Recent comments in /f/DIY

polpotisevil2 OP wrote (edited )

That's interesting. Is the logic they used to reduce violence during isolation?

The still I bought came with a guide but I did research before I bought it so I already knew pretty much what to do. I can't seem to find it so I'll just write a short one myself.

By far the most important aspect of distilling is to understand the dangers of it. When you brew beer, there will always be a small amount of methanol (methanol can make you go blind or even kill you) in the end product. This is not a danger in drinking it since it is in such small amounts, you would have to drink absurd amounts of beer to have it do any real harm.

The problem comes when you start distilling. The basic concept of distilling is that the boiling point of water is 212F (100C) and the boiling point of ethanol (what gets you drunk) is about 172F (78C) so if you heat the liquid up enough to boil off (vaporize) the ethanol but not enough to boil the water you are able to seperate the two. This is done by cooling the resulting vapor to condense it into a drinkable spirit.

HOWEVER THE BOILING POINT OF METHANOL IS 148F (64C) SO THE TOXIC METHANOL WILL ALSO BE CONCENTRATED IN THE SPIRIT, TO AVOID THIS PROBLEM YOU THROW AWAY THE "FORESHOTS" WHICH IS THE FIRST BIT OF LIQUID THAT YOU COLLECT FROM THE STILL. This solves the problem because methanol will be among the first liquids you collect due to its lower boiling point. Sources differ on how much to throw out, I would personally be on the safe side of them but here is one reccomendation:

You'll collect the foreshots until your vapor temperature reaches about 175°F (80°C), and Rick recommends collecting at least 4 ounces per 5 gallons that you're distilling.

Again, I'd throw out a little more to be safe. This is also a reason never to drink homemade liquor made by someone you do not know. You must be sure they threw away the foreshots or you will regret it.

The closer you get to the boiling point of water, the more flavor you should get out of it. The closer you keep it to the boiling point of ethanol, the stronger it will be(and have less flavor, I pretty much made everclear my first try because it was such a cold day my hot plate couldn't heat it up past about 180F).

Now, this is the type of still I have:

The part on the right is the condenser. There is a coil inside it that the vapor travels down. You must cool it down by running cool water over it, or, my preferred method, keeping the water well iced. You also need to seal each part as you assemble it. I personally simply apply a thick flour dough over the seams and it works quite well. Pour your liquid into the part on the left, assemble and heat it up to your preferred temperature, and try to keep it there. It may take quite awhile, so keep monitoring it but feel free to do something else. I collect mine in mason jars. You will know you are done when the temperature suddenly increases. Feel free to ask questions.


Reply to comment by lastfutures in Brewing a simple beer by polpotisevil2

lastfutures wrote

There shouldn't be any risk if your fermentation was done. You'll overcarb it if you put too much sugar, but it wouldn't be enough pressure for it to be a problem, it'll just taste off. If you're doing an oat / darker beer you probably won't want it carbonated much anyway.


Tequila_Wolf wrote

Alcohol is illegal here since lockdown so basically the whole country has been brewing.

Just ginger beer and pineapple beer. We make them really well. We add some spices. Cayenne in ginger beer makes it sharp in a really nice way.

We also just got a distillery thing, do you know any short good guides to how they work and what can be done with them?


polpotisevil2 OP wrote

Oh I can see how that would work. I've been reading about methods using some carbon dioxide tank or additive which is why I was put off. I'll give that a shot, thanks! Any risk of pressure from a re-surging fermentation, or is that mitigated by the primary fermentation being done and yeast sediment being left behind?


lastfutures wrote

I used to be a brewer for work. Most of my experience is in breweries but I've done some basic shit at home too.

Carbonation is easy. You just need to throw some sugar in when bottling after fermentation. Brooklyn Brew Shop has some nice basic tutorials and recipes on their site. The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charles Papazian is a good resource too. I'm sure you can get the pdf online. I've never done one without hops but it should be alright I think.

Been thinking of doing a brew sometime soon.


toocats wrote

My BIL and I have brewed before, and we're about to start on three more batches. It's been a while since I've done it, so I'll report back here once I've had a refresher and can offer some advice.