One common concern with moonshine is lead poisoning, which has been linked to blindness. Today the most common cause of blindness from drinking is methanol. Methanol, otherwise known as methyl alcohol or wood alcohol, can damage the optic nerve and even kill you in high concentrations.
- And then there is the real cause of moonshine blindness. Moonshine blindness can occur when someone consumes too much methanol. When methanol is consumed, it is changed into formaldehyde and is known as methanol poisoning. Methanol poisoning can cause damage to your eyes and can even result in blindness in severe cases.
- 1 Does ethanol make you blind?
- 2 How long does methanol take to blind you?
- 3 What happens if you get moonshine in your eye?
- 4 What happens when you drink too much moonshine?
- 5 Can you go blind drinking moonshine?
- 6 Why does bad moonshine make you blind?
- 7 Does methanol cause permanent blindness?
- 8 Is methanol induced blindness reversible?
- 9 Can you go blind from putting alcohol in your eye?
- 10 Can you lose your eyesight from alcohol?
- 11 Can you go blind from hand sanitizer in your eye?
- 12 How can you tell if moonshine is poisonous?
- 13 Can you get sick from homemade moonshine?
- 14 Why is moonshine illegal?
- 15 FYI: Can Drinking Moonshine Really Make Me Go Blind?
- 16 Will Drinking Moonshine Make You Go Blind?
- 17 Can moonshine make you blind? – Truth vs. Myth
- 18 Methanol Toxicity
- 19 So, if my wash alone doesn’t have much methanol in it, why should I care so much about it?
- 20 Can You Really Go Blind from Drinking Moonshine? / Health
- 21 }
- 22 What are the Dangers of Drinking Moonshine?
- 23 What is Moonshine Blindness?
- 24 Can you really go blind from moonshine?
- 25 Is Making Moonshine Dangerous?
- 26 Is Drinking Moonshine Dangerous?
- 27 Why does methanol make you blind?
- 28 Can Rubbing Alcohol Blind you?
- 29 So How do you Avoid Moonshine Blindness?
- 30 Blindness and Poisoning from Drinking Moonshine, Myth or Fact?
- 31 Methanol – Will Moonshine Make You Blind?
- 32 Methanol Toxicity
- 33 How to Remove Methanol from Moonshine
- 34 Can Moonshine Make You Go Blind?
- 35 What causes methanol in moonshine?
- 36 Does eyesight improve after quitting drinking?
- 37 Can a blind person ever see again?
- 38 Can cheap vodka make you blind?
- 39 How do you not go blind from moonshine?
- 40 How do I know if my moonshine is safe to drink?
- 41 Does moonshine go bad?
- 42 How many beers is a shot of moonshine?
- 43 What is proof of moonshine?
- 44 How do u know if ur going blind?
- 45 Why do blind people wear sunglasses?
- 46 How much moonshine will make you go blind?
- 47 How can moonshine cause blindness?
- 48 Can blindness be cured?
- 49 What does moonshine do to your body?
- 50 Can you drink the heads of moonshine?
- 51 Is home distilling dangerous?
- 52 What is the difference between vodka and moonshine?
- 53 Can bad moonshine make you go blind?
- 54 Will moonshine make you go blind?
- 55 Fact or Fiction: Can Drinking Moonshine Cause Blindness? on MoonshineDVD.com
- 56 Can Moonshine Cause Blindness?
- 57 Methanol
- 58 How To Protect Against Methanol
- 59 How alcohol can blind you
- 60 What are alcohol’s short-term effects on my eyes?
- 61 What are alcohol’s long-term effects on my eyes?
- 62 Can eye damage be cured?
- 63 Leave a Comment
- 64 What Is Moonshine?
- 65 Impact of Moonshine
- 66 Potential Dangers
- 67 How to Test for Purity
- 68 History of Moonshine
- 69 6 Common Distilling Myths and the Facts Behind Them
- 70 1.) WHISKEY STONES COOL BETTER
- 71 2.) KNOCKS AND DENTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
- 72 3.) LONGER AGED WHISKEY IS ALWAYS BETTER
- 73 4.) MOONSHINE LEADS TO BLINDNESS
- 74 5.) ONLY CERTAIN VODKAS ARE GLUTEN FREE
- 75 6.) MORE DISTILLATIONS GUARANTEES BETTER VODKA
- 76 Related Distillery Posts You Might Be Interested In
Does ethanol make you blind?
Long-term use by ingestion can result in serious liver damage. Blindness is caused by methanol even taken in small quantity As little as 10 mL (0.34 US fl oz) of pure methanol can cause permanent blindness by destruction of the optic nerve. Methanol is mixed with ethanol to make denatured alcohol.
How long does methanol take to blind you?
Signs/Symptoms. TIME COURSE: Adverse health effects from methanol poisoning may not become apparent until after an asymptomatic period of 1 to 72 hours. EFFECTS OF SHORT-TERM (LESS THAN 8-HOURS) EXPOSURE: Methanol’s toxicity is due to its metabolic products.
What happens if you get moonshine in your eye?
Adverse effects. Vodka eyeballing can cause corneal abrasions and scarring, promote angiogenesis in the eye (and thereby cause loss of vision), and increase the risk for eye infections, and has been condemned by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
What happens when you drink too much moonshine?
Consuming too much alcohol — even the “safe” kind — can cause alcohol poisoning, affecting heart rate and breathing and even leading to coma and death, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Can you go blind drinking moonshine?
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.
Why does bad moonshine make you blind?
A natural byproduct of the distillation process, methanol is normally removed from liquor. But mistakes happen—a shoddy ‘shiner might leave it in by mistake. A still also could be constructed of poor materials, allowing dangerous chemicals like lead, which has also been linked to blindness, to leach in.
Does methanol cause permanent blindness?
Accidental or intentional ingestion of methanol can produce severe metabolic acidosis, permanent neurological deficits, blindness, and death. Toxic optic neuropathy caused by methanol intoxication is rarely reported.
Is methanol induced blindness reversible?
Methanol intoxication can cause severe visual dysfunction and death. Indeed, small amounts of ingested methanol are sufficient to produce acute destruction of parts of the central nervous system leading to permanent neurological dysfunction and irreversible blindness.
Can you go blind from putting alcohol in your eye?
Alcohol may damage the surface of your eye, but it’s unlikely to cause damage to the deeper structures. Even so, any time you splash a chemical in your eye constitutes an eye emergency.
Can you lose your eyesight from alcohol?
Alcohol does have short term vision-altering effects, but excessive consumption can lead to long term, life-changing eye conditions. Both long term alcohol abuse and short term excessive alcohol use can lead to permanent loss of vision owing to the direct effect of alcohol on the optic nerves.
Can you go blind from hand sanitizer in your eye?
In recent months, there has been an increase in reports of eye emergencies associated with hand sanitizer, specifically alcohol-based hand sanitizer accidentally getting squirt or rubbed into the eyes. This can be quite dangerous if not handled correctly, and even lead to vision loss.
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.”
Can you get sick from homemade moonshine?
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.”
Why is moonshine illegal?
So why is moonshine still illegal? Because the liquor is worth more to the government than beer or wine. Uncle Sam takes an excise tax of $2.14 for each 750-milliliter bottle of 80-proof spirits, compared with 21 cents for a bottle of wine (of 14 percent alcohol or less) and 5 cents for a can of beer.
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.
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.
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.
As a result, where exactly does the methanol that causes blindness originate?
- 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.
- And when they do, the consequences might range from mildly ill to fatally fatal in nature.
- It’s possible that optic nerve injury will turn out to be the least of your concerns.
- 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.
Will Drinking Moonshine Make You Go Blind?
In 1919, in anticipation of Prohibition’s coming demise, the pioneering New York toxicologist Alexander Gettler alerted authorities to an increase in the number of home-brewed stills being built across the country. This was a source of concern. Among the things Gettler was concerned about was an epidemic of blindness, according to Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, which includes an account of Gettler’s life. “That did, in fact, occur throughout the 1920s.” It is true that the intake of homemade booze caused tens of thousands of people to lose their sight or become paralyzed between 1920 and 1933.
- Yes, it is true that moonshine may cause your lights to go out.
- The answer is as simple as CH 3 OH, often known as methanol.
- However, this does not imply that you are a weak person.
- Methanol has a color and odor that are very similar to ethanol, which is the kind of alcohol that is safe for humans to consume.
- The explanation for the toxicity of methanol is related to human metabolism.
- Formaldehyde, on the other hand, is formed when methanol is converted to formaldehyde.
Methanol is a naturally occurring byproduct of the distillation process that is typically eliminated from liquor.
A still might also be made of inferior materials, enabling harmful compounds such as lead, which has been linked to blindness, to seep into the chamber and cause damage.
As a result, Blum, who grew up in Georgia and Louisiana, recalls a family motto that her father lived by: “Know your’shiner.’ ” You’ll also want to know what is being distilled in the first place.
When it comes to distilling, corn mash was traditionally utilized, but any organic substance can be employed—one infamous example from the Prohibition era featured shiners in Tennessee who were caught distilling poison ivy.
Today, moonshine is lawful to create in the United States with the payment of a small charge and a specific license; occurrences of the type that occurred in the past are few and far between.
One unfortunate catastrophe in Mumbai resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people due to a faulty batch of booze. Keep in mind that “unless the source is credible,” advises Goldberger, “you should exercise caution while consuming moonshine.”
Can moonshine make you blind? – Truth vs. Myth
Moonshine Blindness is a condition that occurs when there is too much moonlight in the sky. One of the most often asked concerns we receive from those who are new to the distilling industry is, “Is it true that moonshine may cause you to become blind?” While it is true that moonshine will not cause you to become blind, excessive amounts of methanol will. So long as you do not completely botch the batch, you should not wind up with methanol concentrations that are high enough to cause harm (other than give you a bad hangover).
Methanol (also known as methyl alcohol) is the noxious substance that has produced a slew of health problems and contributed to the widespread belief that moonshine is responsible for the phenomenon of night blindness. So, what is the mechanism through which methanol causes blindness? Methanol, in its purest form, is extremely hazardous. During the liver’s processing of methanol, enzymes break it down into a variety of distinct chemicals, including formic acid and formaldehyde. It is believed that the formic acid is harmful to the optic nerve and is the major cause of moonshine blindness, whilst the formaldehyde is toxic to the rest of your neurological system and causes a variety of health problems.
How does Methanol end up in my wash?
Methanol (also known as methyl alcohol) is the noxious substance that has produced a slew of health problems and contributed to the widespread belief that moonshine is responsible for the phenomenon of blindness. So, what is the mechanism by which methanol causes vision impairment? Methanol is extremely hazardous in its pure form. As the methanol is metabolized by the liver, enzymes break it down into various distinct chemicals, including formic acid and formaldehyde, which are harmful to the body.
If wine/beer have methanol in them also, why do people make such a big deal out of moonshine?
The main difference is that methanol in beer or wine is equally distributed throughout the batch, whereas distillers are effectively concentrating the majority of the methanol in their batch into the first few milliliters that come out of the still after it has been distilled. Because the boiling point of methanol (148.5° F) is significantly lower than the boiling point of ethanol (173.1° F), it boils off at the beginning of the run and leaves everything behind, in the same way that the boiling point of ethanol boils off in the middle of the run and leaves everything else behind.
The initial few drippings from your still are referred to as “foreshots.” As a result, most distillers just pour the first 50 milliliters of wash per 5 gallons of wash down the sink (or set it aside to clean with).
A person comes along every now and then who is only concerned with the quantity of profit they are earning rather than the quality of the goods they are manufacturing.
One method by which they accomplish this is by adding rubbing alcohol.
Are you seeing where this is going? Yes, because of the addition of rubbing alcohol, people wind up drinking enormous amounts of methanol as a result of the process.
So, if my wash alone doesn’t have much methanol in it, why should I care so much about it?
Methanol is one of the primary components of alcoholic drinks that contributes to the development of severe hangovers. Consider the following example:-Have you ever noticed how awful red wine hangovers can be? Now look up at the methanol concentrations that I stated before……………….. – Notice how the hangovers from high-quality vodka aren’t nearly as awful as they could be? Because they are obsessed with quality, it is likely that they are doing an excellent job of eliminating all of the undesirable elements.
But believe me when I say that you may absolutely drink too much of it….
Can You Really Go Blind from Drinking Moonshine? / Health
Despite the fact that it achieved its peak usage during the Prohibition era, moonshine is still in production today. Nowadays, at least in the United States, it is not so much designed to get over restrictive liquor laws as it is designed to get around taxes and restrictions. The method of bootlegging is essentially identical to that of a commercial distillery in terms of efficiency. However, consuming alcoholic beverages does not result in blindness. So, how can consuming moonshine result in blindness?
- Even though it’s a powerful drink, it’s not aged like other types of spirits, which gives it its particular flavor.
- However, the most significant distinction between store-bought booze and moonshine is that the latter is not governed by any laws.
- There are also no frequent checks to ensure that staff adhere to particular hygiene requirements, such as washing their hands or wearing a hairnet, in the workplace.
- Methanol, like ethanol, which is present in alcoholic beverages, is produced as a by-product of the distillation method.
- A few moonshine distillers have been known to add methanol to their products in order to increase the “kick” that moonshine is famous for giving its drinkers.
- Despite the fact that methanol may cause irreversible damage to the visual nerve, those who consume moonshine that has been spiked with methanol are really getting off lightly.
- Deaths caused by illicit alcohol have been documented on a continuous basis in other countries.
- However, methanol intoxication is not the only health hazard associated with moonshine use.
- Moreover, if distillers aren’t careful, production errors — like as using a still that’s too hot — can result in batches that are potentially poisonous.
Naturally, the integrity of the distiller has a lot to do with whether or not the moonshine is safe. However, if you don’t know what’s in it, you probably shouldn’t be consuming it at all.
Moonshine is continued in production, despite the fact that it achieved its peak use during the Prohibition era. This type of product is no longer so much designed to get over restrictive liquor laws as it is designed to get around taxes and regulations. At least in the United States, this is the case. The process of bootlegging is essentially identical to that of a commercial distillery in terms of equipment and procedures. Contrary to popular belief, consuming alcoholic beverages does not result in vision loss.
- The reality is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with moonshine on its own terms or in combination with other substances.
- A nasty hangover is also guaranteed because it contains around 75% alcohol (150 proof).
- So, the FDA is not going around knocking on the doors of these underground enterprises to ensure that the substances they use are safe for the general population to eat.
- A hair in your drink will not cause you to go blind, but drinking moonshine that has an excessive amount of methanol may.
- At the same time, methanol is far less expensive and more potent than ethanol — and its effects on the body are practically indistinguishable from those of the more potent alcohol at first taste.
- Getting your booze illegally may be risky because methanol is metabolized quickly and can have severe consequences on the body within a few hours after ingestion.
- Doctor Bruce Goldberger of the University of Florida College of Medicine believes that drinking as little as a few ounces of methanol can kill the drinker within a few hours after ingestion.
- There were 49 deaths in a Siberian village due to alcohol intoxication caused by illicit wine in 2016.
- When it came to lead poisoning in the early 2000s, it was due to moonshine that was made using lead solder, pipes, and even vehicle radiators.
It goes without saying that whether or not moonshine is safe is a function of the distiller’s reputation. However, if you are unsure of what is in it, you should generally avoid drinking it.
What are the Dangers of Drinking Moonshine?
Despite the fact that its popularity peaked during the Prohibition era, moonshine is still widely available. In today’s world, at least in the United States, it’s not so much about avoiding restrictive liquor laws as it is about avoiding taxes and restrictions. Bootlegging follows a procedure that is essentially identical to that of a professional distillery. Drinking booze, on the other hand, does not induce blindness. So, how can drinking moonshine lead to blindness, exactly? The fact is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with moonshine on its own.
- Because it contains around 75% alcohol or 150 proof, it will also leave you with a severe hangover.
- So, the FDA is not going around knocking on the doors of these underground enterprises to ensure that the substances they use are safe for the general public to consume.
- However, while discovering a hair in your drink will not cause you to become blind, drinking moonshine that has an excessive amount of methanol would.
- Methanol, also known as wood alcohol or methyl alcohol, is a cheap and potent alternative to ethanol that, at first taste, is practically indistinguishable from ethanol’s effects on the body.
- That’s where acquiring your booze illegally becomes a little dicey, because methanol is metabolized within a few hours and can have severe consequences on the body.
- Doctor Bruce Goldberger of the University of Florida College of Medicine claims that drinking as little as a few ounces of methanol can kill the drinker within a few hours of consumption.
- In 2016, alcohol intoxication caused by illegal booze resulted in the deaths of 49 people in a Siberian city.
- When it came to lead poisoning in the early 2000s, it was due to moonshine that was made using lead soldering, pipes, and even vehicle radiators.
Naturally, the integrity of the distiller has a lot to do with whether or not moonshine is safe. However, if you don’t know what’s in it, you shouldn’t consume it.
What is Moonshine Blindness?
Moonshine blindness has two unattractive aspects. First and foremost, there is the misinformation that was propagated throughout the 1920s when governments sought to prevent individuals from making their own moonshine in their own homes. A great deal of effort was put forth to prevent the creation of moonshine. Many reports of poisoning and blindness were circulated in order to scare away moonshine makers, despite the fact that many of these reports were unrelated or were made up entirely. Then there’s the issue of what’s really causing moonshine blindness.
methanol poisoning is caused by the ingestion of methanol, which causes it to be converted into formaldehyde.
Can you really go blind from moonshine?
It used to be a major concern that you may go moonshine blind from drinking too much. Moonshiners were not aware that the first few ounces of liquid that emerged from the distiller should be discarded back in the day when their craft was still being refined. Heads are the first chunks of liquid that appear and contain methanol, and they must be thrown out immediately! It is quite crucial for both your safety and the quality of the product, and the remainder of the alcohol that follows will be absolutely safe to consume.
As you may guess, anyone who consumes these beverages would suffer disastrous consequences as a result of this procedure.
These radiators were coated with lead, which resulted in the pollution of the water supply with lead.
When following good brewing methods and using common sense, there is very little chance of being ill from methanol poisoning.
Is Making Moonshine Dangerous?
At one point in time, moonshine blindness was a significant threat. Moonshiners were not aware that the first few ounces of liquid that emerged from the distiller should be discarded back in the day when they were honing their craft. Methanol is present in the initial few drops of liquid, which are referred to as heads and must be thrown away. It is extremely crucial for both your safety and the quality of the product, and the remainder of the alcohol that follows will be totally safe to consume.
As you may expect, anyone who consumes these beverages will suffer disastrous consequences as a result of this procedure.
Because these radiators were coated with lead, they contaminated the air with lead.
Modern moonshine kettles, on the other hand, are highly sophisticated, as are the brewing processes they use. Almost little risk of methanol poisoning exists as long as the brewing instructions are followed to the letter – and with common sense.
Is Drinking Moonshine Dangerous?
Because all alcoholic beverages contain varying quantities of ethanol, they can all be harmful to your health in some way. People’s bodies are just incredibly adept at detoxing and eliminating ethanol from their bloodstreams, which is why we can enjoy these delectable beverages without becoming ill. Alcohol poisoning is a possibility with every type of alcoholic beverage, regardless of how much you drink. This is due to the possibility that your liver may have difficulty breaking down ethanol and will convert it to acetaldehyde.
It is recommended that you drink in moderation to avoid alcohol poisoning or lasting liver damage.
The effects of alcohol poisoning might be severe if your liver is incapable of breaking down the ethanol in your bloodstream.
Why does methanol make you blind?
Methanol is very hazardous to humans and must be avoided at all costs. You can get formic acid by consuming large amounts of methanol, which your body turns into formic acid. Formic acid has the ability to interfere with the operation of certain cells and even prevent them from functioning. Ten milliliters of pure methanol has a high likelihood of causing serious damage to your visual nerves, which might result in permanent blindness. Consuming 15mL of methanol has the potential to be lethal.
Can Rubbing Alcohol Blind you?
Yes, rubbing alcohol has the potential to cause blindness. Rubbing alcohol is available in a variety of strengths. The chemical compound ethanol is a sort of rubbing alcohol that may be consumed; however, most producers make it uninhabitable by adding harmful substances such as methyl alcohol or gasoline to it. Methyl alcohol, which may be found in rubbing alcohol, has the potential to transform into formaldehyde, which can cause damage to your optical nerve and result in blindness in certain cases.
It is also possible that this alcohol could transform into a harmful ingredient that will cause damage to your liver.
So How do you Avoid Moonshine Blindness?
There are a number of precautions you may take to ensure your safety while brewing your own moonshine or while consuming moonshine from other sources. Here are a handful of the most useful suggestions:
Tips for beginner moonshiners
If you are a first-time moonshiner, it is recommended that you get a high-quality moonshine kit. Each of these kits is produced from high-quality lead-free materials that will not result in any poisons being released into your produce. In addition, you should reject the first batch of moonshine that is created from each batch. The amount of moonshine you generate has an impact on this calculation. If you are new to moonshining, you can start by fractionating your batch according to temperature.
Tips for tasters
To guarantee that the moonshine you taste from friends does not include methanol, it is advisable to stick with reputable moonshiners who have experience in the industry. If a moonshiners’ kit has a lot of DIY alterations and appears to be a little out of place, it is definitely advisable not to consume too much of the mixture. It is also recommended that you avoid consuming rubbing alcohol. A large number of extra chemicals are commonly included in rubbing alcohol, making this liquid unfit for human ingestion.
When drinking moonshine in moderation and purchasing it from a reputable source or investing in high-quality moonshine kits, the odds of going blind as a result of moonshine ingestion are quite minimal.
Blindness and Poisoning from Drinking Moonshine, Myth or Fact?
Prohibition, which was intended to prohibit the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages, instead encouraged Americans to make their own booze and rumrunners to sneak illegal narcotics into the country. It was also the decade of the 1920s, which was characterized by lawlessness and a thriving bootlegging industry. Moonshine, often known as “hooch,” was a type of illegally made alcohol that was said to as the “original” “Mountain Dew.” The alcohol was extracted by the use of a still.
Methanol consumption as a result of drinking moonshine has been known for many years to cause blindness.
When methanol is eaten, it undergoes a transformation into formaldehyde, which can cause damage to the eyes and, in severe cases, blindness in the affected individuals.
The myth that drinking moonshine will cause you to become blind is unfounded, and the false concerns about methanol in moonshine were further exacerbated by some bootleggers who purposefully put antifreeze such as methanol in their product to reduce the amount of alcohol in order to make more money.
- Some bootleggers utilized vehicle radiators that had been tainted with lead as condensers in their alcohol distillation operations.
- Fortunately, lead-free solder is used in the construction of modern whiskey stills, reducing the risk of a potential health concern.
- The experiences of Prohibition served as the foundation for the development of superior distillation processes in modern times.
- This collection of procedures ensures that the moonshine is safe for human consumption after it has been produced.
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. We encourage you to read our comprehensive legal statement for further information on the legality of distillation.
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?
In moonshine, methyl alcohol (methanol) is the harmful substance that can be discovered (or any distilled spirit for that matter). Purified methanol is extremely hazardous, and it has been shown to cause blindness and even death in some instances. Pure methanol at concentrations as low as 10 mL can cause blindness, and as high as 30 mL can cause death. Approximately the same quantity of liquid that is contained in a normal shot glass is 30 milliliters.
Why is Methanol A Concern for Distillers?
So why is wine possibly unsafe to consume after it has been distilled, even if it contains methanol and does not represent a risk of methanol poisoning? The distinction is that the methanol concentration in a given amount of wine (say, 5 gallons) is uniformly distributed across the whole volume of wine. More than 5 gallons, or 28 bottles, would be required for someone to drink a quantity that may be considered potentially harmful. Because methanol has a lower boiling point than ethanol and water, it is concentrated at the beginning of the distillation process.
Methyl alcohol has a boiling point of around 148 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much lower than that of ethanol (the good stuff).
This is why professional distillers always discard the very first drop of shine that they make from each manufacturing run they undertake (more on this below).
- There could be as much as 8 milliliters of methyl alcohol in the first jar after distilling 5 gallons of wine with the abovementioned methanol concentration (329 mg/L), which could be potentially hazardous in high concentrations
- If the wine contained the abovementioned methanol concentration (329 mg/L) and was distilled, there could be as much as 5 gallon of methyl alcohol in the first jar after distilling
- If you scale this up to a 100-gallon batch that is distilled all at the same time in a large still, a commercial distiller may possibly be in for a very huge problem if the methanol is not dumped during the process. The distillation of 100 gallons of wine with 329 mg/L of methanol might result in a concentration of 40ml of methanol, which could be lethal if consumed in its whole
- Nevertheless, it is not recommended.
How to Remove Methanol from Moonshine
The temperature of the still is one manner in which a professional distiller may assess whether or not methanol is present. methanol is created by the still if anything is produced by the still before the wash temperature reaches 174 degrees. It will be discarded by a commercial distiller. Again, methanol boils at a lower temperature than ethanol and will concentrate at the start of the distillation process, just as it did previously. Commercial distillers have also discovered that just dumping a set quantity of product every batch, dependent on the batch size, is sufficient to keep things safe.
How much of the first product should be discarded:
- 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.
2/3 of a shot glass should be discarded from the first gallon batch. 1 pint jar is discarded after the first 1/3 of it is used in a 5-gallon batch In a ten gallon batch, discard the first 3/4 of a pint jar of the mixture;
Can Moonshine Make You Go Blind?
There is nothing intrinsically harmful about moonshine — or, at the very least, nothing that makes it any more deadly than any other alcoholic beverage. Due to the fact that it has not been aged, it is merely an extremely powerful alcohol with a very harsh flavor, or “kick,” when it is created properly. It is typically quite powerful, with proof levels as high as 150 proof, or around 75% alcohol.
What causes methanol in moonshine?
Methanol is a frequent contaminant in moonshine, which is normally produced by fermenting a “mash” of maize, sugar, and yeast for a few days and then distilling the resulting combination….. Instead of being produced as a direct consequence of fermentation, methanol is produced as a result of the breakdown of pectin in corn.
Does eyesight improve after quitting drinking?
For example, after just 24 hours of not consuming alcohol, your blood sugar levels will return to normal and the impaired eyesight produced by alcohol use would be gone. “ As you abstain for a longer period of time, you may notice that your eyes get brighter and whiter as your body attempts to offset the damage and yellowing of the sclera — the white area of your eye.
Can a blind person ever see again?
People suffering with retinitis pigmentosa lose their vision if their photoreceptors cease to function. Some individuals with the uncommon illness are regaining their sight with the assistance of a retinal implant, sometimes known as a “bionic eye,” called Argus II.
Can cheap vodka make you blind?
A modest quantity of alcohol used in moderation is unlikely to create any difficulties, but excessive consumption can be harmful. In fact, if you consume the incorrect type of alcohol or consume an excessive amount of it over an extended period of time, it might cause you to go blind.
How do you not go blind from moonshine?
It is recommended that you drink in moderation to avoid alcohol poisoning or lasting liver damage. When drinking high-proof moonshine from skilled moonshiners, it is also advisable not to push yourself too far beyond your comfort zone. The effects of alcohol poisoning might be severe if your liver is incapable of breaking down the ethanol in your bloodstream.
How do I know if my moonshine is safe to drink?
According to folklore, one method of determining the purity of moonshine is to pour some onto a metal spoon and light it on fire. 6 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.”
Does moonshine go bad?
Overall, moonshine is not toxic in the same way that other distilled spirits are not. Unless you’re dealing with a flavored version of moonshine, this indicates that the product will last indefinitely (which can spoil as a result of its high sugar density).
How many beers is a shot of moonshine?
For beer, multiply 12 by 0.05 to get 0.6 fl oz. 0.96 divided by 0.6 is 1.6 beers. As a result, one shot of 128 proof moonshine has the equivalent of around 1.6 beers in alcohol.
What is proof of moonshine?
The majority of spirits sold in stores today will be measured in alcohol by volume (ABV) rather than proof.
In the United States, the proportion of alcohol by volume is twice the amount of alcohol proof. This indicates that an average bottle of 40 percent ABV moonshine will be 80 proof on a scale of 100 points.
How do u know if ur going blind?
For example, you might have fuzzy vision or be unable to discern between different forms of things in your environment. Complete blindness is defined as the inability to see at all. Legal blindness is a term used to describe eyesight that has been severely damaged. It takes just 20 feet for a legally blind person to see something that a person with normal eyesight can see from a distance of 200 feet.
Why do blind people wear sunglasses?
The eyes of a visually impaired person are just as sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) radiation as the eyes of a visually competent person. Sunglasses may be beneficial for legally blind persons who retain some degree of vision in order to avoid additional vision loss caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
How much moonshine will make you go blind?
People who are visually handicapped are equally as susceptible to ultraviolet radiation as those who are able to see normally. It is possible that wearing sunglasses will assist prevent additional vision loss induced by exposure to ultraviolet radiation for legally blind persons who still have some degree of vision.
How can moonshine cause blindness?
Methanol is a naturally occurring byproduct of the distillation process that is typically eliminated from liquor. However, errors do happen; for example, a shoddy’shiner can leave it in by accident. A still might also be made of inferior materials, allowing harmful compounds like as lead, which has been linked to blindness, to seep into the structure and cause damage.
Can blindness be cured?
While there is currently no treatment for blindness or macular degeneration, scientists have sped up the process of discovering a cure by viewing the inner workings of the eye and the illnesses that affect it at the cellular level, which has allowed them to find a solution faster.
What does moonshine do to your body?
Moonshine consumption involves the consumption of methanol. People will just become more inebriated as a result of this. Although not immediately dangerous, methanol’s toxic effects on the human body can be severe once it has been broken down by the body. A single drop of methanol (10 milliliters (ml) in the eye is all it takes to permanently damage the optic nerve and cause partial or total blindness.
Can you drink the heads of moonshine?
The heads aren’t worth retaining for drinking purposes and should be discarded immediately. Heads make up around 20-30 percent of the liquid recovered during a distillation cycle, on average.
Is home distilling dangerous?
The most significant concern associated with distilling spirits is that the result can be extremely combustible at times. It is possible for distillate to have more than 90 percent pure ethanol when it is released from the still. This product has the ability to ignite extremely easily, posing a fire danger.
What is the difference between vodka and moonshine?
There isn’t much of a distinction between vodka and moonshine in terms of their physical properties. Both are unaged neutral spirits that are typically cut with water in order to increase volume and make the product more drinkable…. Moonshine, at least the commercial kinds, may readily be referred to as American vodka, in the same way as Poitin can be referred to as Irish vodka.
Can bad moonshine make you go blind?
Toxicity of Methanol In moonshine, methyl alcohol (methanol) is the nasty thing that may be found in high concentrations.
Purified methanol is extremely hazardous, and it has been proven to cause blindness and even death in some cases.
Will moonshine make you go blind?
Toxic Effects of Methanol When it comes to moonshine, the evil ingredient is called methyl alcohol (methanol). Purified methanol is extremely hazardous, and it has been shown to cause blindness and even death in some instances.
Fact or Fiction: Can Drinking Moonshine Cause Blindness? on MoonshineDVD.com
Toxicology of Methanol When it comes to moonshine, the evil stuff is methyl alcohol (methanol). Pure methanol is extremely hazardous, and it has been shown to cause blindness and even death in some cases.
Can Moonshine Cause Blindness?
Methanol Toxicity is a kind of poison. Methyl alcohol (methanol) is the harmful substance that can be found in moonshine. Pure methanol is extremely hazardous, and it is known to cause blindness and even death in certain cases.
The methanol component in moonshine is one of the reasons why some people have gone blind after consuming the substance. Each and every batch of moonshine contains methanol, which is related to ethanol. When ingested, methanol is a very poisonous and strong substance that can cause visual nerve damage or even death if not handled properly. It is possible to die with a single dose of this very deadly chemical substance. Methylethanol is a byproduct produced during the distillation of an alcoholic beverage.
Small trace amounts of methanol will not cause any worry; but, significant amounts of methanol may accumulate over time and reach dangerous levels of concentration.
Drinking moonshine that has been contaminated with methanol would most likely result in a harsh taste that is difficult to appreciate.
How To Protect Against Methanol
In order to minimize methanol contamination in your moonshine, the best precaution is to remove the first batch. Despite the fact that some individuals are anxious to enjoy the rewards of their labor, a good rule of thumb is to always toss out the first batch of moonshine you make. The initial batch of methanol produced in a still often has the greatest concentration of methanol as well as a number of undesirable compounds. Making a second batch of white lightning will significantly lower the quantity of methanol in the final product, leaving you with a safe and tasty pot of white lightning to enjoy.
How alcohol can blind you
With the assistance of Ophthalmologist Payal Patel, MD, for evaluation and comment (Monroe) The Christmas season is in full swing, which means that many individuals will be attending holiday parties, where alcohol will almost surely be provided.
A modest quantity of alcohol used in moderation is unlikely to create any difficulties, but excessive consumption can be harmful. In fact, if you consume the incorrect type of alcohol or consume an excessive amount of it over an extended period of time, it might cause you to go blind.
What are alcohol’s short-term effects on my eyes?
Alcohol can have a number of short-term negative impacts on your vision. It can result in double vision, blurriness, and trouble responding to changes in brightness and light contrasts, among other symptoms.
What are alcohol’s long-term effects on my eyes?
If you consume an excessive amount of alcohol, your liver will be unable to digest as much of it. This has the potential to result in elevated toxin levels in the blood. These poisons have the potential to cause harm to the visual nerve. Methanol use is another method of causing damage to your visual nerve. Even though methanol is not meant to be used in large quantities (ethanol is the alcohol humans generally consume, whereas methanol is used in antifreeze and paint thinner), it has occasionally been found in moonshine produced by less-than-reputable distillers.
Even a tiny bit of it can be lethal if consumed in large quantities.
Can eye damage be cured?
Dr. Payal Patel, an ophthalmologist at CEENTA, said that heavy alcohol intake might cause irreparable vision loss in some persons, while others may restore some eyesight but not fully in other cases. “The foods and beverages we consume can have long-term consequences for our health,” Dr. Patel explained. “Heavy alcohol use impairs our body’s capacity to absorb essential vitamins, and the ensuing elevated toxin levels can have a long-term negative impact on our vision.” Moderation is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.” In the event that you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism, please do not hesitate to seek expert assistance.
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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
Once upon a time, moonshine was a significant financial component of the Appalachian economy, serving as a source of money during difficult economic times and in places where poverty was prevalent. Moonshine, like every other product manufactured in the United States, underwent peaks and troughs in the supply and demand cycle. When the price of sugar increased in the United States beginning in the 1950s, the moonshine industry suffered a severe downturn. The spirit appeared to be slipping away as the United States witnessed a surge in the use of marijuana and prescription medications, which reached epidemic levels in the region.
With the current trend toward increasing costs at the liquor shop, particularly for foreign spirits, moonshining has re-entered the public consciousness.
Tennessee legalized the sale of alcoholic beverages at large box retailers such as Walmart and Sam’s Club the following year.
They are available for purchase for anything from $150 to $11,000, and everything in between. The demand for copper stills, according to one supplier, has more than doubled in the last few years, and he has sold copper stills to every state in the United States.
Because illegal moonshine is manufactured in improvised stills, it remains a potentially lethal substance. It has the potential to be hazardous on two levels: during the distillation process and when it is consumed.
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.
A byproduct of the distillation process is the production of high-flammability alcohol vapors. While the flammable fumes produced by moonshine stills are a primary reason why they are nearly usually situated outside, it also helps law enforcement officers identify and find them. If you’re trapped inside, the risk of vaporous explosions is too high. As for eating the liquid, if the end result has a proof more than 100 percent, the moonshine itself is incredibly combustible and may be quite hazardous.
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.
6 Common Distilling Myths and the Facts Behind Them
When it comes to distilling and distilled spirits, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions. Many are completely innocuous, while others might cost businesses millions of dollars or even cause illness and death. Here are six commonly held beliefs, as well as the actual facts that support them.
1.) WHISKEY STONES COOL BETTER
When it comes to distillation and distilled spirits, there are several myths and fallacies. Many are innocuous, but others might cost businesses thousands of dollars or even cause illness and death if they are not addressed. Six commonly held myths are debunked, along with the true facts that support them.
2.) KNOCKS AND DENTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
There has been a great deal of talk regarding how each dent and knock on a still will affect the quality of the spirit. While this may pose a concern, it does not appear to have a significant impact on the situation. When it comes to the distillation process, there are several variables to consider, and a little change in surface area caused by a couple of dent should have little effect on the final product’s quality.
3.) LONGER AGED WHISKEY IS ALWAYS BETTER
Isn’t it true that older whiskey is usually better and so deserves higher prices? So, in order to address this topic, let’s take a small step back and consider how whiskey obtains its flavor. Technically speaking, whiskey distillation takes only a few days and may be served immediately after distillation. Although it would be entirely transparent, it would have a mild flavor that reminded me of malted barley combined with rubbing alcohol. This isn’t exactly what we consider to be whiskey. This sort of environment, together with the whiskey’s traditional smoky taste and golden-brown color, contribute to the whiskey’s classic smokey flavor and golden-brown hue.
At the same time, the wood begins to contribute to the overall taste of the dish.
Just because a whiskey has been matured for a longer period of time does not always imply that it tastes better.
In the words of Dave Pickerell, former master distiller of Maker’s Mark, “It takes a village to make a whiskey.” “It is conceivable for a spirit to become old beyond recognition.
4.) MOONSHINE LEADS TO BLINDNESS
Another widely held belief is that moonshine may induce blindness. Is it possible to go blind after drinking moonshine? Both yes and no. Certainly, if it’s prepared poorly and/or in ancient lead pipes, it has the potential to cause blindness.
m ethanol (methyl alcohol) is extremely hazardous and can be found in large concentrations in moonshine if the distillation process is not done properly (see below).
The methyl alcohol is broken down by our liver producing formaldehyde and formaldehyde esters. And it is the formic acid that has the potential to harm our eyes. As a result, when moonshine with high quantities of methanol is distilled incorrectly, it might result in blindness.
m ethanol (methyl alcohol) is extremely hazardous and can be found in large concentrations in moonshine if the distillation process is not done correctly (see below). We produce formaldehyde andformic acid as a result of the breakdown of methyl alcohol by our liver. Our eyes are particularly sensitive to theformic acid. Moonshine containing high quantities of methanol can, therefore, cause blindness when it is incorrectly distilled.
5.) ONLY CERTAIN VODKAS ARE GLUTEN FREE
Is it necessary to seek long and low for your favorite gluten-free vodka if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy? Does it make sense for you to check with the bartender before ordering that cocktail? Is it necessary to go over the ingredient list with a fine-toothed comb before purchasing something? No, not in the traditional sense. Intuitively, it makes sense for gluten-free individuals to be wary of anything that contains wheat. While the fundamental materials (wheat, potatoes, etc.) are heated with water until they’re broken down and drained into a fermented liquid, the vodka distillation process involves passing the liquid through a still to extract the alcohol.
6.) MORE DISTILLATIONS GUARANTEES BETTER VODKA
It is true that better-tasting vodka is more likely to have been distilled more than once. Is it true that distilling vodka more and more produces better and better-tasting vodka as time goes on? No, not at all. Every time vodka is distilled, there are fewer and fewer contaminants in the finished product. As a result, you might claim that it becomes “cleaner” and “smoother” with each distillation. However, over-distilling vodka can have the same effect as maturing whiskey for an excessive amount of time.
If a vodka manufacturer boasts that their vodka has been distilled hundreds of times, it may also be attempting to conceal the low-quality raw materials from which it is obtained.
Both are attempts to overcompensate for a poor quality product and conceal it.
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About Paul Hughes, OSU Fermentation Science Instructor
Paul Hughes, Ph.D., has joined the faculty of Oregon State University in order to start a distilled spirits department. Paul possesses a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration on innovation, and he travels the world teaching, training, and consulting on various topics. Two textbooks (one on beer, one on whiskey) as well as more than 60 peer-reviewed and conference articles have been published by him, and he has been granted four patents.
At the five-day Distillery Startup Workshop, Paul teaches real tools and practices that students may use to effectively start and operate their own artisan distillery business.