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Old 01-01-2015, 02:56   #16
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Re: alcohol stoves

OK for those interested, here is a snapshot of the process. Note for alcohol stoves, it doesn't matter if there are other alcohols present - methanol etc. While they are dangerous to drink, it's fine to burn them .

Mix standard white sugar with water, add a bakers yeast (or brewers yeast or a speciality yeast).
Let it ferment; from 24 hours to 14 days depending on type of yeast.
It will now be somewhere around 14% to 20% alcohol.
Run this through your still to concentrate the alcohol. A single pass through a good reflux still will get you better than 90% whereas a simple pot still will need several passes to achieve that.

2 Kg of sugar should get you a litre or more of stove fuel.

I stress this simple method is for burning; for drinking you need to take a bit more care but the basic process is the same.

The still can also be used for making fresh water from sea water should the need arise. Of course this is much simpler again.

For good info on all aspects see:
Home Distillation of Alcohol (Homemade Alcohol to Drink)

For more info on stills see:
Moonshine Still — A Step by Step Guide to Building a World Class Home Distillation Apparatus

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Old 01-01-2015, 06:32   #17
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Re: alcohol stoves

It seems making or buying a still would be pretty complicated and/or expensive and another thing to try to find storage space for on a boat. And of course a boat still would have to be a lot more stable than one that's designed for land use. And there's still the matter of heat. If you have an alcohol stove and run out of alcohol, you won't be able to heat the still to make more alcohol.

I think a more practical approach is to plan ahead like we do for so many other things and carry enough stove alcohol to meet our needs until we are able to buy more.

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Old 01-01-2015, 07:18   #18
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Re: alcohol stoves

Making your own alcohol for a stove would be silly, but it is very easy to do. As said sugar, water and yeast. I did it in Military school, but not for a stove . I fractionally distilled it, if memory serves you boil the mix with a thermometer and stop capturing it for the condensor as soon as the temp hits 80C, Alcohol boils at 79C, been a long time, not sure about the numbers.
If you can't find stove alcohol, go to the liqour store and buy everclear, or PGA, they are like 98% pure alcohol, just not denatured

Oh and if your not distilling for stove use, make sure you do not have any surgical tubing or use a rubber stopper in the flask, makes it taste horrible, copper and cork, that's the ticket
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Old 09-01-2015, 16:30   #19
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Re: alcohol stoves

Most pressure cookers can easily be converted for distilling, remove the pressure vent and replace with 1/8th npt to 1/4 copper. Form and coil the copper through a water/ ice bath, keep heat low while boiling the mash. The wood alcohol comes off first then the moonshine ( for fuel of course).
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Old 09-01-2015, 17:49   #20
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Re: alcohol stoves

Distilling aside, the Yellow bottles of Heet you put in your cars gas tank to remove excess water is pure mythel alcohaul (the red bottles are typically isopropyl). Methyl alcohaul works great and is available everywhere from Walmart to most gas stations .

You can pick up wood alcohaul (denatured) at most any hardware store.

For the real good stuff (grain alcohol ) most larger liquor stores either have it or know where you can get it.

Even medical grade Isopropyl doesn't burn very hot, smokes, and smells bad.

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Old 09-01-2015, 18:15   #21
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Re: alcohol stoves

The Kleen Strip brand sold at Ace Hardware is the cleanest, most consistent fuel available here. It burns with no residue whatsoever. We tried everything we could find, and that is the only stuff that works for us.

I found the Heet to be a little too hot for the stove, i.e., it became difficult to snuff and very very hot. Everything else we have used sooted the bottom of the pots and the stove up.

Unless you only boil water, you need a fuel that will choke down to simmer without sooting due to the rich mixture.

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Old 09-01-2015, 18:30   #22
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Re: alcohol stoves

I've be using methyl hydrate for the past four years, cheap and easy to get.

Recochemís Methyl Hydrate is a 99.9% pure versatile product with so many uses that all hardware and paint departments as well as automotive, camping equipment and general merchandize retailers regularly stock it.

Methyl Hydrate is used for:

Thinning shellac
Cleaning brushes that have been used with shellac
Cleaning windows, when mixed with water
Defrosting air line hoses on tractor trailers & commercial vehicles during extreme cold temperatures
Fondue fuel
Fuel for marine unpressurized alcohol stoves
Dissolving gums, resins, and celluloid

Recochemís Methyl Hydrate is colourless and smokeless when burned. Since it contains methyl alcohol and is flammable, all our containers are clearly marked with poison and flammability warning symbols. Keep out of reach of children.
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Old 09-01-2015, 19:18   #23
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Re: alcohol stoves

Here is some info that will add fuel to the fire so to speak describes the whole process and could be done mostly out of scraps from the local scrap yard Separating your alcohol from your fermented fruit

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