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39089Condenser cleaning

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  • Trid
    Apr 5, 2007
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      --- Robert Hubble <zymurgybob@...> wrote:

      > >The up-side: Liebigs are very easy to clean.
      > MY downside: Should I ever need to clean it, it would not be a pull-through.

      Sounds like a nice, long, stiff-bristled brush at about 3000rpm might be in
      order :)

      Which brings me back to a previously visited topic of cleaning. I mostly
      poststill and of course, that entails lots of "flavorful" residue on the vapor
      side of my condenser tubes...especially when doing a batch of Absinthe. I
      can't even imagine trying to get all that stuff out of a worm if one were to do
      a batch of something else, say rum or whisky, lest it contaminate the flavor at
      the very least.
      I use a modular setup where my components are either slide-together (sealed
      with silicone tape or plastic wrap if even necessary) or assembled with unions.
      My cleanliness/flavor-contamination paranoia drove me to make everything
      detachable, and with no more than a single 90 degree bend. So, as you would
      deduce, I have a bucket full of elbows (both 45 and 90) all with unions on each
      end. Then, if I need more cooling than one condenser can handle, I just put
      another one on...if space is limited, I can put a couple elbows between them
      and make a 180 degree bend and tweak the angles to fit. Since I graduated to
      the shotgun condenser, I haven't encountered a need for additional cooling
      capacity, so my modular rig has condensed (no pun intended) to where I only
      need to direct the distillate spout towards the collection vessel. It's all
      disassembleable so I can get a soapy brush to just about every surface that
      will contact the vapors and get as much remaining residue off from the previous
      batch as possible.

      Concerning a number of prior posts questioning their cloudy spirit, often the
      suggested culprit is tails left over from the previous batch. If this is the
      case, then wouldn't this dictate discombobulating the head/condenser between
      each and every spirit run such that tails don't contaminate the subsequent
      batches? However, it doesn't quite add up...would this also necessitate
      commercial pot still setups to thoroughly clean their stills between all runs?
      I just can't imagine that allowing any kind of efficient business. Are tails
      really such a contamination potential? Do sufficient heads rinse the tails
      gunk out maybe? Perhaps it's too much of the tails-y heads in the middle?

      ...or am I just being neurotic? :)

      -neurotically yours
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