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Schnutzel t1_j8qx9lm wrote

FYI, it's called fermentation, not distillation. Fermentation is the process of producing alcohol (or some other byproduct) from sugars, while distillation is the process of separating that alcohol from the rest of the drink (resulting in high alcohol content). Low alcohol drinks such as beer and wine are usually undistilled.

And yes, you can basically ferment anything with sugar, including bananas.


The_RealKeyserSoze t1_j8qyci0 wrote

With the caveat that some fermentation processes will yield too much methanol and then the subsequent distillate will be too toxic to drink.


MaleficentPi t1_j8qx9br wrote

Yes. You can make coconut wine and banana brandy if the starter mash has enough sugar content to ferment properly.

I have had banana whiskey.

I truly do not recommend it.


kingofzdom t1_j8qwokw wrote

anything containing sugar, yeah.

I only recently found out that you can distill old bread into vodka.


MaleficentPi t1_j8qxe45 wrote

Since vodka is technically purified distilled spirits cut with purified water, you can make vodka from almost anything that isn't corn or sugarcane.


governmentcaviar t1_j8qz05w wrote

you can make vodka from corn and sugarcane. vodka has moreso to do with the proof you distill it to than what it’s made out of.


MaleficentPi t1_j8r2f7u wrote

Distilled spirits from corn is usually called moonshine.

Distilled spirits from sugarcane? Rum.

I get where you're coming from, though the flavor profiles are substantially different from a 100% rye grain mash vodka or a hard northern wheat vodka, and most people can tell a sugarcane vodka from a rye vodka.


dirschau t1_j8r4rts wrote

Moonshine is literally just illegally distilled alcohol, not a flavour. It's called that because it was done secretly, often out in the middle of the woods or somewhere... In the light of the moon, if you will.

I mean, it can have SOME flavour, I suppose, if it wasn't properly distilled. Which isn't unreasonable if it was done in a slap dash setup in the woods.


MaleficentPi t1_j8r5of6 wrote

... have you had moonshine?

It ain't vodka.

You're using "flavour" not "flavor", so I am going to say you have no idea what moonshine actually tastes like, regardless of whether it was a commercial version of Johnny Red Corn or a snort from an actual still back in the holler.

I mean I suppose you could be Canadian, but you'd be calling it white rye if you were East Coast Canuckistani.

I don't assume I know anything about Scotch, but I do know American moonshine, and when the word is used to describe liquor, they are not talking about potsheen or garage brandy.

So no. Moonshine is not vodka any more than ararak is vodka or raki is vodka or cachaca is vodka.

The flavor is different, the mash ingredients are different, and the cultural taste is very different.

And you'd know that if you'd had any of those and were in a position to taste, had any idea what the distillates tasted like, or had any clue what the actual flavor of those specific distilled spirits are in commerical brands or not.

The only other way you could not discern the difference between moonshine, vodka, cachaca or other distillates like unaged sugar cane rum is if you have no sense of smell or an incredibly weak palate.


dirschau t1_j8r94ld wrote

I wasn't aware that Moonshine has become a "brand", made to a particular recipe, like raki or rum.

Because I did have alcohol from an amateur still, fermented from whatever was available (mushy fruit and potato peels, probably). You know, like something a moonshiner would have made back in the day. It just tasted like shit vodka.


MaleficentPi t1_j8r9n54 wrote

Search for Midnight Moon and Old Smoky to get a basic handle on it. Those are the most common commercial brands.

And read this.

It's been a thing for distillers and liquor industries for well over ten years in America, and while it's not exactly well-known outside of Americana liquor historians and modern distilling, it's a significant share of the market.

And whatever you had was probably not made by a commercial distiller or even someone who knew how to toss the heads and tails correctly, which is why you had that taste. Well-made moonshine is delicious and has tasting notes as specific as any top shelf liquor.

Not knowing about a thing doesn't mean it's not a thing.

Honestly, you saying "I had illegally distilled liquor once and it was Terribad" leads me to the conclusion that you just make poor life decisions. Not that you know anything about alcohol.


dirschau t1_j8rbu8x wrote

>Not knowing about a thing doesn't mean it's not a thing.

I believe you that it's a thing now, but it's just funny how offended you are when you just said it's literally only a ten year old thing, considering "moonshine" has been a thing for well over a 150.

So yes, I didn't know a bunch of corporations appropriated a pre-existing term about the same time the first Avatar came out. My bad, lol.

>And whatever you had was probably not made by a commercial distiller

Wow, how did you know!?

>Because I did have alcohol from an amateur still, fermented from whatever was available

Oh, right


MaleficentPi t1_j8s10cs wrote

Prison whiskey is not whiskey, friend.

It's sad to see someone work so hard to still show so little knowledge.


dirschau t1_j8sdeyy wrote

...yeah, I know, that's literally what I've been saying. It's actual bootlegged alcohol. Like, you know, traditional moonshine, not Moonshine™

Because that was the original point. That moonshine, until circa 2010 apparently, was the colloquial term (slong with hooch) for bootlegged alcohol.


ejpierle t1_j8r0c06 wrote

Adding to the other reply. Vodka is a clear, neutral spirit. It is made by distilling all the sugar out until it's 90+ % ethenol, then cutting it back down to about 40% with water. You can make it from anything. Ocean Vodka on Maui is 100% from sugarcane.


blkhatwhtdog t1_j8r5i0q wrote

banana brandy is a thing, moonshiners will do it when there's a surplus of it cheap. but its usually added to a sugar wash.

its mostly for flavoring. alcohol comes from fermentation of carbs/sugars. That's why the most common ingredients are barley, wheat, grapes, sugar cane, potatoes, apples.


Badboyrune t1_j8qxgul wrote

Distilling is really just the act of separating two liquids that have been mixed together. The alcohol itself in alcoholic beverages is made by yeast eating sugars in a process of fermentation. This is how we make bear and wine and mead.

However this fermented liquid will contain a relatively low amount of alcohol. If we want something stronger we need to separate the alcohol from the rest of the liquid, and this is where distillation comes in.

So if we're using bananas as a source we could start by fermenting banana juice, creating an alcoholic banana wine. If we wanted to make it more potent, a higher percentage of alcohol, we could then distill our banana wine and end up with banana brandy.


CeeArthur t1_j8rt4ni wrote

What you mean is fermentation. As others have said most things with sugar can be used (just ask anyone in prison). Distillation is used afterwards to remove impurities (think if you boiled water and only collected the steam/condensation)


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DerpSouls t1_j8qxado wrote

Distillation is a separation method that requires different boiling points of unbonded components. Such as alcohol and water.

So if there are two liquids that boil ( turn to gas) at differing temperatures then yes; it is can be distilled*.

  • There might be other factors that result in complications such as chemical bonds that trigger at temperatures

Chromotron t1_j8r075s wrote

However, many liquids cannot be fully separated by distillation, including ethanol plus water. The best one can reach by pure distillation is an azeotrope, where the liquid and gas phases both contain the same percentages of constituents. For drinking alcohol that's at 95.6% ethanol, above what almost all drinks offer, so most people don't care. Chemists and industry do, though.


sd_2001 t1_j8qxle3 wrote

Distilling is a way to purify a mix of liquids by heating it up and cooling it down. But just 'cause you can distill some plants and fruits to make booze, it don't mean you can distill any ol' thing. Bananas might have some sugars in 'em, but it ain't enough to make a decent amount of hooch just by fermentin' 'em. But you can make banana wine if you add some sugar and yeast to mashed-up bananas and let it ferment. And that ain't distillation, that's just mixin' stuff up and lettin' it sit.