Step 4: Still Operation

After you have a still, operation depends on what type of still are using.

For all stills, basic operation is to:
1. Heat the substance so that the substance produces vapor.
2. The initial vapor that comes out (Foreshots) at 64.7 °C or around there will be Methanol. Although an alcohol, in large amounts it is poisonous and can cause blindness. You should discard the appropriate amount which can be found on the internet. If you are running a pot still, you will throw out alot more than a fractionating still or compound still.
3. The next vapor that comes out when the temperature is or near 78.4 °C will be the Ethanol. However, the ethanol can be separated into 3 stages.

All contain ethanol but the heads and tails are contaminated with other substances while the heart will be nearly pure ethanol.
You can choose to have the heads and tail in your drink but will taste bad. Save them and distill it again.
If you are making biofuel, just save it all. It can be used.

When the temperature nears 100, you should stop for all you will get at that point is water.
rcanis5 years ago
The problem here is one of definition. Ethanol = ethyl alcohol and methanol = methyl alcohol. Alcohol is a chemical term for a group of substances of which methanol and ethanol are both a part. Because ethanol is the alcohol that isn't poisonous to humans, it's what most people think of when they hear the world "alcohol".
thesorrow6 years ago
64.7 °C is the boiling point of methanol and is poisonous in rather small amounts such as 3 ml. at 10 ml causes blindness.

ethanol has a boiling point of 78.4 °C

When distilling fruit mass it is recommended to boil it slowly to 80°C and keep it at that
If temperature was higher the distillate wouldn't contain as much flavour.
If distilling that way you should throw away the head (its about 1% of distillate)
(fruit distillates yeld about 15 % of mass) , keep the middle and save the tail.
Then you mix tail with water (50-50)and distill it again if you want it drinkable.

cybercorfu plx be more comprehensive in your posts ;
"ethanol=alcohol methanol=toxic" <--not equal

Ned Peppers6 years ago
fer anybody what cares, alcohols vaporize at specific temperatures. here they is, Acetone-134 F, Methanol-147 F, Ethyl Acetate-171 F, ETHANOL-172 F, 2-Propanol-180 F, 1-Propanol-207 F, Water-212 F, Amyl Alcohol-280 F, Furfurol-322 F. hope this helps somebody!
cybercorfu6 years ago
Not Methanol my friend but rather ethanol big diference... Boiling point
78.4 °C, 352 K, 173 °F of ethanol=alcohol methanol=toxic