Fermentation is a simple process in which yeasts or bacteria are added to carbohydrate foods such as corn, potatoes, rice, or wheat, which are used as starting material. The yeasts digest the sugars in the food, leaving liquid (alcohol); the liquid is filtered to remove the solids, and water is usually added to dilute the alcohol, producing — voilà — an alcohol beverage.
Ethanol is the only kind of alcohol used in food and alcohol beverages, but it isn't the only kind of alcohol used in consumer products. Here are the other alcohols that may be sitting on the shelf in your bathroom or workshop (though you definitely don't want to drink them):
Methyl alcohol (methanol): This poisonous alcohol made from wood is used as a chemical solvent(a liquid that dissolves other chemicals).
you have in your home?
Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol): This poisonous alcohol is made from propylene, a petroleum derivative.
Denatured alcohol: This product is alcohol plus a chemical (denaturant) that makes it taste and smell bad so you won't drink the alcohol. Some denaturants are poisonous.
Beer is made this way. So is wine. Kumiss, a fermented milk product, is slightly different because it's made by adding yeasts and friendly bacteria called lactobacilli (lacto = milk) to mare's milk. The microorganisms make alcohol, but it isn't separated from the milk, which turns into a fizzy fermented beverage with no water added.
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