Home Distillation of Alcohol (Homemade Alcohol to Drink) #poteen, #homemade #alcohol, #stills,


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Methanol & Other Impurities

Methanol is formed when fermenting beverages high in pectins – eg grapes and berries. Starting with a grain or sugar based wort, in a clean fermentor with a yeast culture from a well aereated source will result in small/none formed.
Carl from Hambletonbard (makers of Alcotec yeasts) details.

    Methanol, you will typically get around 2 or 3 parts per million (or milligrams per litre if you prefer) of methanol produced during fermentation of a standard 6kg type Alcotec – this is extremely low even compared to commercial products. We don’t have a great deal of data on methanol because whenever we have tested for it we have got extremely low results.

Mike explains about the pectin.

    The methanol comes from the pectin, which mainly composed of methyl esters of galactose. When pectin breaks down, by enzymes introduced by microorganisms, or deliberately introduced, the methyl esters combine with water to produce methanol, so the aim should be to leave the pectin well alone if you can.

    I think Jack would agree that what he means is that fermenting at a high temperature, or adding pectin enzyme, or trying for an abv higher than 12% all increase the risk of methanol being produced, so his advice about low temperature fermentation, adding no exra enzymes, and a target lower than 12%abv is all good stuff.


You are already being exposed to methanol from other sources. Some fruit juices are naturally high in methanol – for example apple juice can have 0.2-0.3% methanol, or if derived from pulp by enzymatic degradation, the levels can be 2 to 3 times higher.

The lethal dose of methanol is at least 100 ml that is equal to about 80000 mg or you need 27000 liters of mash at least to get that amount.

also from the webpage: “Dietary surveys have shown that an extreme consumer of orange juice drinks slightly over 2 litres/day. The estimated maximum intake of methanol based on this consumption would be 455 mg for a 60 kg adult which is below the maximum advisory intake of 600 mg per day for a 60 kg adult, recommended by the Department of Health.”

So if we stay under 600 mg per day we are safe, that’s the same as 200 liters of mash per day or about 70 liters of 40% alcohol per day if you weight is 60 kg.

total amount of methanol in mash expressed in ml is about 0.1 ml = nothing.


Jack comments.

    The Long Ashton Research Station did some studies that showed that ciders and apple juices clarified with pectic enzymes are higher in methanol due to the demethylation of juice pectins. The methanol content varied from 10 to 400 ppm in the test samples. I don’t know which fruits are highest/lowest in pectin content, but apples are commonly considered the highest.

    This is why all the old books on cider making refer to a condition called “apple palsey” – it’s the massively painfull hangover from the high methanol content. In order to prevent this (I’m sure distilling the pectin turns it into methanol) distillers must fully clarify any fruit wine before cooking it. Rather than use clarifiers, put the wine into 2 or 4 liter plastic jugs (only filled half full) and freeze them solid, then thaw them out, this will result in perfectly clear (and chill- stabilized) wine ready for distilling. After the thawing is complete or maybe as much as a week after, the wine will be crystal clear.

Stephen Alexander reports that commercial spirits contain small levels of methanol. ‘Food Chemistry’ by Belitz more methanol is produced in fruit fermentation than in grains. Brewers do not remove the methanol in beer and wine because methanol is not especially toxic at low concentrations. You are looking at between 0.4%-1% methanol in wines and brandies and smaller amounts in beers. Distillers remove almost all the methanol in most cases. Ever notice how vodka produces clean hangovers and wines (particularly reds) give you very nasty hangovers? Methanol. That, and dehydration!

Methanol is an especially nasty type of alcohol because the body tries to break it down the same way it metabolizes, or breaks down, ethanol, the type of alcohol in beer, wine and other drinks. Metabolizing ethanol produces chemicals less toxic to the body than alcohol. Unfortunately, if the same chemical action is performed on methanol the result is formic acid, lactic acid and formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde attacks nerve cells, especially the optic nerve and can damage the liver and kidneys. Formic acid and lactic acid also attack the kidneys and liver. Most people who have drunk methanol die of severe and sudden kidney and liver failure.

Chronic methanol drinking will cause optical damage. The stories of moonshine causing blindness comes from U.S. prohibition times where some bootleggers used to cut moonshine with methylated spirits to increase profit.

Gregory writes:

    It isn’t the yeast that controls methanol, it’s what you’re fermenting. I believe yeast has very limited metabolic pathways around methanol. Quoting from http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/jul2000/965090996.Bc.r.html –

    “Basically it can be produced biologically in 2 ways; through the oxidation of methane by methane monooxygenase, or by the reduction of formaldehyde, by methanol dehydrogenase (and this reaction normally works in the reverse direction).

    It’s true that some methanol can be produced during fermentation, but this is not derived from the ethanol or by carbohydrate oxidation. It is produced in small amounts, either by non-enzymatic reactions or through the reduction of formaldehyde.”

    Methane isn’t present in our washes, so the culprit is formaldehyde. I believe the pectins in fruit are methylated and can break down in the wash into formaldehyde. But so long as your wash has only pure fermentable carbohydrates, you can expect essentially zero methanol. There’s a bit more in this discussion of methanol here: http://yarchive.net/med/methanol_poisoning.html

    Ethyl acetate, OTOH, is produced spontaneously whenever acetate is present with ethanol. There are several possible sources of acetate during fermentation. In general, acetate is formed by oxidation of ethanol. (In fact, acetate is the ‘end-product’ of our own metabolism of ethanol). In fermentation, oxidation of ethanol into acetate can happen as a result of desperate yeast metabolizing its own ethanol, or by contamination with other yeasts or bacteria.

    http://homedistiller.org ?>

Alcoholic Thinking – Understanding the Insanity of Alcoholism: How the Alcoholic Thinks,


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Understanding the Insanity of Alcoholism: How the Alcoholic Thinks

Alcoholic intervention

Friends and family of active alcoholics ask me to explain how the alcoholic thinks. I am happy to share what I have learned after we establish what their motives are.

The Insanity of Alcoholism

Sadly, well intentioned folks try to protect the alcoholic from him/herself (enabling) or try to predict what they will do next (no crystal ball available). There are hundreds of wise sayings amongst alcoholics in recovery. Some are meant to make you think and some are meant to be taken very literally. Alcoholics Anonymous refers to, “the insanity of our disease.” This is a very literal statement. I can tell you a bit about understanding the active alcoholic but I cannot make it make sense to you because understanding the active alcoholic requires stripping away a lot of rational thought, the acknowledgement and willingness to learn from mistakes, the ability to recognize obvious patterns of behavior, and quite often, the application of common sense.

There are at least a hundred forms of alcoholism. What I am describing here is the person who is still drinking, is high functioning, and has not yet lost the things they hold dear. The disease of addiction dictates that they will lose these things in time and the rule of threes dictates a grim long term prognosis (jail, institution, and/or death).

Alcoholics think, act, believe, and feel based on distorted perceptions or themselves and the world around them. They live at the extremes of all or nothing. There is no moderation, no middle ground, no compromise, and no gray area in their worldview. To varying degrees, alcoholics live in denial of their destructiveness (self and others) and this further distorts what they are able to make sense of.

“Probably”

Alcoholics are the very best liars because they are able to use rationalization and justification to convince themselves that a lie is truth. This happens subconsciously. They are not aware that they are, if you’ll pardon the term – mind screwing themselves. Alcoholics adopt a language that facilitates lying in a way that sounds very well intentioned. Their favorite word is, “probably.” This word implies intention where in fact none exists. An alcoholic who tells you they will probably do something is highly unlikely to do it. Using words like these provides them a loop hole – an escape hatch in which no absolutes are given and no promises made. The alcoholic relies on words and phrases like: possibly, maybe, would, could, should, I’d like to, I want to, I need to. These words mean nothing. They sound good but almost always lead to disappointment. Progressively, alcoholism blurs every line and impacts every interaction, every relationship, every part of the alcoholic’s world.

Firehouse Management

Putting blinders on a horse leaves it with no peripheral vision – such is the worldview of the alcoholic. They may attend to many things, but in order to do so they must turn their attention away from one thing and toward another. Multitasking for the alcoholic means making many messes at once. There is no balance for the active alcoholic. As one area of their life declines they will often focus their attention on it and take it to an extreme. As this happens, another part of their life declines and gradually their life becomes dictated by “firehouse management” – every course of action becomes based on the most pressing problem. This is an inevitably downward spiral, though some alcoholics manage to maintain it for a very long time.

External Locus of Control

As alcoholics tend to drink progressively more they will generally conceal the frequency and amount they drink. They will tell you they only had three glasses of wine and this is true. What they have not told you is that each glass was a 16 ounce tumbler. It is not only the drinking that gets hidden; it is also the negative affects alcohol produces in their lives. Alcoholics develop what counselors call “an external locus of control.” Progressively, everything is someone else’s fault. If their job is going poorly it’s because their boss hates them. If their marriage suffers then their spouse is unreasonable. If they fail as parents they will see their children as ungrateful. Everything and everyone becomes a reason to drink. The spiraling alcoholic will often say that they don’t even want to drink but that circumstances like their horrible job/spouse/kids “force” them to.

Self-Pity and the Sense of Entitlement

Alcoholics often have a bizarre sense of entitlement. They reason that having such a difficult/stressful/demanding life entitles them to act in ways that are immature, irresponsible, and selfish. To observe their behavior is to conclude a belief that the world must owe them something. The active alcoholic wallows in self-pity and concludes that they are a victim of life. As they demand more from the world they expect less and less from themselves.

Appearance over Substance

The quickest route to self destruction for alcoholics are the words, “Screw it.” This is a declaration that everything is already screwed so they might as well drink. When people decide to stop drinking we encourage them to notice that “It” is actually, “Me.” This is evident in, “It’s not worth it.” On some level the alcoholic always knows the truth and they are usually working hard not to know it. They pretend and demand that those close to them buy into the fantasy that all is well. Life becomes progressively less about anything substantive and progressively more about maintaining appearances. This is well explained in Pink’s song, “Family Portrait.” “In our family portrait we look pretty happy. We look pretty normal…”

Master Manipulators

Alcoholics are master manipulators. They may not have been con artists before they started drinking but they come to have remarkable skills. They are the folks who can sell ice to Eskimos. They will pick a fight with you because they want to leave and they will have you believing it’s your fault. They show little or no accountability. They may have had integrity before their addiction kicked in but it will be conspicuously absent from their lives as they spiral. There is often one exception to this rule for each alcoholic – one thing they do especially well and it will most generally be their sole source of self esteem. We have known a large number of alcoholics who have incredible work ethics because being a good worker is the one thing they know they’re good at…well, they will say that and drinking.

Alcoholism – A Unique Disease

The disease of alcoholism gradually and insidiously strips everything away from a person. We have been asked countless times whether alcoholism is truly a disease or a choice. In truth it is both. Alcoholism is unique as a disease in that it not only hides from view – it also lies to its carrier about its presence. The person who is active in addiction has a unique choice relative to all other diseases. The alcoholic can go into remission at any time and many do. We see that alcoholics will abstain from drinking for a time to prove to themselves or others that they are not addicted, only to return later with a vengeance.

Alcoholics Anonymous (the only real recovery)

Recovery from alcoholism involves far more than sobriety. Recovery from alcoholism involves changing every part of a person’s life. The person who only stops drinking is what we refer to as a “dry drunk” meaning that they are every bit as unhealthy they have simply stopped drinking – a small percentage of folks manage this long term. In my professional opinion, real recovery is only made possible by the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. There are countless positive things that can be added to the program of AA and their importance cannot be overstated. Folks in recovery need the support of family and friends. Sadly, I meet too many friends and family who are unwittingly enabling (protecting an alcoholic from the natural consequences of their behavior) the alcoholic and this always results in a person staying stuck in addiction.


PTSD and Substance Abuse in Veterans – PTSD: National Center for PTSD


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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

PTSD and Substance Abuse in Veterans

Substance Abuse Flyer

Some people try to cope with their Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms by drinking heavily, using drugs, or smoking too much. People with PTSD have more problems with drugs and alcohol both before and after getting PTSD. Also, even if someone does not have a problem with alcohol before a traumatic event, getting PTSD increases the risk that he or she will develop a drinking or drug problem.

Eventually, the overuse of these substances can develop into Substance Use Disorder (SUD), and treatment should be given for both PTSD and SUD to lead to successful recovery. The good news is that treatment of co-occurring (happening at the same time) PTSD and SUD works.

How common is co-occurring PTSD and SUD in Veterans?

Studies show that there is a strong relationship between PTSD and SUD, in both civilian and military populations, as well as for both men and women.

Specific to Veterans:

  • More than 2 of 10 Veterans with PTSD also have SUD.
  • War Veterans with PTSD and alcohol problems tend to be binge drinkers. Binges may be in response to bad memories of combat trauma.
  • Almost 1 out of every 3 Veterans seeking treatment for SUD also has PTSD.
  • The number of Veterans who smoke (nicotine) is almost double for those with PTSD (about 6 of 10) versus those without a PTSD diagnosis (3 of 10).
  • In the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, about 1 in 10 returning soldiers seen in VA have a problem with alcohol or other drugs.

How can co-occurring PTSD and SUD create problems?

If someone has both PTSD and SUD, it is likely that he or she also has other health problems (such as physical pain), relationship problems (with family and/or friends), or problems in functioning (like keeping a job or staying in school). Using drugs and/or alcohol can make PTSD symptoms worse.

  • PTSD may create sleep problems (trouble falling asleep or waking up during the night). You might “medicate” yourself with alcohol or drugs because you think it helps your sleep, but drugs and alcohol change the quality of your sleep and make you feel less refreshed.
  • PTSD makes you feel “numb,” like being cut off from others, angry and irritable, or depressed. PTSD also makes you feel like you are always “on guard.” All of these feelings can get worse when you use drugs and alcohol.
  • Drug and alcohol use allows you to continue the cycle of “avoidance” found in PTSD. Avoiding bad memories and dreams or people and places can actually make PTSD last longer. You cannot make as much progress in treatment if you avoid your problems.
  • You may drink or use drugs because it distracts you from your problems for a short time, but drugs and alcohol make it harder to concentrate, be productive, and enjoy all parts of your life.

VA has made it easier to get help. It is important to know that treatment can help and you are not alone.

What treatments are offered for co-occurring PTSD and SUD?

Evidence shows that in general people have improved PTSD and SUD symptoms when they are provided treatment that addresses both conditions. This can involve any of the following (alone or together):

Talk with your provider about treatment for specific symptoms like pain, anger, or sleep problems.

What should I do if I think I have co-occurring PTSD and SUD?

The first step is to talk to a health professional and ask for more information about treatment options. Each VA medical center has an SUD-PTSD Specialist trained in treating both conditions to reach the best health outcomes. If there are signals you are at risk for both disorders, you will be encouraged to talk with a provider about how to best support your recovery. There are treatment resources at every VA medical center. The VA wants you to have the best possible care for co-occurring PTSD and SUD.

If you continue to be troubled or distracted by your experiences for more than three months or have questions about your drinking or drug use, learn more about treatment options. Life can be better! Talk to a VA or other health professional to discuss choices for getting started.

Date this content was last updated is at the bottom of the page.


Expert Alcohol and Drug Treatment #alcoholism, #alcoholic, #alcohol #abuse, #alcohol #abuse #treatment


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