But generally the temperature range that you want to collect Moonshine within is between 78-82 °C and we generally stop collecting the distillate once we start getting fusels coming out. This is generally happens at a head temperature of 94 °C or higher.
- 1 What temp do you distill moonshine?
- 2 What temperature should my still run?
- 3 What temperature does ethanol distill at?
- 4 What temp does methanol evaporate?
- 5 What temperature is best for moonshine mash?
- 6 How do you test homemade alcohol for methanol?
- 7 How much head do you throw away when distilling?
- 8 Should I stir my mash during fermentation?
- 9 How much alcohol do you get from a 25 Litre wash?
- 10 Can you drink the heads of moonshine?
- 11 How do you keep methanol from making moonshine?
- 12 At what temperature does alcohol evaporate Celsius?
- 13 How can you tell if moonshine is poisonous?
- 14 How can you make methanol evaporate faster?
- 15 Can moonshine give you methanol poisoning?
- 16 Distillation Temperature
- 17 The Boiling Temperature of Ethanol
- 18 Should a Still Start Producing Alcohol At 174 Degrees Fahrenheit?
- 19 Should a Still Maintain a Constant Temperature During Distillation?
- 20 Where Should a Thermometer Be Installed on a Still?
- 21 Should Vapor Temperature and Wash Temperature be the Same?
- 22 How to Use Temperature During Distilling
- 23 Using a Pot Still: Where To Make Your Cuts
- 24 Distilling and Temperature Control
- 25 Temperature Safety When Distilling
- 26 How to Monitor Temperature
- 27 Why is Distilling Temperature Important?
- 28 Tips for Temperature Control:
- 29 Controlling Your Heat and Boiler Temperature vs. Vaporization
- 30 Boiler Temperature vs. Speed of Vaporization
- 31 Why you need to control the rate of vaporization
- 32 Ways to control your heat source
- 33 Distillation – The science of distillation
- 34 The Heads
- 35 The heart (or spirit)
- 36 The Tails
- 37 Making Moonshine
- 38 Be the First to Share
- 39 3 Ways to Manage a Reflux Still Column
What temp do you distill moonshine?
Distilling alcohol uses high temperatures – generally around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. High temperatures mean opportunities for accidents, so make sure that everyone who is in your distilling environment is aware of how hot your equipment will get.
What temperature should my still run?
However majority of stills are designed to run similarly. The temperature that ethyl alcohol boils off at is 78C-82C and therefore if your still has a temperature gauge in the top of the condenser (usually in a rubber bung situated at the top) it should run between 78C-82C (with 78C being ideal).
What temperature does ethanol distill at?
“Fractional” distillation is used to separate mixtures of two liquids with different boiling points, such as alcohol and water. Ethyl alcohol with 4 percent water boils at approximately 173° F, while water boils at 212° F.
What temp does methanol evaporate?
The boiling point of methanol is approximately 148 degrees farenheit, which is quite a bit lower than ethanol (the good stuff). This means that methanol (148F boiling temp) will start to boil before the ethanol (174F boiling temp).
What temperature is best for moonshine mash?
The higher the temperature, the faster the rate of fermentation, but the lower the alcoholic yield. The optimum temperature is 78º F. Never exceed 90º F.
How do you test homemade alcohol for methanol?
Add 25 drops of iodine solution to each alcohol. Add 10 drops of sodium hydroxide solution to each alcohol. Gently swirl the test tubes a few times. The dark colour of the iodine should start to fade.
How much head do you throw away when distilling?
Always discard the foreshots — they make up around 5% or less of the product collected during a run. Throw out the first 30 ml on a 1 gallon run, the first 150 ml on a 5 gallon run, or the first 300 ml on a 10 gallon run. Heads come off of the still directly after the foreshots. Simply put, they taste and smell bad.
Should I stir my mash during fermentation?
You should not stir your homebrew during fermentation, in most cases, as it can contaminate the beer with outside bacteria, wild yeast, and oxygen which leads to off-flavors or spoilage.
How much alcohol do you get from a 25 Litre wash?
Makes: 25 L wash – approx. 14.4% ABV once fermented.
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.
How do you keep methanol from making moonshine?
Always use a collection pot made of glass, never of plastic and preferably of small mouth. And remember to place this vessel away from any fire or other form of heat. Always dispose of the first bit of moonshine, in order to avoid contamination with methanol (which has a lower boiling point than ethanol).
At what temperature does alcohol evaporate Celsius?
Water normally boils at 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit) where as alcohol boils at 78.4 degrees Celsius (173 degrees Fahrenheit).
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 can you make methanol evaporate faster?
All Answers (2) A solution can be to use a speed vacuum concentrator (A sort of centrifugue with a vacuum pump) that evaporated the methanol in a few hours. Other alternative can be to split the sample in smaller containers such an eppendorfs or similar and to leave them at ambient temperature.
Can moonshine give you methanol poisoning?
Outbreaks of methanol poisoning have occurred when methanol is used to adulterate moonshine (bootleg liquor). Methanol is extremely toxic to humans.
The article “How are Commercial Spirits Made? ” is highly recommended prior to reading this one, since it gives an excellent summary of the concept of distillation. Continue reading if you are already familiar with the fundamentals. Before we get started, here’s a little reminder: If you do not have a federal fuel alcohol or distilled spirit plant permit as well as the necessary state permissions, you are prohibited from distilling alcohol. Our distillation apparatus is intended solely for legal reasons, and the information contained in this paper is intended solely for educational purposes.
The Boiling Temperature of Ethanol
We receive a large number of queries concerning distillation and temperature control. According to a large amount of evidence, the boiling temperature of ethanol is 174 degrees Fahrenheit. The truth is that this is only half true. Pure ethanol has a boiling temperature of 174 degrees Fahrenheit. ethanol in a wash, which is to say ethanol combined with water, boils at a temperature that is fully dependent on the ratio of ethanol to water. The boiling temperature increases in direct proportion to the amount of water present in the solution.
In this case, the boiling point of a solution containing 100 percent ethanol is 174 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is true that the boiling point (liquid) temperature of ethanol in a 50/50 solution of ethanol and water will be around 180 degrees.
Should a Still Start Producing Alcohol At 174 Degrees Fahrenheit?
Among the many questions we receive is this one: “Should I expect to see alcohol escaping from my still after the temperature has reached 174 degrees F?” No, a commercial distiller should not engage in this practice, according to the response. Why? Pure ethanol has a boiling point of 174 degrees Fahrenheit, as previously stated. The wash produced by a still is not pure ethanol. If such were the case, why would anybody bother distilling it? A first-run wash is typically no stronger than 20 percent ethanol in concentration.
- Rather of being 100 percent alcohol (ethanol), it’s more likely to be 90 percent water.
- A wash with a starting alcohol concentration of 10 percent ethanol will not boil anywhere near 174 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For those who are unfamiliar with how to determine the alcohol content of a wash, we recommend that you read ourHow to Use a Hydrometerarticle.
- It depicts the liquid boiling temperature of ethanol as a function of the concentration of ethanol in a solution (in degrees Celsius).
It is also important to remember that the data in the chart above only pertains to distillation at sea level! The boiling point of water decreases with altitude, and vice versa.
Should a Still Maintain a Constant Temperature During Distillation?
“Should I expect to see alcohol pouring out of my still once the temperature hits 174 degrees F?” is a question we get asked a lot. “No, a commercial distiller should not,” is the answer to this question. Why? Following up on our last discussion, the boiling point of 100% pure ethanol is 174 degrees Fahrenheit. A still does not produce pure ethanol, but rather a mixture of alcohol and other substances. If that were the case, why would anyone bother distilling it. First-run washes are typically little more than 20 percent ethanol in concentration.
- This is most likely a mixture of ten percent alcohol (ethanol) and ninety percent water.
- It is not possible to reach 174 degrees Fahrenheit with a wash that starts with only 10% ethanol as its starting alcohol.
- Anyone who is unfamiliar with the process of determining the alcohol content of a wash should read ourHow to Use a Hydrometer article.
- A graph depicting the liquid boiling temperature of ethanol as a function of the concentration of the alcohol in a solution is shown.
- It’s important to remember that the data in the chart above only pertains to distillation at sea level!
Where Should a Thermometer Be Installed on a Still?
If possible, we would want to at the very least place a temperature probe in the boiler. Always use a copper adapter that is 100 percent copper and a stainless steel thermometer to ensure that the temperature is accurate. It is also beneficial to include a secondary thermometer at the top of the column to measure the temperature of the vapor. Our recommendation is to have one in each site because it makes the distillation process a lot easier. Thermometers are located at the very top of the column.
Although both the boiler temperature and the vapor temperature are used to measure the temperature of liquid inside the still, the vapor thermometer is used to measure the temperature of vapor contained inside the column.
First and first, never attempt to measure the temperature of a motionless object using an infrared thermometer.
They aren’t accurate in any way. They monitor the surface temperature of a still rather than the temperature of the liquid or vapor inside. Additionally, if a still is polished and has a shining surface, the signal may bounce off and provide a readout of the surrounding environment.
Should Vapor Temperature and Wash Temperature be the Same?
The temperature of the vapor and the temperature of the wash should be quite different. As soon as vapor begins to develop in the pot and is forced to migrate up the column, the temperature of the vapor temperature probe at the top of the column (if one is mounted there) will climb from ambient to 175 degrees Fahrenheit in less than a minute. Hypothetically, the boiler thermometer may be reading something like 195 F (again, depending on the starting alcohol) at this stage, while the vapor probe may be reading as low as 175 F.
How to Use Temperature During Distilling
Temperature is mostly useful in deciding when to seal the still, when it is about to begin producing, and when it is about to finish generating alcohol. When it comes to producing high-quality product, we continue to believe that adjusting heat according to the amount of product coming out of the still is the most dependable way. Rather than a stream of liquid, a commercial distiller should be looking for consistent, rapid dripping. Also, keep an eye out for evidence. If the proof is extremely low at the start of a run, either there is very little starting alcohol present or the still is operating at an excessively high temperature.
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. Someone else could argue that you can get away with collecting less, but we just don’t believe it is worth it to do so.
What comes out of the still first is the terrible stuff, and it is the only thing that comes out. Foreshots include methanol and other toxins that you do not want to be present in your finished product. Furthermore, not only do foreshots contain relatively little ethanol, but they are also a contributing factor to the headache that occurs after drinking too much alcohol. Then you’ll have something to collect—and then throw away. When your vapor temperature hits around 175°F (80°C), you’ll collect the foreshots, and Rick suggests collecting at least 4 ounces every 5 gallons of distilled water.
For the third time, this is the bare minimum we propose for collection and disposal.
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.
Distilling and Temperature Control
When distilling, it is critical to maintain precise temperature control. Don’t take a nap while on the job. Distilling alcohol at home is a fun and rewarding process that demands patience and ability to complete. If you want to be the best at something, you must be aware of several critical variables about temperature. Distillation necessitates the use of a lot of heat, and it’s critical to keep that heat under control so that you may distill safely and produce a high-quality product (known as the “distillate”).
Temperature Safety When Distilling
High temperatures are used in the distillation of alcohol, which is typically around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to the high temperatures that will be present in your distillation environment, it is important that everyone who will be present is aware of how hot your equipment will become. Controlling and monitoring the temperature will assist you in maintaining the safety of your distillery.
How to Monitor Temperature
The temperature of your still fluctuates depending on where you are standing. There are three critical areas on your still where you should keep an eye on the temperature: the pot boiler, the top of the column, and the condenser coil (see diagram). The temperature of the liquid within the pot boiler will tell you how much liquid is boiling in the mash. Continue to raise the temperature, aiming to keep it between 175 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit for as long as feasible. When the temperature hits 212 degrees Fahrenheit, turn off the heat.
- Keep an eye on this temperature, keeping an eye out for anything beyond 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
- When working with a big column still, it is extremely vital to employ a built-in thermometer at the top of the column.
- Cooling the coil with cold running water or ice packs should be done to keep it cool to the touch.
- If the condenser coil ever becomes hot to the touch, immediately stop the distillation process.
Why is Distilling Temperature Important?
As you begin your run, the seams of your still will get tighter due to the natural expansion of the metal caused by the heat. When the temperature hits roughly 100 degrees Fahrenheit, prepare your own flour paste so that you can easily seal the seams with it when the temperature rises. Unless you close the seams of the still quickly, the metal will burn both your fingers and the dough if you wait too long.
2: Tells you when to make your cuts
A variety of liquids boil at a variety of temperatures: while pure ethanol has a boiling point of 174 degrees Fahrenheit, there are additional trace components that boil at slightly lower or higher temperatures than ethanol. By adjusting the temperature of your still, you may gather trace elements in different cuts during your production process. The temperature of the alcohol vapor is used by experienced distillers to create cuts, which is the process of partitioning the distillate into sections.
3: Tells you when your run is ending
Water boils at a greater temperature than alcohol, and when the alcohol evaporates from the pot, there is more water being cooked in the pot overall. To summarize: The more water that boils into steam during your still’s final phases of operation, the longer you run your still and the hotter it gets. There is no need to allow the temperature to rise over 212 degrees Fahrenheit, because it is the temperature at which water boils.
When the temperature reaches 205-207 degrees, many distillers will stop their run because they know that the final 10 percent or so of alcohol left in the mash will not be worth it. If you’re trying to distill water, though, raising the temperature of the still over 212 degrees is ideal.
4: Tells you about your distillate quality
As a general rule, the longer you run your distillation at temperatures between 175 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit, the more time you will have to produce a substantial volume of distillate of good quality. Without exception, this temperature range generates the purest ethanol, and it will often be the “hearts” cut of your alcohol run, unless there are certain deviations or exceptions.
Tips for Temperature Control:
- Make use of a number of thermometers. The most accurate information comes from monitoring both the boiling temperature within the still’s pot and the temperature at the top of the still’s column. Never use a thermometer that is powered by laser (or infrared). They can bounce off highly polished surfaces (such as copper) and provide erroneous readings, and they also only monitor the surface temperature of the still, not the inside temperature of the vessel. Insulated gloves should be used. Never attempt to grip or make modifications to hot metal without first ensuring that you are safe.
Multiple thermometers should be used in conjunction with one another. It is most beneficial to monitor both the boiling temperature within the still’s pot and the temperature at the top of the still’s column to gain the most information. Do not use a thermometer that is powered by a laser (or infrared light). They can bounce off highly polished surfaces (such as copper) and provide erroneous readings, and they also only monitor the surface temperature of the still, not the inside temperature.
Avoid attempting to hold or make modifications to hot metal unless you are properly trained and qualified.
Controlling Your Heat and Boiler Temperature vs. Vaporization
There is usually a lot of misunderstanding when I am talking to people about their runs about why they need a heat controller and how they can utilize it to regulate their boil temperature. Simply said, you cannot use it to regulate the temperature of your boiler, but here is a more in-depth explanation of why you require the ability to regulate the temperature of your boiler. Because you are reading this, I am going to assume that you already have a good grasp of basic distillation, and if you don’t, you should brush up on your knowledge because a lot of what follows will probably make no sense to you at all!
Boiler Temperature vs. Speed of Vaporization
There is usually a lot of misunderstanding when I am talking to people about their runs about why they need a heat controller and how they can utilize it to regulate their boiling temperature. Simply said, you cannot use it to regulate the temperature of your boiler, but here is a more in-depth explanation of why you require the ability to regulate the temperature of your boiler: Due to the fact that you are reading this, I am going to presume that you already have a good grasp of basic distillation.
Why you need to control the rate of vaporization
There is often a lot of uncertainty when talking to people about their runs about why they need a heat controller and how they can use it to regulate their boil temperature. Simply expressed, you cannot use it to regulate the temperature of your boiler, but here is a more in-depth explanation of why you require the ability to regulate your heat. Because you are reading this, I am going to assume that you already have a good grasp of basic distillation, and if you don’t, you should brush up on your knowledge because a lot of this will probably make no sense to you!
Ways to control your heat source
First and foremost, if you haven’t already, watch our video on the advantages and disadvantages of electric versus gas heat sources. Most novices begin with a propane burner setup since it is less expensive, and this is perfectly OK. However, one of the most common issues we have with propane burners is that they have difficulty operating at a low enough temperature to produce a slow, continuous trickle of distillate from your column. Their built-in venturi helps to draw in new air for combustion, but when you set the still down this low, the venturi no longer functions effectively, causing the flame to burn yellow instead of blue (and to deposit a thick layer of soot on the bottom of the boiler) owing to a lack of oxygen.
Thermostat controllers are the first to be discussed since they are the ones that are most frequently mishandled.
As previously stated, the temperature of the boiling wash is controlled by the ABV in the wash, not by the heat source you are using.
Even if you manage to dial it in to the exact temperature at which the wash will boil, it will cycle on and off, creating surges of distillate that will cause havoc with the way a reflux still runs, leading it to malfunction.
It is primarily for this reason that thermostat controllers are useful: they allow you to bring the still up to almost-boiling temperature and maintain it there until you return to complete the run, or they allow you to shut the still down once it reaches a temperature that indicates you are into your tails.
- These controls are not perfect, just as the thermostat controls are not perfect.
- However, they do have the advantage of being programmable.
- Even though these relays are rather sophisticated, I’ll make an attempt to explain them.
- Because we are using 60 Hz electricity, we are essentially cycling the heating element on and off 60 times per second without having to actually turn on and off the SSR 60 times.
- It is vital to remember, however, that as you boil the ethanol out of your wash, the amount of energy required to generate the same column of vapor increases (since the water content is increased and water takes more energy to vaporize than ethanol).
Sorry for dumping so much information on you all at once, but I hope it was helpful in clearing some things out for you. Let us know if you have any further questions in the comments section below!
Distillation – The science of distillation
In contrast to fermentation, distillation does not create alcohol; rather, it concentrates it. To make distilled spirits, you must start with an alcoholic liquid (called a “wash”) that will be used to distill your spirit. Pouring a wash through a distiller yields the vast majority of vodkas and all whiskies, which is essentially beer prepared by fermenting cereal grains. Potable alcohol (which is a fancy phrase for ‘drinkable alcohol’) is a liquid that goes by the name of ethanol. In addition, because ethanol alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water, the two liquids can be separated by evaporation from one another.
- Apart from the presence of ethanol, this procedure is complicated by the presence of many kinds of alcohol and other chemical compounds, all of which have distinct boiling points.
- During distillation, some congeners are beneficial in tiny concentrations, while others should be eliminated as fully as possible to get the best quality product.
- The boiling point of ethanol alcohol, the drinkable alcohol that the distiller is trying to capture, is 78.2 degrees Celsius.
- The more volatile alcohols, or those with the lowest boiling points, are the first vapours to boil off the water during the distillation process.
- If you divert the flow of spirit emerging from the condenser, the heads can be thrown away while the hearts are preserved.
- In order to save money, it will not be necessary to further separate the small amount of remaining alcohol, and the ‘pot ale’ left in the still will either be processed or spread over fields as fertilizer.
One of the distiller’s skills is determining when it is appropriate to “cut” the still’s outflow from the heads to the hearts and the hearts to the tails. The purity of the heart increases as the percentage of heart decreases, but this comes at the expense of more valuable ethanol.
Also referred to as ‘foreshots,’ these are volatile (low boiling point) alcohols that are released at the commencement of the distillation process and contain the following chemical compounds: Acetaldehyde (CH3CHO) is an aldehyde that is formed by plants as a byproduct of their regular metabolic processes. It can also be produced from the oxidation of ethanol. Aetaldehyde, which has a boiling point of 20.8 degrees Celsius, is thought to be a significant influence to the severity of hangovers.
It has a boiling point of 56.2 degrees Celsius and is a colorless, flammable liquid.
It is the simplest form of a class of chemicals known as ketones, which is comprised of a number of other compounds.
In addition to being a popular cleaning solvent, acetone is also the active component in nail polish remover and paint thinner, among other things.
When it comes to the perfume of fruits, esters are naturally occurring chemical compounds that are responsible for the aroma of many different fruits such as apples pears bananas pineapples strawberries Generally speaking, esters are created by condensing carboxylic acids with alcohol, and their presence in a distillate can contribute to the production of fruity fragrances.
- Esters include ethyl acetate (boiling point 77.1 degrees Celsius), ethyl butyrate (121 degrees Celsius), ethyl formate (54 degrees Celsius), and hexyl acetate (171.5 degrees Celsius).
- With a boiling temperature of 64.7 degrees Celsius, methanol (CH3OH, frequently abbreviated MeOH), also known as methyl alcohol, wood alcohol, wood naphtha, or wood spirits, is a colorless, extremely flammable liquid with a boiling point of 64.7 degrees Celsius.
- Methanol, on the other hand, must be separated and thrown since it is extremely harmful to the liver and has the potential to cause blindness if consumed in large quantities.
- A little amount of methanol (as little as 10ml) can cause lifelong blindness by destroying the optic nerve, while a large amount of methanol (as much as 30ml) is likely to be deadly.
Vodka must comply with European Union standards, which state that its methanol concentration “must not exceed 10 grams per hectolitre of 100 percent vol. alcohol.”
The heart (or spirit)
The heart of a distillate is the portion of the distillate generated during distillation that is isolated and retained for use in the production of alcoholic drinks. Simply said, the safest part of the distillation is the one that has a pleasant taste and is not harmful to the digestive system. In addition to having a foul odor or taste, the compounds that make up the other phases of the distillation process are frequently detrimental to human health. In a distillation, Ethanol is the primary chemical found in the “heart,” although trace amounts of other compounds in the heads or tails of the distillation may also be present, depending on the purity gained during the distillation process.
- The fact that it has such significant effects on the human central nervous system, resulting in changes in mood and behavior, makes it one of the oldest recreational substances still in use today.
- Since medieval times, it has been employed as a solvent to extract the flavor and presumed health-giving characteristics of botanicals, allowing for the production of early medicines and digestion aids.
- Ethanol is used in chemical processes as a solvent as well as a feedstock for the production of other products.
- For a chemical that is so flexible and beneficial, ethanol is surprisingly simple to produce, and its creation through the fermentation of sugar is one of the oldest organic processes that civilization has ever employed.
These alcohols and other compounds, which are sometimes known as ‘faints,’ have low boiling temperatures and are released at the conclusion of the distillation process. 1-Propanol (CH3CH2CH2OH) is a naturally occurring compound that forms in tiny amounts during the fermentation process. It has a boiling point of 97.0 degrees Celsius. It is utilized as a solvent in the pharmaceutical sector, and it is one among the alcohols distillers refer to as ‘Fusel Oils,’ which is a derogatory word for those who use them.
- Butanol alcohol is often found in beer and wine.
- Amber-colored liquid with a boiling point of 131.6 degrees Celsius, Amyl (Isobutyl Carbinol)alcohol is a colorless compound.
- Fusel alcohols, also known as ‘fusel oils,’ are a word used to refer to the bitter chemicals found in the tails of distillation that are converted to alcohol.
- FUSELS are higher-order alcohols, that is, alcohols that contain more than two carbon atoms and have a large solubility in water (more than two carbon atoms per carbon atom).
- The term “fusel” comes from the German word for “poor liquor,” and because these alcohols have an oily viscosity, they are commonly referred to as fusel oils.
- Acetic acid is responsible for the sour taste and pungent smell associated with vinegar.
- Furfural (OC4H3CHO) is an aromatic aldehyde generated from grains such as maize, oats, and wheat bran, among other sources.
- Colorless greasy liquid that immediately turns yellow when exposed to oxygen after being poured into a glass of water.
- Indeed, charring is a common occurrence in direct fired stills as a byproduct of the firing process.
Given that furfural dislikes water, it attempts to vaporize during distillation earlier than would be predicted, despite the fact that its boiling point is quite high (161.7 °C). Furfural has an almond scent to it.
Making Moonshine Isn’t That Difficult After All Jason Stone contributed to this article. Disclaimer: The material contained in this guide is intended only for general informational purposes. The material contained in this handbook is not intended to be legal advice. Whiskey Still Co. makes no representation or warranty that the information is complete or correct in all respects. In no event will Whiskey Still Co. be liable for any mistakes, omissions, or inaccuracies contained in this guide, or for any outcomes obtained as a consequence of the use of the information contained herein.
- nor any of its affiliates shall be liable in any way for any direct, indirect, special, or consequential damages or losses of any kind that may result from the use of this guide or the product.
- shall not be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of your inappropriate use of the product, regardless of the cause.
- A million and one different ways to go about it, and almost all of them are accurate in their own way.
- The goal of this tutorial is to assist a total newbie moonshiner in successfully producing their first batch of moonshine from beginning to end.
- Whether you are interested in whiskey, rum, vodka, or gin, there are many wonderful individuals, websites, and publications available that are chock full of useful knowledge about anything you are interested in learning about.
- Water, sugar, and yeast are the only three components in this recipe, to put it simply.
- The distillation process is based on the following principle: once you have a solution of water and alcohol, you must separate them.
It is theoretically possible that when the temperature of a water-alcohol combination is raised to 174°F (79°C), the alcohol will begin to boil out, but the water will remain too chilly to boil.
Dangers Alcohol flammability:Alcohol is very flammable, and when vaporized, it has the potential to cause an explosion.
Although distillation may be carried out inside, it is not recommended unless you have prior knowledge in the process.
Optic nerve injury caused by methanol: Methanol is a lethal toxin, and even low levels of exposure can induce optic nerve damage (blindness).
While doing so as a precaution and to improve the flavor of your goods is not uncommon, it is recommended that you do so.
Legality: Unless you have the right official authority, distilling alcohol, even for personal consumption, is prohibited (both state and federal).
If you choose to distill unlawfully, you should be aware that if you are found, you may face fines and/or imprisonment as a result of your actions.
If you just want to create 5 or 20 gallons, you may simply half or double the ingredients in the recipe.
If you have a Costco or Sam’s Club nearby, shopping in bulk can save you a lot of money.
There are a couple of choices accessible in this situation.
Another option is to look for old filling buckets that are being given away or sold by local doughnut businesses; they are food quality and incredibly inexpensive; try to find them in 5 gallon quantities.
*Please keep in mind that when producing a 10 gallon mash, mixing is considerably simpler in a container that can hold the entire 10 gallons; but, lifting and transferring the container becomes a massive undertaking.
Making the mash is as follows: 1.Boil approximately 2.5 pounds of potatoes until tender, then mash thoroughly.
Pour hot water into the fermenter until it is half full; any water that you can drink is OK for this recipe, even tap water.
Stir until the powder is completely dissolved.
Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
7.Add enough water to fill the tank to 9 gallons.
A temperature range of 70–90°F (21–32 °C) is OK, but do not exceed 95°F (35°C) or you will kill your yeast.
Stir until the powder is completely dissolved.
You want to make it easy for carbon dioxide gas to exit while also preventing pests from getting in.
11.The mash should begin to fizz or bubble within the first 24 to 48 hours of preparation.
13.Distillery as soon as possible (within 3 days).
The technique begins with a thorough cleaning of the still with hot, soapy water in order to remove any remaining residue.
A vinegar run is the name given to the second phase.
a 1 gallon mix for a 5 gallon still).
It may be necessary to repeat this procedure if the liquid that comes out of the condenser does not appear to be completely clear.
There are a variety of factors that might contribute to discolouration and off-tastes in food.
All have been shown to be non-toxic, however they should be eliminated before preparing a batch of drinking water.
The sacrifice run is the penultimate cleaning step before the final cleaning process.
You will proceed in the same manner as if you were making a drinking run, but you will discard your whole first batch of moonshine in the process.
This is also regarded a rite of passage for young distillers, and it is the all-important christening of the still, for reasons that are not scientific in nature.
2.Never consume alcohol while distilling.
It is possible that this will result in overpressure and an explosion.
It is always preferable to distill in the open air.
2.Pour in the mash, taking care not to allow any sediments that have accumulated at the bottom of the container to enter the still, since this might generate off-flavors in the finished product.
3.Seal the onion top in place with a rubber band.
Another method is to cover the bottom of the onion head with plumber’s Teflon tape before inserting it into the bottom half of the still, as seen in the photo.
5.Keep the condenser at a comfortable temperature.
It’s as simple as inserting the supply line into the condenser and either allowing it to overflow naturally or directing the flow to a kitchen sink or flower garden.
Keep in mind that, while certain plastics are suitable for usage, the majority are not capable of withstanding high quantities of alcohol in a safe manner.
The Runner’s Run Heat the mash until you can hear it bubbling, then reduce the heat to a low setting.
After reaching this position, reduce the heat to half its previous setting and keep an eye on the temperature indicator.
Drips, as well as broken or intermittent streams, are acceptable; nevertheless, a continual stream indicates that the temperature is too high.
When you get your product as near to 173.3°F (78.5°C) as possible, it will be more pure, but it will take longer to distill and will have less flavor.
When you go for your first run, divide the difference in half and aim for 190-194°F (88-90°C) by increasing or decreasing the heat.
Fourth, keep an eye out for leaks.
If any are discovered, just seal the holes with the flour-water mixture, taking care not to burn yourself on the hot vapor that is escaping.
Water that is cold or cool is ideal; water that is lukewarm is a signal that it needs to be colder.
Sixth, you will observe that if you have your heat adjusted appropriately, you will require very little tweaking to bring the run to an end.
At the conclusion of your run, you will note that the temperature of your onion top will quickly drop, as will the amount of moonshine pouring out of the condenser.
This will occur regardless of whether or not the heat is turned on.
7.After the still and mash have been allowed to cool, discard the mash.
8-Wash with dish soap and hot water, then dry with a towel immediately after washing.
A short rinse with water might sufficient if you were planned on running another batch immediately after this one.
I’m simply going to go through a handful of the more prevalent ones right now.
The major goal of this is to increase the amount of alcoholic beverages.
Re-distilling: This is the process of enhancing the proof of a moonshine that has previously been distilled.
Unfortunately, it also destroys the tastes that are pleasant to the palate.
It is just the process of adding tastes and/or sugar into a jar of moonshine in order to improve the taste.
Using a coffee filter, strain the mixture after it has been sitting for a few weeks to remove the debris.
It is part of the procedure that it is held in a charred-oak barrel for a predetermined period of time after it has been distilled.
As the moonshine ages and darkens in color, it will eventually transform into a very basic whiskey.
Do you require further information?
The Alaskan Bootlegger’s Bible, written by Leon W. Kania, is a reference book for bootleggers in Alaska. Online: Wishing you success and happy distilling! -Jason Stone, author
The Fundamentals of How Distillation Alcohol Is Created You must first grasp a few fundamentals of distillation before you can begin learning how to make alcohol from scratch. This page will teach you how to distill alcohol in a very basic sense, it will give you an understanding of the theory and understanding behind distilling alcohol, however, please do not panic if you are confused because you still do not know how to apply this to distill alcohol at home, this will be discussed in other posts, but PLEASE read this first and understand it completely before moving forward.
- It is the process of purifying and concentrating alcohol from a solution that is referred to as distilling alcohol.
- If you want to learn how to produce mash, please see this article, as this post will only be about distillation.) * (Mash is the term used to describe the liquid that will ultimately be distilled; if you want to learn how to make it, please see this page.
- The boiling point of alcohol is around 173 degrees Fahrenheit (78 degrees Celsius), whereas the boiling point of water is 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius) (100 degrees Celsius).
- Understanding the purpose of distillation, which is to eliminate any liquid that is not alcohol, is essential to learning how to distill alcohol.
- So, here’s how the fundamentals of distilling alcohol truly operate and are accomplished.
- Only the alcohol in the solution is allowed to evaporate as a result of this.
3.The liquid is collected, and it is now in a much more pure alcoholic form than before (higher alcohol percentage) Simply said, it’s the most basic explanation of how to distill alcohol….however, there are many factors that go into it, such as the type of equipment that is used to distill alcohol, that must be considered.
3 Ways to Manage a Reflux Still Column
Being able to recognize and manage an efflux still column is simply one of the fundamental abilities required to run distillery equipment. When regulating the performance of the reflux column still, it is critical to maintain a balance between temperature and alcohol by volume (ABV). The ABV may be controlled by adjusting the reflux temperature, which can cause it to increase or decrease.
In some cases, a reflux column can reliably distill a high concentration of alcohol from a mixture that contains just 8 percent or even 1 percent alcohol by volume. Listed below are three effective approaches for a distiller to track progress in ABV levels during the run:
- The temperature principle (TP), the concentration principle (CP), and the vapor-liquid equilibrium graph are all examples of thermodynamic principles.
Temperature Principle (TP)
Under normal atmospheric pressure, the boiling point of water is 100°C / 212°F, whereas the boiling point of anhydrous ethanol (ethanol that contains no water) is 78.4°C / 173.1°F. Due to the fact that ethanol is endlessly miscible with water, the boiling point of the combination will be anywhere between 78.4°C and 100°C / 212°F. As soon as the combination begins to boil, the components with the lowest boiling points will be the first to evaporate, followed by the remaining components (typically the highest ABV concentration).
It is advised that you progressively heat the kettle to ensure that you achieve the best separation possible.
Because this connection can assist the distiller in determining the amount of alcohol still remaining in the kettle, it is useful.
Suppose the appropriate head temperature for your reflux still column is 90°C/194°F, and the temperature rises throughout the distillation process, the distiller can raise the reflux ratio, resulting in an increase in the quantity of ABV that is sent over to the product condenser, and vice versa.
On the other hand, when the head temperature goes below the optimal temperature for separating the ethanol from the water, the concentration Of alcohol by volume (ABV) will increase.
Concentration Principle (CP)
The concentration principle is founded on the concept of positive feedback, which happens when a phase shift cycle is repeated numerous times. The term “phase change” refers to the transition of a water/alcohol combination from its liquid state to its gaseous form, which is useful in distilling spirits. Phase change is sometimes defined as the transition from a gaseous to a liquid state. The ABV of the succeeding liquid rendered will always be greater after a complete cycle of phase change, since a percentage of water within the combination is left behind during this mass transfer to the next higher plate on a phase change column.
Additionally, the ABV of this overflow from above will be higher than the ABV of the liquid that is now on the plate.
The amount of alcohol in this returning reflux will be larger than the amount of alcohol now on the plate….
While the distilling column is also being fed alcohol from the kettle at the same time, the alcohol is being filtered by phase change cycles that occur during mass transfer toward the top of the distillation equipment, according to the manufacturer.
By operating the apparatus with care and deliberateness, the ABV in the vapor may be kept constant, allowing the distiller to reproduce taste profiles over the course of several runs.
Vapor-Liquid Equilibrium Graph
The use of an alcometer at the distillate discharge of the column can assist the distiller in determining the alcohol by volume (ABV) of the distillate. Distillers may use the varying temperatures available to generate an ABV approximate estimate during the run, allowing them to run more effectively and precisely. When attempting to determine the ABV in a flux still column, a vapor-liquid equilibrium graph is helpful. The accuracy with which temperatures are collected during the run is critical in determining the ABV estimate.
We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or issues about the operation of your StillDragon distillation equipment.