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  #1  
Old 03-12-2008, 10:34 PM
Ray Cover Ray Cover is offline
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Default Running a moonshine still

:drinking: :drinking: With Gasoline heading to $4 a gallon I have more and more been playing with the idea of building a still and making ethanol/methanol to cut my gas with.

From what research I have done most folks are saying that you can make the alcohol for about $1 to $1.50 a gal depending on the type of still and mash used.

Stills run from $250 for a homemade junkyard compilation to $1500 for super high efficient copper stills that look like a beautiful piece of sculpture.

The Gov. will give me a permit to make up to 10,000 gal of my own fuel for free.

So my question is. Do any of you have any experience with this?
How big of a pain is it to do? How much work etc.

Part of me wants to do this just as my way of flipping the bird at the gas companies and because I think it would be kinda novel and fun to mess with. But the bottom line is still the bottom line though.

So my real concern is, Will this save me money on fuel or is it a serious false economy due to the work and hassle involved.

If any of you have any insights into this please share.

Ray
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:15 PM
Billzach Billzach is offline
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

Ray
You can be assured i,ll keep taps on this thread, I,m retired and don,t have to drive the 70 miles a day i once did, but i have a feeling the big oil companies would spend millions in bribes to get it stopped if it worked..
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2008, 06:17 AM
Ray Cover Ray Cover is offline
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

BIll it does get better.

The federal gov gives a $.51 per gallon tax credit to you for every gallon you produce. Some states give a tax credit too. If you live in the right state you can get as much as a $1.40 per gallon tax credit for making your own fuel.

That means the $1.00 - $1.50 per gallon cost of production has practically been reduced to $.99-free per gallon depending on where you live.

Ray
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:19 AM
metalman metalman is offline
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

Ray, keep us posted, here in Wa. state we are $0.29 above the national average price. I would love to do this.:whoo:

The bird is not always a bad thing.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:07 AM
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

Ray,
Lots of stills in Mo. Check out your hunting and fishing buddies as almost everyone in the country knows of one........somewhere.
I can see it now, all the 'shiners getting legit making alcohol for cars
gailm
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:04 PM
Ray Cover Ray Cover is offline
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

Here are a few informational links I have found




http://www.beutilityfree.com/still_h...home_page.html

http://running_on_alcohol.tripod.com/

http://www.coppermoonshinestills.com/index.html

http://www.econotec.org/


Ray
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  #7  
Old 03-13-2008, 02:13 PM
ron ron is offline
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

YA BUTT. I am told by the nasayers that is takes more fuel to produce the alcohol so it isn't wort it .. dont stone me I am all for e-85 fuels .. Ron p
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:20 PM
Ray Cover Ray Cover is offline
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

Those are the kinds of things I am trying to find out. I have heard such things but I don't know if they are true or just political spin by those opposed to the idea.

Thats why am trying to find folks who have actually done it on an individual level to see what their experience is.

I have also considered buying a deisel truck and running it off veggie oil.

Ray
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

One real prob with alchohol in the fuel, is it means water in the fuel, which means crud all through the system. This is one of the major reasons gasoline won out as a fuel 100 years ago, its clean and does not readily absorb contaminants.
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:29 PM
Ray Cover Ray Cover is offline
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

IT was my understanding that gasoline won out because prohibition shut down the alcohol stills.:drinking:
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  #11  
Old 03-13-2008, 04:44 PM
fitzo fitzo is offline
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

There was a good article about ethanol production on the commercial scale in the October 2007 issue of National Geographic magazine. In the case of American production, it operates at an energy deficit currently because of the energy consumed during fermentation and distillation. Brazil, on the other hand, operates much better. Good article, worth reading.

FWIW, the maximum purity of ethanol achievable through distillation is 95%, as it distills as what is called an "azeotrope" with water as a 5% constant. This assumes perfect distillation, which is uncommon. More commonly, the alcohol is distilled at a lower purity and dehydrated by chemical means, typically using something called a "molecular seive" in an apparatus that is similar to a water softener. At least that's what they did when ethanol was simply a chemical and not considered fuel.

Here is a not-so-rosy article that i found after reading the Nat'l Geo: ecoholistic...ethanol
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:11 PM
Ray Cover Ray Cover is offline
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

Too you have to consider the difference between commercial and personal production. I really am not concerned with the commercial aspect. If I can make my own fuel cheaper on a personal level I am not concerned with how much energy the farmer spent growing the corn.

From what I have read ethanol can be made from any plant that has plant sugars that are easily fermented and distilled. For example, I could potentially make a deal with my local fruit stand to take the rotting fruit that does not sell on time off their hands. It saves them the hassle of getting rid of it and it provides me an easy and free source of distillery mash. That type of thing cannot be done on a commercial scale.

As far as the alcohol purity there are personal ethanol stills available now that have the water stripping set up built in. They cost about $1,400 but would last an extremely long time and produce a high grade fuel.

To me a bigger concern is this.

I have my car modified to run on ethanol and then I get out on a trip and have a hard time finding a station that sells ethanol. For the wife's trips back and forth to work it would be great. But for me to take the car to the Blade Show (a 600 mile trip) it may not be.

Ray
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:37 PM
fitzo fitzo is offline
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

You make a good point about the sugar source. Small scale certainly provides alternatives in that regard and would hopefully also allow greater flexibility response to the subsequent variability in the process, something a large producer certainly attempts to avoid.

Would you provide a link to one of these $1400 units, please, Ray? Thank you. I spent 11 years in fermentation recovery R&D for pharmaceuticals, so this type of stuff interests me.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:24 AM
Ray Cover Ray Cover is offline
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

Mike,

Here is a link
http://www.coppermoonshinestills.com/id42.html

Ray
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  #15  
Old 03-14-2008, 09:35 AM
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

Thanks, Ray.
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  #16  
Old 03-14-2008, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

The thread responses bring up to big points.
The car needs to be modified to run on this stuff. Or damage WILL occur (engine knocking and damage). This stuff WILL eat gas lines and seals in pumps - carbs - efi's.

The water is a constant problem - The stuff you make draws water out of the air - it loves water, but the car doesn't. So its not like you make a batch, get the water out - and its gone. Nope, its gone untill it sucks in some at a later stage (in the cars tank, usually due to transfers).

If you guys are really energy efficient, I do have an article that tells how to make a WOOD/GAS GENERATOR. The wood makes gas which is used to run a generator or motor to do work - NOT STEAM!

Anyone wanting this e-mail me and I'll e-mail you back with the article. The title of the article:

Construction of a Simplified Wood Gas Generator for Fueling Internal Combustion Engines in a Petroleum emergency
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  #17  
Old 03-18-2008, 09:09 AM
Ray Cover Ray Cover is offline
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

I found out what I needed to know here.

I finally got the scoop on how much work it takes.

The estimate is that it takes about 20 hours labor to produce 50 gallons of E85 with a backyard set up.

That means with the amount of gas Holly and I typically use in a week it will take almost one full days work to produce that weeks fuel.

That definitely makes it a false economy. Even at $4.00 a gallon I can buy a heck of a lot of gas for a full days wages.

Ray
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  #18  
Old 04-06-2008, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

I had a oppertunity to make some once with a small home made still, while make the inital fermentation wasnt hard, costly or time consuming. We started with a four gallon mash to distill and ended up with less tha two gallons when finished. The problem woul be that it took five hrs. to make it in which time the still hade to be constantly monitered and it. It took about twenty dollars for materials and propane to make it, that cost could be lowered if you bought bulk quanitys that wernt ment for consumption but It wouldnt be very effective frome a time standpoint unless you spent a lot for a larger more affective still insted of the small home made ones. Hope this help some.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:46 AM
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

Ray, I am late to this, I don't always look in the other forums, but looks like you have been given the information you needed and came to the right conclusions IMHO.

My mothers family in Sequatchie County, Tennessee has a rich history in this area, one side making, the other side hauling. As late as my middle years in high school I was iaware of and an occassional visitor to a very nice hobby still. I have often wanted to do the same on the spring here on my property, or even on a limited commercial basis, but the paperwork hassles and intial taxation for the permitting is like 8 grand and 2 years of BS last time I checked, and I have'nt had the desire to spend that much for something that is really jsut a fancy idea. I have too many hobbies already. But when I hear Copperhead Road it reasonates with about everybone in my body.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:55 AM
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

oh, I forgot to say, from what I know from partcipating friends and my own reading, bio-diesel is much less labor intensive per BTU created, and you are often using resources that already considered waste by our normal economy. Whearas with alcohol, you are either growing your own or competing at commercial rates already increasing alledgedley because big oil companies are buying up the futures shares to throttle this competitor.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:30 PM
Ray Cover Ray Cover is offline
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

Scott,

I am currently looking into biodiesel and used veggie oil.

Another thing I want to look into is the water injections systems. I have read a few short articles that say the after market water injection systems are increasing MPG by as much as 40 percent. However, I have not had time to really check into it to see what the real story is.

Holly and I are looking to move when the girls are through school and I am going to do my best to be more self sufficient energy wise. With the new double helix wind generators that are available now along with solar I am betting that we can probably produce our own electricity and kiss AMEREN UE GOODBYE.



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  #22  
Old 04-29-2008, 07:23 PM
sddd42000 sddd42000 is offline
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

guess i was a soph, in high school.
as a science project three of us built a still an refined the fuel. we were able to run a lawn mower without any problems. The fuel burnt a wild blue flame.
We were able to get the mash from the local alchohol plant.
There was a few glasses that were run thru the still a few more times that
must have gotten lost......:willy_nilly:
Great being young.....
It aint no problem to make ...
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

Dear American Friends,
Just a quick info on gas price in Europe:

1 Liter Diesel is now: 1,31 Euro
1 gallon = 3,78 Liter
1,31 x 3.78 = 4,95 Euro/gallon
1 Euro = 1,55 USD
4,95 x 1,55 = 7,67 USD per gallon

Martin Strolz
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Old 05-02-2008, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

sugar cane is the best source for making this stuff -this puts Brazil in the lead for the options - not the U.S.
ratio of production is .4 to one plus water (not a good trade off)
corn is better used to eat and feed the world
mexico is currently been conned into making fuel rather than tequila
not a good deal

all in all this is a bad solution to a bad problem
one side of the family is a vp for a major oil company
the other is a farmer in iowa with 80k acres of crop land
he is growing hay because it pays more than corn
so get ready to start eating hay because when all the corn is gone into fuel you are going to get pretty hungry

write your congressmen and tell them how stupid this is getting to be
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:01 PM
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Lightbulb Re: Running a moonshine still

Ray ,I think your answer to the price of fuel is to get someone like Bob Swartly to make up some nice lables and then go into buisness.Screw your customers ,hide the profits,write every thing off and t hen smile as you say FILLERUP
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:15 PM
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Wink Re: Running a moonshine still

Boy! after all of this I think I am going to convert a bicycle to electric and stay home all winter. I did hear that e85 is less efficient than gas and in the long run you get less miles per gallon and it cost you more than the gas did to go the same distance.

Neil
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

Ray.i just got this book lots of good info. heres the link i hope this helps.

http://www.permaculture.com/

http://www.kptv.com/newslinks/14282216/detail.html

checkout the interviews on Wisconsin public radio.and the one above... good stuff..
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  #28  
Old 08-02-2008, 10:51 AM
ron ron is offline
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

hi ray .. have you looked into higron for your fuel , it is easy to make , just water and elect , i have a friend who is making it for his diesel truck and he said that he has picked up 4 miles per gal.. ron p
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  #29  
Old 08-19-2008, 06:34 AM
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Default Re: Running a moonshine still

Good morning Ray,

Have you checked in with the ATF?

They may have changed some of the rules as of late but as far as I know they have a lot to say about any alchool production.

Their answer is generally NO!

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