  • Tails– The Tails fraction includes high concentrations of fusel oils, which can impart undesirable tastes to the finished product. The unique scent of wet dog distinguishes the tails from the rest of the pack. Aside from the fusel oils, there is a significant quantity of ethanol and rich tastes in the tails, which are frequently desired for creating rum or whiskey. A feints run can be used to extract the tastes from the mixture. The feints run will result in a highly flavorful product that can be used in the blending of the Hearts fraction after it is finished. When still temperatures hit 94–95°C, or when the alcohol content of low-alcohol wines reaches 20 percent, the collection of tails can be stopped.

For beginner distillers who are just learning how to make cuts, I’d recommend doing the primary cuts between heads and hearts and hearts and tails first. Before you begin mixing, you need get familiar with the process of blending. If you’re confident in your ability to make these basic cuts, then check out the Blending Guide for Newbies for further information. It will guide you through the process of mixing whiskeys and rums for those who are new to the technique.

Throw Away the First Cut: Popcorn Sutton & the Chemistry of Moonshine

This is a delight if you’re in the mood for some Americana, as well as a chemical lesson that could or might not be relevant. Nobody embodies Americana quite like Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, who became famous both for his prowess in the production of moonshine and for his contempt for the federal government during his lifetime. The combination of these factors put Sutton in constant conflict with the police, particularly when it came to moonshining and bootlegging(1), but he managed to avoid prison until 2009, when he was found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm and a large amount of untaxed alcohol.

  • Popcorn Sutton and his still, courtesy of Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton.
  • You’re familiar with the phrase.
  • Distillation is a procedure in which liquids are progressively heated in a flask or jar over several hours.
  • The vapor flows via a cooling condenser, which transforms it back to its liquid state, which is then collected and disposed of properly.
  • Besides separating mixtures of liquids with various boiling points, this approach is also effective at extracting liquids from mixes of solids and other liquids.
  • The crude soup-like stuff in this scenario is referred to as a mash, and it is this combination that allows alcohol to be produced during fermentation.
  • Co-distillation, in which two liquids with different boiling points come out together, is not rare, despite the fact that their boiling points are different.

(See Fig.

One of Popcorn Sutton’s stills is currently available for purchase on eBay.

As a result of yeast’s anaerobic metabolization of carbohydrates, alcohol is produced, as well as a variety of metabolites, some of which are toxic.

As seen in Figure 1, fermentation is “messy,” and variances in boiling point are important in distillation.

Figure 1: Chemical composition of moonshine as a function of the temperature at which it is distilled.

The remainder of the science is as follows.

It is only in the absence of oxygen that the first step, glycolysis, may take place.

Pitruvic acid next passes through an enzyme decarboxylation reaction (this is why gas is produced during fermentation – CO 2), which changes it to the acetaldehyde that we see in the final product.

Yeast is capable of a wide range of impressive feats.

In the fermentation route, there is nothing that implies that it should be present.

Because pectin may be present in fruits, when berries or other fruits are utilized as a sugar source, methanol is produced.

Moonshine has traditionally been manufactured using maize, which contains pectin.

Despite this, a large number of fatal instances of methanol poisoning have been observed.

What exactly are they?

It’s a good thing that you can now brew your own alcoholic beverages.

Notes: (1) The term “moonshine” comes from the fact that it was customarily manufactured at night to avoid detection by police authorities.

(2) It is estimated that a deadly dosage of methanol is between 10 and 30 mL.

It takes 790 packages of aspartame to equal 10 mL of methanol, yet people are still crazy about it despite decades of evidence that it is completely harmless.

It’s enough to make you want to drink something. (3) Those who are addicted to alcohol are disqualified. Sorry. (4) Hank Campbell is well-known for being inexpensive. As a result, instead of receiving a bottle of Jack, you will receive Jack.

Know more about “Cuts” in Your Moonshine Run

There are many different methods for distilling moonshine, but genuine shiners understand that it takes time and effort to master the art of creating the greatest moonshine from start to finish. Not every batch of moonshine is going to be perfect on its first try or even on its fifth. But with the correct tactics, you’ll learn what it takes to produce a fantastic batch of moonshine that mixes well with other beverages and can be used in a number of recipes sooner rather than later. Before you attempt to distill moonshine at home, be certain that you are familiar with the federal rules governing home alcohol distillation.

What’s a “Cut”?

A “run” refers to the process of putting your mash into your moonshine still, heating it, and distilling the alcohol out of the mixture. It is necessary to split the run into various containers while making moonshine through distillation. A “cut” is the term used to describe the process of switching from one container to another. However, you do not chop whenever you feel like it or according to the size of the container. Cutting your run has certain causes, and the finest moonshine distillers are the ones that cut at the appropriate point in their process.

The greatest moonshine is the stuff that is produced in the middle of a production run.

Parts of the Run

1. Before-and-after photographs When creating moonshine, there are multiple different forms of alcohol created, and each type boils and condenses at a different temperature than the others. Methanol, commonly known as methyl alcohol, is one of the first alcohols to evaporate and then condense in your collecting jar, and it is one of the most common. It is believed that methanol is the reason that moonshine is rumored to cause people to “go blind” because it is extremely dangerous for people to consume.

You will always discard the fore shots from every moonshine run, no matter how good they are.

Anything that is created prior to reaching that temperature is methanol.

  • In order to make a 1 gallon batch of moonshine, discard the first shot glass of moonshine.
  • For a 5 gallon batch of moonshine, toss the first 13 pints of the batch.
  • For a 10 gallon batch, reject the first 34 pint of moonshine
  • For a 20 gallon batch, discard the first 34 pint of moonshine

2.Heads The heads are not inherently harmful to consume, but they do not taste as well or go down as easily as other beverages. Heads are known to contain a variety of unpleasant compounds, which is why they are often blamed for causing hangovers. Heads often account for 20-30 percent of your total moonshine production. The feints should be set aside for re-distillation at a later time. Hearts (number three) The moonshine run’s hearts are the most enjoyable part of the experience. Because they are essentially pure ethanol, they produce the best-smelling and best-tasting moonshine of the batch.

Knowing when to cut between the heads and the hearts, and when to cut between the hearts and the tails, takes practice.

There will be some alcohol in the tail-end of your moonshine run, but there will also be a lot of water and other by-products that do not contribute to the flavor or strength of your moonshine.


Turn off the heat and allow the copper moonshine still to cool completely before properly cleaning the area.

The “Feints”

Take those spare heads and tails (also known as “feints”) and throw them into the wash of your next moonshine production. Alternatively, if you have a large enough collection of feints, you may run an all-feints wash, known as “the queen’s share.” Just to be on the safe side, throw away the fore strokes in a queen’s share run.

Tips for the Best Moonshine Cuts

With the exception of the fore shots, experienced moonshiners agree that it is usually better to cut too soon rather than too late while making bourbon. It’s preferable to cut those late and toss some of the heads out of the window. It won’t be a huge concern if you cut the heads too quickly and some hearts end up mixed in with the heads. Neither will cutting the tails too soon or mixing some hearts in with the tails work in this situation. The alternative is having heads or tails mixed up with the hearts of your moonshine batch, which is far less desirable.

Making moonshine in a still has long been considered a science as well as an art form.

Moonshine’s Gone Legit But It Still Is Dangerous

Photograph by Scott Olson / Getty Images Home-distilled moonshine, formerly a closely guarded secret of Appalachian backwoods, is still in existence to this day. In fact, it is now officially legal. “White lightning,” as it is referred as, was originally considered an illegal and dangerous chemical by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, but it is now approved for sale and controlled by the federal government in select states in the United States. Several other states, including Alabama, Georgia, and Kentucky, have followed suit.

Many believe that over a million illegal moonshine stills are currently operating throughout the United States, making the manufacture of clear, high-potency drink more ubiquitous and pervasive than at any other time in history.

What Is Moonshine?

When you make moonshine, you’re fermenting a sugar source to generate ethanol, which is also called as “hooch” or “homebrew.” The traditional method of making moonshine is to boil maize and sugar together. A distillation procedure is used to remove the alcohol from the mash after it has been fermented. One significant distinction between moonshine and other alcoholic beverages such as whiskey or bourbon is that moonshine is not matured. It is the end product of this process that creates an alcoholic beverage with a high proportion of alcohol, often several times larger than 100 proof (50 percent), such as white whiskey.

That is, the ability to purchase commercially made, all-copper moonshine stills on the internet has removed a significant amount of the danger associated with the moonshine distillation process.

Despite these advancements, this does not imply that all moonshine is safe to consume in large quantities. Plenty of moonshine is still being produced in stills constructed from vehicle radiator components and other potentially hazardous items.

Impact of Moonshine

Once upon a time, moonshine was a significant financial component of the Appalachian economy, serving as a source of money during difficult economic times and in places where poverty was prevalent. Moonshine, like every other product manufactured in the United States, underwent peaks and troughs in the supply and demand cycle. When the price of sugar increased in the United States beginning in the 1950s, the moonshine industry suffered a severe downturn. The spirit appeared to be slipping away as the United States witnessed a surge in the use of marijuana and prescription medications, which reached epidemic levels in the region.

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With the current trend toward increasing costs at the liquor shop, particularly for foreign spirits, moonshining has re-entered the public consciousness.

Tennessee legalized the sale of alcoholic beverages at large box retailers such as Walmart and Sam’s Club the following year.

They are available for purchase for anything from $150 to $11,000, and everything in between.

Potential Dangers

Because illegal moonshine is manufactured in improvised stills, it remains a potentially lethal substance. It has the potential to be hazardous on two levels: during the distillation process and when it is consumed.

Distilling Process

The distillation process itself generates flammable alcohol vapors, which are released during the operation. The presence of flammable vapors is one of the primary reasons that moonshine stills are nearly always situated outside, despite the fact that this makes them more visible to law authorities. The danger of vaporous explosions is too large to be contained within the building. When it comes to eating the liquid, if the end result has a proof more than 100, the moonshine itself is incredibly flammable and may be quite hazardous.


However, while the flammability of the distilling process and the product itself is a concern, more people have died from drinking moonshine than have perished in still explosions owing to the poisons in the brew, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Despite the fact that the majority of stills in use today are of the all-copper form, there are still a significant number of old-fashioned handcrafted stills extant. Traditionally, antique stills have used automobile radiators in the distillation process, and they are more likely to contain lead soldering, which can contaminate the moonshine.

Methanol tainting may develop in bigger quantities of distilled moonshine, and it is especially common in older batches.

The greater the batch size, the greater the amount of methanol.

Methanol is extremely dangerous and can result in blindness or even death if inhaled.

Dr. Christopher Holstege, a physician affiliated with the University of Virginia Health System, conducted a research in 2004 in which he examined 48 samples of moonshine acquired by law enforcement from various stills. The doctor discovered lead contamination in 43 out of the 50 samples he tested.

How to Test for Purity

According to folklore, one method of determining the purity of moonshine is to pour some onto a metal spoon and light it on fire. Although lead is not harmful when burned with a blue flame, it is harmful when burned with a yellow or red flame, leading the ancient adage, “Lead burns red and makes you dead.” The spoon burning approach, on the other hand, is not fully dependable. Other poisons that may be present in the brew, such as methanol, which burns with a bright blue flame that is difficult to notice, are not detected by this method.

Public health experts are afraid that moonshine poisoning in unwell people may go unnoticed since most healthcare practitioners regard it to be an outmoded practice from years ago.

History of Moonshine

As far as historians can tell, the practice of manufacturing alcohol has been present since the dawn of civilization. Moonshine, in particular, is said to have been brought into the United States by Scotch-Irish immigrants in the late 1700s, notably in the southern Appalachian region. According to Appalachian anthropologists, the Scotch-Irish immigrants who relocated to the region in the late 1700s and early 1800s carried with them their practice of home brewing as well as their formula for high-potency hooch, which was popular during the time period.

As a result, it may be kept concealed from prying eyes such as the police or hungry neighbors “Jason Sumich, Department of Anthropology, Appalachian State University, believes this is correct.

The side of the antique clay jars was frequently marked with the letters “XXX.” Supposedly, each “X” reflected the number of times the drink had gone through the distillation process before it was bottled.

How to Test Moonshine?

The process of making moonshine alcohol is a pleasant hobby that can involve the entire family (or simply a “father and son” or “father, son and grandchild” activity), or it might involve a small group of friends. The process of making your own moonshine alcohol may expose you to an entire community of individuals who share your love for the same thing. It is a rewarding experience that does not cause harm, is entertaining, and does not involve a large financial commitment. Nonetheless, if you want to get the most enjoyment out of your homemade moonshine, you must pay close attention to the way it is prepared and tested to see whether or not it is any good.

Copper is not only a traditional method of making moonshine, but it also has numerous advantages, such as the ability to absorb sulfur-containing syntheses, the ability to reduce bacterial contamination, the ability to transfer heat efficiently, and the ability to improve the overall quality of the product.

  • Lead may create health problems, and once it enters your body, it is extremely difficult to get rid of.
  • Natural substances should always be used (water, sugar, yeast).
  • Clean it well with water before using it, as this will help you to see if there are any leaks in it that might allow the alcohol vapor to escape, resulting in a waste of your time and money and time and money.
  • If you are unable to do so, assume that the leak is still not completely sealed or that you have discovered further leaks, and then stop everything and do not restart until the leak has been repaired (s).
  • Also, keep in mind to keep this vessel away from any open flames or other sources of heat.
  • As a result of the terrible smell and taste of your moonshine, you may have contracted methanol contamination, which should be avoided because it is dangerous.
  • You should not drink it if you notice a strange, chemical odor.
  • 2.The spoon test is the most accurate.
  • You should not consume your alcohol if it is:a)Red, which indicates that lead has been added to it.
  • c)Blue: This is the greatest color to obtain since it indicates that you have achieved your goal of producing nice, safe moonshine alcohol.

Once again, do not consume it. There are no better ways to make quality moonshine alcohol than to adhere to the guidelines outlined above and to always rely on the spoon test, which will never fail to yield suitable results. Posted byJason Stone on the internet

Can moonshine make you blind? – Truth vs. Myth

Moonshine Blindness is a condition that occurs when there is too much moonlight in the sky. One of the most often asked concerns we receive from those who are new to the distilling industry is, “Is it true that moonshine may cause you to become blind?” While it is true that moonshine will not cause you to become blind, excessive amounts of methanol will. So long as you do not completely botch the batch, you should not wind up with methanol concentrations that are high enough to cause harm (other than give you a bad hangover).

Methanol Toxicity

Methanol (also known as methyl alcohol) is the noxious substance that has produced a slew of health problems and contributed to the widespread belief that moonshine is responsible for the phenomenon of night blindness. So, what is the mechanism through which methanol causes blindness? Methanol, in its purest form, is extremely hazardous. During the liver’s processing of methanol, enzymes break it down into a variety of distinct chemicals, including formic acid and formaldehyde. It is believed that the formic acid is harmful to the optic nerve and is the major cause of moonshine blindness, whilst the formaldehyde is toxic to the rest of your neurological system and causes a variety of health problems.

How does Methanol end up in my wash?

Methanol is an organic chemical that may be found in naturally occurring quantities in various fruits and vegetables, among other things. This compound can also be created as a by-product by the yeast during the fermentation process, which occurs most frequently in fruit washes with a high pectin concentration (you can use apectic enzymeto try and remove as much of the pectin as possible). Because methanol is a naturally occurring molecule, however, it may be found in both beer and wine, which contributes to the urban legend about moonshine’s hazards.

It is clear from the examples above that if you are distilling a fruit-based wash, it has the potential to contain far more methanol.

If wine/beer have methanol in them also, why do people make such a big deal out of moonshine?

In various fruits and vegetables, methanol is an organic molecule that occurs naturally. The compound can also be created as a by-product by the yeast during the fermentation process, which occurs most frequently in fruit washes with a high pectin concentration (you can use apectic enzymeto try and remove as much of the pectin as possible). In contrast to this, because it is a naturally occurring chemical, methanol may be found in both beer and wine, thereby perpetuating the urban legend that moonshine is dangerous to consume.

Clearly (and as previously said), when distilling a fruit-based wash, the potential methanol content is far higher, hence you may want to be more liberal with your foreshots in order to avoid over-distillation (we will discuss foreshots more later).

So, if my wash alone doesn’t have much methanol in it, why should I care so much about it?

Methanol is one of the primary components of alcoholic drinks that contributes to the development of severe hangovers. Consider the following example:-Have you ever noticed how awful red wine hangovers can be? Now look up at the methanol concentrations that I stated before……………….. – Notice how the hangovers from high-quality vodka aren’t nearly as awful as they could be? Because they are obsessed with quality, it is likely that they are doing an excellent job of eliminating all of the undesirable elements.

But believe me when I say that you may absolutely drink too much of it….

The Best Advice For New Distillers

Lisa Wicker, President and Head Distiller of Widow Jane Distillery, has written this article. The most valuable piece of advice I ever heard came from the man who taught me how to make wine. To this day, it’s something I always bring up when I’m talking to new distillers about their processes.

“Don’t just drink your own juice or you’re going to start to like it…”

Lisa Wicker, President and Head Distiller of Widow Jane Distillery, has written a piece for this publication. It was the man who taught me how to make wine that gave me the finest piece of advice I’ve ever heard. To this day, it’s something I always bring up when I’m talking to new distillers about their businesses.

1. Know Your IngredientsDemand Quality!

Always begin by assessing your components, which include your milled grain, water, molasses, and anything else is going into your spirit. Even while eliminating substandard maize, rejecting fruit, and tossing rotten little grains might be tough at times, keep in mind that inferior components result in worse distillate! Currently, at Widow Jane, we’re distilling an open-pollinated cross heirloom that’s one-of-a-kind in the world. For the simple reason that we have eaten it so many times, we are familiar with its flavor: it is sweet and clean.

Knowing that if we proceeded with the distillation despite our reservations, those scents and tastes would be transferred to the distillate.

Learn to detect high-quality components and avoid settling for low-quality ingredients if you want to avoid receiving a low-quality result.

2. Taste at Every Stage of ProductionDuring Every Run!

Sienna is a distiller at Widow Jane Distillery. Another piece of advice: don’t consume the “completed” product with the first taste of your labor of love. Taste your way through the mashing process, or the wine-making process for brandy, or whatever you’re doing with your product. If you’re making whiskey, for example, test your mash when all of your grains are in and the starch is just starting to convert. And then taste it again and again, every day, until you can tell by the flavor and texture that it has been entirely fermented, at which point you can stop.

Then use the same technique to the still image.

Having established a routine of analyzing the quality of your materials and the phases of your spirit during manufacturing, you will have a better grasp of your finished product.

This will provide you with the context you require in order to optimize your offering even further.

– and the style and expression of your soul will come into place.

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