making methanol

Hi im looking to make some methanol i have heard you cna do this by mixing cabon monoxide and hydrogen but i have no idea how anyone got any ideas for making these and therefore being able to make methanol or other ways of making methanol cheers josh

Topic by minus273degrees   |  last reply


Petrol substitute, how can I make it at home? Answered

I want to make "petrol" at home, I'm quite handy and have a few tools and skills, it's my first post and I'm no science wizz! I can make wine etc, hope this will help in some way? Thanks All Weg

Question by weg42   |  last reply


I need a way to evaporate methanol quickly. Answered

I'm working on a potato cannon that's using methanol as a propellant. it has a piston that pushes the spent air out and pulls good air in, and it pulls it in a tube that contains a methanol soaked rag. I thought this would be enough to fuel the cannon; however, there isn't enough methanol vapor leaving the tube and entering the combustion chamber. I was wondering if anyone knew of some way I could get more fumes to enter the chamber. I've already tried quilt batting soaked in methanol and cardboard soaked in methanol.

Question by codongolev   |  last reply


CO2 hydrogenation (CO2 + hydrogen = methanol) how to ?

I am wondering if methanol production (as a byproduct of CO2 and hydrogen) would be possible as diy project  . I have been reading about CO2 hydrogenation that (as topic mentioned) would lead to methanol production. Methanol would be easier to store than hydrogen ,no needing special equipment (refrigerated containers ). Anyone familiar with this ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanol One of the patents available: http://www.google.com/patents?id=mTI5AAAAEBAJ&pg;=PA7&dq;=co2+hydrogenation&hl;=en&ei;=J0PuTeT6KseD-wbZ_cX6Bw&sa;=X&oi;=book_result&ct;=result&resnum;=6&ved;=0CDIQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q;=co2%20hydrogenation&f;=false

Topic by gabdab   |  last reply


Is there a way to measure for methanol in your final product

Is there a way to measure for methanol in your final product?

Topic by Tjmcwi   |  last reply


how can i make a methanol fuel cell?

Is there any way in wich I could build a portable lightweight methanol fuel cell?

Question by corpz192   |  last reply


It shouldn't be possible to produce methanol by distilling store bought wine because it shouldn't have any in it right? Answered

It should only contain ethanol right? Otherwise you would get methanol poisoning from drinking it in the first place before distilling? 

Question by ducks6   |  last reply


what should i preserve a pig's heart in that isn't formaldehyde? Answered

I heard methanol and ethanol, but other than ever clear, i don't know where to obtain such chemicals. The Wikipedia for embalming fluid isn't all that helpful. i would like to keep this heart in a jar for as long as possible.

Question by Robb   |  last reply


where can someone get chemicals for a chemistry instructables? My instructable is on methane to methanol conversion.

Where can someone get chemicals for a chemistry instructables? My instructable is on methane to methanol conversion. It uses a catalist and changes methane to methanol at room temperiture based on a peer reviewed reserch article cited in the instructable.

Question by josheeg   |  last reply


where can someone get chemicals for a chemistry instructables? My instructable is on methane to methanol conversion.

Where can someone get chemicals for a chemistry instructables? My instructable is on methane to methanol conversion. It uses a catalist and changes methane to methanol at room temperiture based on a peer reviewed reserch article cited in the instructable.

Topic by josheeg   |  last reply


Homemade Sterno type stuff

I was wondering if it would be possible to make a homemade version of sterno similar to the actual stuff. Heres a bit of info on it "Invented around 1900, Sterno is made from ethanol, methanol, water and an amphoteric oxide gelling agent, plus a dye that gives it a characteristic pink color. Designed to be odorless, a 7 oz (198 g) can will burn for up to two hours. The methanol is added to denature the product, which essentially is intended to make it too toxic to be drinkable " There at least are the components but of course no measurements. And where the heck would I get methanol anyway /shrug Not sure wed really need it anyhow. I thought maybe a vaseline and alcohol mixture might be a good place to start but Im not really sure. Any thoughts?

Topic by kithso   |  last reply


how can i turn plastic into fuel for my car ? Answered

Plastic disposal is an ever increasing problem, and here in africa is hell lot a problem, i tried making biodiesel from an instructable but the cost of methanol is too high, so i was wondering if it were possible to convert plastic back into oil and use it for my car

Question by fisherman6378   |  last reply


can sodium nitrate be used to make a cotton string fuse that will not go out after i blow out like a gun powder fuse? Answered

I will soon make soidium nitrate but a instructable said it will absorb water and become useless qquickly so im going to plan ahead, i will make it into a fuse to ignite hydrogen balloons i let into the air for fun , the methanol string fuse keeps going out and a whole hydrogen balloon takes 12 minutes to inflate, like i sqaid im planing ahead

Question by oldmanbeefjerky   |  last reply


How do i distill meths so its safe to drink?

My sister thinks that she can distil meths by straining it through bread and honestly i don't think it will work, so i want a more safe method. Please help.I'm so sorry for wasting all your time but i just found out that meths in nz has had ALL the methanol removed! :-)Thankyou to all of your for your help though.

Topic by joelkemu   |  last reply


What is the best way to dispose of used alcohol cleaner? Evaporate, Burn, Flush, ...? Answered

My electric razor cleans itself with alcohol. I need to change the fluid every few months. What is the greenest way to dispose of the dirty alcohol? I can't decide if it is better to flush, burn, or evaporate it. I think it contains some methanol (probably  - it is 'denatured'). The can doesn't say what the denaturing agent is. It is sold as shellac thinner and stove fuel. It also includes a small amount of d-Limonene (orange terpene), plus the whisker residue.

Question by SFHandyman   |  last reply


Nylon and substitutes on a cold bed

It's been some time and I made progress with Nylon. Aldi had some cheap craft glue with methanol as the solvent - this stuff works great for PLA, ABS AND Nylon. The common problem with nylon is that it has no real adhesion to anything, except cardboard and bakelite. Cardboard makes a clean up nightmare and bakelite is not always easy to find, especially not the right type. So I tried various glues, paints and primers but none was really suited for all printing needs. And the cleanup of the bed is imoprtant too as I did not want to spend hours scrubbing with acetone or similar nasty solvents. After the first great succes with the clear Aldi craft glue I checked the local 2$ shops and carft stores and found similar glueswith methanol as a solvent. Since not everyone is lucky enough to get these specials I will tell you what to look out for if you try clear craft glue: Don't buy anything that can be cleaned up with water - you want methanol or ethanol as the solvent in the glue! Do a test with the glue on something that usually does not bind well to cheap glue, like glass and blister packs. Let the glue dry and peel it off - it should be a clear film that is quite strong and barely streches when you pull it. It almost feels like hard paper. All good so far? Check if the nylon, pla or abs really sticks to it: Spread a very thin layer on a piece of cardboard and let dry. Add another, thicker layer and let dry again. Now hold it under your nozzle and extrude a bit of filament while moving the cardboard around. Let cool and check how good it sticks. In a perfect world the cool plastic should peel the papaer off with the glue. Time to prepare your print bed the same way and to start printing ;) Just use a very thin first layer and for the first layer much lower speeds than usual. I print nylon with 60mm/s and the first layer at just 25mm/s, any faster and the first layer does not look right. ABS and PLA are much more forgiving here.

Topic by Downunder35m 


Wood vinegar and wood alcohol.

I've recently been doing research about how to make my own charcoal and I found that as a by-product that either wood vinegar or wood alcohol is made. One of the pages I found in looking for information was https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Wood-Gas-Wood-Alcohol/ and it led me to believe that what is produced i alcohol, but more research seemed to say it was actually wood vinegar that was produced. The problem is that Everything I've found is conflicting as to which it is that is produced. My understanding is that the two substances aren't the same, but that there is some methanol in wood vinegar. What I want to know is which it is that is produced, and if it's wood vinegar, can it be converted to wood alcohol, or burned as it is. 

Topic by MadcatTLX   |  last reply


Green and sexy car show

The Morgan LIFE car will get it's first UK airing at the Eden Project next weekend.The Morgan LIFE car, probably the sexiest green car in existence is a fuel cell-powered electricsports car built by Morgan Motor Company and startup efficient transport company RiverSimple. Research and development is by QinetiQ, Linde, Cranfield University and backed by BERR. This is its first UK outing.Four stacks of fuel cells convert the hydrogen fuel into electricity to run a super efficient motor generator attached to each wheel. Energy recovered in braking is stored in ultra capacitors rather than batteries, and end to end the performance is estimated to be equivalent to a 150mpg petrol engine. With a top speed of 85mph, 0-60 in less than 7 seconds and a 250 mile range, the mix of technology has been packaged by Morgan to add yet another unique twist to the project. Using only the best and lightest materials, aluminium, wood and leather, the Morgan DNA is clearly visible, adding a new dimension into an environmentally sensitive concept.And Lotus will be showcasing their most powerful Exige yet:The Lotus Exige 270E Tri-fuel is the most powerful version of the Lotus Exige ever, and it runs on any mixture of gasoline, bioethanol and methanol. It is the latest research vehicle from Lotus Engineering, the consultancy division of Group Lotus plc.Emerging technologies will allow alcohol fuels such as methanol, already a proven internal combustion fuel, to be made synthetically from CO2 extracted from the atmosphere. A fuel derived renewably from atmospheric CO2 would be a key piece of the jigsaw allowing society to transfer to sustainable, renewable, carbon-neutral internal combustion.Lotus Engineering is researching the use of sustainable synthetic alcohols as future fuels for introduction within 15 - 20 years.The Exige 270E Tri-fuel is part of Lotus' research into the complex combustion and calibration processes for powering vehicles on mixtures of alcohol fuels and gasoline, which will be important for a successful transition from today's fuels. Its flex-fuel technology gives a practical route to the introduction of sustainable synthetic fuels. Using an alcohol sensor in the fuel system and the advanced Lotus engine management system, the Exige 270E Tri-fuel runs on any mixture of gasoline, bioethanol and methanol. This is all happening at the Eden Project in Cornwall, one of the UK's flagship environmental projects, with some of the world's largest biodomes built into an old claypit.All the major manufacturers will be flaunting their newest, greenest models including Ford, Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, Volkswagen, SEAT, Honda, Axon, Lotus, Saab and Morgan. Vectrix's electric motorcycle will also be on show, and the hydrogen-powered Morgan LIFE car will make its first public appearance (in the UK).There will also be exhibitors demonstrating how to maintain and even insure your car in a greener way. One stand will feature a driving simulator that they claim can teach you to drive in such a way that your carbon emissions are cut by 15%, there will be a pedal-car race track for the kids, and a Grow Your Own car trail around the rainforest.We visited last Summer, and can recommend it to anybody. If your not aiming for a specific event, go on a Tuesday (it's quieter) and check opening times - opening times on some days are several hours longer than others.Eden Project

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Which low boiling fluid to use (that won't corrode metals and plastics)?

I'm having a bit of a headache trying to chose and procure a working fluid to use in my solar device. It needs to be low boiling, but as my device so far is involving copper, aluminium and maybe some plastics and rubbers, it would also need to be as non corrosive as poss. Cheap and plentiful are also important, not so much for the prototype, but when these things are ultimately used, they need to be easy to assemble. The four options I'm aware of so far are: Methanol boils at 64.7 °C, I thought it would be easy to get but is turning out quite difficult and maybe expensive, also apparently eats through every material I plan to use. Ethanol Boiling Point: 78.4 °C, easier to get but still corrosive. Hexane Boiling Point: 69 °C, not corrosive (?) but not at all easy to get or cheap. Water Boiling Point: 100 °C, which may be a bit too high. The fluids will be boiling in a non-pressurised but sealed environment, so no atmospheric water will be able to get in or out. Help?

Topic by SolarFlower_org   |  last reply


Hydrogen for renewable energy storage- total system efficiency?

This is a question that has been bugging me for some time, especially since the questions about methanol synthesis revived my interest in energy storage. Say I have a wind turbine or solar panel or whatever, that produces 1000 Wh per day.  If I use that electricity to electrolyse water, store the generated hydrogen at roughly atmospheric pressure in an upside-down water butt or a big gas-tight bag in my shed (don't worry, I'm not going to actually do this) and then feed it into a generator converted to run on H2, what percentage of that initial energy input would I get back out?  20%?  5%? 1%? The follow-up questions to this are a) How does that compare against a battery bank? What about a similar DIY-style pumped water storage system? b) What one component of the system should be improved to raise the overall system efficiency? Electrolyser, storage, generator? c) Are there any other DIY-friendly methods for storing intermittently generated electricity that I'm not thinking of? And, I suppose, d) Does doing this and providing 5-10x your overall power requirements in wind turbines work out cheaper than spending thousands on batteries?

Topic by PKM   |  last reply


Boiling a fluid to make a inverse water wheel?

Ok, how about this; Submerge a waterwheel type structure with cups facing downwards on one side. Under the cups you have some kind of heating element. The fluid is methanol or some other low boiling fluid. A very small amount of heat from the element will produce bubbles, which rise and are caught in the cups, the wheel turns and can generate electricity or whatever. I'm using this principle in another application, but thought it could be quite an efficient means of generating electricity from heat. If the meths is sitting at forty something degrees and boils around 50, it shouldn't take hardly any energy to tip it over. And since you're effectively generating force from gravity (the weight of the fluid on the other side of the wheel) you're kind of getting ten times your force back. ie producing one litre of bubbles will give you 9.8 Newtons of force (for water, 8ish for meths). So (excuse my dodgy maths) 125 litres of bubbles in an hour would give you 1 kiloWatt hour? One cola bottle per minute, doesn't sound very much and that much energy could easily be produced through concentrated solar. Slight risk of explosion... How efficient do you think it would be, overall?

Topic by SolarFlower_org   |  last reply


How do i make ethanol from sugar cane? Answered

Its cane harvest season and the railway pickup lines are littered with pre chopped sugar cane stalks that fell off the carts while loading, also every road side creek is surrounded by sugar cane which is unharvestable and for all intents and purposes, as useful as grass, so with either nobody will object to me taking them. Especially since its all on public property now anyway. Now, i want to produce as much ethanol as i can from a single batch using a 20L pressure cooker, the end use of the ethanol is for fuel, sterilization and cleaning, not drinking, infact i actually want it to produce more isopropinol alcohol if at all possible, iso is expensive and it would be fun to try to distill it out, or otherwise leave it in the end spirits. Now, i have no idea on how i can cleanly ferment sugar cane. Im going to ferment it sealed inside the pressure cooker, but first sterilize it as i dont want any other smelly volatiles to grow. also in the pressure cooker i can hook the pressure releif valve directly to the condenser. So, any idea on how i go about doing this? am i ok to just crush and chop the stalks and turn them into a dense soup, or is there a reason as to why i should need to juice them? Also do i need to add yest, and if so how much? This is as an experiment, to do it because i can and nothing more, im well aware i can easily go out and buy methanol, ethanol and isopropyl alcohol and make them that way, but this is a DIY site, who the hell here goes and buys something when they can make it themselves. So any suggestions would be well appreciated.

Question by oldmanbeefjerky   |  last reply


Wood gasifiers and safety - Carbon Monoxide poisoning - hospital

Sorry if it is in the wrong section of the forum. If it can be moved to a better place then do so. This is a quick mention to anyone that is playing around with any burners such as:    wood gas generator    bio-gas    wood gasifier    'hobo' stove I am not severely concerned but it did happen, I think it needs a mention, as it is for everyone's safety. After playing with wood gas and attempting methanol creation from a small gasifier unit for a few weeks, I had started to realize that each day I had a most annoying headache / migrane in my frontal area of my brain / head. They ended up getting so bad that my body could not tolerate them anymore and started to go into shock, causing a rather painful, endless throwing up session for many hours each time even.  It came to a point where after 3 weeks of playing with a bio-gas generator for about 4 hours a day had started to lead me into temporary blindness an hour and a half at a time. This was when I was concerned as I could not read any more instructables :( After a quick jot to the local doctors, I explained what I had been up to and I was correct. I had given myself the rather classic, and very close to death, carbon-monoxide poisoning where my doctor insisted I go to emergency at the hospital ( 2 hours away ) immediately and have someone else drive me. Pretty much equivalent to staying inside a garage with your car running for 5 hours, all the doors closed. I was very close to severe carbon monoxide poisoning and death.  At the hospital, blood was taken, analysed, and they had discovered large traces of C02 that they attempted to flush with some oxygen, but this only works to a point and they mentioned that nothing else could be done apart from telling me not to use or be near any smoke sources for at least 3 weeks and I should recover fine. I am still playing with my wood gas generators, and attempting to make methanol, but these days, after 3 days ago, I take further safety precautions to make sure it wont happen again. Such as: ventilation / exhaust fan ( I WAS OUTSIDE WHEN I WAS POISONED! DONT TAKE THIS LIGHTLY! ) keep a distance, find a better way to ignite / extinguish the burner keep your face and body out of the smoke dont watch the flames / smoke from above for any longer than 2 seconds do not taunt the Criosote by-product of wood. I am not sure which is more toxic. The smoke or this.   ( criosote / bio-crude, whatever you want to call it, it is the condensate of the burner unit containing more chemicals, very stinky) do not store criosote indoors withough a sealable container ( the smell likes to soak into things, like my kitchen ) if you know what you are doing, keep oxygen tank nearby use all protective clothing and masks, etc. There was a small arrogance in my head when playing with these units. And that is simply that I was thinking 'it is just smoke'. Wood gas generators are generating a much more toxic smoke than just sitting around your camping fire and should not be considered to be something to play with, without proper valves, pipes, burn off points etc. It contains on some scale: carbon-monoxide, methane, acids ( acetic ), tar and many other defects that will cause you issues if you are not careful. Keep it safe guys, this was a rather difficult one for explination, but I do not want someone other than me to be in that same sickness / position as I was with the poisoning, as it is the most painful experience I had yet had.  Worse than me hitting a tree head on at 80km/h. Worse than falling 2 stories off a cliff onto rocks. Worse than being hit by a car and thrown over it's windscreen. Worse than the feeling of an unsuccessful home made rocket launch. All of these above I have had happen to me, and the poisoning was by far the worst and I was scared more for my life than than any above accidents. It is not a very nice feeling, it is a deathly, sickly, useless feeling, blindness is not far away from death if found in this situation. Oxygen / fresh air is the only thing to help you if poisoned, even if in hospital. Keep it safe guys. If you want me to write up a full on poster on wood-gas / wood-heater safety I can or even just a propper write - up on general safety with this smoke and the wood gas units etc. Ask please and I will. Hospital staff will most likely give you 'items of interest' for instructables if you just ask them too. I have a heap of things from a stethoscope to vials to 'red dots' for homemade ECG machines. They tend to like crazies like me that make weird stuffs .. i hope ive gotten the point across anyway.   

Topic by AtomRat   |  last reply


Pure cacsaicin from chilli peppers

I already had a quite long Ible in the making when it downed on me that not too many people should actually create such a dangerous substance at home.So instead I decided to just write a bit about the history, general procedures and what is possible or not.If you already made your own chilli exptract for a special hot sauce or your home made pepper spray then you feel right at home.Those who never done anything like it or at least some essential oil extractions might just find some other interesting stuff to read.I won't go into all details here as those with the basic knowledge will already know the precautions and most things.Capsaicin...The stuff that makes your exes run, clear you nose and makes you sweat like you on fire.At least if it comes within you favourite dish.In the pure form it is a severe irritant and should be handled like explosives or concentrated acids.You just won't make a mistake with this stuff twice - trust me!What really harms you is not the capsaicin itself, it is your bodies reaction to it!It stimulates the same nerves responsible to feel heat and pain, sometimes those for a severe itch as well.And unlike a normal reaction you would get from hot water, it won't stop until it is fully removed.Even after this the body keeps reacting for bit longer.On the skin you can end up with blisters like from a real burn, in your airways it can make breathing impossible!And lets just say that swimming goggles won't look as dumb and funny on your face once you realise you got some fine crystals on your face....If you dare to continue then I assume you are well aware of the risks, dangers and PPE requirements!Pure or extract?I checked tons of so called instructions on how to make pure or 99% pure capsaicin from chilli peppers.They all just produce a really crude mix of goo that happens to have a lot of capsaicin in it.If it is red or even darker it is nowhere near pure.If it has a weird smell that has really nothing in common with chilli than it is even worse.If it is more or less colorless, with a very strong scent that your nose does not like at all then we are getting somewhere.So why is it that we always end up with this color that is impossible to remove?Extracting chilli peppers....A thing most people ignore a bit when in a hurry is that an alcohol extraction requires DRY alcohol.You just won't tolerate water in it, which is why often methanol comes easier and cheaper than ethanol.Some people even think just because the alcohol is either evaporated or distilled off that all is good when using things like methylated spirit.Ever had the problem that you used that stuff and your hot sauce made you vomit after realising that it comes with a bad and extremely bitter after taste?That is the stuff that makes your home depot ethanol unuasable ;)If you use homegrown or otherwise fresh chilli you need to fully dry it first!Don't be fooled by people stating they did it with fresh peppers.What you get this way is some of the worst extractions you can get.Don't be fooled to think you need some Carolina Reaper either.A big bag of chilli powder from your grocery store will do just fine.So what is all in our extract?Alcohol or any other solvent usable for a capsaicin extraction also dissolves a lot of other things.Like the beta carotenes that give the extract the organge to red color.The skin and the entire fruit also contains oils, plus the shiny outside is mostly due to wax...All of this ends in your extract....You not only get what you want and might not mind but also everything else you don't want.Making the difference....The impossible we do right away, for miricles or wonder allow a day or two of processing ;)Assuming you end with a rather large qauntity of alcohol the concentration of everything is relatively low.If you used something like a Soxhlet extraction you already degraded a lot of the capsaicin due to the heat.And even after the best filtering you might have a clear solution but whatever is not a solid is still in there.Imagine you would put it all into a freezer....Surprisingly a lot of stuff won't stay in solution once cooled down enough.Especially if you give it a few days.Depending on what you started with you either get a slimy looking sludge or some crystals showing.Either way it needs to be filtered out and washed.For the washing use the same pure alcohol as before but make sure it is well cooled.If any cacsaicin was already forming crystals then they will be washed into your solution again now to a little extend.But you removed an awful lot of the wax if it was not capsaicin already. ;)Testing the slurry we collected.When using chilli powder from the shops I noticed that there is often no wax to be found at all.While for fresh produce the content is significant.Once dry you make a simple test with water.Capsaicin basically does not dissolve in water, so it would sink to the bottom while wax floats ;)I assume you ended with little to no wax but fine capsaicin instead.From the natural form it is very hard to get crystals bigger than a dust particle.This only happens if the temperature is cold enough and the concentration high enough.As my entire setup is quite small I usually prepare several 500ml plastic bottles that I fill to one quarter by height with chilli powder and then fill up to half with methanol.In the end I use a full 1kg bad of chilli powder but only a may of 5 to ten bottles.Making the most of it.When using alcohol extraction you want to use a little of the solvent as possible.Use means here wasting it instead of recycling it.Once I filtered my white slurry out I destill the remaining solution to reduce it by 50-75%.An almost dark red color is usually when it is time to stop.After this I place it back in the freezer for a day to check if more crystals or slurry forms.If so then I filter it off again.What is left is then mixed with recycled and fresh methanol to soak more chilli powder in my bottles.Means I discard the filtered of chilli poweder once washed, recycle what I can from the methanol and keep whatever the slurry produces that is not wax or dissolves in water.Depending with how much chilli you start you will get to the point where your filtered solution is already dark red.Since the final capsaicin won't dissolve in water you can destill with some added (destilled) water.This way you recover the alcohol without risking to get a sticky goo everyhwere that you need to clean off.It is quite possible to get some more capsaicin this way as with the alcohol leaving it will participate out.Simply filter the solution once the alcohol is recovered.As the beta carotenes won't dissolve well in water either it is best to perfom this destillation while all is mixed.If you can't do this then don't worry to much, it just means a few more minutes of cleaning later ;)Testing the final product....What you have left once the slurry is dried should be almost colorless with maybe a pale yellow in it.Fully dried it should appear as basically white.There should be no smell to it, nothing to tickkle you nose.Colorless and odorless.For whatever reason I still sometimes end up with a very faint smell.Not really chilli though...Depending on the temperature the products is either quite hard to almost britlle (when frozen) to almost wax like at room temp and above.I highly recommend against testing whatever you have on your skin or to ingest it!!!Waste some sauce base like ketchup (you can add it later to your sauce again) or some butter - I prefer the later.Butter become liquid well below the 65°C celsius decomposition temp for capsaicin, so it should dissolve very easy in it.Take a shot glass with just enough butter for a sandwich and dip a toothpick into your product.Make sure there it a tiny bit on it and not that the toothpick has a thick coating!Once cooled down while mixing every now then spread it on some sandwich and take a bite.After a minute or two you should definitately feel a difference to just butter - hopefully not too hot.If nothing happens repeat with a bit more on the toothpick.Still nothing at all usually means you filtered out only by-products and for some reasons managed to make the capsaicin disappear.Hints and tips that might safe your bacon....Methanol boils at about 64°C, ethanol at about 77°C.Capsaicin starts to decompose at 65°C.Not a big deal but if you get to the 80° mark, which is easy which ethanol you might have to use evaporation instead of destillation and waste the alcohol to your surrounding air...Water...For the final product it is not a problem but during the extraction process it is.Despite some people claiming otherwise both the quality and amount of what you end up with are lower.It seems some of the capsaicin binds to the water molecules with the help of some other stuff that the plant material provides.And when you try to destill a solution that was contaminated with water from the chilli it tends to foam up quite badly.While with pure alcohol and fully dried product there is no foaming.What to expect when collecting the end product...At room temperature you can dissolve what you get in product from one kg of dried chilli powder in under 10ml of pure alcohol.However at -20°C next to nothing dissolves in the alcohol.That means as long as you have still over lets say 1000ml alcohol extract then very little will participate out.Just one reason why I prefer to work with small batches - keeps the concentration higher from the start.The more you destill off and re-use the higher the capsaicin concentration in the alcohol will be.So before you start to add any water for the destillation you need to be aware of the consequences.I found out that first destilling most of the alcohol off the single rounds that got too dark in color helps.I just collect this conentrate for the final destillation process.Key is to destill this off to the point where it just starts to thicken up a bit.It should still be liquid but act almost like a thin oil.You don't want it so thick that is crates a coating on the walls when you move the liquid around.In case it did happen just add a tiny amount of alcohol again.Put in the freezer for a few days....Empty into your filter and let as much as possible drip out.Rinse with as little alcohol as possible - have the rinsing alcohol at -20C as well .Do not wash the filter with water but with the frozen cold rinsing alcohol.Cover the filter up and leave in a cool place for the next run - have something under it as it might still let a drip or two off.The remaining liquid leave to evaporate off until it just starts to thick up again a tiny bit - back in the freezer for a day or two.Filter out again then while still a bit wet turn the filter over to remove most what is in it.I prefer to empty onto a teflon sheet and to wear full PPE here....While still wet you try to remove more from the filter with a fine but short brush, knife or whatever you find suitable.Do not continue any action once the stuff starts to dry!Place the filter into a sealed bag and leave in your freezer for when you do anthoer extraction - this way you loose far less product ;)When doing a final destillation with added water to cover all the alcohol you are left with the remains of the original product, minus all solids.Beta carotene is quite beneficial, so it would make sense to include it into your hot sauce.Plus there will always be some leftover capsaicin in it.If you want to use this part of the extract as well to really get what is possible then IMHO slow is better.You can't just destill off or boil off the water to get a nice "sauce" base.The capsaicin that is left would be mostly decomposed and with no effect anymore.A clear sign of too much temperature is bad smell that really turns you off.Hard to define in words but trust me, if you smell it you know what I means as you woul refuse to have this smell coming from your final hotsauce.During the summer it no problem to just leave it out to evaporate in the shade !You can do it in full sun but must make sure no sunlight gets into the liquid.UV decomposes at least a lot of the karotenes....Special equippment at hand? If you happen to have a vacuum pump or at least a salvaged fridge compressor you can safe a lot of time.A buchner filter for 500ml in the top is quite cheap but you can build something similar with a normal funnel.Look it up it you want...A proper buchner filter however already comes with a very fine glass filter built in.Means you don't really need any filter paper - I still add it as it makes the cleaning easier.Instead of waiting several hours for gravity to do its work on a coffe filter you are done in a few minutes.Well worth trying out!For the water destillation of the remaining end product, or by-product if you like, vacuum also helps.CVD or Closed Vacuum Destillation sound complicated but is really simple.One pressure vessel is filled with the solution to be conectrated, the other is kept empty.Connected with a suitable pipe or hose and fully sealed.The extract is heated to about 40°C while the empty vessel is placed into an ice bath.With the pump and the help of a valve create just enough vacuum so create small bubbles in the heated vessel.Close the valve and a few hours later there should be far less water in the hot one while the frozen one builds up ice.Every now and then check the vacuum gauge and if require start the pump again.You can do with just the pump and one vessel....Problem is that the oil in your pump will quickly get far too contaminated with water.You could add a conatainer with something like an absorbent but it would have to be sufficient for all the water you need to remove.Most of all it must be able to absorb it fully before the airstream enters the compressor.The benefit is that the capsaicin can't decompose at all.In a vacuum or close to it anyways, a lot of the things that procude smell also disappear through the compressor.Won't help it was already a stinky mess but will certainly reduce the smell of the concentrate.If you prefer to keep this aroma for your final sauce then do not use a vacuum.Why not a Soxhlet or similar device as used for essential oil extraction?The benefit seems to be clear:You have a relatively large vessel to hold a lot of chille powder and can let the alcohol cycle and wash it out completly...Theory is not always reality.....Firstly the alcohol runs through it many times while it dissolves what it can from the powder.That means each round you actually wash with a higher concentration until there is equal amounts in the alcohol and the powder.You waste about 50% of the end product unless you repeat it all several times with fresh alcohol.Worst of all however is the temperature, even if you use methanol.To make the alcohol evaporate enough to make the process work properly and in a timely fashion it must be heated to above 65°C, in most cases even with a proper heating mantle you won't have the temperature control tight enough.It is quite possible to destroy 70% of the capsaicin this way....The condesers used are also not really suitable for these low temperatures.Means you should use ice water to cool.Either way you will loose a lot of what could otherwise be product.Funny things that might stumble you along the way.In the freezer the solution will participate out a bit.However, when back to room temperature most if it will still be there, only a fraction goes back into solution.I could not figure out why this happens but once heated to about 40°C it all dissolves again.Filter fully blocked by the product?The fine sludge can be a problem even with a proper vacuum filtration unit.Especially if the product is still not really a solid once fully dried.A paper filter can be re-used many times but whatever makes it past and into the glass filter is tricky.You should not get much here if the paper filter was fine enough but if it builds up to the point where it makes the filtration long and slow:Remove the paper filter and add a small amount of luke warm alcohol.If it does not start to trickle through already give it a minute or two before turning the vacuum on.Starts a bit slow but should clear up quickly, if in doub repaet with a large volume of alcohol.I prefer to do this cleaning before I start a new bag of powder or whever I need to restock.Means I can use the same alcohol I had to clean the filter to add to the bottles with powder ;)Nothing gets wasted if you are prepared....If you find any typos in the above then feel free to keep them.However if you decide to use the typos for monetary gain I would kindly ask for 5% of the net profit made from my typos.;)

Topic by Downunder35m 


Heated print beds - are they overrated gimmicks?

For years now I use my old, trusty Mega Prusa with the bare basics in terms of hardware. But basically every new printer out there comes with heated print beds and most users "upgrade" to one to get better quality prints. So I started to to check the reprap forums and other websites to find out why a heated would be a "must have". Quite a simple task you might think, but not so for someone who prints every material on a cold bed with success... What are the official pro statements for a heated bed? 1. Better bed adhesion of course. 2. Less warping of parts. 3. Far less problems with layer seperation. 4. Better print results. And of course there are a few more but not worth listing them. Why do I think most of the four statements are actually unrelated to using a heated bed? Bed adhesion is a matter of print material and surface of the bed / bed preperation, like tape, glue and such. If you filament peels off a cold bed with no adhesion at all it simply means the surface is either unclean or unsuited for the print material. Warping of parts happens because the material shrinks when it cools down, a heated bed is only able to keep a certain height of the print warm. Higher prints won't have any benefit in terms of better layer adhesion with a heated bed. Same goes for seperating layers. Unlike the common believe a heated bed does not fix this problem - it only masks it! Layers seperate because there is not enough bonging between them. This can be due to insuffient extrusion width, too high print layers, wrong print temperature and of course wrong z-axis stepping and wrong extrusion multiplicator. And how good a print comes out of your printer depends on a good calibration and proper print settings - again a heated bed only masks problems ;) Ok, so heated beds are nonsense, right? Well, wrong again ;) They take a lot of worry out of the daily print life to start with. Especially prints with big foot print will benefit, although PLA should never be a problem on a cold bed. If you print long parts in ABS or even Nylon you can have a hard time forcing the plastic to stay on the bed all around the print. A heated bed, with the right settings of course, can make sure your print keeps the shape until it is high enough so the bottom part won't be affected by shrinking anymore. My opinion on how to get the best results... Manage to print on a cold bed first! Smaller parts don't need a heated bed anyway, so use them to improve on your skills of finding the perfect bed material / coating! You will find that once you have really optimised your printer and settings most parts won't need a heated bed anymore. Once you are really happy with the result of smaller prints on a cold bed try something bigger and pay close attention to any problems on the way. For example a big print might start out perfectly but after about 5-10mm of print height you see the part starts to warp and slowly peels of the print bed - especially long parts or thin areas are affected. The infill also affects how a parts reacts during the cooling, so try the same problem print with solid infill as well as only 15% infill to compare - you can stop the print once the problem is identified, don't waste filament. Now comes the magic of the heated bed... You want the temp as low as possible but still high enough to prevent the warping! Why go low if high would help more?? Simply said: If the bed is too hot the part stays soft for a long time, which can badly affect layer bonding and shape. Imagine you squish the plastic on an already "hard" layer - the plastic is pressed flat to be within the set specs. Now if the the layer is still too hot and soft the plastic will push the lower layer in - which of course will expand outwards. So the layer can actually end up to be lower than it should be - layer will still peel ;) Start with around 50° C for ABS and turn the heat down gradually every 10 layers or 25 if you print really thin layers. If the part still prefers to warp go 10 degrees higher. But again: If the stuff would not stick properly on a cold bed work on that first! How do I print on a cold bed and claim it works fine? To be honest, with a lot of time spent on trying, calibrating and finding the right "magic" to put on the glass to make things stick. Nylon, if the part is big, can still be a frustrating task unless cardboard or Bakelite is used but I still prefer the glass bed. I no longer bother with tapes as it can be costly and I hate changing the entire setup just because I use a different material ;) As said, the main key is a proper calibration of hard- and software! If your prints look messy and you spend as much time cleaning your parts as printing them you know what I mean ;) At the moment my "bed magic" is a clear craft glue with methanol as a solvent, mine is from Aldi but similar products can be found in every craft store. The bed is sanded with 600 grid diamond blocks to be as flat as possible and to provide a bigger surface area for the glue. When mostly printing Nylon is first clean the bed with alcohol and put a layer of plastic primer on it before re-applying the glue. With the right temp settings this glue surface can be reused several times with increasing bond to the part. Once the glue start peeling off the bed it cut the area clean and apply another coat just in the spot. A single bottle of craft glue, diluted down by 20%, lasted now about 3 rolls of filament - not too bad for a 2$ investment LOL Seriously though, squeeky clean your glass bed using alcohol and / or acetone and play with different types of craft glue. You want the stuff that is clear and uses either methanol or ethanol as the solvent, don't bother with water based glues! If the glue sticks well to your part but peels off the bed easily try a layer of plastic primer on the bed first - do this outside! However, if your printer is only capable of using PLA anyway you might not want to bother at all and stick to tape ;)

Topic by Downunder35m 


The little moonshiner....

Found an old topic that someone reactivated with a reply, so I though I do a new one to make it easier. "Moonshine" can be as tasty as any good spirit from the shops. I have done a few liters back in my days... There are a few things to consider right from the start though. What type of sugar is used, e.g. fruits, corn, wheat, potatoes or plain sugar and water. Equally important is the yeast, some prefer natural fermantation, others use baker's yeast, most prefer dedicated yeasts for wine. Even the water used plays a role in the final taste!Hygine is another thing that many people overlook or neglect. Anything that can grow in a warm and sweet enviroment will grow rapidly! That means if your yeast is not good or fast enough, other cultures can take over and sometimes totally change the outcome and quality. In some cases, like with fruits to the better but usually to the worse. Imagine you want to bake a nice cake with vanilla in it. But since your vanilla stick is already quite old and you stored it together with your garden herbs in one jar.... You get the idea of taste I hope ;) Just go from start to finnish like you would prepare chicken meat together with fish - keep it clean, keep it healthy.The still.... Now, if you trust some old blokes doing moonshine since they were kids then it all sounds so easy. But for the hobby brewer there are now tons of options available. Basic pot stills you can put on your stove, electric ones that are basically just an electric boiler with a cooling tube, tower models with several levels of control or the good old "reflux" still in copper. Why is it important to know your way around stills? Again, if you ask a cook then he will tell you why he uses a certain pot for certain dishes or why he won't work with certain materials. Sometimes it is for taste or ease of handling, often just preference. Lets check the main differences in material. We have the modern stainless steel and the classic copper. Stainless steel is easy to clean, won't affect the taste and won't cause any chemical reactions that would alter the taste of your product. That is true only if you trust the manufacturers ;) To compensate for the problems I will explain in a bit they use all sorts of gadgets. I call them brewing helpers and explain them in a bit. Copper on the other hand is now quite expensive and also deemed to be a pain to clean and sanitise. To be honest: how hard it is to clean a still only depends on the design. If you can seperate it into nice straight pieces with good access you can clean anything. But copper was and still is the prefered option for drinking vessels and cookware in a lot of cultures - and it is coming back into our kitchens now as well. Why is that then? Copper has natural sanitising abilities but also reacts with a lot of chemicals. And since copper is considered to be a "good" metal, these reactions usually happen only directly on the copper. Meaning all reaction products stay on the copper as well. Work with fruits or potatoes and a copper still can look dark black and really ugly when done. Do the same in a steel still and then compare the taste ;) Copper produces a far better taste! Especially sufur based compounds react strongly with the copper but also anything causing bad smells or tastes is reduced big time. To flux, reflux not not to flux at all!? A basic still heats the mesh to a set temperature, a cooling coil or similar lets the steam condensate and the alcohol (and everything else) drips out. More complex models have a more tower like appearance and with that allow for a better temperature control. Here the steam will cool down in the tower and at the right height you have the outlet. Brings a much more refined product. The best is still the reflux still however. Here the steam is allowed to travel further and cool down completely. Only a fraction is allowed to come out while the rest runs back down into the heated pot. From first to last model the quality, taste and purity improve. Lets take a closer look on what actually happens inside a still:Once the mix is hot enough that something can turn into a vapor or gas form it will try to escape. That is why we usually discard the first "head" coming out - it contains the most methanol for starters but also the worst of tastes. Again more on heads and tails later ;)In a simple still all steam produced is now turned back into a liquid.One reason why the alcohol concentrations is quite low, around 40%.But also the reason for the low quality taste that can happen.Even with a generous amount of head removed literally everything that is in the opt ends up in the spirit.A good temperature control is a must have and the less deviation the better.And as with all pots running low, once you are low enough all impurities left in your mesh will be concentrated.If the bottom now gets too hot they release unwanted tastes...We skip the tower models and go right to the reflux as the later is just better and includes all there is to say about the tower models anyway.At least on a hobby level a reflux still already starts with a quite tall boiling vessel.It just allows a better and more evenly heating of the mesh inside.While the bottom part is hotter than the top currents form that constantly mix what is inside.The heat is controlled so there is no real boiling, in the best option so that no part of the pot will go over 85° C.When all is hot enough so the first alcohol could run out the system is actually still closed.All vapour has to run back down the tower - which is why some towers even come with cooling fins...As a result all things with a low boiling point will stay in the tower as vapor and once the still is opened they come out first.The heads can be much smaller then too ;)Since the outlet is set at a suitable height and is naturally cooler than the steam, a lot of steam will condense above the outlet.Much more below it and only a fraction is collected to run to the outlet.That means that once the system has reached stable temps throughout that the tower is filled with ethanol vapour only.And since it is constantly re-boiled and runs back down and up all that comes out is already at quite high concentrations.With a good setup as high as 95% vol.It also means that you can have a great level of control about what exactly ends in your ethanol.Depending on how high the outlet is located a different amount of things that can either bond with ethanol or have a similar boiling temperature will be collected.Sole reason why most simple pot stills are designed to work with sugar and clean water only...When working with fruits as a base you often want quite a lot of the flavours and tastes preserved.Only experience and trying will get you tot he sweet spot where the alcohol content is just right and all wanted flavours are included.Go too high with your quality and the alcohol is too pure, go too low and the taste is bad...Which of course brings us back to why you should take your time before the cooking starts!I know far too many people who have no patience when it comes to the end of fermantation.Some yeast might be still active, far too much sugar left over in the mesh or just not enough care in general...You want most if not all of the sugar gone and used.What is not dead in terms of yeast needs to be dormant due to the alcohol concentration.And that can be the tricky part already!You see, once yeast dies off quickly due to the alcohol only the strong survive.In some cases, especially if you re-use your leftovers often, these few can still be active at over 20% of alcohol volume in the mix.The best option is to have a spare fridge and to put the entire container or drum in there.Let it sit cold for a few days, the yeast goes dormant, all sediments settly down to the bottom as no CO2 is produced anymore.Once all is really nice and clear use a hose or similar to remove the clear content only!Be careful here and once the levels are low use a seperate container to drain off!Take out what you can and if in doubt let what you take settle again for a day or two.Doing this time consuming step will make sure you only boil up what brings you the good stuff.On the other hand, when using potatoes, fruits or such you might have to press the liquid out and and add that to what you drained off already.I prefer to do this first and just put it back into the big drum again to let it all settle together.Ok, you only use sugar anyway but what comes out just does not taste or smell right...Would also mean you only use a basic still...As mentioned before the heads are what contains all the nasties.There are ways to actually measure if there is methanol present but for what we do now this is not so important.When the dripping start use shot glasses or such to catch it.Preferably while watching it ;)Smell what it is the glass when you put the next one under.The first glass should smell quite bad anyways.Quickly the smell in the glasses will change to something more "pure" and alcohol like - now start collecting for use.With a simple but good controlled still you will see the flow increases and levels out at some point.When the volume starts to go down your tails start.It is good practise to now use a seperate collecting vessel for the rest until what comes to fully discard.At some point you will notice the difference between just enough and really good temperature control.In a really good system the flow will go down to a slow drip or even stop.While in a dirt simple one the flow will just slow down for a while and then suddenly start running again.This running happens when the remainig water starts boiling...Keep smelling what comes out and once the taste or smell changes noticably again use a different container to collet what comes out. - This is you first tail collection.What comes out until the smell and taste go bad is your second tail collection - now you can turn your still off for a while.Let all what you collected cool down to room temperature is not already.Check what you collected from the heads, helps to have small jars for this ;)From start to last the smell should get better.If the last two or three collections smeel somehow interesting then add them to your main collection.Smell the first tail collection again - it should not be that bad anymore, especially if you let it cool down slightly open.Especially when working with fruits you might to add quite a bit of this to your main collection.If only sugar was used just move on to the last tail collection.In case you still don't like the smell mix the tail collection together and keep in a seperate and sealed vessel.Those tail collections can then later be used to destill them again (with more tails from other runs) to get a decent cleaning alcohol or something that might still be worth adding in small amounts for a better overall taste.However for sugar only mixes it can be considered to be for cleaning purposes only.What you have now is little waste and a lot of almost good alcohol.It still contains more or less amounts of unwanted things that mainly come from the yeast and their by-products.To "clean" you alcohol the best option is to destill it again - it will also increase the concentration quite a bit.Best option here is to use properly filtered and prefeably demineralised water to get back to a full fill of the still.If your still is quite small and what you collected would make for one or two full fills then go for it.Be warned though that you should not fill it up to the full mark, a bit under is better as the mix now will boil far quicker and more violent.Personally I prefer to have the alcohol conectration in the still at around 205% only.As we already discarded the worst of the worst in the heads during our first run only a tiny amount, like half a shot glass should be too bad in terms of taste and smell.Whatever comes after shall be fine.Again, once the tails start try to be carefull and if you can slow things down a notch.You will see a quite destinct reduction in the flow rate once the tails start - use a new container right away.The alcohol concentration should now drop quickly too as another indicator.If you want just pure tasting alcohol add what you comes out from this point to your tails container for later use as you don't want to drink it.Again, for fruits and potatoes you might want to keep the first bit of the collected tails.You alcohol concentration should now be already over 75% even if a basic still was used.The overall volume you collected will be lower accordingly of course - so don't be too disappointed by the liters you got from the second run.In a perfect world you now would use some nice barrel and let your creation age...But since we do moonshine...There is a chance that even after two runs you still taste and smell things you don't want or like.So if in doubt do it all again and get to 90 or more percent...Either way the final stuff should be now either watered down (filtered and clean of course) to the desired level.How to further improve on the outcome....There are little helpers along the way to get far bette results than without using them.If you check ready to go kits then they often contain specialised yest strains, a carbon mix and some "clearing aids".The yeast part is obvious, although I do prefer life prt wine yeast anyway.Carbon or activated charcoal is used to bind some of the bad odors and tastes the yeast produces.Keep in mind they are designed to work together, unlike using proper wine making cultures.Using power yeasts without carbon always results in a low quality.The clearing aids actually change the acidity levels and cause some things to mineralise or otherwise change so they settle to the ground.But they mainly make sure the yeast is dead.If you only use sugar then these kits are your easiest option and just follow their instructions.For fruits or anything else however you might want to try the slow route and use actual wine making yeasts for a change ;)And of course here we do not use carbon at all as we actually want to keep the taste of waht we use.We already had the proper way of getting the mesh to settle down, so that bit is clear.For sugar only you can now try to run your creation through activated charcaol or just add it and mix it.Let it sit and mix again for a few days.You do not need to filter the black stuff out, just drain it carefully and run the last bit through a coffee filter.Nothing will end in your destilled product.Inside the still you can use ceramic bioling thingies of all sorts.They provide a surface for water or mix to boil on instead of just the bottom.If you can't them for a good price then just use the stuff for aquarium filters ;)As said earlier too, copper is good but most modern stills are made from steel.If you can't find any copper wool pot cleaners you can cut some plumbing pipe into small sections.Inside the boiling vessel they will quickly turn brownish black while collecting bad things.Cleaning is easy with some cirtic acid/delimer/coffee machine cleaner...For a tower or reflux still it really helps to have these copper pads or wool inside for a far greater surface area to aid condensation and slow down the run off.I know how hard it is to get the stuff these days so if no other option use stainless steel ones and only loose the benefit of more cleaning through chemical reactions.Tools that come in handy....Monitoring the sugar and alcohol level to know when the mesh is right is quite obvious.What might not be is that you can correct bad level towards the end of fermentation.Yeast already dying slowly but far too much sugar left? Just add luke warm water to lover the alcohol conectration...Yeast going dormant with low alcohol levels? The sugar might be out so chack and if in doubt add some more.A good stir will help the remaining yeast to get more active in a day or two.So these little glass measuring tools should be put to good use from the start.During the destillation a purpose made overflow pipe to hold your alcohol tester is extremly helpful!The destilled liquid goes in through a pipe or hose at the bottom of the pipe.The bottom is closed, the top open to allow to drop the alcohol tester inside.Overflow or outlet should be just under the rim.During your run you can now see directly how the alcohol content changes.It will stabilse once the heads are finnished and get a slight rise just before it drops during the tails section.Improving basic desing of a basic still...Once you are done with a dead simple pot still and buy a reflux or tower model you might wonder why you did not build one yourself.What looked good on the pics and in the shop turns out to be still a bit away from perfect.The outlet might not have any flow control or is located to low/high.The vital overpressure protection might be missing and the thing sometimes runs out like a garden hose...For the later you can slavage some old pressure cooker and use the weight with the screw in counterpart in the lid ;)A simple hole in the top with flat weight on it works too, I used an old rubber plug from my bathtub one (could not find the purpose made one in time).For the outlet you can cheat a bit ;)Wrapping the tower with some insulating material improves on the heat loss - this helps if the still struggles to heat enough to provide a proper flow rate.Cooling the tower with wet towels, running water or similar well help on hot days or if the outlet is located reall high with little chance to provide decent condensation in the lower parts.How to cheat with the barrel....No matter if you just run with sugar or if you prefern corn, wheat, fruits....For some spirits good taste means good age.And well, good age for commercial spirits usually happens by resting in wooden drums.Oak, white oak, red gum and several other types of wood are used.Some small destilleries even use only locally available wood and won't even tell you which tree it was...Means we have a few chocices if we don't want to stick to the well known classics.But how do we make a barrel ?A good one is not just made from any old wood - the wood needs to be of the right age and moisture.To keep it simple just treat it like your firewood and let it rest for the same time.A good barrel is often "charred" - burnt with a flame or by rolling it with burning charcoal inside.This does two imortant things:1: It provides charcoal to bind remaining bad stuff.2: It releases some sugars from the wood plus resins and othe stuff.Both are an essential part of the final product and aging process!Now it becomes clear why a good sprit cost more than vodka...Using a neutral vessel like glass to age your spirit is one thing, preparing the wood the right way another...You see, size matters here in several ways.Big chunks provide a decent surface are without causing too much debris.The also provide more tannins for the color and more resins and sugar.Smaller chunks provide more charcaol for a higher level or binding impurities.But both will soak up far more alcohol than the correspong barrel size would!Obviously, if you are on a small scale on only got about 5 liters of alcohol to deal with loosing much is bad.The best way to char the wood IMHO is inside a clsed can or steel box.Just a small vent hole and a lot of turning with the right eye for when the wood is charred enough to be black and sealed.Opinions vary here but I use about a cup full of wood per 5 liters of alcohol at around 93% vol.Some goes for the storage, apart from dark some can't really agree here.Tossing and turning is as much prefered as undisturbed resting - take your own pick.The thig I do differently after the filtering off is to re-use the wood that is soaked.It goes into a freezer bag until the next run of the still and then the frozen wood is just added to the second still run to get back the alcohol in it, plus some nice taste and smell :)

Topic by Downunder35m