Distill Vodka to Make Everclear

About: I am a psyconaut. Many people confuse a "psyconaut" to be anyone who does drugs, but in fact, many psyconauts are against drugs, and use alternative methods to explore their mind. Some use intense meditation...

Making everclear (food grade alcohol) through the distillation of vodka.

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Step 1: Materials

1. Hotplate
2. stand to hold beaker (optional)
3. Glass beaker
4. Collection cup
5. Glass tubes
6. thermometer (preferably one with a broad range)
7. Rubber Cork (with holes to allow for tubes and thermometer)
8. Ice (or other means of cooling)
9. Vodka

Step 2: Build Basic Distillation Setup

Build Basic Distillation Setup
1. Plug the top of the beaker with the cork.
2. Insert thermometer and tube (leading to the collection cup)
3. If you have the stand then use it to hold the beaker over the hotplate (or on it)
4. Set up the collection cup and the tube leading to it with your cooling system (or have the ice on stand-by).

Step 3: Operation

1. Fill beaker with vodka
2. Turn on hotplate
3. When thermonitor reaches about 174.5 degrees fairenhiet (the thermonitor should be positioned at the top) then your cooling system should be condensing the alcohol (of if your using ice, then you should be franticly trying to cool down the tube)
4. when the vodka stops boiling but remains at 174.5 degrees (at the top) then turn off the hot plate and let cool.
5. When the beaker is cool, taste the vodka in the beaker to see if it still has alcohol, if so, repeat process.

Step 4: Storage

Keep everclear in an air-tight container (to prevent loss of alcohol).

Step 5: Uses

Despite the obvious use (getting drunk), everclear has many more uses.

1. Making an extract
methods may very for this, but alcohol is a very good solvent and this type of alcohol is safe for human consumption (in small amounts). You can make the extract stronger by putting it back in the distillation setup (to minimize alcohol loss), but be careful, if you let the extract get to hot, or if it dries out you'll have a mess to clean up.

2. Drying wet clothes
I know this works with pure alcohol, but I'm sure 95% will suffice. Simply soak the wet cloth in the alcohol and let the fumes evaporate. To me, this seems like a waste (I've never personally tried this) and I can think of better uses then this.

3. Cleaning
Because it's a good solvent, that means that it is great for cleaning, but you can buy rubbing alcohol for cheaper than you can make this, so I strongly recommend taking that option instead.

4. Making flavoring for candy
Make an extract (test the taste by adding a drop of it to a glass of water.) and use it as flavoring when making hard candy, gummy candy, suckers, lollipops (I'm not sure if there is a difference between suckers and lollipops), taffy, any tasty confection you can think of! Well, OK, maybe not chocolate...

5. Whatever else you can think of!
Get creative! If you find a good use let me know.

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    76 Discussions


    10 months ago

    I use the stuff to make altered cherries with.
    Squeeze out as much of the juice from a container of maraschino cherries. Discard the liquid. Just don't mangle the cherries. You want them as whole as possible.
    Make sure the cherries are in the jar.
    Pour in about to the half way mark the everclear.
    Pour in the rest of the way to the top any flavoured alcohol. Be it whiskey, Durango, etc.
    Close the top tightly. Label the container with the date, and the mix used. Store for at least four months.


    4 years ago

    You have to heat it to 235° to kill methanol. If you don't you'll go blind

    2 replies

    3 years ago

    OK folks -- My area of research is in the psychoactive effects of ETOH, but I also know a bit of the chemistry. Of COURSE, if you're being exceptionally anal about it, it's not quite 95%. It's perfectly reasonable to call it "Everclear." It will work FINE for the uses suggested, as well as being an excellent mordant for certain dyeing procedures using natural plant substances for the pigment.

    It is entirely possible to get methanol when distilling from mash, but there is NO methanol in a bottle of commercial vodka. Incidentally, NO amount of ethanol will cause blindness. Spinning, blurring, double vision, etc. on a temporary basis, yes certainly, but the blindness is strictly relating to methanol.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you, you saved me the trouble of saying all of that myself.


    3 years ago

    Love your pictures. That's the way things look to me, too, after a few shots of 'shine.


    3 years ago

    Ha! I just realized that my first line suggested PERSONAL research. Well, YEARS ago I was still performing my "liver studies" but I have been sober for 30 years. I was referring to scholarly research, as part of my BA in Psychology with a concentration in Advanced Alcohol and Drug Studies.


    3 years ago

    you'll need molecular sieves to make it ~200 proof


    4 years ago

    I dont think This method would produce ethanol that pure , but probably close to it , it might be viable to salt out the water then distill it . Just a shot in the dark but could work .


    11 years ago on Introduction

    it is simply not possible to distill vodka @40% with this set up to 97.5%. By the laws of physic, molecular attraction and gas laws.

    9 replies
    The Mollusksk187

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I'm sure that you thought that out a lot, but if it's not possible, then how did I do it? After I used this process, I had someone of legal drinking age try a drop or two, and they claimed it was stronger than anything they have ever tried (keep in mind that this adult goes to a lot of parties and has probably tried everclear) and said "congratulations, you just made everclear". So even if its not at 97.5%, then it's pretty damn close

    JustinG3The Mollusk

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    sk187 is correct. If you want to know the actual proof of your distillate, purchase a hydrometer; being a drunk doesn't make your friend an expert on anything. Talk to anyone who actually distills spirits and they'll tell you you need a much more complex setup in order to produce ethanol at that purity. Even with a top of the line still setup, there is always going to be some water in there. It's impossible to make 100% pure ethanol with only a still. 95% (Everclear purity) is about as good as it gets without employing other methods to remove the rest of the water.

    sk187The Mollusk

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    It Science . Not to be rude, but I did a project on one. Look up, azeotrope, ethanol water attraction. Also, the increase in % alcohol is exponential -x2 chart. If you started at 40% u might have gotten 60% and that is iffy. The current set up you have shown is called a pot still. Such are not very effective in separating alcohol. Furthermore, (depending on the quality) but for the most part, you do not have to worry about over distilling this. The company will have removed the methanol and fusel substances. Also, using degrees C. You want the temp to stay below 100. @ 100 the water will boil too.

    The Mollusksk187

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Look, I'm not gonna argue with you. This is a tried and true method. If your not satisfied with the results, run it through again, if your still not satisfied, do it again. Simple as that.

    P.S. It's strange how your only Instructable is remarkably similar to mine, even though you made it about four days ago. Maybe instead of shooting down or re-doing other peoples Instructables, you should focus on making a few of your own.

    sk187The Mollusk

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    yea it is. I will admit after i saw this, i felt compelled to write one that addresses the wrongs of this one. Again, i have the mathematical formulas and everything to prove what i say. Want me to put them up?

    The Mollusksk187

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Do you know what 'tried and true' means? It means I've tried the method and it works. I'm not saying your wrong, I'm saying I'm right. Put them up if you want, it won't make me wrong. If you feel this strongly about it, do it and get it analized. That will prove one of us right and end it. Actually if you want to keep it fair, have a neutral party do it and keep the container chilled all the way to the lab, or pharmacy, or where ever you'll do the test at. This will be my last comment on it, unless you do the test (if you decide this petty argument is worth the effort, then you deserve to be right).

    sk187The Mollusk

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Seriously, just look at this written by http://www.ucc.ie/academic/chem/dolchem/html/comp/ethanol.html

    "Whatever method of preparation is used, the ethanol is initially obtained in admixture with water. The ethanol is then extracted from this solution by fractional distillation.

    Although the boiling point of ethanol, 78.3 degC, is significantly lower than the boiling point of water, 100 degC, these material cannot be separated completely by distillation. Instead, an azeotropic mixture (i.e. a mixture of 95% ethanol and 5% water) is obtained, and the boiling point of the azeotrope is 78.15oC. In a distillation, the most volatile material (i.e. the material that has the lowest boiling point) is the first material to distill from the distillation flask, and this material is the azeotrope of 95% ethanol which has the lowest boiling point. If an efficient fractionating column is used, there is obtained first 95% alcohol, then a small intermediate fraction of lower concentration, and then water. But no matter how efficient the fractionating column used, 95% alcohol cannot be further concentrated by distillation.

    The separation of a mixture by fractional distillation occurs because the vapour has a different composition from the liquid from which it distils (i.e. the vapour is richer in the more volatile component). We cannot separate 95% alcohol into its components by distillation, because here the vapour has exactly the same composition as the liquid; towards distillation, then, 95% alcohol behaves exactly like a pure compound.

    A liquid mixture that has the peculiar property of giving a vapour of the same composition is called an azeotrope (i.e. a constant-boiling mixture). Since it contains two components 95% alcohol is a binary azeotrope. Most azeotropes, like 95% alcohol, have boiling points lower than those of their components, and are known as minimum-boiling mixtures. Azeotropes having boiling points higher than those of their components are known as maximum-boiling mixtures. "


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    my sisters boy friend works in a lab and uses 100% ethanol and i was alway wondering how the pro`s make this stuf would they have a huge amount to get a small amount. in bio fuels they can get 99.9%or less or is there 2nd distalation used with some thing with a higher boiling point. ???

    The Mollusksk187

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    You just proved me right. I know I said I wouldn't respond, but the facts you have presented here prove this method. I was wrong about the exact percentage (I said 97.5%), but that is because I got the proof of everclear mixed up with something else. 2.5% is not much of a difference and I will amend my Instructable accordingly.