View Full Version : home brew is lethal

11th June 2013, 07:05 AM
what can go wrong with home brew????

i see on the news two have died and another two are in critical condition from drinking home brew

11th June 2013, 08:29 AM
It was a distilled spirit, not a beer kit.

Distilling is a bit trickier. Recently a whole (indonesian?) villiages male population was almost wiped out by a bad batch.

11th June 2013, 08:33 AM
Apparently it was a home made grappa.

11th June 2013, 08:41 AM
A few hours of research will tell you how to do it safely.......Darwin award candidates perhaps?

11th June 2013, 10:13 AM
You don't remove the tailing it ends bad for you or your sight.

11th June 2013, 10:23 AM
Also the heads....
And some people have been known to use car radiators as condensors and all kinds of stupid crap....
Done properly it is perfectly safe...just not legal (here)
In NZ it is commonplace.

11th June 2013, 11:04 AM
Put simply, the distillation of spirits produces a quantity of methanol as well as the (obviously!) desired ethanol.

Lack of knowledge, Ignorance, apathy, arrogant familiarity and/or sloppy proceedures combined with greed and stupidity are the usual suspects when things go pear-shaped, not the otherwise clearly defined and safe process.

The irony is, the first aid for accidental methanol ingestion is... ethanol.
As an ex-brewer of Backyard BioDiesel, I always kept a small bottle of vodka within reach when handling the stuff. - Even though I rarely drink. any alcohol.
This would explain why there are relatively few disasters from 'moonshine', as the ethanol is negating the otherwise harmful (small) amounts of methanol being drunk.

Naturally, 'Biodiesel' is going to get part of the blame / mud.:mad::mad::mad:

Roverlord off road spares
11th June 2013, 06:11 PM
I have a mate that distills his own, I know nothing about it except he told me the first stuff that comes out condensed is rocket fuel, you nned to clear that first as its poisonous, then the next to come out is the desirable product.
I suppose it's like crude oil, different products come out of it at different temperatures.
Basically the home distillers all just produce alcohol, then the home distillers add essence to flavour it to scotch, or what ever.

11th June 2013, 11:09 PM
The methanol vapourises at a lower temperature than ethanol.
A reflux still can concentrate this in the first shot out of the condensor ans then spit out almost pure ethanol. This is the usual method used to make a clear spirit that is then flavoured. Like I said, legal and commonplace in NZ.
A pot still doesn't strip all of the methanol in the first run, hence double or triple distilled spirits.
The pot still preserves more of the flavour, so traditional for proper whisky, brandy, schnapps etc.
More skill needed but different results.
After the ethanol is stripped if the temp goes higher you will get the higher alcohols like hexanol and oxtanol ans isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) and the fusel oils which are bad news.
So, a careful distiller throws out the heads (methanol) and tails (higher alcohols and fusels) and keeps the middle shots (good booze) while a dimwit will drink whatever comes out and get sick.

16th June 2013, 07:43 AM
Its just natures "selection of the fittest" at work :D If after all the years of brewing/Distilling knowledge available to us via a simple trip to the library or a quick google and they still stuff up there is no hope for them :o