Is making moonshine explosive?
The Explosive Power Of Moonshine – Methanol and ethanol, the safe-to-consume alcohol, come out during the fermenting process of any alcoholic drink. Both are highly flammable with the potential to explode during distillation if they are not properly sealed and vented.
If there is a leak releasing ethanol gas in the still, the equipment used to process moonshine, a single spark could cause an explosion. Without proper ventilation, a tank boiling out the toxic alcohol can easily buckle. “In an aluminum shed among postcard orchards in Columbia County in New York, Derek Grout inspected a collecting tank of his state-of-the-art copper-pot still.
A blocked vent had caused the tank to buckle. “I’m just kind of glad we didn’t kill ourselves,” he said with a laugh.” – Toby Cecchini, Just Don’t Call it Moonshine
Can you make moonshine at home?
Where in the World is Moonshining Legal? – via GIPHY Fortunately, making moonshine is not illegal all over the world. New Zealand was the first country to make distilling moonshine for personal consumption legal in 1996. In 1997 Russia reduced the penalty for making moonshine from a criminal offense to a misdemeanor.
As of 2002, it is no longer even considered a misdemeanor. However, it seems the good old United States of America is holding strong onto its moonshining laws. It is important to remember that the prohibition of moonshine is a tax law, which means that making moonshine legal would mean a loss of tax revenue.
The U.S. government has an excise tax of $2.14 for each 750-milliliter bottle of 80-proof spirits, compared with 21 cents for a bottle of wine (of 14 percent alcohol or less) and 5 cents for a can of beer. Check out 7 Things to Look for in a Still Making moonshine in the United States is tricky.
Why you shouldn’t make moonshine?
Methanol – A Deadly Byproduct – The fermentation process used to make moonshine produces alcohol in two forms: methanol and ethanol. Ethanol is the drinkable version. Methanol, known as wood alcohol, is a byproduct that’s toxic when large amounts end up in the finished product,
- The distillation process that follows produces concentrated ethanol by boiling the fermented product.
- The problem moonshiners run into is ethanol has a boiling point of 173.1 degrees Fahrenheit while methanol’s boiling point is 148.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
- This means methanol evaporates at a faster rate than ethanol and can become concentrated.
When done correctly, it only forms in small amounts and is easily separated out and discarded. Without the right equipment, high concentrations of methanol can end up in the drink. What makes methanol so dangerous is the human body converts it to formaldehyde, an ingredient used to make embalming fluid.
How long is moonshine good for?
So you’ve found a bottle of moonshine from yesteryear. Is it still fit to drink? This is a question I’ve asked myself recently. I heard different things coming from different sources, so I decided to do a little research on my own, and here’s the answer.
So, does moonshine go bad? In short, moonshine, like other plain spirits, does not really go bad. This means moonshine has an indefinite shelf life, unless you are dealing with a flavored option (which can spoil as a result of its high sugar density). Coming up, I’ll go over everything you need to know about moonshine and its shelf life so you can get the most out of your spirits.
Keep reading to find out if your moonshine is still good (or whether you should just chuck it!).
Is burning methanol toxic?
Methanol is a clear, colourless liquid that looks like water and has no discernable odour in low concentrations. It is flammable and toxic. While methanol does have risks associated with it, they can be managed.
Why does my moonshine smell like rotten eggs?
During fermentation yeasts produce alcohol, CO2, and hundreds of other byproducts which have different smells. Some pleasant, others not so pleasant – like rotten egg or sulphur smell. This will not taint your distilled spirit and will disappear after distillation.
How do you get rid of methanol when distilling?
2.1.3. Inhibition of Pectin Methylesterase by Sterilization of Mash – A significant reduction of methanol by 40–90% can be achieved by thermal deactivation of pectin methylesterase (often referred to as “mash heating”). There are various suggestions for temperature/time combinations to achieve the enzyme’s denaturation.
- Sterilization at temperatures higher than 70 °C was generally suggested to effectively prevent the production of methanol by inactivation of pectin methylesterase,
- Methanol can be reduced by targeted thermal deactivation of pectin methylesterase by heating the mash to 80 °C up to 85 °C for a holding time of 30 min or to 60 °C for 45 min,
Pasteurization at 72 °C for 15 s prevented the production of methanol in fermented plant beverages containing Morinda citrifolia (noni fruit), In cider spirit, the pasteurization (30 min at 50 °C, then heated to about 85 °C) of the apple juice prior to fermentation reduced the methanol content by 34–46%,
Lower methanol levels were obtained in Williams and plums by heating the mash to 65 °C for 5 min, followed by re-cooling for fermentation, Xia et al. confirmed that autoclaving by steam injection of the mash of jujube reduced the methanol content in the spirit significantly by a factor of about eight.
The authors also determined pectin methylesterase activity confirming that their treatment method reduced the activity to one-fifth to half of that without treatment. Further technological approaches for inactivation of methylesterase are thermosonication (ultrasound plus temperature at 70° led to 30% methanol reduction in plum wine) or use of microwaves (70 °C for 1 min led to 70% methanol reduction in plum wine).