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Safety (was) Re: Diluting and stripping...

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  • Harry
    ... (but ... the ... Things to keep in mind when choosing still operating methods: Proof and overproof spirit burns in the presence of air. Underproof does
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 2, 2006
      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Robert Thomas
      <whosbrewing@...> wrote:
      >
      > Morgan's pretty much said it:
      > for safety, dilute to make sure internal elements are covered.
      > As to burners, if it's gonna blow, it's gonna blow!
      > If you are purifying, there are good reasons to dilute the brew
      (but
      > I'm in a hurry),
      > if just concentrating, use the strongest you've got while noting
      the
      > safety issues.
      > Cheers
      > Rob.



      Things to keep in mind when choosing still operating methods:

      Proof and overproof spirit burns in the presence of air. Underproof
      does not. If there's a leakage, I'd much rather have underproof in
      the stillpot.

      Until all the air is purged from a still via rising vapours, ethanol
      vapour is in contact with air either in the boiler headspace or in
      the column. Fuels such as ethanol need air (oxygen) to burn.
      Any source of ignition can set fire to this ethanol/air mixture.
      That includes potential spark sources such as exposed heating
      elements, contact points for switches, electrically-driven
      monitoring equipment e.g. temp gauges, solenoids etc.
      Once the air is purged, the still column internals are safe from
      accidental ignition.

      Ethanol vapour is like gasoline fumes. When cool, they descend to
      ground level & creep. Any poorly run or unattended still shooting
      vapour into the atmosphere past the condenser is gonna fill the area
      with this fuel and bring it into contact with air. Propane loves
      this mix. Flesh and bone do not.

      Remember, even commercial still columns occasionally have fires, in
      spite of all the precautions. So the bottom line is...THINK AHEAD.
      Reduce the sources of fire, and have a fire extinguisher handy.


      Slainte!
      regards Harry
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