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Amazon Shop for: ½ Pint Jars, Pressure Cooker

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OfflineDr_T
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Moonshine for the Mycologist
    #109960 - 08/16/08 11:41 AM (8 years, 3 months ago)

"Yeast," I thought, "is a fungus."

Indeed, it's not just a fungus, it's the most important fungus to humans. There actually are many kinds of yeast, but Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the one we use most. You may read that name as "sugar-fungus of-beer" and it's an accurate description.

Fermentation happens when yeast encounters sugars and starches. In the presence of oxygen, yeast will break these ingredients all the way down to carbon dioxide and water. But in an anaerobic environment- one free of oxygen- ethanol is produced as a metabolic byproduct.

The following is the story of my moonshine experiment. It isn't the only way to do this, it may not even be the best way- but it works.

Ingredients: corn meal, sugar, water and yeast. I bought some new jars, but you can use jars you have. Any size will work- if you have gallon-size pickle jars, use 'em.


Each jar gets:

1 1/2 cups water


a cup of sugar.


A five-pound bag of sugar is about 10 cups- I ran out and used brown sugar to finish.


Whatever kind of sugar you use, stir the jar to dissolve it.


Each jar gets a cup of corn meal.


Stir again.


Put the lids on. You don't want to jars to seal up- turn the lids upside down, and don't tighten the bands all the way.


Cook your mash. Biggest pot I have is my pressure cooker, I gave them about 10 minutes at pressure. There's other ways to cook a jar of corn meal, obviously. Use any method you like.


Remove the jars, let them cool. I had to do mine in two batches- no worries. Once it's cooled off, taste a little bit of the mash. MMmmmmm.... see why yeast likes it?


Time for the yeast! Brewer's yeast will produce more alcohol, but baking yeast will work ok. I use bread machine yeast in my bread machine, so I had a jar on hand.


I used a quarter of a teaspoon of yeast for each jar. The actual amount doesn't matter too much, it's going to grow and expand and reproduce.


You'll need to finish filling the jars- make some sugar water. (More brown sugar here- white is ok too). Add water to each jar, stirring it in well. The corn meal may have clumped up or solidified- that's ok, the yeast will still eat it.


Filled jars. Leave a gap at the top, don't fill them all the way up. As the yeast grows, it will produce gas and you need room for the expansion.


Yeast at work- see the bubbles? That's why the lids can't be sealed- the pressure may break your jars. You need to allow outgassing, while preventing fresh air from entering the jar.

Now we wait. The yeast will produce alcohol as it works, and when the percentage of alcohol gets too high, it will kill off the yeast. This is where brewer's yeast or champagne yeast will be helpful, it can tolerate a higher concentration of alcohol in the mix.

In about 10 days (depending on temperature and other factors), the bubbles will stop. That's your sign that the yeast is done, and it's time to distill.

So- you have time to make a still! Lots of great designs on the 'net. Lab glass works really, really well if you have it- but the classic pot with a copper coil works quite well, and generally holds more liquid.

Ok, more when the jars are ready- about 10 days from now.
_______________________________________________________________


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MistaUNGA said:
be sure to slap a sticker on there and take a pic, cuz otherwise it didn't happen!


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OfflineYrat
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Re: Moonshine for the Mycologist [Re: Dr_T]
    #110459 - 08/17/08 09:10 AM (8 years, 3 months ago)

i've read elsewhere that the yeast may actually finish eating the sugars before producing the maximum tolerable ethanol percentage.

to test for this, it involves adding a tiny amount of sugar to the 10-day old jars, and watching for further bubbling.  you have to use a tiny, tiny amount since the starving yeast will immediately begin converting the food to CO2, and can quickly overflow the jars with foam. 

more sugar is then added with additional fermentation time if the yeast are still alive.

have you ever tried this?


--------------------
"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." - Abraham Lincoln


"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil
to one who is striking at the root"
~ Henry D. Thoreau
Strike The Root
                                                                                      :gethigh:


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OfflineDr_T
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Re: Moonshine for the Mycologist [Re: Yrat]
    #110464 - 08/17/08 10:42 AM (8 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Yrat said:
i've read elsewhere that the yeast may actually finish eating the sugars before producing the maximum tolerable ethanol percentage.

to test for this, it involves adding a tiny amount of sugar to the 10-day old jars, and watching for further bubbling.  you have to use a tiny, tiny amount since the starving yeast will immediately begin converting the food to CO2, and can quickly overflow the jars with foam. 

more sugar is then added with additional fermentation time if the yeast are still alive.

have you ever tried this?




Good idea- no I haven't tried it. Yet.


--------------------
MistaUNGA said:
be sure to slap a sticker on there and take a pic, cuz otherwise it didn't happen!


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Offlinefreepain

Registered: 05/11/08
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Re: Moonshine for the Mycologist [Re: Dr_T]
    #113889 - 08/24/08 08:16 PM (8 years, 3 months ago)

Interesting method might make a attempt at this


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OfflineAKSE


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Re: Moonshine for the Mycologist [Re: freepain]
    #117861 - 09/04/08 12:09 AM (8 years, 3 months ago)

You should include your Tek on the distilling process as well, would be interesting.  Do you use a pot still?

Also, I have read that with distilling, it is preferred to only keep and drink the 'central run' of the total liquid that is distilled.  Apparently the 'head' and 'tail' (liquid produced in beginning and end of distillation) have high Methanol contents, which is potentially dangerous for human consumption (blindess, death anyone?)

It would be interesting to use your above tek, and istead of using individual glass jars, use a bucket or glass container with an air-lock.


Edited by AKSE (09/04/08 12:11 AM)


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Offlinefreepain

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Re: Moonshine for the Mycologist [Re: AKSE]
    #117875 - 09/04/08 01:04 AM (8 years, 3 months ago)

Only the beginning of a still run will have methanol in it because its evaporation point is lower then that of the alcohol so its always good to poor out the first bit because of the potential dangers.

Lemme go grab some links for the still i last used.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-still/

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-moonshine/

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Moonshine-for-fuel-purposes,-of-cours/


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Edited by freepain (09/04/08 01:06 AM)


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OfflineDr_T
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Re: Moonshine for the Mycologist [Re: freepain]
    #117965 - 09/04/08 08:17 AM (8 years, 3 months ago)

Shoot, I didn't think anybody was following this thread- so I finished it over on Mycotopia.

Starting from corn and sugar, you can't get methanol, it's not one of the possible products. (A tiny, tiny, amount maybe). So it's not really a concern. If you're using fruit, then yeah, do like you said, discard the first little bit.

Here's the link- if anybody cares, I could copy the pics over to here.
http://forums.mycotopia.net/botanicals-cactus-misc-entheogens-psychedelics/40463-mycologist-makes-mooshine.html


--------------------
MistaUNGA said:
be sure to slap a sticker on there and take a pic, cuz otherwise it didn't happen!


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Amazon Shop for: ½ Pint Jars, Pressure Cooker

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