Step 4: Still Operation
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.