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  • Making your own Spirits?

    Is anyone distilling their own spirits? It's something I've been wanting to get into for a long time. I enjoyed brewing beer, but since going Primal have cut down drastically on my barley-based beverage intake.

    I read some good information in this book, which states that the fear of moonshine is basically CW left over from the old days before people knew about lead poisoning and such. If you cook with only 100% safe materials (copper, stainless steel, no welding) nothing can leach into your brew.

    She also states that you can't just accidentally make methyl alcohol (the bad stuff) when trying to produce ethyl. But I can't seem to find out what makes the two separate from each other, other than methyl is known as "wood alcohol" and that ethyl is actually a cure for methanol poisoning...

    Any tips, or science links?

  • #2
    Tip #1-- don't let the T-men find out. Distilling your own is illegal...tread lightly.

    Why not switch from brewing beer to wine? I'm considering just that (I was brewing at least 10 gals of beer per month before I quit the stuff).

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    • #3
      You are correct in saying that you CANNOT accidently make methanol. Usually methanol is only found in the first few ounces, so I'd discard that.

      The metabolism of methanol is toxic: methanol --> formaldehyde --> formate via alcohol dehydrogenase. Ethanol can be used to treat methanol posioning becuase it competetively competes with it so your kidneys excrete the methanol rather than it being metabolized.

      My roommate's stepfather makes moonshine and has never had any problems with producing methanol. Let your friends try the first batch

      Unless you have access to some analytical equipment I don't think you can test for methanol. I happen to work in a chemistry lab, but I don't think they'd be happy if I brought in moonshine to run on the GC lol
      Last edited by Drama; 07-20-2011, 11:04 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by freqz View Post
        Why not switch from brewing beer to wine? I'm considering just that (I was brewing at least 10 gals of beer per month before I quit the stuff).
        My problem with wine was that the first few instructions I read all recommended fermenting for at least a month, and stay bottled for 6 months before use. I like the idea of a 2 week ferment of cheap (sugar) ingredients, then use immediately.

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        • #5
          Good info here: Home Distillation of Alcohol
          carl's cave

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          • #6
            I'd love to ... but, it's illegal where I live. That doesn't stop everyone, of course.

            I must say, since going paleo/primal I get a little bloated drinking beer. I de-bloat and don't get heartburn drinking spirits - I like single malt Scotch and Scandinavian vodka. I also quite like gin, neat, with a few cubes of ice which dilute it a little. I like my spirits neat, but a little splash of fizzy water just to take the edge off is well advised.

            Also, a tip from Robb - LIME! Lime blunts the body's response to alcohol. I think you still get pissed as easy, just your body responds better if its with lime. You can read more about that one yourself.

            Have fun ... don't blow yourself up and if you make something (and it's legal), let us see what you've achieved.
            Paul
            http://www.pjgh.co.uk
            http://www.livingintheiceage.co.uk

            "... needs more fish!"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SlimIcy View Post
              My problem with wine was that the first few instructions I read all recommended fermenting for at least a month, and stay bottled for 6 months before use. I like the idea of a 2 week ferment of cheap (sugar) ingredients, then use immediately.
              Ah gotcha. Some of my bigger lagers were 2 weeks in primary, 3 weeks in secondary, up to 3 months of lagering, then at least 6 weeks in the bottle so I'm used to the wait.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by pjgh View Post
                Also, a tip from Robb - LIME! Lime blunts the body's response to alcohol. I think you still get pissed as easy, just your body responds better if its with lime. You can read more about that one yourself.
                Tequila and soda water with a lime is my new go-to drink. It's never bad.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by freqz View Post
                  Tip #1-- don't let the T-men find out. Distilling your own is illegal...tread lightly.

                  Why not switch from brewing beer to wine? I'm considering just that (I was brewing at least 10 gals of beer per month before I quit the stuff).
                  I thought it was only illegal if you try to sell it?
                  Starting weight - 226
                  Height - 5 ft 8 in
                  Goal - When I can buy clothes without a W in the size and my doctor and I agree I have lost enough. But if you want a real number we think about 160 to 165.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by catols View Post
                    I thought it was only illegal if you try to sell it?
                    You can legally brew your own beer and wine, but unless you've jumped through the BATF loopholes and paid the taxes you're not legal to distill. Make all the ethanol you want-- if it is for a fuel, not to drink.

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                    • #11
                      ...and you're only legal to brew up to a certain point, I believe the current regulations state that you cannot make more than 200 gallons per year. AFAIK home distilling isn't just illegal, it's a federal felony.

                      The rest of my response didn't post previously, but methanol concerns are generally overblown.

                      Basically, you get methanol if you ferment improperly, and then distill at improper temperatures. Ferment properly, and distill with proper temp regulation, and you're good to go.
                      My Fitday public journal.
                      Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
                      Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
                      Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

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                      • #12
                        freeze distillation (moonshine cider) The Living Edge
                        activate the rhythm, the rhythm that has always been within

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                        • #13
                          Tried this last winter with apple cider that had been preserved with potassium sorbate. Didn't work well.

                          I intend to do it again this winter, with regular cider so it ferments.
                          My Fitday public journal.
                          Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
                          Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
                          Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

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                          • #14
                            I've made lots of spirts at home, but only ever by making the ethanol, then adding cheap flavors nothing more fancy. They generally taste slightly better than cheap brand spirits, and cost a lot less. If you have time I suggest double distill and double filter, gives a much cleaner taste.
                            www.back-to-primal.blogspot.com or on Facebook here

                            My training journal if anyone is interested

                            Be strong to be useful

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