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Cooper and it's use in high-end stills

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  • Hector A. Landaeta C.
    ... Very interesting, thanks Mike. Your knowledge in this subjects is not less than encyclopedic. I wonder why this German manufacturers swear so much on
    Message 1 of 15 , Jul 1, 2003
      Cooper and it's use in high-end stills On 30/6/03 5:43 PM, "Mike Nixon" <mike@...> wrote:

      ...Schweizer's reagent.  
      It forms in stills when ammonia released from alkaline washes (nitrogen source may be plant material or yeasts) reacts with copper hydroxide formed by the action of steam on copper oxides coating the inside of copper columns or components.  It may be avoided by ensuring that the liquid in the boiler is slightly acid (pH less than 7).

       
      Very interesting, thanks Mike.  Your knowledge in this subjects is not less than encyclopedic.  I wonder why this German manufacturers swear so much on copper for their material of choice for still making.  In a material they sent me says verbatim:

      Pot stills are traditionally made of copper for numerous practical purposes: copper adsorbs volatile sulfur containing
      compounds which are produced during fermentation and the presence of which is undesirable in the distilled spirit; copper is an excellent heat conductor that helps prevent burning of the mash; copper prevents the production of ethylcarbamat which is a toxic substance formed from cyanides (cyanides are found in high concentrations in pitted fruits); copper also improves the quality of the final product, if the quality of the mash is not microbiologically perfect; and, copper —and some distillers might even argue a particular shape of the copper— improves the aroma of the final product.

      In fact, they sell as a 2.000+ euro option a “catalytic converter/EC adsorber” which I understand is a SS container filled with your famous copper structured packing.

      I’m planning a new SS still in which I would use your structured copper one as packing.  How much does it cost?  Which is it’s HETP?
      Gracias y salud.
      --
      Hector Landaeta.
      Colonia Tovar - Venezuela.
    • Hector A. Landaeta C.
      ... I¹ll try to keep it simple so if something doesn¹t ring a bell please let me know. I was once told by a wise professor that when you dominate thoroughly
      Message 2 of 15 , Jul 1, 2003
        Re: [Distillers] Re: whimsical humor and a high ph On 30/6/03 5:07 PM, "avisorropos" <avisorropos@...> wrote:

        Fermenting sucrose gives the worst fermentation by-products
        possible!). i find this hard to believe.  based on what evidence
        can u make this clame.

        I’ll try to keep it simple so if something doesn’t ring a bell please let me know.  I was once told by a wise professor that when you dominate thoroughly a theme you can explain it in so many simple words.  So perhaps I will be advertising lacks both in knowledge and depth with this but I’ll try my best.

        Yeast, as simple a living organism as it is, has some complex nutritional needs, certainly more than just sucrose.  However there’s a wide variety of yeast strains who’s needs differ widely. Alcohol producing strains fall always under the Saccharomyces family, and they, and their metabolic needs and environment adaptation pathways have been the subject of much study.  There are “usual” metabolic mechanisms for the fermentation of grape juice, beer wort, et all, by specific members of the Saccharomyces family (e.g. bayanus or capensis in wine, cerevisae and carlsbergensis / uvarum in beer).  All of those mechanisms require the presence of their specific sugar and nutrient carrying mediums (grape or apple juice, malt wort, etc.) because their specific yeasts are perfectly adapted to this environments.  There’s no such thing as an alcohol producing yeast strain that can thrive in such a nutrient deprived medium as a sugar (sucrose) wash.  Saccharomyces family strains are all adapted to nutrient rich environments as those cited before, but being that there’s no other organism in earth that adapts and mutates as readily and fast as yeast (that’s a fact, and it’s why yeast is the natural “guinea pig” in cellular death studies that are being advanced right now in the hope of learning to fight cancer), it always finds a way to survive as long as some type of nourishment can be found.  This “ways” almost certainly imply a certain loss in the edible qualities of the fermented product because the chemical compounds generated by starving and abused yeasts usually form azeotropic bonds with the ethanol molecule, which is the product you concentrate when you distill an alcohol carrying substance.  This compounds are mainly fusel alcohols, esters like amyl and ethyl acetate;  diacetyl, acetaldehyde and sulfur compounds like ethyl mercaptin and dimethyl sulfide and disulfide, just to mention the beer (my specialty) pertinent, but universal in this scenario, by-products.

        I understand that the much popular with the subscribers of this list “turbo” yeast products are no more than specially packaged Saccharomyces strains that include the bare necessities (in nutritional terms) that yeast will need to barely ferment just one sucrose based batch.  That’s why you guys find the notion of re-pitching your yeast so alien.  I believe turbos are a very good thing for the yeast industry and truly they deserved a break.  But I find they could try to strike a more consumer wise equilibrium on pricing (IMO they’re obscenely expensive).  However there’s a notion that I believe would make this group improve exponentially their distilled products (and that I haven’t read about in any post so far) and it’s that whatever you can do to enhance your wash’s quality as a fermented product brings by itself a better spirit.  I’m no fanatic on this.  I don’t drink my molasses wines, for instance (though my whiskey’s beers are just as good as the product I sell commercially, sans the hops, of course).  It’s just little things you need to do to avoid the basic problems, like always boiling and quickly cooling the wash, aerating the cooled wash prior to inoculation, keeping the fermentation temp below 23 deg. centigrade, and the original sugar concentration below 17-19º Brix (1.070-1.079 s.g.), and of course, work sanitarily.  That’s all.

        I can get as deep into the “science” of the abused yeast phenomena as you like.  I can write about the “shock amino acid excretion” effect or the valine-diacetyl balance or the Erlich pathway and the sugar metabolism biosynthetic mechanism.  Just let me know and I can write to you privately because I doubt the group would be interested.  I hope this would be evidence enough for you.
        Salud compañeros!
        --
        Hector Landaeta.
        Colonia Tovar - Venezuela.
      • waljaco
        Useful to know more as the polish-vodka site claims that sugar produces no fusels! Vodka is also made in continuos stills using sugar beet molasses, so maybe
        Message 3 of 15 , Jul 1, 2003
          Useful to know more as the polish-vodka site claims that sugar
          produces no fusels! Vodka is also made in continuos stills using
          sugar beet molasses, so maybe they are referring to this source.
          Wal

          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Hector A. Landaeta C."
          <coloniera@c...> wrote:
          > On 30/6/03 5:07 PM, "avisorropos" <avisorropos@n...> wrote:
          > >
          > > Fermenting sucrose gives the worst fermentation by-products
          > > possible!). i find this hard to believe. based on what evidence
          > > can u make this clame.
          > >
          > I¹ll try to keep it simple so if something doesn¹t ring a bell
          please let me
          > know. I was once told by a wise professor that when you dominate
          thoroughly
          > a theme you can explain it in so many simple words. So perhaps I
          will be
          > advertising lacks both in knowledge and depth with this but I¹ll
          try my
          > best.
          >
          > Yeast, as simple a living organism as it is, has some complex
          nutritional
          > needs, certainly more than just sucrose. However there¹s a wide
          variety of
          > yeast strains who¹s needs differ widely. Alcohol producing strains
          fall
          > always under the Saccharomyces family, and they, and their
          metabolic needs
          > and environment adaptation pathways have been the subject of much
          study.
          > There are ³usual² metabolic mechanisms for the fermentation of
          grape juice,
          > beer wort, et all, by specific members of the Saccharomyces family
          (e.g.
          > bayanus or capensis in wine, cerevisae and carlsbergensis / uvarum
          in beer).
          > All of those mechanisms require the presence of their specific
          sugar and
          > nutrient carrying mediums (grape or apple juice, malt wort, etc.)
          because
          > their specific yeasts are perfectly adapted to this environments.
          There¹s
          > no such thing as an alcohol producing yeast strain that can thrive
          in such a
          > nutrient deprived medium as a sugar (sucrose) wash. Saccharomyces
          family
          > strains are all adapted to nutrient rich environments as those
          cited before,
          > but being that there¹s no other organism in earth that adapts and
          mutates as
          > readily and fast as yeast (that¹s a fact, and it¹s why yeast is the
          natural
          > ³guinea pig² in cellular death studies that are being advanced
          right now in
          > the hope of learning to fight cancer), it always finds a way to
          survive as
          > long as some type of nourishment can be found. This ³ways² almost
          certainly
          > imply a certain loss in the edible qualities of the fermented
          product
          > because the chemical compounds generated by starving and abused
          yeasts
          > usually form azeotropic bonds with the ethanol molecule, which is
          the
          > product you concentrate when you distill an alcohol carrying
          substance.
          > This compounds are mainly fusel alcohols, esters like amyl and ethyl
          > acetate; diacetyl, acetaldehyde and sulfur compounds like ethyl
          mercaptin
          > and dimethyl sulfide and disulfide, just to mention the beer (my
          specialty)
          > pertinent, but universal in this scenario, by-products.
          >
          > I understand that the much popular with the subscribers of this
          list ³turbo²
          > yeast products are no more than specially packaged Saccharomyces
          strains
          > that include the bare necessities (in nutritional terms) that yeast
          will
          > need to barely ferment just one sucrose based batch. That¹s why
          you guys
          > find the notion of re-pitching your yeast so alien. I believe
          turbos are a
          > very good thing for the yeast industry and truly they deserved a
          break. But
          > I find they could try to strike a more consumer wise equilibrium on
          pricing
          > (IMO they¹re obscenely expensive). However there¹s a notion that I
          believe
          > would make this group improve exponentially their distilled
          products (and
          > that I haven¹t read about in any post so far) and it¹s that
          whatever you can
          > do to enhance your wash¹s quality as a fermented product brings by
          itself a
          > better spirit. I¹m no fanatic on this. I don¹t drink my molasses
          wines,
          > for instance (though my whiskey¹s beers are just as good as the
          product I
          > sell commercially, sans the hops, of course). It¹s just little
          things you
          > need to do to avoid the basic problems, like always boiling and
          quickly
          > cooling the wash, aerating the cooled wash prior to inoculation,
          keeping the
          > fermentation temp below 23 deg. centigrade, and the original sugar
          > concentration below 17-19º Brix (1.070-1.079 s.g.), and of course,
          work
          > sanitarily. That¹s all.
          >
          > I can get as deep into the ³science² of the abused yeast phenomena
          as you
          > like. I can write about the ³shock amino acid excretion² effect or
          the
          > valine-diacetyl balance or the Erlich pathway and the sugar
          metabolism
          > biosynthetic mechanism. Just let me know and I can write to you
          privately
          > because I doubt the group would be interested. I hope this would be
          > evidence enough for you.
          > Salud compañeros!
          > --
          > Hector Landaeta.
          > Colonia Tovar - Venezuela.
        • Mike Nixon
          Cooper and it s use in high-end stillsHector A. Landaeta C. wrote: Subject: [Distillers] Cooper and it s use in high-end stills re...Schweizer s reagent. Very
          Message 4 of 15 , Jul 1, 2003
            Cooper and it's use in high-end stills
            Hector A. Landaeta C. wrote:
            Subject: [Distillers] Cooper and it's use in high-end stills
            re...Schweizer's reagent. 

            Very interesting, thanks Mike.  Your knowledge in this subjects is not less than encyclopedic.  I wonder why this German manufacturers swear so much on copper for their material of choice for still making. 
            ======================
            Dunno about 'encyclopaedic'.  Just been around a bit longer than some :-)
            I think the German manufacturers prefer copper for the same reasons as the Scots do for their whisky stills.  It does seem to have a very pronounced effect if you switch from copper to stainless steel.  One distillery apparently tried replacing their old copper still with a shiny new modern stainless one, and the results were reported to be horrible.
            Mike N
             
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