Re: [Distillers] Re: carbon filtering
- hello, interesting, so you put carbon in you column on your still? also were can i get 50 lbs for 40 bucks? thanksOn Sun, Nov 18, 2012 at 6:28 AM, edbar44 <edbar44@...> wrote:
you're supposed saturate or boil the carbon (after rinsing) since it is supposed to increase it filtering ability, not sure if that's a fact. anyway if you clean the carbon and it's saturated, depending on your volume, your product will force the water out when it is going down the column, depending on your setup, mine hold about 500 ml of water, so when I begin filtering, I wait for the 500 ml to come out and then start testing for alcohol, I guess I lose about 150 ml but you get it back on the back end when you're changing carbon. I add 500 ml to the empty column and flush out the remaining alcohol. so 150 ml of 40% ABV isn't much. I usually run my carbon for 3000 ml unless some flavors begin to appear.
hope this helps, just my way of doing things. I never reuse the carbon, too much trouble cleaning it properly and you can get 50# bags for about $40. I've used 2 bags in 6 years.
read the carbon handbook if you haven't already, it's posted in many places on the boards and suppliers web sites.
--- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "mccumster" <dmccallum76@...> wrote:
> How much alcohol do you lose when carbon filtering. Does the proof drop a substantial amount?
There are a lot of things that can affect your carbon filtering. Including but not limited to the size and shape of the carbon granules, the size of the filter housing, the method of loading carbon and booze, and how much booze you have to run through at a time. It's important to rinse the carbon to get rid of contaminates that consist of mostly detergent-like salts. It's suggested to rinse with boiled water 4-5 times before loading the carbon. Once you load the carbon the next important step is to make sure the carbon is fully saturated with no air pockets. This insures the most efficient use of the carbon. From what I understand you can lose anywhere from 2-4% ABV when filtering so it's recommended to start with about 44%.
Below I'm going to paste an exerpt from the carbon guide from Gert Strand that I've found most useful. It's kinda long but a good road map for efficient carbon filtering. Hope this shines some light!
Granulated Activated Carbon
Granulated activated carbon is used in thick layers, usually between 1.5-2.5 meters where the filtering takes place through the carbon. Inside the carbon, the alcohol runs through the macro pores in the granules. The layer is constructed by filling a pipe with activated carbon. For easily purified liquids, like water, a layer of 5-10 cm should be enough. Alcohol normally needs 1.5 meters. It does not matter if the layer (length of pipe used) is higher, but if it is too thin, then purification will not take place. The pipe must be at least 38 mm in diameter otherwise a "wall effect" will be created and the alcohol runs past the carbon along the wall, without being purified.
For the filtering to really take place in the carbon, the pipe must be free from air. This means that the purification must take place in one continuous flow. The pipe must not be allowed to run dry. The carbon must also be saturated so that the alcohol immediately runs through the carbon. Neither should any channels be allowed to form in the carbon filled pipe. This will happen if you pour dry carbon into the pipe the pipe and then in the alcohol. Channels are formed in the carbon through which the alcohol can escape unpurified. The carbon bed must be correctly started.
When the water or alcohol is filtered through the carbon, the first thing to happen is that the soluble substances left in the pores from manufacturing are dissolved. These are the substances that have not become gas and evaporated, and have not been rinsed out after manufacturing. It would be too expensive to completely rid the carbon of the substances. All industrial filters are started up despite this, and the carbon is rinsed before use.
The substances (salts) are easiest described as soap-like. When these substances are dissolved, the pH balance rises from 7 to nearly 10, and the carbon will not be as effective again until the pH balance has been restored to that of water or alcohol, approximately pH7 (neutral). Before the carbon is used for purification, these substances must be washed or rinsed away:
" Quoted from a text by Gert Strand"
- 1. Before pouring the carbon into the pipe, mix the carbon (stirring vigorously) with 2-3 times as much hot or boiling water in a stainless steel saucepan or pot (depending on volume to be rinsed)
- 2. Discard the surplus water and repeat the process 4-5 times, ensuring that all soluble substances are dissolved away from the carbon.
- 3. Leave to stand for 24 hours, give the carbon time to soak up more water.
- 4. Again, pour in hot or boiling water, stir and discard the surplus water. Attach 2-3 filter papers to the pipe and fill it with warm water.
- 5. Pour the saturated carbon into the pipe in such a way that it always remains in the water and all air is driven out.
- 6. Tap the pipe to make sure the carbon is properly settled and packed (positioned).
- 7. Filter at least 2-5 liters of water through the pipe, and fill up with alcohol before the water has run through the funnel, making sure the pipe does not run dry. If you let the funnel run dry by mistake, filter another 4-5 liters of warm water to get rid of all the air and continue with alcohol before the last of the water has left the funnel. In this way the carbon is started up and no air remains in the pipe. The air film between and inside the granules disappears. Filtration must be continuous; the pipe must not be allowed to run dry. It is best to have a large funnel or container attached to that you don't have to keep filling all the time. It is all too easy to forget a filling and let air into the tube.
- 8. Lastly, pour a liter of water through the pipe to get all the alcohol out.
Woo That is a mouthful.
No, I have a separate 1 ½ “ copper column for filtering and Calgon sells the carbon although difficult to buy unless you are a water treatment guy.
- I purchased a large water filter that you would attach under your sink or basement. There are several different types of cartridges that you can purchase for them. I purchased one that looks like yarn on a roll and a charcoal filter. A small amount of charcoal will become dislodged during filtering, so it requires a second filter. In the future, I will purchase two of them. Run it through the charcoal and then the second filter. It well require a good pump to push it through both filters. Hope this helps.
--- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Barcik" <edbar44@...> wrote:
> No, I have a separate 1 ½ " copper column for filtering and Calgon sells the
> carbon although difficult to buy unless you are a water treatment guy.
- -No, you wouldn't want any trace of carbon in the actual still. The carbon will end up releasing what it picked up and potentially create unwanted compounds. You'll get a blue distillate that smells like ammonia. On the bright side you can filter it out and re-distill without too much difficulty.