10 Differences Between Moonshining and Homebrewing

You Can't Use Beer in a Gas Tank
E85 ethanol fuel is pumped into a vehicle at a gas station selling alternative fuels in the town of Nevada, Iowa. © Jason Reed/Reuters/Corbis

If you feel like channeling your inner-Bill Nye, you could experiment by pouring homebrew into your vehicle's gas tank. We hypothesize, however, that the results will be disastrous -- to both the engine and your theory.

Moonshine, however, could quite possibly be used as a fuel source. In fact, alcohol has fueled cars for decades beginning with Henry Ford's Model T. When you fill your vehicle's tank with gasoline, about 10 percent of the fuel mix is ethanol. Ethanol, a fuel derived from corn, is essentially alcohol. Not coincidentally, moonshine is distilled from corn, too. E85 fuel, which some cars are built to run on, is 85 percent ethanol [source: Harris].

You can get a free permit from the ATF to distill alcohol at home to use only as fuel. Distilling alcohol at home for drinking is another matter entirely, one that requires a different and costly set of permits and licenses from state and federal governments [source: Tsai].