Are home brewed spirits safe to drink?

Making strong spirit alcohol in the home conjures up thoughts of moonshine with its associated dangerous levels of methanol and prompts the question “How do I know that the alcohol I am making is safe to drink?”. So we went to the UK’s leading Brewing Research Institute (BRi) for their opinion.

We asked BRi to find out exactly how much methanol was in home produced spirit alcohol made using the very simplest distillation equipment (the water still – no ‘heads’ removed) and we compared this with methanol levels found in commercial spirits, the results are shown in the table below:

Type Methanol content Quantity of spirit you'd have to drink (grams in 1 litre) to undergo methanol intoxication
Home made spirit 0.1 grams 100 Litres (133 bottles of Home Spirit)
Brandy 0.2 grams 50 Litres (66 bottles of Brandy)
Jamaican dark Rum 0.1 grams 100 Litres (133 bottles of Rum)
Whisky 0.05 grams 200 Litres (266 bottles of whisky)

We asked BRi to perform many hundreds of tests (costing many thousands of pounds!) on other compounds apart from methanol and consistently found levels to be similar or lower than levels in commercial spirits.

Some of you may remember the case of the counterfeit bottles of Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky – these counterfeit bottles looked virtually identical to the real McCoy on the shelves but were found to be contaminated with unacceptable levels of methanol. People complained of abdominal pain, dizziness and blurred vision. The Food Standards Agency found levels of 40.0 grams of methanol per litre in this counterfeit stock, such high methanol levels mean that drinking only 1/3 a bottle would cause methanol intoxication.

Still Spirits have sold many millions of Turbo sachets and thousands of stills in the past decade throughout the world and not a single incident of methanol poisoning or any other serious health issue has ever been reported. The reason for this spotless record is because Still Spirits Turbo’s use only pure chemically defined ingredients with genuine alcohol yeast strains which produce low levels of methanol and other impurities in the wash.

In Conclusion

Home spirit alcohol made from the Still Spirits product range is just as safe to drink as commercial spirits.

For any customers wanting extreme purity alcohol, methanol levels down to 0.01 grams per litre are common where Triple Distilled is used, cleared with Turbo Clear and then distilled with the Super Reflux Still followed by passing alcohol spirit through the Still Spirits Z-Carbon filter. Such home spirit alcohol is about “ten times safer” to drink than most commercial spirits.