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A mycologist makes moonshine


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#21 gsmith1981

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 11:54 AM

cant wait to see the ending results:thumbup:

#22 AKcoast

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 03:20 PM

Malting/mashing convert starches to sugars- but I've added sugar up front, so no Malt is needed. You could use it if you like.


Why add corn if it's not fermented? You seem to know yeast can't eat starch.

#23 Dr_T

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 03:43 PM

Why add corn if it's not fermented? You seem to know yeast can't eat starch.


I'm pretty sure that it can.
That's the impression I got from my research, anyway- the yeast eats the starches, uses that energy to work on the sugars.

If the starch isn't utilized- why does anybody use it? Why not just work with straight sugar?

#24 gsmith1981

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 03:48 PM

let the dr. do his work. i mean he's done this b4 or he wouldnt share. i just dont want this thread to go unfinished im wanting to learn.

#25 Dr_T

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 04:16 PM

I'm no expert.
The batch in the pics is my second run- first one was just two jars.
But yes, it gave me some usable product. :thumbup:

#26 TVCasualty

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 10:01 AM

Some of the recipes I've seen only call for yeast and sugar, no grain or grain products of any kind.

#27 Arbol

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 10:09 AM

Nasty, and disgusting
Bread yeast make gross tasting alcohol
Why didn't you use Brewers yeast.

All brewers and distillers KNOW this is FACT!!!
The best whiskey's and other alcohols always start with brewers yeast.

I guess if it's your moonshine thats fine.

Bleh, I feel like throwing up. The stuff smells bad too.

I tried that back in the late 80's and it takes at least 3 runs to clean up the alcohol, and it still taste like armpit sweat.

#28 Dr_T

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 10:34 AM

Ok, dude. You win.

#29 prism

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 10:37 AM

Do it up bro, I got your back!!:laser:

I personally don't give a shit what yeast you use, I just want to see you make some Hooch!!

We love the ghetto teks here at the topia!!:bow:

#30 twoguysupnorth

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 12:34 PM

checking it out!

#31 Dr_T

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 04:17 PM

For those playing along at home-
be aware of jars with a block of solidified corn meal in the bottom. If gas starts to build up *under* that, it can push the contents of the jar up, and the sticky yeasty stuff will leak out of the top. You've been warned. :)

#32 Dr_T

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 02:56 PM

Lots of ways to make a still, but a pot still with a copper cooling oil is a classic for a reason.
http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1219520268

I think you could widen the copper out and fit it over the nozzle, but I didn't do that- I took off the nozzle, flared the tubing, then sealed with RTV:
http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1219520268


By itself, that little coil doesn't have enough cooling power to capture all of the distillate- though it certainly gets hot enough to burn you: http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1219520268


Some people put the coil into a bucket of water, but I chose another path- a cooled receiver. The copper acts as a pre-cooler, then the lab glass catches the steam:
http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1219520268

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#33 Dr_T

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 03:09 PM

Several of my jars had slowed down, and turned juicy. So I did a small batch distillation. I strained the liquid into the bottom of my still.
http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1219520658

Pot full of mash:
http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1219520658

The glassware is more complicated than it needs to be- my spare condenser is part of my extractor, and the flask, well... it worked.
http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1219520658

Heat gently, try not to boil it over, or you'll get corn mash in your receiver: (No matter, we're going to redistill anyway)
http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1219520658

If the mash is 5% alcohol, then that four-quart pot is going to have like 200 mL. But this first run won't be pure, I took about 500 mL of distillate.

Then, redistill. I used a reflux column, as mentioned upthread by another poster. This allows 'fractional distillation', lets you get a more pure product with fewer cycles.
http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1219520658

Once you have your final distillate, mix in some activated charcoal.
http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1219520658

The charcoal absorbs volatile organics that cannot be distilled away. I used a teaspoon, which is probably plenty.
http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1219520658

I put a little more yeast into each jar, then added back all of the (now cooled) leftovers.
http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1219520658

Time to let the moonshine age- I'll give this batch until tomorrow:
http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1219520658


So that's it- starch+sugar+yeast = booze!

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#34 steelyourface

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 02:16 AM

wow that was such a great read

amazing post man

the still part looks pretty complicated to me. I need to read a lot more to get a better understanding of all this.

#35 TVCasualty

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 07:16 AM

I've heard about people using Brita water filters to purify vodka. They pour it through two or three times and the cheap stuff ends up as smooth as the most expensive brands. It'd probably work great for this project as well, and I'm not sure about the specifics but I believe the activated carbon in the Brita is food-grade and the aquarium stuff is not.

Since charcoal is supposed to adsorb the bad stuff, I'm not sure how big a deal getting "food grade" is in regards to charcoal; fish in aquariums are really sensitive to pollutants so in this case having different grades is probably about charging more money for the exact same charcoal when packaged for human consumption, but don't quote me on that.

#36 Dr_T

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 09:43 AM

Bourbon distillers, like Jack Daniels, take an oak barrel and char the inside with a propane torch... I'm sure any sort of 'clean' charcoal will work (not briquettes!)

And to steelyourface, yes that still is more complicated than it needs to be- it's just how the pieces I have worked. But the concept is simple- there's a pic and lots of info on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia....n_apparatus.svg

#37 Shrooms&I

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 01:43 AM

>>> This is really a great low-tek thread, thank you for the post. My grandfather once found some old sake recipy which did involve the usage of raisons. However I looked this up and several internet recipies have been been found. As to the starch component' I had not yet to make my own booze though in agreement yes this fungus or yeast "Sacchromyces cervisiae" maybe the one used for all beers and stronger proof alchohols.

Though in reading of sake preperations one should read about Koji or kojikin "aspergillus oryze". I believe it is the steemed rice is the substrate for this type of fungi to grow. In the wild (rice crops) is where its found. This is another "one of the many" species of fungi in which breaks down the starches who contain very large molecules in their own right into the sugars. I have been doing the research to construct my own still. Anything that wrots that contains sugars and starches can ferment into alcohol. So as for the starch issue. Many things can be included in the mash just as long as they break down into the sugars during fermentation.

I have read (wikipedia and other resources) that prior to the importation and local developments of sugar in Peru and other areas where Chica is prduced (Indigenous brews of bear in South and some areas of Central America .aka, Panama, Costa Rica to Nicuragua). They are produced in many of the local, tribal Indigenous regions and all through these countries. This is disgusting but the fact is true' that the saliva does contain alpha-amylase ensyme in human-saliva. Which does aid in fermentation process (safe to say that form is not for the faint of heart). I am thinking just sticking with basic mash' recipies, lol:-). For other interesting wines other bizzare ingredients have been used for example in for fermenting "Palm Wine" West Africa from Nigeria to Ghana and others Palm wine is one of the drinks in which the husks of coconuts and other related materials are fermented.

A funny albeit a cautionary tail; story though a FOAF had some home made bear a while back in university days and he had sealed vessels in which the CO2 expanded each vessel would explode in his bedroom' in which they were kept (so I was told this cautionary tale). However my friend and I are in agreement perhaps this was not the best approach in fermenting home-made beer, lol:-). My friend told me his friend was kept up several nights due to the expansion of the CO2 in the sealed vessels, lol.


Great reading material for this subject.
http://www.sake-world.com/html/how-sake-is-made.html - for sake distillations, history and more.

Sake-worlds description of koji - http://www.sake-worl.../html/koji.html

I do agree that this site below.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeast
http://en.wikipedia....ergillus_oryzae


Edited by Freaky, 23 January 2011 - 12:53 PM.


#38 liquidzonbie

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 11:13 PM

I've done a lil moonshining myself, but never with as good of results as yourself. Of course, I had only ever used sugar, water, and yeast before, but you seem to have some very nice results from that corn meal. I may have to give that a shot then. Thanks for the tek!

#39 Dr_T

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 11:35 PM

I've had more booze in the last couple of weeks than I have all year. I don't drink much, but when it's homemade, that's different!

Thinkin' about some Raisin Jack next, I think that would be a fun project.

#40 Lazlo

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 12:08 AM

Dr. T, how's that stuff look burning on a tablespoon? What color is the flame?

Nice thread.




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