Methanol: The Toxic Side Of Moonshine – You may have heard stories about the dangers of moonshine, or any illegally distilled liquor. The real culprit of these true stories, however, is methanol. Methanol, or methyl alcohol, is a byproduct of the distilling process.
Is moonshine stronger than regular alcohol?
How is Moonshine Made? – Moonshine is an alcoholic drink that is typically made from corn, sugar, and water. The corn is mashed, and then the sugar and water are added. This mixture is then boiled. The alcohol content of moonshine can be as high as 95%, which is significantly higher than the alcohol content of most other types of liquor.
The first step in making moonshine is to cook the corn.
This can be done in a variety of ways, but the most common method is to use a still. A still is a device that is used to distill liquids. It consists of a pot that is heated on a stove and a tube that leads from the pot to a container that collects the distilled liquid.
The second step is to add sugar and water.
This mixture is then boiled. The boiling helps to extract the alcohol from the corn mash.
The third step is to collect the distilled liquid.
The distilled liquid is collected in a container that is known as a receiver. The receiver can be either a glass jar or a bottle.
The fourth step is to filter the moonshine.
The fourth step is to filter the moonshine. This can be filtered using a variety of methods, but the most common method is to use a filter bag. This will remove any sediment or other particles from the moonshine. You can also use a coffee filter or cheesecloth for this purpose.
The fifth step is to bottle the moonshine.
To bottle the moonshine, simply pour it into a Mason jar. You can also use other types of jars or bottles, but Mason jars are the most common. Make sure to leave some space at the top of the jar so that the moonshine can carbonate. If you want to make it look more professional, you can buy a bottle capper and caps from a store.
The sixth step is to age the moonshine.
To age the moonshine, you can store it in a barrel. This will give it a smooth, mellow flavor. You can also age it in a carboy or glass jug. If you do this, make sure to use an airtight seal to prevent the moonshine from oxidizing. Aging it will improve its flavor and color, and it will also help to remove any impurities.
The seventh step is to drink the moonshine.
The most popular way to drink it is to drink it straight, but there are other ways to consume it as well. Some people like to add it to their coffee or tea or mix it with other drinks. There are also recipes that call for moonshine to be used in place of other ingredients.
Why is moonshine better than regular alcohol?
Taste & Flavor Profile – Another difference between moonshine and vodka is their flavor profile. Moonshine is more flavorful than vodka because it is sweeter, coming from corn mash. It’s a more potent whiskey in a mason jar. But, what does the label XXX on a moonshine jug mean ? On the other hand, vodka is made from grapes, potatoes, rye, wheat, and sugar beets.
What’s the difference between moonshine and alcohol?
What’s the Difference Between Whiskey and Moonshine? Those who know a little bit about alcohol eventually ask the question “What’s the difference between whiskey and moonshine?” The short answer? Absolutely nothing. Both whiskey and moonshine have the same production process – give or take a few variables.
- Moonshine” came to be distinguished from whiskey for its illegal nature rather than it being a different type of alcohol – moonshine is just whiskey that hasn’t been taxed.
- The practice of making moonshine began early on in American history when the newly-established US government established a tax on liquor and spirits to help pay for the costs of the Revolution.
Feisty colonial whiskey fans, many of whom were farmers who supported their families in bad harvest years with their alcoholic product, refused to pay for the tax, leading to an underground whiskey trade. Moonshine making continued from then on up until Prohibition went into effect in 1920, when its popularity exploded.
- Suddenly, because there was no legal whiskey available anywhere, moonshine was in high demand, and the distillers who were used to evading the law already began to make a fortune.
- The practice of using sugar as a base for moonshine became more common as distillers tried to stretch their profits further.
After Prohibition, moonshine’s popularity naturally fell until it became more or less known as a backwoods country phenomenon. Historically, the taste of moonshine was closer to vodka than it is to a dark-colored whiskey. That’s because moonshine was rarely if ever aged – the process of acquiring and storing oak barrels for aging would have been very difficult undercover.
The taste could vary, though, since there were no legal standards. That’s part of what made moonshine somewhat dangerous – not only for the distiller, who could get caught and thrown in jail, but also for the drinker, who could go blind if the distiller was careless or greedy and did not remove the methanol naturally generated by the distillation process.
Of course, Grand River Spirits is a legal distillery – so our “moonshine” labeling is simply a fun homage to American history and our roots in Southern Illinois. It also means we follow all industry best practices and our spirits are perfectly safe to drink (in moderation, of course).
How do I know if my moonshine is safe to drink?
One way to test the purity of a moonshine liquor is to pour some in a metal spoon and set it on fire. If it burns with a blue flame, it is more likely safe to drink. If it produces a yellow or red flame, it is an indication of the presence of lead.
Is it bad to drink moonshine?
Consuming Methanol In Moonshine – Upon first sip, the dangerous potential of methanol is undetectable. It will simply get people drunker. However, after it is metabolized, the methanol can have an extremely harmful effect in someone’s body.10 milliliters (ml) of methanol is all it takes to permanently damage the optic nerve and cause partial, if not complete, blindness.30 ml of methanol is lethal.
- For reference, and standard shot glass in the United States holds 40 ml.
- If less than 10 ml of methanol is consumed then the worst someone will experience is a hangover, (albeit, quite possibly the worst hangover of their life).
- However, if someone consumes 10 ml or more of methanol, even split up among drinks, that can be enough to cause permanent damage or kill them.
While there are processes today to discard the toxic alcohol that is visually indistinguishable from water, some illegal Moonshiners will add methanol back in to provide a stronger potency. Obviously, without regulation, there is no way to know if illicit alcohol contains methanol.
Which alcohol is worse?
Hard Liquors Could Cause More Heart Damage – There are some types of alcohol that could do more harm than good. “The stronger the alcohol, the more damaging,” says Dr. Farah, noting that hard liquor, like vodka, can cause more health issues down the line.