Homemade alcohol and its disadvantages

Homemade alcohol and its disadvantages

In this article we will talk about homemade alcohol, produced without compliance of technologies used in plant conditions. Home-distilled vodka, domestic wine, mead, chacha (grape-brandy), different tinctures and other alcoholic drinks, which names differ depending on the way or place of production, could be placed here.

There is an opinion that drinks produced at home are not so harmful, and some of them can even possess useful properties. An alcoholic drink prepared by yourself seems to have no extraneous toxic components. But this is just on the face of it. Any alcoholic drink, produced by fermentation (wine, beer, home brew etc) or by distillation, contains a lot of toxic substances forming during the process of production. They are fusel oils and aldehydes. Fusel oil is a by-product of alcoholic fermentation. It is an admixture containing in non-rectified ethyl alcohol (crude alcohol), produced by fermentation. Fusel oils are generated from crude alcohol in the process of rectification.

Fusel oil contains toxic admixtures, subdivided into two groups:

  1. Having lower boiling point, than ethyl alcohol (78,39 °С) – acetaldehyde and ethyl-acetate;
  2. Having higher boiling point – isopropyl, propyl, amyl, isoamyl, isobutyl alcohols; acetyl, pyridine, oil-ethyl ether, furfural.

Isoamyl alcohol, making up to 60 percent of fusel oil, is especially toxic. In case of skin contact it causes a feeling of burning, forming vesicula, filled with pale yellow liquid. The vesicula are breaking, and there are indolent ulcers appearing on the skin.

The man doesn’t experience unpleasant symptoms at once after drinking amyl alcohol; there are no inebriation as well. But in 5-10 minutes it leads to the state of coma, which declares itself by impairment of consciousness, the absence of pupillary response, the face becomes cyanotic. In several hours it is ended by fatal outcome. Propyl and isopropyl alcohol make a massive suppressive action on carbohydrate hepatic function and cause changes in the blood, such as increasing the number of leucocytes, decreasing the content of nucleic acids, depressing the oxidase and catalase activity in the blood.

Fusel oil itself has even more toxic effect, than its ingredients. The experimental animals died of cardiac insufficiency, renal and hepatic failures, caused by intoxication. The autopsy has shown spacious and deep lesions of these organs. Home-distilled vodka produced from rye flour by strength of 19 vol. % contains 0,32 percent of fusel oils; by strength of 45 vol. % their content may reach 0,63 percent (such home-distilled vodka is considered to be the worst, as it possesses disgusting smell and taste and causes a severe hangover on the next day). Home-distilled vodka, made of sugar, contains (depending on strength) 0,21-0,42 percent of fusel oil; made of corn – 0,82 percent; made of barley – 0,52 percent.

The condition of inebriation after drinking home-distilled vodka differs from usual inebriation by chaotic character of clinical presentations. It can be explained by different ability of various fusel oil fractions to absorb. Some of them absorbs faster, than ethyl alcohol, another – slower, therefore obnubilation and sluggishness inconsistently alternate with excitation.

Even well-refined homemade vodka of double distillation is more toxic, than ethyl alcohol, because in home conditions it is practically impossible to get a pure product. Wineries sublimate ethanol strictly at boiling temperature of 78,4 degrees and comply with many other technical refinements.

The hazards of its drinking may be much worse, if taking into account the fact, that country people are often have deal with pesticides, such as organochloride, organophosphorus and organomercurial, arsenic-containing and nitrophenol compounds, carbamic acid derivative, cuprum-containing chemicals, which careless used may do a lot of harm to human body.

And it concerns not only home-distilled vodka, but absolutely all homemade alcoholic drinks. You can’t achieve in home conditions the same high quality of alcohol, as the quality of alcohol produced in plant conditions.

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