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Homebrew kills 15, blinds six

not special

Greenlighter
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Dec 18, 2006
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Homebrew kills 15, blinds six
AP
03/03/2010

At least 15 people have been killed and six others blinded after drinking toxic home-brewed liquor in northern India.

Eight people died in a village near Ghaziabad, 400km southwest of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state, Brij Lal, a senior police official. Seven people died in the nearby town of Bulandshahar, according to police official Neelesh Kumar.

Another six people were blinded and 15 others in the area sickened by the liquor.

Police said the demand for alcohol had risen sharply over the last week because of the Hindu festival of colours, Holi, which was celebrated on Monday. People throw coloured powder and water on each other during Holi, and many revellers also drink during the celebrations.

On February 27, six people died from drinking tainted liquor in the same area, according to local police.

Most of the victims who drank the tainted brew on Tuesday night were poor farmers and labourers, looking for a cheap means of intoxication.

Deaths from drinking illegally brewed liquor are common in Uttar Pradesh because few poor people can afford legally sold alcohol. The illicit liquor is often spiked with pesticides or chemicals to increase its potency.

Last week, police seized more than 25,000 litres (50,000 pints) of illegal liquor in the state, according to Brij Lal, a senior police official.

Last year, more than 120 people died from drinking illegally brewed liquor in the western state of Gujarat, where the sale of all alcohol is banned.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/3404053/Homebrew-kills-15-blinds-six
 

CartoonPHYSICS

Bluelighter
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Jan 12, 2010
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634
would it not be right to assume the alcohol was contaminated with methanol? which causes blindness.
 

PK555

Bluelighter
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Okla. USA
There's good moonshine and bad moonshine, obviously this was bad moonshine (a.k.a. Bathtub gin) probably improperly distilled and made with bad ingredients and as mentioned spiked with methanol. This can be worse than poorly manufactured meth in what it'll do to you.
 

seep

Bluelighter
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Nov 28, 2008
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Which chemicals and which pesticides? Links to toxicology reports would be appreciated if anyone can find them.
 

Dragynfyr

Bluelighter
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Quote:
The illicit liquor is often spiked with pesticides or chemicals to increase its potency.
What the FUCK?!
I think this statement may be as valid as there being strychnine in peyote and rat poison in ecstacy.
 

PK555

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The thing with making bootleg whiskey is that poor ingredients, mishandling during manufacturing, or bad home-built equipment can result in a bad product that can kill you however, if made properly you end up with what is essentially everclear but, again if you somehow screw up you end up with poison. I would go more into detail on the finer points of what not to do when distilling but I'm pretty sure that is a rule violation.
 

Cloudy

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I'd like to know how it could go wrong if you'd like to pm me. I'm a chem major learning about alcohol (carbonyl really) groups and their reactions.
 

skoat

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^If you haven't deleted the PM, would you mind sending the same one to me? I really don't think its against the rules...

Either way, this situation is so fucked up. The fact that the article claims they purposefully add pesticides and "checmicals" is fishy imo. These people are very poor and lack the proper knowledge to make alcohol, evidently. In such an overpopulated country like India its a shame that somehow the word wasn't spread fast enough to save lives.

I would hate to wake up after a blackout and be blind. :|
 
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PK555

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^pm'ed you too skoat and I'll check with a mod about whats in the pm and see if it can and if not what needs removed.

P.S. PM'ed phrozen about possibly posting the info I pm'ed
 
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drug_mentor

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Dam, that would suck having to drink that shit. Is it really that hard to make grog? How are people fucking it up so badly? It is a shame people in certain parts of the world have to resort to drinking this crap.
 

PK555

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After consulting with one of the mod (much appreciated phrozen) I was informed that it was acceptable to post my knowledge pertaining to the manufacture of liquor. I had sen this as a PM to a couple of members and got positive responses to it so here goes:

I was asked about a few ways making moonshine can go wrong and I figure I'd share my knowledge. Making it basically involves water, sugar (or ground corn), yeast, heat and time. The ingredients are mixed and allowed to ferment into the mash. One of the main ways it can go wrong is using a contaminated water source such as a a creek or stream of unknown origin and thus unknown quality. Some folks decide to add "other" chemicals, like benzene or methanol, to add a "kick" to there products.

A proper distilling operations equipment basically consists of a fermentation tank, this is where the whole thing starts all the ingredients come together to ferment, pot still, where all these things cook together and to begin to make the whiskey, copper worm (condenser), this is where the ethanol gathers after the alcohol evaporates from the pot still and condenses before bottling it to sell or consume, this works because the worm is immersed in cool water. In manufacturing the problems arise when people decide that they don't want to build proper condensers or use new tubing for the lines leading to the worm or use an old vesle for the pot still (think gas tank). Some people have gone as far as using old brake tubing and radiator hoses to connect this together and using old automotive radiators as condensers. These items are usually contaminated with brake fluid or anti-freeze or any number of other chemicals.

There is also the possibility of making a strait up chemical cocktail known as BathTub-Gin. This is generally made using methanol and other chemicals. It gets you drunk but, you can go blind or die.

To clarify the correct way to make moonshine is to mix the sugar (or corn) with water and yeast and allow to ferment for a week or so, transfer the mash from the fermentation tank to the pot-still add heat, the resulting brew is a strong clear corn liquor similar to everclear.
The correct equipment is a fermentation tank(in large operations a large livestock water tank is used) copper pot-still, and worm/condenser made of clean new copper tubing.

I hope this all makes sense and all and also helps in your understanding of the article at hand.
 
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PK555

Bluelighter
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Thank you I figured that this may explain what was going on with this and why it may have happened.
 

orangescrewpen

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Mar 4, 2010
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California
PK555,

With numbers like 15 dead and 6 blinded in two different villages, can you draw from your knowledge the severity of the contaminate? For example, if you really messed up the brew, everyone who drinks it goes blind/dies. If there is only a little contamination, only people who drank a lot or had severe underlying health problems actually kick the bucket. Basically, did two dozen people drink the stuff and most or all have serious reactions or did hundreds drink it and a smaller portion suffered reactions.

Just a shot in the dark. I am curious though, because it always confused me the idea of selling moonshine that makes ya blind, I mean, your customers are gonna be wondering who stole their vision and their money at some point.
 
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