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Powerful stuff.

Powerful stuff.

Old Jul 13th 2011, 9:43 pm
  #1  
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Default Powerful stuff.

As they say, don't try this at home !

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...operation.html

A very sad ending to what appears to have been the production of illegal spirits on an industrial scale.
It seems that the use of methanol may have contributed to the power of the explosion. Strong spirits are often referred to as rocket fuel and it seems like this stuff must have been very close to just that.
The report mentions a high percentage of E. Europeans and Russians in the town and previous finds of illegal vodka being traded.
Must confess to having dabbled myself on a small scale a long time ago with a homemade still, however I doubt it was anything like as lethal as this stuff.
It will be interesting to find out precisely how this explosion occured, though obviously the addition of methanol in this case would add greatly to the risk factor in more ways than one. I imagine those involved could well have been almost legless from the fumes alone.
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Old Jul 13th 2011, 10:56 pm
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Default Re: Powerful stuff.

“Some of the illegally-made vodka has been found to contain high levels of methanol, which is used to make antifreeze and some fuels.

“Drinking it can be incredibly dangerous and could cause dizziness, breathing difficulties and even blindness.”



Hmmm. Adulterating home made booze with meths is an old trick, and damn dangerous, but I would love to have someone explain how the normal distillation process, ie fermenting sugars and cooking off the mix will produce dangerous levels of methanol.

Drinking normal booze makes me dizzy and unsteady, so no change there....

This I just love.

“The stuff they’re making is barely even vodka, it’s chemicals. A scientist who looked at it said it could make you blind.”

Where do they get these people from? Alcohol is a chemical. Water is a chemical.

Barely even vodka? Vodka is just ethanol and water.
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Old Jul 13th 2011, 11:10 pm
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Default Re: Powerful stuff.

Golden rules and a few clues to what might have happened here, especially those under the heading fire.

http://homedistiller.org/methanol.htm

Some interesting posts further down also, incl one from Brad explaining why vodka correctly stilled rarely causes hangovers, yet red wine is one of the most common causes.

Last edited by Dick Dasterdly; Jul 13th 2011 at 11:19 pm. Reason: add on
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Old Jul 13th 2011, 11:33 pm
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Default Re: Powerful stuff.

Originally Posted by Dick Dasterdly
Golden rules and a few clues to what might have happened here, especially those under the heading fire.

http://homedistiller.org/methanol.htm

Some interesting posts further down also, incl one from Brad explaining why vodka correctly stilled rarely causes hangovers, yet red wine is one of the most common causes.
LOVE the safety tips. I'm willing to bet that they were high as a kite on fumes, and when the air fuel mix was spot on, there was an ignition source, and bingo, you have the classic fuel/air explosion. A gallon of petrol vapourised, mixed with the correct amount of air and ignited has more blast power than quite a big conventional bomb. I think I'm right in that the biggest blast bomb short of nuclear amounts to nothing more than a can of gasoline with a stick of dynamite strapped to it and an ignition source, just scaled up.
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Old Jul 14th 2011, 12:21 am
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Default Re: Powerful stuff.

Originally Posted by bil
LOVE the safety tips. I'm willing to bet that they were high as a kite on fumes, and when the air fuel mix was spot on, there was an ignition source, and bingo, you have the classic fuel/air explosion. A gallon of petrol vapourised, mixed with the correct amount of air and ignited has more blast power than quite a big conventional bomb. I think I'm right in that the biggest blast bomb short of nuclear amounts to nothing more than a can of gasoline with a stick of dynamite strapped to it and an ignition source, just scaled up.
I was thinking along those lines myself. I recall when I did a little with a homemade still many moons ago the fumes seemed to be more potent than the drink itself.
Also a possibility that the still itself wasn't properly vented or had a blocked outlet causing it to pressurise and go bang.
Another thing is the source of heat to get the mixture up to the right temperature.
Wonder if they used something like a gas burner with an open flame, very risky, or on the other hand maybe one of them tried to light a ciggy in the wrong place at the wrong time and with just the right fuel/air mix, Poof !
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Old Jul 14th 2011, 1:58 am
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Default Re: Powerful stuff.

Originally Posted by Dick Dasterdly
I was thinking along those lines myself. I recall when I did a little with a homemade still many moons ago the fumes seemed to be more potent than the drink itself.
Also a possibility that the still itself wasn't properly vented or had a blocked outlet causing it to pressurise and go bang.
Another thing is the source of heat to get the mixture up to the right temperature.
Wonder if they used something like a gas burner with an open flame, very risky, or on the other hand maybe one of them tried to light a ciggy in the wrong place at the wrong time and with just the right fuel/air mix, Poof !
Stupidity.

The one crime that still carries the death penalty.
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Old Jul 14th 2011, 5:57 am
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Default Re: Powerful stuff.

Listened to some of the comments from callers in on the Jeremy Vine show today and WOW! People really have a hang up over foreigners! Some actually said that it served them right! I did wonder if any were regular posters on here!
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Old Jul 14th 2011, 6:04 am
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Default Re: Powerful stuff.

Originally Posted by rugbymatt
Listened to some of the comments from callers in on the Jeremy Vine show today and WOW! People really have a hang up over foreigners! Some actually said that it served them right! I did wonder if any were regular posters on here!
Sweet people. Let him who is without, eh?
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Old Jul 14th 2011, 6:12 am
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Default Re: Powerful stuff.

Originally Posted by bil
Sweet people. Let him who is without, eh?
It was what JV was kind of saying. It amazes me how insensitive people can be.
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Old Jul 14th 2011, 6:16 am
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Default Re: Powerful stuff.

Originally Posted by rugbymatt
It was what JV was kind of saying. It amazes me how insensitive people can be.
Can you imagine how the poor sod in hospital must be feeling, or at least would be if he were conscious.

What puzzles me is that the place still had a roof on. The door looked bulged by the blast, not melted as people were saying on the news, and the blast was heard a long way away, but the roof looked in perfect nick.
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Old Jul 15th 2011, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: Powerful stuff.

I know some Lithuanians, some are right nutters some are really nice people.
The mix is about the same as with Brits.
One particular friend was a builder in Lithuania, took 6 guys out to Eire for the housing boom, when that went bust moved to UK and is doing refurb work. Tells me the majority of his customers are asians who only want a temporary fix no quality and it is driving him mad - but at least he is earning!!

Quite honestly this doesn't surprise me, there have been a number of ethnic shops raided in the local area over the past 6 months. They openly display "hooch" at £6 bottle when other shops are selling at £12-14. There are other scams being operated from these shops with phones, phone cards, food etc etc. Also single bedroom flats above shop housing 6 or more people. One shop I know has had licence revoked twice for selling to underage, each time new licencee gave promises all of which are broken.

It is much easier to brew in the local area and with modern copier\print quality to make own labels, they are not shipping great distances.
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Old Jul 16th 2011, 12:35 am
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Default Re: Powerful stuff.

The powers that be think they will reduce alcohol consumption by constantly driving up the prices, but there comes a time when even reasonable ppl.begin to look for alternatives and illicit spirit production moves underground and eventually builds up to commercial levels.

I think spirit prices in the UK have just about reached that sort of level now and I'd be surprised if there isn't much more of it taking place than most ppl realize.

In Spain it's still so cheap its not really worth the trouble.

However I've lived in a few places in Sweden, where spirits are supposed only to be sold in Govt controlled shops at extortionate prices, and only at limited hours.
So it was understandable that wherever I stayed there was always easy access to illicit moonshine if you knew the right ppl and virtually everyone did.

I never heard of or experienced any problems with it myself and it generally seemed a decent product that was well trusted by the locals who regularly used it.

It's mostly produced out in the sticks in hill-billy country and although the cops keep coming around on raids, the locals are always two steps ahead of them.
They even posted warning signs around some villages which the locals ripped down before the cops were ten minutes down the road.
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Old Jul 16th 2011, 12:39 am
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Default Re: Powerful stuff.

I used to spend lots of time in Norway with B/F, and remember sitting on the bus going into town (nobody drives if they are going to have a drink) and everyone had a paper cup of moonshine in their hands to get them pickled before they got to the bars, where a small beer and a glass of wine cost a tenner. Bit difficult to keep the alco level up at those prices (1995)
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Old Jul 16th 2011, 1:12 am
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Default Re: Powerful stuff.

just seen bottle of Campo Viejo wine in local supermarket at £9.75
last time i saw that label it was €2.99 in El Campo where I saw Johny Walker Red and Black labels at less than a bog standard Grants in the uk

taxation is killing the legal trade and when you are living 6 to a bedroom or 3-4 in a tent on a roundabout you are really not interested in getting stoned on the legal stuff

they have probably destroyed their taste buds with the hooch they buy, the 2l plastic bottles marked lemonade are not always telling the truth.
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Old Jul 16th 2011, 1:22 am
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Default Re: Powerful stuff.

You should shop around more! Many decent whiskies and wines are cheaper in the UK than Spain. It is only when you compare plonk that there is a considerable difference.

Anoyone tried the Irish home brew poteen? We had some from an Irish neighbour which was very palatable but I suppose it varies.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...ne-760092.html
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