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Help with new still please!

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  • vapourphase
    Hi Everyone, I ve just joined the group after doing much reading/research as a lurker! I ve also been putting the finishing touches to my new reflux still and
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 4, 2006
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      Hi Everyone,


      I've just joined the group after doing much reading/research as a lurker!


      I've also been putting the finishing touches to my new reflux still
      and been doing alternate water/vinegar runs to get the insides as
      clean as possible. I was wondering if you guys could give me the
      benefit of your advice regarding what plain water distillate should
      smell like. I had thought it would be odourless and tasteless but
      water vapour coming from my rig has a slight smell and the distillate
      has a metallic taste. Is this normal? I have only used 'food grade'
      materials in the still. It's based on Riku's aircooled convector
      design, Here's a breakdown :


      Stainless steel 'stockpot' boiler with brass column coupling (external
      heat source - no internal element).
      'Marine grade' aquarium silicone seal around stock pot lid.
      2" * 3ft Copper Column (unpacked) All soldering Lead free.
      Aircooled 'convector' condensor (Copper pipe running through aluminium
      vanes)
      Joint seals assisted by PTFE tape.


      Is this one of the reasons people use carbon on their product? (apart
      from removing residual congeners). I have already asked this question
      over at the homedistiller forums and was told to soak column etc in
      vinegar (unfortunately in my case this didn't help). Apologies to
      anyone who has already read this question over there! :)

      I'd be very grateful of any advice.

      Regards,

      Andy.
    • BigRon BigRon
      Andy mine does the same thing water does taste off I m using an all stainless with copper packing i was surprised by this but the product has a bit of an off
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 4, 2006
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        Andy
        mine does the same thing
        water does taste off
        I'm using an all stainless with copper packing
        i was surprised by this but the product
        has a bit of an off taste as well not bad just off
        I run through carbon twice and it is very neutral with no taste what ever
        it should be good to run a batch through, 4 or 5 batches and you will feel like pro
        Ron

        vapourphase <vapourphase@...> wrote:
        Hi Everyone,


        I've just joined the group after doing much reading/research as a lurker!


        I've also been putting the finishing touches to my new reflux still
        and been doing alternate water/vinegar runs to get the insides as
        clean as possible. I was wondering if you guys could give me the
        benefit of your advice regarding what plain water distillate should
        smell like. I had thought it would be odourless and tasteless but
        water vapour coming from my rig has a slight smell and the distillate
        has a metallic taste. Is this normal? I have only used 'food grade'
        materials in the still. It's based on Riku's aircooled convector
        design, Here's a breakdown :


        Stainless steel 'stockpot' boiler with brass column coupling (external
        heat source - no internal element).
        'Marine grade' aquarium silicone seal around stock pot lid.
        2" * 3ft Copper Column (unpacked) All soldering Lead free.
        Aircooled 'convector' condensor (Copper pipe running through aluminium
        vanes)
        Joint seals assisted by PTFE tape.


        Is this one of the reasons people use carbon on their product? (apart
        from removing residual congeners). I have already asked this question
        over at the homedistiller forums and was told to soak column etc in
        vinegar (unfortunately in my case this didn't help). Apologies to
        anyone who has already read this question over there! :)

        I'd be very grateful of any advice.

        Regards,

        Andy.







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      • Harry
        ... lurker! ... distillate ... (external ... aluminium ... (apart ... question ... Hi Andy, It is normal. You don t have a problem at all. Distilled water
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 4, 2006
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          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "vapourphase"
          <vapourphase@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Everyone,
          >
          >
          > I've just joined the group after doing much reading/research as a
          lurker!
          >
          >
          > I've also been putting the finishing touches to my new reflux still
          > and been doing alternate water/vinegar runs to get the insides as
          > clean as possible. I was wondering if you guys could give me the
          > benefit of your advice regarding what plain water distillate should
          > smell like. I had thought it would be odourless and tasteless but
          > water vapour coming from my rig has a slight smell and the
          distillate
          > has a metallic taste. Is this normal? I have only used 'food grade'
          > materials in the still. It's based on Riku's aircooled convector
          > design, Here's a breakdown :
          >
          >
          > Stainless steel 'stockpot' boiler with brass column coupling
          (external
          > heat source - no internal element).
          > 'Marine grade' aquarium silicone seal around stock pot lid.
          > 2" * 3ft Copper Column (unpacked) All soldering Lead free.
          > Aircooled 'convector' condensor (Copper pipe running through
          aluminium
          > vanes)
          > Joint seals assisted by PTFE tape.
          >
          >
          > Is this one of the reasons people use carbon on their product?
          (apart
          > from removing residual congeners). I have already asked this
          question
          > over at the homedistiller forums and was told to soak column etc in
          > vinegar (unfortunately in my case this didn't help). Apologies to
          > anyone who has already read this question over there! :)
          >
          > I'd be very grateful of any advice.
          >
          > Regards,
          >
          > Andy.
          >



          Hi Andy,
          It is normal. You don't have a problem at all. 'Distilled' water
          needs to be pre-treated and post-treated with carbon if you want it
          to be completely tasteless and odourless. For cleaning/flushing
          purposes of a still, carbon treatment, taste etc. is irrelevant as
          the water is not going to be used for consumption. You cannot judge
          the degree of cleanliness of your still simply by smelling or
          tasteing the waste water. Read the following on distilled water for
          human consumption.




          First, in years past, the original water distillers did not
          incorporate any pre or post carbon filtration. If you've tasted
          straight distilled water made without the use of any pre or post
          carbon filtration, it might have a steamy taste or off taste.

          The use of carbon filtration with water distillation is as follows:
          tap or well water is first sent through a pre filter to help take
          out chlorine, odors, sediment, and other organic contaminants before
          it reaches the boiling tank of the distiller. After the steam is
          condensed into distilled water it is finally passed through a carbon
          post filter to remove any potential gases or volatile organic
          contaminants (VOC'S) that might have escaped during the boiling
          process.

          Not using a post filter in the past with distillation might have
          produced an off taste in distilled water, due to these VOC'S. The
          carbon post filter is most important because it acts as a polishing
          filter to clean up any volatile gases, which can produce an off-
          taste, that may have escaped during the boiling process.

          Second, another reason for distilled water having this label
          for 'flat taste' is someone accustomed to drinking chlorinated or
          well water high in iron content for a long time. When they are
          suddenly introduced to distilled water for the first time, it is a
          shock, noticeable to their taste buds. People raised on high iron in
          their well water for instance, would be used to its 'sweet' taste,
          but when given distilled water might say it tastes 'flat' since it
          is iron free.



          HTH
          Slainte!
          regards Harry
        • vapourphase
          Hi, Just wanted to say a big thankyou to Ron and Harry for putting my mind at rest regarding the slightly off taste coming from my still. As a complete noob
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 5, 2006
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            Hi,


            Just wanted to say a big thankyou to Ron and Harry for putting my mind
            at rest regarding the slightly off taste coming from my still. As a
            complete noob this kind of feedback is absolutely invaluable to me.

            Now then, when's that wash gonna finish bubbling.......


            Cheers guys,


            Andy :)
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