What I do for cleaning and testing a new still is this: I charge the still with water and start it up without cooling water, to steam out all the flux and crud. Will this damage your cooling water bucket? (I use a Liebig). After it's steamed for maybe 20 minutes, then I turn on (add, in your case) the cooling water and run for 20 minutes more.
Turn off, cool down, empty and refill with about a 1:4 white vinegar-water mixture, and repeat the above process. That's always got me pretty clean.
As for the brass, there is a "de-leading process and mixture for brass. I've never used it, but here's the common wisdom:
"Some are concerned about the lead that is present in brass alloys. A solution of two parts white vinegar to one part hydrogen peroxide (common 3% solution) will remove tarnish and surface lead from brass parts when they are soaked for 5 minutes or less
at room temperature. The brass
will turn a buttery yellow color as it is cleaned. If the solution starts to turn green and the brass darkens, then the parts have been soaking too long and the copper in the brass is beginning to dissolve, exposing more lead. The solution has become contaminated and the part should be re-cleaned in a fresh solution.."
Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller
--- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "roger" <happy.feat@...> wrote:
> I just got finished building my first pot still. It's a 2 gallon stainless pot, inverted salad bowl: held with spring clamps, a stainless sink drain: screwed into the bottom of the bowl, 2'X 1 1/4" column, a 90 degree "T" joint with a 1/2" coming out at 45 degrees down, about 12" of 1/2" from there with 3/8 reducer and about 3" of 3/8" pipe from there. I have a screw on adapter that hooks this mess to a 3/8" worm that's got about 10' of pipe. I've got the worm coiled up inside a 5 gallon bucket that I plan to
fill with ice water when I do the runs.
> The adapter that connects the arm to the worm is brass, but only about a 1/2" is exposed on the inside. Will this be a problem? I read a lot about the hazards of using brass in these contraptions. I suppose I could put some kind of enamel on the inside of the fitting. I haven't been able to find one made out of copper.
> What is the best way to clean out the flux and any other crud from the inside before I can consider it "safe" to use? I figured running it a couple times with just water, firstly to check for leaks. The 3/8" pipe I'm using for the worm, I picked up at a yard sale. It obviously had spent some time out doors and has a little green on it. Should I run some vinegar or diluted Muriatic acid through it?
> The connector that attaches my column arm
> Also I have some Alcotec 24hr turbo yeast whose instructions say "DO NOT USE AN AIRLOCK". I am a beer guy, do I just run it like
I'm doing beer without a bubbler? Do I just throw a towel over the bucket?