How Do I Make Corn Ethanol at Home?

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Ethanol fuel is considered renewable energy.
Ethanol fuel is considered renewable energy. (Image: ethanol gold image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com)

Ethanol is the product produced through fermentation of corn. Ethanol may be used in the manufacturing of liquors such as vodka, cough medications, decongestants, hand sanitizers, cosmetics, solvents, chemicals, fuels and others. The world’s fuel supply is made up of 80 to 90 percent ethanol and approximately 70 percent of the medications produced in the world use ethanol in production. With all the practical uses for ethanol, let us look at a way of making this product at home.

Things You'll Need

  • Untreated whole kernel corn
  • Burlap bags
  • Warm water from a hose or a tap
  • Large tub
  • Fermenter
  • Pole
  • Large pot
  • Distilled water
  • Champagne yeast starter
  • Pillowcase
  • Fermenter still

Place the corn in a burlap bag and pour warm water over all the kernels of corn. Tie loosely and place in a warm and dark area. Keep moist the burlap for a week and a half.

Look to see if the sprouts from the corn kernels which will develop are about ¼ inch long. If so, move the kernels of corn into a large tub.

Wash the corn and remove any sprouts, roots, leaf and any other plant-like matter. Discard all the sprouts and roots.

Put the remaining corn kernels into the fermenter.

Crack the corn kernels with the pole and then add five gallons of boiling water.

Let the mixture cool. Add one cup of the yeast. Mix gently and then seal the fermenter. Allow to ferment for about 10 days.

Pour the cooled fermented mixture through a clean pillowcase into the fermenter still. If you want extra fine ethanol, do this twice to remove all the solid materials. Pour the final mixture into the still and follow the directions for your particular still for the amount of time to leave the mixture to cure.

Tips & Warnings

  • Get a simple still for as little money as you can find.
  • Check with your local municipality to see if there are regulations about making ethanol at home.

References

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