Health & Safety when hobby distilling at home

There is a myth that one can go blind from home-distilled alcohol. For an educated person to believe this is ridiculous. Distillation does not make alcohol, it purifies and separates liquids - like alcohol. If one distills a wine, a beer or a mash/wash, one can only separate what is in the liquid. And there is no poison in the wine, beer or mash.

Poisoning from spirits can never occur. Not even (to fast distilled) impure spirits are toxic, they just taste bad because of the fusel oil (which exacerbates any hangover). However, one can drink too much, with known results....

Regarding Hangovers

Vodka is pure 40% ethyl alcohol - the purest of all alcoholic beverages. The hobby distiller produces a totally pure alcohol to be used as vodka or to be flavored similar to great liquor or liqueurs - or a fruit vodka. The fact is that the "impurities" from the beer, mash or wine, are taken away by the distillation and by activated carbon. The alcohol has no congeners (volatiles/impurities) left - and it is these that are responsible for a hangover. There are 1300 different congeners in whisky, making the smells and taste. There is much literature on the subject of congeners causing the hangover and, as long as you do not drink so much that you overpower your body, you get no hangover without congeners.

Safety Factors

There are some facts for a home distiller to know in order to proceed safely. There is a small chapter dedicated to this in the book. It takes very little time to read but by doing so you prevent possible problems like flooding (because the cooling water was not properly connected), etc. Accidents can happen to everyone, but if one knows what can happen it is easy to prevent.