(Humor) Boy busted for prepping

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CARLTON, Pa. (AP) - A 17-year-old boy gave minors alcohol he made with a still built according to a design he found on the Internet, state police said. The boy, whose name was not released, is accused of using the stainless-steel still to make moonshine whiskey and to turn wine into a high-alcohol brandy.

No immediate charges were filed. Tests were being done on the concoctions.

``I hope he gets an A in shop if not science,'' said Craig Kidd, a supervisor with the state police Liquor Control Bureau. ``He did a good job with this. It was a pretty sophisticated still he put together with a very effective condenser.''

Police were led to the still by two 16-year-old girls who drank the stuff at a party Friday and had to be treated for alcohol poisoning.

``I imagine they were sick as a dog the next day, state police Cpl. Richard Edmonds said. ``Hopefully it was their first major hangover.''

[end snip]

I got to go out and recruit this kid!! Happy New Year!!! Brandy is on the house!!

-- CygnusXI (noburnt@toast.net), August 24, 1999


If anyone knows some good still designs, please post the link.



-- d (d@Ilike.rum), August 24, 1999.

Stuff can be deadly - don't do it.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), August 24, 1999.

It is only deadly if it has contact with heavy metal (like lead). Simple design is pressure cooker sealed well. Put brass fitting in top threaded hole. Run copper tube or food grade plastic tube short distance to condenser. Condenser made from plastic bucket with copper tube spiraling down to near bottom then out side. Seal opening in side of bucket with epoxy. Run hose with fresh cool water to bottom of bucket. Have drain hose for cooling water from near top of bucket. Cook slowly, water is to surround condedser tube to cool vapors as they leave pot. Make about 10% beer. If stronger it slows fermentation. There is a lot of additional info but not that difficult.

-- rambo (rambo@thewoods.com), August 24, 1999.

I felt compelled to respond to the still thread because I have some, ahh, experience with it.

If you start with fermented corn mash (traditional) you will get both ethyl aas well as methyl alchohol when you cook it. To avoid the poisonous methyl- the notorious "makes you go blind" Sterno stuff- you have to watch the temperature. The methyl boils a few degrees cooler than the ethyl, so the old timers would taste it and not take the product until the methyl was gone. Modern distillers use thermometers of course.

There is a story that many years ago in the NC mountains, a hog found its way into the mash tank, ate itself silly, fell into it and drowned. The moonshiners didn't notice it until the tank had been cooked off- very flavorful pig meat, I suppose- but the whiskey was so good they took to putting a hog in every batch. Don't believe it, but it's a great story.

A true one is that about ten miles from where I live, a local farmer was busted using 1,000 gallon stainless steel milk tanks to cook his mash, and over 10,000 gallons of moonshine! I had some of it, I couldn't taste any hog- but it was the type of stuff that makes Manly Men blanch.

Of course if you are distilling wine to make brandy, there is no methyl problem. I wonder if any methyl found its way into the stuff the girls drank.

-- Forrest Covington (theforrest@mindspring.com), August 24, 1999.

I'd love to distill sea water to get drinking water though. But it's too materials and labor intensive, I think.

-- Mara Wayne (MaraWayne@aol.com), August 24, 1999.

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