Moonshine is a strong alcoholic drink obtained by distillation of Braga through homemade or factory-made devices. Braga is made as a result of fermentation of sugar syrup, saccharine grains, potatoes, beets, fruits or other products containing sugar and saccharine starches. The strength of the brew varies from 10 to 80 degrees. The color of the drink can be from crystal clear to murky, depending on the purification.
Moonshine is considered a traditional Russian drink. Although analogues moonshine with their names there is in each country. For example, some names of moonshine in different countries: USA — moonshine, Belarus — garelka, Hungary — palinka, Greece — tsipuro, Ireland - Potin, Spain — aguardiente casero, Germany — Schwarzgebranntes, Poland — Bimber, Ukraine — gorilka, France — tord-boyaux, Sweden — hembrant, Latvia — kandza, Lithuania — samane, Moldova — rakiu, Finland — pontikka.
Moonshine as a drink has become widespread in Russia since the XV century. But before the 1917 revolution, illegally produced drinks were called tavern. For the first time the word moonshine in the sense of artisanal distillate produced at home in written sources appeared in 1917. So we can say that the word moonshine appeared not so long ago.
The process of production of moonshine.
First, you need to make pruno. As a raw material for the preparation of Braga can be used sugar (easiest at home), or fruit and berries containing sugar (fructose) in its pure form, or starch-containing raw materials (rye, wheat, barley, maize, etc.) which is processed into sugar using malt or malt enzymes. The fermentation process takes 7 to 10 days. For the production of moonshine it is necessary to have moonshine. The principle of operation of the device is distillation, in which in one container (distillation cube) Braga is heated, and a mixture of steam, which is released at the same time, condensed by cooling and settles in another container in the form of the finished product. The distillation process can be one-time. To clean moonshine from impurities, use double or even triple distillation. In between distillations carried out the cleaning process of the brew from unwanted impurities. For each type of impurity apply the way of cleaning, but most often are limited to influence of manganese and charcoal.
Receive at home high-quality and relatively safe for healthy distillation of alcoholic beverages is not always possible due to the following reasons:
1) When heating the mash in the distillation process thermal cracking occurs heavy organic substances — sugars, proteins, etc., resulting in a variety of easy volatile organic compounds, including toxic, such as methyl alcohol. The complete removal of heavy substances from Braga requires strict observance of distillation technology, which cannot be replaced, for example, by repeated freezing and chemical deposition in the artisanal. It is recommended to get rid of the first phase of distillation (2-8% of the total) (popularly "Pervak" or "pervach") due to the increased content of methanol.
2) Although the boiling point of the substance at a given pressure is strictly determined, its active evaporation occurs at lower temperatures. So even if you maintain a Braga temperature equal to the boiling point of alcohol, still with it evaporates a lot of components such as fusel and essential oils. Purification is achieved by repeated distillation or rectification. Method of multi-stage distillation partially eliminates the problems described above.
Moonshine in addition to ethyl alcohol and water also contains harmful impurities that must be removed. In harmful contaminants include: a mixture of harmful fusel oils, acetaldehyde, formic acid-ethyl ether, acetic methyl ester, methyl alcohol, acetic-ethyl ether, formic acid, acetic acid, butyric ethyl ether, amyl alcohol, valerianaceae the air.
At home, treatment is carried out in the following ways: cleaning the brew soda, clean moonshine with potassium permanganate, purification of the brew with egg white, purification of the brew with fresh milk, clean brew with freshly baked brown bread, freezing the brew, the clean charcoal.
Moonshine harm: Moonshine can be dangerous for a number of reasons. Firstly, it contains a certain amount of fusel oils, alcohols, ethers and aldehydes, which are very difficult to get rid of at home. They are considered poisonous, with the use of a drink rich in these substances, a possible fatal outcome. Secondly, the state of health causes severe hangover syndrome, there is a high probability of rapid deterioration of health. Excessive consumption of moonshine causes side effects: dizziness, nausea, sometimes loss of consciousness.