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Ethanol from molasses

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June 18, 2011, 04:25 PM
Juneight
Ethanol from molasses
Hello to ALL!

I am new to this community and I have lots of questions so please be gentle =)
I have already made my own distiller.
so i need to share my results

I am making my batches from molases.

5 liters molases (%50 sugar)
15 liters of water (ph 4)
90 gram/saccharomyces cerevisiae

since ambient tempreture is around 21C it take almost 4 days and still small bubbles.

so the question 1;
How do I measure the alcohol content of my batch?

I have 120 liter capacity of distiller
I had put 40 liters of batch from molases.
it takes 13 minutes to produce 1 liter of alcohol (100 proof)
I am measuring the alcohol content with my hydrometer.
Can i use the same hydrometer for the batch either?

What do you think?
how is the efficiency of my DIY distiller?
I am actually having problems with the equilibrium.
Production is not steady yet.
June 20, 2011, 12:38 AM
Tim c cook
Welcome to the forum..

A rough rule of thumb is that you can produce about half the sugar into alcohol. 5 liters of 50% sugar = 2 1/2 liters of 100% sugar so this batch should yield a bit more than a liter of alcohol. The amount of water is irrelevant for yield but is based mainly on the end alcohol tolerance of the yeast you use. If your mash is still bubbling you have not yet completely converted all the sugar to alcohol, either add a bit of heat or just wait til the bubbling stops, probably more like 7 days rather than 4. The total time will depend on the temp and the amount of yeast available for the fermentation.

Molasses can contain a good bit of sulpher compounds, these will retard the fermentation and increase the time, adding a bit of yeast nutriant to the liquid might help?

What sort of fermenter are you using, you need to be able to eliminate air from this container once your yeast has multiplied to enough to do the fermentation, as long as the yeast sees air it will multiply rather than making much alcohol, once the air is gone it then stops multiplying and begins producing alcohol and CO2. For your 20 liter batch I would expect you to end up with around 3-4 liters of newly grown yeast if you are using a normal 20 liter (5 gallon) water bottle and fitted it with a fermentation lock as soon as it was filled. This leaves about a half gallon air space above the liquid to first grow the yeast and then the space gets filled with CO2 from the fermentation.

A hydrometer is a pretty quick and accurate way to measure the alcohol content of your distilled liquid, just take temperature into account.

You state you are getting "100 proof" from your distiller, 100 proof is 50% alcohol/50% water, you should be able to get a higher alcohol content even with a single run distillation process. Are you able to control the distiller temp, what sort of condenser are you using?
June 20, 2011, 03:22 AM
Bernhardt
The only way to measure the alcohol content relatively accurately cheaply is via hydrometer(buy at brew shop). Measure the Specific Gravity before fermentation and after. A starting specific gravity of 1.120 has about 15% potential alcohol. The strain of yeast you use depends on what you're trying to achieve. Assuming, fuel is your goal(flaver not important) then you want a yeast that ferments dry(eats the most sugars possible), and a relatively high alcohol tolerance. If you get above 15-18% potential alcohol getting the fermentation to start can be troublesome.

If the still is a simple pot still(no reflux), your alcohol content is low, and you heat at anything other than slow, or heat too long then you're doing pretty good to get 50%.
July 27, 2011, 05:59 PM
Legal Eagle
One of the most efficient methods of producing ethanol was discovered by Rice University in Texas by using the biodiesel glycerin in ethanol production.

This closes the loop completely from cradle to grave; one side sees oil crops processed into biodiesel from which the seed mulch is value added into either animal feed or an excellent organic pesticide and the glycerin by-product facilitates the ethanol production in a much more efficient manner than any other method yet developed.

HTH



** Biodiesel Glycerine Soap - The Guide
- on 5 continents helping people make & sell soap from the Biodiesel Glycerine.