12/17/2006

alert!

Check out this post on A Synthetic Environment about moonshine! So cool, I had to mention it.

7 comments:

een of andere vent said...

Thank you for the compliment.

milkshake said...

Moonshine is nice and fine but there is no real incentive in US. If you buy the cheapest vodka in bulk (i.e. Albertson brand) and give it few passes through Brita water-filtration jug with charcoal cartridge, you get a lots of fairly drinkable stuff for about $20 a gallon. That should last you for three or four days.

When I was growing up in Eastern Europe, booze was seriously taxed there (0.5L of booze = 2L of wine = 1 day salary average) and many chemists I knew were making their own. There is a very fine liquer to be made from alcohol and green unripe wallnuts (with shell and all). It takes few months to fully mature but the end-result is outstanding.

Ψ*Ψ said...

Some local ordinances in parts of the US (mainly rural areas) prevent the sale of alcohol in a particular area. If you live in a "dry county" and the nearby cities are also dry, you might not want to drive an hour or more to pick up alcohol. (Also, did I mention that a lot of these places don't have decent roads?)
Nice tip about the Brita. Thanks!

een of andere vent said...

I do fermentation for fun. To obtain ethanol from sugar just to get drinkable stuff is only really profitable in very large quantities (but I do not have the equipment and do not want to have the police at my door). You can get cheap vodka here as well. I often buy cheap Vodka to flavour it like Gin or whatever, and with some experience you make better stuf than you can buy. Turning cheap Vodka into Gin, Grand Marnier, Absinthe or whatever is profitable.

Wallnut or almond based booze is indeed great (I have a tree), but fermentation of nuts or fruit is more time consuming, but it is great to have made your own Calvados from fermented apples (maybe good for a post next summer).

kiwi said...

here in NZ the home brewing of spirits is nice and legal, so quite a few chemically minded people do it. and i have to say (at odds with a syn. env.) you can get methanol out the ferment, but you can easily seperate it during distillation (it comes over first along with some smelly ester off flavours). but i distill on a 20L scale, and only get ~50 mL, so it would be easy to miss on a small(er) scale.

milkshake said...

My dad actualy owned and run a distillery few years before his retirement (forced upon him by the investigation into his alleged alcohol-tax offences:). He was using corn or rye - cooked briefly in a giant pressure cooker and then hydrolysed by addition of amylase to speed up the fermentation process. He got typically 6% of water and 2% of MeOH in his crude product after first distillation. (It was a two-story tall column for continuous distillation, where the fermented mush was pumped onto top of a heated spiral and the spent stuff accumulated in the bottom.). There was no problem in getting a nice food-grade 96% EtOH free of methanol (and other alcohol traces) from second distillation but he was making mostly the technical grade stuff used for plant-material extraction so he usualy did not bother.

een of andere vent said...

I said that methanol is not formed when using pure sugar. Sucrose (glucose and fructose) is not degradable into methanol by fermentation, only EtOH an CO2. When you get methanol you did not have pure sucrose.