Categories Moonshine

What Happens If You Drink Bad Moonshine? (Perfect answer)

It will simply get people drunker. However, after it is metabolized, the methanol can have an extremely harmful effect in someone’s body. 10 milliliters (ml) of methanol is all it takes to permanently damage the optic nerve and cause partial, if not complete, blindness. 30 ml of methanol is lethal.

  • What happens if you drink bad moonshine? If less than 10 ml of methanol is consumed then the worst someone will experience is a hangover, (albeit, quite possibly the worst hangover of their life). However, if someone consumes 10 ml or more of methanol, even split up among drinks, that can be enough to cause permanent damage or kill them.

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Can bad moonshine make you sick?

Even contaminated homebrewed beer can’t make you sick, he said. “There are no known pathogens that can survive in beer because of the alcohol and low pH,” Glass said. “So you can’t really get photogenically sick from drinking bad homebrew. It could taste bad, but it’s not going to hurt you.”

How do you know if you drink bad moonshine?

Alcohol poisoning signs and symptoms include:

  1. Confusion.
  2. Vomiting.
  3. Seizures.
  4. Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
  5. Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
  6. Blue-tinged skin or pale skin.
  7. Low body temperature (hypothermia)
  8. Passing out (unconsciousness) and can’t be awakened.

Can you get poisoned from moonshine?

Outbreaks of methanol poisoning have occurred when methanol is used to adulterate moonshine (bootleg liquor). Methanol is extremely toxic to humans.

Can bad alcohol make you sick?

Expired alcohol doesn’t make you sick. If you drink liquor after it’s been open for more than a year, you generally only risk a duller taste. Flat beer typically tastes off and may upset your stomach, whereas spoiled wine usually tastes vinegary or nutty but isn’t harmful.

Does moonshine go bad?

Although different sources will say different things, the answer for whether moonshine can go bad or not is clear – a bottle of unflavored moonshine, much like other plain spirits, has an indefinite shelf life.

Can moonshine cause alcohol poisoning?

Overdosing on moonshine or any alcohol can be fatal. If you suspect that someone you know has overdosed on alcohol, call for emergency medical attention immediately. If someone has overdosed on alcohol, they will develop alcohol poisoning. This means that there is too much alcohol in their bloodstream.

What should I do if I have alcohol poisoning?

Emergency Action for Alcohol Poisoning

  • Call 911 right away.
  • Don’t leave the person alone.
  • Try to keep them awake and sitting upright.
  • Have them sip water if they’re awake.
  • Cover them with a warm blanket.
  • If they’re passed out, get them onto their side to keep them from choking on vomit.

How long does it take to get moonshine out of your system?

Alcohol detection tests can measure alcohol in the blood for up to 6 hours, on the breath for 12 to 24 hours, urine for 12 to 24 hours (72 or more hours with more advanced detection methods), saliva for 12 to 24 hours, and hair for up to 90 days.

Can moonshine cause brain damage?

The poisoning does not appear to have been intentional but rather a byproduct of illicit distributors trying to squeeze profits, officials said.” Methanol poisoning is a dreadful way to go. Even if you manage to avoid death, blindness and brain damage are common in survivors.

How many people died from bad moonshine?

At least 154 people have died and more than 200 others have been hospitalized after drinking tainted alcohol in India, officials said.

Can bad moonshine make you go blind?

If you’re drinking moonshine, yes. Although alcohol that’s properly manufactured and regulated does not by itself cause blindness, people sometimes do go blind from drinking bootleg beverages. One common concern with moonshine is lead poisoning, which has been linked to blindness.

How much methanol is toxic?

A potentially lethal dose of methanol is approximately 30 to 240 mL or 1 gram per kilogram. Permanent visual damage may occur with minimum ingestion of 30 mL of methanol.

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.

Plenty of moonshine is still being produced in stills constructed from vehicle radiator components and other potentially hazardous items.

Impact of Moonshine

When you make moonshine, you’re fermenting a sugar source to generate ethanol, which is known as “hooch” or “homebrew.” According to tradition, maize and sugar are used to make moonshine. A distillation technique is used to remove the alcohol from the mash. In comparison to other alcoholic beverages such as whiskey or bourbon, moonshine does not have an ageing process. It is the end result of this process that produces white whiskey, which includes a high amount of alcohol that is several times more than 100 proof (50 percent).

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 procedure.

This does not imply that all moonshine is now safe to consume, notwithstanding the progress that has been made. In stills built from vehicle radiator components and other potentially hazardous materials, a large amount of moonshine is still being produced.

Potential Dangers

Moonshine, often called as “hooch” or “homebrew,” is manufactured by fermenting a sugar source to produce ethanol, which is then used to make other beverages. Moonshine is traditionally created from a mash of maize and sugar. The distillation process separates the alcohol from the mash. The fact that moonshine is not matured, as opposed to other liquors such as whiskey or bourbon, is a significant distinction. As a result, a distilled spirit with a high proportion of alcohol is produced, often several times larger than 100 proof (50 percent), such as a 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.

Moonshine is still being produced in stills manufactured from vehicle radiator components and other potentially hazardous materials.

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.

Consumption

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.

Dangers of Moonshine

  • Although moonshine may provide you with the “kick” you’re seeking for in a drink, that “kick” might be detrimental to your health. As long as you aren’t aware of who’s creating it or how it is being manufactured, the risks associated with moonshine exceed the benefits.

Unlawful alcoholic beverages are referred to by several names, including moonshine, white lightning, hooch, and rotgut. It is possible that the term “rotgut” best describes how harmful a brew may be if specific measures are not followed before consumption. The majority of the time, the hazards of moonshine are found during the production process, where shortcuts are taken and “enhancements” are performed. While there’s nothing wrong with a nice, stiff drink every now and again, when it comes to drinking moonshine, there are a few things to keep in mind.

What Is Moonshine?

When compared to other alcoholic beverages, moonshine is distinguished by the absence of official control. As a result, moonshine is no longer lawful. It also means that you never truly know what you’re drinking until you get home. If you don’t know who manufactured the moonshine, you’re putting yourself in a dangerous situation by consuming it. Moonshine, on the other hand, is produced all over the world, particularly in countries where alcohol is either prohibited or too costly to purchase.

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Additionally, while manufacturing your own moonshine may be a difficult undertaking, it is not unusual for harmful amounts of homemade brew to be produced.

As straightforward as this may appear, manufacturing methods can differ significantly from one another. At this point, the risks associated with the production of moonshine come into play.

Dangers of Moonshine

Moonshine distilleries are exempt from following any laws or regulations, and they are also exempt from paying any taxes. Equipment maintenance and sanitizing practices can all fall by the wayside if there is no monitoring in place. Brews made under these conditions have the potential to be hazardous. Drinking moonshine has a number of risks, some of which are as follows:

Methanol – A Deadly Byproduct

The fermentation method used to manufacture moonshine results in the production of two types of alcohol: methanol and ethanol. Ethanol is the drinking form of the compound. Methanol, often known as wood alcohol, is a byproduct that can be harmful if it is present in sufficient quantities in the completed product. By boiling the fermented product, the distillation process generates concentrated ethanol, which is then used in other applications. Because ethanol has a boiling temperature of 173.1 degrees Fahrenheit and methanol has a boiling point of 148.5 degrees Fahrenheit, moonshiners have difficulty producing their products.

When done correctly, it only produces in minute amounts and can be readily removed from and thrown once it has formed.

What makes methanol so deadly is that it is converted by the human body into formaldehyde, which is a component used in the production of embalming fluid.

When consumed in sufficient quantities, death is a distinct possibility.

Bacteria Levels

The sanitation techniques used in a moonshine distillery have a significant impact on the quality of the drink that comes out of the facility. During the fermentation process, it is essential that the vats utilized be sanitized on a regular basis in order to prevent hazardous germs from growing within the vats. These bacteria can become a source of additional methanol that makes its way into the end product. Another method in which dangerous bacteria might infiltrate the fermentation process is as a result of unanticipated temperature or environmental fluctuations.

Botulism, a kind of food poisoning, is caused by harmful bacteria that can create a toxin that can be lethal if consumed.

Blindness

Moonshine use can result in permanent blindness, which is yet another side effect of taking methanol and one of the most serious consequences of drinking moonshine. Methanol not only causes cell death, but it also has the potential to inflict lasting harm to portions of the body’s central nervous system, including the brain.

It is possible that the optic nerve, which is responsible for vision, will be damaged during the operation, resulting in irreversible blindness.

Alcohol Poisoning Risks

Anyone who consumes alcoholic beverages is aware that the amount of alcohol in each drink varies depending on the type of beverage consumed. Alcohol by volume, sometimes known as ABV, is a measure of how powerful certain types of beverages are. For example, the alcohol level of gin can range between 35 and 40 percent, whereas the alcohol content of whiskey can range between 55 and 60 percent. Because government rules require the ABV percentage of alcoholic beverages to be shown on the package, you always know what you’re getting with legally produced alcoholic beverages.

One of the attractions of homemade booze is the “kick,” or strength, that it provides when consumed.

They can have an alcohol concentration of up to 75 percent and be as potent as 150 proof (150 proof is equivalent to 150 percent alcohol).

Among the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning to be on the lookout for are:

  • Vomiting, aggressive behavior, slurred speech, and comatose-like behavior are all possible symptoms.

Additives

Some distillers attempt to increase the “kick” in their brew by utilizing additives to make their moonshine taste stronger in order to increase their profit margins. Distributors with a poor reputation for customer service engage in this technique. Various substances, such as rubbing alcohol, lye, paint thinner, and even methanol, have been employed to achieve this result. These risks associated with moonshine are self-explanatory. The brewing process is another method through which additives might make their way into the finished product.

Because of the high temperatures involved in the process, metal pollutants, antifreeze, and a variety of other harmful compounds can be released during the brewing process.

Treatment Considerations

The “kick” in certain distillers’ brews is increased by the use of chemicals, which makes the moonshine taste stronger in order to increase their profit margins. Distributors with a poor reputation for their products engage in this approach. Various substances, such as rubbing alcohol, lye, paint thinner, and even methanol, have been used to do this. It is unnecessary to elaborate on the risks of moonshine. The brewing process is another method through which chemicals might make their way into the finished product.

Because of the high temperatures involved in the operation, metal pollutants, antifreeze, and a variety of other harmful compounds might be released during the brewing procedure.

Sources –

  • Acute bilateral blindness caused by accidental methanol intoxication during fire ‘eating’ was reported in the British Journal of Ophthalmology (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov– British Journal of Ophthalmology)
  • “Can Drinking Moonshine Really Make You Go Blind” was reported in the Popular Science magazine
  • “Pruno: A Recipe for Botulism” was reported in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov– Centers for Disease Control

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The information in this material is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, treatment, or advice. It should not be used as a substitute for the advice of your own physician or other health-care specialists in your area.

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Is It Safe to Drink Moonshine?

During a raid on a bootlegging operation in Tennessee in 1929, officials posed next to a partially demolished distillery, which was producing a mediocre white moonshine at the time. (Photo courtesy of Bettmann/Getty Images.) Despite the fact that a glass of clear moonshine looks just like a glass of water, this unlawful alcoholic beverage is famed for its power — as well as the dangers involved with consuming it. What exactly is moonshine? According to experts, moonshine is any sort of distilled whiskey that is produced without the involvement of the government.

  • Moonshine is produced and consumed by people all over the world, particularly in countries where alcohol is outlawed or where legal alcohol is unreasonably costly or difficult to procure.
  • As a result, what causes this to happen, and how can you know if a glass of moonshine is safe, is discussed.
  • The ingredients used to make moonshine vary greatly based on what is readily accessible.
  • However, according to Kevin Kosar, author of “Moonshine: A Global History,” moonshine may also be manufactured from grapes, plums, or apricots (in Armenia), barley (in Egypt), palm tree sap (in Myanmar), bananas (in Uganda), and cashew fruit (in India) (Reaktion Books, 2017).
  • In the event that you can coax sugar from something, you’re well on your approach to producing a drink “According to Kosar, a spokesperson for Live Science.

Potent potables

Fermentation creates two types of alcohol: ethanol and methanol, which is also known as wood alcohol. Ethanol is the most often produced form of alcohol. According to studies published by the American Chemical Society, methanol is liberated from pectin and is consequently more plentiful in fermented fruits. Despite the fact that ethanol is widely regarded to be safe for use, both ethanol and methanol depress the central nervous system and impair brain function. ethanol Alcohol poisoning, even from “safe” alcohol, can result from excessive consumption, impacting heart rate and respiration and potentially resulting in coma and death, according to the Mayo Clinic’s Alcohol Poisoning page.

  • methanol is metabolized in the human body to formaldehyde, which is the same molecule found in embalming fluid, and then to formic acid, which is very poisonous to cells, according to Andrews, who spoke with Live Science.
  • Candy is nice, but whiskey is more expedient.
  • The image is courtesy of Scott Olson/Getty Images.
  • ethanol, on the other hand, boils at 173.1 degrees Fahrenheit (78.37 degrees Celsius), whereas methanol boils at 148.5 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius) (64.7 degrees C).
  • The manufacturing of regulated alcoholic beverages, including commercial moonshine, is closely supervised.
  • However, there are no uniform criteria or safety inspections that can be enforced in the case of unlicensed moonshine producers.
  • Unsterilized fermentation vats can encourage the development of bacteria that pump out methanol, resulting in a greater concentration of methanol than planned, according to Andrews, who detailed how this might happen.
  • Several years might have passed before the liquor was contaminated, according to Andrews.

“But then something happens in the environment that has an effect on the bacteria that are conducting the fermentation in the first place. There is now a larger concentration of methanol present, and the individual who made it would never be aware of it.”

Poison for profit

Methanol, which is also known as wood alcohol, is produced during the fermentation process. Ethanol is produced during the fermentation process. Research published by the American Chemical Society indicates that methanol is released from pectin and is consequently more plentiful in fermented fruit. The central nervous system and brain function are both suppressed by alcohol, despite the fact that it is widely thought to be safe to consume. According to the Mayo Clinic, consuming an excessive amount of alcohol — even “safe” alcohol — can result in alcohol poisoning, which can impair heart rhythm and respiration, and potentially result in coma and death.

  • methanol is transformed in the human body to formaldehyde, which is the same molecule found in embalming fluid, and then to formic acid, which is very harmful to cells, according to Andrews, who spoke to Live Science about the process of conversion.
  • Workers at the Casey Jones Distillery in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, gather commercially produced moonshine as it pours down the still.
  • A distillation process follows the fermentation process to concentrate the ethanol and other volatile flavoring components.
  • Methanol has a lower boiling point and evaporates more quickly than water, so it can concentrate in the distillate — the vapor that is condensed and collected during the distillation process, according to Andrews.
  • In order to verify that methanol is isolated from the beverage and that the quantity of alcohol by volume is properly labeled on packaging and labeling, products are subjected to extensive testing.
  • As a result, moonshine can be more potent than legal beverages, and a batch of moonshine can rapidly become lethal, according to Andrews.
  • Andrews.
  • Several years might have passed before the moonshine became unsafe, according to Andrews.

“But then something happens in the environment that has an effect on the bacteria that are conducting the fermentation in the immediate area. The concentration of methanol has increased, and the individual who made it would never be aware of it.”

  • Exactly why does alcohol make you feel sleepy at first, and then alert? Is it true that drinking alcohol warms your body? Which is worse for your brain: alcohol or marijuana
  • Which is worse for your brain: alcohol or marijuana

The original version of this article appeared on Live Science. Mindy Weisberger is a senior writer at Live Science, where she covers a wide range of topics such as climate change, paleontology, strange animal behavior, and space exploration. Ms. Mindy has a Master of Fine Arts in Film from Columbia University, and previous to joining Live Science, she worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she produced, scripted, and directed media. Her movies about dinosaurs, astrophysics, biodiversity, and evolution have been exhibited in museums and scientific centers across the world, and she has received accolades such as the CINE Golden Eagle and the Communicator Award of Excellence for them.

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. As a result, distilled wine (grappa, brandy, and so on) is possibly more harmful than grain-based spirits such as corn whiskey, for example.

Why is Methanol A Concern for Distillers?

In several fruits and vegetables, methanol can be found in its natural form. It is also possible that it will be created as an accidental consequence of the fermentation procedure. It is more likely that methanol will be present in spirits distilled from fruits such as apples, oranges, and grapes. Methanol is commonly found in both beer and wine. Alcoholic beverages can contain up to 329 mg/L of alcohol, whereas beer can have anything from 16 mg/L to 329 mg/L, according to research. Consequently, distilled wine (grappa, brandy, and so on) is potentially more harmful than grain-based spirits such as corn whiskey, for example.

  • 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.
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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.

Does Moonshine Go Bad? What You Should Know

Canva.com – Affiliate disclosure: Homebrewadvice recommends items based on independent research, but we may receive a compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on one of the affiliate links on this page. So you’ve discovered an old bottle of moonshine that you’d forgotten about. Is it safe to consume at this time? The following is a question that I’ve lately posed to myself. The information I received came from a variety of sources, so I decided to conduct some independent investigation and came up with the following conclusion.

Overall, moonshine is not toxic in the same way that other distilled spirits are not.

I’ll go over all you need to know about moonshine, including its shelf life, so you can get the most enjoyment out of your alcoholic beverages in the coming weeks. Continue reading to find out whether your moonshine is still good (or if it’s time to throw it out! ).

How Long Does Moonshine Stay Good For?

Most of the time, you won’t have to be concerned with whether or not your moonshine is still excellent. This is due to the fact that most moonshines have an unlimited shelf life, meaning they will never truly go bad as long as they aren’t exposed to light. Why? It’s actually rather straightforward. Moonshine, in contrast to most other alcoholic beverages, is substantially distilled. In addition, because moonshines that have completed the distillation process contain no sugars, they are unable to deteriorate.

But bear in mind that not all moonshines are made equal, which is a crucial distinction to remember..

Despite the fact that these moonshines may be stored for several years, they will ultimately go bad, therefore the sooner you consume them, the greater the results.

How Do You Know When Moonshine Goes Bad?

Are you unsure whether or not your moonshine has gone bad? There are a few frequent warning indicators that you should be on the lookout for. Let’s have a look at some examples:

Foul Taste

Taking a drink of your moonshine and testing the flavor will not harm you as long as your container is properly maintained and sealed (assuming it was distilled correctly, that is). Despite the fact that moonshine is not strictly hazardous, it will have a nasty taste if it “goes bad.” A bad taste in your mouth after opening a bottle of moonshine indicates that the bottle has been sitting for a long period of time. Also see: How to Make Moonshine: A Step-by-Step Guide

Open Container

The consumption of any unsealed container of moonshine or other distilled spirits should be avoided at all costs. However, even while moonshine does not suffer from oxidation in the same manner as ageable spirits do, the procedure can nonetheless have an impact on the flavor of the moonshine. Always remember that moonshine that has been overexposed to air will often taste less pleasant to consume. REMEMBER: (though technically not harmful to drink in moderation).

What Happens If You Drink Bad Moonshine?

The consumption of any open container of moonshine or other distilled spirits should be avoided at all costs. Moonshine does not oxidize in the same manner that other alcoholic beverages do, but the process can nevertheless have an impact on the flavor of moonshine. Always remember that moonshine that has been exposed to excessive amounts of air will be less enjoyable to consume. REMEMBER: (though technically not harmful to drink in moderation).

Methanol

Methanol, which contains just one carbon atom, is a toxic alcoholic chemical that may induce serious disease and even death if used in large quantities.

Anyone who has heard of moonshiners going blind will be familiar with some of the effects that methanol may have. In addition to being dangerous in tiny amounts, methanol is also deadly, therefore drinking substandard moonshine that is high in methanol may be quite dangerous.

Ethanol

Ethanol is the high-quality alcoholic beverage produced by the distillation process. This liquid, which contains two carbon atoms, may be hazardous if drunk too rapidly (as anybody who has ever had their stomach pumped can attest to), but it is normally safe when consumed in moderation. ethanol is responsible for the high proof of moonshine as well as the low freezing point of the drink. ethanol To summarize, the presence of methanol in a bad batch of moonshine can result in two distinct outcomes:

BLINDNESS

When methanol is eaten, it destroys the optic nerve, resulting in lifelong blindness (and even sometimes during the distillation process).

DEATH

Because methanol has no distinct flavor, it is possible to consume a lethal batch of moonshine without realizing what you are doing. VERY IMPORTANT: Because incorrectly manufactured moonshine may be quite deadly, you should make certain that you are purchasing your shine from a reputable vendor in order to guarantee that it has not gone bad at any point throughout its production.

Does Moonshine Have to be Refrigerated?

Storage of moonshine in the refrigerator will not harm it, but these strong spirits should not be kept in the refrigerator at any time. There are certain advantages to refrigeration, such as the lack of light and heat, but it is preferable to save refrigerator space for more essential things (this is true whether you are using a standard refrigerator or a wine fridge). It should be noted that this only applies to pure moonshines. Even if you haven’t used up all of your flavored options, storing them in the refrigerator can help them last longer, especially if you’ve opened the bottle.

Recall that unopened flavored moonshines may remain for years even if they are not refrigerated, so this step is actually only essential for cocktails that have previously been consumed.

Does Moonshine Go Bad in the Heat?

Storage of moonshine in the refrigerator will not harm it, but very powerful spirits should not be kept in the refrigerator. It is true that refrigeration has its advantages, such as the lack of light and heat, but it is preferable to use your refrigerator space for more important products (this is true whether you are using a standard refrigerator or a wine fridge). The sole exception to this is pure moonshines, of course. Even if you haven’t used up all of your flavored options, storing them in the refrigerator can help them last longer, particularly if you’ve opened the bottle.

Recall that unopened flavored moonshines may keep for years even if they are not refrigerated, so this step is actually only essential for cocktails that have previously been opened. Also see: Best tiny fridges for small kitchens

Does Moonshine Freeze?

However, while storing your moonshine in the refrigerator would not harm it, these powerful spirits do not require refrigeration. It is true that refrigeration has its advantages, such as the lack of light and heat, but it is preferable to use your refrigerator space for more important products (this is true whether you are using a standard fridge or a wine fridge). It should be noted that this is only applicable to pure moonshines. Even if you’ve already opened a bottle of flavored water, keeping it in the refrigerator will assist to extend its shelf life.

Keep in mind that unopened flavored moonshines may remain for years without being refrigerated, so this is really only essential for beverages that have already been consumed.

Does Moonshine with Fruit Go Bad?

However, although pure moonshines are never going to go bad if they are created and stored correctly, moonshines containing fruit tastes are a whole different issue. In contrast to the purer spirits, which are distilled to the point of having zero percent sugar concentration, moonshine that incorporates fruit has a disproportionately high sugar concentration. This implies that they will very certainly spoil at some time in the future, particularly if they are stored incorrectly. Let’s look at some of the reasons why moonshine might go bad if it was mixed with fruit:

Alcohol Evaporation

If an opened and restored container has been exposed to air for an extended period of time, the alcohol will slowly evaporate over time. A progressive process that may not be evident in the near term, but which might become quite noticeable over a period of years, is taking place. This process can be accelerated by storing the alcohol in a warm environment with plenty of light. Lower alcohol level means the spirit will taste weaker and be less effective in general, but that should be the least of your concerns when it comes to flavored moonshines and aging in barrels.

Oxidation

The most significant issue is one of oxidation. The term “oxidation” refers to the chemical process that occurs when alcohol is exposed to air and results in changes to the atomic composition of the alcohol. It is oxidation that causes flavored beverages, such as fruit-infused moonshine, to sour and lose their flavorful character over time. If this fruit moonshine is not stored correctly, it will become undrinkable, foul-tasting, and less strong as an alcoholic beverage.

Bottom Line

Whether you’ve discovered an old bottle of moonshine or are planning to preserve some fresh flasks of the infamous spirit for the long haul, you’ll want to know how long this infamous spirit can be kept for. If you are keeping pure, fully distilled shine, the good news is that you will be able to preserve it for an endless period of time, especially if you maintain it in the appropriate circumstances. As a result, your return on investment (ROI) in moonshine is often difficult to calculate. With flavored products, you’ll need to be extra careful with storage, but even these may survive for years if you follow the right storage rules.

All of the information you might possibly want to know about the shelf life and storage of moonshine is provided in this book. You’ll be able to maintain your good moods for years to come if you follow the advice in this article! Also see: How to Prove Moonshine in 4 Simple Steps (PDF).

What is Moonshine? (How It’s Made & Dangers)

Moonshine, often known as hooch, is a sort of high-proof liquor with a high alcohol concentration. It is frequently regarded an unaged whiskey because of its high proof and high alcohol content.

What is Moonshine Made From?

Moonshine, like whiskey, is commonly manufactured from fermentable sugar, although it may also be made from other substances such as cornmeal and yeast. Moonshine is a type of distilled spirit that is similar to rum. The fermentation process used to generate moonshine results in the production of both ethanol (drinkable) and methanol (a wood alcohol that can be toxic).

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Why is Moonshine Production Illegal in the United States?

Moonshine is not considered to be an unlawful alcoholic beverage. Throughout American history, moonshine has been considered illegal for the purpose of tax evasion. Making moonshine, on the other hand, is not legally prohibited in the United States if you have the appropriate permissions. Some producers are permitted to create moonshine if the United States government is aware of their activities. Having said that, manufacturing moonshine at home is prohibited due to the use of potentially hazardous components and a lack of quality control.

In reality, distilling your own alcohol at home, regardless of the type, is a potentially dangerous practice.

What are the Side Effects of Drinking Moonshine?

Drinking moonshine, like any other alcoholic beverage, may be detrimental to your health. For example, the following health problems might arise as a result of alcohol consumption: 3

  • It has been shown that drinking alcohol increases your chance of developing some malignancies. It is possible to raise your chance of developing fatty liver disease by consuming alcohol. Drinking alcohol can raise your chances of developing heart disease. Alcohol can have a negative impact on your brain and other organs. Alcohol might raise your chances of dying as a result of physical injuries or automobile accidents.
You might be interested:  What Does American Born Apple Pie Moonshine Taste Like?

In reality, excessive alcohol use is responsible for over 95,000 fatalities every year. 7 Furthermore, moonshine can be toxic, resulting in illness, blindness, or a combination of the two.

Is Moonshine Dangerous? What are the Risks?

Boiling the fermented sugar is the first step in the distillation process that results in concentrated ethanol. However, the boiling point of ethanol is 173.1 degrees Fahrenheit, but the boiling point of methanol is a far lower temperature: 148.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Methanol vaporizes more quickly and has the potential to accumulate at dangerous concentrations. A simple separation and disposal process is possible with the appropriate equipment. However, without it, it is impossible to dispose of the methanol.

(6) Formaldehyde subsequently decomposes into formic acid, which is very toxic.

5Moonshine that has been distilled in lead pipes has the potential to cause blindness.

It is possible for poisonous germs to develop in a moonshine still, which can cause you to become unwell. 6However, any alcoholic spirits that are not properly prepared might harbor germs.

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Does Drinking Moonshine Increase Your Alcohol Tolerance?

Drinking any type of alcohol on a regular basis, even moonshine, will develop your tolerance to alcohol. If you drink extensively and for an extended amount of time, alcohol will most likely have less of an effect on you. 1 This indicates that the same amount of moonshine will have a lessening impact over time when consumed in small doses. In other words, more moonshine is required to achieve the same result as before. There are five different forms of alcohol tolerance that can develop as a result of chronic alcohol consumption:

  1. Functional tolerance refers to the process by which your brain adjusts to compensate for the effects of alcohol on your behavior and bodily functioning
  2. It is also known as physiological tolerance. Acute tolerance occurs when impairment is most obvious immediately after the start of a drinking session and becomes less noticeable later on, even though your blood alcohol content (BAC) remains the same. Drinking alcohol in the same setting over a long period of time can lead to increased tolerance to alcohol, which is referred to as environment-dependent tolerance. In the case of drinking at home, for example, you may have a higher tolerance if you consistently consume alcoholic beverages there
  3. You can accomplish a task while under the influence of alcohol or drugs because you have “practiced” it many times before
  4. This is known as learnt tolerance. Metabolic tolerance refers to your body’s ability to eliminate alcohol at a faster and faster rate as time goes on. The enzymes in your liver that break it down can do so more quickly, which means they can limit the length of the intoxicating effects that alcohol would normally have on your system.

Symptoms of Moonshine Overdose (Alcohol Intoxication)

Overdosing on alcoholic beverages, including moonshine, is more likely if you binge drink frequently. The term “binge drinking” refers to a habit of drinking that causes your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to rise to 0.08 percent or higher. 9 This usually occurs after four to five drinks in about two hours for women and after four to five drinks in about two hours for males. 9 Overdosing on moonshine or any other alcoholic beverage may be deadly. If you have reason to believe that someone you know has overdosed on alcohol, get emergency medical assistance as soon as possible.

This indicates that they have an excessive amount of alcohol in their system.

2 The following are some of the signs and symptoms of an alcohol overdose: 2

  • Confusion and stupor
  • Unconsciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting with or without vomiting
  • No gag response
  • Seizures
  • Breathing difficulties (slow or gapped breathing)
  • Slowing of the heart rate
  • Reaction time is slow
  • Body temperature that is too low
  • Skin that is clammy

Signs You Have a Drinking Problem

If you are afraid that you may have a drinking problem, you are one of millions of other people in the United States who share your fear. Approximately 18 million individuals in the United States are affected by alcohol consumption disorder (AUD). 3 This refers to a pattern of drinking that is distressing or harmful to one’s health. The severity of your AUD symptoms will determine how serious your situation is. However, the following are the most common indications and symptoms of AUD: 3

  • In the event that you are afraid that you may have a drinking issue, you are one of millions of other Americans who are in the same situation. Alcohol consumption disorder affects around 18 million persons in the United States (AUD). 3 Drinking in a way that is distressing or harmful is what this phrase alludes to. It depends on how bad your case of AUD is that the symptoms will differ. Signs and symptoms of AUD, on the other hand, are often as follows: 3

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of AUD listed above, you should seek professional assistance. Attempting to detox from alcohol on one’s own, or stopping cold turkey, can be hazardous and even fatal. Either of these options can result in serious withdrawal symptoms that necessitate medical treatment or expert supervision in most cases. If you have been drinking heavily for a long length of time and then quit or considerably reduce your intake, you may experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

In any case, it has the potential to be quite dangerous.

  • Body tremors, mood swings, irritation, hallucinations, unconsciousness, and seizures are all symptoms of schizophrenia.

Treatment Options/Resources for Alcohol MisuseAddiction

Sweating; increased heart rate; nausea with or without vomiting; sleeping difficulties; bodily tremors; mood swings; irritation; hallucinations; unconsciousness; seizures.

FYI: Can Drinking Moonshine Really Make Me Go Blind?

The simple answer is that it is possible to go blind as a result of consuming moonshine. However, looking at the sun has the potential to cause blindness. The most essential thing to remember while consuming alcoholic beverages of the home-brewed sort is to use your best judgement. The notion that moonshine or other home-distilled liquors might induce blindness is based in fact, but it’s vital to distinguish between the causes of that blindness and the alcohol distillation process itself in order to avoid confusion.

  1. Methanol is a byproduct of alcohol distillation, but it only occurs in minute, non-toxic levels during ordinary distillation, and it is easy to separate and discard from the initial few ounces of alcohol that drip from the condenser during the first few minutes of distillation.
  2. Methanol is one of the chemicals (along with acetone, aldehydes, and other undesirables) that may be found in perfectly excellent moonshine and can add unappealing tastes to it.
  3. As a result, where exactly does the methanol that causes blindness originate?
  4. Methanol, commonly known as wood alcohol, is an inexpensive alcoholic beverage with physiological effects that are similar to those of ethanol, at least at the outset.
  5. And when they do, the consequences might range from mildly ill to fatally fatal in nature.
  6. It’s possible that optic nerve injury will turn out to be the least of your concerns.
  7. Bruce Goldberger, professor and director of toxicology at the University of Florida College of Medicine.

As a result of the action of methanol on the optic nerve, one of the consequences is that someone becomes permanently blind.

However, methanol is not the only hazard associated with consuming spirits from an unknown source.

Nothing beats the effectiveness of a truck radiator submerged in the substance when producing big volumes of clandestine stills.

Glycol compounds derived from antifreeze have also been discovered in batches of moonshine.

It is not recommended that you acquire or consume unregulated (and perhaps illegal) spirits, but if you really must experiment with handmade booze, make certain that you can trust the distiller you are working with (or, alternatively, study up and make the stuff yourself).

When it comes to home-distilled spirits, the rule of thumb is “buyer beware,” just as it is with so many other things.

A drink to die for? Avoiding methanol poisoning

It is not visible, nor can it be smelled or tasted. So, how would you know whether a poisoned Bali cocktail or a home-distilled spirit includes methanol? What are the signs of contamination? Published on September 10, 2013 Although you cannot see, smell, or taste it, even a tiny bit of it can make you very unwell or even kill you if you consume it. The molecule in question is called methanol, and it has lately been connected to a number of deaths in Australia and other parts of the world. But what precisely is methanol, how is it manufactured, and, more crucially, how would you know if you’ve consumed it are all questions that need to be answered.

What is methanol?

Methanol is the simplest type of alcohol and is also known as acetic acid. It is chemically linked to ethanol, the sort of alcohol that is typically found in beer, wine, and spirits – but it is far more poisonous than ethanol. Methanol is formed in minute amounts during fermentation, the process by which alcohol is produced from plant products such as grape juice or cereal grains, and its presence in drinks made from home-distilled spirits is a serious health hazard. Methanol is formed in minute amounts during fermentation, the process by which alcohol is produced from plant products such as grape juice or cereal grains.

However, home distillation to produce spirits such as gin or rum increases the concentration of both ethanol and methanol.

Separation is more challenging in home brew systems since they are often not as technologically advanced as commercial systems.

Who is at risk?

Travellers, particularly those who visit to countries where home-brewed spirits are readily accessible, such as Indonesia or Thailand, are believed to be the group of Australians most at risk of methanol poisoning. Even though travelers are not always aware of the source of alcohol in drinks they are served, the safest approach is to refrain from consuming any locally brewed alcoholic beverages. He believed he was drinking imported vodka and lime, according to the family of Perth carpenter Liam Davies, who died in Lombok after drinking what was assumed to be a harmless cocktail that contained methanol.) Because commercially distilled spirits are expensive, it is suspected that locally produced bootleg liquor is occasionally added to or swapped for professionally distilled spirits in beverages offered in bars to save money.

  1. Additionally, complaints have surfaced of tainted home-made spirits that were kept and served in commercial spirit bottles.
  2. On the internet, you may easily get the necessary equipment and instructions.
  3. “Of course, going out and purchasing something is far more convenient.
  4. All of the information on how to do it securely is available on the internet; it’s just that some individuals don’t follow the instructions and end up in danger.
  5. If they recognize the problem immediately, it is curable.
  6. Professor Gordian Fulde, head of the Emergency Department at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital, says he has only encountered a few of people who have suffered from methanol poisoning in the last several years.

Recent reports of methanol poisoning in Australia include: Tasmanian police and health officials issued warnings to the public about the hazards of consuming home-distilled spirits in August 2013, following the deaths of two individuals who were related to a batch of moonshine that was circulating in a village on the state’s east coast.

Vincent Summers, 21; Joel Lynam, 21; and Bryan Wilmot, 30 — three men from Queensland, Australia, died as a result of drinking home-made grappa in June 2013.

Liam Davies, a 19-year-old carpenter from Perth, died after consuming a cocktail laced with methanol in the Indonesian island of Lombok.

Jamie Johnston, an Australian nurse, experienced irreversible brain injury after ingesting a cocktail containing the methanolin Lombok substance.

After consuming a cocktail containing methanol while on schoolies in Bali, a Sydney lady, 18, came home permanently blind after consuming the beverage. A man from remote New South Wales, aged 18, suffers temporary blindness after drinking a methanol-laced beverage in Bali, as well.

How is methanol harmful?

Methanol is transformed in the body to formic acid, which is the same toxin found in the venom of ants, when it is consumed. According to Professor Paul Haber, the head of Drug and Alcohol Services at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, the accumulation of this substance in the blood is what creates the disastrous consequences of addiction. These are some examples:

  • Symptoms of kidney failure include: heart and circulation difficulties, liver damage, visual abnormalities such as blurred vision, tunnel vision, changes in color perception, and temporary or permanent blindness, as well as nerve and brain damage.

“As time goes on, you begin to lose your vision, you begin to lose the integrity of your thought processes, and it is possible that other organs are impacted. A really uncomfortable procedure, to put it mildly “Professor Chris Winder is a toxicologist who works in the United Kingdom.

What are the signs of methanol poisoning?

When it comes to the early indicators of methanol poisoning, they might be difficult to distinguish from the effects of alcohol in general. Within an hour, you may have minor symptoms that are comparable to those of alcohol intoxication, such as nausea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort. After 12 to 24 hours, more severe symptoms such as headache, dizziness, vertigo, and blurred vision may manifest themselves, such as nausea and vomiting. “The terrible part is that it takes 12 to 24 hours, and a lot of the time, individuals have been drinking heavily and sleeping,” Gordian Fulde explains.

In the event that eye problems such as impaired vision or difficulties seeing at bright lights arise, “they are in serious peril,” according to Fulde.

How is methanol poisoning treated?

First and foremost, all experts advise seeking medical attention as soon as possible if you suspect you have been poisoned by methanol or other chemicals. “People are aware of what it feels like to be intoxicated by alcohol, and if they see something that does not feel like regular alcohol intoxication, they should seek medical attention,” explains Paul Haber. Hospitalized patients who suffer from methanol poisoning are treated with ethanol, which reduces the amount of toxicity they suffer since it limits the creation of formic acid.

This medication, like ethanol, works by preventing the conversion of methanol into harmful chemicals in the human body.

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