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#101 Myc

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 10:07 AM

Lucky find on the hand sanitizer.

I can't find alcohol or hand sanitizer anyplace I've looked so far. Finally broke down and bought a bottle of Everclear just in case I run out of my current supply of Isopropyl alcohol.

 

Another neat-o cleaner that I use is called Star San - Five Star Chemicals. It is used for surface sanitizing and is food-safe if used according to the instructions.

Yesterday I used this product to clean up the plastic shelving system I use as a greenhouse. Put some Star San in the hose-end sprayer ( like would be used for lawn chemical applications ) and spray down the shelves. Allow surface contact for at least 60 seconds. Do not rinse the product off as rinsing can re-introduce contaminants. Simply leave the sanitized item wet with the cleaner and go to work.


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#102 TVCasualty

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 10:23 AM

Lucky find on the hand sanitizer.

I can't find alcohol or hand sanitizer anyplace I've looked so far. Finally broke down and bought a bottle of Everclear just in case I run out of my current supply of Isopropyl alcohol.

 

Another neat-o cleaner that I use is called Star San - Five Star Chemicals. It is used for surface sanitizing and is food-safe if used according to the instructions.

Yesterday I used this product to clean up the plastic shelving system I use as a greenhouse. Put some Star San in the hose-end sprayer ( like would be used for lawn chemical applications ) and spray down the shelves. Allow surface contact for at least 60 seconds. Do not rinse the product off as rinsing can re-introduce contaminants. Simply leave the sanitized item wet with the cleaner and go to work.

 

I'm starting to think it might be quicker to build a still than to wait for rubbing alcohol to become available again, and Everclear sure ain't cheap.

 

I attached a PDF of detailed instructions for a reflux still in case anyone happens to have some spare time and knows how to solder copper pipe:

 

Attached File  REFLUXSTILL.pdf   2.01MB   7 downloads


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#103 Juthro

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 01:35 PM

 

Lucky find on the hand sanitizer.

I can't find alcohol or hand sanitizer anyplace I've looked so far. Finally broke down and bought a bottle of Everclear just in case I run out of my current supply of Isopropyl alcohol.

 

Another neat-o cleaner that I use is called Star San - Five Star Chemicals. It is used for surface sanitizing and is food-safe if used according to the instructions.

Yesterday I used this product to clean up the plastic shelving system I use as a greenhouse. Put some Star San in the hose-end sprayer ( like would be used for lawn chemical applications ) and spray down the shelves. Allow surface contact for at least 60 seconds. Do not rinse the product off as rinsing can re-introduce contaminants. Simply leave the sanitized item wet with the cleaner and go to work.

 

I'm starting to think it might be quicker to build a still than to wait for rubbing alcohol to become available again, and Everclear sure ain't cheap.

 

I attached a PDF of detailed instructions for a reflux still in case anyone happens to have some spare time and knows how to solder copper pipe:

 

 REFLUXSTILL.pdf&&0){for(var>)throw>

 

 

Star San is an awesome product, I use it all the time around the kitchen, and house.  It seems like it's expensive when you first look at it, but that little bottle is damn near a lifetime supply.  1/4 tsp star san : 750 ml of H2O is full strength.  

 

And if anyone wants a shortcut for a pot still, this store bought column will clamp right on top of a beer keg that has had the valve removed.  Then you've got a 5 gal stainless steel boiler, with a very usable stainless steel column, and condenser for less than $150 bucks.  

They are currently in stock, and will ship in one business day.   https://brewhaus.com...e-still-column/

 

(for the love of all that is, make sure the keg is empty of all pressure before you try and remove the valve)


Edited by Juthro, 05 April 2020 - 01:37 PM.

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#104 Myc

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 04:50 PM

Great idea Juthro!!  I have access to plenty-o-kegs.

 

The problem is going to come from sourcing sugar. All of those fruit trees that everyone has - making a wasted mess of un-harvested fruit on the sidewalk.............Even the bitter fruits which are inedible contain sugar. I see apples, mulberries, plums, cherries, apricots (tons of these), prickly pear cactus fruits...... - wasted every year by neighbors.

Just sayin'  ;)

 

Then, there could come to be problems with sourcing yeast. Should you find yourself in need, I keep a bank of some 11 live strains for brewing and could send you a slant if it comes to it. Getting ready to experiment with using liquid yeast for bread-making.

 

I'm also working to get my bee-hive set up and populated. Honey will come in handy.

 

Finally getting ready to turn under part of the lawn and start raising a bigger outdoor food garden. Potatoes, zucchini, carrots, radishes.......

 

And.......I've been fostering and studying dandelions for a few years now. I have several very tasty, very leafy cultivars selected and they're seeding right now. Time to seed the remaining lawn with dandelions for additional greens. Some friends and I were just sampling them the other day and noting the varying sweetness and bitterness of the different varieties.

And then there's dandelion wine. ;)

 

This will be like 2009 or 2015 again for me. Stuck at home recovering from major back surgery for a year. I have plenty-o-practice at being "grounded".


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#105 Juthro

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 05:50 PM

Hell Yeah, all that fruit will make good mash :)  Also, animal feed is often a cheap source of grain that's not too difficult to source.  Back in the day every self sustaining farm had a still on it, to turn excess crops into something of value that wasn't not going to spoil.  Waste not, want not.

 

Kegs make awesome boilers for a still, and most people can source one pretty cheap, if they don't already have one around.  You can also put threaded couplers through the sides, for adding a drain valve, or inserting a heating element if you want to drive your boiler with electric power.  And if you don't have access to a TIG welder, you can DIY them into place with a MAP gas torch, and silver solder.

 

You can also DIY your own column, like TV's PDF shows, and put an adaptor on the bottom of it to be able to quick attach it to a keg with a 2" tri clamp.  The company I linked to in my previous post sells most of the misc. pieces and adaptors you would ever need to make it work.  IIRC, a 2" tri clamp x 2" NPT  goes for about $20

 

 

 

 


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#106 Alder Logs

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 06:01 PM

I have heard cattails mentioned as a source of starch for making alcohol.  Anyone know what part of the plant, and how the starch is converted for distilling?


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#107 Juthro

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 07:09 PM

I have heard cattails mentioned as a source of starch for making alcohol.  Anyone know what part of the plant, and how the starch is converted for distilling?

 

 

I believe they are using starch from the roots, Alder, and convert the starch into simple sugars by adding alfa, and glucoamylase.

 

https://northernself...t-tail-ethanol/

 

Here is more on how the amylase works, and the difference between the different kinds.

https://www.youtube....h?v=Al28LFO1kh4


Edited by Juthro, 05 April 2020 - 10:47 PM.

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#108 ElrikEriksson

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 12:27 AM

I'm doing a test grow in my garden this year. Sweet sorghum.

Leaves for compost.

Seed for growing oyster spawn.

Stem pith for fermenting in one way or another.

'Bagasse' [stems without sugary pith] briefly composted to burn off remaining sugars and then made into logs with oyster spawn.

 

I got late harvest sweet sorghum so I can also grow red sorghum and harvest it first for more spawn, without the two varieties crossing.

I already know red sorghum will grow here.

Sorghum is nice because its easy to remove the husks from the grain. Just stomp on it, really. If I were growing grain for famine I'd want to do the least amount of physically intensive pounding to make it edible.



#109 flashingrooster

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 10:25 AM

The other day I watched a guy pick, cook, and eat the heads off the cattails. I had no idea they were edible if you pick early enough. Turns out it has may edible parts

 

I attached a faq link about cattails if anyone is interested

 

https://www.wideopen...val-plant-pics/


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#110 TVCasualty

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 02:42 PM

Sugar beets are another good source of home-grown sugar since they are ~15-20% sucrose by weight. They thrive in places like North Dakota, and can produce twice as much ethanol per acre as corn: https://oilprice.com...Production.html

 

That said, it's probably going to be tough to grow, harvest, and process enough sugar beets on your own to make significant amounts of alcohol. But it might be cheaper to buy partially-processed beets, or crude beet syrup in bulk vs. other bulk sugars.

 

 

 

This is another still design, though you have to pay for the plans (it might be worth it as it looks like it might be a very good design): http://journeytofore...till-manual.cgi

 

This is what it looks like:

 

kstill.jpg

 

The large sections are made from 3" diameter copper pipe, so it's a lot bigger than it probably seems in the picture. It's designed to produce up to 5 gallons of high-proof ethanol per hour. It was intended for use in making your own E85 fuel for a vehicle which is why the volume is so high.

 

That website is pretty interesting and has a lot of other info on similar topics (like biodiesel) even though it looks like it hasn't been updated since the late 1990's. Here's a brief overview of using things like sugar beets to make alcohol: http://journeytofore...arth/meCh5.html



#111 ElrikEriksson

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 03:09 PM

Sugar beets are huge compared to regular beets. I've grown them, on a square meter basis they would be the, or very close to the highest yielding option for a garden. Particularly if you can't grow sugarcane.

I couldn't find any use for them in the kitchen, but I don't like strongly sweet things.



#112 flashingrooster

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Posted 07 April 2020 - 12:16 PM

There is a facility around here that commercially produces sugar from beets. Rodgers sugar inc is the brand name






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