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Jack Spirko: Once I get that, i am going to get a yield out of there. I am going to have a little bit of loss in the volume, but then i am going to have to distill it.

Steven Harris: Yes

Jack Spirko: When I distil it i am going to start out with about 4.25 gallons, what am i going to end up with if I have 14% alcohol in a distilled fuel?

Steven Harris: You are going to end up with about 1/3 of a gallon of 92% ethanol, which would be 184 proof.


Jack Spirko: Thats wicked stuff right there, man. <laughs>

Steven Harris: Right. Actually the way premium vodka, you know triple distilled Grey Goose and everything else. What you do is you distil it. Then you take that and you put it back into the still. You distil it again, take that, put it back into the still Distil it again, put that back in the still and distil it again. That's called triple distilled. That's were XXX came from on jars of moonshine because it meant it was triple distilled. You actually distil it up to 184 - 190 proof. Then what Grey Goose does is they add distilled water back to it, to bring it back down to 40% or 80 proof.

Jack Spirko: Gotcha


Steven Harris: What we're going to do to make ethanol alcohol, the examples I have for you here are not triple distilled they are quadruple distilled. We actually distill it 4 times to get it up to 92% or 184 proof. Usually this is where the magic is; the still, the column, the pot, the fire underneath the pot, cooling water and everything, the column ration 24 to 1 to get 192 proof off at the end of the column. I have a table top still for you that is a little bigger than a coffee maker. You plug the thing into the wall and pour in your wash. I put it on a timer from Walmart. For my first run I'll say, 'run my first batch for 3 hours and 30 minutes'. I set it and I go away, because it has a fan for the cooling instead of having water cooling. I set it in the morning and I come back and there is my first batch of alcohol done. It did it from 14% to 50%. Then I will pour in more of my wash our of my 5 gallon pales and I'll say 'do it again for another 3 hours and 30 minutes.' I'll tell it to do this about 4 times for one 5 gallon pale and then i got a batch of 50%. Then for my batch of 50%, I pour my batch of 50% back into the still again. I run that for 4 hours and 20 mins. Just a little $8 Walmart digital timer, say monday start at 12:05, Monday ends at 3:35. It will run for 3.5 hours. On my second run I do it for 4 hours and 20 minutes. That moves me for 50% alcohol to 80% alcohol. If you were doing distillation for spirits to drink, this is where you would generally purify it and add more distilled water to bring it back down. I run it even again for 80%  to 89% in another run. Then I run 89% to 92% in the fourth distillation.


Jack Spirko: Gotcha. One thing we should point out if we are doing this for consumption in The United States of America, it is....

Steven Harris: Illegal!

Jack Spirko: Illegal, correct. But if we wanted to do this for making fuel it is completely legal. There is one thing we have to do when we are finished with it, so it is not drinkable anymore and that makes it legal. What is that?

Steven Harris: You have to add 2% gasoline to it.

Jack Spirko: That is pretty easy thing to do. Some of us are running numbers and we want to know the economics of this little mini still. Is it actually profitable to me, to make my fuel this way. In anyway shape or form.



Steven Harris: Yes it is, but let me back step one and say you got to have a permit from the federal government to distil alcohol for fuel. It is completely free, F R E E. It is from They will give you a free permit for 10,000 gallons a year. Some states require you to have a permit, most don't. Check with you local state government. Texas doesn't for example.Then there are the economics of this. If you use sugar from Walmart, it would cost you about $9 in sugar to make about half a gallon of ethanol fuel. Now that would be $18 a gallon of gas equivalent. Which is horrible for for a price of fuel, great for a price of whisky. Keep in mind if you are listening to this in New Zealand, it is perfectly legal to distill alcohol in New Zealand for consumption purposes. We don't have to have the disqualifies for them. It get you started. Start with sugar and water, because it gets you going.



Jack Spirko: Now you've learned the process, right? Thats the most important thing. You learn how to do it, you convince yourself you can do it.

Steven Harris: Exactly. Once you've done sugar fermented to alcohol and distil the alcohol and then you put it into a little cup and lit it. You see this beautiful blue flame. You go "yeah man I did this. This is mine, I can do it again." Then we get you into a step where you go get free donuts. You have heard of day old donuts. Well 2 day old donuts, 3 day old donuts, those things are through away. They have a high sugar content. They have a great simple starch content in them. You put them in a bucket. You add water. You take a drill with a paint mixer, you slurry them all up like they are a big blender. Heat them up to about boiling point let them cool down a bit. You though in a that time, lets call it Alpha Amylase. Which is an enzyme that breaks down the starch. Starch is nothing but a long chain of sugars. These enzymes start breaking down the long chains in the sugar chain. Alpha Amylase happens to be kind of familiar, it is spit. It is the same thing that is in your spit. When you start salivating and eating something your Alpha Amylase, your saliva starts breaking down the sugars even before they reach your stomach. Then you take what you are mixing up and let it cool down a little bit more and you throw in what is called Glucoamylase. That finishes breaking everything down from starch down into the final sugars. You take a little bit of your wash out and you put it into a little, not test tube because i don't want to be that fancy, you but it into a little cup. You add couple drops of iodine, which is iodine solution from Walmart, like you put onto a cut. If it turns purple, you still got some starch present. So you go back and add a little more heat and add a little more enzyme until there is no purple left. This is called the "Six Step Process." It is 100% completely documented in explicit detail with color photos, circles, explanations in the bible  of alcohol fuels we have called "Alcohol can be a Gas". That book along with the distiller and everything else we are talking about is on You can also go to there will be a link there to it, plus all the show notes and everything else. David Blume wrote this book. He used to be Alcohol guy for Mother Earth News, going all the way back to the 1980s. He was a good friend of even Buckminster Fuller. Buckminster Fuller even wrote the introduction to it. David Blume is the god on the face of the planet earth, probably the number 1 most knowledgeable person in the world, in make alcohol fuel. He took 4 years to write the book "Alcohol can be a Gas". It weights 4 pounds, it will stop a 9mm bullet. It is 632 pages long. It covers everything you could possible think of making alcohol form starch, making alcohol from sugar, which enzymes to use, what temperatures, how modify a car to run on pure alcohol. Which is pretty easy you what you call a fooler on the engine, it holds the injectors open a little bit longer. Alcohol is a little bit less dense than gasoline. He talks extensively in the book about how your car, your american made or foreign made gasoline car right now will run on about 50% alcohol and 50% gasoline. Or 50% E85 and 50% Ethanol so what you are doing with us, whether you just want to mix it 20% / 80% or 30% / 70% , alcohol and gasoline. Or if you want to go get E85 and do a mixture of E85 and gasoline, it is in the book. Or if you want to take your vehicle and convert it over to run 100% ethanol alcohol. I mean 100% ethanol alcohol fuel, even though it is only 92% or 90%. The book covers on how to do that and you run a vehicle with slight modification off of this alcohol that we are talking about your producing today with the tabletop still.



Jack Spirko: It is awesome. I have the book because Steve sent me a copy. It is a college education in one book on alcohol fuels. That is the best way I can put it.

Steven Harris: But it is written at a six grade level.

Jack Spirko: It is. It is very easy to understand.

Steven Harris: A 5th grader or 6th grader could read this and go "Oh boy, I am going to get drunk tonight.

Jack Spirko: <Laughs>

Steven Harris: He covers everything there in it. One it is entertaining. He has about every liberal cartoon against oil you can think of in the book so it kind of holds your attention. Plus, it is full of photographs that he has been taking for the last 30 years. He shows you everything, every little part, every little how to. He shows you how every still is made, how reflux distillation is done how rear plate distillation is done, what raschig rings are, how you can use pot scrubbers from Walmart as a substitute for your column packing. The diameter of the columns to get 192 proof out you need to have 24 to 1 column ratio. So if you got 2 inch internal diameter, you have to have a 48 inch column still. It has to be 48 inches tall. if you have a 3 inch diameter still you can put this many gallons through it per day per hour, and it has to be 72 inches tall. But it doesn't have any plans in it on how to build a still. It shows you how stills are made and all the different parts and you can make a still off of it, but it doesn't have any step by step plans. Plus the still is generally fired by fire underneath of it,which is temperature controlled. You have to have a high column but you got to have wide diameter, which means a higher column that is higher then the ceiling in your garage. That is why we got this little tabletop distiller for you to start with. It is, by far, cheaper then getting a larger column stove and it gets you started today. It get you started doing with what you want right now. If you ran that little tabletop distiller and you had alcohol can be a gas and you mashed up your own doughnuts and you put in the enzymes and you fermented it and you made your own mash lets say you did this in 4 or 5 gallon pales. If you ran your distiller twice a day for 4 days, so in the morning when you left for work and at night before you when to bed, you would make 1 gallon of 92% ethanol in that period of 4 days. That includes the 4 distillations, because I am counting running twice a day as running distillation 2, distillation 3, distillation 4 in that process. Now that doesn't sound like much, but we are talking about a still that cost about $215 plus $15 shipping. We are talking about something that you can do today. I am talking about 1 gallon of fuel that you made in four days. That 1 gallon of fuel will work in your lawn mower your generator you can try it in vehicle, we'll go over some of those details. It is 1 gallon that you made today. That one gallon might take you, depending on your vehicle, 12 miles or 20 miles or 30 miles or some vehicles up to 40 miles. That is something you did that was underneath your own control, that you did with without permission from anyone else. It gets you, like Jack says, "Now I understand, I can do it". Now you can intelligently say, "I can get what is called a farm bread, from my local bakery store, you know the  bakery outlet store." What happens when it is too old for the bakery outlet store? It becomes what is called farm bread. It goes to farmers for pigs and other animal feed. I got photographs of my pickup truck, which I should put up on the website, just full of farm bread that I got for just a few dollars. You can take that farm bread, mash it up, heat it up, add your enzymes, convert it into a sugar, ferment the sugars into alcohol, then distill the alcohol up to 192 proof. To get you started at a basic level so you can go "I can do it".



Jack Spirko: Let me put it into perspective for people, Steve. I think one thing that people need to see... Lets say it is a gallon a week you are making. You can actually do it in 4 days, but let's say you just do a gallon a week and you take 2 weeks a year off. Thats 50 gallons of fuel a year.

Steven Harris: Let alone if you ran 2 stills at the same time.

Jack Spirko: Then it is a hundred. If you did it actually every 4 days, I don't want to do the math and figure it out but it is probably closer to about 180 (doing the math 365.242days in a year / 4days to make alcohol * 2 stills = 182.6 gallons per year... close enough), if you kept it going constantly. I mean that is a significant amount of fuel for the average person.

Steven Harris: The timer makes it automated. You have a column still and everything, usually you are baby sitting it. Controlling the heat, the temperature at the top of the column, which is covered extensively in "Alcohol can be a Gas". You are sitting there babysitting and watching the drops come out and producing the fuel. When you take the simple tabletop still which has its own fan for cooling, you plug into the wall and put the timer on it's automated. You got to determine your own times because it varies based on your mash, it varies based on your room temperature. It toke 3 hour 25 minutes for me for my first run. I know if i fill it up to 3/4 inches from the top with the wash and plug it in every day I can set it for 3 hours and 25 minutes. I will come back to a 50% alcohol distillate, that I will then save off and use for my secondary runs. I do all my first runs first. Then I do all my second distillation, second. Then all my third distillations third. With that timer I know I can always do it at 3 hours and 25 minutes. The way I know that is because I have a test kit. A test kit consists of a vertical jar, a cylinder, and a hydrometer. A hydrometer is nothing more then a piece of glass with numbers on it, that has a lead weight on the bottom. It bobs up or down, higher or lower, and tells you your alcohol percentage in your cylinder, which is a long skinny beaker. Has it comes out, i alway take off the first 2 cups and pour into the cylinder and say, "Ok, I am at this proof right now." For my first run, I got 14% in pot and I am going to go to 50%. I always keep on distilling until what is coming out is 25% and then I stop. When I reach 25% that is my timer mark, to turn the timer off. You don't get a lot of 25% off. It really goes from 14% to 50% and it stays there for a long period of time. Then it falls off real quick. Your looking for that fall off time. That is your cut off point. When you look back into the pot you'll see what is missing. In this case about 25% of the wash you put in there is missing. It has come out in the form of water and alcohol, as 50% alcohol into your pot on the outside. Anyways that is how I set my times. I could talk about this ever.



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