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Second distillations and a high ph

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  • BillyWeeble@cs.com
    In a message dated 6/30/03 5:16:07 PM Pacific Daylight Time, mwmccaw@yahoo.com writes:
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 30, 2003
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      In a message dated 6/30/03 5:16:07 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
      mwmccaw@... writes:

      << adding some baking soda prior to the second distillation SHOULD be no
      problem. However, anything can happen, as Murphy's son likes to point out.... >>

      Hiya Mike, I'd be quick to point out the key word to the above statement
      is "some" baking soda. I don't recall any splashover and the distillate was
      a heads and tails free 94% when I raised the ph from (an unknown) to (an
      unknown). Didn't want to risk killing a borrowed digital ph meter in straight
      alcohol so I guessed. That happens sometimes. Mad science at it's finest.
      According to my warped imagination, that would smooth the finished product of a
      second distillation. I must have put too much in (5 rounded Tbsps in 3 Gal @ 94%
      + 1.5 Gal water = 100gms I guess in 12L @ 94% + 6L water) because it went
      blue and ammonia. Murphy was Irish and so am I. Weeble's Irish, isn't it?

      That's my story and I'm stickin' to it..........bw........
    • mwmccaw
      Gentlemen, please! I believe you both. I have experienced the blue crud myself, so I know that it is a real phenomenon. There are a host of variables that
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 30, 2003
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        Gentlemen, please!
        I believe you both. I have experienced the blue crud myself, so I
        know that it is a real phenomenon.
        There are a host of variables that could explain the different
        results - wash composition, still design and composition, amount of
        alkalai added, and on and on and on.

        I think that the important thing to realize is that under certain
        circumstances you CAN get ammonia generation even on second or third
        distillations - so the smart thing to do before chucking a bunch of
        baking soda in your booze is to try the experiment with a small
        amount. Take a cup of your stuff. Add the proportional amount of
        baking soda. Bring to a simmer (not over a gas flame, please!)
        sniff. Stick some litmus paper into the vapor rising from the
        liquid. If you detect any ammonia or the vapor is alkaline, DON'T
        TREAT THE FULL BATCH. If you can't smell any ammonia, and the
        litmus paper doesn't change color, give it a try.

        Cheers,
        Mike McCaw





        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, BillyWeeble@c... wrote:
        > In a message dated 6/30/03 5:16:07 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
        > mwmccaw@y... writes:
        >
        > << adding some baking soda prior to the second distillation SHOULD
        be no
        > problem. However, anything can happen, as Murphy's son likes to
        point out.... >>
        >
        > Hiya Mike, I'd be quick to point out the key word to the
        above statement
        > is "some" baking soda. I don't recall any splashover and the
        distillate was
        > a heads and tails free 94% when I raised the ph from (an unknown)
        to (an
        > unknown). Didn't want to risk killing a borrowed digital ph meter
        in straight
        > alcohol so I guessed. That happens sometimes. Mad science at
        it's finest.
        > According to my warped imagination, that would smooth the finished
        product of a
        > second distillation. I must have put too much in (5 rounded Tbsps
        in 3 Gal @ 94%
        > + 1.5 Gal water = 100gms I guess in 12L @ 94% + 6L water) because
        it went
        > blue and ammonia. Murphy was Irish and so am I. Weeble's Irish,
        isn't it?
        >
        > That's my story and I'm stickin' to it..........bw........
      • Zoran Vujcic
        NaHCO3 would liberate NH3, but instead of that you can make another simple experiment: put a small quantity CuSO4. If it turns blue, you have NH4+ ions. i.e.
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 30, 2003
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          NaHCO3 would liberate NH3, but instead of that you can make another simple experiment: put a small quantity CuSO4. If it turns blue, you have NH4+ ions. i.e. ammonia.
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: mwmccaw
          Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2003 6:08 AM
          Subject: [Distillers] Re: Second distillations and a high ph

          Gentlemen, please!
          I believe you both.  I have experienced the blue crud myself, so I
          know that it is a real phenomenon.
          There are a host of variables that could explain the different
          results - wash composition, still design and composition, amount of
          alkalai added, and on and on and on.

          I think that the important thing to realize is that under certain
          circumstances you CAN get ammonia generation even on second or third
          distillations - so the smart thing to do before chucking a bunch of
          baking soda in your booze is to try the experiment with a small
          amount.  Take a cup of your stuff.  Add the proportional amount of
          baking soda.  Bring to a simmer (not over a gas flame, please!)
          sniff.  Stick some litmus paper into the vapor rising from the
          liquid.  If you detect any ammonia or the vapor is alkaline, DON'T
          TREAT THE FULL BATCH.  If you can't smell any ammonia, and the
          litmus paper doesn't change color, give it a try.

          Cheers,
          Mike McCaw





          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, BillyWeeble@c... wrote:
          > In a message dated 6/30/03 5:16:07 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
          > mwmccaw@y... writes:
          >
          > << adding some baking soda prior to the second distillation SHOULD
          be no
          > problem.  However, anything can happen, as Murphy's son likes to
          point out.... >>
          >
          >     Hiya Mike,  I'd be quick to point out the key word to the
          above statement
          > is "some" baking soda.  I don't recall any splashover and the
          distillate was
          > a heads and tails free 94% when I raised the ph from (an unknown)
          to (an
          > unknown).  Didn't want to risk killing a borrowed digital ph meter
          in straight
          > alcohol so I guessed.  That happens sometimes.  Mad science at
          it's finest. 
          > According to my warped imagination, that would smooth the finished
          product of a
          > second distillation.  I must have put too much in (5 rounded Tbsps
          in 3 Gal @ 94%
          > + 1.5 Gal water = 100gms I guess in 12L @ 94% + 6L water) because
          it went
          > blue and ammonia.   Murphy was Irish and so am I.  Weeble's Irish,
          isn't it?
          >
          >         That's my story and I'm stickin' to it..........bw........



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