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[APD] RE: Aquatic-Plants Digest, Vol 7, Issue 78

Message: 2
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 13:38:37 EST
From: SunflwrgrlS at aol_com
Subject: [APD] Re: advice issue
To: aquatic-plants at actwin_com

Ok, forgive my naivete -- but what is the difference between making
and making beer or wine?  Why is moonshine illegal and the others ok? To
it's all alcohol...?

Well, according to federal law, it is legal for you to brew or produce up to 200 gallons of beer or wine for personal use per year without any license. You need a license to sell it, however.

There is virtually zero chance of making anything you would actually drink that would harm you. Hard liquor is another matter. The fermentation process produces different alcohols, depending on the strain of yeast and what types of sugar it is eating. Distillation essentially removes most of the water. The alcohols all evaporate at different temperatures, and an amateur distiller will very likely not use the equipment required to separate the ones you don't want to drink from the nice ethanol. You also won't remove impurities that may be hazardous to you. Small quantities won't hurt you anyway, but concentrating them by distillation can lead to some bad effects, such as blindness, etc... If you're usind bread yeast, you won't want to drink it anyway!

As for DIY CO2 production, I haven't set it up yet, but I have brewed beer for 12 years now. One of two things makes the culture stop producing; either the food supply for the yeast (sugar) runs out or the alcohol level ruses high enough to kill the yeast. If you get some champagne yeast from a brewing supply place, it will tolerate a higher alcohol content in your incubator and your culture should last longer before dying off. Most beer yeasts will go up to about 8% max, wine and champagne yeasts tolerate up to 14% sometimes. Mead yeasts can go even higher. Using a different yeast could be handy if you are going out of town for an extended period of time, or if you're just a little lazy, like me! One of these days I will get mine set up, and I'll let you know how the champagne yeast works...

Nick A

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