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Re: [new_distillers] Re: gaskets

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  • Tony T
    Teflon tape in the presence of strong alcohol will melt the plastic base material that the tape is made from. The plactice will then leach into your sprit.
    Message 1 of 21 , Nov 3, 2006
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      Teflon tape in the presence of strong alcohol will
      melt the plastic base material that the tape is made
      from. The plactice will then "leach" into your sprit.

      Now I was told that this is not possible but it is.
      For neutral spirit I use a Mini Still that is built by
      the posted plan. That plan has you install a section
      of 1/4 tubing 2/3 up the column so you can insert a
      temp prob. The picture that comes with the plan shows
      the shaft of the temperature wrapped with teflon tape,
      so that's how I was running mine.

      I made a really slow run one day and about 3 hours in
      I started to pick up a smell that was getting stronger
      as the run progressed. I finally stopped the run way
      early because the smell was stinking up the kitchen.

      When I opened the still the smell would knock you
      down. It was a strong chemical plactic kind of smell.
      I hunted and hunted to find the source but I have
      nothing plactic on my still. I removed the
      temperature probe and noticed the lower wrap of teflon
      tape was clear and looked like it was melted back a
      1/8 of and inch or so and it STUNK!!!!! OMG!!!! it
      smelled SOOOOOOOOOO bad.

      I had run the still configured like that for 5 or 6
      runs and never really noticed the smell in my spirit
      because it was coming in as the tails started and I
      would discard that anyway. This run I had slowed the
      take-off down because I was busy working on something
      else and I could not stand over it and baby sit it the
      entire time. I had my temperature alarm set and I
      would look in on the collection jar every few minutes
      -- big mistake. I ruined the entire run because no
      amount of soaking and redistilling would get rid of
      the smell. I had to boil my column packing 5 or 6
      times in fresh water to finally get the smell out of
      the packing. Getting the smell out of the column was a
      real pain that I never want to have to do again.

      I replaced the 1/4 tube in the column with a 1/2 pipe
      and I now use a natural cork with a hole for my probe
      in it's place. My column to flange seal is cork and my
      top seal is food grade sealer. I've not had a problem
      since.

      I'm sorry for being so long-winded but I don't want
      others to have to deal with that issue. It was a PITA
      to correct after the fact.

      Have fun and be safe,
      Tony T


      --- fit_dude42 <fit_dude42@...> wrote:

      > Hi Tim,
      >
      > I tried the plumbing tape one on mine but found it
      > went a bit
      > transparent after my first trial run, so i wasn't
      > sure if it had
      > reacted or if that was normal anyway.
      >
      > Glad you found the suggestion useful though.
      >
      > Cheers m'dears.
      > Karl.



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    • abbababbaccc
      Are you quite sure that the PTFE tape got dissolved by alcohol? To me it seems that it got wetted (yes, it absorbs alcohol) by some tails and you thought it
      Message 2 of 21 , Nov 4, 2006
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        Are you quite sure that the PTFE tape got dissolved by alcohol? To me
        it seems that it got wetted (yes, it absorbs alcohol) by some tails
        and you thought it was melting while it was infact working as
        intended (blocks vapors from escaping). The smell IMO would point to
        butyl alcohol which is one component of tails. Mike Nixon says PTFE
        is OK and I've been using it for years without problems, so I would
        suggest that the problem is not with PTFE, rather something else.

        Cheers, Riku


        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Tony T <tonkyman1979@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Teflon tape in the presence of strong alcohol will
        > melt the plastic base material that the tape is made
        > from. The plactice will then "leach" into your sprit.
        >
        > Now I was told that this is not possible but it is.
        > For neutral spirit I use a Mini Still that is built by
        > the posted plan. That plan has you install a section
        > of 1/4 tubing 2/3 up the column so you can insert a
        > temp prob. The picture that comes with the plan shows
        > the shaft of the temperature wrapped with teflon tape,
        > so that's how I was running mine.
        >
        > I made a really slow run one day and about 3 hours in
        > I started to pick up a smell that was getting stronger
        > as the run progressed. I finally stopped the run way
        > early because the smell was stinking up the kitchen.
        >
        > When I opened the still the smell would knock you
        > down. It was a strong chemical plactic kind of smell.
        > I hunted and hunted to find the source but I have
        > nothing plactic on my still. I removed the
        > temperature probe and noticed the lower wrap of teflon
        > tape was clear and looked like it was melted back a
        > 1/8 of and inch or so and it STUNK!!!!! OMG!!!! it
        > smelled SOOOOOOOOOO bad.
        >
        > I had run the still configured like that for 5 or 6
        > runs and never really noticed the smell in my spirit
        > because it was coming in as the tails started and I
        > would discard that anyway. This run I had slowed the
        > take-off down because I was busy working on something
        > else and I could not stand over it and baby sit it the
        > entire time. I had my temperature alarm set and I
        > would look in on the collection jar every few minutes
        > -- big mistake. I ruined the entire run because no
        > amount of soaking and redistilling would get rid of
        > the smell. I had to boil my column packing 5 or 6
        > times in fresh water to finally get the smell out of
        > the packing. Getting the smell out of the column was a
        > real pain that I never want to have to do again.
        >
        > I replaced the 1/4 tube in the column with a 1/2 pipe
        > and I now use a natural cork with a hole for my probe
        > in it's place. My column to flange seal is cork and my
        > top seal is food grade sealer. I've not had a problem
        > since.
        >
        > I'm sorry for being so long-winded but I don't want
        > others to have to deal with that issue. It was a PITA
        > to correct after the fact.
        >
        > Have fun and be safe,
        > Tony T
        >
        >
        >
      • tintin
        I m using Klingerit gaskets. It resits to high temperature and alcohol. Available in sheets you may cut it according to your real needs abbababbaccc
        Message 3 of 21 , Nov 4, 2006
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          I'm using Klingerit gaskets. It resits to high temperature and alcohol. Available in sheets you may cut it according to your real needs


          abbababbaccc <abbababbaccc@...> a écrit :
          Are you quite sure that the PTFE tape got dissolved by alcohol? To me
          it seems that it got wetted (yes, it absorbs alcohol) by some tails
          and you thought it was melting while it was infact working as
          intended (blocks vapors from escaping). The smell IMO would point to
          butyl alcohol which is one component of tails. Mike Nixon says PTFE
          is OK and I've been using it for years without problems, so I would
          suggest that the problem is not with PTFE, rather something else.

          Cheers, Riku

          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Tony T <tonkyman1979@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Teflon tape in the presence of strong alcohol will
          > melt the plastic base material that the tape is made
          > from. The plactice will then "leach" into your sprit.
          >
          > Now I was told that this is not possible but it is.
          > For neutral spirit I use a Mini Still that is built by
          > the posted plan. That plan has you install a section
          > of 1/4 tubing 2/3 up the column so you can insert a
          > temp prob. The picture that comes with the plan shows
          > the shaft of the temperature wrapped with teflon tape,
          > so that's how I was running mine.
          >
          > I made a really slow run one day and about 3 hours in
          > I started to pick up a smell that was getting stronger
          > as the run progressed. I finally stopped the run way
          > early because the smell was stinking up the kitchen.
          >
          > When I opened the still the smell would knock you
          > down. It was a strong chemical plactic kind of smell.
          > I hunted and hunted to find the source but I have
          > nothing plactic on my still. I removed the
          > temperature probe and noticed the lower wrap of teflon
          > tape was clear and looked like it was melted back a
          > 1/8 of and inch or so and it STUNK!!!!! OMG!!!! it
          > smelled SOOOOOOOOOO bad.
          >
          > I had run the still configured like that for 5 or 6
          > runs and never really noticed the smell in my spirit
          > because it was coming in as the tails started and I
          > would discard that anyway. This run I had slowed the
          > take-off down because I was busy working on something
          > else and I could not stand over it and baby sit it the
          > entire time. I had my temperature alarm set and I
          > would look in on the collection jar every few minutes
          > -- big mistake. I ruined the entire run because no
          > amount of soaking and redistilling would get rid of
          > the smell. I had to boil my column packing 5 or 6
          > times in fresh water to finally get the smell out of
          > the packing. Getting the smell out of the column was a
          > real pain that I never want to have to do again.
          >
          > I replaced the 1/4 tube in the column with a 1/2 pipe
          > and I now use a natural cork with a hole for my probe
          > in it's place. My column to flange seal is cork and my
          > top seal is food grade sealer. I've not had a problem
          > since.
          >
          > I'm sorry for being so long-winded but I don't want
          > others to have to deal with that issue. It was a PITA
          > to correct after the fact.
          >
          > Have fun and be safe,
          > Tony T
          >
          >
          >






          tintin_milou92

          ---------------------------------
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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • fit_dude42
          As mentioned before i was very wary of using the ptfe tape again as it went almost completely transparent - that would imply a reaction at worst or simply
          Message 4 of 21 , Nov 4, 2006
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            As mentioned before i was very wary of using the ptfe tape again as
            it went almost completely transparent - that would imply a reaction
            at worst or simply absorption at best, either way the tape was not
            completely inert IMO.

            I now have a satisfactory method of sealing my boiler so i'm not
            using ptfe anyway, although i do have some ptfe tape on the gate
            valve threads of my take-off valve; think i might do some inspection
            before my next run.

            Cheers m'dears,

            Karl.



            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc"
            <abbababbaccc@...> wrote:
            >
            > Are you quite sure that the PTFE tape got dissolved by alcohol? To
            me
            > it seems that it got wetted (yes, it absorbs alcohol) by some
            tails
            > and you thought it was melting while it was infact working as
            > intended (blocks vapors from escaping). The smell IMO would point
            to
            > butyl alcohol which is one component of tails. Mike Nixon says
            PTFE
            > is OK and I've been using it for years without problems, so I
            would
            > suggest that the problem is not with PTFE, rather something else.
            >
            > Cheers, Riku
            >
            >
            > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Tony T <tonkyman1979@>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > > Teflon tape in the presence of strong alcohol will
            > > melt the plastic base material that the tape is made
            > > from. The plactice will then "leach" into your sprit.
            > >
            > > Now I was told that this is not possible but it is.
            > > For neutral spirit I use a Mini Still that is built by
            > > the posted plan. That plan has you install a section
            > > of 1/4 tubing 2/3 up the column so you can insert a
            > > temp prob. The picture that comes with the plan shows
            > > the shaft of the temperature wrapped with teflon tape,
            > > so that's how I was running mine.
            > >
            > > I made a really slow run one day and about 3 hours in
            > > I started to pick up a smell that was getting stronger
            > > as the run progressed. I finally stopped the run way
            > > early because the smell was stinking up the kitchen.
            > >
            > > When I opened the still the smell would knock you
            > > down. It was a strong chemical plactic kind of smell.
            > > I hunted and hunted to find the source but I have
            > > nothing plactic on my still. I removed the
            > > temperature probe and noticed the lower wrap of teflon
            > > tape was clear and looked like it was melted back a
            > > 1/8 of and inch or so and it STUNK!!!!! OMG!!!! it
            > > smelled SOOOOOOOOOO bad.
            > >
            > > I had run the still configured like that for 5 or 6
            > > runs and never really noticed the smell in my spirit
            > > because it was coming in as the tails started and I
            > > would discard that anyway. This run I had slowed the
            > > take-off down because I was busy working on something
            > > else and I could not stand over it and baby sit it the
            > > entire time. I had my temperature alarm set and I
            > > would look in on the collection jar every few minutes
            > > -- big mistake. I ruined the entire run because no
            > > amount of soaking and redistilling would get rid of
            > > the smell. I had to boil my column packing 5 or 6
            > > times in fresh water to finally get the smell out of
            > > the packing. Getting the smell out of the column was a
            > > real pain that I never want to have to do again.
            > >
            > > I replaced the 1/4 tube in the column with a 1/2 pipe
            > > and I now use a natural cork with a hole for my probe
            > > in it's place. My column to flange seal is cork and my
            > > top seal is food grade sealer. I've not had a problem
            > > since.
            > >
            > > I'm sorry for being so long-winded but I don't want
            > > others to have to deal with that issue. It was a PITA
            > > to correct after the fact.
            > >
            > > Have fun and be safe,
            > > Tony T
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
          • abbababbaccc
            That s how it works. If PTFE tape is in contact with liquid alcohol it absorbs it and turns to transparent. After it dries it is just as it was before. If you
            Message 5 of 21 , Nov 4, 2006
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              That's how it works. If PTFE tape is in contact with liquid alcohol
              it absorbs it and turns to transparent. After it dries it is just as
              it was before. If you feel uneasy - dip some PTFE to 95.6% ethanol,
              let it dry and compare to a strip that wasn't dipped.

              Cheers, Riku

              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "fit_dude42" <fit_dude42@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > As mentioned before i was very wary of using the ptfe tape again as
              > it went almost completely transparent - that would imply a reaction
              > at worst or simply absorption at best, either way the tape was not
              > completely inert IMO.
              >
              > I now have a satisfactory method of sealing my boiler so i'm not
              > using ptfe anyway, although i do have some ptfe tape on the gate
              > valve threads of my take-off valve; think i might do some
              inspection
              > before my next run.
              >
              > Cheers m'dears,
              >
              > Karl.
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "abbababbaccc"
              > <abbababbaccc@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Are you quite sure that the PTFE tape got dissolved by alcohol?
              To
              > me
              > > it seems that it got wetted (yes, it absorbs alcohol) by some
              > tails
              > > and you thought it was melting while it was infact working as
              > > intended (blocks vapors from escaping). The smell IMO would point
              > to
              > > butyl alcohol which is one component of tails. Mike Nixon says
              > PTFE
              > > is OK and I've been using it for years without problems, so I
              > would
              > > suggest that the problem is not with PTFE, rather something else.
              > >
              > > Cheers, Riku
              > >
              > >
              > >
            • Tony T
              Hi Riku, I am more than quite sure it was the teflon tape that melted. When the temperature probe was removed from it s holder there was less tape and a goo
              Message 6 of 21 , Nov 4, 2006
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                Hi Riku,
                I am more than quite sure it was the teflon tape that
                melted. When the temperature probe was removed from
                it's "holder" there was less tape and a goo blob where
                the rest of the tape should have been. So to sum it up
                I had less tape than I did to begin with and a sticky
                blob on the end of my probe that smelled like hell.

                This smell was more than butyl alcohol. There is no
                consentration of butyl alcohol that could EVER have a
                smell like that. This was a chemical smell of a
                proportion to which I have never smelled in any
                alcohol run I've done.

                Now it could have been a cheap tape that was not
                really a quality tape. I bought it at Lowes and it was
                labeled as "Heavy Duty Teflon Sealing Tape". This
                stuff was pink, not white like I was use to buying and
                it had the words "heavy duty" on the spool. I bought
                it when I was installing air lines in my shop and it
                worked well.

                Anyway, I know for a fact that it was the tape that
                melted but I can resign myself to the fact that it may
                have been an inferior grade tape but I'm not taking
                that chance again. I have found a much better way to
                seal my still that doesn't require me to use the tape
                and I like it that way.

                I too suggest that you test your tape with strong
                alcohol. The only parameters I would add is heat and
                vapor pressure. I believe the heat, vapor pressure and
                chemical action of the alcohol eroded the tape. It may
                be possible to just soak it in cold alcohol and it
                turn clear and soft but not melt (or erode).

                I use teflon tape in areas of my still that are not in
                direct contact with the high proof alcohol and it
                works well in that application. My heating element in
                my pot still/stripper is sealed with teflon tape but
                the mash it is sealing is no more than 18 to 40%
                alcohol and that is a decreasing percentage during the
                run so I'm not worried about the tape.

                But of course all of the above is just my opinion. Do
                your own testing and use good judgment based upon your
                findings (it may be different than what I found).

                Cheers,
                Tony T


                --- abbababbaccc <abbababbaccc@...> wrote:

                > Are you quite sure that the PTFE tape got dissolved
                > by alcohol? To me
                > it seems that it got wetted (yes, it absorbs
                > alcohol) by some tails
                > and you thought it was melting while it was infact
                > working as
                > intended (blocks vapors from escaping). The smell
                > IMO would point to
                > butyl alcohol which is one component of tails. Mike
                > Nixon says PTFE
                > is OK and I've been using it for years without
                > problems, so I would
                > suggest that the problem is not with PTFE, rather
                > something else.
                >
                > Cheers, Riku



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              • Gord Day
                I found aluminum tape at the hardware store.It works great Just cut it and put it on..It doesn,t come in contact with the alcohol so I,m happY Gord
                Message 7 of 21 , Nov 4, 2006
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                  I found aluminum tape at the hardware store.It works great Just cut it and
                  put it on..It doesn,t come in contact with the alcohol so I,m happY
                  Gord

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                • abbababbaccc
                  I ve never heard of or seen pink PTFE tape, only white ones. As you probably know Teflon is a trademark of du-pont and does not necessarily mean that the tape
                  Message 8 of 21 , Nov 4, 2006
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                    I've never heard of or seen pink PTFE tape, only white ones. As you
                    probably know Teflon is a trademark of du-pont and does not
                    necessarily mean that the tape is made of PTFE. I would suggest that
                    the tape is the problem in this case. If PTFE melting was common we
                    would for sure know it now. I've used PTFE inside the column numerous
                    times and it has never melted or changed structurally.

                    Cheers, Riku

                    --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Tony T <tonkyman1979@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Now it could have been a cheap tape that was not
                    > really a quality tape. I bought it at Lowes and it was
                    > labeled as "Heavy Duty Teflon Sealing Tape". This
                    > stuff was pink, not white like I was use to buying and
                    > it had the words "heavy duty" on the spool. I bought
                    > it when I was installing air lines in my shop and it
                    > worked well.
                    >
                    > Anyway, I know for a fact that it was the tape that
                    > melted but I can resign myself to the fact that it may
                    > have been an inferior grade tape but I'm not taking
                    > that chance again. I have found a much better way to
                    > seal my still that doesn't require me to use the tape
                    > and I like it that way.
                    >
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