A higher power has blessed me with a large, dark, cool, unfinished basement, and a big empty freezer. So the obvious thing to do in thanks is to make a metric crapload of applejack.
My main concern is the inclusion of methanol in the finished product, particularly since I'm aiming for a 30-40% ABV.
Now, from what I understand, methanol is a byproduct of unwanted bacteria breaking down pectin, and is also already present in low concentrations in many store bought fruit juices.
So in an apple juice sugarwash, would I expect to see less pectin available to be broken down due to the clarification process, or expect to see a low amount of methanol already present due to the pectin enzymes added FOR clarification?
TLDR: If i use a no-preservative no-suggar-added apple juice for a sugarwash, then distill it by freezing, what are the odds of going blind?
And I guess while I'm asking, is there any advantage to doing a freeze distillation first, then running through a pot still? Or would I be better off just forgetting about freeze distillation and just running the whole batch through the pot still?
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Methanol freezes at about -98degC
Ethanol freezes around -114degC
Methanol boils at around 65degC
Ethanol boils at about 78degC
Its easier to boil it off than freeze it out. Commercial distilleries would use fractional distillation if it was more cost effective (quicker, cheaper, both)
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All spirits have methanol, just not enough to be toxic. It takes lab grade equipment to fully fraction pure ethanol.
It would actually be hard to make spirits with enough methanol to do damage. Most of this is propaganda left over from prohibition.
Deaths from home distilled spirits are rare and almost always are due to spirits cut with other chemicals including industrial grade methanol. Arsenic has also been used due to its hallucinogenic properties as well as avgas.
We are products of what we see and hear in the media. They are sadly not in the business of truth but sell story. Home distillation is probably one of the safer "hobbies"
I can for sure tell you that in short order with a bit of research any average Joe can make better spirits at home than anything you can buy. Without question....also without hangover