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  1. #1
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    Oct 2001
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    Post

    How would one go about brewing this? Would anyone on this forum know? I'm interesting in starting, but aside from a fermenter and distiler have no IDea what other materials I would need, or the modifications I would have to make to my carberator.
    Joseph

  2. #2
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    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    Post

    You need to be licenced by the feds. Years ago I had plans for a still and all the laws. You probably check with ATF.

    http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_...earth/me1.html

  3. #3
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    Jun 2005
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    Greensboro, N.C.
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    Post

    Any good moonshiner can tell you. Give you a few good hints on hiding it, too.
    Never burn it, tho, gas is only 3 or 4 dollars a gallon. Good shine is 40.00 right now.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
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    Ethanol, either as an additive, or as a fuel in
    its own right, is a problem in my view, rather
    than a "solution" to anything. Let's stick to
    the case of gas with added ethanol, and look
    at the inherent problems.

    1) Moisture - alcohol of any sort in the gas
    means water is also present in your fuel. Not a
    good thing. Alcohol in gasoline attracts water,
    something you can test yourself with a few
    breakers and a gram-accurate scale. (The water
    will be absorbed, and the alcohol/gas mix will
    weigh more after being exposed to high humidity.)
    Many cars will simply stop running due to water
    in the gasoline, as happened when Brazil
    tried to become self-sufficient, adding more
    ethanol to their gasoline.

    2) Surface Tension - Alcohols have higher surface
    tension than gasoline. Adding alcohol results in
    more "fuel wash", removing lubricating oil from
    the rings and walls. More fuel gets into the
    crankcase when the gasoline has alcohol in it due
    to surface tension, and rings wear faster due to
    "washed" cylinder walls.

    3) BTUs - A gallon of ethanol requires about
    130,000 BTU to be made. But that gallon delivers
    only about 76,000 BTU, according to the Cornell
    study.

    4) Miles Per Gallon - Your MPGs go down when you
    run on gas with ethanol added. Anyone who has
    driven in Minnesota, and then driven the same
    car back home to a state where gasoline is not
    adulterated by mandate can see the difference.
    Of course, you have to track MPGs, which takes
    jotting down odometer readings and gallons of
    fuel purchased, a slightly anal practice.
    The farmers who produce the ethanol from corn do
    not use ethanol in their tractors themselves,
    because of lower MPGs, and the resulting
    lower "miles per dollar".

    My 1972 MG Midget can get over 40 MPG on regular
    gas with no added ethanol. When ethanol is added,
    the MPG drops by 25% to 40%. (Note that you have
    to take the average of multiple tankfuls to get
    an accurate idea of MPGs, as different pumps have
    different stopping points for "full tank".) If
    the mileage loss as a result of added ethanol
    in gas was only 10%, then using 10% ethanol in
    gas would imply zero reduction in net oil imports,
    but as the mileage losses are greater than 10%,
    use of ethanol in gas actually INCREASES the
    amount of oil we must import, assuming that the
    same miles are driven.

    5) Pollution Per Mile - Ethanol does not lower
    the pollution created by driving, due to the
    lower MPGs, and the greater volume of hydrocarbons
    that must be burned to travel the same distance.
    Yes, their are less emissions PER GALLON, with
    ethanol added, but this is swamped out by the
    need to burn more gallons to get where you wanted
    to go.

    Minnesota will require gasoline to have 20%
    ethanol in 2013. When massive numbers of cars
    refuse to start in winter, the error will be
    hard to deny, and the victory of politics over
    engineering that is turning corn into "fuel"
    rather than food will be exposed for the sham
    that it is.

    If you want better mileage, switch from a
    160F thermostat to a 195F version, add
    1 oz to 1.5 oz of acetone to each 10 gallons
    of fuel, replace your plugs with the lowest
    resistance plugs you can find (NGKs are good
    ones to try, and also cheap) and swap those
    spark plug wires out unless you remember when
    you last replaced them.

    If you are forced to run on ethanol-added fuel,
    realize that you are now running much leaner
    than intended, and without the acetone, you need
    to richen the mixture just to put things back
    where they were intended by the designer of your
    engine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Inver Grove, MN
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    Minnesota has been operating on 10% ethanol for many years. During the transition, there was a lot of trouble with water causing the blend to seperate. The tank would have a layer of gasoline on the top and a layer of water/alcohol on the bottom. The engine would stall out. Bad news.

    The problem was caused largely by old fuel tanks that contained water in the bottom of the tank. The stand pipe of a fuel tank is usually designed to not take fuel directly from the bottom of the tank to allow an area for sediment, water, etc to settle out. Once the tanks were cleaned, the problem nearly disappeared.

    The type of pollution is also affected. Alcohol can decrease carbon monoxide emissions, but other types of pollutants can actually increase.

    The requirement for ethanol in Minnesota is more of an attempt to prop up corn prices than a way to save fuel or prevent pollution, although there are those who will argue that it does both.

    Personally, I believe it does save a little fuel, but not much. The btu balance is not in favor of ethanol, but if you also add in the feed value of the remaining proteins and oils, the overall energy balance is slightly positive -- but only slightly -- probably not enough to justify the over all investment.

    If you want to make your own ethanol, it has to be dry. You will not likely be able to accomplish the needed water content without some complex, and expensive, seperation equipment. Once you get it dry, it isn't easy to keep it dry. You will probably have to clean any existing tanks that you want to use unless they are new.

    The easiest way to increase fuel mileage is keep your tires inflated to the maximum level recommended by the tire maker and drive at, constant, reasonable speeds.
    Linux - World domination through world cooperation

  6. #6
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    Jul 2004
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    Inver Grove, MN
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    Post

    I forgot to mention that blending alcohol was also found to increase the vapor pressure of the final blend.

    You really ought to blend with gasoline that was refined specifically to be blended with alcohol or during hot weather you could have problems with vapor lock and during cold weather you could have problems with hard starting.
    Linux - World domination through world cooperation

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
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    Post

    Jim, good post, except...

    <<The farmers who produce the ethanol from corn do
    not use ethanol in their tractors themselves,
    because of lower MPGs,...>>

    Nope. They don't use ethanol because, for the most part, the tractors run on diesel.

    BubbaBob

  8. #8
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    Jul 2004
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    Inver Grove, MN
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    BubbaBob,

    A btu is a btu. It can come from diesel, gasoline, or alcohol. It doens't matter. Energy is fungible.

    Just because farmers don't burn alcohol doesn't mean they don't burn an equivalent amount of energy.
    Linux - World domination through world cooperation

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    >A gallon of ethanol requires about
    130,000 BTU to be made. But that gallon delivers
    only about 76,000 BTU, according to the Cornell
    study.

    It would take a lot less BTU's to make if they would focus on an efficient system to use a solar distillery for a couple of stages before the final step up to 180 proof, but so far the distilleries are operating on subsidies from the government and have not had to be efficient.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
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    Jun 2005
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    Greensboro, N.C.
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought the cooler the heat, the higher the proof. Any temp. above the alcohol evaporation temp. starts evaporating the impurities.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    But you have less specific control of the heat with the solar still than with a burner of some sort.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
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    Jul 2004
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    Inver Grove, MN
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    Post

    You could use solar to produce some of the heat. The process wouldn't really use less heat, but it would be less heat from petroleum. It would likely limit operation to times when the sun was shining.

    Big commercial operations use a column condenser. It helps fine tune the process so the alcohol can be taken off at the most optimum temperature -- not too hot, not too cold.
    Linux - World domination through world cooperation

  13. #13
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    Jan 2005
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    North Georgia mountains
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    pssst....hillside...re-read my post. I didn't address BTU's...I simply pointed out that a DIESEL tractor will not run on ethanol. It will blow the engine up just like trying to run it on gasoline. A relatively smaller explosion, but not smaller enough to notice by observation...perhaps with measuring equipment...but either way the tractor would be either scrap or one big momma of a paperweight.

    BubbaBob

  14. #14
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    Jul 2004
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    Post

    Ah, so you were just pointing out a triviality. Sorry, I thought you were actually trying to make some kind of a point.
    Linux - World domination through world cooperation

  15. #15
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    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
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    Post

    > Nope. They don't use ethanol because, for the
    > most part, the tractors run on diesel.

    "Diesohol" exists. Diesel with ethanol added.
    It certainly is not very popular, but it has
    been available for some time in one form or
    another.

    If you put "diesel +ethanol" into google, you
    can read all about it.

  16. #16
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    Jan 2005
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    North Georgia mountains
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    Post

    Jim...I prefer bio-diesel. I've been making my own for about a year and a half. It costs me about 70 cents/gal, requires a total work time of about two hours (over a two week period) to make a batch, the engine runs cleaner than diesel, lasts longer, doesn't screw with warranties, no power loss. Shoot, the only downside is ya gotta work hard not to get fat...you smell like a french fry going down the road and stay perpetually hungry.

    BubbaBob

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Hancock, NH
    Posts
    85

    Post

    BB, How are you making yours, did you get one of those home refineries or have you devised your own. With #2 headed toward $3.00 a gallon I might like to make some here.

  18. #18
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    Sep 2004
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    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    Post

    BB please keep WVO under your hat!!! There is a limited supply of it and we don't want everyone to rush it. (tongue in cheek,,, kind of....)

  19. #19
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    Bio-diesel is a better option than alcohol. The trouble is our small number of diesel vehicles as compared to the rest of the planet.

    I drool at the options europeans have........ Something like 2/3 of their vehicles are diesel.

  20. #20
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    Jul 2004
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    Unfortunately, there have been some studies that have shown that the yield from current oil crops results in a situation where there isn't enough arable land in the US to supply bio-diesel for all automotive applications. The same problem occurs with alcohol from current crops. So it may work for some, but for everyone, it's not a good solution.

    New plant oil sources could change that.
    Linux - World domination through world cooperation

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