Step 4: Implementation

Picture of implementation
fill your condenser with ice and water (a little salt wouldn't hurt either, lowers temperature - think ice cream). attach the copper tube coming from the pot to the tube from the condenser with the couplers. place something under the spout to catch your shine and go to town.  it may be good to have more than one receptacle.  you will see why if you continue reading.

now we need some heat. back in the day people would use wood fires, gas stoves, basically anything they could get their hands on. dangerous! play it safe. open flames are not good around a still. alcohol vapors are flammable! as well, precise temperature control of your heat source is not necessary. the solution will take care of that. electric heat is the best.

check the pic. i'm using an electric stove. works great. you can see how i have it set up and i hope it all makes sense now. you load your wash into the kettle/pot, apply some heat, and condense the results.  how?  i'll tell you if you'd just be patient.  geez.

okay, pour your wash into the kettle. place the stopper into the spout. turn on the heat. watch the thermometer. alcohol boils at a temperature lower than water. that's what makes distillation work. exact temperature will vary depending on elevation and barometric pressure, but water boils at around 212 °F while ethanol boils at around 173 °F.  methanol, that can make you blind and is what you really want to avoid, boils around 148 °F. while running your wash, watch for plateaus (when the temperature stays the same for a while -- forms a plateau if you graph it) on your thermometer and compare them to known boiling temperatures to ensure you get only what you want and leave the rest. check out my instructable to give you the basics of distillation.

basically if you begin to distill and the temperature reaches a certain point and remains there for any length of time you have reached the boiling temperature for a particular liquid component of your wash. check the temperature against the boiling point data you have researched and you can tell what it is you are distilling at the time. using this information you can discard anything other than ethanol. no matter what a solution contains, it will not boil at a temperature any higher than what the level of the component with the lowest boiling temperature is until that component is boiled away. check the comments or 'distilling basics' for a discussion or two on this.

as an example, if your solution contains methanol, ethanol and water it will happen like this: once the temperature of your solution reaches around 148 °F methanol will begin to boil and come out through your tube as vapor into your condenser where it will convert back to liquid and exit into your receptacle.  the temperature of your solution will not vary much beyond 148 °F until the methanol is gone and then will begin to climb again until it reaches 173 °F, the boiling point of the ethanol.  the same thing will happen here.  the temperature will hover around the same until the ethanol is boiled off and then on to water. 

in order to get ethanol and exclude the rest you get rid of what are called the 'heads' and 'tails.' basically dump anything that boils lower than around 173 °F and everything after the temperature begins to climb again.  this is why i mentioned having more than one receptacle. use one for the heads, one for what you want, and one for the tails.

so once you've boiled off and then condensed your wash, you should be left with a solution containing a much higher alcohol content than what you started with.  you will still get a bit of water, but that's okay. running the product through the still again will further extract ethanol and raise the proof.

a bit of trivia: the Xes often seen on moonshine bottles in old cartoons, etc. represent the amount of runnings, or how many times it was distilled.

i've achieved a blue flame from a wash after a first run with this set up. you may or may not need to run the wash more than once. anything over about 150 proof will burn.  that's a pretty good result from a single run.

i do not recommend doing anything i've talked about. it's not very legal (in the US), and it's not very safe. i enjoy knowledge for the sake of knowledge, though, and just because i know how to do something doesn't mean i will. so take this to heart, and take care.


fragmaster45 years ago
I'm pretty sure you can make 100 gallons of alcohol for your own personal use in the U.S. You can MAKE Moonshine but you can't sell it. THAT is what is illegal about it.

WRONG YOU CANNOT MAKE ANY MOONSHINE FOR ANY REASON ! I use our still to condense water, we have a shallow well we use for drinking water & it makes it a 100% better tasting. it is done the same way as shine but, w/o mash. just plain water !!!

Good post. I saw another one where the guy was very unclear as to how to get rid of the methanol. He basically said throw out the first half cup of distillate.

Here's the link to the ATF regulation governing distillation. Look at section/chapter 19.
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2003-title27-vol1/pdf/CFR-2003-title27-vol1.pdf. You can't distill alcohol in the US without jumping through all kinds of hoops. You have to be bonded, your facility can only be used for distillation, no private residence, sheds or garages, permits from the ATF, yada, yada, yada. If you're running a still it better be for something other than alcohol.

The amounts of beer and wine you can make are dependent on the state. I'm a home brewer BTW, not a distiller. (Although I wouldn't mind trying it)

Also, I love the comment at the end of the post, "just because i know how to do something doesn't mean i will" Uhhh, you have a picture of a still, presumably yours, and you claim to have gotten a blue flame off a first run. Self incrimination? :-D
If you distill even a thumble of likker, your comitting a Federal Crime. You don't have to sell it to get locked up you just have to make it!
nope. every still must be registered and regulated by the govnt. its easy enought to get a fuel alc license, but its expensive
pdub77 (author)  fragmaster45 years ago
Not true.  You can make certain amounts of beer and you can make certain amounts of wine, but you cannot make liquor of ANY quantity without registering your still with the federal government and therefore, I would assume, pay the taxes on it.

I'm not sure why I'm debating this.  Check my link about distilling laws.  And if you still don't agree, cite your statute.  = )
matt.pratt8 months ago

Awesome Guide never thought of distilling in the kitchen, and it doesn't seem as it would be too dangerous since the vapor won't ignite of the electric stove. But one question do you solder the cooper together to make it air tight or just put it together

you can do it either way you like. but. ALWAYS use LEAD FREE SOLDER.

if you just "put it togather" use wet oatmeal as a sealer..

Thank ya sir, your information was very thorough and enjoyable to read!
3 times
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.
TJ722 years ago
Actually anything over 100 proof or 50% alcohol will burn. You claimed 150 proof.
tony51202 years ago
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
munkeyman222 years ago
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
jjay013 years ago
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!
Hey I understand everything on here. But at the ferminating process do you absolutely need the airlock tip?
pdub77 (author)  johnthehandyman3 years ago
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.
randomv6 years ago
"Effects of Methanol Poisoning As little as four milliliters can cause blindness and 80 to 150 milliliters can be fatal; about half a milliliter per kilogram of weight is deadly. Drinking methanol causes effects similar to common alcohol, such as an upset stomach and dizziness, with the addition of pronounced vision problems. After these effects disappear, they reappear six to 30 hours later, only with much greater severity. severe symptoms tend to appear 18 to 24 hours after consumption. the relapse time makes it imperative to seek medical help as soon as possible. The most seriously poisoned lose consciousness and die of respiratory or heart failure. those who do not die may stay in a coma for as long as a week and may be left blinded." Not to scare anyone, just wanted to point out that you have to be very careful. I may try this some day, thank you for the very good guide.
lx2036 randomv3 years ago
As long as you make your mash with the right ingredients (fruits/grains/sugars) the methanol content will never be high enough to do any damage. You'll die from alcohol poisoning 10-20 times over before you've consumed enough methanol to do anything. The reason we are worried about it in distillation is because it really affects taste, not because of its toxicity. Same deal with the tails. The reason it's got such a reputation is most don't understand it. Posting facts like this without a full explanation of the details only fuels the misinformation. For a good perspective into the professional-amateurs check out:
Home Distiller (the forum is great as well) or
Whiskey Still (the new distiller FAQ is great)
Here's a quote from the new distiller FAQ talking about average toxic: content
"Home distilled spirit (untreated): methanol 0.0067%, ethanol 99.632%, fusils 0.361%
Commercial vodka: methanol 0.013%, ethanol 99.507%, fusils 0.48%
Poor quality home distilled spirit : methanol 0.0186%, ethanol 98.453%, and fusils 1.528%
If you're talking about untreated spirits as being dangerous, then to reach the LD50's that are published, you'd need to consume 149 L to be affected by the methanol, or for a 90kg bloke, about 58 L for the pentanol, from the "good" homemade stuff. That would be one hell of a session ! Even on their "poor quality" brew you'd need 11 L for the fusels. Stock standard pissed-as-a-newt high-school-student alcohol poisoning is the greater problem."

Jrogers33503 years ago
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!!!
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 (author)  scoonr3 years ago
Thanks for the info, scoonr. Care to share any pics?
scoonr pdub773 years ago
hi pdub here are the pics i promised. beer keg on a banjo burner. 36 inch tall reflux shown here making distilled water.
pdub77 (author)  scoonr3 years ago
That's fantastic! This is taking it to the next level. Thank you so much for sharing.
scoonr pdub773 years ago
thank you sir this is cool to be able to share. to bad its not over a shot.

scoonr pdub773 years ago
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.
pdub77 (author)  Jrogers33503 years ago
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.
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 (author)  Bootleggers Son3 years ago
I appreciate your kind words!
seb11886 years ago
i strongly advise against making this. nobody here seems to fully understand the science so this is definitely NOT a reliable guide to not permanently damaging your body. if you must make it, test it on a pet first. then wait two weeks. if it's still alive and fully functioning, drink up!
scoonr seb11883 years ago
surely you jest about using your pet for a test subject. I have researched the moonshine making subject quite a bit. Although I am still a bit leery about the heads and tails as it does sound like a crap shoot of sorts. But pdub77 has explained it with some scientific content that makes sense. I would like to find some boiling point information that corresponds to elevation as well. do any of you know of such a document.
pdub77 (author)  scoonr3 years ago
This is far from a crap shoot, but I still would be careful. With boiling points in mind you are really pretty safe. Check out my Instructable "Distilling Basics" for another view. Here is something I found that might help you with your altitude question:


And for the record I would test nothing on a pet. I only have fish and I can never tell when they are drunk anyway. . .
A) are you kidding?  Alcohol in its various forms has been made for well over 4000 years by peoples who initially had no concept of science.  In most every society there has been a 'discovery' of some sort of alcoholic beverage or substrate that is consumed for pleasure, religious events, and because it was safer then stream/well water.

B) the author lists this as the THEORETICAL process (though it is funny how closely it follows the non-theoretical)

C) as far as safety is concerned.  The author very clearly defines which liquids boiling temperatures are okay to keep. 
And while I no way condone the practice, should one wish to do the same process utilizing a martensitic stainless pot etched and pitted from ionized water to boil your liquid and an ABS pipe filled with rusty steel wool as a condenser, one would still be fine.  As long as the set parameters for dumping heads and tails are maintained to an exactness met by any household instant read digital thermometer.

D) you should be ashamed for suggesting that one force a pet to drink an alcoholic beverage
pdub77 (author)  TANZMEISTER5 years ago
TANZMEISTER:  I could not agree more.

Seb1188:  My science is sound and my method works.  I also made plenty of disclaimers and encourage extra research on one's own.  I will concede that this can be dangerous, but as I have done it, it is not.  Thanks, though.
techno guy4 years ago
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.
Hydrometer. http://www.amazon.com/HYDROMETER-ALCOHOL-0-200-PROOF/dp/B001BLKKP2

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.
tlind443 years ago
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 tlind443 years ago
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.
ntwalk3 years ago
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
mburns93 years ago
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?
dpmp5 years ago
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?
if you put 80% alcin your gas tank, the water wil separate out, and cause trouble.
pdub77 (author)  dpmp5 years ago
No idea. Let me know how it works out, though.
So, could I use an electric kettle that you plug into the wall instead? Seems like that might not be ideal...
no. the alcohol vapour will eat the kettle, and leech some nasty nasty stuff into the booze.
Instead of "dumping" all liquid before 170-something, couldnt you just let it drip down into the sink? Then when the temperatures right, you just reattach the bottle? Thanks
no.... save it and put it in the motorcycle..... right?..... plus..... pvc and rubber gaskets in your sink dont like temps that high under a normal scheldual....
alcohol will slowly eat the seals in your bike too.
if youre going to sell it anytime soon, then do it.
if you like the bike, save it for your camping stove or something
pdub77 (author)  RedneckFromTx6 years ago
I don't see a difference. Do it to it.
buddd504 years ago
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?
The rapid rise yeast will do just fine. Be sure to clean your pots and throw away your front!
cornlikker4 years ago
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 !
jkhurd14 years ago
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!
ziva210114 years ago
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
huffsg4 years ago
i made some and at tasted like rubbing alcohol is this right. it would burn
radbrian4 years ago
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?
twelsh5 years ago
How much yeast do you put in your moonshine sugar water solution?
Schoolsux6 years ago
so how is methanol created rather than regular drinkable alcohol what do you avoid
methanol is a alchohol which cannot be digesteded or processed naturally inside the human body ... it is an alchohol which can be 'cracked' from substances, such as naturally occuring solvents in wood and fruits ect.. it is only dongerous in concentrated ammounts ... i belive 100mg death 80mg blindness ... 50mg hallucinations ... just if you are distilling anything ... i work on degC 79 degC = ethonol ... anything less = hrmful anything over 82 degc = potentially harmfull .
Tferguson285 years ago
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 (author)  Tferguson285 years ago
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.).
sankaplan5 years ago
should the thermometer probe be underwater or just floating in the void?
pdub77 (author)  sankaplan5 years ago
The tip of the thermometer probe should be down in the liquid, but not touching the bottom of the kettle.  You want the temperature of the liquid and not the temperature of the kettle itself.
nevets4115 years ago
ok ,heads and tails ,153-172,ok some one said at 190,is this at a ok run,now the big question for me ,a steam pot ,cork and coil,how much is this going to produce between the head and the tail at each refill
Trixer6 years ago
Ok seriously? Didnt anyone take a high school chem class.. This is where bio chem comes in handy and ill attempt to explain a little more in detail about how all of this works, for those people worried about killing them selves. Ok, first a little primer, all liquids boil at a certain temperature, no matter what it is. What a still does is it separates mixed up liquids on the scientific grounds that all liquids boil and evaporate at certain temps. What happens is when the liquid starts to boil it produces steam, and we all know steam is just a liquid in gas form. So when it passes through the cooled copper tubing it condensates which, is more or less just a term for when a gas turns back into a liquid. Thus it drips out of the tubing.. Now what your doing when you make shine is your separating your yummy liquid from the not so yummy ones! With out completely holding your hand for this, you need to figure out what temp that your wanted liquid will "come over" to your other beaker, jar, whatever, and you need to keep only the liquid that comes over at that temperature, everything else you want to discard. If you need some more information on how distilling works and how to not poison your self doing something like this... pick up "The organic chemistry survival guide" its a great book that goes in large detail about how distilling works and the science behind it. Please kids be careful when you do this. You can get hurt and you can hurt others, make sure you know exactly what your doing, and don't share your product with anyone until you have tried it your self and not killed your self. hehe if your going to be dumb please only take your self out!
pdub77 (author)  Trixer6 years ago
with all due respect. . . all of this information can be obtained from my instructable or the comment threads. thank you, though.
you are right on with the shine..... the same process is followed in madison county arkansas
pdub77 (author)  thughes2085 years ago
Thanks, thughes.
lakerboy116 years ago
i live at sea level and at 173 nothing comes out and at 190 it comes out is this still good?
lakerboy116 years ago
i was told that methanol is only produced when grains wheats or corn was added to the mash, is this true? And does the rubber plug affect th temp reading of the thermometer?
pyrokid236 years ago
can u use wine,and do the same process,and if so what temp or is it the same
pdub77 (author)  pyrokid236 years ago
Let me put it this way, I built my first still before my wash was done. In order to test the still (and also because I was too impatient to wait another couple of weeks to test my handiwork) I bought a bottle of jug wine and distilled that. It works exactly the same way, but with something like wine, there is no need to worry about methanol or other impurities. I got a liquor that would burn with only one pass through a still just like the one I made here.
so i want to make this all clear....when boiling...you dump out everthing before 153 degrees( or whatever that methanol boiling is) and then you keep whatever is between 154 and 173( whatever ethanol is) and then you dump out everything after 174? i know somehow it might have been said but i want it clean and clear what im dealing with...so the 154 and 173 would be the window where you want the stuff and everything outside of it is what you called the heads and tales and you dump that out....please let me know
pdub77 (author)  dschmidt14506 years ago
that is essentially correct. what you keep is what corresponds to the boiling point of what you want, i.e. ethanol (approximately 173 degrees). throw out anything below and anything above.
sara1296 years ago
for that window what is the temp of the tail in a batch
pdub77 (author)  sara1296 years ago
just watch for when the temp starts climbing again.
Distillation can also be used for other liquids besides the alcohol family. The company I work for uses a large (compared to the tea kettle) system to separate different glycols (EG, DEG, and TEG) from water and solids. These liquids all boil at a higher temperature than water. What it boils down to (distillation humor haha) is essentially recycling of waste products that would have to be burned or otherwise disposed of into viable products (read industrial and automotive antifreeze etc...)
pdub77 (author)  backyardmunitionist6 years ago
distillation can be used to separate a multitude of liquids. we just seem to be fixated a bit on one in particular. =)
micsau6 years ago
ps not really necessary to hack up a thermos bottle (unless u have extra or picked one up at a garage sale for $0.50) a bucket from Home Depot will also serve you fine. at the end of the day, the condenser just needs to be cooled. in a cold winter environment an extended copper coil is even likely to work satisfactorily.
micsau6 years ago
thanks to all for their postings. pdub420, many thanks for getting this started. to all others, as pdub420 states, there is so much information out there; do a search on the net and read a number of sources and you'll eventually put it all together. all the information will be similar, but as they say there is more than one way to skin a cat. I have searched this in the past (also how i found this site) and the info and opinions are nearly limitless, but if you stick with some fundamental chemistry you really shouldn't go wrong
also....any link on how to make a fermenter?
great instructable and all the comments! I have one question though, I understand that methanol evaporates at 151deg, but my question is when it is evaporating, doesn't it go up the copper tube to the other side and cool and become a liquid again? and if so, are you supposed to 'dump' that part prior to the ethanol evaporating @ 172.4deg?
white856 years ago
so pretty much after you boiling water, sugar, and yeast mixture gets to 212F (at sea level) your gas has no methenol in it? and also in your mixture how much yeast and sugar do you need to mix with how much water?
bduff7 years ago
oh and with your 3 gallon mash how much shine do you end up with????
pdub77 (author)  bduff7 years ago
i got a few ounces out of it. five, ten, twenty. . . i can't remember.

this is an extremely small setup! this instructable is to show how it can be done on a small and cheap scale. if you want large scale, either duplicate this numerous times, or build something bigger. =)

(enough to get drunk a couple of times)
bduff7 years ago
hey pdub420! OK this sounds really cool and I think I understand it most of the way but when using the teakettle do you burn all the mash bone dry then fill it up again and again and again?and when you still for the second time on the shin do you just still the shin with out the mash?sorry if its a dumb question but I ant that smart lol
pdub77 (author)  bduff7 years ago
no reason to be sorry. we ask questions honestly when we don't know. there is nothing wrong with that. no run through a still is burned dry. that would defeat the purpose and basically just move the solution from one place to another. distillation is basically a mechanism for separating liquids that boil at different temperatures. the initial run gets rid of most of the water and other nasty bits. each successive run simply refines the alcohol that you are collecting. you will get closer and closer to burning off the entire solution with each run through the still. each time to run the wash through the still, you are only using what was produced on the last run. adding back anything else will only set you back a step. it will not be much with a setup this small, but that's the way it is.
minerug7 years ago
Am i correct when i say that you can extract terpenes from plants and such?
Thanks for this instructional, Ive enjoyed my homeshine very much!!!!!
cakes2277 years ago
so from what people are sayin about the whole methanol deal i gathered that if you just use a mash made from sugar and water you will get zero methhanol and i would be fine without removing the first and last parts of the distilate. Or am I wrong?
crf250rider7 years ago
so if i do have some methanol what does it do? if i use sugar and water will it make methanol? what about apple cider? i think apple cider could have a nice taste but im conserned about this whole methanol deal. thanks!
Big Bwana7 years ago
On the Methonal bit every ones talking about, if you are using a simple sugar or starch based mash, and not wood pulp, there will be no Methonal produced by the yeast hence there will be no Methonal in the end product, the compound in a poorly produced shine that gives you a headache or hangover is the Fusel alchols (oldschool shine makers called them fusel oils, since they look oily when coming out of the still ) The Fusel alcohols are normally found in the last cup of what you are distilling, the easyest way to remove them is to just return the last cup of distilled product and add it to your next batch so you don't lose any of the ethonal your after ( the same should be done for the first bit you remove as well, while your still heats up .... If you start makeing more the a liter at a time you'll learn wathcing tempuratures are important and this will make some exellant shine ( so do reflux distillers ) While the removal of the fusel will remove some of the taste if your good at what you do there will not be a headache or hangover the next day no matter how much you overindulge....
flio1917 years ago
dude, i have that exact same cup measure. i got it at the dollar store. XD
bodger7 years ago
If you want a more detailed treatise on home distilling, you could try: http://www.expats.org.uk/features/alcohol/theblueflame.html
The Blue Flame was produced over 40 years ago to give sound advice to expatriates working in countries where prohibition ruled - Saudi Arabia and later Kuwait.
jwa51647 years ago
the kettle still was how I started out. I soon graduated to a stainless steel kettle from the local WalMart. There are many websites to help you build a great still. Also, buy distillers yeast from a beer/wine website. To avoid methyl alchohal, the easy way is to stick to grains in the wash.I made 180 proof corn liquer with just canned corn and good yeast. Avoid fruits or pure sugar. Also, if you distill at proper temps, about 188 to 190 fahrenhiet, you won't even come close to methyl. Definately go with a bigger pot for a still. Stuff comes out tastes like honey. Also, a good distalate burns blue in a spoon!
steven4907 years ago
check out coppermoonshinestills.com for a bunch of free mash recipes
steven4907 years ago
some recommend a simple slobber box attached inline, between the cooker and the condenser, to catch any solids that might be pushed into the line during boiling. also, whatever distillate comes out from the first run should probably be run through again, if not a third time, to remove many of the hangover causing impurities. you'll get less, but better hooch. i'm in the process of learning, too, but it sounds like sound advice.
TomMelee7 years ago
The answer is that you can't get methanol unless you start with a methanol source. The feds put methanol in things they don't want us to distill, starting before prohibition, simply to keep us from distilling it. So, unless you start out with something like turpentine or isopropanol , you're fine. Stick with things like your own homebrew, wine, and "sugar water", and you're never going to make methanol, not matter how much of a retard you are.
DrStoooopid7 years ago
okay, how do you know you're not getting methanol?
KNOTTYMAN7 years ago
Great instructable. If you're afraid of bending the copper tubing and you don't have the proper tools. It takes a little time and a couple of extra steps. You can fill the tubing with fine sand and plug the ends of the tubing. This fills the void and helps to prevent the tubing collapsing on itself. Coil it and wash it out and sterilze.