Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by Diphenhydramine, May 25, 2005.
Is it possible to distill alcohol without heat, using a brita filter?
After you distill it you can run it through the filter to get the impurities out and make it taste a little better.
A distillation that does not use heat?
There are these crystal pores called zeolites. I think that they can be used to separate alcohol from beer and other useful things.
Actually - there IS a way to distill without heat - in fact - it's kind of the exact opposite. It's called Jacking.
Basically - when you distill in the normal way, you take advantage of the fact that alcohol evaporates at a LOWER temperature than water - meaning that with careful application of heat, the alcohol can be pulled out of solution.
JACKING takes advantage of the fact that WATER *freezes* at a lower temperature than alcohol.
Back in the old-days - farmers would make fermented apple-cider (which is about as strong as beer) - put it into a barrel, and then bury the barrel before the frost. The ground would freeze - along with the cider. But there would be a liquid core that didn't freeze. The farmers would dig up the barrel and drain the core. This liquid was called "Apple Jack" and was more towards whiskey in strength.
You can "Jack" anything. The mechanics are simple - freeze, melt, drain.
Take flat beer (if you use carbonated beer, you'll regret it) - put it into a PLASTIC container (remember, water EXPANDS when it freezes) - Freeze. If the alcohol % is really high, you may not get a full freeze - that's fine. Pull the bottle out and let it thaw until half the ice is left. - drain the melted liquid into a new container.
The drained liquid will be roughly double the potency of the beer.
Rinse and repeat.
There are fancy ways to do this, rotating the bottle while it freezes will help the process, etc. but the general priciple is simple.
hmm ethanol freeses at a lower temperature than water which is why you take the liquid and not the solid part
It might have been only a typo error but SWIM wanted to clarify that
RIGHT - what YOU said.
Thanks for catching that!
Sorry to revive a dead and old thread, but, with ample use of a vacuum, one can distill alcohol with the heat of their palm!
I'll keep searching for a guide on this, or write one up myself. But if anyone else has a source at hand, do post!
The theory is simple enough, at reduced atmosphere, boiling points lower. Yeah, all you chemistry nuts can expand on this, I could too. Lazy is efficiency.
Great website on distilling without "distilling".
Sorry for the double-post, it appears I can't edit my posts yet!
The idea of the vacuum is that atmospheric pressure is tied to the boiling point of liquids.
At sea level, water boils at 212F. Every 500 feet above sea level, the boiling point drops by about 0.9F. So, at 2000 feet above sea level, water boils at 208.4F - If you camp at altitude, you know that cooking something like pasta or rice takes longer....because even though the water is boiling...it's not as hot.
A vacuum reduces the atmospheric pressure, much the same way that increasing in altitude does. So, if you create a strong enough vacuum, you can indeed use simple body heat to boil a liquid. They make toys that sell at science-stores that use this very principle...a glass tube with a colorful liquid in it that bubbles and boils at your touch. The tube is a sealed vacuum, and the liquid is often alcohol and food coloring.
Can you use this to distill drinkable alcohol? Sure - but creating a sustained vacuum in a non-lab setting is probably a lot more of a pain in the neck than just using a better heat source.
Meh, you could at least drop the pressure with an aspirator pump, reducing the temperatures required.
wait, i don't think i'm getting all the details. my freind wants to make moonshine, and so far has just stuck some bread and sugar in a rubbermaid container with water, covered it up, and just forgot about it. It's been about 4-5 months now, and really smells like rubbing alcohol. now to get the impurities out, you'd just simply get coffe filters to catch all the solid shit, but then there's still gotta be something still in there that could kill you. but what i'm trying to say is if he froze his batch (about .3 gal.) then once almost completely frozen, chip away the ice, and the liquid would be the alc?
No. If all your friend has is bread and sugar wash in a jar - then your friend is going to have an alcohol content of around 5%-8%. 0.3 gallons = 4.8 cups - so your friend has spent 5 months making the equivalent of two pints of beer.
If your friend were to filter the liquid he has into a large bottle and freeze it solid, then invert that bottle over a wide mouthed jar and let it melt SLOWLY (no heat), until he'd collected about 2.4 cups of liquid - what he'd have is a solution of ~10% ABV (the rest of the ice in the jar is water because alcohol will melt first). If he took THAT liquid, and did the same freezing/remelting process, he'd end up with about 1 cup of ~20% - which is about half as strong as vodka. Do it again, and it would be approaching vodka strength. (this gets harder and harder to do as the % goes up, so if your friend is doing this in a cheapo mini-fridge, it's probably going to cap out at the 20% mark).
But it will taste TERRIBLE - because your friend started with junk ingredients.
1. Your friend didn't make nearly enough starting liquid, particularly using such a shoddy yeast source. Even using the bread yeast that's available at the grocery store is an improvement over old bread, but wine yeasts are cheap and readily available.
2. Since your friend doesn't have a still, using high-quality ingredients is KEY to making something worth drinking. Normally, to make vodka, a wash like your friend made is stripped to 95% alcohol, then re-diluted to 40% with good clean water. your friend doesn't have that option, so whatever flavors he puts in is going to be what comes out.
3. 4-5 months is a long time to let a rubbermaid sit around - it's probably moulded or something unless your friend has fitted it with an airlock.
Be less worried about what's going to kill him and more worried about making something palatable. in home distilling, there are three causes of death/injury - 1. Fire (not a problem here), 2. drinking undiluted spirit over 50%abv (also not a problem here) and 3. drinking methanol - really only a problem when distilling mashes made with high levels of pectin (fruits), and in such low concentration in grains that it's moot.
oh, thanks a lot for that advice. it is moldy as hell, and i guess i'll just tell him it's a lost cause....unless he wants a nasty beer or two
Definitely a lost cause.
Do a search for home-brewing on google or something and pick up a book on the basics for your friend. It's easy, cheap and fun, but it takes a little bit of learnin.
As someone already stated, You could always freeze it, but it is no where near as potent as heat distillation. Its not that hard to make a still. Just got to google and search for home brewing/home distilling or something similar
but alcohol doesn't freeze. couldn't you just freeze your wash in a bowl, then crush it up, drain the liquid, and repeat? Sounds like the best option I could think of. And definitly simple.