You'll go blind!

To those that opened this thread expecting the topic to be masturbation, sorry :).

The question is, why is going blind so often given as a result of drinking bad moonshine? What chemical causes it, and how does it result from careless distillation? Just curious.
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I’m thinking methyl alcohol. I’m not sure chemically how it happens.

Yep it’s methanol. Strangely enough it is not produced in a significant quantity in the brewing/ distillation process. It’s added afterwards to give extra kick.

Methyl alcohol is neuro-toxic IIRC, thats why it causes blindness.

Other contaminants from home distilled liquor include, lead (from using car radiators as condensers) formaldahyde and acetylhyde(formed by distilling at improper tempatures.

Appologies in advance for the accuracy of this post. It is off the top of my head and may well be about half right. Anyone with zymergy or organic chemistry background feel free to rip it.

Make that maybe ‘acetaldehyde’?


Moonshine has also been known to contain high levels of lead due to bad soldering jobs on the condensation coils and other components.


We’re all here, because we’re not all there!

A relative of mine is a former “revenoorer” who destroyed illegal stills. Lots of great stories, but one sure turned me off ever thinking about trying moonshine.

He’d found lots of stills where the ingredients were fermenting with no lids. Little critters from the woods (squirrels, birds, etc.) often would come over to check it out, fall in and drown. The owners typically wouldn’t even bother picking them out before running off a batch of shine.

And yes, the lead from the soldered joints is another hazard.

Something similar to this was posted to an earlier thread.

What I remember is this: Certain chemicals (and I don’t know which) cause brain damage–including damage to the “optic nerve,” which, IIRC, is technically not a nerve, but an extension of the brain.

Can’t help with the other questions.