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How to Test Moonshine?

Making moonshine alcohol is a fun hobby, it can involve the whole family (or just be a “father and son” or “father, son and grandson” activity) or it can involve some friends. Making your own moonshine alcohol can introduce you to a whole community of people who have the same passion like you, one that does not create damage, is interesting and does not require a big financial investment.

However, if you want to properly enjoy your homemade moonshine, then you need to pay attention to how you prepare it, as well as to the ways to test your moonshine and see if it’s any good.

Hence, before making the moonshine alcohol, you need to be careful to the next safety tips:

•    Always use a pure copper moonshine still. Using copper is not just a traditional way of making moonshine, but it has huge benefits such as absorbing syntheses with sulfur, reducing bacterial contamination, has great heat transfer properties and increases the entire quality of the product.

•    Always use a solder without lead. Lead can cause health problems and, once in your organism, it is very hard to eliminate. Try a silver solder instead, for example.

•    Always use natural ingredients (water, sugar, yeast).

•    Make sure your moonshine still is very well sealed. Clean it with some water before using it, as this way you can also see if there are any leaks to it which might allow the alcohol vapor to escape, thus wasting your time and money. If, however, you notice a leak during the process, try to seal it with flour paste (which is the best sealing material). If, you cannot do that, consider that the leak is still not very well sealed or find other leaks, then stop everything and do not start again until you repair your leak(s).

•    Always use a collection pot made of glass, never of plastic and preferably of small mouth. And remember to place this vessel away from any fire or other form of heat.

•    Always dispose of the first bit of moonshine, in order to avoid contamination with methanol (which has a lower boiling point than ethanol). Contagion with methanol can be noticed by the bad smell and taste of your moonshine and needs to be avoided, since it is toxic.

Now, if you successfully made your moonshine alcohol, here are is how you properly ensure that the process went well and that you, in fact, made good moonshine:

1.    First, smell it. If you notice a weird, chemical odor, do not drink it and proceed to the second step.

2.    The best test is the spoon one. No matter if your moonshine smells or not weird, this test needs to be done: put some moonshine in a spoon and light it on fire. If your alcohol is:

a)    Red: there is lead in it, so do not drink it.

b)    Yellow: you risk getting blind, so not drink it.

c)    Blue: best color to get, as it means you achieved your purpose of making good, safe, moonshine alcohol.

d)    If it has no color: basically, if it does not burn, then your process did not go as scheduled and you obtained some liquidwhich is not proper moonshine. Again, do not drink it.

There are no better ways to create proper moonshine alcohol than to respect the above advices and to always trust the spoon test, which will never fail.


Posted by Jason Stone on


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