Base Moonshine Ingredients and Materials:
- 5 Gallons of Water.
- 8.5 Pounds of Flaked Corn Maize.
- 1.5 Pounds of Crushed Malted Barley.
- Mash Pot.
- Fermentation Bucket.
- Heat Source.
- 0.1 What will distill first?
- 0.2 Is moonshine good by itself?
- 0.3 How long does moonshine need to ferment?
- 0.4 Why does my moonshine taste bad?
- 1 Is tap water OK for moonshine?
Does moonshine need to be distilled?
A GUIDE TO MAKING MOONSHINE – Moonshine is one of the most famous spirits in the U.S. and it has a very long history. Moonshine is especially popular with home and craft distillers and, when made properly, it can be one of the smoothest and most potent liquors available.
- Americans have been making moonshine for centuries, and moonshine purists continue to perfect this exceptional drink.
- Moonshine is a variant of whiskey, which is distilled from corn mash.
- When made properly, it is completely clear and very potent.
- Distillation is the only way to make moonshine, and distillation in pot stills is the most popular method.
Distillation occurs when the corn mash—with appropriate amounts of sugar and yeast to cause fermentation—is heated in a large tank or pot. Vapors rise from the heated mixture into the condenser, where they are then cooled into a purified liquid. This liquid is the ethanol, which gives moonshine its powerful trademark zing.
- The corn mash consistency will affect the production of ethanol, so adjusting the yeast, corn and sugar in the mixture will make a difference in the moonshine produced.
- Different times and temperature also make a difference; the first liquid distilled can be toxic and should be discarded.
- To learn more about how to make moonshine and moonshine recipes, see our books, how-tos, videos and other resources online.
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What will distill first?
distillation, process involving the conversion of a liquid into vapour that is subsequently condensed back to liquid form. It is exemplified at its simplest when steam from a kettle becomes deposited as drops of distilled water on a cold surface, Distillation is used to separate liquids from nonvolatile solids, as in the separation of alcoholic liquors from fermented materials, or in the separation of two or more liquids having different boiling points, as in the separation of gasoline, kerosene, and lubricating oil from crude oil,
- Other industrial applications include the processing of such chemical products as formaldehyde and phenol and the desalination of seawater.
- The distillation process appears to have been utilized by the earliest experimentalists.
- Aristotle (384–322 bce ) mentioned that pure water is made by the evaporation of seawater.
Pliny the Elder (23–79 ce ) described a primitive method of condensation in which the oil obtained by heating rosin is collected on wool placed in the upper part of an apparatus known as a still. Most methods of distillation used by industry and in laboratory research are variations of simple distillation.
- This basic operation requires the use of a still or retort in which a liquid is heated, a condenser to cool the vapour, and a receiver to collect the distillate.
- In heating a mixture of substances, the most volatile or the lowest boiling distills first, and the others subsequently or not at all.
- This simple apparatus is entirely satisfactory for the purification of a liquid containing nonvolatile material and is reasonably adequate for separating liquids of widely divergent boiling points.
For laboratory use, the apparatus is commonly made of glass and connected with corks, rubber bungs, or ground-glass joints. For industrial applications, larger equipment of metal or ceramic is employed. More From Britannica chemical analysis: Distillation A method called fractional distillation, or differential distillation, has been developed for certain applications, such as petroleum refining, because simple distillation is not efficient for separating liquids whose boiling points lie close to one another.
In this operation the vapours from a distillation are repeatedly condensed and revaporized in an insulated vertical column. Especially important in this connection are the still heads, fractionating columns, and condensers that permit the return of some of the condensed vapour toward the still. The objective is to achieve the closest possible contact between rising vapour and descending liquid so as to allow only the most volatile material to proceed in the form of vapour to the receiver while returning the less volatile material as liquid toward the still.
The purification of the more volatile component by contact between such countercurrent streams of vapour and liquid is referred to as rectification, or enrichment. Multiple-effect distillation, often called multistage-flash evaporation, is another elaboration of simple distillation.
- This operation, used primarily by large commercial desalting plants, does not require heating to convert a liquid into vapour.
- The liquid is simply passed from a container under high atmospheric pressure to one under lower pressure.
- The reduced pressure causes the liquid to vaporize rapidly; the resulting vapour is then condensed into distillate.
A variation of the reduced-pressure process uses a vacuum pump to produce a very high vacuum. This method, called vacuum distillation, is sometimes employed when dealing with substances that normally boil at inconveniently high temperatures or that decompose when boiling under atmospheric pressure.
- Steam distillation is an alternative method of achieving distillation at temperatures lower than the normal boiling point,
- It is applicable when the material to be distilled is immiscible (incapable of mixing) and chemically nonreactive with water.
- Examples of such materials include fatty acids and soybean oils.
The usual procedure is to pass steam into the liquid in the still to supply heat and cause evaporation of the liquid. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy McKenna,
How strong is homemade moonshine?
Typically, moonshine has an ABV of 40%. However, the ABV of moonshine can be even higher, reaching levels of anywhere from 60%-80%! When it comes to alcohol levels in a spirit, the distilling process is the defining factor.
Is moonshine good by itself?
How Do I Drink Moonshine? – We’ve gotta be honest, honey; you don’t want to drink straight moonshine. That’s because straight moonshine is hard to swallow. Literally, by itself, moonshine has an earthy flavor that burns going down. Remember, its original intent wasn’t to be part of some fancy cocktail but rather to help people get drunk.
Can moonshine be over 100%?
Is Moonshine 100 Percent Alcohol? – No, moonshine is not 100% alcohol. Generally, moonshine falls between 40% and 80% alcohol by volume, but the length of time and process used in distilling it will impact the content. It’s important to note that high alcohol content can have severely detrimental effects on the human body, so drinking 100% alcohol is very dangerous.
How long does moonshine need to ferment?
How Quickly Can You Make Moonshine? – The quickest you can properly make moonshine is about two weeks. However, you really should let mash ferment for at least a week itself, so the best moonshine will usually take closer to a month to complete. Moonshine recipes all have their own timelines, so this may vary depending on what you want to make.
Why does my moonshine taste bad?
Drinking Your First Batch – If this is your first time making ‘shine and it tastes weird, it’s probably because you haven’t worn in your still yet. You should always discard your first batch—metallic residue could seep into your product. Your second batch will taste a lot purer.
Is tap water OK for moonshine?
#1 – Use Distilled and Not Tap Water – One of the most important tips I can give to moonshiners is to always use distilled water for making moonshine wash. It’s no secret that tap water contains a plethora of chemicals, some of which includes chlorine, chlorate, bromate and fluoride.
Is it OK to drink distill?
You’ve probably faced this choice while dining out: Tap, bottled, or sparkling water ? But what about distilled water? It’s not that different from what flows out of your kitchen faucet. But distilled water goes through a process that sets it apart from other types of H2O.
Distilled water is steam from boiling water that’s been cooled and returned to its liquid state. Some people claim distilled water is the purest water you can drink. All water – no matter if it comes from a natural spring, artesian well, or regular tap – may have trace but safe amounts of minerals, bacteria, pesticides, and other contaminants.
Distilling rids water of all those impurities. It also removes more than 99.9% of the minerals dissolved in water. As the name says, tap water is the one that comes out a faucet. It has likely been disinfected with chlorine, plus filtered to remove sediments and treated with chemicals to neutralize dirt.
- Fluoride has also been added to prevent tooth decay.
- Filtered water is tap water that has been run through filters to remove chlorine (this improves the taste) and other things such as bacteria and some chemicals.
- Different types of filters remove different things.
- Most bottled water is filtered in some way.
Purified water is water that is essentially free of microbes and chemicals. This is achieved by reverse osmosis (forcing the water through a membrane to get rid of chemicals, minerals and microbes), ozonization (disinfecting water using ozone rather than a chemical), or distillation.
The EPA requires purified water to not contain more than 10 parts per million of total dissolved solids in order to be labeled purified water. Distilled water is a type of purified water. Salts, minerals, and other organic materials are removed by collecting the steam from boiling water. Distilled water is safe to drink.
But you’ll probably find it flat or bland. That’s because it’s stripped of important minerals like calcium, sodium, and magnesium that give tap water its familiar flavor. What’s left is just hydrogen and oxygen and nothing else. Distilled water is ideal for when purity is important.
Medical tools and procedures. Hospitals clean equipment with it to help avoid contamination and infections. Kidney dialysis machines use ultra-pure water to filter waste from blood, Lab tests, Nothing in distilled water reacts with or affects the accuracy of lab experiments. Cosmetics, If water is an ingredient in your moisturizer, deodorant, or shampoo, it’s almost always distilled. Automobiles, Since it lacks minerals, distilled water won’t corrode metal engine parts or interfere with batteries.
At home, you may want to reach for distilled water for cooking and several other reasons, including:
Infant formula, Mix it with infant formula if your baby has weak immunity, Otherwise, tap water is fine. CPAP machine. Fill the water chamber for a CPAP humidifier if you use it for sleep apnea, Many manufacturers recommend distilled water to make the humidifier last longer. Neti pot, Use it with a neti pot to clear your sinuses, Iron, Use it in your clothes iron to prevent scale buildup. Shampoo your hair, Fluoride, chlorine, and other additives in the water from your shower may dull your hair.
Distilled water lacks even electrolytes like potassium and other minerals your body needs. So you may miss out on a bit of these micronutrients if you drink only the distilled stuff. Some studies have found a link between drinking water low in calcium and magnesium and tiredness, muscle cramps, weakness, and heart disease,
- Also, distilled water may not help you stay hydrated as well as other kinds of water.
- If you use distilled water for your fish tank, be sure to add a sea minerals supplement to the aquarium.
- Some coffee fans think that distilled water makes for a purer-tasting cup.
- But the Specialty Coffee Association of America says that a certain level of minerals is ideal in order to extract the best brew.
Unopened bottled distilled water from a store lasts basically forever. But stash it away from direct sunlight. And once it’s opened, be sure to close it up well after use. Certain germs can grow even in nutrient-poor distilled water.
Fill a large pot of water halfway.Tie a cup to the pot’s lid so the cup will hang rightside up inside the pot when the lid is shut. The cup should be high enough inside the pot that it does not touch the water. Boil the water for 20 minutes. Boiling creates vapor that rises and then condenses back into water. The water that drops from the lid into the cup is distilled.
What are the requirements for simple distillation to be successful?
Simple distillation is a procedure by which two liquids with different boiling points can be separated. Simple distillation (the procedure outlined below) can be used effectively to separate liquids that have at least fifty degrees difference in their boiling points.
As the liquid being distilled is heated, the vapors that form will be richest in the component of the mixture that boils at the lowest temperature. Purified compounds will boil, and thus turn into vapors, over a relatively small temperature range (2 or 3°C); by carefully watching the temperature in the distillation flask, it is possible to affect a reasonably good separation.
As distillation progresses, the concentration of the lowest boiling component will steadily decrease. Eventually the temperature within the apparatus will begin to change; a pure compound is no longer being distilled. The temperature will continue to increase until the boiling point of the next-lowest-boiling compound is approached. Figure 1. Distillation apparatus. A distillation flask with a thermometer is placed in a heating mantle and is connected to a condenser. Figure 2. The tubes on the condenser are attached to a water source, with the water flowing in the low end and flowing out the high end of the condenser. The condensed vapor drips into the collection receiver.
- Check the calibration of the thermometer that is to be used. This can be accomplished by placing the thermometer in an ice bath of distilled water. After the thermometer has been allowed to reach thermal equilibrium, place it in a beaker of boiling distilled water and again allow it to reach thermal equilibrium. If the temperatures measured deviate from the expected values by more than two degrees, obtain a new thermometer and check its calibration.
- Fill the distillation flask. The flask should be no more than two thirds full because there needs to be sufficient clearance above the surface of the liquid so that when boiling commences the liquid is not propelled into the condenser, compromising the purity of the distillate. Boiling chips should be placed in the distillation flask for two reasons: they will prevent superheating of the liquid being distilled and they will cause a more controlled boil, eliminating the possibility that the liquid in the distillation flask will bump into the condenser. Figure 3. The thermometer is inserted in the distillation flask through a hole in the cork stopper. The arm of the flask is inserted through a hole in the stopper of the condenser. Make sure these stoppers are airtight, or the vapor will escape.
- Heat the distillation flask slowly until the liquid begins to boil (see Figure 4). Vapors will begin to rise through the neck of the distillation flask. As the vapors pass through the condenser, they will condense and drip into the collection receiver (see Figure 5). An appropriate rate of distillation is approximately 20 drops per minute. Distillation must occur slowly enough that all the vapors condense to liquid in the condenser. Many organic compounds are flammable and if vapors pass through the condenser without condensing, they may ignite as they come in contact with the heat source. Figure 4. The distillation flask being heated in a heating mantle. Figure 5. The collection receiver The vapors condense and drip from the condenser into the flask.
- As the distillate begins to drop from the condenser, the temperature observed on the thermometer should be changing steadily. When the temperature stabilizes, use a new receiver to collect all the drops that form over a two to three degree range of temperature. As the temperature begins to rise again, switch to a third collection container to collect the distillate that now is formed. This process should be repeated; using a new receiver any time the temperature stabilizes or begins changing, until all of the distillate has been collected in discrete fractions.
- note: All fractions of the distillate should be saved until it is shown that the desired compound has been effectively separated by distillation.
- Remove the heat source from the distillation flask before all of the liquid is vaporized. If all of the liquid is distilled away, there is a danger that peroxides, which can ignite or explode, may be present in the residue left behind. Also, when all of the liquid has evaporated, the temperature of the glass of the filtration flask will rise very rapidly, possibly igniting whatever vapors may still be present in the distillation flask.
- Never distill to dryness. The residue left in the distillation flask may contain peroxides, which could ignite or explode after all the liquid has distilled away.
- Make sure that all joints are secured very tightly. If any vapor escapes at the connection points, it may come into direct contact with the heat source and ignite.
- Never heat a closed system, the increasing pressure will cause the glass to explode. If the distillation flask has a tapered neck, the thermometer may be placed in such a way as to block to flow of vapors up the neck of the flask; in effect creating a closed system; make sure that if using a tapered neck flask, the thermometer is not resting in the lowest portion of the neck.
Simple distillation is effective only when separating a volatile liquid from a nonvolatile substance or when separating two liquids that differ in boiling point by 50 degrees or more. If the liquids comprising the mixture that is being distilled have boiling points that are closer than 50 degrees to one another, the distillate collected will be richer in the more volatile compound but not to the degree necessary for complete separation of the individual compounds.
- The basic idea behind fractional distillation is the same as simple distillation only the process is repeated many times.
- If simple distillation was performed on a mixture of liquids with similar volatilities, the resulting distillate would be more concentrated in the more volatile compound than the original mixture but it would still contain a significant amount of the higher boiling compound.
If the distillate of this simple distillation was distilled again, the resulting distillate would again be even more concentrated in the lower boiling compound, but still a portion of the distillate would be the higher boiling compound. If this process is repeated several times, a fairly pure distillate will eventually result.
This, however, would take a very long time. In fractional distillation, the vapors formed from the boiling mixture rise into the fractionating column where they condense on the column’s packing. This condensation is tantamount to a single run of simple distillation; the condensate is more concentrated in the lower boiling compound than the mixture in the distillation flask.
As vapors continue to rise through the column, the liquid that has condensed will revaporize. Each time this occurs the resulting vapors are more and more concentrated in the more volatile substances. The length of the fractionating column and the material it is packed with impact the number of times the vapors will recondense before passing into the condenser; the number of times the column will support this is referred to as the number of theoretical plates of the column.
Since the procedures of simple distillation are so similar to those involved in fractional distillation, the apparatus that are used in the procedures are also very similar. The only difference between the equipment used in fractional distillation and that used in simple distillation is that with fractional distillation, a packed fractionating column is attached to the top of the distillation flask and beneath the condenser.
This provides the surface area on which rising vapors condense, and subsequently revaporize. The fractionating column is used to supply a temperature gradient over which the distillation can occur. In an ideal situation, the temperature in the distillation flask would be equal to the boiling point of the mixture of liquids and the temperature at the top of the fractionating column would be equal to the boiling point of the lower boiling compound; all of the lower boiling compound would be distilled away before any of the higher boiling compound.
How do you set up a simple distillation?
Simple Distillation Summary – Figure 5.29: Simple distillation apparatus.
|Assembly tips Fill the distilling flask with sample 1/3-1/2 full. Always use an extension clamp on the distilling flask. Add a few boiling stones or stir bar to flask. Position the thermometer bulb just below the arm of the three-way adapter, where vapors turn toward the condenser.
|Wet condenser hoses with water before attaching. Connect the condenser hoses such that water flow uphill: bring water from the faucet into the lower arm, and drain out the upper arm. Be sure all of the connections are secure (especially between the distilling flask and 3-way adapter: potential of fire!)
|Begin distillation Turn on the condenser water. Apply the heat source to the distilling flask. Collect distillate at a rate of 1 drop per second, Record the temperature where liquid is actively distilling and thermometer bulb is immersed. Record the pressure.
|Cease distillation Stop the distillation when the temperature changes dramatically or if the distilling flask is nearly empty (never distill to dryness!) Lower and remove the heat source, but keep water circulating until the flask is just warm to the touch.