How to make moonshine

this is for informational purposes only and should not be used for illegal activities. there are many legal things one can do with a still including fueling cars (must register with the federal government) as well as extracting essential oils from plants (not necessary to register). also, implementing the following procedures could result in bodily harm from explosions, fires, burns, not to mention what could happen if you actually consume your final product. use your head, be careful and be safe. 

Thank you to everyone who has made this a successful Instructable!  I appreciate the views and positive feedback.  Please cut me some slack where I am lacking.  I have recently updated to include a few more specifics, but this does not take the place of doing your own research.  I am not an expert, though I play one on TV.  I am also toying with a discussion forum for all the numerous repeat questions.  Please continue to check the comments discussions before posting questions.  Many have been answered before and plenty more than once.

as a further note, i have decided to add this link to clear up any misunderstandings about what United States law has to say about distilling. Hopefully this will make some of you think a little harder about this and the rest to stop posting comments debating the legality of this. This is ONLY for the US.

Distilling Code

let's begin.

anything alcoholic can be distilled. i've distilled everything from my own moonshine washes to jug wine purchased at my local liquor store. distillation is actually quite simple. the hard part is making sure you are getting ethanol and not methanol (or the like). in this instructable i will show how i made a wash, fermented it, and consequently--the most important part--how i distilled it. i have added more specifics in order to answer some of the most asked questions i've gotten in the comments.  i hope this helps. i might also mention that everything here is hypothetical and for informational purposes only. hope that covers the bases.

and. . . let's begin. for real this time.

(if this doesn't make sense or you would like more info, check out my instructable--distilling basics--for more detailed information on the distillation process or read through the comment strings before posting a question.  I get repeat questions constantly and I don't have time to answer the same questions over and over.  Sorry.)

Schritt 1: fermentation

i used a sugar water solution to create a wash which i then distilled to a neutral spirit. i dissolved about 5lbs of sugar in 3 gallons of water (not an exact formula, play around a bit) and then let it cool to room temperature. this is about as basic a wash as you can get. many more options are available for different flavor characteristics.  for instance, if you ferment molasses you will end up with rum.  if you ferment blue agave you will end up with tequila. i was looking for simplicity for a beginner and ran with this. it is the easiest to procure and make. unfortunately white sugar creates a decidedly cidery flavor to the spirit, but much of that can be distilled out or masked by flavoring or blending.

the wash (fermentable solution, a.k.a. sugar water) was then poured into a clean carboy (big glass bottle, see pic). after that i 'pitched' the yeast (dumped yeast into wash) and then capped the carboy with an airlock (see pic). now we wait. depending on yeast, temperature, amount of digestible materials, etc., a couple of weeks is usually good. at this point yeast is eating sugar, and excreting carbon dioxide and alcohol. give it some time. let it work. when the bubbles stop (and look close) it's done.  if it is still bubbling, let it go.  the two week time is just a very rough estimate.  it will vary for everyone.

if the bubbles have slowed considerably, taste a bit. if it is sweet, let it go a bit longer.

when it is done. we're ready for the next stage:

Post a comment
Be nice!

Noch keine Einträge.
Sei der Erste!

mountain+mike sagt: Jul 24, 2014. 12:28 nachm.

In my first steps of fermentation, I do NOT use an airlock for the first 3 to 4 days. I actually pump in air with a aquarium air pump with a filter on it. This will BOOST the activity of the yeast 10 fold. I then air lock it and usually ready in 7 to 10 days.

Throw away at least the first 50mls. per gallon to avoid most methanol. Methanol is hard to produce in any quantity with sugar and water only.

rfreeman10 sagt: Jul 12, 2014. 12:52 nachm.

SBmoonshine sagt: Apr 17, 2014. 2:01 nachm.

You can buy Moonshine from a licensed bottler who can buy shine from a legal manufacturer and bottle it for you and your legal company. Make an agreement with distribution companies and start selling in liquor stores once the State approves of your formula. For a quarter million you can go into business. One 750ML bottle only costs about 2.00 plus bottling costs of 2 bucks and federal tax of $2.68.

makinmoonshine sagt: Feb 17, 2014. 6:47 nachm.

Great post. If anyone is looking for moonshine stills for sale, check out Makin' Moonshine's moonshine still guides Solid info on moonshine stills and commercial moonshine still manufactuers. 'Shine on!

ebbisaac sagt: Feb 13, 2014. 4:01 nachm.

How much yeast did you use in the wash?

shadowshine sagt: Dez 18, 2013. 8:04 nachm.
Thank ya sir, your information was very thorough and enjoyable to read!
mchase143 sagt: Nov 20, 2013. 2:02 nachm.
What do I need to do to get a much higher proof. I'm wanting something like 170-180 proof?????
mchase143 sagt: Nov 5, 2013. 6:21 nachm.
No it doesn't have any color. It is perfectly clear. I tried running it through a carbon filter and it actually helped a lot. ????
mikemostly sagt: Nov 5, 2013. 8:33 nachm.
There you go, problem solved!
mchase143 sagt: Nov 4, 2013. 8:49 vorm.
What if it had a taste kind if like kerosine???? It's 150 proof???
mikemostly sagt: Nov 5, 2013. 12:43 nachm.
It could mean you have a high concentration of fusel alcohols which can usually result from heating your pot too quickly, not watching the temperature, or not having a long enough column to condense them out. If done right, your product should be a completely clear liquid (does yours have a yellow hue to it?) that will taste and smells like nothing but really strong alcohol. It probably wont hurt you to drink (you'll get a worse hangover than normal) but if it were me, personally, I'd scrap it and try again. Better safe than sorry.
mchase143 sagt: Nov 3, 2013. 6:27 vorm.
I have gone through all of your questions, but I haven't seen anything about the actual smell of the liquor. I have some that is 150 proof and it tastes great, but it has a very strong alcohol smell. Is this normal????? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
pdub77 sagt: Nov 3, 2013. 7:12 vorm.
That's a good sign! =)
smoesle sagt: Okt 7, 2013. 4:29 nachm.
Isn't that ILLEGAL?!?!?!
zero_mecery sagt: Okt 4, 2013. 2:34 vorm.
With the amount that you're making how much yeast should be used?
tfein sagt: Aug 25, 2013. 7:49 vorm.
could i just ferment a wash and then boil off the methanol and drink what is left of the wash if i dont want to mess with a still
pdub77 sagt: Aug 25, 2013. 8:26 vorm.
kpaz68 sagt: Aug 11, 2013. 11:26 nachm.
how much yeast do you put into this recipe?
Texan1995 sagt: Aug 4, 2013. 11:58 nachm.
will the tightness of the coil affect the shine?
pdub77 sagt: Aug 5, 2013. 4:46 vorm.
no idea
mikemostly sagt: Nov 3, 2013. 11:23 nachm.
Not a ton as all it's doing is turning the ethanol vapor back to a liquid, usually with these things it's best to have the largest surface area possible which means more length or thinner tubing (but thinner tubing means less flow and more pressure) so I'd make the coil as long and tight as possible.

Where it really does matter is the tubing coming off the pot (your column). Designing a good column can be balancing act as you want it to be long enough and have enough surface areas (for heat exchange with the air) that as much water as possible has a chance to cool and fall back into the pot but also want to make sure that your ethanol doesn't cool and condense. So that's where I'd play with making your tubing longer.
GearGrinder sagt: Aug 3, 2013. 8:14 nachm.
So could I basically fill the condenser with ice and water then actually freeze it so the hollow copper is frozen in a block of ice or would that weaken and hurt the metal or be a waste of time?
pdub77 sagt: Aug 4, 2013. 8:56 nachm.
Not going to hurt the copper in any appreciable way, but it won't work. I know, because I tried. It seems fantastic at first, what could be better than cold ice constantly in touch with the pipe? The problem is that when the run starts, the pipe heats up and melts the ice immediately surrounding the pipe. After that, you might as well have nothing there. With ice water, when a little bit of ice comes into contact with the hot pipe, it melts a bit, but cold water immediately takes its place and keeps everything cool. Just stick with ice water and throw in some salt to lower the temp a bit if you want. Hope this helps!
Yakatony sagt: Jul 12, 2013. 3:16 vorm.
I have scoured your information and cannot find how much bakers yeast to to use or about a "starter" Please respond by email. Thanks Yakatony
mikemostly sagt: Nov 3, 2013. 11:14 nachm.
I would only used bakers yeast if you're in a pinch as it won't ferment to that high of a proof (and makes things taste kind of bread like). You can pick up distillers (or liquor) yeast online that will go up to 20%+ ABV and I would recommend that or at the very least a wine yeast as that will get you to about 14%. You really don't need to measure it either (I've usually used a sprinkle (maybe a teaspoon) per gallon) because as the yeast gets going it will multiply quickly so there's no real reason to overdo it with your yeast and waste the stuff.
Yakatony sagt: Jul 12, 2013. 3:01 vorm.
I have scoured your information and cannot find how much bakers yeast to to use or about a "starter" Please respond. Thanks Yakatony
thoughtpolice sagt: Jul 2, 2013. 3:39 vorm.

My reply comment box wouldn't work ...

Thanks for this(your comment), why spend the money when you can just use the old bread!

"I think that's how they make pruno in jail, cuz i know you can't order brewer's yeast on commissary" ------- LMAO!
Jackoffmanytrades sagt: Mai 17, 2013. 6:23 nachm.
People didn't go blind from the methanol they went blind from the lead in the solder. Also some makers used old automobile radiators to cool down the product that's another reason why also metals other then copper or stainless. Alot of makers used whatever they could to make that cash from their shine.
wanabepro sagt: Apr 9, 2013. 4:21 nachm.
thank you pdud
if the thermometer is in the liquid what would the temperature brakes be for the head and tail
wanabepro sagt: Apr 9, 2013. 8:20 vorm.
I would like some info on installing a thermometer in my distiller .should I install the probe in the top to read the temperature of the vapor or in the bottom to read the liquid.
please help
pdub77 sagt: Apr 9, 2013. 11:08 vorm.
The thermometer should go in the liquid and not touch the sides or bottom of the still.
Dogric sagt: Mär 18, 2013. 2:56 nachm.
How long can the wash/mesh sit after it stops bubbling? Does it effect the Alcohol?
Pantera22802 sagt: Mär 14, 2013. 2:30 nachm.
Watch this video this guy has a better still and explains it a lot better! He knows what he is doing! You only throw the head of the 1st run away and add the tails to the next run makes no sence to throw the tails away otherwise why not just turn the still off! Think about that.
Dogric sagt: Mär 10, 2013. 10:01 vorm.
Do I need to throw out the head and tail on the second and third run?
Pantera22802 sagt: Mär 14, 2013. 1:35 nachm.
No you don't have to throw the heads away on the 2nd run if you threw them away on the 1st run and the tails always keep them and add them to next run because they still have good alcohol in them.
no+clue sagt: Feb 11, 2013. 6:14 nachm.
is the coupler copper like the tubing
mikemostly sagt: Nov 3, 2013. 11:08 nachm.
The 'coupler' looks to be a Swagelok union made for 1/4" tubing (the outer diameter of the copper tubing he used) and is made of brass not copper. They come in all sorts of materials and a stainless or brass one should work fine (I'd avoid aluminum). You can either get them online at the swagelok website or probably find something like them at your hardware store.
TJ72 sagt: Jan 27, 2013. 7:47 nachm.
Actually anything over 100 proof or 50% alcohol will burn. You claimed 150 proof.
tony5120 sagt: Jan 26, 2013. 4:46 nachm.
when running your product for the second time do you use the same water or do you need clean water. just made first batch and need some help
Pantera22802 sagt: Mär 14, 2013. 2:37 nachm.
You dont use any water your putting the alcohol back in the still to reduce the impurities and up the proof
BullFrog22 sagt: Jan 18, 2013. 11:30 nachm.
Just curious as to how high you turned the heat up on your stove. And can I just run the heat until it gets between 153 and 172 to get out the methanol, then when thats done boiling off turn it up to hit the ideal temp of approx. 173 to get the ethanol or should I keep it at a constant setting the whole time and let the temp. climb. Just a little unclear. Sorry if you've answered this already. I read all the comments and was never clear on that.
moonshine+dave sagt: Dez 29, 2012. 9:24 vorm.
illegal as it is there are some who continue to keep one of the oldest professions active (ain’t life great).
Yes making alcohol is one of the oldest professions, this one led to the other oldest profession we hear about.
Not that I would admit to making this myself, due to the federal laws prohibiting the distilling of spirits….

I have heard that to make a wash, use 18 pound of table sugar adding enough luke warm water till you have
6 ½ gallons of wash. Stir in a package of “Turbo Yeast”, seal the fermenter and let it go till bubbling has quit. If the wash is cloudy, use “Turbo Clear”. When the wash is clear, siphon off into the still and go for it.
I have heard that it will take several hours to distill a wash this size using a 7 gallon pot still and produce around 21/2 to 3 1.75 liter bottles of 130 proof moonshine, it varies.
Turbo Yeast, Turbo Clear, fermenting containers, 7 gallon still can be obtained at the local wine/beer making store or online.

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people and make you think people are laughing WITH you.
wicked_acer sagt: Dez 16, 2012. 2:50 nachm.
what does it mean if you are boiling the stuff and it passes 174 and stops at 200 but is still producing spirts? is it still safe to drink?
mikemostly sagt: Nov 3, 2013. 11:37 nachm.
It means your proof is way down, as you run things the temperature will climb from the boiling point of pure ethanol and as it gets higher you're getting less alcohol in your final product. It's probably safe to drink as it's still just ethanol and water but it's not going to be very strong and may start getting a bad taste.
ppires00 sagt: Dez 16, 2012. 8:11 vorm.
i was just reading some of these post to learn more cause there is always something to learn about this hobby. i have been learning about this for about 4 years . and the one thing i learn is if you making high proof stuff inside your house on your stove you need to stop a pot with paper clips and tape around the copper please stop befor you hurt yourself and your family the steam at 173 degrees if it escapes you will hate your self for the rest of your life if you even make it. it took me a year to build a proper still and make my first run this stuff is a art and there alot of info on the net to do it right take your time dont rush if you have questions orneed help with something ask ask ask ill even ansewer anything i can but i ony ansewer if i know the ansewer to be a fact not a opinion

mookiex4 sagt: Jan 2, 2013. 10:41 vorm.
Water boils at around 212 and depending on altitude where you live Alcohol will vaporize at 168 to 174. If you run too hot all you have to do is call that a stripping run and do a distillation run as a second run.
kevans59 sagt: Dez 6, 2012. 4:21 nachm.
what would be a good frist run and the measuremint of mash in a 5 gallon jar and how long to let it sit
madmans+firework+emporium sagt: Dez 6, 2012. 4:15 nachm.
if the tails are only water, why do you need to remove them? are they detrimental to the final product?
lukeyj15 sagt: Dez 17, 2012. 5:34 nachm.
They water it down, and you end up with the by-products of yeast in the final product. What professional vodka producers do is get the proof as high as they can, filter the vodka heaps, and then dilute it to a drinkable proof with pure water. It just yields a cleaner result.
mookiex4 sagt: Jan 2, 2013. 10:37 vorm.
The tails contain any remaining sediment that may have passed when filling the distiller. It will ruin the flavor of the product. Not to mention if you just keep distilling like Vodka. if you read the bottles of vodka that say they are triple distilled or more, what theya re saying is they have distilled all flavors from the product and it is as pure as it can become.
amarlar sagt: Dez 5, 2012. 4:32 nachm.
How much yeast should I pour in?
cantrellsp sagt: Nov 9, 2012. 8:23 nachm.
hey pdub I hope your still responding. I have a quick question. Throw everything out until it reaches 173 degrees. Then do you immediatly want to keep the 173-2105 degree product or should you wait a few minutes once it hits 173 to make sure all the methanol is out??
cantrellsp sagt: Nov 9, 2012. 8:24 nachm.
173-205 degree sorry typo
munkeyman22 sagt: Nov 8, 2012. 2 nachm.
ok so after i put the wash into the kettle and i dis gaurd the head n tail must i do this every time i put wash into the kettle since the whole wash will not fit all into the small kettle, remember this is all still from the same wash
zombiefire sagt: Okt 18, 2012. 6:57 vorm.
could you add some tags please cos i dont understand the pic's much
MoonShineRun sagt: Okt 4, 2012. 1:12 nachm.
cjsellers sagt: Sep 8, 2012. 10:49 nachm.
So far I have done about 5 runs, 2 with plain white sugar and 3 (including a double distillation) with brown sugar and honey. My problem may be that Im not aging it much but mine has an absolutely horrible taste that makes it almost undrinkable, even with flavoring and cutting. Almost like a bitter taste. I thought that distilling it twice would help cure it but it didn't. Any suggestions?

Also, Im cutting the heads and tails off and strictly using the body with a pot still. Ive let them all ferment anywhere from 7-10 days. I use about 2 lbs of sugar for every gallon of water, then mix with my activated yeast mix (heated to about 110 to activate it in one gallon of water).

Its been forever since ive tasted shine but I dont remember it tasting like this. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!:)
wakojako sagt: Sep 7, 2012. 8:47 vorm.
This springs to mind......
cheif+lemaster sagt: Aug 14, 2012. 9:37 vorm.
pdub77 i am lil confused on your heads and tails.. what are they???
RichardBronosky sagt: Nov 7, 2012. 9:15 nachm.
Heads = what boils off first (at low temp, Methanol)
Tails = what boils off last (at high temp, Water)
Middles = what boils off after the Heads but before the Tails (at ~173°F, Ethanol)

I hope that helps.

What's really fascinating is why the temperature plateaus and only a certain liquid boils off. To understand this you will learn about the definition of a calorie[1] (or gram calorie). Specifically, 1 calorie is the amount energy required to raise 1 gram (or cc) of water by 1 degree centigrade. That is until it reaches its boiling temp. (Here is where it gets interesting.) At boiling temperature (100°C), it takes an additional 540 calories to evaporate 1 gram of water. That's a big difference between 1 calorie and 540 calories. The Associative Property of multiplication allow us to state that another way: The energy that could raise 540 grams of water 1 degree, goes into evaporating a single gram of water. Let's apply this!

The energy required to raise the temp of a solution is going to be absorbed and used in the "power hungry" endothermic evaporation process of the part of the solution with the lowest boiling point. You don't have to be very precise with your heat delivery because evaporation is taking drastically more energy than raising the temperature. What you do have to be careful about is the precision of your temperature measurement.

crusher243 sagt: Aug 5, 2012. 10:10 nachm.
a few questions, how, and in what stage of the process would you mix in yams? And what is the co2 device on top of your carboy, and where could one be found?
crusher243 sagt: Aug 5, 2012. 10:21 nachm.
and, in place of that device, couldnt i just poke a hole in the cap, or leave the cap off? and another, it obviously takes time for the methanol to evaporate and then condense, so if you swapped containers as soon as the temp started to change, wouldn't your wash get some residual methanol in it?
jjay01 sagt: Jul 15, 2012. 9 nachm.
hey pdub77,
i've done a test run with no temp checks or breaks, just boil till i got results to see that my setup worked. when i tried to do a second and proper run i didn't notice any temp break or run off at or around 148 F. i raised the temp as slowly as i could specifically to look for the temp break and make sure i got all the methanol to clear out. did i do something wrong or am i missing something. hopefully you still follow and have a moment to reply. in the mean time i am going to have another go at it. either way, thanks for the work you put into this!
jjay01 sagt: Jul 15, 2012. 9:52 nachm.
i should clarify this was a second wash, not a second run of the first.
harbar1232 sagt: Aug 22, 2012. 12:21 vorm.
There actually should not be a temp break for methanol for a sugar only wash. What I've found out online is that methanol is a bi-product when fermenting a wash that is made using fruit that contains pectin. The amount of methanol that could end up in a sugar only wash would be totally negligible, if any. You can discard the foreshot on your first run if you want to be extra cautious, but there should be no methanol at all generated if you follow the recipe in this instructable.
RandomChurchB sagt: Jun 30, 2012. 9:59 nachm.
Can you give an estimate of how much moonshine you'll get using the three or so gallons of wash?
%7EKGB%7E sagt: Apr 10, 2012. 2:55 nachm.
Do you actually have to use malt or is it ok just to use: yeast, corn meal, water and sugar? Also, how much of each component would you need for about a 1Ltr kettel? Thanks...
mikemostly sagt: Nov 3, 2013. 11:43 nachm.
Anything with sugar in it for the yeast to eat will do. A mixture of sugar and water works fine but it's rather boring (about about 1.5 to 2 cups sugar in a liter of water should be a good starting point). You can get a bit more festive and do something like pick up some apple juice and add a 1/2 cup sugar per liter and ferment that for a bit of flavor and a nice smell to the shine. Yeast wise I'd only use a small sprinkle for a liter of mash say 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.
chillbro89 sagt: Mär 31, 2012. 1:26 nachm.
The information here is awesome thanx for the all the help. a friend and i are wanting to make moonshine for the first time, and your information is great, plus all the feedback from everyone gives some great ideas. the only thing im fuzzy on is disolvinging the sugar water. what is the temp for heating it. should it be to a boil? after it has fermented will it still be a liquid that you will be distilling or a past? If i were to use cornmeal or some kind of grain, from other articles ive read that will be a mash so would there be any other information I would need to know about making a mash? thanx again for all the information!
milokeller sagt: Mär 21, 2012. 9:18 vorm.
I was wondering how long the distilling process would take if i used about 5 gallons of water in teh mash like you suggested and used a tea kettle about the size or yours? I'm on sort of a time constraint with the distilling. How long would it take to distill all the mash?
stevegrimmer sagt: Mär 2, 2012. 9:53 vorm.
just made my first batch of spirit. got 500ml out of 1 gallon wash. just need to know roughly how much water to add, and do i add water to spirit or spirit to water. only did a gallon because that size of my pressure cooker. ive added some pics of my set up. please help.
mikemostly sagt: Nov 3, 2013. 11:50 nachm.
There's no way to tell you from your pictures/set up/run (good idea with the pressure cooker though). There are too many variables like your mash ABV, column size, run temperature, and run length. I'd recommend you buy a hydrometer to test your final product proof to make sure you always know where you're at (they're really easy to use and not all that expensive). Experienced moonshiners can shake their product and guess proof (the air bubbles on the surface after you shake it disappear more quickly the higher the proof is) so what you could do if you don't want to invest in a hydrometer is buy a bottle of 80 proof vodka, shake it, shake your shine, compare the two, and add water to your shine until the two have bubbles that behave the same. If the bubbles on the surface of your shine last longer than that of the vodka you're already below 80 proof and shouldn't cut it with any water.
Motox1 sagt: Feb 23, 2012. 2:46 nachm.
Can you tell me about how much distilled product one could expect from a mash recipe using the 5lbs sugar, 1lb of corn meal, 5 gallons of water and a packet or 2 of yeast. Also I think I understand the getting rid of the head comments but what is the tail referring to? Thanks a ton!
bobby73 sagt: Mai 14, 2012. 7:13 vorm.
I am using a mash of 2 gals distilled water, 4 lbs sugar, 2 lbs corn meal and 3 packs of Redstar quick yeast. I usualy get between 3 and 4 pints of spirit. The head is the first stuff to distill off that is not good for you, i.e. methanol it has a lower boiling point so it comes off first. The tail is referring to the end of the run when the mash in your still is approaching 212 degrees when water starts to boil and you are getting watered down alcohol. I use a spoon to sip it along the way as it is coming out of the worm to tell which stage it is in. But i would advise to spit don't swallow as swallowing tends to affect judgement fairly quickly.
faked sagt: Feb 21, 2012. 11:11 vorm.
Do you have to have a thumper on a moonshine stil?
bossyshiner sagt: Jan 28, 2012. 12:23 nachm.
pdub thanks so much for sharing your info. This has been a great stepping stone for me. I have my first batch bubbling right now. I used sweet horse feed with sugar and turbo yeast ( super yeast by LIQUOR QUIK). has anyone done this before or am i crazy???
PAShiner sagt: Jan 24, 2012. 5:15 nachm.
Clearer pics maybe? Im not a photographer
pdub77 sagt: Jan 24, 2012. 5:23 nachm.
Nice work! Thanks for the pics.
PAShiner sagt: Jan 24, 2012. 4:52 nachm.
This really is a great instructable to get started. Ive seriously read all 860 or so comments on this and im so sick of reading the word methanol. In the last few months and distilled and consumed a few gallons on my homemade shine and ya know what happened? I got drunk! Everytime! AND i just had an eye exam at work and im still 20/20. So methanol can suck it. Ive made the mash with corn, water, sugar and yeast and i also made a wash with just sugar, water and yeast. The difference is negligible really. Im trying to add a few pics of my basic pot still and a spoonful burning blue after one run. Im thinking of trying one the the Turbo yeasts. Anyone try them yet? All of the ones ive seen for sale are measured in metric and im too lazy to convert it. Any ideas what yeast i should try? Ive been using just regular bread yeast or whatever its called. The 3 little packs that are all connected. The work fine, proof being the buring spoon after 1 run.. The pic of the still is hard to see, ive read so much on here, id be willing to answer and questions. In regard to those who arent getting any distillate until 200, id let your mash/wash ferment longer, few days. You're getting alcohol but there isnt very much in the initial wash. Starting with more alcohol=lower temps.
whodatxxsaints sagt: Jan 24, 2012. 10:20 vorm.
pdub, great instructable man. I followed most of your steps except for the thermometer part. I made my own pressure cooker and it worked well but the only problem I had was nothing came out of my condenser until about 200-205 degrees and kept producing but just stayed at about 205. I went and bought an analog thermometer. I mean, it still made alcohol but just wasnt very strong and i didnt kno wether it was safe or not to drink. Any suggestions?
friger sagt: Jan 23, 2012. 9:09 vorm.
Loved this instructable, Had to try it myself. I made a mash from 2 lbs. of molasses and one gallon of water. Boiled the solution, let it cool, pitched some yeast and let it go for about a month. My gravity readings showed it to be 15%. I did 2 runs and it is currently being infused with whiskey barrel wood chips. I would guess it is easily 80% or better, has a nice blue flame when lit. Any suggestions on cutting it?
pdub77 sagt: Jan 24, 2012. 5:22 nachm.
Nice work! I would definitely cut it as it is too easy to get in trouble with alcohol of this proof. I would use the best water you have and see how it tastes with a little bit and then go from there if you like it. You can also put fruit or coffee beans, vanilla beans or whatever in the liquor and let it sit for a while to infuse if you want flavors and then add some water.

Thanks for the pics!
jcain1983 sagt: Jan 23, 2012. 7:10 vorm.
How much did you end up with after the first run? and after you run it back through how much do u lose?
fredricksburgthethird sagt: Jan 22, 2012. 4:47 nachm.
be very careful when attempting this... i used a very similar setup except had a tea kettle with lid, and it blew its top spewing 200 degree mash all over my hand. very painful. i want to try it again but im not sure anything that i can put together will handle this much pressure.
pdub77 sagt: Jan 22, 2012. 5:39 nachm.
There should not be any high pressure at all. If there is pressure building you have done something wrong or there is a blockage somewhere. I'm sorry about your hand, dude.
Mr.Cuddles sagt: Jan 19, 2012. 3:33 nachm.
This is a great instructable. Thank you for your time and effort to get this information out there. I do have a question though. I've read quite a bit of the comments, and of course all of the instructable and didn't see the answer unless I missed it. At which point would you be flavoring it? I've had straight moonshine and loved it.(I'm a drinker and drink pretty much anything) I've been wanting to try apple and strawberry and I started wondering at which point in this process do you flavor it with, lets say, in this case.

I'm still not 100% committed on verifying the validity of your hypothetical process ;), but with a little more research, and when I'm sure I could do this without any negative side effects (aside from a little buzz), I sure hope to give it a shot.

Btw, a little off topic but I'm amazed at some comments I've read. Some people just don't get the fact that how a person's words sound when they're spoken, isn't quite the way it needs to be typed on a public site. I've now made a judgement on all of you based solely on your comments. lol
pdub77 sagt: Jan 19, 2012. 3:43 nachm.
LOL. If I were going to flavor this particular beverage and I was creating a neutral spirit like I did in the Instructable I would flavor it at the end prior to drinking it. Distilling will remove the vast majority of flavoring with the exception of the character the ethanol itself takes on during the fermentation process. You can always place fruit or whatever in a container with your final product and let that age for a while or store it in a charred barrel (like a lot of whiskeys) or something like that as well. Hope this helps and thanks for the kind words!
jjll31 sagt: Jan 17, 2012. 7:41 vorm.
I started a wash by using 20oz of wheat germ, 5 pounds of sugar warmed melted and cooled then added 4 packs of yeast. Its in a 6 gallon bucket with air lock. for 48 hours it bubble well fizzed reaally well now its pretty slow. Its been at about 70 degrees and I was wonder if it doing ok. my first time with a wash and most articles say it takes at least a week?
johnthehandyman sagt: Jan 11, 2012. 3:10 nachm.
Hey I understand everything on here. But at the ferminating process do you absolutely need the airlock tip?
pdub77 sagt: Jan 11, 2012. 3:50 nachm.
The airlock allows carbon dioxide (a byproduct or fermentation) to escape while not allowing harmful bacteria to enter. Is it absolutely necessary? No. Is it preferable and will it possibly save you some time, energy and money? Yes. There are many methods to do this, though. Just google it and you can find many different ways to make an airlock or substitue something. Even a piece of saran wrap rubber banded over the top can work. It doesn't have to be perfect, but if bad yeast and bacteria get in, your product is ruined and you may not find this out for weeks.
kurdcroat sagt: Jan 15, 2012. 5:47 vorm.
Just so I understand, you use a basic brewing yeast? I'm a homebrewer and can get that easily, but wanted to be sure what type of yeast. thanks.
Eco-Ethanol sagt: Jan 9, 2012. 12:06 vorm.
To purchase a real Ethanol Still go to and get a professional one like in the picture
pdub77 sagt: Jan 9, 2012. 6:32 vorm.
I would prefer you didn't advertise on my Instructable. This site is about building and making things, not about buying them ready-made.
Eco-Ethanol sagt: Jan 9, 2012. 8:58 vorm.
These are made at cost, and are only to help people get started making their own ethanol, we also sell the parts needed to make the reflux stills like on your forum, so is your interest in helping people or not, because that is our intent, we really don't profit much on these, this is my hobby as well
darden89 sagt: Jan 8, 2012. 11:27 vorm.
Can you put corn mass into a pot still and still get the same results as you would with a suger/water mash?
deaconkane sagt: Jan 2, 2012. 5:54 nachm.
how much yeast for this brew? lol
bobby73 sagt: Jan 3, 2012. 2:30 nachm.
3 packs
emeghaq sagt: Jan 16, 2012. 1:41 nachm.
3 packs of the packets or 9 individual packs
bobby73 sagt: Jan 16, 2012. 4:26 nachm.
Just 3 packs or 3/4 oz.
bobby73 sagt: Dez 31, 2011. 5:06 nachm.
I bought brewers yeast at the health food store but after I got home I was reading on it and found it is the yeast that has already been used to brew beer... will this work or do I need a different type?
pdub77 sagt: Dez 31, 2011. 6:02 nachm.
That may still work. Dried does not indicate any problem as yeast can be dried and "reawakened" over and over. As long as it was not pasteurized or otherwise heated until death it should work. Try mixing some of whatever sugar you will be fermenting with about a pint of warm (not hot) water and drop a teaspoon or so of your yeast into it. Let it sit for the day or overnight or until you see bubbles forming, whatever happens first. If it begins bubbling and foaming you have live yeast and you can pitch this mixture into your wash. If nothing happens it is dead and you will need to use something else. I have never seen this product or know anything about how it is processed, this is just how to make a basic yeast starter that will show you if your yeast is still viable.

Anyone else care to weigh in on this?
bobby73 sagt: Jan 2, 2012. 9:19 vorm.
Thanks for your reply, I have done a little more research and figured out I was trying to use dietary yeast.... no good :) it can't be live as it is a food additive for vegans, however I am on the right track now after dumping that batch. i added about a pond and a half of corn meal to the mix
bobby73 sagt: Jan 2, 2012. 9:36 vorm.
Also I made my own air lock by sealing a piece of rubber tubing in the top of my fermenting bottle and running it into a 20 oz. bottle half filled with water. Any one know if this will work?
pdub77 sagt: Jan 2, 2012. 9:44 vorm.
That should work great. Post pics if you can. How to make an airlock is a question that has been asked many, many times. Thanks!
bobby73 sagt: Jan 2, 2012. 10:20 vorm.
Sorry for the bad picture it was taken on my cell phone
pdub77 sagt: Jan 2, 2012. 6:24 nachm.
No worries. Thanks for posting!
bobby73 sagt: Jan 3, 2012. 2:05 nachm.
a better picture
pdub77 sagt: Jan 3, 2012. 3:01 nachm.
Looks great!
bobby73 sagt: Jan 3, 2012. 5:34 nachm.
It works pretty good to, its just bubbling away
chillbro89 sagt: Mär 31, 2012. 1:14 nachm.
is the tube in the water, and is the water bottle sealed? thanx for the great idea btw
bobby73 sagt: Apr 1, 2012. 3:51 nachm.
Yes the tube is in the water and No it is not sealed. It needs to be able to release the gases when it bubbles. It works pretty good. I hope it helps
bobby73 sagt: Apr 1, 2012. 3:54 nachm.
I'm sorry... did you mean the 5 gal. water bottle? If so yes it needs to be air tight except the tubing going into the 20 oz. bottle whith water in it which you do not want sealed
tricker69 sagt: Jan 26, 2012. 7:08 nachm.
Brewers yeast from health food stores are sold as natural health supplements. According to the warnings/disclaimers, it seems it might have the potential to be live.
Considering the price of a packet of yeast used in homebrew libations to be extremely cheap, I would avoid the supplement kind sold in natural health shops.
Abrnth3 sagt: Feb 10, 2012. 6:23 nachm.
No, you would need a yeast that is active and for more alchol you need a strain that is alchol resistant.
Due51 sagt: Dez 22, 2011. 7:05 nachm.
I have a small, single coil electric burner that I plan on using as my hear source. My question pertains to the various boiling points. Do I set my burner to say medium high to achieve the 148degrees, distill the heads (and discard), then crank up my burner to get to 173? Or do I just put it on high and let her rip?
pdub77 sagt: Dez 23, 2011. 3:43 vorm.
Let her rip.
chris1817 sagt: Dez 19, 2011. 7:44 vorm.
If I use 5 pounds of sugar and 3 gallons of water how much drinkable ethanol will I obtain in the end?
peter+downey sagt: Dez 16, 2011. 5:50 nachm.
were do I get an airlock or how do I make one I dont understand that part
Jrogers3350 sagt: Dez 14, 2011. 1:25 vorm.
First off I just wanted to say thanks for putting this up here, my family has a lot of heritage in the moonshine era and me and my brother have been wanting to take a gander down that road. After reading this plus doing some more research I think i've found most of the information i need. This has definitely helped out a bunch. Only question i have is have you ever heard/thought of using a beer keg as the pot? I've been doing a little research into this as i have an extra one laying around and thinking about using it. Just wanted to know if maybe there was any dangers i should be aware of depending on the type of metal it is and such... thanks so much again!!!
pdub77 sagt: Dez 14, 2011. 5:46 vorm.
I'm sorry but I have no idea what kind of metals are in a beer keg and if it would work. Aluminum would be a wild guess. Unfortunately I can't give you advice on this one. Thanks for the kind words, though.
scoonr sagt: Dez 22, 2011. 11 vorm.
beer kegs are stainless steel and work quite well for your pot. I assume you have already found some instruction on how to make your still. Mine is a column reflux type and I have just made my first batch. It worked very well although it was pretty expensive. by the time i got raching rings (small ceramic rings for condensation in the column) I was into it around $600.00, sure hope I like the taste of the stuff as it will take some time to break even. The experience alone of making some is worth most of what I have spent.
pdub77 sagt: Dez 22, 2011. 6:10 nachm.
Thanks for the info, scoonr. Care to share any pics?
scoonr sagt: Dez 23, 2011. 10:43 nachm.
sure thing i will take a few and share them soon, and i want to thank you for your "plateau" explanation of the boiling points of methanol and ethanol. I was very concerned about the whole heads and tails situation as I had heard it in terms of percentages that you toss out before and that seemed a bit risky to me. Any way i distilled my first shine yesterday out of a batch of pear wine that i had recently fermented. not only was I able to see the plateau happening on the thermometer it was also evident in the flow coming out of the still as the different stages kicked off. I only ran it once and it came out nice. Very smooth, had a slight taste of pear left in it and it burned a nice blue flame.
scoonr sagt: Dez 26, 2011. 11:18 nachm.
hi pdub here are the pics i promised. beer keg on a banjo burner. 36 inch tall reflux shown here making distilled water.
pdub77 sagt: Dez 27, 2011. 5:57 vorm.
That's fantastic! This is taking it to the next level. Thank you so much for sharing.
scoonr sagt: Dez 27, 2011. 10:20 nachm.
thank you sir this is cool to be able to share. to bad its not over a shot.

Bootleggers+Son sagt: Nov 28, 2011. 3:56 nachm.
Pdub77....You explained this wonderful!! I am actually a Bootleggers Son...I was raised in a Bootlegging Joint!! I really like the way you explain Head and Tails!

Thanks so Much!! Nice to read something that the person knows wht they are talking about!!


pdub77 sagt: Dez 22, 2011. 6:11 nachm.
I appreciate your kind words!
ntwalk sagt: Nov 19, 2011. 6:34 nachm.
Ohh yeah. For my question, (didn't have time to read through all the comments for the answer) is it necessary to play a Strat after completiton or could I pick around on any strings? :-)
pdub77 sagt: Nov 25, 2011. 8:05 nachm.
That was my roommate's. I prefer a Les Paul.
ntwalk sagt: Nov 19, 2011. 6:24 nachm.
Thanks for the info pdub. I made this in sophomore year to run a moped and needed a refreshing course. You are a good humorous instructor and deserve props. So here's to ya.

"All whiskey ain't the same good moonshine burns with a clear blue flame" - Tom Gray
kchawk46 sagt: Nov 5, 2011. 1:19 nachm.
what if your boiling temp goes past 174 and reaches 200 and holds there. Is something not right?
LiquidLightning sagt: Mai 30, 2012. 3:29 nachm.
Boiling point of ethanol is 78.4C i think. Water is 100C. Ethanol/water mix is 78.2C. When it goes to 200F the ethanol has all boiled away.
tlind44 sagt: Nov 3, 2011. 7:57 nachm.
Hey, I don't mean to sound dumb, but I figure better safe than sorry, right? If the wash is just sugar and water like you described, the heads and the tails won't be dangerous, right? Not that I'm planning to drink the heads and tails, or even try this for that matter, but if I were to make a mistake with the temperature or change the containers at the wrong time or something, would the heads, tails, distillate, or a mixture of the two or three of the products of the sugar and water wash do all the horrible horrible things to me that were described above?
bertzie sagt: Dez 7, 2011. 8:39 nachm.
The heads are what get you, since they contain methanol. This is true regardless of what the source of the sugar is. DO NOT DRINK THE HEADS. The best time to switch from the head container is after it's hit the second plateau. You lose a little lightening, but it's far safer.

The tail is just when you've got all the ethanol, (the drinkable alcohol) out of the pot, and it's starting to boil the water. You get rid of the tail mostly because it's just watered down alcohol.

Let me repeat myself. The methanol is what does the horrible things to you.
cdousley sagt: Okt 30, 2011. 8:54 nachm.
how strong does this smell to make/ferment?
xfirexstarzx sagt: Nov 14, 2011. 3:47 vorm.
It doesn't smell very strong. Honestly, the only smell I noticed was a yeasty smell. Sorta like bread... not that I've ever done this or anything.
bbernard2 sagt: Okt 7, 2011. 11:39 vorm.
I basically want to make fuel and not for the purpose of drinking. For now anyway. Would I be able to use a 55 gallon drum (plastic)?
cdousley sagt: Okt 19, 2011. 6:32 nachm.
I dont see why not, ive seen drinking alcohol fermented in a plastic bucket. It should be fine.
mburns9 sagt: Okt 6, 2011. 11:36 nachm.
i have 3 questions how did you build the carberatuer on the top of the carboy? how much and what type of yeast did put into your wash? and what temp do i need to bring the condensed material to before i let it dump into the catch tray?
glloyd203 sagt: Sep 17, 2011. 10:01 nachm.
soo wait how much yeast is supposed to go into the wash?
RummmRunner sagt: Aug 30, 2011. 2:29 nachm.
Here is something interesting that I found online and thought I would pass it on.

15 lbs (6.8 kg) white sugar
24 oz molasses
5 tbsp yeast nutrient
2 tsp yeast energizer
yeast starter (see below)

To make yeast starter: Dissolve 4 tbsp Red Star brand Distiller's Yeast in 3 cups water at 93-97 degrees F (34-36C). Add 1 tbsp molasses, and 2 tbsp white sugar. Stir or shake until disolved and cover. Let sit, shaking occasionally for 1/2 hour to 1 hour.

Heat 1 gal (4L) water to almost boiling, pour into fermentor. Disolve 10 lbs sugar, molasses, yeast nutrient, and yeast energizer into hot water. Top up to 6 Gallons (23L) with cold water keeping temperature at 85- 89 degrees F (29-32C). Stir until well mixed. Pour yeast starter into fermentor and stir briskly. Put lid and air lock on fermentor.

After a few minutes, the ailock should start bubbling briskly. Keep wort at 85 degrees F (29C) for the duration of fermentation.
When you have a mixture of liquids, each with its own boiling point when pure, then the boiling point of the mix will lie somewhere in the middle, and this will depend on the relative concentrations of each liquid. Pure water boils at 100 deg C, and pure ethanol boils at 78.5 deg C, but a mixture of water and ethanol will boil at some point in between. The major point about distillation is that when a mixture like that boils, then the vapour given off is richer in the most volatile component, and when that vapour condenses then the resulting liquid has a lower boiling point than the mix it came from. By repeating this boiling and recondensation process up a column, using packing to hold the condensed liquid at each stage, you can separate the components more and more.

So if you have a mixture of liquids each with a different boiling point, then you heat the mixture, it will heat up until the new intermediate boiling point is reached. When you first start a distilling run, the packing in the column will be at room temperature, so vapour given off by the boiler condenses on the first cool packing it reaches. In condensing, the vapour gives up a lot of heat, and this warms that packing until the liquid on it boils again. However, this liquid is richer in volatiles than the mix in the boiler, so its boiling point is lower. When it does boil again, from the heat given off by more condensing vapour, what you get is even richer in those most volatile components. This process of boiling and condensing continues up the column and, because the condensed liquid is always getting richer in volatiles, the temperature gradually falls the higher you go. The temperature at any point is governed solely by the boiling point of that liquid mix, and any attempt to interfere with that process will disrupt the separation that Nature is carrying out automatically.

In contrast, the boiling point of the mix left in the boiler will very slowly start to rise as it is left with less and less of the most volatile components.

If you started with a mixture (fermented wash) that is mostly water & ethanol, with trace amounts of methanol, propanol, etc. then the net result will be that the most volatile components will tend to rise in greater quantity up the column than their less volatile cousins, and will be found in greatest concentration at the top. This would mean that methanol, the most volatile of the lot, will win the race and you will able to collect it and set it aside. This continues until you have collected all of the "heads" (components that are more volatile than ethanol), and you can then collect just ethanol with a trace of water. You cannot get rid of that small amount of water, as once you reach a mix of 96.5% ethanol/water, with a boiling point of 78.2 deg C, then you have reached a stable mix that no amount of re-boiling and re-condensation can change (at normal atmospheric pressure).

Once you have collected the main bulk of ethanol, then the components that are less volatile than ethanol, such as propanol and the bigger organic molecules, will start to reach the top, and you will have arrived at the stage called the "tails". These "tails" may be recycled in the next batch you do, for they still contain a lot of ethanol, or a proportion may be retained as they contain many of the compounds that give a spirit a distinctive flavour, like whiskey or rum.

Note that you are not changing any part of your original brew - you're not "making" the alcohol, or converting it to something else or nasty. All you are doing is concentrating off the original brew into its various parts. There is no more methanol after you finish than what you started with. What does happen though, is that because most of the methanol comes off at once (first up), it is highly concentrated, and can damage you. You definately don't want to be sampling the first portion of distillate that you collect. But once you have thrown away this part, you have guaranteed that the remaining distillate is safe enough to partake of.
dwillingham1 sagt: Aug 28, 2011. 8:08 nachm.
with your wash 5lbs of sugar to 3G of water how much yeast would i put in it
UnknownTennesseeBoy1 sagt: Sep 20, 2011. 2:12 vorm.
5lbs 3gs... Using digital scale u would want to use 3.84 on a regular scale damn near close to 4gs
titans1366 sagt: Nov 29, 2011. 10:42 nachm.
Is that 5 lbs sugar, 3 gallons water, and 4 grams of yeast?
techno+guy sagt: Aug 4, 2011. 10:08 nachm.
Could I just use normal beer and distill that to make a consumable ethanol product?
techno+guy sagt: Aug 2, 2011. 10:07 vorm.
How do you check the proof of your product, and can I just mix the methanol with the ethanol since I'm planning on burning it and I'm sure that methanol burns too.
jrh065 sagt: Aug 31, 2011. 4:40 nachm.
I don't know what you're burning it in, but have you considered denatured alcohol? It's fairly cheap.
UnknownTennesseeBoy1 sagt: Sep 20, 2011. 2:08 vorm.
Use a little bit of gunpouder to test the PROOF of your product
bertzie sagt: Dez 7, 2011. 8:41 nachm.

And you can mix the methanol in when burning it, depending on how you intend to burn it. If you're going to use it under any pressure, (like say in an engine) the methanol can cause premature detonation. Not good.
techno+guy sagt: Aug 2, 2011. 9:53 vorm.
What is an airlock, and where can I get one for cheap, or make one, and is it really nescesary, and if so how do I use it?
ekjartansson sagt: Aug 3, 2011. 11:05 vorm.
3 things you will need.

Garden hose about 1 meter long.
some silicone in a tube.
a bucket of water.

cut a hole in the carboy's lid or your containers lid. make it about 80% of the size of the hose. then let the hose sit in burning hot water for about 1 minute. Squeeze the hose into the hole and close it off with some silicone.

then obviously put the other end of the hose into a bucket of water and make sure the end is below surface. (masking tape helps).
Vol4life sagt: Jun 30, 2011. 9:30 nachm.
With your wash recipe (3 gallons of water, 5pds sugar), how much did you produce and how long did it take?
cornlikker sagt: Apr 20, 2011. 5:17 nachm.
If you can't control the temp, you can always use a thump keg. There are very easy to make. My Deddy and Pawpaw always used a thump keg! Remember to always throw your front away or into the fire like my deddy did and fill your thump keg with the backins !
dmfox sagt: Mär 14, 2011. 8:11 nachm.
can i use a plastic 6 gallon bottle to let the wash sit and ferment in?
pdub77 sagt: Mär 19, 2011. 6:59 nachm.
Good advice, jmosakowski!
buddd50 sagt: Mär 13, 2011. 3:24 nachm.
I could not find brewers yeast at the store. However I did find two types of yeast by Red Star, (active dry yeast) and (quick rise yeast). I also picked up some Fleischmann's (rapid rise) yeast. This is an all naturla yeast.
Which is best to use?
pdub77 sagt: Mär 19, 2011. 7:01 nachm.
Good advice, jmosakowski!
cornlikker sagt: Apr 20, 2011. 5:29 nachm.
The rapid rise yeast will do just fine. Be sure to clean your pots and throw away your front!
rbowlin7 sagt: Aug 6, 2011. 6:58 nachm.
I have used red star yeast when just starting out in my winemaking day's, don't forget to check the use by date on the package, my mom has yeast in the cupboard that's from 2001, not good...also I think that using bakers yeast makes the wine taste funny, you can find brewers yeast on ebay for cheap...made specifically for brewing
jmosakowski sagt: Mär 10, 2011. 8:48 nachm.
i make alot of pear wine and grape wine... can i make it stronger by distilling it
we use 25 gallons of sliced up pears or 25 gallons of mashed up grapes... and 100 pounds of dissolved sugar and fill up our drums the rest of the way with water. no yeast in the grape and i cant remember how much yeast in the pear... i just wanna know how i can make it stronger
whiskymonster sagt: Jun 20, 2011. 1:55 vorm.
you can, but after distilling youll find that it will lose a hell of a lot of the fruit flavour.

try freezing some of the wine in a half gallon milk carton, and once it is frozen turn upside down with the cap off over a jug. as it thaws, the alcohol will thaw first, then a lot of the flavourings will come out as the water melts leaving much of the water as ice in the jug.

easier, legal, and keeps the taste you have worked so hard to put into the wine in the first place!

and even better, if youre not happy with the results, you can just allow it all to melt, and you have your wine back!
jkhurd1 sagt: Mär 9, 2011. 7:43 nachm.
has anyone tried this with an electric kettle? i live in an apt with a gas stove so i'm looking for a workaround. maybe a hotplate? thanks in advance!
ziva21011 sagt: Mär 6, 2011. 7:29 nachm.
The way I was taught and have allways done is while your mash is cooking pop the lid on my teapot still and smell the vapors if it smells like the base product and no acohol then it is done
Schpool sagt: Mär 4, 2011. 5:37 nachm.
would ther be a difference in the set up when useing a tea kettle with a lid and spout vs. a tea kettle without a lid, but with a spout when boiling the wash?
Caywood sagt: Feb 23, 2011. 5:45 nachm.
Thursday night sounds like a good night to be under the moon.. Thanks for all your info pdub77.. fermented juice is just about ready..5.5gal of distilled water, 18lbs of sugar and Milehi's 48 hour Turbo Yeast.. I'll be using a 82" still. All copper and stainless.. Here's a question..Should I use flour paste on all my joints? And I have some ink on my cork sheet, will that hurt anything?
Simplex4051 sagt: Feb 11, 2011. 7:11 vorm.
Pdub, thanks for this instructable, I am actually using my end product for fueling a turbocharger jet engine I am building. one thing though, which types of moonshine produce a higher proof? if it's rum, i'm going to use that for the most part.
pdub77 sagt: Feb 12, 2011. 5:40 vorm.
Proof relies on distillation, not what type of liquor. Different yeasts will yield different levels of alcohol in the fermentation process, but once you distill, that takes over. If you are using this for fuel and nothing more, just do the easiest thing possible for you and distill it to the highest levels you can.
Simplex4051 sagt: Feb 12, 2011. 10:58 vorm.
Thanks. Now to build that still!
pattermon sagt: Jan 21, 2011. 8:56 nachm.
No yeast?? Or is that for more complex spirets? (sorry.. Newbey...)
excessive.insurgence sagt: Jan 17, 2011. 10:21 vorm.
is it possible to ferment for too long? i know where a still is but im too lazy to make my own is it possible to just let it sit and wait until you get the chance to distill it?
pdub77 sagt: Feb 12, 2011. 5:41 vorm.
No, after a while the yeast will either run out of sugar to eat, or die from their own alcohol excretions. As long as bacteria does not get into your batch you should be fine.
notsogoodwitfire sagt: Jan 12, 2011. 9:18 nachm.
I used a coil from s coffee maker and also the thermometer that was apart of the coffee maker it works good b/c it mean u can boil the ally And not over do it to make it the best
mcaliber.50 sagt: Jan 12, 2011. 10:17 vorm.
i know a lot of portugese people that do this in the u.s. , and the fuzz leave them alone
lostinacrowd sagt: Jan 9, 2011. 11:55 vorm.
So, could I use an electric kettle that you plug into the wall instead? Seems like that might not be ideal...
whiskymonster sagt: Mai 9, 2011. 1:40 vorm.
no. the alcohol vapour will eat the kettle, and leech some nasty nasty stuff into the booze.
mattthomas992003 sagt: Dez 21, 2010. 8:15 nachm.
ive got that same carboy and lock 0_o
an97an sagt: Jan 16, 2011. 1:56 vorm.
I have the same carboy and lock too!
huffsg sagt: Dez 19, 2010. 12:34 nachm.
i made some and at tasted like rubbing alcohol is this right. it would burn
gilono sagt: Dez 13, 2010. 8:44 nachm.
I use a old black and white canning kettle for my cooking pot could that be bad?
markprater72 sagt: Dez 5, 2010. 5:16 nachm.
first off thanks pdub 4 the imfo. helped me alot. I just ran my 1st ever batch of shine and it went well.My recipe was 2 pounds of corn meal,5 pounds of sugar,3 and half gallons of water and 3 packs of baking yeast.I didnt use an airlock,I just put the contents in a new 4 gallon plastic trash can mixed it very well and put a garbage bag over the top.I took the bag off and checked it every day the air didnt seem to hurt it any.on the 10th day it smelled like alchohol and on the 12th day it quit bubbling,so i ran it.I used a 12 quart stainless chili pot and put 2 holes in the lid 4 my half inch copper coil and thecooking thermometer.I had a solid 10 ft of copper coil from the pot to the spout with no connecters.I used flour and water mix to seal everything.didnt get any liquid untill the temp reached around 170f .?you really gotta crank the heat to get it moving.I know its not recomended but I used a gas stove.The only time it really plateud was at 200f because that is where my thermometer I went through 4 small bags of ice plus some from the freezer(u really gotta stay on top of that).anyway I didnt have any thing to test the alchohol with but i have a good friend whose dad used to run shine alot back in the 50s and he said to try to lite it when it first comes out and if it dont burn start over.I dont know how accurate that is but it did lite easily with a match and burned a clear flame with blue around the edges.The liquid coming out was as clear as ice water.I threw out the first little bit in case there was methonol and it actually smelled different than the rest.(dont know if thats normal)I got 3 quarts out of my wash and when the liquid coming out wouldnt burn any more I shut her down.I mixed 2 parts water 1 part shine in a small glass and it still burned with ease.and let me tell ya a few swigs of this will take u where u want to go in a hurry.(not that i tried any of course)what I ended up with was much more than i expected,and was very happy with the results.Dont know why the temp wouldnt stablize,maybe i need a better thermometer.hope this helps someone and thanks for all your help.God bless
midnightblue69 sagt: Nov 28, 2010. 9 vorm.
PDub, how much usable alcohol does your kettle sized still net in 1 run? or in 2 runs? I searched back many pages and couldn't find where you already answered this. I appreciate your work here, Thanks!
radbrian sagt: Nov 27, 2010. 10:44 nachm.
is a plateau visible without the thermometer, i mean will thier be a point when the methanol stops and nothing comes out for a second than the ethonol (the goods) start flowing?
mattbomb sagt: Nov 24, 2010. 4:32 nachm.
ummm, lets say i wanted to add flavor to this, at what stadge would i add the fruit (i was thinking apples cause i love'em) would i cut them up and add them to the wash,
jmosakowski sagt: Mär 10, 2011. 8:45 nachm.
cut them up really good and add it to your sugar water... no yeast needed but it will take longer so i would add the yeast... but add it before you top it off so that it will ferment in with it. then strain it all out after it stops bubbling then distil it
pdub77 sagt: Mär 19, 2011. 6:58 nachm.
Good advice, jmosakowski!
mattbomb sagt: Apr 3, 2011. 6:02 nachm.
so i wouldn't need yeast if it was apples and sugar? cause the apples take the place of the yeast?
pdub77 sagt: Apr 4, 2011. 7:15 vorm.
He's counting on the apples having wild yeasts lingering on them. Using wild yeasts can be done and done well (think Lambic) but not all yeasts will prove to give satisfactory results. Yeast is relatively inexpensive and I recommend adding your own brewers yeast. It will ensure that your results are good. You can gamble with wild yeasts if you want. It's always fun to experiment. And if you do and you find a yeast strain you particularly like you can save it and continue using it in the future.
chinds sagt: Jun 20, 2011. 12:10 vorm.
i've heard there are still live yeast in bread and you can use that to create a culture for brewing, is that true? i think thats how they make pruno in jail, cuz i know you can't order brewer's yeast on commissary lol
pdub77 sagt: Jun 20, 2011. 4:14 vorm.
Jail house 'wine' is indeed made that way, from what I've been told.
markprater72 sagt: Nov 21, 2010. 5:12 nachm.
where do I buy an airlock and can i use a plastic bucket with a lid for fermenting.
Tbonesteak1 sagt: Nov 20, 2010. 7:41 vorm.
Can i use a plastic Water jug that looks like your glass carboy and could i use a balloon with some holes poked in it tied around the top instead of using the glass and the bubbler wich i cant seem to find???
pdub77 sagt: Nov 20, 2010. 8:46 vorm.
The jug must be clean, and the balloon will most likely work.
50+Moe sagt: Nov 17, 2010. 5:59 vorm.
Ok..., Man I love this site. I was just sitting up my distiller when it dawned on me that I had spotted something while doing research. Looking at your distiller it looked as if your thermometer was placed in the plug that you have in your kettle. This is to measure the temp of the wash that your are distilling, this I understand. However I have seen other setups that show the temp gauge in the lines or thumpers. Now setting up my distiller I just took a curious moment and placed one in the wash as you have and then placed one in the thumper. For some reason if I kept the temp in the wash at a temp of 178 degrees I never had anything show up in my thumper. Also my thumper would not get to a temp even close to 178 which left me with nothing running. But when I raised my temp in my wash to 205 and the temp in the thumper to 178, man was I getting a run from that setup that was great. My set up is just as yours but I am using a double hot plate. My kettle is on one and I have a pan of water setting on the other. Between the coil and kettle setting in the water I have two pint size mason jars that I use as a double thumper. My run goes from the kettle into one jar that I have a charcole filter sit up ( I read that filtering your run was a good thing ). Then it goes into the other jar and from there out to my cooling coils. Talk about some good stuff. I guess that my question here is why would the wash not produce anything, why do I have to up the temp until I get it to the thumper?

I am open to all info on this one. Thanks,
pdub77 sagt: Nov 17, 2010. 12:54 nachm.
I would love to see a pic of your setup. I've never used a thumper, so I cannot comment directly, but with a pic I might be able to help a bit.
Captaintat2 sagt: Dez 25, 2010. 8:29 vorm.
I have found the same problem with the temperature. I have to run my 9 liter stainless steel pressure cooker pot at 205 to get the copper tubing hot enough to run. I have 12 ft. of 1/2" copper tubing coiled in a 5 gal water bottle with the top cut off and filled with water. Works just fine. I just finished running my first batch and only got a 7% return, disappointing. My mash had 2lbs. of cornmeal, 2 lbs. of white sugar and 1/2 oz. active yeast in 5 gal of distilled water. I think I need to up the sugar content.
theoldmanthattoldya sagt: Nov 5, 2010. 9:13 nachm.
if this is just educational then why are you telling people if it holds a blue flame its safe to consume (which is completely false) its a shame your teacher didnt learn you a little about pH since methanol is considerably more acidic than ethanol a $4dollar pH test kit at any pool store or wallyworld P.S. i can make a 13% sour mash in 5 days with corn ,sugar, and water no added yeast HINT:you cant do it with chlorinated tap water (go to the creek).and if you boil it dump it because youve just destroyed enzymes and yeasts needed for fermentation thatll happen at about 164 (160-162 10 hrs is good, release enzymes dont killem)
corn ,rice ,grapes, sugarcane, dandelions, orange peels, carrots, peach peelings, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, ect all contain the yeasts and enzymes neccessary to make C2H5OH
In the 2002 Annual Report by the American Association of Poison Control Centers 2,610 exposures to methanol were reported. There were 18 deaths attributed to methanol and 55 near fatalities
pdub77 sagt: Nov 6, 2010. 6:34 vorm.
I respect your knowledge and your concern. Thank you for sharing. I did not, though, ever tell anyone that a blue flame means it is safe to drink. I have maintained throughout this instructable and in many comments thereafter that the safest way to know what is in your solution is by carefully watching the plateaus in temperature readings and matching these to known boiling temperatures of different alcohols. I have mentioned that a blue flame has some indication to the percentage of alcohol in the solution.

I concede in my instructable that this is not whiskey or traditional moonshine. This is simply a very basic wash that produces a neutral spirit. I also tell people in my instructable that this is just a basic overview and they need to do research on their own if it is something they plan to do. People may do what they wish at their own risk, which I also state at the beginning.

There are many other sites on the interwebs, not to mention other less informative instructables, concerning distillation. I respectfully ask that you go and attack them and leave this one and me alone.
theoldmanthattoldya sagt: Nov 1, 2010. 8:36 nachm.
listen i dont own a computer this was told to me by a relative,that people might try this crap and kill themselves theres a reason the government outlawed shinin and its not cause theyre greedy or mean its because this is DANGEROUS. ive been at this for years and my dad taught me first hand like my grandpa taught him. this is something that takes years to learn. on big scales 100gl at a time you take a glass and test then test again until you get good product then you start keepin it and test and test still to see when to start throwing away. you try and seperate out of a kettle and youre gonna kill yourself from methonol poisoning you shuold be taught hands on from someone who really knows what theyre doinTELL PDUB TO STOP BEFORE HE HURTS SOMEBODY
pdub77 sagt: Nov 4, 2010. 1:28 vorm.
I WAS taught firs-hand how to distill by my science teacher in the seventh grade. And I warn people that this could be dangerous in the instructable.

And what exactly should I stop doing? The instructable has been up for years now and I am not on any active campaign to promote or legalize home distillation. This is for information and science and if people want to do it they may proceed at their own risk. Find something else to spend your time fighting. There are much worse/more dangerous things to oppose.

50+Moe sagt: Nov 1, 2010. 11:27 vorm.
Here is another little question.... Lets say I had a seperate distiller sit up. If I were to say run my mash, wort or wash through it and had it sit to only 170 degrees nothing higher. If I had it run there for say an hour or two then moved it to my second distiller that was sit at 180 degrees. Would I have run out all the Methonal in the wash? Thus not having to dump out any of my finished product? Or would this be totally a waste of time?
pdub77 sagt: Nov 1, 2010. 1:36 nachm.
I'm going to kill both of these questions in one response, if that's okay. And if it's not, too. . . ; ) As far as corn meal, there is nothing going on here other than a bit of sugar and flavoring. When making true moonshine you take whole corn and sprout it in order to turn the starches into sugars and then ferment the result. I cut corners to do what I did. I should have called my instructable 'how to distill.' Either way, adding corn meal will not add too much. Only a bit of flavor, perhaps and I'm skeptical about that as well. Look for a good recipe for whiskey and go with that. Sprouting corn and any other grain takes time, though, just as any of this does. We're talking weeks no matter how you do it.

As for your multiple setups and temperatures, the temperature is set by what is in the solution, not by your heat source. Time held at a certain temperature is therefore rather irrelevant as I doubt you (or anyone other than a well-funded scientist) would have the ability to hold anything at any one temperature reading. The science of boiling temperatures is what is important here. Read my other instructable concerning this to understand more:

Think 'plateaus.' This is much simpler and will yield good results without setting up another still. That would be not necessarily a waste of time, but only good for making two runs at the same time. Either way you are disposing of heads and tails. Hope this helps.
50+Moe sagt: Nov 1, 2010. 3:21 nachm.
Yes it helps. As for the corn meal, I just thought that you had stated at one time that just sugar would give a cidery taste. Thats why I thought that the corn meal was something that would kill that taste. Sorry...., So cool if the corn meal would just take longer then there will be none to add. I am using an electric hot plate which is where I got the temp thing from. I figured that it would give that constant heat source instead of a flame. I do want to experiment with every kind of style so to say and at some point I will be trying to sprout the corn. But I was just attempting to pick your brain as much as I could. Sorry if I sparked a nerve or frustrated you. I didn't mean to. I do look forward to your knowledge in the future.
pdub77 sagt: Nov 1, 2010. 3:30 nachm.
No worries, man. I can be blunt from time to time and I'm sorry if I offended. Take care.
50+Moe sagt: Nov 1, 2010. 11:10 vorm.
OK, next question. Is there any difference in or what would be the outcome of using say indian head corn meal that you purchase from a store instead of corn meal from a local farm or feed store? Also I read something about using a sweetened corn meal, such as a pig feed version. Is there something to this? I know that I have to play around with things but I am attempting to get something going as soon as possiable if I can. I like to get things right quick then play with things.
bluesharp1359 sagt: Okt 29, 2010. 10:38 nachm.
No offense here . . . not a bit . . . but your pot is way too small. Lets say you have a gallon of wash in there at (for round number purposes) 10% alcohol content. That's 128 ounces.

The most distillate you can expect from one run (I'm approximating here, but am close) would be 12 to 13 ounces (likely less, as you never get it all). You'll want to dump the first couple ounces of distillate (heads) as that's methanol and can possibly leave you blind, brain-boggled or dead. You'll also want to toss the last couple ounces (the tails).

So, out of this whole set-up, at best, you will get 8 ounces of drinkable, safe distillate. The problem gets worse, as on a small boiler like this it's hard to know when to start collecting the good stuff (the hearts).

And then, you will want to run it through again for purity (and to avoid the world''s worst hangover). Let's say your 8 ounces are up to 40%. Your second run will net you less than 3 ounces. Again, after you toss out heads and hearts.

you've just spent about two days watching the still (a must . . . as you're basically heating gasoline and it does like to go boom) with the safe, drinkable result being about the amount found in a shot glass.

Now... not tellin' anybody what to do; I like a good mad scientist project as much as the next guy. But, i would suggest sticking to making wine . . . you can make gallons at a shot, it's legal, and it won't kill you (though if you drink enough you'll wish it had). I've got many bottle of wine aging that are now about 14% (kept hydrometer readings on it) but if you let a new batch go for even a week you may hit as much as 9% (just use champagne yeast . . . stay away from that turbo yeast crap . . . it may up your alcohol content but it will make your product taste like possum piss).

Just a bit of advice. have fun and be safe. Best advice, if you do want to forge ahead, is to do this outside (and away from prying eyes). A nice little shed with running water is good. Also keep at least two fire extinguishers handy (voice of experience here). Avoid open flames ( as in, don't smoke around these rigs). A hot plate with adjustable temp control is better than a flame (I don't trust the propane turkey fryer rigs). Always used stainless steel or copper for the boiler (this includes lines and fittings).

Really though . . . stick to wine. The possibilities of what you can come up with are endless (maybe not all drinkable . . .but endless). I hardly ever drink my own product . . . as i rarely drink . . . but I give it away as gifts to friends/relatives. They love the stuff.

But heck . . . this is all just for educational purposes anyway . . . right?
pdub77 sagt: Okt 30, 2010. 7:58 nachm.
Thanks for your input. I appreciate constructive criticism in ways that are not offensive. You have achieved this. Two points, however, I need to make in my defense. 1. This was never meant to be a primer on large scale production of hard liquor. A pot still works well whether it is the size of a tea kettle or a water heater. Teaching someone how to do something small can allow them to translate that to something larger if they have the desire and chutzpa. 2. You hit the nail on the head when you used the word 'legal.' Distilling alcohol is not looked at kindly by our (America) government when it is outside of its control. A small setup can be referred to as an 'essential oil extractor' and used with impunity in most cases.

However, you are (respectfully) incorrect as to the amount of time it takes to make a run with my setup, not to mention quality and purity. No lethal amount of methanol was created with the wash I used (sugar and water) and therefore heads and tails are more about water than anything else. As well, one run through my still gathered a solution that burned. That is clearly above 40%. It took less than an hour to make a single run. I could make multiple runs in a few hours and refine to a very nice product if I so desire. I will admit that sugar water gives a decidedly cidery taste to the final product, but multiple runs improve flavor and overall this is a safe, effective and a close proximity to legal way of creating something you can consume at a party with your closest friends.

Making wine and beer are indeed legal up to certain levels and are a fun way to employ fermentation in one's life. I simply am here to show people how to do something they didn't know how to do. Distill.

Either way, at least we're learning some science. = )

bluesharp1359 sagt: Okt 31, 2010. 7:38 vorm.
The ads for the "essential oil distractor" never fail to make me laugh. Our laws are pretty addled. . . and the essential oil coming from most of those little alembics is usually "essential' only in the sense that it provides a nice buzz.

Somebody with coppersmithing skills is going to get smart one of these days and begin manufacturing alembics in the U.S. Right now it seems that the the Portuguese and Spanish rule the market. They're way too pricey in general, but the shipping costs are outrageous.

"Legal" is such a subjective word when it comes to booze in America. New Zealand has the right idea.
pdub77 sagt: Okt 31, 2010. 10:11 vorm.
There are a small percentage of people who actually use these "exctractors" for that very purpose. I've been thinking about using my design to get some peppermint or basil oil or something like that. It would be in small amounts, of course, but it would be fun. I'll have to plant some next season.

As for the laws, you are correct. They are oftentimes vague and based more on money than anything else. I'm not familiar with New Zealand statutes, though.
50+Moe sagt: Okt 27, 2010. 6:27 nachm.
Sorry I forgot to add to my questions or comment that I started my batch about 24 hours ago. Ok by the time you answer back it will be maybe 36 hours.
50+Moe sagt: Okt 27, 2010. 6:13 nachm.
I have a question: I started a mash as you instructed, however I used 5 lbs white sugar and about 1 lb of light brown sugar with about 3 gallons of water. I then after cooling to room temp added about 1 1/2 oz of your average bakers yeast. It seems to be fermenting rather nicely at this time. My question (s) would be: What type of moonshine will this make? Then the next is: What would happen if I were to add in about a pound or two of corn meal at this time? Will I need to add more yeast at some point?
pdub77 sagt: Okt 28, 2010. 1:36 vorm.
This will create a neutral spirit somewhat like vodka. The brown sugar may give it a bit of a rum flavor. Adding corn meal may impart some flavor but is not the same as sprouting corn and mashing it to make whiskey. I would leave it out of this and find a whiskey recipe if you want to go that route. Adding more yeast will not be necessary, although I recommend brewer's yeast in the future.
Love88z sagt: Okt 17, 2010. 10:56 vorm.
Hi pdub420- quick question. Do you HAVE to purchase distillers yeast (very expensive) or can you use, say, packets of bread machine yeast and still get the same effect/affect?
pdub77 sagt: Okt 17, 2010. 2:15 nachm.
Technically any yeast will do. I believe I used champagne yeast. Yeast strains can be bread to achieve higher alcohol contents, but that is not a necessity. I would not use bakers yeast, however, as it is bred to produce more CO2 than ethanol. It would still work, though. Some form of brewers yeast should not be that expensive and serve the same purpose. Different yeasts taste differently, but after distilling it won't be a huge issue. (unless you are a major distillery, and in which case you would not be asking me about this.)

I just did a google search for brewers yeast and found a ton that is cheap. I recommend doing that.
50+Moe sagt: Okt 15, 2010. 9:16 vorm.
Love this site. Reading all this has given me some great info. But I would like to know something. Is there any difference in the I guess style of Alcohol that comes from using Corn or Rice? If so, I have read how to use the corn when making mash, how would rice be used and if possiable How Much Rice would I use compared to corn? Reason I ask is that I am relocating to an area that Rice is more available. By chance does rice ferment faster?
pdub77 sagt: Okt 15, 2010. 5:32 nachm.
Alas, I don't really know much about fermenting rice. Obviously it can be done just as any grain can be. Sake is enjoyed worldwide at this point. It would have to be sprouted (I would think) to release the sugars, but I have no idea if it would be any faster. It would work, though. . . Sorry I can't help you more.
jetersaurous sagt: Sep 20, 2010. 8:23 nachm.
OK, for the distillation process, do you have to use copper?? Now of course you wouldn't wanna use lead, but what if you used plastic tubing that is resistant to alcohols, oils, etc? I'm just trying to find a cheaper alternative, 'cause copper ain't cheap. Great writeup BTW, super easy to understand, I'm starting to create the mash tonight and I'm hoping to have some rotgut here soon. Oh, one more thing, if I'm not mistaken, it sounds like this whole process could be completed in a day, no?
pdub77 sagt: Sep 21, 2010. 1:32 vorm.
You could use something else, but a 10 foot coil of 1/4 inch copper tubing at Lowe's or Home Depot is not that expensive (about ten bucks) and will conduct heat much better. I recommend it for the condenser, but I've used plastic tubing to get from the still to the condenser before with success. It's up to you, though.

The distillation process can be easily done in a day. Multiple runs can be done in hours. However fermentation takes weeks.

hope this helps.
jetersaurous sagt: Sep 21, 2010. 6:45 vorm.
I didn't realize they sold it that cheap, well i might as well use that. Thank you!
pdub77 sagt: Sep 21, 2010. 1:32 nachm.
10 feet is about all you need. This is a small still. Get bigger and it's not cheap, you are right. Take care and send me pics if you can. = )

cmarshall246 sagt: Okt 11, 2010. 11:05 nachm.
DO NOT USE COPPER! Copper 20 years ago was pure but now they combine it with other alloys to make it cheaper, but in return compromise the purity of the copper. You can be POISONED using copper.
twelsh sagt: Aug 24, 2010. 5:09 nachm.
How much yeast do you put in your moonshine sugar water solution?
scrounger64 sagt: Aug 31, 2010. 4:03 nachm.
Go to your nearest wine making supplier and ask for champagne yeast. It has a higher alcohol tolerance,better temp. range and can actually turn out 15-18%ABV (alcohol by volume) I usually use 2 of the 5gram packets for 5-6 gallons of wash. ......and yes, in this case it is a wash. Not a mash or a wort. One packet will work, but 2 just helps it get kicking faster. Be aware also, Sugar, water and yeast alone will not give very good results. The yeast needs more nutrient. YOU try living on only sugar and water. Ask your brewing/wine making supplier for yeast nutrient. Add 2-3 tbsp to start and an additional 2 tbsp in 3-4 days.
whiskymonster sagt: Mai 9, 2011. 1:44 vorm.
marmite or vegemite works well. its basically dead yeast, so contans all the stuff needed to make live yeast.
LiquidLightning sagt: Jul 17, 2012. 12:03 vorm.
Your logic is impeccable.

That's like saying ground beef is basically cows, so it has all the stuff needed to make live cows.
cmarshall246 sagt: Okt 11, 2010. 11:08 nachm.
ONLY use yeast in the winter. The mash only needs heat, sugar, and a something to break down. In teh winter you do not have the natural heat of the sun so the yeast acts as a boost for the mash making process. Also when you make the sugar water you have to add something to it like a vegetable or fruit(not citrus) or grain. If you just use sugar water its not alcohol.
pdub77 sagt: Okt 12, 2010. 1:26 vorm.
I don't know where you are getting your information, but you are not correct. Yeast is necessary as it 'eats' the sugars and excretes co2 and ethanol. Some form of yeast MUST be used to get alcohol, whether it be wild or cultivated. And no, nothing else need be added to obtain alcohol. This is not truly a mash, it is a wash. But it DOES produce alcohol.
seasheead sagt: Feb 25, 2012. 4:07 vorm.
I think he might of meant Sugar. Moonshiners started adding Sugar to raise the alcohol content (Sugar Wash or Sugar Head); as apossed to the natural individual sugars already present in the fruit or grain. I perfer quality over quanity!
ozzwupay121 sagt: Aug 5, 2010. 7:17 nachm.
By chance would you know how to make essential oils from distillation?
pdub77 sagt: Aug 6, 2010. 5 vorm.
I have done a bit of research about this, but I'm not an expert, nor have I ever done it. I know one way involves basically a double boiler type setup with a round bottom bowl or pot on top of another pot on the stove. A steamer basket is placed in the bottom of the lower pan with water below that. Your herbs (or whatever) are packed above the steamer basket with another smaller bowl placed in the center of the herbs. The round bowl is placed on top of the pot effectively sealing it and ice is placed in the round bowl. With gentle heat the steam comes up through the herbs, taking some of the oils with it. This steam condenses on the round bowl and drips into the small bowl on top of the herbs. I think it would also work if you packed the kettle in my design (or any pot still) with your herbs and water and ran it until the water was almost but not quite dry. It might even help to add more water and do it again. With either of these methods you will have water and oil and will need to separate the two in some way. As I said before, though, I've not done this and can't vouch for it personally. A little google searching could probably reveal more and maybe better methods. Hope this helps.
ozzwupay121 sagt: Aug 16, 2010. 7:21 nachm.
Ahhh, well, this helps alot, I will probably do some google researching also, but thank you!
instructablesefm sagt: Okt 28, 2011. 5:53 vorm.
By chance would you know how to make essential oils from distillation?

Do you have got any proress on google?

please inform me

zeus2001 sagt: Jul 17, 2010. 10:45 nachm.
Do you have to top it? Will it make any methanol? And how much can you're amount make?
George+Vreeland+Hill sagt: Jul 15, 2010. 10:20 nachm.
Just watch your temps. That is the key. Moonshine is easy to make. It tastes great and you don't pay taxes on your drink. George Vreeland Hill
chuckmcconnell sagt: Jul 15, 2010. 2:14 nachm.
I cannot find my earlier post, was it deletted because of a little intended humour? maybe so, I was only trying for a little humour and possibly most people would not even know what i was insuating, especially young people my bad. sorry if i offended
chuckmcconnell sagt: Jul 15, 2010. 12:57 nachm.
yes i am trying to make some wine or quasitype alcohol to drink without poisoning myself or making myself go blind, the latter I can do in a more constructive way according to the old folks, but seriously I am trying to make some fairly decent alcohol to drink, the percetage of alcohol could be 12 percent or even a little higher. It is mostly out of finances that I have opted to try this. I put in a pound of sugar a pack of yeast and some fruit. I boiled the water suarr and fruit for about 40 minutes and let it cool to room temp and then I added the yeast. It has been fermenting since yesterday amd I have it in a 5 quart porcelin bowl fermeting, is porcelin ok? Anyways I looked at it today 24 hrs. later and it has all kinds of bubbles and stuff on top. Now is that mash or must going to poison me when I strain it through a muslim cheese cloth or probably just a very clean t shirt as finances are really tight. I plan to do this in about 1- days
pdub77 sagt: Jul 15, 2010. 1:13 nachm.
Letting anything ferment for a couple of days will not produce anything close to a 12% abv (alcohol by volume). You must let it go for at least two weeks in my estimation. Porcelain is fine. It is nonreactive with anything that matters in this type of endeavor. The 'stuff on top' is basically your yeast's attempt to keep out any other yeast strains or other contaminants. I see no mention of an airlock and I would recommend that because yeast can't defend itself very well on its own. I don't know what kind of yeast you used, either. Some are good and some are not. Bad yeasts can make a good drink, well, bad. Please be careful. I am focused mainly on distilling in this instructable and therefore cannot give more than the basic info on what you are attempting. I advise you to do more research online before you consume anything you have produced. I wish you well and keep me updated.
chuckmcconnell sagt: Jul 16, 2010. 12:56 nachm.
to Author: Well I looked at my concoction today as I stirred it. I meant 10 days but had a slip of the ole typewriter. I thank you for your input and u are correct to go with desired instructables, for me as I have always been loggerheaded and a bit of an adventurer I always go with a lot of instinct. I boiled 5 qts water wkith 1 pound of sugar 2 apples, one can peaches 1 can mandarin oranges and one half cup of rice (white). I boiled those for 40 minutes vigorously. I cooled to room temp. then put my yeast on top Bakers yeast) its what I had handy and as I mentioned before finances are of essense. today makes 48 hrs. and I stirred it today and added two tblsoons sugar approx. It smells like fermenting yeast and the color looks good, I have it covered well with a plate ceramic that fits very nicely over the porcelin bowel. In 5 days I plan to gather all the must and dispose and put the liquid through a seive of sorts. then I plan to put it in a sanitized old 1 and half liter wine jug for 6 days or 8 days with a baloon secured around the wine entrance with a rubber band around neck,with a pin hole in the end of baloon. Do u think that will work? I followed instructions within my means. How would I know if I have contamination in the first place.
chuckmcconnell sagt: Jul 16, 2010. 1:32 nachm.
U R totally correct as I just looked up an easy recipie for quick cheap wine by a young peson, and I am sure his intention was to enjoy the brew quickly and in a safe manner. I missed a few things so I may have to start over. I guess I don*t quite understand the contamination process very well. What could contaminate my brew by just taking the plate off for a few seconds to stir contents? Oh well i thank u for patience and trying to be of assistance. I guess the contamination coulod come from the air itself, I dunno. Have a good day.
pdub77 sagt: Jul 16, 2010. 5:41 nachm.
Yeasts are all around us. We breathe them in every time we take a breath. Bacteria is a part of life as well. We have tons of bacteria in our own bodies, no less, that help us to process the foods we eat and more. Some are 'good.' and some are 'bad.' Anything could make a 'bad' mash. Check out this book: Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers. It will help. You seem like an individual who would be receptive to its message. I have to be really careful with any advice I give about this kind of thing for legal reasons, etc. . . This book is amazing and will give you recipes as well as wondrous insights to brewing. Let me know what you think. I appreciate your thanks. I hope you are well.
witherspoon520 sagt: Jul 14, 2010. 7:27 nachm.
ok i have a big mash started out red when i ran it it came out blue and smells like fingernail po;ish removerwhat was left in the pot when i finished was red. why would it come out blue and should i get rid of it and is there something i can do so it dont happen again??
pdub77 sagt: Jul 15, 2010. 1:34 vorm.
Whatever mash you are using, it is not the basic sugar/water that I used in the instructable. And if it is, something has gone terribly wrong. I have no idea what is in your mash or what has happened. I would be VERY careful about drinking any of this. In fact, I probably wouldn't drink and at all. What recipe did you use?
chuckmcconnell sagt: Jul 15, 2010. 1:20 nachm.
Hey Im chuck and have been tryiing to get a little info for my quasi wine or alcohol to make and hopefully drink without poisoning oneself, or worse, going blind and living with that. You seemed sensible and knowledgable about said subject so thats why I chose u. Im only making about a gallon and as with all my cooking I always only add here and there meaning a dash of this and a dash of that, But I did follow rules to some expectant semblence of sanity. I boiled in a 5 quart pot fruit some grape jelly for pectin and 1 pound of sugar, then cooled to room temp and then added a packet of yeast. Then covered with a ceramice plate that allows for very fine thin line from porcelin container and plate for co2 to evaporat off. When I finally try to sip this concoction in 10 days do I have to worry about poisoning myself? Finances r tight and that is why I have chosen to try this method of making my own brew. I don*t have money to buy all that equipment right now. Will I end up with anything that is drinkable? Is putting that plate on that 5 quart bowel ok? It smells pretty good so far. I boiled for about 40 minutes for sanitation ect. thanks chuck
pdub77 sagt: Jul 15, 2010. 2:08 nachm.
I have no idea, Chuck. I cannot check out what you are doing and really have no idea whether anything is safe or not. Thank you for your trust, but just like I say in my instructable, you really need to do a little research on your own. I put out a very simple experiment that should, (if performed in the exact same way) give you a drinkable result. Beyond that, I can't really give good advice. I'm sorry.
witherspoon520 sagt: Jul 15, 2010. 2:41 nachm.
sorry i forgot to tell you what i mash consists of 1 gal water, 1 can of frozen strawberry concentrate, and 1 lb of sugar. i make 5 gals at a time. (the juice cancels out the vinagar taste.) all other runs that ive done have been great. this one just turned out wrong...
pdub77 sagt: Jul 16, 2010. 3:17 vorm.
It could have been contaminated with a bad yeast or bacteria at some point in the process. I really don't know. I'm sorry I can't help you more. You recipe sounds fine, but I would still be careful. Take care.
cmarshall246 sagt: Okt 11, 2010. 11:15 nachm.
If by ran you mean ran it through a still then it should come out clear. You should never get color from your still. All the distililation process is doing is heating the mash until the alcohol(lower evaporation level then water) vapor rises and you run cool water to turn it back into a liquid, which is the alcohol. Do not drink it if 1. The liquid does not hold a blue flame when you put a lighter to it abd 2. if you shake the liquid in a container it should hold its bubbles for at least five seconds,
pdub77 sagt: Okt 12, 2010. 1:28 vorm.
Dude, what are you talking about? Beer doesn't hold a blue flame and it's perfectly safe.
daltondude sagt: Jul 1, 2010. 9:16 nachm.
did you say that the kettle has to be stainless steel or copper or otherwise it will make bad alcohol and blind ouy or even kill you
pdub77 sagt: Jul 2, 2010. 4:25 vorm.
No, because that's not true. I can think of other materials that are inert enough to be safe. Glass is one of them. As far as 'bad alcohol.' I'm not sure what you mean. If you mean methanol will form that is wrong again. Methanol comes from whatever you decide to ferment. If you meant that metals leach into the solution that could happen. This is why one should never used lead pipe or solder in any part of the apparatus. Thanks.
chuckmcconnell sagt: Jul 16, 2010. 1:06 nachm.
I can see already how it could become an obsession in making wine or moonshine or distilled spirits. Even tho I do not have financial means at the moment does not mean I will not have such in the future. I have already purchased the kit for winemaking in my head, first step to making great wine. I imagine it is like any other artistic endeavor in that u get what u put into it. I think it could be such fun to make wine, but carefulness I am sure cannot be over emphasized. I am not a chemist but am fairly well read in quite a few subjects and am particularly fascinated with formulas of many sorts. I am the sort whom does never totally believe in scientist whom say this is total fact, prove beyond a shadow of a doubt with me. So that is why I will not sip my wine until I have gone over all the facts and memories of what I made. Prove to me scientist that energy cannot be destroyed, (just giving u and example of what I meant). It does seem that way however. Winemaking is obviously a chemistry lesson for me. Thanks for listening and ur site is nice.
dpmp sagt: Jun 28, 2010. 11:46 vorm.
Well, I don't drink alcohol, so the whole purpose of reading the article is just to please my curiosity. If my system doesn't take shine well, then I could just dump it in my gas tank. Maybe it'll run. What says you?
pdub77 sagt: Jun 28, 2010. 12:48 nachm.
No idea. Let me know how it works out, though.
whiskymonster sagt: Mai 9, 2011. 1:46 vorm.
if you put 80% alcin your gas tank, the water wil separate out, and cause trouble.
chinds sagt: Jun 20, 2011. 12:05 vorm.
80%? what would happen if you put 100%? i've heard that to convert your car to ethanol power you have to do certain modifications, one of them being replacing the fuel lines with polyurethane or stainless-steel braided fuel lines to prevent it from eating through. but i wondor if you could get away with just pouring some into your gas tank? probably wouldnt be enough to hurt it and it might boost ur octane.
whiskymonster sagt: Jun 20, 2011. 1:45 vorm.
little bit can still cause trouble. alcohol is an even better solvent than gasoline, so it eats through your seals too. fuel lines are usually copper, and will be fine, but alcohol will strip the plating off the galvanized fuel tank. seeing as it's only possible to create 96.4% alcohol with a good reflux column, never mind a little pot still like this one above, there will always be water in the alcohol whatever you do. this means that any metal apart from copper and stainless will rust. it will even pit and eat through aluminium!

if you were to do all the upgrades, you can run the car on 80%alc alone, so long as theres no gas in there as well. the gas and the water dont mix, so you will end up with the water and the alcohol separating out. in some places where gasohol is used at the pumps, the trick is to mix with water so the aclohol mixes with the water and not the gas. once it separates, you can siphon it off, and fetch out several pints of alcohol solution which you can then distill and drink! really bad idea, but it's possible. people do the craziest things, aye?

long and the short, put it in the lawnmower, fine cos it's easy cheap to fix and it really doesnt matter too much if it runs a bit lumpy, but id stay away from the car unless you want to spend some serious cash.

bigjake15 sagt: Jun 26, 2010. 12:33 nachm.
hi, the way you planned the steps were very easy to understand, but can i please have an exact formula of the mash? i dont know wen to add yeast or how much to add.. thanks!
pdub77 sagt: Jun 26, 2010. 6:43 nachm.
Yeast multiplies. Just add a packet and you will be fine. As far as when. . . add yeast when the mash has gotten back to room temperature. Too much heat can kill the yeast. You can do it when the mash is still warm, but definitely not hot. As far as exact formulas go, the best I can tell you is to look online and experiment. I used something close to a pound of sugar for each gallon of water, but that is approximate. I did this a long time ago and can't even remember my exact measurements. This is really just to let people know how to distill and not an exact recipe. Hope this helps!
cmarshall246 sagt: Okt 11, 2010. 11:20 nachm.
Add a fruit, grain, or vegetable to your mash and you wont have to use yeast(unless in the winter months) because the heat will activate the natural sugars in teh fruit and it will break down in alcohol. Yeast can cause i bad taste in your alcohol if you use too much so its just safe to not use it unless in teh winter and i use a handful for a 20 gallon drum so do accordingly. Only use yeast to get the mash started "working" then just let it go on its own and your alcohol will taste better.
pdub77 sagt: Okt 12, 2010. 1:31 vorm.
Dude, you really should not hijack my instructable with misinformation. Sugars in fruits do not 'break down' into alcohol. Some people will use the natural yeasts clinging to fruits to ferment their beverages, but this is a gamble. Cultivated yeast does not produce a bad taste. With wild, you run that risk. You really need to study this a bit more before you start providing advice on my project.
cmarshall246 sagt: Okt 12, 2010. 9:17 nachm.
Eh sorry i apologize. I had no idea you were a democrat or else i wouldn't have questioned your ideals; we all know how defensive y'all can get. For one all you are doing is throwing out scientific terminology and trying to sound intelligent to people new to something while your the novice. The whole wild yeast gamble is a lie. What you ran 3 gallons of mash or "WASH", you only yielded about what less than a gallon. Your a beginner. The first rule is to never tell people how to make the stuff you should know this. I know what your thinking "why is this guy telling them?" HTe only reason i am sharing any information is so i save these people from killing themselves or going blind. So no point in replying because im done i made my point to keep people safe.
pdub77 sagt: Okt 15, 2010. 6:17 nachm.
My political affiliation aside, (which is decidedly not Democrat) I do not throw out scientific terminology to try to sound intelligent. I do, however, use terminology related to the subject and therefore impart a bit of learning to others. I also use correct spelling and grammar.

Nothing in my Instructable would kill a person or make them go blind. If you had read it in its entirety you might understand that. Or maybe not, as you appear to be bent on bashing me and my motives more than appreciating the project itself.

I invite you to post your own Instructable (you don't have to reveal any of your secret recipes, nor have you posted anything) about making moonshine and set the record straight.

I know you said I needn't reply, but how could I not? The ball is in your court.

Take care!

kujo22 sagt: Jun 19, 2010. 3:36 nachm.
What if co2 doesnt escape from your air lock? I have one on my mash pail which is air tight but i dont see air bubbles rising, i put my ear against the side and you can hear it bubbling.
pdub77 sagt: Jun 19, 2010. 6:07 nachm.
You are carbonating your mash. That's about it. You run the risk of exploding your container if too much pressure increases, but that is the extent of your problems. This is how home brewers ferment their beer. Shouldn't hurt anything unless your container explodes, which would be a bad day indeed. . .
weaponscollector94 sagt: Jun 11, 2010. 9:12 nachm.
just a tip, homemade mead works great as mash actually.
weaponscollector94 sagt: Jun 10, 2010. 2:47 nachm.
i just made my first batch today! got about half a jar full! not bad! i used a balloon for an airlock but does it just work sorta like a bong? like by having the co2 go under water?
pdub77 sagt: Jun 11, 2010. 5:39 vorm.
The purpose of an airlock is to allow CO2 to escape without let contaminants in to spoil the batch.
weaponscollector94 sagt: Jun 11, 2010. 9:03 nachm.
ok, thanks for the info!
bubbastump sagt: Jun 15, 2010. 3:43 nachm.
dose the jug used for fermintation have to be glass and is there any thing i can use for an air lock that might be around the house
Nubuun sagt: Jun 10, 2010. 12:02 nachm.
Okay thanks I started last night and there is no smell at all:)
pdub77 sagt: Jun 10, 2010. 1:13 nachm.
Cheers! Good luck! Let me know how it works out.
Nubuun sagt: Jun 9, 2010. 5:26 nachm.
Is it true that moonshine and all fermenting alcohols smell awful ? Cuz I wana let it ferment in my basment cuz it's still cold out
pdub77 sagt: Jun 10, 2010. 1:50 vorm.
No, it's not true.
Thorobred sagt: Mai 11, 2010. 7:38 nachm.
Needing help!
I am using a very accurate temp. sensing device. I am recording the "plateaus" and I am getting no slow down to the climbing temps. till it gets to over 190.  I can smell alcohol as it cooks, but no dripping.

Why does the temp rise to 190 before it stops? Why do i get no dripping till it hits 195 and above?  It starts dripping like crazy at 195. Literally pouring.
Thorobred sagt: Mai 6, 2010. 4:25 nachm.
It is still slowly bubbling. Made a "batch" with red wine today. Just to try my new "toy". It was a good trial run, as i made a couple modifications to the "still".   It tastes horrible. Retained the flavor of the wine. Didnt get any "dripping" till it got to 190 degrees. At that point, dripped and ran good till 200. I hope my mash has a better taste. The wine wasnt the best choice for the first time.  Keep you posted. Trying to make something for my wedding in june. We are having a "redneck" wedding! complete with guns and horses. Like I said, hope my mash yeilds a better taste.

Thanks for your help.
Thorobred sagt: Mai 6, 2010. 5 vorm.
The mash has almost stopped bubbling allready. It was bubling heavy all night and smells like alcohol in here. Could it be done allready?
pdub77 sagt: Mai 6, 2010. 1:16 nachm.
No.  It will bubble a lot to start and then slow down considerably.  Look for little bubbles.  Let it go.  Two weeks at least.  You can't over-do it, so err on the side of more time.  Don't be impatient.  (I know how hard that can be. . .)
Thorobred sagt: Mai 5, 2010. 5:31 nachm.

A link for the ingredients?  They had several different "flavors".  I raise beef cows and horses, the sweet feed was someting we allready have. made the most senese too!

I will try to find it again.

Thorobred sagt: Mai 5, 2010. 4:58 nachm.
Ok, made my mash. It's been 2 hrs. Things are bubbling allready. All the heavy stuff has risen to the top. It's getting warm, and building pressure. I used "liquor quik" for the yeast. Looks pretty good from this point. Keep you posted.
pdub77 sagt: Mai 5, 2010. 5:04 nachm.
Bubbling is good!
Thorobred sagt: Mai 5, 2010. 9:47 vorm.
I am going to use 'SWEET FEED"  to make my mash. Has anyone ever tried this? It contains barley, corn and molases.  Put 4" feed into 5 gallon bucket. 5 lbs of sugar, and distillers yeast. My elevation is about 1400 ft. any suggestions on the temp I am looking for to get ethanol?

pdub77 sagt: Mai 5, 2010. 5:03 nachm.
1400 ft. is not enough to make any difference.  No idea about the rest of that. Good luck and let me know how it works out!  (where did you get it and do you have a link?)
witherspoon520 sagt: Apr 18, 2010. 7:35 nachm.
How long should temp stay stedy to be considered a platue?
pdub77 sagt: Apr 19, 2010. 6:12 vorm.
It will vary depending on how much of that substance there is.  Very little of something and you might not even really notice it.  A lot of a dissolved substance, i.e. ethanol in our project, and it will plateau for a while. 
Tferguson28 sagt: Apr 7, 2010. 9:06 nachm.
Your probably sick of hearing about heads and tails but if you can keep liquid that boils at 190 and run it through again to make it stronger wouldn't that be considered tails? and heads is methanol what is tails?
pdub77 sagt: Apr 8, 2010. 2 nachm.
Heads is anything that boils before ethanol and tails is anything that boils after.  Multiple runnings do not effect this.  All you do when you make another run is further 'filter' out what you want to leave behind in favor of what you would keep.  It's a much quicker process the second time around (or third, etc.).
Tferguson28 sagt: Apr 8, 2010. 7:42 nachm.
so tails is okay to drink?
pdub77 sagt: Apr 9, 2010. 6:10 vorm.
If you are using sugar water like I did, the entire thing is safe to drink at any time.  If you are distilling something else, you will need to do some research to find out what all may be in it.  All 'tails' is is anything in your wash that has a boiling point above ethanol.  That includes water, but may include other things as well.  Be safe and do some more reading before you branch out.
Tferguson28 sagt: Apr 7, 2010. 8:47 nachm.
I've unsucessfully made many batches of shine and can't figure out what i'm doing wrong. I've been using corn, sugar, yeast, and water for my mash and let is sit for 3 days to ferment.(whether that's right or wrong i got it from a website) well any way when i try to distill it, it comes out cloudy not clear and definitly not drinkable. plus i've tried to keep my temp at 173 degress F. but nothing happens till about 200. there is some alcohol in the wash and when it comes out of the still but not much. Can any one tell me what i'm doing wrong?
pdub77 sagt: Apr 8, 2010. 2:01 nachm.
3 days is never enough time to ferment.  Try two to three weeks. 
Tferguson28 sagt: Apr 8, 2010. 7:40 nachm.
okay i didn't think it was long enough but i wasnt sure thanks. I'll let you know how it goes
pance sagt: Apr 16, 2014. 6:21 vorm.

pdub is right they yeast would not even finished multiplying even turbos take longer then that to ferment, but once you get it keep it up soon you won't buy likker at a store i know i havent in a long time.

Doggs2087 sagt: Mär 20, 2010. 12:56 nachm.
 hey just a few questions if i could have someone possibly answer them for me...  ive succesffuly have had my still drain a clear liquid only problem is it has sort of a dull vinegar smell to it, i think it may be the sugar i used... liquid burns blue taste like alcohol... and the only other problem is i usually have to turn my heat tray up to about 300 and slowly decrease on temps to get a drip... im wondering if its because im using like a breakfast cooking pad and if the heats just not condensed in one area but rather spread out...  i just want to make sure im consuming alchol and not something harmful like methanol... any tips or tests i can do?
pdub77 sagt: Mär 20, 2010. 6:11 nachm.
Assuming you are using a basic sugar water wash like I did in this instructable, your vinegar issue is what I refer to in step one as 'cidery.'  When one ferments white sugar it produces flavors like that.  Try a different type of sugar or even use molasses or another sweetener and see how that works for you. 

As far as your heat goes, hot spots and inefficient heating could definitely play a role in bad distilling, but it sounds like your set up is working fine.  I would not worry about adjusting temperatures, though.  Just turn it up to high and let it go.  If you don't understand why please reread this instructable or my distilling basics instructable may help as well.

As for poisoning yourself, if you are using a sugar water solution you have nothing to worry about.  Tests, however, I outline in the project.  Read your thermometer and pay attention to that.  That is the only way I know to test without sending something to a lab.  And they might do the same thing.  Please read both instructable projects again thoroughly and that may answer your questions.  

Hope this helps.
radbrian sagt: Nov 28, 2010. 12:18 vorm.
if you said the sugar water can poison youd, does that mean that this cannot make methanol ever cause methanol would be the poison were refering to

and when i say ever i mean even when distilled
pyrotechnical sagt: Mär 24, 2010. 9:27 nachm.
i think you can use potassium permanganate(?) to test for methanol.
pyrotechnical sagt: Mär 24, 2010. 9:28 nachm.

and the alcohol will boil at about 180 maybe a little higher.