5665Re: [Distillers] Activated Carbon
- Aug 6, 2002Grant Dunn wrote:
Subject: Re: [Distillers] Activated Carbon
OK, I admit it - I have no professional training in this field
whatsoever. But for the sake of keeping the discussion going....
Most chemicals have toxicity levels and reading their MSDS's would make
you wonder how we survive at all. While I admit nothing is without risk
this has to be balanced against other activities of equivalent risk we
Phosphoric acid is an approved food additive (code 338) and is
contained in the coke you mix your alcohol with.
Zinc chloride has antiseptic properties and is contained in Listerine
and other mouthwashes. Although no one recommends actually swallowing
it (in quantities that don't cause other health issues) I think its
safe to assume you won't die if you do.
Overall, I'm far less happy about ingesting zinc chloride. I doubt it
poses a greater health risk than alcohol itself (given the relative
quantities), but there is the possibility of other zinc compounds also
being present. I think steering clear of heavy metals is a sensible
In future I will seek to avoid carbon activated by this method,
although I cheerfully acknowledge that zinc chloride is water soluble
so rinsing would be a viable method of removing it.
I agree with you about food additives ... but in controlled quantities.
Arsenic used to be a great Victorian pick-me-up. Thing is, chemicals used
to make activated carbon may be present in unknown quantities, and for the
sake of a simple rinse, I feel happier doing that than simply trusting that
some unknown manufacturer has got it right. It's such a simple thing to do.
Problem is, you will have no means of telling who has made your next batch
of carbon. I've never seen anything on the labels. It's all part of the
great tradition of brewing and winemaking anyway ... cleanliness is next to
All the best,
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