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7 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Moonshine

Is moonshine bad for your health? Should it burn red? What the hell is a bootlegger? We’ll answer these moonshine questions, and more.

By Kevin Koenig

7 Things You Didn't Know About Moonshine unhealthy

Moonshine can be highly detrimental to your health — unless it’s made by someone who knows what he’s doing. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a harmful chemical that is a byproduct of any distillation process. Most distillers release it from their batch before bottling. This is called a foreshot. However, some unscrupulous distillers, or in the common parlance — raging fucking assholes — actually add in the poison to make their moonshine more potent, as methanol has a similar initial effect on the body as regular old ethanol, the active ingredient in booze.

If you get drunk on methanol-laced hooch, watch out. Even in tiny amounts, methanol will give you a hangover to remember. In larger doses, it can attack the ocular nerves leaving you literally blind drunk. An important note: The buzz eventually wears off, but the blindness doesn’t. In fact, enough methanol can actually kill you. In one 2011 incident, 168 people died in India after drinking contaminated booze. So, yeah, make sure you choose your distillery wisely.