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RE: [Distillers] reactiving carbon

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  • 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 1 of 15 , May 28 4:14 PM
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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 2 of 15 , May 28 5:21 PM
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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 3 of 15 , May 28 5:22 PM
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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 4 of 15 , May 28 6:42 PM
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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 5 of 15 , May 28 7:36 PM
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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 6 of 15 , May 29 6:38 PM
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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



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              • 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 7 of 15 , May 29 7:27 PM
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                  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 8 of 15 , May 29 7:41 PM
                  • 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 9 of 15 , May 29 8:57 PM
                    • 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 10 of 15 , May 29 9:12 PM
                      • 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 11 of 15 , May 29 9:39 PM
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                          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 12 of 15 , May 29 10:00 PM
                          • 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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