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FIRE (cont.)

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  • slipslider2
    To follow up on my previous post, as you can imagine, all kinds of flammable stuff spewed out of the columm, burning one of my fingers and the tops of my bare
    Message 1 of 13 , May 3 12:39 AM
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      To follow up on my previous post, as you can imagine, all kinds of
      flammable stuff spewed out of the columm, burning one of my fingers
      and the tops of my bare feet. I backed away, the vapors flashed, the
      still and my upper body is now on fire and I'm thinking "It smells
      like hair...I'm on fire...don't go forward or you will knock over the
      still and burn down the back yard, JUMP IN THE POOL!!!! Upon
      emerging from the pool my wife and 78 year old dad (visiting Las
      Vegas from New Orleans to vacation with us) are hysterical (it must
      have been worse for them to SEE me on fire than it was for me to BE
      on fire). I nonchalantly ask them "did anybody get a picture of
      that?" to break the ice as they were obviously rattled and I was
      obviously extremely lucky not to be severly burned. I explained that
      this was a "learning process" and I didn't read ANYWHERE not to pull
      the cork! It's kind of like that big RED BUTTON that you see in
      cartoons that says "Don't Press" and somebody just has to press it!
      What I did learn from the experience is 1) NEVER PULL THE CORK WHEN
      COOKING and 2)I marked a "NEVER TO EXCEED mark on my regulator.
      After pleading my case, I "got back on the horse". To make the
      remainder of my first run story short ... the head temp. stabilized
      at 168.4 degrees, I got 6 half-pints of not too smelly distillate and
      a quart of tails to through into my next run. ALL of the distillate
      was contaminated as it turned "milky" upon dilluting with distilled
      water and will be redistilled at a later date. LESSONS LEARNED.
    • Harry
      ... fingers ... the ... the ... In the 2 years I ve been on this list, you are only the second person I ve run across who s admitted to a potentially serious
      Message 2 of 13 , May 3 12:59 AM
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        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "slipslider2" <slipslider2@y...>
        wrote:
        > To follow up on my previous post, as you can imagine, all kinds of
        > flammable stuff spewed out of the columm, burning one of my
        fingers
        > and the tops of my bare feet. I backed away, the vapors flashed,
        the
        > still and my upper body is now on fire and I'm thinking "It smells
        > like hair...I'm on fire...don't go forward or you will knock over
        the
        > still and burn down the back yard, JUMP IN THE POOL!!!!



        In the 2 years I've been on this list, you are only the second
        person I've run across who's admitted to a potentially
        serious "event". 2 out of 2000+ members is still 2 too many. Guys,
        you gotta remember you are trying to boil a liquid that is as
        flammable as gasoline. Don't be frightened of it, but be aware of
        the consequences of poor judgement. Families without fathers, and
        insurance companies refusing to pay because of possible illegal
        activities, is NOT the way to win legislator's hearts! PLEASE TAKE
        PRECAUTIONS. THERE'S A STACK OF STUFF IN ARCHIVED POSTS RE SAFETY
        MEASURES.

        Slainte!
        regards Harry

        p.s.
        Pain is a great but brutal teacher. I sympathise with you and hope
        you're ok.

        H
      • slipslider2
        Harry, I am fine ... fortunately ... and I was reluctant to tell my story especially to you and Mike and Roderick. I am humbled by the experience and did
        Message 3 of 13 , May 3 1:59 AM
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          Harry,
          I am fine ... fortunately ... and I was reluctant to "tell my story"
          especially to you and Mike and Roderick. I am humbled by the
          experience and did not expect to receive much respect from the group
          for appearing to be one of the "3 stooges".
          I have 7 years of college, FAA airframe and powerplant licenses and a
          BS in Industrial Maintenance Technology.
          I'm really not an idiot nor a nerd... yet I was still IGNORANT in my
          start up. I hope that sharing my experience with the group will help
          prevent injuries for other start-ups using distillers and new
          distillers as a reference to the hobby.




          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@y...> wrote:
          > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "slipslider2" <slipslider2@y...>
          > wrote:
          > > To follow up on my previous post, as you can imagine, all kinds
          of
          > > flammable stuff spewed out of the columm, burning one of my
          > fingers
          > > and the tops of my bare feet. I backed away, the vapors flashed,
          > the
          > > still and my upper body is now on fire and I'm thinking "It
          smells
          > > like hair...I'm on fire...don't go forward or you will knock over
          > the
          > > still and burn down the back yard, JUMP IN THE POOL!!!!
          >
          >
          >
          > In the 2 years I've been on this list, you are only the second
          > person I've run across who's admitted to a potentially
          > serious "event". 2 out of 2000+ members is still 2 too many.
          Guys,
          > you gotta remember you are trying to boil a liquid that is as
          > flammable as gasoline. Don't be frightened of it, but be aware of
          > the consequences of poor judgement. Families without fathers, and
          > insurance companies refusing to pay because of possible illegal
          > activities, is NOT the way to win legislator's hearts! PLEASE TAKE
          > PRECAUTIONS. THERE'S A STACK OF STUFF IN ARCHIVED POSTS RE SAFETY
          > MEASURES.
          >
          > Slainte!
          > regards Harry
          >
          > p.s.
          > Pain is a great but brutal teacher. I sympathise with you and hope
          > you're ok.
          >
          > H
        • BFY51@prankster13.fsnet.co.uk
          That s opened my eyes. I am always fiddling, water up, water down, power up, power down... I take out the stopper cork for a quick look nearly every run.
          Message 4 of 13 , May 3 2:38 AM
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            That's opened my eyes. I am always fiddling, water up, water down, power up,
            power down... I take out the stopper cork for a quick look nearly every run.
            Thanks for letting on, well I won't be doing that again.
            No pool here to jump into, just some nosy neighbours to call the firemen's.
          • Mike Nixon
            slipslider2 wrote: Subject: [Distillers] Re: FIRE (cont.) Harry, I am fine ... fortunately ... and I was reluctant to tell my story especially to you and
            Message 5 of 13 , May 3 3:43 AM
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              slipslider2 wrote:
              Subject: [Distillers] Re: FIRE (cont.)

              Harry,
              I am fine ... fortunately ... and I was reluctant to "tell my story"
              especially to you and Mike and Roderick. I am humbled by the
              experience and did not expect to receive much respect from the group
              for appearing to be one of the "3 stooges".
              I have 7 years of college, FAA airframe and powerplant licenses and a
              BS in Industrial Maintenance Technology.
              I'm really not an idiot nor a nerd... yet I was still IGNORANT in my
              start up. I hope that sharing my experience with the group will help
              prevent injuries for other start-ups using distillers and new
              distillers as a reference to the hobby.
              ==================
              Proud to meet a man who can admit he got it wrong ... but learned! The
              usual nonsense is from those who are patently getting things wrong, but
              consider themselves "experts" and advise others to follow them over the
              cliff.

              With your background, we could spend a happy evening over a few jugs while I
              told you of the time I almost ripped the wing off a C-130 Hercules by
              keeping it sideways in a small Gander hangar during a fast rising storm. It
              was there I learned that the small tugs they had would NOT keep the
              nosewheel from tromping! No greater ignorance than a young engineering
              officer who thinks he knows everything! :-))

              All the best ... and many thanks for publishing that salutory warning!
              Mike N
            • toddk63
              What s this cork everyone is talking about. I thought that Vent hole on top was just that, a vent to atmosphere in case you overload the condenser. I also
              Message 6 of 13 , May 3 8:27 AM
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                What's this cork everyone is talking about. I thought that "Vent"
                hole on top was just that, a vent to atmosphere in case you overload
                the condenser. I also find that by sniffing the vapors coming out of
                that vent, I can tell exactly what phase the run is in (foreshots,
                heads, middle or tails).

                BTW, my first run I also overloaded the condenser and spewed
                distillate. Luckily it didn't catch fire on my propane flame. Now I
                know at what power level that is likely to happen and never leave the
                unit for more than a few seconds at a time.

                --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, <BFY51@p...> wrote:
                > That's opened my eyes. I am always fiddling, water up, water down,
                power up,
                > power down... I take out the stopper cork for a quick look nearly
                every run.
                > Thanks for letting on, well I won't be doing that again.
                > No pool here to jump into, just some nosy neighbours to call the
                firemen's.
              • Brian Bashford
                This short video illustrates what happens when you light a bonfire with a gallon of petrol (or 95% alcohol if you prefer).
                Message 7 of 13 , May 3 10:29 AM
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                  This short video illustrates what happens when you light a bonfire with a
                  gallon of petrol (or 95% alcohol if you prefer).



                  http://www.big-boys.com/articles/bonfireblowup.html



                  Brian B.



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Roderick Holmes
                  Slip, I am just glad that you are OK. The first time I fired up my still, I forgot to turn on the cooling water. Had the wash spewing out of the column and had
                  Message 8 of 13 , May 3 11:33 AM
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                    Slip,
                    I am just glad that you are OK.

                    The first time I fired up my still, I forgot to turn on the cooling water. Had the wash spewing out of the column and had my whole house smelling like ethanol. My wife exclaimed, "I thought you said it would not smell !!! " My still was set up right across from the stove and oven in the house. Lucky nothing was cooking at the time.

                    We all learn by our mistakes. If we survive them, we get something very valuable called "experience" !

                    Regarding the correct amount of heat: In my opinion, the boiler should be bubbling a slow boil like when you simmer a pot of soup on the stove on a low flame. You can hear the boiler slowly bubbling but it is not a rapid or roaring boil like if the flame is on high. I use an electric element with a sutronics controller so I have it a bit easier than with propane.

                    I also check the temperature of my cooling water to see that it is not too hot coming out (increase water flow if needed). My total output is around 50ml per minute. I collect at 10ml per minute and my stuff comes out clean at 95% plus. I initially tried collecting at lower heat with total output of around 30 ml per minute and collecting at 5 ml per minute. Result was about the same. I have found that if the reflux rate is around 4 to 1 I am ok for making sugar wash vodka. It is up to you an your taste and what you are making.

                    Enjoy.....

                    Roderick

                    slipslider2 <slipslider2@...> wrote:
                    Harry,
                    I am fine ... fortunately ... and I was reluctant to "tell my story"
                    especially to you and Mike and Roderick. I am humbled by the
                    experience and did not expect to receive much respect from the group
                    __________________________________________________
                    Do You Yahoo!?
                    Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                    http://mail.yahoo.com

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Roderick Holmes
                    Slip, One other thing. Stabilizing at 168 F is too low. Harry may be right on about too many BTUs but just from what I have heard, if this was true, your
                    Message 9 of 13 , May 3 11:52 AM
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                      Slip,
                      One other thing. Stabilizing at 168 F is too low. Harry may be right on about too many BTUs but just from what I have heard, if this was true, your distillate would not stop after collecting 8 oz or 16 oz. It would continue to come out.

                      Your temperature should stabilize at 172-173 F.

                      What my still does, it shoots up to around 178 F on full reflux (collection valve closed), then drops down to 173 F as soon as I start collecting. It then stays there for the next 3 to 4 hours with no other adjustments. If you are at 168 F and the distillation stops flowing, in my opinion, you have just the opposite problem, maybe not enough heat. If it was just the thermometer getting hit by the reflux, the temp reading may be off but reflux is normally constant if the heat is constant. The distillate should not stop.

                      I would suggest you do the following:
                      1. Open your collection valve all the way and see what your total collection rate is. This will be one indication of how much heat you are pumping in.
                      2. Check the temperature of your cooling water on the output. It should be luke warm.
                      3. Check the volume of your cooling water. Should be 500 to 1000 ml per minute on a valved reflux setup.

                      Things to read from the above:
                      -less than 30-60 ml per minute total distillate (with no reflux, collection valve wide open) probably not enough heat
                      -at 500-1000 ml per minute cooling water: if the water is hot, too much heat.

                      You get the idea. Try to get your still to reach equilibrium. Constant temperature, constant output on collection, constant flow of your cooling water, constant temperature of your cooling water output. Once everything is adjusted right, the only thing you may have to adjust is the collection rate as the valves tend not to be that stable, and maybe increase your heat at the end of the run to maintain reflux. As the temperature rises above 172-173, more heat is required to maintain temperature as there is more water in the wash and less ethanol.

                      Here is to a better 2nd run!

                      Roderick



                      Roderick Holmes <pure95percent@...> wrote:
                      Slip,
                      I am just glad that you are OK.

                      The first time I fired up my still, I forgot to turn on the cooling water. Had the wash spewing out of the column and had my whole house smelling like ethanol. My wife exclaimed, "I thought you said it would not smell !!! " My still was set up right across from the stove and oven in the house. Lucky nothing was cooking at the time.

                      We all learn by our mistakes. If we survive them, we get something very valuable called "experience" !

                      Regarding the correct amount of heat: In my opinion, the boiler should be bubbling a slow boil like when you simmer a pot of soup on the stove on a low flame. You can hear the boiler slowly bubbling but it is not a rapid or roaring boil like if the flame is on high. I use an electric element with a sutronics controller so I have it a bit easier than with propane.

                      I also check the temperature of my cooling water to see that it is not too hot coming out (increase water flow if needed). My total output is around 50ml per minute. I collect at 10ml per minute and my stuff comes out clean at 95% plus. I initially tried collecting at lower heat with total output of around 30 ml per minute and collecting at 5 ml per minute. Result was about the same. I have found that if the reflux rate is around 4 to 1 I am ok for making sugar wash vodka. It is up to you an your taste and what you are making.

                      Enjoy.....

                      Roderick

                      slipslider2 <slipslider2@...> wrote:
                      Harry,
                      I am fine ... fortunately ... and I was reluctant to "tell my story"
                      especially to you and Mike and Roderick. I am humbled by the
                      experience and did not expect to receive much respect from the group
                      __________________________________________________
                      Do You Yahoo!?
                      Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                      http://mail.yahoo.com

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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                    • rodmacd2000
                      Definitely candidates for a Darwin Award. ... with a
                      Message 10 of 13 , May 3 2:12 PM
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                        Definitely candidates for a Darwin Award.

                        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Brian Bashford" <tipitina@b...> wrote:
                        > This short video illustrates what happens when you light a bonfire
                        with a
                        > gallon of petrol (or 95% alcohol if you prefer).
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > http://www.big-boys.com/articles/bonfireblowup.html
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Brian B.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • donald holcombe
                        I have a friend who lost most of the skin on his right hand doing this same thing !!! rodmacd2000 wrote:Definitely candidates for a
                        Message 11 of 13 , May 3 6:55 PM
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                          I have a friend who lost most of the skin on his right hand doing this same thing !!!

                          rodmacd2000 <rmacdoug@...> wrote:Definitely candidates for a Darwin Award.

                          --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Brian Bashford" <tipitina@b...> wrote:
                          > This short video illustrates what happens when you light a bonfire
                          with a
                          > gallon of petrol (or 95% alcohol if you prefer).
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > http://www.big-boys.com/articles/bonfireblowup.html
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Brian B.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                          Distillers list archives : http://archive.nnytech.net/
                          FAQ and other information at http://homedistiller.org



                          ---------------------------------
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                          To visit your group on the web, go to:
                          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Distillers/

                          To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                          Distillers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

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



                          __________________________________________________
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                        • Mark
                          snip ... jugs while I ... by ... storm. It ... the ... engineering ... warning! ... Hurky Birds RULE! Especially the ones with 3 big windows on the left
                          Message 12 of 13 , May 4 5:35 PM
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                            snip


                            > With your background, we could spend a happy evening over a few
                            jugs while I
                            > told you of the time I almost ripped the wing off a C-130 Hercules
                            by
                            > keeping it sideways in a small Gander hangar during a fast rising
                            storm. It
                            > was there I learned that the small tugs they had would NOT keep
                            the
                            > nosewheel from tromping! No greater ignorance than a young
                            engineering
                            > officer who thinks he knows everything! :-))
                            >
                            > All the best ... and many thanks for publishing that salutory
                            warning!
                            > Mike N

                            Hurky Birds RULE! Especially the ones with 3 big windows on the
                            left side.

                            Mark
                          • David W Lunsford
                            Hey man, s--t happens...maxtonnage
                            Message 13 of 13 , May 5 12:56 AM
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                              Hey man, s--t happens...maxtonnage



                              At 08:59 AM 5/3/05 -0000, you wrote:
                              >Harry,
                              >I am fine ... fortunately ... and I was reluctant to "tell my story"
                              >especially to you and Mike and Roderick. I am humbled by the
                              >experience and did not expect to receive much respect from the group
                              >for appearing to be one of the "3 stooges".
                              >I have 7 years of college, FAA airframe and powerplant licenses and a
                              >BS in Industrial Maintenance Technology.
                              >I'm really not an idiot nor a nerd... yet I was still IGNORANT in my
                              >start up. I hope that sharing my experience with the group will help
                              >prevent injuries for other start-ups using distillers and new
                              >distillers as a reference to the hobby.
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >--- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Harry" <gnikomson2000@y...> wrote:
                              >> --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "slipslider2" <slipslider2@y...>
                              >> wrote:
                              >> > To follow up on my previous post, as you can imagine, all kinds
                              >of
                              >> > flammable stuff spewed out of the columm, burning one of my
                              >> fingers
                              >> > and the tops of my bare feet. I backed away, the vapors flashed,
                              >> the
                              >> > still and my upper body is now on fire and I'm thinking "It
                              >smells
                              >> > like hair...I'm on fire...don't go forward or you will knock over
                              >> the
                              >> > still and burn down the back yard, JUMP IN THE POOL!!!!
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >> In the 2 years I've been on this list, you are only the second
                              >> person I've run across who's admitted to a potentially
                              >> serious "event". 2 out of 2000+ members is still 2 too many.
                              >Guys,
                              >> you gotta remember you are trying to boil a liquid that is as
                              >> flammable as gasoline. Don't be frightened of it, but be aware of
                              >> the consequences of poor judgement. Families without fathers, and
                              >> insurance companies refusing to pay because of possible illegal
                              >> activities, is NOT the way to win legislator's hearts! PLEASE TAKE
                              >> PRECAUTIONS. THERE'S A STACK OF STUFF IN ARCHIVED POSTS RE SAFETY
                              >> MEASURES.
                              >>
                              >> Slainte!
                              >> regards Harry
                              >>
                              >> p.s.
                              >> Pain is a great but brutal teacher. I sympathise with you and hope
                              >> you're ok.
                              >>
                              >> H
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Distillers list archives : http://archive.nnytech.net/
                              > FAQ and other information at http://homedistiller.org
                              >Yahoo! Groups Links
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
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