charcoal

Ok thanks to lemonie and andy helped a lot they well get credit thanks to all! and andy i well trie your method

Topic by funwithfire325 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


Charcoal on skin?

I I have hard that charcoal has the ability to soak up toxins and germs. Would it be bad to use this on skin as a mask? Maybe grind up NATURAL charcoal and then add a little water to make a paste and if necesary add thickeners to make kind of a covering for skin for health?

Question by trf 9 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


what's charcoal briquette?

I might seem dumb to you but here in New Zealand we have nothing with that name?

Question by walterh9 8 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


black powder charcoal

I'm making charcoal for BP using macadamia wood in a tin on a BBQ fire. The smoke is PISSING out the 1/4" hole i made in the lid but won't ignite. Any ideas/suggestions welcome.

Topic by ThreeFifty 11 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Propane vs. Charcoal?

I'm going to make the move back to regular ol' charcoal for its sheer cheapness, and my ability to make it hotter than propane. Mainly though i've been running on the last dregs of my propane, and i'm going on-the-cheap and as free of electricity as possible soonish-like. What do you use and why?

Topic by abbabibble2 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago



Binding granular activated charcoal

I am looking to bind granular activated charcoal in a particular form to avoid flushing because of water flow . what binding material can i use or how to make water resistant briquette which stays compact for long time.

Question by vin177 4 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Can You Use Regular BBQ Charcoal In A Face Mask And If So What Will Happen?

Question by KaylaK31 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Scrap Metal and Coal/Charcoal

Hey everyone, i was wondering if anyone in the Hollywood-Miramar-Pembroke Pines area of Florida USA has any old scrap iron, steel, charcoal, or coal they do not want and would be kind enough to offer it to me for free or for a reasonable price. I am doing blacksmith work so it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Things wanted: Bolts, car springs, brake drums, any kind of bar (round, flat, square, hexagonal, octagonal, etc.) lump charcoal, any large chunks of steel to be used as anvils, any old blacksmith tools such as hammers, etc.... anything donated is appreciated. Thanks again!

Topic by thoraxe 10 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Restoring an old charcoal iron

Hi guys! I found a beautiful charcoal iron at a flea-market and grabbed it up without giving it much thought. Now I have no idea how to bring it back to it`s former glory. The base is iron, and pretty damn corroded iron at that. The good part is that it isn't chipping. The bad part is that the whole thing is orange... The handle is made of wood and there's no way that I can see to take it off. Any ideas?

Topic by TashaDax 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


How to convert a charcoal turkey smoker to natural gas with an external heat element?

I have a charcal Brinkman turkey smoker and a 63-6300 heavey duty utility stove bulit by Hurricane Products. The Brinkman fit perfectly on to the Hurrican with the Brinkman bottom on or off. When the Brinkman bottom is off the next part is the part the holds the charcoal. with the Hurricane heat outside everything. Question is will that work by just heat the part where the charcoal would be place and burning or do I need to enclose the heat unit also. I don't want to detach the heat unit and install it in the bottom part of the Brinkman because I use it for many things.

Question by chinaclipper 9 years ago


Best practical way of making biochar for soil improvement on commercial scale?

I need help to build a cost effective biochar retort that will produce at least 500 kg biochar/day to use for soil improvement on my dairy farm. It must also be moveable to move to new sites. I've got access to a lot of forestry waste all over the district. Here is my initial idea: From 3mm sheet metal manufacture cylinders (drums of say 200 lt) one bigger than the other so that one fits into the other with a 100 mm play all round. Bigger cylinder has a lid with a chimney on top and close ended at the bottom with air inlet holes around the base and completely isolated with fire proof material. Smaller cylinder (that goes inside) is open ended and stand on bigger cylinder baseplate with airtight lid that gets closed after filling with wood chips. It has 50mm outlet at the top that connects to a metal pipe (coming through the side of the outer cylinder) that leads woodgas to the bottom of the next retort and maybe have a drain to catch bio oil. The idea being that I can duplicate the retorts to increase production using woodgas from the previous to pyrolize the next. I then only have to burn wood in the first retort to get the process started. Please suggest improvements, or complete new more viable system. What can I use for isolation material? Can I collect other products off the woodgas instead of pyrolising the next batch?  What other byproducts might be valuable?

Question by HMST 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Can jarrah wood be used to make charcoal for black powder?

I was wondering if the charcoal produced by the burning of jarrah can be used effectively in black powder.

Question by Tombini 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


how does pine and willow charcoal differ from plain old random tree charcoal when used in pyrotechnics? Answered

hello, i am starting up an online store, and am already starting to sell some of my pyrotechnic supplies, such as manganese dioxide and charcoal, but i just realised, on ebay (my online store is not an ebay store), people are only ever selling pine charcoal or willow charcoal! which doesnt make much sense since is a super fine powder and is made up of carbon. i need to know what makes these so much different from regular random tree charcoal that comes from just anywhere, and, is the charcoal i have now, which is of unknown origin, but mostly of from pine-like trees in the tropics, the same? i need to know if it makes any difference since i dont want angry customers demanding refunds because it isnt as good as other charcoal!

Question by oldmanbeefjerky 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


how to make activated charcoal filter? Answered

Powdered coconut shell charcoal have to adhere to artificial sponge to make air filter

Question by 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Is charcoal powder better than bricks?

What would happen, if you put charcoal powder instead of bricks in your bbq, Would it push up the heat, or is it just unefficient? Cuz it's really messy, I thought it would be easier to ask someone with experience. I have put it under camping channel, and if it is more efficant than bricks, I guess It could go under the survival channel.

Question by Pollu112 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


how to make activated charcoal filter?

Powdered coconut shell charcoal have to adhere to artificial sponge to make air filter

Question by 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


How to make a life saving straw? Answered

How do you make a life straw that can filter water? It's a survival device that some people carry in their backpack.  I tried to make one using this home made water filter but it's not enough according to the author. I tried to filter some turbid water that used to come from our tap water during rainy seasons and it didn't work. I have a big packet of charcoal pellets with me now and no use for them. Can someone give an idea how to construct the life straw ? Or what are the other uses for charcoal pellets? Regards, RS

Question by rseni 9 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


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 5 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


I want coal!

I'm a blacksmith in training and i need some coal, i want some, i don't need it but it would help a ton. my father keeps saying that i can get 1000 lbs of coal for $100 but so far, it's all 50 lb bags for $20 on http://www.centaurforge.com, some 12 lbs for $20 on some remote website somewhere someplace in some far recess of the pixelated world of the internet!!!  ... i don't mind paying $200 for 1000 lbs, or even a bit more but the problem is, is that i'm in Florida right now. so, i don't know how to get coal cheaper than a buck a pound. right now i'm using lump charcoal and it works fine. but coal gets the metal a bit hotter. so what do i do.

Question by Blacksmith_by_tradition 6 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


difference between activated charcoal and activated carbon?

Question by vengi 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


pedestal charcoal grill from 250gal fuel oil drum? Answered

Question by brenda coates 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Black powder is more of a reaction than a burn of fuel and oxidizer.

I did some experimenting with charcoal and saltpetre. While making a charcoal fire i threw in some saltpetre, usually saltpeter alone burns slowly with a molten residue left over, but when i added it to the fire it created a slow burning but intense and bright light that almost melted the steel basin the fire was in. So I did some investigating, firstly I took some 3mm charcaol chips and lit one, then I threw some saltpetre on, again a intense, bright flame appeared, while observing i found that the saltpetre creates a molten pool in which the charcoal 'dissolves', I tried this with sugar, to simulate a smoke mix, but nothing close happened. So it turns out that saltpetre burns sugar when mixed with it, but actually chemically 'reacts' with charcoal. I have a question to add to this, is there any other item in the world that reacts this vigourisly with saltpetre? And if you have some charcoal and saltptre to spare can you pls try this, its really amazing.

Topic by mitchells 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Sand and Gravel water filter- HELP

Okay so I have been charged with finding out how to build a simple sand/ gravel water filter for use at scouts on Thursday and I have come up with ZERO... Does anyone know enough about it to explain to me in laymans terms on how to construct one... or rather what grades of sand/gravel i need? I'm planning on using a pop bottle, and layering the sand and gravel inside it.... using the screw top end as the tap.... I have a BASIC idea of what i need... I just want to be sure it works! Thanks guys and girls Jay

Topic by Biggsy 7 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago



Ashes stuck on my cubic charcoal briquette?

Hi, am making charcoal briquette using 6% starch as binder and 4% clay, I got a good briquette with no crack, and good density. But the problem is, the ashes stuck on my charcoal briquette, and I need to shake it hard to remove ashes, even I reduce clay to 1% and same problem. Anyone can advise me how to solve the ash problem?

Question by mahrammal 1 year ago  |  last reply 1 year ago


Can you impregnante activated carbon into an air filter yourself?

Hi, I have a cabin air filter in my car.  Toyota sells activated carbon filters that helps absorb odours, but not for my  model car. i was wondering if its possible to impregnate the filter with activated carbon / activated charcoal myself somehow? thanks for any ideas!

Topic by hoobyjuice 7 years ago


Top 10 BBQ Instructables

With the 4th of July quickly approaching and summer heading into full swing, we've selected some of our favorite barbecue-related Instructables. These are not only about the cooking, but also about the whole barbecue experience--from meal accessories to the grill itself. Don't forget about the BBQ PDQ Contest, which is open until July 6th! Ground Beef Burgers For a fresh, from-scratch burger, check out this recipe. You can follow it all the way from grinding the beef to serving the completed burger.   Grilled Stuffed Peppers You can do a lot more with the grill than just making burgers, hot dogs, and chicken. These stuffed peppers are a great way to use your grill for a very different type of meal. Cut A Watermelon No summer barbecue is complete without watermelon— and you can cut your watermelon and remove the seeds at the same time. Jello Fruit Salad This Jello fruit salad brings a sweet, summery touch to go along with your main meal. Make a Pie Crust Trying to make a classic 4th of July apple pie? Use this pie crust and fill with whatever you like to make the perfect pie. Sweet Soy Ribs For a different spin on grilling ribs, try these sweet soy grilled short ribs or use the marinade to coat something else. Frozen Banana Smoothie What could be better than enjoying the summer days with a cold fruit smoothie? This frozen banana smoothie will satisfy anyone at your barbecue. Start BBQ Coals If you're having trouble getting the coals to light for your barbecue, check out these helpful tips to get your grill going strong. Build Your Own BBQ For a slightly larger project, you can make a barbecue area in your own backyard. This professional-looking project would fit in well in any yard. Hobobeque Or, if you want to be questioned by police (or family, friends, neighbors, etc.) you can try the revolutionary hobobeque. No explanation can do it justice, but it would certainly make for an interesting BBQ story. With these BBQ recipes, tips, and ideas, your barbecue can be more enjoyable than ever before.

Topic by joshf 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


What, if any, chemicals does a charcoal filter remove from water?

           I'm working on designing a water filter for third world countries, and I was wondering if a charcoal filter would remove chemicals in a water source.  If so, what chemicals would they be?  I know that charcoal filters kill many bacteria, etc., but that would be of little use if the bacteria were gone but toxic chemicals remained in the water.  Recommendations are appreciated.  Thanks!

Question by mad magoo 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Green Barbeque

For the eco-grillmaster: charcoal or gas? Slate explores this issue. The result, of course, depends--but surprisingly enough, charcoal may be the better option for the environment. Link

Topic by joshf 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Building a FireTub - A charcoal burner from an old washing machine drum

About two years ago a friend of mine told me that you could use washing machine drums as charcoal burners. Generally they would be placed on bricks, filled with charcoal and because of the holes in the sides they put out a lot of heat. It just so happened that we had recently had a good marquee blow down and I'd kept the tubing because I'm a bit of a womble (it drives my wife nuts). Anyway I set about building a tripod frame to hold the washing machine drum off the ground. Step by step construction instructions can be found here..: http://theaccidentalartisan.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/buiilding-a-firetub/

Topic by powkesmore 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Why does my black powder SUCK?

I made black powder using 98% Pure sulphur, 100% Pharmeceutical grade KNO3, and soft-wood charcoal. I ground it using a mortar and pestle becasue i dont have a ball mill, and when i burn it, its WAAAY too slow. like, i tried to put it in a rocket casing, and it didnt even light. it wouldnt burn at all. its bothering me, becasue i spent alot of money on it, and its not working. Any help? Thanks.

Question by FunkNattidelic 10 years ago  |  last reply 7 weeks ago


why is my blackpowder burning so slow?

I have been using kno3 willow charcoal and sulphur (all are fine powders) to the ratio 75:15:10 but my results are not impressive at all it burns like a wet fart lol but i want it quicker to make firecrackers what am i doing wrong i have tried the most common tecniques from theinternet but to my dismay none of them work starting to get really annoyed as i spent a fair bit on the ingrediants and i dont want it to be a waste any ideas any1?

Question by 125mike 9 years ago  |  last reply 1 year ago


what fireworks or explosions can i make with sulphur,redironoxide,kno3,aluminium and charcoal!??????????????????????????

I would like to know what type of things i could make out of these thigs ! but noat all of them in one big experiment!

Question by rosstheexplodingone 9 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago



how to make charcoal out of garbage, from the city?

I have been trying to come up with a way on how to make cooking charcoal out of dirt or garbage from the city. i burn this garbage then after use a mill to crash it into powder then mix with some little stourch from cassava flour  then put the mixture into small moulders which are disturbing because i use a very local method then drying becomes my worst enemy because if there is no sun i cannot produce , please give me an easy way on how to transform my business to come out with good production capacity.

Question by kaluuma 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Slow Sulfurless Black Powder?

I have tried to make some sulfurless black powder by grinding 3 parts sodium nitrate (a potassium nitrate substitute, using this method to make it from ammonium nitrate) and 1 part charcoal (I tested it and it didn't burn good so I added more charcoal (probably making it a 2 KN03:1 C ratio)).  It burns extremely slow (if i laid a pile of the bp that was 1/8 inch wide and 1 inch long it would probably take 5 or more seconds to burn all the way).  I got the charcoal from a burned out bonfire (I don't know what type of wood it was but it wasn't willow or pine), I collected the black chunks that aren't all the way burned out.  I am wondering what the problem is, is it the charcoal or the sodium nitrate? The sodium nitrate is in its purest form, thats what it said here.

Question by electronicz 6 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago




Ammonpulver (explosive)

Hey, i was wondering if anyone has any experience with it. it is ammonium nitrate and charcoal. i hear it is hard to ignite? does anyone know the ratio?

Topic by DELETED_DELETED_kruser495 11 years ago


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 2 months ago


Sulfur-free black powder equation and burning temperature? Answered

I am trying to calculate the pressure that builds up in a closed vessel containing deflagrating gunpowder.  The web gave me several conflicting equations for 70% KNO3 : 30% charcoal gunpowder: 1.  6 KNO3 + C8H4O --> 3 K2CO3 + 8 CO + 4 H2O + 3 N2 Oxygen is unbalanced. 2.  6 KNO3 + C7H8O --> 3 K2CO3 + 4 CO2 + 2 H2O + 3 N2 Hydrogen is unbalanced. 3.  6 KNO3 + C7H4O --> 3 K2CO3 + CO2 + 6 CO + 2 H2O + 3 N2 Carbon is unbalanced. None of these equations have 70:30 by weight saltpeter to charcoal, and none is balanced.  To fix the weight: it is possible that the charcoal is not to be completely dry, and that there are a few water molecules hiding out, but there would have to be 8:1 water to charcoal molecules for equations 1 and 2, and 9:1 for equation 3.  To maybe fix the balance and masses: if the charcoals had a coefficient of 2, equation 1 would need 1:2 water to charcoal, equation 2 would need 2:2, and 3 would need 3:2.  This is assuming that the saltpeter is carrying no water. Potential equations with 2 moles charcoal and carrying water to achieve the right weight ratios and balances are following: (I offer two potential equations each because I lack a reactivity series table and know not how extra atoms would come together.  Please alert me if the following equations are just B.S.) 4. a.  6 KNO3 + 2 C8H4O . H2O --> 3 K2CO3 + 3 N2 + 11 CO + 4 H2 + H2O + 2 C ? 4. b.  6 KNO3 + 2 C8H4O . H2O --> 3 K2CO3 + 3 N2 + 7 CO + 5 H2O + 6 C ? Excess carbon would take oxygen from water, or stay carbon, or would the charcoal not be all used up?  I assume that the reactant water molecules will remain unchanged. 5. a.  6 KNO3 + 2 C7H8O . 2H2O --> 3 K2CO3 + 3 N2 + 11 CO + 8 H2 + 2 H2O ? 5. b.  6 KNO3 + 2 C7H8O . 2H2O --> 3 K2CO3 + 3 N2 + 10 H2O + 3 CO + 8 C ? Same problem as #4 6. a.  6 KNO3 + 2 C7H4O . 3H2O --> 3 K2CO3 + 3 N2 + 11 CO + 4 H2 + 3 H2O ? 6. b.  6 KNO3 + 2 C7H4O . 3H2O --> 3 K2CO3 + 3 N2 + 3 CO + 7 H2O + 8 C ? Same problem as #4 If anyone can confirm any of these equations or provide a more accurate one, please do.  Also, anyone who can tell me the burning temperature of the correct equation, please do.

Question by tincanz 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Aussie in trouble

Hey all u pyros out there i'm an aussie who is having a little trouble with Blackpowder ingredients, ive got charcoal (obviously) and potassium nitrate from sparklers but sulphur is impossible to find any ideas?

Topic by cor0018 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Where can i find pottasium nitrate(NHO3), and sulfur?

I don't want to use the internet for these, and i made mortar and pestle for grinding with clay p.s. i have the charcoal

Question by tarheels255 10 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


My PROPANE (!) Foundry

Hey, I'm sure you've read some of my other foundry questions and comments, so here's another. I have been using this with charcoal briquettes for quite some time now, and finally built a burner to convert to propane. I made my first melt with it earlier, and I don't think I'll ever switch back, no matter how high propane gets (price). I built a burner according to the instructions here, and it turned out fine, except that the flame won't leave the burner tube completely. It fits pretty well in my helium tank foundry/furnace (a .gif on how I made it is below), heating it up to melting temps on full blast in probably <10 minutes. It is SO much cleaner, easier to make multiple melts( no refilling charcoal), and is alot quicker in starting and finishing a melt (no setting up blowers, positioning charcoal, and that stuff).It was (at first) an easy choice to go with charcoal (cheap, could even be made for free), but after a couple melts, the fun got replaced by work, and I stopped melting metal. I discovered propane, built my burner for $35 total(including regulator) and was up and running within a day. ~$20 for a refill on propane when I run out is COMPLETELY worth it. Sorry if this seems kinda persuasive, but I am trying to help either people on this site, or one of the countless wanderers from Google.Some pictures of my testing (not my burning setup) setup are below.

Topic by John Smith 11 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Blackpowder is hard to make!

Hey all i'm an aussie with a problem i want to make blackpowder but i can't find sulphur, ive got charcoal (obiviously) and potassium nitrate from sparklers but sulphur is proving to be a problem any ideas please say.

Topic by cor0018 10 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Dyeing multch

Does anyone know if Charcoal can be used to dye wood chips to make multch?  I'm wanting to see if there is a market to make my own multch and if I can make my own dye.  Anyone can help, please pass your ideas along.  Chris

Topic by opc167 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


I'm trying to make a simple fountain firework and just want to know if there is anything that could go wrong. Answered

I'm using 3g of potassium nitrate 1g of sulfur, charcoal, and aluminum. Is there anything i should be aware of that could possibly go wrong or is it pretty safe?

Question by chippyw 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


What Do You Like To Draw?

What type of art do you do? (i.e. painting, sculpting, pastels, graphite, charcoal etc.) What do you like to draw? (i.e. landscapes, animals, people etc.) 

Topic by LoneWolf 9 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Grill forge

I have read most of the homemade forge instructables posted here, but I don't think any of them would work for me, because in my fascist city, you are not allowed to burn ANYTHING except for cooking purposes (technically even fire pits are illegal). My idea was to get a cheap grill lid that I can put on my charcoal grill. I would then cut holes in it for air flow (a hairdryer, of course) and an opening. Would this be an effective forge? I need it for detempering, annealing and tempering blades. Also, what fuel would you recommend using (as in, a certain kind of charcoal/wood)? I am making throwing knives and I have every other thing I need. I'll probably make a slideshow when I'm done, as making knives is a pretty well 'ibled subject.

Topic by Wolf Seril 10 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago