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RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon

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  • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
    Pete, Gert mentions two techniques on page 20; * Industrial technique - drying, then effectively doing a re-activation of the carbon * Home technique - wash,
    Message 1 of 15 , May 28, 2001
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      Pete,

      Gert mentions two techniques on page 20;
      * Industrial technique - drying, then effectively doing a re-activation of
      the carbon
      * Home technique - wash, then drying at 140-150C for 2-3 hours

      Provided the carbon is below approx. 200C it will not ignite.
      Generally it has to be above 400C before it does so.
      Rapid combustion usually only occurs above 650C

      The main concern with this is to minimise the amount of alcohol fumes during
      the drying phases. Washing will help this, as will ensuring adequate
      ventilation.

      True - the home method will only remove the adsorbed alcohols, and not
      reactive the carbon (eg make new micro pores), but does it need reactivating
      if its only going to be used for a limited number of cycles ? Commercially,
      large demands are place on the carbon, and it gets a thorough going over.
      Hence the need to reactivate. But for the hobby distiller, provided they
      only aim to reuse the carbon a limited number of times (guess - say 5-10 ?)
      then there will still be a lot of life left in the carbon once its been
      cleaned and dried.

      Tony
    • Pete Sayers
      This goes against the advice i have had from Wellington, and the problem i have is that after going thru all the rigmarol to get this wee hobby of ours
      Message 2 of 15 , May 28, 2001
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        This goes against the advice i have had from Wellington, and the problem i
        have is that after going thru all the rigmarol to get this wee hobby of ours
        legalised here in NZ, it would be a shame if some person was to cut corners
        so much that they placed them selves into a "HEALTH THREATENING SITUATION"
        then the authourities would have no hesitation in shutting us down.
        Please,for the sake of keeping ourselves free from inquisitive authourities,
        lets keep things as free from potential health problems as we can, lets face
        it, we are making our very clean spirits, very inexpensively.As for those
        people who are willing to risk their health for the sake of a few dollars,
        when you get sick, dont blame the product, blame the manufacturer,
        YOURSELVES. You have the availability of plenty of usable carbon, USE IT.
        Pete

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
        [mailto:Tony.Ackland@...]
        Sent: Tuesday, 29 May 2001 10:46
        To: 'Distillers@yahoogroups.com'
        Subject: RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon


        Pete,

        Gert mentions two techniques on page 20;
        * Industrial technique - drying, then effectively doing a re-activation of
        the carbon
        * Home technique - wash, then drying at 140-150C for 2-3 hours

        Provided the carbon is below approx. 200C it will not ignite.
        Generally it has to be above 400C before it does so.
        Rapid combustion usually only occurs above 650C

        The main concern with this is to minimise the amount of alcohol fumes during
        the drying phases. Washing will help this, as will ensuring adequate
        ventilation.

        True - the home method will only remove the adsorbed alcohols, and not
        reactive the carbon (eg make new micro pores), but does it need reactivating
        if its only going to be used for a limited number of cycles ? Commercially,
        large demands are place on the carbon, and it gets a thorough going over.
        Hence the need to reactivate. But for the hobby distiller, provided they
        only aim to reuse the carbon a limited number of times (guess - say 5-10 ?)
        then there will still be a lot of life left in the carbon once its been
        cleaned and dried.

        Tony



        Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      • Gary Gluyas
        Peter . . and others, I couldn t agree more with you on this one! Primary carbon costs you only $NZ 3.95 per 5 litre batch - why go through all this bother /
        Message 3 of 15 , May 28, 2001
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          Peter . . and others,

          I couldn't agree more with you on this one!

          Primary carbon costs you only $NZ 3.95 per 5 litre batch - why go through
          all this bother / risk (not to mention the possible significant health
          concerns) just to save a few measly $$.

          Some call this experimentation and improvement, however I call it utter
          stupidity - in its purest form!

          I sometimes shake my head in wonderment at the misguided mentality of some
          members of this group! My intention is not to be insulting, but really . .
          . . . .

          As with most good things - a few stuff it up for the many!

          Accidents do happen, and if someone sets their oven wrong, or something
          else goes wrong: perhaps there is a mix up between `F and `C, and lets say
          the carbon does ignite - or let's just say a thermostat is faulty - try to
          explain that one to your insurance company assessor- I'd be willing to
          place a bet that the practice of trying to re-activate carbon in a
          household oven won't get you a new oven OR NEW HOUSE EITHER!

          Many new ovens cost well in excess of $NZ1000 - is that really good sense?

          I haven't yet even started to discuss the possible health problems . . .

          Gary
          gluyas@...


          ----------
          From: Pete Sayers <brubarn@...>
          To: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS) <Tony.Ackland@...>;
          Distillers@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon
          Date: Tuesday, 29 May 2001 11:14

          This goes against the advice i have had from Wellington, and the problem i
          have is that after going thru all the rigmarol to get this wee hobby of
          ours
          legalised here in NZ, it would be a shame if some person was to cut corners
          so much that they placed them selves into a "HEALTH THREATENING SITUATION"
          then the authourities would have no hesitation in shutting us down.
          Please,for the sake of keeping ourselves free from inquisitive
          authourities,
          lets keep things as free from potential health problems as we can, lets
          face
          it, we are making our very clean spirits, very inexpensively.As for those
          people who are willing to risk their health for the sake of a few dollars,
          when you get sick, dont blame the product, blame the manufacturer,
          YOURSELVES. You have the availability of plenty of usable carbon, USE IT.
          Pete

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
          [mailto:Tony.Ackland@...]
          Sent: Tuesday, 29 May 2001 10:46
          To: 'Distillers@yahoogroups.com'
          Subject: RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon


          Pete,

          Gert mentions two techniques on page 20;
          * Industrial technique - drying, then effectively doing a re-activation of
          the carbon
          * Home technique - wash, then drying at 140-150C for 2-3 hours

          Provided the carbon is below approx. 200C it will not ignite.
          Generally it has to be above 400C before it does so.
          Rapid combustion usually only occurs above 650C

          The main concern with this is to minimise the amount of alcohol fumes
          during
          the drying phases. Washing will help this, as will ensuring adequate
          ventilation.

          True - the home method will only remove the adsorbed alcohols, and not
          reactive the carbon (eg make new micro pores), but does it need
          reactivating
          if its only going to be used for a limited number of cycles ?
          Commercially,
          large demands are place on the carbon, and it gets a thorough going over.
          Hence the need to reactivate. But for the hobby distiller, provided they
          only aim to reuse the carbon a limited number of times (guess - say 5-10 ?)
          then there will still be a lot of life left in the carbon once its been
          cleaned and dried.

          Tony



          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/






          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        • Bennett, Mark E
          Pete This poisoning bit is the bit that has worried me for some time. Like I said earlier I gave up on the carbon treatment as we could not find a difference
          Message 4 of 15 , May 28, 2001
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            Pete
            This poisoning bit is the bit that has worried me for some time.
            Like I said earlier I gave up on the carbon treatment as we could not find a
            difference between filtered and unfiltered product. Is there something
            coming over that is toxic that can not be smelt or tasted. My assumption
            has always been that the carbon was only there for the smell and taste and
            if you were producing a product were you required some of these in your
            final product (Bourbon, Brandy, Whisky) you should not use carbon treatment.

            Mark

            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Pete Sayers [SMTP:brubarn@...]
            > Sent: Tuesday, 29 May 2001 08:45 am
            > To: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS); Distillers@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon
            >
            > This goes against the advice i have had from Wellington, and the problem i
            > have is that after going thru all the rigmarol to get this wee hobby of
            > ours
            > legalised here in NZ, it would be a shame if some person was to cut
            > corners
            > so much that they placed them selves into a "HEALTH THREATENING SITUATION"
            > then the authourities would have no hesitation in shutting us down.
            > Please,for the sake of keeping ourselves free from inquisitive
            > authourities,
            > lets keep things as free from potential health problems as we can, lets
            > face
            > it, we are making our very clean spirits, very inexpensively.As for those
            > people who are willing to risk their health for the sake of a few dollars,
            > when you get sick, dont blame the product, blame the manufacturer,
            > YOURSELVES. You have the availability of plenty of usable carbon, USE IT.
            > Pete
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
            > [mailto:Tony.Ackland@...]
            > Sent: Tuesday, 29 May 2001 10:46
            > To: 'Distillers@yahoogroups.com'
            > Subject: RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon
            >
            >
            > Pete,
            >
            > Gert mentions two techniques on page 20;
            > * Industrial technique - drying, then effectively doing a re-activation of
            > the carbon
            > * Home technique - wash, then drying at 140-150C for 2-3 hours
            >
            > Provided the carbon is below approx. 200C it will not ignite.
            > Generally it has to be above 400C before it does so.
            > Rapid combustion usually only occurs above 650C
            >
            > The main concern with this is to minimise the amount of alcohol fumes
            > during
            > the drying phases. Washing will help this, as will ensuring adequate
            > ventilation.
            >
            > True - the home method will only remove the adsorbed alcohols, and not
            > reactive the carbon (eg make new micro pores), but does it need
            > reactivating
            > if its only going to be used for a limited number of cycles ?
            > Commercially,
            > large demands are place on the carbon, and it gets a thorough going over.
            > Hence the need to reactivate. But for the hobby distiller, provided they
            > only aim to reuse the carbon a limited number of times (guess - say 5-10
            > ?)
            > then there will still be a lot of life left in the carbon once its been
            > cleaned and dried.
            >
            > Tony
            >
            >
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
          • Pete Sayers
            Hi mark, when you said that you could nt find a difference in the filtered or un filtered, you meant that you could nt TASTE the diff.Depending what your
            Message 5 of 15 , May 28, 2001
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              Hi mark, when you said that you could'nt find a difference in the filtered
              or un filtered, you meant that you could'nt "TASTE" the diff.Depending what
              your base product was (sugar/water/yeast nutrients wash, ie Turbo or other
              commercially available yeast, or a MASH made from plant products)you will
              produce a whole raft of different by-products, some desirable, some not.
              Without the benefit of lab testing, it is difficult to determine the
              level/concentration of unwanteds.By using the tried and tested products, you
              will evade any UNKNOWNS getting produced.
              Pete

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Bennett, Mark E [mailto:mark.e.bennett@...]
              Sent: Tuesday, 29 May 2001 12:23
              To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon


              Pete
              This poisoning bit is the bit that has worried me for some time.
              Like I said earlier I gave up on the carbon treatment as we could not find a
              difference between filtered and unfiltered product. Is there something
              coming over that is toxic that can not be smelt or tasted. My assumption
              has always been that the carbon was only there for the smell and taste and
              if you were producing a product were you required some of these in your
              final product (Bourbon, Brandy, Whisky) you should not use carbon treatment.

              Mark

              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Pete Sayers [SMTP:brubarn@...]
              > Sent: Tuesday, 29 May 2001 08:45 am
              > To: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS); Distillers@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon
              >
              > This goes against the advice i have had from Wellington, and the problem i
              > have is that after going thru all the rigmarol to get this wee hobby of
              > ours
              > legalised here in NZ, it would be a shame if some person was to cut
              > corners
              > so much that they placed them selves into a "HEALTH THREATENING SITUATION"
              > then the authourities would have no hesitation in shutting us down.
              > Please,for the sake of keeping ourselves free from inquisitive
              > authourities,
              > lets keep things as free from potential health problems as we can, lets
              > face
              > it, we are making our very clean spirits, very inexpensively.As for those
              > people who are willing to risk their health for the sake of a few dollars,
              > when you get sick, dont blame the product, blame the manufacturer,
              > YOURSELVES. You have the availability of plenty of usable carbon, USE IT.
              > Pete
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
              > [mailto:Tony.Ackland@...]
              > Sent: Tuesday, 29 May 2001 10:46
              > To: 'Distillers@yahoogroups.com'
              > Subject: RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon
              >
              >
              > Pete,
              >
              > Gert mentions two techniques on page 20;
              > * Industrial technique - drying, then effectively doing a re-activation of
              > the carbon
              > * Home technique - wash, then drying at 140-150C for 2-3 hours
              >
              > Provided the carbon is below approx. 200C it will not ignite.
              > Generally it has to be above 400C before it does so.
              > Rapid combustion usually only occurs above 650C
              >
              > The main concern with this is to minimise the amount of alcohol fumes
              > during
              > the drying phases. Washing will help this, as will ensuring adequate
              > ventilation.
              >
              > True - the home method will only remove the adsorbed alcohols, and not
              > reactive the carbon (eg make new micro pores), but does it need
              > reactivating
              > if its only going to be used for a limited number of cycles ?
              > Commercially,
              > large demands are place on the carbon, and it gets a thorough going over.
              > Hence the need to reactivate. But for the hobby distiller, provided they
              > only aim to reuse the carbon a limited number of times (guess - say 5-10
              > ?)
              > then there will still be a lot of life left in the carbon once its been
              > cleaned and dried.
              >
              > Tony
              >
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >



              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            • Bennett, Mark E
              Hmmm I think I can see the light and understand what you have been saying about using and reusing of carbon. Its not only the bad tastes and smells that are
              Message 6 of 15 , May 28, 2001
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                Hmmm I think I can see the light and understand what you have been saying
                about using and reusing of carbon. Its not only the bad tastes and smells
                that are removed by the carbon but if there are other toxic compounds
                present these would also be removed. The problem for the reassures is that
                they may be getting rid of the taste and smell compounds during reprocessing
                and assume that there carbon is clean but they may no be removing the toxic
                compounds during cleaning. These would build up in the carbon and could
                break down into something that may not be noticeable in the product but
                could be toxic. I suppose the problem for me is attempting to work out when
                I should be using carbon. If I were to use it all the time I would be
                striping out properties that I would like to see come over in the final
                product. I suppose the best suggestion is if you are going to use carbon
                then limit any reuse as this could be dangerous and continual reuse could be
                very dangerous.

                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: Pete Sayers [SMTP:brubarn@...]
                > Sent: Tuesday, 29 May 2001 11:13 am
                > To: Bennett, Mark E; Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon
                >
                > Hi mark, when you said that you could'nt find a difference in the filtered
                > or un filtered, you meant that you could'nt "TASTE" the diff.Depending
                > what
                > your base product was (sugar/water/yeast nutrients wash, ie Turbo or other
                > commercially available yeast, or a MASH made from plant products)you will
                > produce a whole raft of different by-products, some desirable, some not.
                > Without the benefit of lab testing, it is difficult to determine the
                > level/concentration of unwanteds.By using the tried and tested products,
                > you
                > will evade any UNKNOWNS getting produced.
                > Pete
                >
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: Bennett, Mark E [mailto:mark.e.bennett@...]
                > Sent: Tuesday, 29 May 2001 12:23
                > To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon
                >
                >
                > Pete
                > This poisoning bit is the bit that has worried me for some time.
                > Like I said earlier I gave up on the carbon treatment as we could not find
                > a
                > difference between filtered and unfiltered product. Is there something
                > coming over that is toxic that can not be smelt or tasted. My assumption
                > has always been that the carbon was only there for the smell and taste
                > and
                > if you were producing a product were you required some of these in your
                > final product (Bourbon, Brandy, Whisky) you should not use carbon
                > treatment.
                >
                > Mark
                >
                > > -----Original Message-----
                > > From: Pete Sayers [SMTP:brubarn@...]
                > > Sent: Tuesday, 29 May 2001 08:45 am
                > > To: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS); Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                > > Subject: RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon
                > >
                > > This goes against the advice i have had from Wellington, and the problem
                > i
                > > have is that after going thru all the rigmarol to get this wee hobby of
                > > ours
                > > legalised here in NZ, it would be a shame if some person was to cut
                > > corners
                > > so much that they placed them selves into a "HEALTH THREATENING
                > SITUATION"
                > > then the authourities would have no hesitation in shutting us down.
                > > Please,for the sake of keeping ourselves free from inquisitive
                > > authourities,
                > > lets keep things as free from potential health problems as we can, lets
                > > face
                > > it, we are making our very clean spirits, very inexpensively.As for
                > those
                > > people who are willing to risk their health for the sake of a few
                > dollars,
                > > when you get sick, dont blame the product, blame the manufacturer,
                > > YOURSELVES. You have the availability of plenty of usable carbon, USE
                > IT.
                > > Pete
                > >
                > > -----Original Message-----
                > > From: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
                > > [mailto:Tony.Ackland@...]
                > > Sent: Tuesday, 29 May 2001 10:46
                > > To: 'Distillers@yahoogroups.com'
                > > Subject: RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon
                > >
                > >
                > > Pete,
                > >
                > > Gert mentions two techniques on page 20;
                > > * Industrial technique - drying, then effectively doing a re-activation
                > of
                > > the carbon
                > > * Home technique - wash, then drying at 140-150C for 2-3 hours
                > >
                > > Provided the carbon is below approx. 200C it will not ignite.
                > > Generally it has to be above 400C before it does so.
                > > Rapid combustion usually only occurs above 650C
                > >
                > > The main concern with this is to minimise the amount of alcohol fumes
                > > during
                > > the drying phases. Washing will help this, as will ensuring adequate
                > > ventilation.
                > >
                > > True - the home method will only remove the adsorbed alcohols, and not
                > > reactive the carbon (eg make new micro pores), but does it need
                > > reactivating
                > > if its only going to be used for a limited number of cycles ?
                > > Commercially,
                > > large demands are place on the carbon, and it gets a thorough going
                > over.
                > > Hence the need to reactivate. But for the hobby distiller, provided
                > they
                > > only aim to reuse the carbon a limited number of times (guess - say 5-10
                > > ?)
                > > then there will still be a lot of life left in the carbon once its been
                > > cleaned and dried.
                > >
                > > Tony
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
              • Gary Gluyas
                Tony From the information that I have, I believe all commercial distillers filter their product through carbon - so NO! we are not well aware that the many
                Message 7 of 15 , May 29, 2001
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                  Tony

                  From the information that I have, I believe all commercial distillers
                  filter their product through carbon - so NO! we are not "well aware that
                  the many commercial whisky/bourbon/gin/etc do not get cleaned by carbon".

                  I believe that your statement above is an opinion - not fact!

                  The first site I checked out was the Jack Daniel's site - Perhaps you (and
                  others) may like to take a look at the Jack Daniel's Bourbon website -
                  there you can "discover" that they filter their product through several
                  feet of carbon. They go on to state that it takes ages . . . no way to
                  speed up the process . . . "drop . . . by drop . . by drop"!

                  They also replace the carbon on a taste basis - they taste the bourbon and
                  know exactly when to change the carbon.

                  I am absolutely positive that they would not spend many thousands ( perhaps
                  millions?) of $$$ on carbon if it was considered unnecessary!

                  Cheers

                  Gary
                  gluyas@...

                  ----------
                  From: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS) <Tony.Ackland@...>
                  To: 'Distillers@yahoogroups.com'
                  Subject: FW: [Distillers] reactiving carbon
                  Date: Wednesday, 30 May 2001 12:00

                  Whats missing from this emotive discussion are some facts.

                  It is scaremongering to pursue the line that "if you don't use carbon your
                  spirits are dangerous" without the evidence to back it up.

                  The questions we need to answer (with data) are ....
                  * what concentration of impurities are present in the spirit ?
                  * how does this change on the distilling effeciency (eg 40% potstill vs 75%

                  basic reflux vs 95% fractionating)
                  * what level of impurites is dangerous ?
                  * how effective is carbon at removing them ?
                  * how effective is basic drying at recycling the carbon ?

                  We are well aware that the many commercial whisky/bourbon/gin/etc do not
                  get cleaned by carbon. The most that some of them see is the charred
                  lining of the barrel (not very activated !) or a brief trickle through some

                  maple charcoal. Others don't even get that. But we still drink them
                  without concern for our health.

                  How dangerous are the various fusel oils ? I've got some of them listed at

                  http://www.geocities.com/kiwi_distiller/methanol.htm#fusel

                  The ones with toxicity data listed are ...
                  Methanol : usual fatal dose 100-250 mL
                  1-Pentanol : LD50 (rat) 3030 mg/kg
                  3-Pentanol : LD50 (rat) 1870 mg/kg

                  I'm not saying that they don't deserve respect, but these are fairly high
                  concentrations to do the damage. Nausea, etc will also occur much sooner
                  at far lower concentrations, but that level needs to be discussed relative
                  to what is present in our distilled spirit.

                  How high does the impurity concentration need to be to give us these
                  problems ?

                  Does anyone have a friendly chemist about with access to a Gas
                  Chromatograph
                  or suchlike ?

                  The data in Wheeler & Willmotts "Spirits unlimited - a complete guide to
                  home distilling" gives :

                  Home distilled spirit (untreated):
                  methanol 0.0067%, ethanol 99.632%, fusils 0.361%

                  Commercial vodka:
                  methanol 0.013%, ethanol 99.507%, fusils 0.48%

                  Poor quality home distilled spirit :
                  methanol 0.0186%, ethanol 98.453%, and fusils 1.528%

                  If you're talking about untreated spirits as being dangerous, then to reach
                  the LD50's that are published, you'd need to consume 149 L to be affected
                  by
                  the methanol, or for a 90kg bloke, about 58 L for the pentanol, from the
                  "good" homemade stuff. That would be one hell of a session ! Even on
                  their
                  "poor quality" brew you'd need 11 L for the fusels. Stock standard
                  pissed-as-a-newt high-school-student alcohol poisoning is the greater
                  problem.

                  Now their home distilled spirit was at a time when their best design was
                  only putting out roughly 75% pure ethanol. What's the story from like a
                  Nixon-Stone or Euro doing 95%+ purity ?

                  Now compare those levels with what's sold in commercially available
                  spirits.


                  At http://wwwchem.uwimona.edu.jm:1104/lectures/sugar.html Robert Lancashire
                  has a table comparing jamaican rum and american bourbon (aged 0 and 3
                  years). He reports
                  Fusel oils : 48-66 g/100L and 250-298 g/100L respectively. Pretty high hugh
                  ? Depends on what you're drinking.

                  If the argument is that the carbon performance degrades each time its being
                  recycled, the question is "by how much" What is the reduction in "carrying
                  capacity" that occurs on each successive regeneration ?

                  I agree that we should be trying to make the highest quality spirit that we
                  can, but my personal opinion is that this is tempered by what our
                  individual
                  pallets demand. The danger is fairly much urban legend stuff (and should
                  remain that way until data proves it otherwise) for spirit distilled by a
                  competent distiller (hobby or commercial).

                  To tout the line that "non-carbon'd spirits are dangerous" flies in the
                  face
                  of many centuries of pot distillation of grain spirits etc.

                  The greater effort should be in ensuring that any heads that are distilled
                  off are collected in sufficient volume, and then discarded, to reduce the
                  concentrations of impurities present. Its a simple rule, that is equally
                  applied between pot/reflux/fractionating stills, that will give us the
                  greatest leverage for safety.


                  Tony



                  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                • Matt
                  ... yeah this is the maple charcoal Tony was speaking of. It has a mild cleaning effect and residual sugars from the sugar maple (aka hard maple) sweeten the
                  Message 8 of 15 , May 29, 2001
                  • 0 Attachment
                    On Wed, May 30, 2001 at 01:38:50PM +1200, Gary Gluyas wrote:
                    > The first site I checked out was the Jack Daniel's site - Perhaps you (and
                    > others) may like to take a look at the Jack Daniel's Bourbon website -
                    > there you can "discover" that they filter their product through several
                    > feet of carbon. They go on to state that it takes ages . . . no way to
                    > speed up the process . . . "drop . . . by drop . . by drop"!

                    yeah this is the maple charcoal Tony was speaking of. It has a mild
                    cleaning effect and residual sugars from the sugar maple (aka hard maple)
                    sweeten the product somewhat. They've obviously found a charcoal:product
                    surface ratio and filtering speed that takes away more of the unwanted
                    congeners and leaves more desirable congeners.

                    --
                    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Matthew @ psibercom
                    psibercom.org: doing pretty much nothing for the net since 1994!
                  • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
                    Gary, ... Malcolm and Willmott describe the activity of carbon, as measured by its reactivity to iodine. Filter carbon : 1050 mg/g Treatment carbon : 750 mg/g
                    Message 9 of 15 , May 29, 2001
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Gary,

                      >they filter their product through several
                      >feet of carbon.

                      Malcolm and Willmott describe the activity of carbon, as measured by its
                      reactivity to iodine.

                      Filter carbon : 1050 mg/g
                      Treatment carbon : 750 mg/g
                      Charcoal : 45 mg/g
                      Reactivated : 90 mg/g (hey ! hadn't spotted that there before)

                      So you can see that charcoal (which is what Jack Daniel's are using) is
                      basically ineffective, compared to the high performing carbons. Its a great
                      marketing angle for them though.

                      But also - answers earlier question - reactivated in just as poor.

                      So - back to starting point of this thread - I'll cede that virgin activated
                      carbon should be the choice. But I'd like to think though that recycling it
                      is still an option for those who find it hard to source a reliable or
                      reasonably priced supply.

                      Why I'm pushing this topic a bit is because of my experiences out of New
                      Zealand. Here we're blessed by having local suppliers (like yourself and
                      Pete) who have a great range of products, and the knowledge and experience
                      to back it up. Go elsewhere though, and its quite hard to source the
                      yeast's, nutrients, carbon, essences or stills. In Oz, I was quite paranoid
                      myself regarding importing any of them, as I was trying to distill
                      discretely. So then I tried looking for alternatives. If we can discuss
                      (with data) exactly what the needs and requirements are, then choices such
                      as sourcing materials or regenerating/recycling (be it carbon or yeast or
                      whatever) are easier to get right. Getting this hobby respected as a safe
                      one will require a good knowledge base to work from, not just myths.

                      Tony
                    • Pete Sayers
                      As far as an emotive discussion, my principal reason for not recycling carbon, especially here in NZ, is that i would hate to loose my income if some one
                      Message 10 of 15 , May 29, 2001
                      • 0 Attachment
                        As far as an emotive discussion, my principal reason for not recycling
                        carbon, especially here in NZ, is that i would hate to loose my income if
                        some one became ill by drinking spirit made at home using, (or not),the
                        recognised supplies. I can see where you are coming from there Tony, and i
                        sympathise with our overseas friends, however for the local guys, who have a
                        regular supply from their Homebrew shop, i would like to think that they
                        would support their local retailer. Lets face it, if the local Homebrew guy
                        goes bust if folks are not supporting him, THEN WHERE IS EVERYBODY GOING TO
                        GET THEIR SUPPLIES. As for the overseas guys, lets do some thing for them by
                        arranging for supplies to be delivered, (DISCREETLY OF COURSE).
                        Pete

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Gary Gluyas [mailto:gluyas@...]
                        Sent: Wednesday, 30 May 2001 13:39
                        To: 'Distillers@yahoogroups.com'; Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
                        Subject: Re: [Distillers] reactiving carbon


                        Tony

                        From the information that I have, I believe all commercial distillers
                        filter their product through carbon - so NO! we are not "well aware that
                        the many commercial whisky/bourbon/gin/etc do not get cleaned by carbon".

                        I believe that your statement above is an opinion - not fact!

                        The first site I checked out was the Jack Daniel's site - Perhaps you (and
                        others) may like to take a look at the Jack Daniel's Bourbon website -
                        there you can "discover" that they filter their product through several
                        feet of carbon. They go on to state that it takes ages . . . no way to
                        speed up the process . . . "drop . . . by drop . . by drop"!

                        They also replace the carbon on a taste basis - they taste the bourbon and
                        know exactly when to change the carbon.

                        I am absolutely positive that they would not spend many thousands ( perhaps
                        millions?) of $$$ on carbon if it was considered unnecessary!

                        Cheers

                        Gary
                        gluyas@...

                        ----------
                        From: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS) <Tony.Ackland@...>
                        To: 'Distillers@yahoogroups.com'
                        Subject: FW: [Distillers] reactiving carbon
                        Date: Wednesday, 30 May 2001 12:00

                        Whats missing from this emotive discussion are some facts.

                        It is scaremongering to pursue the line that "if you don't use carbon your
                        spirits are dangerous" without the evidence to back it up.

                        The questions we need to answer (with data) are ....
                        * what concentration of impurities are present in the spirit ?
                        * how does this change on the distilling effeciency (eg 40% potstill vs 75%

                        basic reflux vs 95% fractionating)
                        * what level of impurites is dangerous ?
                        * how effective is carbon at removing them ?
                        * how effective is basic drying at recycling the carbon ?

                        We are well aware that the many commercial whisky/bourbon/gin/etc do not
                        get cleaned by carbon. The most that some of them see is the charred
                        lining of the barrel (not very activated !) or a brief trickle through some

                        maple charcoal. Others don't even get that. But we still drink them
                        without concern for our health.

                        How dangerous are the various fusel oils ? I've got some of them listed at

                        http://www.geocities.com/kiwi_distiller/methanol.htm#fusel

                        The ones with toxicity data listed are ...
                        Methanol : usual fatal dose 100-250 mL
                        1-Pentanol : LD50 (rat) 3030 mg/kg
                        3-Pentanol : LD50 (rat) 1870 mg/kg

                        I'm not saying that they don't deserve respect, but these are fairly high
                        concentrations to do the damage. Nausea, etc will also occur much sooner
                        at far lower concentrations, but that level needs to be discussed relative
                        to what is present in our distilled spirit.

                        How high does the impurity concentration need to be to give us these
                        problems ?

                        Does anyone have a friendly chemist about with access to a Gas
                        Chromatograph
                        or suchlike ?

                        The data in Wheeler & Willmotts "Spirits unlimited - a complete guide to
                        home distilling" gives :

                        Home distilled spirit (untreated):
                        methanol 0.0067%, ethanol 99.632%, fusils 0.361%

                        Commercial vodka:
                        methanol 0.013%, ethanol 99.507%, fusils 0.48%

                        Poor quality home distilled spirit :
                        methanol 0.0186%, ethanol 98.453%, and fusils 1.528%

                        If you're talking about untreated spirits as being dangerous, then to reach
                        the LD50's that are published, you'd need to consume 149 L to be affected
                        by
                        the methanol, or for a 90kg bloke, about 58 L for the pentanol, from the
                        "good" homemade stuff. That would be one hell of a session ! Even on
                        their
                        "poor quality" brew you'd need 11 L for the fusels. Stock standard
                        pissed-as-a-newt high-school-student alcohol poisoning is the greater
                        problem.

                        Now their home distilled spirit was at a time when their best design was
                        only putting out roughly 75% pure ethanol. What's the story from like a
                        Nixon-Stone or Euro doing 95%+ purity ?

                        Now compare those levels with what's sold in commercially available
                        spirits.


                        At http://wwwchem.uwimona.edu.jm:1104/lectures/sugar.html Robert Lancashire
                        has a table comparing jamaican rum and american bourbon (aged 0 and 3
                        years). He reports
                        Fusel oils : 48-66 g/100L and 250-298 g/100L respectively. Pretty high hugh
                        ? Depends on what you're drinking.

                        If the argument is that the carbon performance degrades each time its being
                        recycled, the question is "by how much" What is the reduction in "carrying
                        capacity" that occurs on each successive regeneration ?

                        I agree that we should be trying to make the highest quality spirit that we
                        can, but my personal opinion is that this is tempered by what our
                        individual
                        pallets demand. The danger is fairly much urban legend stuff (and should
                        remain that way until data proves it otherwise) for spirit distilled by a
                        competent distiller (hobby or commercial).

                        To tout the line that "non-carbon'd spirits are dangerous" flies in the
                        face
                        of many centuries of pot distillation of grain spirits etc.

                        The greater effort should be in ensuring that any heads that are distilled
                        off are collected in sufficient volume, and then discarded, to reduce the
                        concentrations of impurities present. Its a simple rule, that is equally
                        applied between pot/reflux/fractionating stills, that will give us the
                        greatest leverage for safety.


                        Tony



                        Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/






                        Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                      • Ted Palmer
                        What are the products that are sold in any quantity to hobby distillers? Yeast, Carbon, Artificial flavors. What do the shop owners lose if you are educated
                        Message 11 of 15 , May 29, 2001
                        • 0 Attachment
                          What are the products that are sold in any quantity to hobby distillers? Yeast, Carbon, Artificial flavors.
                          What do the shop owners lose if you are educated and knowledgeable about this hobby? Sales of Yeast, Carbon, Artificial flavors. This thread and the 'reuse of yeast' thread have the same bad smell to me. PROFIT!
                          _____________
                          Ted Palmer
                          tpalmer@...
                           
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 7:41 PM
                          Subject: RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon

                          Gary,

                          >they filter their product through several
                          >feet of carbon.

                          Malcolm and Willmott describe the activity of carbon, as measured by its
                          reactivity to iodine.

                          Filter carbon : 1050 mg/g
                          Treatment carbon : 750 mg/g
                          Charcoal : 45 mg/g
                          Reactivated : 90 mg/g  (hey ! hadn't spotted that there before)

                          So you can see that charcoal (which is what Jack Daniel's are using) is
                          basically ineffective, compared to the high performing carbons.  Its a great
                          marketing angle for them though.

                          But also - answers earlier question - reactivated in just as poor.

                          So - back to starting point of this thread - I'll cede that virgin activated
                          carbon should be the choice.  But I'd like to think though that recycling it
                          is still an option for those who find it hard to source a reliable or
                          reasonably priced supply.

                          Why I'm pushing this topic a bit is because of my experiences out of New
                          Zealand.  Here we're blessed by having local suppliers (like yourself and
                          Pete) who have a great range of products, and the knowledge and experience
                          to back it up.  Go elsewhere though, and its quite hard to source the
                          yeast's, nutrients, carbon, essences or stills.  In Oz, I was quite paranoid
                          myself regarding importing any of them, as I was trying to distill
                          discretely.  So then I tried looking for alternatives.  If we can discuss
                          (with data) exactly what the needs and requirements are, then choices such
                          as sourcing materials or regenerating/recycling (be it carbon or yeast or
                          whatever) are easier to get right.  Getting this hobby respected as a safe
                          one will require a good knowledge base to work from, not just myths.

                          Tony


                          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                        • Ted Palmer
                          I haven t used a shop for my needs in years and that includes the time before I was brewing for a living. I m sorry Pete but I don t think you are going to
                          Message 12 of 15 , May 29, 2001
                          • 0 Attachment
                            I haven't used a shop for my needs in years and that includes the time before I was brewing for a living. I'm sorry Pete but I don't think you are going to keep your income if you can't provide services to your customers that aren't just dogma step by step this is the way we all do it biz. I use charcoal but not carbons, and have never had problems. But I don't make sugar wash nor do I use my reflux very often. I make flavorful whiskys, schnapps and gins and have never needed to buy anything from a shop with the exception of hydrometers and fermenters and the like. I hope that this thread continues into how to reactivate of even better, how to activate carbon on the hobby level without the shop owners shouting to stop this rebellious discussion.
                            _____________
                            Ted Palmer
                            tpalmer@...
                             
                             
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 8:57 PM
                            Subject: RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon

                            As far as an emotive discussion, my principal reason for not recycling
                            carbon, especially here in NZ, is that i would hate to loose my income if
                            some one became ill by drinking spirit made at home using, (or not),the
                            recognised supplies. I can see where you are coming from there Tony, and i
                            sympathise with our overseas friends, however for the local guys, who have a
                            regular supply from their Homebrew shop, i would like to think that they
                            would support their local retailer. Lets face it, if the local Homebrew guy
                            goes bust if folks are not supporting him, THEN WHERE IS EVERYBODY GOING TO
                            GET THEIR SUPPLIES. As for the overseas guys, lets do some thing for them by
                            arranging for supplies to be delivered, (DISCREETLY OF COURSE).
                            Pete

                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Gary Gluyas [mailto:gluyas@...]
                            Sent: Wednesday, 30 May 2001 13:39
                            To: 'Distillers@yahoogroups.com'; Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
                            Subject: Re: [Distillers] reactiving carbon


                            Tony

                            >From the information that I have, I believe all commercial distillers
                            filter their product through carbon - so NO! we are not "well aware that
                            the many commercial whisky/bourbon/gin/etc do not get cleaned by carbon".

                            I believe that your statement above is an opinion - not fact!

                            The first site I checked out was the Jack Daniel's site - Perhaps you (and
                            others) may like to take a look at the Jack Daniel's Bourbon website -
                            there you can "discover" that they filter their product through several
                            feet of carbon.  They go on to state that it takes ages . . . no way to
                            speed up the process . . . "drop . . . by drop . . by drop"!

                            They also replace the carbon on a taste basis - they taste the bourbon and
                            know exactly when to change the carbon.

                            I am absolutely positive that they would not spend many thousands ( perhaps
                            millions?) of $$$ on carbon if it was considered unnecessary!

                            Cheers

                            Gary
                            gluyas@...

                            ----------
                            From: Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS) <Tony.Ackland@...>
                            To: 'Distillers@yahoogroups.com'
                            Subject: FW: [Distillers] reactiving carbon
                            Date: Wednesday, 30 May 2001 12:00

                            Whats missing from this emotive discussion are some facts.

                            It is scaremongering to pursue the line that "if you don't use carbon your
                            spirits are dangerous" without the evidence to back it up.

                            The questions we need to answer (with data) are ....
                            * what concentration of impurities are present in the spirit ?
                            * how does this change on the distilling effeciency (eg 40% potstill vs 75%

                            basic reflux vs 95% fractionating)
                            * what level of impurites is dangerous ?
                            * how effective is carbon at removing them ?
                            * how effective is basic drying at recycling the carbon ?

                            We are well aware that the many commercial whisky/bourbon/gin/etc do not
                            get cleaned by carbon.  The most that some of them see is the charred
                            lining of the barrel (not very activated !) or a brief trickle through some

                            maple charcoal.  Others don't even get that.  But we still drink them
                            without concern for our health.

                            How dangerous are the various fusel oils ?  I've got some of them listed at

                            http://www.geocities.com/kiwi_distiller/methanol.htm#fusel

                            The ones with toxicity data listed are ...
                            Methanol : usual fatal dose 100-250 mL
                            1-Pentanol : LD50 (rat) 3030 mg/kg
                            3-Pentanol : LD50 (rat) 1870 mg/kg

                            I'm not saying that they don't deserve respect, but these are fairly high
                            concentrations to do the damage.  Nausea, etc will also occur much sooner
                            at far lower concentrations, but that level needs to be discussed relative
                            to what is present in our distilled spirit.

                            How high does the impurity concentration need to be to give us these
                            problems ?

                            Does anyone have a friendly chemist about with access to a Gas
                            Chromatograph
                            or suchlike ?

                            The data in Wheeler & Willmotts "Spirits unlimited - a complete guide to
                            home distilling" gives :

                            Home distilled spirit (untreated):
                            methanol 0.0067%, ethanol 99.632%, fusils 0.361%

                            Commercial vodka:
                            methanol 0.013%, ethanol 99.507%, fusils 0.48%

                            Poor quality home distilled spirit :
                            methanol 0.0186%, ethanol 98.453%, and fusils 1.528%

                            If you're talking about untreated spirits as being dangerous, then to reach
                            the LD50's that are published, you'd need to consume 149 L to be affected
                            by
                            the methanol, or for a 90kg bloke, about 58 L for the pentanol, from the
                            "good" homemade stuff.  That would be one hell of a session !  Even on
                            their
                            "poor quality" brew you'd need 11 L for the fusels.  Stock standard
                            pissed-as-a-newt high-school-student alcohol poisoning is the greater
                            problem.

                            Now their home distilled spirit was at a time when their best design was
                            only putting out roughly 75% pure ethanol.  What's the story from like a
                            Nixon-Stone or Euro doing 95%+ purity ?

                            Now compare those levels with what's sold in commercially available
                            spirits.


                            At http://wwwchem.uwimona.edu.jm:1104/lectures/sugar.html Robert Lancashire
                            has a table comparing jamaican rum and american bourbon (aged 0 and 3
                            years).  He reports
                            Fusel oils : 48-66 g/100L and 250-298 g/100L respectively. Pretty high hugh
                            ? Depends on what you're drinking.

                            If the argument is that the carbon performance degrades each time its being
                            recycled, the question is "by how much"  What is the reduction in "carrying
                            capacity" that occurs on each successive regeneration ?

                            I agree that we should be trying to make the highest quality spirit that we
                            can, but my personal opinion is that this is tempered by what our
                            individual
                            pallets demand.  The danger is fairly much urban legend stuff (and should
                            remain that way until data proves it otherwise) for spirit distilled by a
                            competent distiller (hobby or commercial).

                            To tout the line that "non-carbon'd spirits are dangerous" flies in the
                            face
                            of many centuries of pot distillation of grain spirits etc.

                            The greater effort should be in ensuring that any heads that are distilled
                            off are collected in sufficient volume, and then discarded, to reduce the
                            concentrations of impurities present.  Its a simple rule, that is equally
                            applied between pot/reflux/fractionating stills, that will give us the
                            greatest leverage for safety.


                            Tony



                            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/






                            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/





                            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                          • Pete Sayers
                            So its not ok to make a living? I think that if you were to open your eyes you just may find that not all of us are PROFIT MOTIVATED ... From: Ted Palmer
                            Message 13 of 15 , May 29, 2001
                            • 0 Attachment
                              So its not ok to make a living? I think that if you were to open your eyes you just may find that not all of us are "PROFIT MOTIVATED"
                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Ted Palmer [mailto:tpalmer@...]
                              Sent: Wednesday, 30 May 2001 16:13
                              To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [Distillers] reactiving carbon

                              What are the products that are sold in any quantity to hobby distillers? Yeast, Carbon, Artificial flavors.
                              What do the shop owners lose if you are educated and knowledgeable about this hobby? Sales of Yeast, Carbon, Artificial flavors. This thread and the 'reuse of yeast' thread have the same bad smell to me. PROFIT!
                              _____________
                              Ted Palmer
                              tpalmer@...
                               
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 7:41 PM
                              Subject: RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon

                              Gary,

                              >they filter their product through several
                              >feet of carbon.

                              Malcolm and Willmott describe the activity of carbon, as measured by its
                              reactivity to iodine.

                              Filter carbon : 1050 mg/g
                              Treatment carbon : 750 mg/g
                              Charcoal : 45 mg/g
                              Reactivated : 90 mg/g  (hey ! hadn't spotted that there before)

                              So you can see that charcoal (which is what Jack Daniel's are using) is
                              basically ineffective, compared to the high performing carbons.  Its a great
                              marketing angle for them though.

                              But also - answers earlier question - reactivated in just as poor.

                              So - back to starting point of this thread - I'll cede that virgin activated
                              carbon should be the choice.  But I'd like to think though that recycling it
                              is still an option for those who find it hard to source a reliable or
                              reasonably priced supply.

                              Why I'm pushing this topic a bit is because of my experiences out of New
                              Zealand.  Here we're blessed by having local suppliers (like yourself and
                              Pete) who have a great range of products, and the knowledge and experience
                              to back it up.  Go elsewhere though, and its quite hard to source the
                              yeast's, nutrients, carbon, essences or stills.  In Oz, I was quite paranoid
                              myself regarding importing any of them, as I was trying to distill
                              discretely.  So then I tried looking for alternatives.  If we can discuss
                              (with data) exactly what the needs and requirements are, then choices such
                              as sourcing materials or regenerating/recycling (be it carbon or yeast or
                              whatever) are easier to get right.  Getting this hobby respected as a safe
                              one will require a good knowledge base to work from, not just myths.

                              Tony


                              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


                              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
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