This method only applies to ethanol. You can’t make any other alcohol this way.
The starting material for the process varies widely, but will normally be some form of starchy plant material such as maize (US: corn), wheat, barley or potatoes.
Starch is a complex carbohydrate, and other carbohydrates can also be used – for example, in the lab sucrose (sugar) is normally used to produce ethanol. Industrially, this wouldn’t make sense. It would be silly to refine sugar if all you were going to use it for was fermentation. There is no reason why you shouldn’t start from the original sugar cane, though.
The first step is to break complex carbohydrates into simpler ones.
For example, if you were starting from starch in grains like wheat or barley, the grain is heated with hot water to extract the starch and then warmed with malt. Malt is germinated