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Acrylic racking used as collection pipe. It desolved.

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  • Larry
    We are distilling a grape/suger/water mix for grappa. After collecting 3/4 gallon of 165 to 170% ethanol at 78 degrees C, we noticed that the end of an acrylic
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 4, 2008
      We are distilling a grape/suger/water mix for grappa. After collecting 3/4 gallon of 165 to
      170% ethanol at 78 degrees C, we noticed that the end of an acrylic racking tube we used as
      part of the collection system had broken off into the collection bottle. We had already poured
      the alcohol back into our mash for further distillation. Upon further inspection, we found the
      interior of the tube was softened and the tube was falling apart at both ends. There was
      some cloudiness in the collection bottle. Being newbies at this, we didn't know if the
      cloudiness was normal or not. We figured since we were putting it back in the mash, our last
      distillation would be the one that would count. Now I'm not so sure that we didn't introduce
      some dissolved plastic/chemical into the mix. Will our last distillation remove this or should
      we just finish distilling a large batch of fuel/cleaning solvent? Thanks.
    • Trid
      ... Sorry to say, but you have fuel on your hands now. There s no way to be sure you re getting the plastic, solvents, plasticisers, and whatnot from the
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 4, 2008
        --- On Tue, 11/4/08, Larry <bulldog@...> wrote:
        > We are distilling a grape/suger/water mix for grappa. After
        > collecting 3/4 gallon of 165 to
        > 170% ethanol at 78 degrees C, we noticed that the end of an
        > acrylic racking tube we used as
        > part of the collection system had broken off into the
        > collection bottle. We had already poured
        > the alcohol back into our mash for further distillation.
        > Upon further inspection, we found the
        > interior of the tube was softened and the tube was falling
        > apart at both ends. There was
        > some cloudiness in the collection bottle. Being newbies at
        > this, we didn't know if the
        > cloudiness was normal or not. We figured since we were
        > putting it back in the mash, our last
        > distillation would be the one that would count. Now I'm
        > not so sure that we didn't introduce
        > some dissolved plastic/chemical into the mix. Will our last
        > distillation remove this or should
        > we just finish distilling a large batch of fuel/cleaning
        > solvent? Thanks.

        Sorry to say, but you have fuel on your hands now. There's no way to be sure you're getting the plastic, solvents, plasticisers, and whatnot from the acrylic out of your distillate.

        I guess it's safe to say that you've found out the hard way why we say "no plastic" in the distillation process.

        At least this isn't going to be a lesson that's forgotten any time soon.

        Cheers,
        Trid
        -learned many things like this the "hard way."
      • Larry
        Trid, Thanks for getting back to me. I haven t done this in thirty five years. Back then, everything was copper or brass. I upgraded my old still to stainless
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 4, 2008
          Trid,
          Thanks for getting back to me. I haven't done this in thirty five years. Back then, everything
          was copper or brass. I upgraded my old still to stainless and found out the hard way that you
          need some copper in the process. The first batch smelled like old f**ts from all the sulphur
          dioxide. Added copper mesh to the column and it cleaned right up. Didn't read the warnings
          about no plastic. Yep, learned the hard way once more.
          Thanks again,
          Larry
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