Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Distillation methods and improvements.

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Photonic
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Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by Photonic » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:31 pm

As many of you will know, the instructions of an AirStill (Easy-Still, Mr Distiller, Smart Still etc) recommend that for their "Triple Distilled" yeast that you do not need to make cuts, nor throw any foreshots away.

Despite moving on from Turbos, I decided to test what they said.

I made a wash of "Triple Distilled" wash exactly as the directions called for, and then ran it through my still.

The instructions say to collect the first 700ml of a 4l run, then dilute to 40% alcohol, and carbon filter. I did this, but I took 55ml of each run and kept it separate. I presumed this to be a mixture of foreshots and heads.

I sometimes send some of my wine to a wine lab for analysis (as I am experimenting with yeasts and nutrients) so I arranged for a wine-lab to run some tests on it. I submitted 100ml of foreshots, 100ml from the remaining 645ml and 100ml of the remainder after dilution and filtration. I also submitted some of the original wash.

The samples were tested for fusel oil content, and the results of some of my samples are shown below.

I was surprised to see that the amount of methanol was so small that it was actually recorded as >5 (less than 5mg/l), even in the foreshots! To be safe in my calculations, I assumed the maximum value of 5mg/l, as I did for the other fusel oils that I've highlighted in grey.
The numbers in the top left corner are the ABV% of the various samples.
Fusel Oils.jpg
(Click for higher resolution chart)

LD50 Data sources:

http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/HY/hydroxyacetone.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/IS/isoamyl_alcohol.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/IS/isopentyl_acetate.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/IS/isobutyl_alcohol.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/BU/1-butanol.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/PR/1-propanol.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/ET/ethyl_acetate.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/f8040.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/ME/methyl_alcohol.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/AC/acetaldehyde.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow


However, it is clear that the foreshots do contain much higher proportions of other fusels than exist in the other samples.

I also had a scour on the internet for the dosage required to kill 50% of rats that ingested the various fusel oils (LD50), I was able to find the human LD50 for Methanol.

I did some approximate calculations of how much spirit would be required to reach these doses, I hope that they are accurate, but I haven't had time to check them, so please scream if there are any mistakes.

I thought it might be of interest here, although I guess that the carrying over of fusels will vary from still to still and according type of still.

Next time I run a batch of a different wash, I could submit a sample if anyone is interested in the results.

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by HookLine » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:28 pm

Nice work. Hard data is good.
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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by blanikdog » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:46 pm

Certainly is good work. Well done photonic.

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by stillton » Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:56 pm

good stuff Photonic!
this clearly show that you cant just strip your wash and carbon filter the product extra much to get the same result as if running a reflux still, or potstill with clean wash and proper cuts.

If you ask me, I would like to see a competition between a MUM and alcotec vodka star fermentation http://www.turbo-yeast.biz/Svenska/Alco ... a_Star.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

i understand you get surprised about methanol levels, as your used to see the values from wines. without all the pektin the fermentation will produce virtually no methanol, even if it produce ten times more fusel oils in general.

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by Barney Fife » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:01 am

Great to have hard numbers, but don't just look at the methanol, boys. Looks at the acetone numbers! Helluva lot more in the fores. 4 times more, in fact. 10 times more iso-butanol, nearly 10 times more iso-amyl alcohol, 35(THIRTY FIVE!) times more ethyl acetate, and so on and so forth. All of those are nasty, some nastier than methanol. YOU can keep your fores if you wish, but I'm not interested in the headache, tremors, puking, and paint thinner flavor, thank you very much. It may not kill you outright, but you may wish you were dead the next morning :lol: :lol:

Seriously; methanol is what we are lead to believe is the nasty by-product of poor distillation practices, but there's an awful lot more ingredients that make up the nasties in the foreshots. It's just easier for the local news to say "Local man goes blind from drinking homemade moonshine that contained methanol". That doesn't make the newsguy right, does it?

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by HookLine » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:06 am

Seriously; methanol is what we are lead to believe is the nasty by-product of poor distillation practices, but there's an awful lot more ingredients that make up the nasties in the foreshots.
Agree. I have always been more concerned about acetone and ethyl acetate, for a start.

•••••••••

And thanks for the MSDS links too, Photonic.
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And have fun.

Photonic
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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by Photonic » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:52 am

Indeed.

I always throw the foreshots (I'm not that desparate for 55ml of spirit, even with the tiny yield that my still gives).

The other fusels are interesting. I always assumed that I could smell acetone in the foreshots and even in the heads (when I collect in small glasses). I now assume that what I was smelling was Ethyl Acetate. The Iso Amyl Alcohol is interesting too.

Stillton, what's a "MUM"? The Methanol did surprise me, as I've made wines with around 40mg/l methanol content.

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by stillton » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:03 pm

Photonic wrote: Stillton, what's a "MUM"? The Methanol did surprise me, as I've made wines with around 40mg/l methanol content.
its a recipe that many potstillers use, and claim to be the best way to make a clean fermentation from white sugar. of course there are many other, but it seems to be what many use instead of turbo yeast.
there is probably a thread about it some were in here, but hers the recipe: http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/MBX3SlsOzL ... ion%29.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
im not sure if you can access the file without yahoo membership.. let me know, and I can upload it elsewhere.


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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by kiwistiller » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:36 am

Irish moss in that recipe... interesting. other than that it is pretty much Birdwatchers and WPOS combined. not sure you'd need both tomato and miricle gro?
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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by stillton » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:43 am

kiwistiller wrote:Irish moss in that recipe... interesting. other than that it is pretty much Birdwatchers and WPOS combined. not sure you'd need both tomato and miricle gro?
i havnt tried it myself. My point is however that it would be fun to see a competition between a well reputed diy wash and one made from a good turbo yeast. I only took MUM as an example, since its the recipe i heard most about.

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by Photonic » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:50 am

I have a bottle of Birdwatcher's wash (but using wine yeast) ready for the lab next time I send some in.

I plan to also submit a bottle of the All-Bran one.

Thanks for the link to MUM.

I think another thing that is interesting to see is that the alcohols with a boiling point higher than ethanol are included in the foreshots. I know the reason why, but it is still interesting to see that it pans out with the numbers.

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by glassman » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:29 pm

i think the link from stillton has some spam thing attached to it. the ad box follows my curser and i can't open the mum file. realy wierd.gman

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by kiwistiller » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:33 pm

glassman wrote:i think the link from stillton has some spam thing attached to it. the ad box follows my curser and i can't open the mum file. realy wierd.gman
I didn't have a problem with it, but I've tricked out Firefox with every adblocking addon known to man. I think I see a very different internet to most people :lol: (adblock plus is the pick of the bunch, IMO)
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Photonic
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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by Photonic » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:36 pm

glassman wrote:i think the link from stillton has some spam thing attached to it. the ad box follows my curser and i can't open the mum file. realy wierd.gman
There's a "close" tab on that box, then you have to wait for the counter to finish before you get the file.

I'll try attaching it here, but I don't know if the forum software allows PDF files...
Attachments
25 Litre - MUM WASH (originals and international version).pdf
(83.82 KiB) Downloaded 1448 times

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by rad14701 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:09 pm

Wow... I've had that MUM WASH hybrid recipe opened on this machine since the PDF was posted and just now got around to reading it through... It sounds almost toxic from the amount of 5 tsp fertilizer, 4 tsp epsom salt, and 2 vitamins in a 4 gallon wash... And with only what I'm guessing to be about 14 grams of yeast...

Halve those ingredients and double the yeast and you'd have a recipe that would perform better... The goal is to attempt to attain a complete ferment using the least amount of chemical nutrients... I'm getting 3 day ferments with far less...

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by Photonic » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:56 am

I've had a couple of requests via PM asking if people can copy these results to other forums.

I have no problem with that, so please feel free. I'm glad that they were useful to people.

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by Whitedog » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:18 am

Has anyone ever had lab tests run on an all-bran or gerber?

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by Dnderhead » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:56 am

""""Has anyone ever had lab tests run on an all-bran or Gerber?""""
Why Certainly.. ya just run right down to your local PD and give them all the details of your setup,,,,,
and they'll come and help you right out.
(bring samples it helps)

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by rad14701 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:43 am

Breathalyzer tests will show that you can get just as drunk off them as any other form of alcohol... I'm not speaking from personal experience, however...

I don't know where one would go here in the US to have less than legal spirits tested... Perhaps a less than official university lab...???

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by manu de hanoi » Tue May 25, 2010 2:36 am

thanks for sharing the results here are mine :
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6749

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by Photonic » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:32 pm

manu de hanoi wrote:thanks for sharing the results here are mine :
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6749" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
Thanks, I saw your thread and it encouraged me to get on and get mine checked :)

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by Midday Moon » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:55 pm

I don't get the supposed advantages of recipes like MUM. Avoiding chemical poisons and corporatist oligarchy is why I got into home made hooch in the first place. Why would you ever willingly put petrochemicals and Walmart pharmapseuticals in your wash!!! I also don`t get it because I`ve never had a problem fermenting a sugar wash with straight up bayanus yeast. I have used store bought vitamin yeast nutrient sometimes, though I find that rose hips work better. I would never use miracle grow poison in my garden - put it in my hooch... I`m shocked.

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by Midday Moon » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:57 pm

...shocked enough I forgot to thank Photonic for the analyses. Thank you; that`s some good work I`ve been wondering about for a while. Nice to see some numbers.

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by goinbroke2 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:35 pm

I'd love to see a comparison between which ever home made recipe and a bottle of store bought likker.

Due to the headaches from the store I'm thinking the results would show cleaner alcohol from a birdwatch etc recipe ran in a pot still.
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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by Husker » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:50 pm

I think there was a govt study in oz. some gooberment zealot wanted to show how dangerous HD stuff would be. The results were the commercial stuff was worse than the HD stuff. Amazingly there was absolutely nothing said about this study in the oz gooberment committee meetings.

I am not sure where that story was at. Possibly some other member has read it, and remembers. It may have been at tastylime

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by blind drunk » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:55 pm

Doesn't Bagasso refer to it somewhere?
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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by EDragon » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:44 am

This is great, thank you!
As someone who started out with an Air/Turbo Still, and still uses it from time to time, I find this fascinating!
ED

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by Fidget » Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:32 am

Barney Fife wrote:Great to have hard numbers, but don't just look at the methanol, boys. Looks at the acetone numbers! Helluva lot more in the fores. 4 times more, in fact. 10 times more iso-butanol, nearly 10 times more iso-amyl alcohol, 35(THIRTY FIVE!) times more ethyl acetate, and so on and so forth. All of those are nasty, some nastier than methanol. YOU can keep your fores if you wish, but I'm not interested in the headache, tremors, puking, and paint thinner flavor, thank you very much. It may not kill you outright, but you may wish you were dead the next morning :lol: :lol:
More awareness needed on this for sure.

Barney Fife wrote: Seriously; methanol is what we are lead to believe is the nasty by-product of poor distillation practices, but there's an awful lot more ingredients that make up the nasties in the foreshots. It's just easier for the local news to say "Local man goes blind from drinking homemade moonshine that contained methanol". That doesn't make the newsguy right, does it?

Well said!

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Re: Fusel Oil Lab Analysis Results # 1

Post by hoochlover » Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:40 pm

Barney Fife wrote:Seriously; methanol is what we are lead to believe is the nasty by-product of poor distillation practices, but there's an awful lot more ingredients that make up the nasties in the foreshots. It's just easier for the local news to say "Local man goes blind from drinking homemade moonshine that contained methanol". That doesn't make the newsguy right, does it?
Methanol gets the most news because of its history and the fact the others are usually much less produced. I would think most home made distilleries using reflux columns would produce less toxins than pot stilled commercial whiskeys or something like this. Even a lot of the home guys on pot stills would probably take more care than the industrialists out to maximize profit. It's always a problem when it comes to scale and one reason I think craft breweries and distilleries are growing these days.

People like to be more connected to the products they are consuming. If you can personally meet the guy who is making your whiskey and something goes wrong you have a face to put to the problem, which in turn makes that guy take more care and feel more responsible. If Jonnie Walker screws up a batch you get a coupon to the liquor store and a statement on a website or in most cases, it just goes unrecognized or is uncared about.

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