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  #1  
Old 08-17-2008, 10:39 PM
TigerAnn TigerAnn is offline
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Homemade ethanol

For the past few months I have been trying to make ethanol for my truck. Well here is my problem every recipe I tried ended up with only 10% to 20% alcohol.

Well here is my question, Dose anyone else make ethanol and if so can you please send me your recipe? Please help.
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2008, 11:48 PM
aurgathor aurgathor is offline
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Making fuel grade alcohol is harder than it looks -- you're not distilling it right.
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:18 AM
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If I was making 90% alcohol (180 proof); I'd be too tempted to drink it.

On a side note; regular moon-shine; white lightning; everclear; etc... is around 180 proof; 90% alcohol. How efficient is it for mixing with gasoline to make a home brew ethanol fuel? I've seen plenty of recipes for moonshine.
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:45 AM
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I've had 80% rum, and it's brutal.
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by aurgathor View Post
Making fuel grade alcohol is harder than it looks -- you're not distilling it right.
I just dont understand what I am doing wrong. Do you know of any good web pages our there that could help me. I have tried like 10 different ways of distilling it.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:11 AM
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Try here: Make your own Fuel
And here: Ethanol Distillation

I bought 2 commercial reflux stills a couple of years ago to try and make ethanol for use in making biodiesel. Made one batch with it that came out at 98%, but I still have to build a molecular sieve to reach the required 99.5% that I need. These 2 sites were a great help.
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:54 PM
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What are you using as a still? Reflux is supposed to be the best, but you have to tune the heat and return. As stated, there is a lot of info available to make shine, but most shine gets watered back down to 40% alcohol from the 80-95% pure distilled.

I would think 10-20% means either your yeast isn't producing like it should or your not allowing it eat as much sugar as it could. 10-20% means your only making 1-2 gallons of alcohol per 10 gallons of mash, I would think the yeast could do better.

You may also want to try this http://www.amazingstill.com/ to pre distill your mash.
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:20 PM
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I just dont understand what I am doing wrong. Do you know of any good web pages our there that could help me. I have tried like 10 different ways of distilling it.
Assuming that "with only 10% to 20% alcohol" you meant after distillation concentration, you're probably not terminating the distillation in time, or doing it at too high temperature.

IMHO, unless you have a significant amount of $$ invested, or got lots of feedstock you can't do anything with, I wouldn't bother with making alcohol.
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Old 08-21-2008, 03:33 PM
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Thanks everyone for all in info. I am going to try and run another batch. I will tell you how it comes out. This time I used some wine yeast and cooking it on a lower heat. I should know the % in a few hours. I will also add pics of my still..

Again thanks everyone
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:00 PM
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Ok this time I cheated a little. I went to the store and bought some wine that was 18% alcohol and ran that through the still. during the stilling I ran a test and I got 130 proof. BUT after it was done about 30 minutes later it was 120 proof. so I just brushed it off and went onto dewatering it. I was told to run it through zeolite(sp?) and charcole well after letting it sit over night it now reads 110 proof. What is Going on now? I am officaly 100% LOST
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:32 AM
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This is just a ruse to get free booze? ;-)
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
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What is Going on now?
The temperature if effecting your measurements.

You need to get to 180 proof or so before dewatering, so run the 110 proof alcohol through the still at least one more time.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:34 PM
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Again thank you all again. and dam I am getting ever closer to a higher proof. My run today started out at 40 proof before distilling. 130 Proof in the middle of distilling. 3/4 the way though distilling it was 120 proof and at the very last end the final reading was 110 proof. I am so close to finally getting it but now I have to still find out why its losing so much proof in the end.
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerAnn View Post
Again thank you all again. and dam I am getting ever closer to a higher proof. My run today started out at 40 proof before distilling. 130 Proof in the middle of distilling. 3/4 the way though distilling it was 120 proof and at the very last end the final reading was 110 proof. I am so close to finally getting it but now I have to still find out why its losing so much proof in the end.
Sounds like your temps are rising higher as you go. You need to keep a tight control on your distillation temp. With my still if I allow the temp to rise much above 170-180 deg the proof goes down because of more water vapor coming across with the alcohol. 110-120 proof on a first run through a non-reflux still is not bad. If you run the 110 proof through the still again you should get 170-190 proof.
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by fabmandelux View Post
Sounds like your temps are rising higher as you go. You need to keep a tight control on your distillation temp. With my still if I allow the temp to rise much above 170-180 deg the proof goes down because of more water vapor coming across with the alcohol. 110-120 proof on a first run through a non-reflux still is not bad. If you run the 110 proof through the still again you should get 170-190 proof.
I thought it was in my temp b.c when its around 170 I was getting the high proof and when it went over 177 I started to get the lower proof.
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:36 PM
 
 
 
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