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Baking Soda made my product turn Blue.

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  • tipringwaterpipe
    Well I tried that Baking Soda thing, hoping to improve the off smells, and I think I fucked-up royaly. I made 4 separate batches of Turbo 8 sugar washes (25L
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 2, 2003
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      Well I tried that 'Baking Soda' thing, hoping to improve the off smells, and I think I fucked-up royaly. I made 4 separate batches of Turbo 8 sugar washes (25L / 8Kg sugar) and fermented according to directions. I dumped the 1st 25L into my boiler along with about 4 tablespoons of baking soda. After throwing away the heads I collected about 3.5L of product. It seemed to have a bluish hue but I wasn't quite sure as my bottle caps are blue and where I distill the house is blue and I'm getting older blah blah blah. Anyhow I finished that batch drained the boiler, and dumped in another 25L of wash c/w 4 tablespoons baking soda. Well this seemed to have a compounding effect on the next 3.5L output as it was now starting to look like 'Windex." It really didn't smell that great either. Before I distilled my 3rd batch, I flushed out my boiler theroully sp? (real good) This batch came out nice and clear I saved the bluish product from the 1st two batches and added it to my 4th batch. The 1st 2.5L still had a slight bluish colour to it. The next 2.5L was pretty clear. I diluted the product with bottled water and ran it threw a 1.5M column activated charcoal. It is still not as clear as the others. My question is - Is this safe to drink? Where does that colour come from? Why does it smell differant?

      This is only my 2nd attempt at distilation btw and I have lots to learn.

      Cheers

      Tipringwaterpipe



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    • Johan
      I wouldn t drink it. Add some citric acid or likewise to the spirits and redistill in a clean still. The smell is from ammonia and I believe the color is from
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 2, 2003
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        Meddelande
        I wouldn't drink it. Add some citric acid or likewise to the spirits and redistill in a clean still. The smell is from ammonia and I believe the color is from Copper 2+ ions.
         
        Johan
         
         
         
         
        -----Ursprungligt meddelande-----
        Från: tipringwaterpipe [mailto:ed_bathie@...]
        Skickat: den 3 mars 2003 00:50
        Till: distillers@yahoogroups.com
        Ämne: [Distillers] Baking Soda made my product turn Blue.

        Well I tried that 'Baking Soda' thing, hoping to improve the off smells, and I think I fucked-up royaly. I made 4 separate batches of Turbo 8 sugar washes (25L / 8Kg sugar) and fermented according to directions. I dumped the 1st 25L into my boiler along with about 4 tablespoons of baking soda. After throwing away the heads I collected about 3.5L of product. It seemed to have a bluish hue but I wasn't quite sure as my bottle caps are blue and where I distill the house is blue and I'm getting older blah blah blah. Anyhow I finished that batch drained the boiler, and dumped in another 25L of wash c/w 4 tablespoons baking soda. Well this seemed to have a compounding effect on the next 3.5L output as it was now starting to look like 'Windex." It really didn't smell that great either. Before I distilled my 3rd batch, I flushed out my boiler theroully sp? (real good) This batch came out nice and clear I saved the bluish product from the 1st two batches and added it to my 4th ba tch. The 1st 2.5L still had a slight bluish colour to it. The next 2.5L was pretty clear. I diluted the product with bottled water and ran it threw a 1.5M column activated charcoal. It is still not as clear as the others. My question is - Is this safe to drink? Where does that colour come from? Why does it smell differant?

        This is only my 2nd attempt at distilation btw and I have lots to learn.

        Cheers

        Tipringwaterpipe



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      • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
        Recall Mikes big warning - only add baking soda to distillate thats already been through the still - never to the raw wash itself. Tony
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 2, 2003
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          Recall Mikes big warning - only add baking soda to distillate thats already been through the still - never to the "raw" wash itself.
           
          Tony
        • tipringwaterpipe
          Ah ha....I must have missed that one......damn!.....Johan, in a previose reply says Do not drink it. I have nearly 7L of this and it would bring me to tears
          Message 4 of 13 , Mar 2, 2003
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            Ah ha....I must have missed that one......damn!.....Johan, in a previose reply says "Do not drink it."  I have nearly 7L of this and it would bring me to tears to pour it down the drain. Any thoughts on this?

            Tipringwaterpipe

             "Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)" <Tony.Ackland@...> wrote:

            Recall Mikes big warning - only add baking soda to distillate thats already been through the still - never to the "raw" wash itself.
             
            Tony


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          • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
            From http://homedistiller.org/ferment.htm ... If this happens, make sure you strip down your tower, and clean it well. The blue alcohol can be cleaned up by
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 2, 2003
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              From http://homedistiller.org/ferment.htm ... "If this happens, make sure you strip down your tower, and clean it well. The blue alcohol can be cleaned up by adding some citric acid (50g per 5L) (which will react with the ammonia to produce ammonium citrate which will precipitate out along with the copper leaving hydrogen sulphyte and or sulphide), and then filtering it through some coffee filters to collect the flocculant; the alcohol will then be ok to redistil.

              Ah ha....I must have missed that one......damn!.....Johan, in a previose reply says "Do not drink it."  I have nearly 7L of this and it would bring me to tears to pour it down the drain. Any thoughts on this?

            • Robert N
              We all learn from our mistakes and hopefully we learn from others as well. I would not throw it out. After running it through the carbon, if you are still not
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 2, 2003
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                We all learn from our mistakes and hopefully we learn from others’ as well. I would not throw it out. After running it through the carbon, if you are still not happy with it then you can clean out the still and re-run it. Either way I would fill the still column with vinegar and let it sit for a while. You could also try purchasing a broader spectrum activated carbon, although that will most likely draw more blank stares from the homebrew shops than its worth. Activated carbon is used by many industries, from the mining to the food industry. The local Coke a Cola use’s it for a filtration medium.

                 

                Yours in Spirit

                 

                 

                Robert

                 

                -----Original Message-----
                From: tipringwaterpipe [mailto:ed_bathie@...]
                Sent:
                Monday, March 03, 2003 9:50 AM
                To: distillers@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [Distillers] Baking Soda made my product turn Blue.

                 

                Well I tried that 'Baking Soda' thing, hoping to improve the off smells, and I think I fucked-up royaly. I made 4 separate batches of Turbo 8 sugar washes (25L / 8Kg sugar) and fermented according to directions. I dumped the 1st 25L into my boiler along with about 4 tablespoons of baking soda. After throwing away the heads I collected about 3.5L of product. It seemed to have a bluish hue but I wasn't quite sure as my bottle caps are blue and where I distill the house is blue and I'm getting older blah blah blah. Anyhow I finished that batch drained the boiler, and dumped in another 25L of wash c/w 4 tablespoons baking soda. Well this seemed to have a compounding effect on the next 3.5L output as it was now starting to look like 'Windex." It really didn't smell that great either. Before I distilled my 3rd batch, I flushed out my boiler theroully sp? (real good) This batch came out nice and clear I saved the bluish product from the 1st two batches and added it to my 4th batch. The 1st 2.5L still had a slight bluish colour to it. The next 2.5L was pretty clear. I diluted the product with bottled water and ran it threw a 1.5M column activated charcoal. It is still not as clear as the others. My question is - Is this safe to drink? Where does that colour come from? Why does it smell differant?

                This is only my 2nd attempt at distilation btw and I have lots to learn.

                Cheers

                Tipringwaterpipe

                 


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              • Phillip J Tucker`
                What you produced is Blue Vitriol ... which is poison....period. I would throw it out.....even if nearly 7L.....poison is poison. The thing to remember: if
                Message 7 of 13 , Mar 2, 2003
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                  What you produced is Blue Vitriol ... which is poison....period.  I would throw it out.....even if nearly 7L.....poison is poison.  The thing to remember: "if it's blue -- it's poison" .... and the prettier the blue, the more deadly.
                   
                  Phil
                   
                   
                   
                  On Sun, 2 Mar 2003 18:57:13 -0800 (PST) tipringwaterpipe <ed_bathie@...> writes:

                  Ah ha....I must have missed that one......damn!.....Johan, in a previose reply says "Do not drink it."  I have nearly 7L of this and it would bring me to tears to pour it down the drain. Any thoughts on this?

                  Tipringwaterpipe

                   "Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)" <Tony.Ackland@...> wrote:

                  Recall Mikes big warning - only add baking soda to distillate thats already been through the still - never to the "raw" wash itself.
                   
                  Tony


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                • Phillip J Tucker`
                  What you produced is Blue Vitriol ... which is poison....period. I would throw it out.....even if nearly 7L.....poison is poison. The thing to remember: if
                  Message 8 of 13 , Mar 2, 2003
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                    What you produced is Blue Vitriol ... which is poison....period.  I would throw it out.....even if nearly 7L.....poison is poison.  The thing to remember: "if it's blue -- it's poison" .... and the prettier the blue, the more deadly.
                     
                    Phil
                     
                     
                     
                    On Sun, 2 Mar 2003 18:57:13 -0800 (PST) tipringwaterpipe <ed_bathie@...> writes:

                    Ah ha....I must have missed that one......damn!.....Johan, in a previose reply says "Do not drink it."  I have nearly 7L of this and it would bring me to tears to pour it down the drain. Any thoughts on this?

                    Tipringwaterpipe

                     "Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)" <Tony.Ackland@...> wrote:

                    Recall Mikes big warning - only add baking soda to distillate thats already been through the still - never to the "raw" wash itself.
                     
                    Tony


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                  • Mike Nixon
                    Phillip J Tucker` wrote: Subject: Re: [Distillers] Baking Soda made my product turn Blue. What you produced is Blue Vitriol ... which is poison....period. I
                    Message 9 of 13 , Mar 2, 2003
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                      Phillip J Tucker` wrote:
                      Subject: Re: [Distillers] Baking Soda made my product turn Blue.

                      What you produced is Blue Vitriol ... which is poison....period.  I would throw it out.....even if nearly 7L.....poison is poison.  The thing to remember: "if it's blue -- it's poison" .... and the prettier the blue, the more deadly.
                      ==================================
                      Sorry Phil, but it is not.  Blue vitriol is the crystallized form of cupric sulphate which is, as you say, not nice to sprinkle on your cornflakes.  Blue products in distillation was covered back in November last year.  Let me repeat the posting I sent then:

                      Alkaline washes that hold a lot of nitrogen-containing compounds that have been put in as nutrients will liberate ammonia and that, being a gas, will get to the top condenser and form an aqueous ammonia solution, which is alkaline.  Normal oxidation of copper under heat forms cupric hydroxide in an alkaline solution.  This turns black when boiled with water, and is commonly seen on copper components in stills.  This, in turn, reacts with ammonia solution to form Schweitzer's solution, containing the tetrammino-cupric ion Cu[4NH3]++, which is deep blue.  Don't worry ... it won't hurt you (if you don't drink gallons of it!), and you might even think the colour attractive!
                      Side note ( or, yet more useless information): Schweitzers solution used to be used in one process to make rayon as it dissolves celluloid (cotton linters).  This was then squirted into a bath of sulphuric acid to convert it into cellulose threads.  Bet you always wanted to know that!

                      Answer is to ensure that your wash is not alkaline, but acidic.  This is the normal condition after a fermentation, as yeasts tend to acidify the wash with their by-products.  A bit too much enthusiasm in adding nutrients to a fermenting wash can tip the balance the wrong way and make it alkaline.  Addition of citric acid is usually enough to neutralise and then acidify a solution made too alkaline by overdosing with nutrients, but without acid buffers to control the pH.  In an acidic solution, those nitrogen-containing compounds will react with the acid to form salts, and so will not be carried up to the top condenser.

                      So, if you already have some blue distillate, treat it as Tony suggests with citric acid to throw down a deposit, filter that off and re-distil.   To avoid it happening again, be sure that the wash is neutral before distilling, adding citric acid if the wash is alkaline from using too much nutrient. Above all, if you are a baking soda enthusiast, do NOT add it at this stage to the wash.  By all means add baking soda if you wish before subsequent distillations ... although, on a personal note, I have detected no measurable benefit in doing this.

                      Mike N

                    • Bryn Tucker
                      Wow, cool Mike, I have always wanted to know that about rayon. On topic now, if there is a worry about the blueness, I expect that Bone Char activated charcoal
                      Message 10 of 13 , Mar 2, 2003
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                        Wow, cool Mike, I have always wanted to know that about rayon.

                        On topic now, if there is a worry about the blueness, I expect that Bone Char activated charcoal would remove it. Besides being used as a decolorizer in sugar processing, Bone Char is also used to remove metals from drinking water. I'm not sure where you would get small amounts though. Possibly some water filter systems use it in loose form.

                        -Bryn


                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Mike Nixon" <mike@...>
                        To: <Distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2003 9:39 PM
                        Subject: Re: [Distillers] Baking Soda made my product turn Blue.

                        Side note ( or, yet more useless information): Schweitzers solution used to be used in one process to make rayon as it dissolves celluloid (cotton linters). This was then squirted into a bath of sulphuric acid to convert it into cellulose threads. Bet you always wanted to know that!
                      • Zoran Vujcic
                        You can find some small quantity of NaOH at university or some other place and ad to precipitate bluish cuprum as hydroxide. Than distill again. Kizacar1 ...
                        Message 11 of 13 , Mar 3, 2003
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                          You can find some small quantity of NaOH at university or some other place and ad to precipitate bluish cuprum as hydroxide. Than distill again.
                          Kizacar1
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 12:49 AM
                          Subject: [Distillers] Baking Soda made my product turn Blue.

                          Well I tried that 'Baking Soda' thing, hoping to improve the off smells, and I think I fucked-up royaly. I made 4 separate batches of Turbo 8 sugar washes (25L / 8Kg sugar) and fermented according to directions. I dumped the 1st 25L into my boiler along with about 4 tablespoons of baking soda. After throwing away the heads I collected about 3.5L of product. It seemed to have a bluish hue but I wasn't quite sure as my bottle caps are blue and where I distill the house is blue and I'm getting older blah blah blah. Anyhow I finished that batch drained the boiler, and dumped in another 25L of wash c/w 4 tablespoons baking soda. Well this seemed to have a compounding effect on the next 3.5L output as it was now starting to look like 'Windex." It really didn't smell that great either. Before I distilled my 3rd batch, I flushed out my boiler theroully sp? (real good) This batch came out nice and clear I saved the bluish product from the 1st two batches and added it to my 4th batch. The 1st 2.5L still had a slight bluish colour to it. The next 2.5L was pretty clear. I diluted the product with bottled water and ran it threw a 1.5M column activated charcoal. It is still not as clear as the others. My question is - Is this safe to drink? Where does that colour come from? Why does it smell differant?

                          This is only my 2nd attempt at distilation btw and I have lots to learn.

                          Cheers

                          Tipringwaterpipe



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                        • BillyWeeble@cs.com
                          In a message dated 3/2/03 5:49:56 PM Pacific Standard Time, Tony.Ackland@comalco.riotinto.com.au writes:
                          Message 12 of 13 , Mar 6, 2003
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                            In a message dated 3/2/03 5:49:56 PM Pacific Standard Time,
                            Tony.Ackland@... writes:

                            << only add baking soda to distillate thats already been through the still >>

                            Yeah, do that. Then I can sit back and shake my head some more.

                            (hal031235) writes << Today I decided to distill them fully, you can
                            imagine my surprise when the heads have come out bright blue!! They smell of
                            ammonia and I am wondering what has gone wrong? >>

                            There will be more folks who are new to this group and try the baking
                            soda ruse only to have this problem. There will be many who have read the
                            earlier posts and have this problem but refuse to look stupid by admitting
                            what happened. I will say this again - I experienced this problem both
                            ways/both times and I firmly suggest that you do NOT use baking soda when
                            distilling. If you need to improve your product, look for the cause of your
                            unhappiness. Don't treat the symptoms.
                            I'm perturbed that the brain trust knows how to remedy the "Schweitzer's
                            Solution" problem but doesn't Plainly and Clearly acknowledge the fact that
                            it's caused by the raising of the ph by baking soda in the first place. The
                            people who look to this group for guidance will be sorely disappointed when
                            they are led to believe that adding baking soda is a common treatment when
                            distilling when it's really a time-wasting crapshoot and their end product is
                            what's being gambled away (along with all the time wasted from wash start to
                            the thorough still recleaning to the possible redistilling finish).
                            It's obvious that people believe what they want to believe. There's no
                            changing a mind that's set in it's ways. Look to the wrongheaded actions of
                            a certain court-appointed president for evidence to that fact.
                            I'm especially sorry I was compelled to write this note at all.
                          • BOKAKOB
                            I dont advocate or promote distilling with baking soda however this curious thing happening only to you is strange. A few people were able to repeat this
                            Message 13 of 13 , Mar 6, 2003
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                              I dont advocate or promote distilling with baking soda however this curious thing happening only to you is strange. A few people were able to repeat this distillation and get the same results. When I distill second time with baking soda it comes out nice and clean too. The distilling stops completely when all alcohol is gone from the wash. It just stops dripping. I also say that I do it only wiht sugar washes and that my scrubbers are stainless steel. I do it routinely and have no ill symptoms. My batches are 20L and the pot is stainless steel as well. Perhaps you should try distilling sugar wash like that and not exotic bourbon mix. Sorry, mate - go get some to make the life easier.

                               BillyWeeble@... wrote:

                              In a message dated 3/2/03 5:49:56 PM Pacific Standard Time,
                              Tony.Ackland@... writes:

                              << only add baking soda to distillate thats already been through the still >>

                                  Yeah, do that.  Then I can sit back and shake my head some more.

                              (hal031235) writes  <<  Today I decided to distill them fully, you can imagine my surprise when the heads have come out bright blue!! They smell of
                              ammonia and I am wondering what has gone wrong? >>

                                  There will be more folks who are new to this group and try the baking soda ruse only to have this problem. There will be many who have read the
                              earlier posts and have this problem but refuse to look stupid by admitting what happened.  I will say this again - I experienced this problem both ways/both times and I firmly suggest that you do NOT use baking soda when distilling. If you need to improve your product, look for the cause of your unhappiness. Don't treat the symptoms.  I'm perturbed that the brain trust knows how to remedy the "Schweitzer's
                              Solution" problem but doesn't Plainly and Clearly acknowledge the fact that it's caused by the raising of the ph by baking soda in the first place. The
                              people who look to this group for guidance will be sorely disappointed when they are led to believe that adding baking soda is a common treatment when
                              distilling when it's really a time-wasting crapshoot and their end product is what's being gambled away (along with all the time wasted from wash start to
                              the thorough still recleaning to the possible redistilling finish). It's obvious that people believe what they want to believe.  There's no
                              changing a mind that's set in it's ways.  Look to the wrongheaded actions of a certain court-appointed president for evidence to that fact. I'm especially sorry I was compelled to write this note at all.


                              I can be wrong I must say.
                              Cheers, Alex...



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