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methanol in sugar washes ?

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methanol in sugar washes ?

Postby kekedog13 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:00 pm

I'm being told by waljaco over in the ND forum that there in NO methanol in a sugar wash . If this is true then would there be any reason to collect and toss fore shots ? I gotta say that there is a sharp bite in the first running's out of a sugar wash that is not present in what comes out afterwards. I assumed this was from methanol. What goes ? :?
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Re: methanol in sugar washes ?

Postby Al Qaemist » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:26 pm

I don't believe I know what methanol tastes like, or if it even has a taste that would be distinguishable from ethanol. There are all sorts of things in the first portions off the still that you don't want to be ingesting.
When running a VM column - the first 10-13% never makes it into my product. I save these heads and run them again in a heads only run, again even with all these stinky heads in the still, only the first 10% of the product is stinky like the heads you put in.

If you are careful with your cuts I don't think there is a need to chuck anything away, much like how the Scotch guys do it. I have a feeling the methanol thing is a myth (at least with sugar washes), if someone knows differently I'd be interested to hear about it.
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Re: methanol in sugar washes ?

Postby 620rossco » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:09 pm

When running a VM column - the first 10-13% never makes it into my product. I save these heads and run them again in a heads only run, again even with all these stinky heads in the still, only the first 10% of the product is stinky like the heads you put in.


Hi Al,

I probably re distill more like 20% even with a sugar wash.
I find a boka compresses the heads really well I guess that is why I have two.
Ran 20litres with some past it wines yesterday.
Output was great will use 6litres from a 43litre charge.
Interestingly shut down while the ABV was still mid 90s. It got really smelly/ slow.
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Re: methanol in sugar washes ?

Postby qball » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:42 pm

I thought tails were stinky?
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Re: methanol in sugar washes ?

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:06 pm

kekedog,

You may have missed my answer to your question on new_distillers.

Actually, it's a persistent but incorrect myth that foreshots removal is strictly to remove methanol from the collected spirits. Most importantly, foreshots removal is for reducing the unpleasant flavors from the spirit, and I'm told (and I'll take the authority's word, here) that methanol is undetectable by taste in ethanol (it tastes like slightly sweetened ethanol). Foreshots are where the highest concentrations of acetone, acetaldehyde, furfural, and traces of other low-boiling, bad-tasting stuff are. If there also happens to be methanol in the wash, while it won't be tasted, some of it will be removed from the collected spirit.

So, yes, discard the foreshots from a sugar wash.
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Re: methanol in sugar washes ?

Postby pintoshine » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:26 pm

There are other really foul tasting thing that you can metabolize such as acetone acetaldehyde and ethyl acetate(the worst offender) none of these will hurt you they just increase the hangover by giving you a roaring headache. These are generally referred to as "Pop skull". The tails on the other hand are rich ion isobutyl alcohol which is sour and gives you the runs if taken on large quantities. These are generally referred to as "Fusel oils"
For the better tasting alcohol, toss the foreshots and the heads.
Distill safe. Make good cuts. Enjoy yourself. Give as much as you take. Have fun doing this incredibly hard work. Be a good example. It's your hobby.
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Re: methanol in sugar washes ?

Postby kekedog13 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:03 pm

Thanks for the info everybody. I hate to go a day without learnin' sompthin' :8)
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Re: methanol in sugar washes ?

Postby 620rossco » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:57 pm

I thought tails were stinky?


Yeah sorry, tails yes.
The temperature started to bounce around as it went into the tails.
So I equalised it a few times.
Seems like if you give it a few minutes of full reflux the bok will fill the plates up with stinky high ABV.
Then you can pull 200-400ml before it spikes again.
Ended up with about 700ml of really stinky tails before I couldn't be bothered any more.
With the heads I discarded I got about 3.7 litres for the heads/tails jar.
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