hist-brewing: Apple Cider

Wade Hutchison whutchis at bucknell.edu
Tue Dec 7 07:42:22 PST 1999

Well, sort of.  Methanol (CH3OH) has a _lower_ boiling point than
ethanol, so in distillation it will be the first component to vaporize.
This is one reason that the very first spirits distilled in whiskey
making are usually discarded - that would have the highest % of methanol,
if there is any.  All other alcohols and related chemicals have
lower boiling points than Methanol, which is the prime culprit in
alcohol-related blindness.  Ethanol (C2H5OH) is (sort of) our friend, and only
causes problems if over-imbibed.  Propanol (C3H7OH or rubbing alcohol) is next
in line, and will cause severe intestinal distress if consumed.  It is
concentrated in both forms of 'distillation', since both its boiling point
is lower than water, and its freezing point is higher.  Btw, anti-freeze
is usually ethylene glycol (closer to ethanol, and very toxic) or propylene
glycol (closer to propanol,and is much _less_ toxic than the
ethylene glycol!), neither of which are 'alcohols.'

The bottom line is that if you stick to fruit or grain sources of
sugars (dextrose, maltose, sucrose, etc.) and use a brewing yeast
(Saccharomyces Cerevisiae or his close relatives) you'll produce
Ethanol to the exclusion of most other alcohols.  In this case
you should definitely relax, don't worry and have a homebrew.

         -----Wade Hutchison

  01:03 AM 12/7/1999 , Richard wrote:
>GOOD POINT!!!  I hadn't thought about that when I answered that question!!!
>I'm gonna send this to the list so that people are aware of this.  All 
>this talk about freeze distilling and I didn't even think to mention the 
>dangers of methyl alcohol!
>BTW, they aren't always left behind in the normal distilling process.  If 
>done improperly, you could end up just as blind.
> > In a message dated 12/06/1999 0:43:46 AM EST, Richard at WowMe.com writes:
> >
> >  The really nasty higher alcohols that make you go
> > blind, the kind they used to use in automobile anti-freeze, are left 
> behind
> > by the distilling process and do not carry over.  HOWEVER, they are 
> retained
> > in the product by partial freezing.
> >     Kids, don't try this at home.


To unsubscribe from this list, send email to majordomo at pbm.com containing
the words "unsubscribe hist-brewing" (or unsubscribe hist-brewing-digest, if
you get the digest.) To contact a human about problems, send mail to
owner-hist-brewing at pbm.com

More information about the hist-brewing mailing list