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Re: [new_distillers] Use of Plastics

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  • ups474@aol.com
    The easiest way is to go the conservative route and not worry about it- don t use any plastic, just glass- no questions that way. There are hundreds of
    Message 1 of 19 , Feb 2, 2002
      The easiest way is to go the conservative route and not worry about it- don't
      use any plastic, just glass- no questions that way. There are hundreds of
      formulations of plastics in the world, some are safe against everything, some
      dissolve in warm water- most sell their product as "food grade" -but, by the
      strict letter of chemistry law- ethanol is a solvent, not food. I don't know
      a lot about polymer science, and since it is such a big industry, I won't
      believe anyone working for it, specific info on certain plastic can be hard
      to find, and is unreliable when found- avoid it, and the worry it can cause-
      stick with glass.
    • David White
      there are only two type of (real) footy supporters, Collingwood supporters, and scum ... From: Tony & Elle Ackland To: New Distillers newsgroup Sent: Sunday,
      Message 2 of 19 , Feb 3, 2002
        there are only two type of (real) footy supporters, Collingwood supporters, and scum
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Sunday, February 03, 2002 1:10 PM
        Subject: RE: [new_distillers] Use of Plastics

        Magpie  (collingwood supporter ?)

        I'm in the same setup - I have a plastic offtake tube, and likewise store
        in large plastic containers.  I don't know if its wrong or right (you've no
        doubt read Kens warnings about plasticisers), but I do it anyway.  My
        advice would be to try and avoid plastic where possible, but don't let it
        stop you from distilling if you can't.

        Tony


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        new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com



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      • John Vandermeulen
        Hello magpie, I do all my brewing in plastic buckets. From there on my reflux column is all copper, with s.s. scrubbies. I did have a plastic drain from
        Message 3 of 19 , Feb 3, 2002
          Hello magpie,
          I do all my brewing in 'plastic' buckets. From there on my reflux column is
          all copper, with s.s. scrubbies. I did have a plastic drain from the
          condenser, a split length of flexible hose around the rim of the kettle to
          act as a seal, and a similar short length of tubing plus plenty of high temp.
          caulking between the lid of the kettle and the circular flange at the base of
          the column.
          I have since removed all plastic tubing (except for my water lines), and
          today plan to dissassemble the column/kettle lid to remove the plastic seal
          and the caulking. As I have a persistent 'synthetics' odor in the
          distillate, and even in the left-over water from the distilled sugar-wash.
          The only synthetic material that I trust absolutely is 'teflon' as it is
          super inert. I used sheets of the stuff to cut those small circular seals
          for inserting in the caps of chemical sample bottles. As I don't have any
          on hand now, I use the white synthetic material from pint-size supermarket
          yoghurt tubs.I have had no trouble with these, and figure that both US and
          Can. food inspection agencies have given that stuff their bureaucratic
          eagle-eye inspection. In fact, a lid from one of those tubs will go as a
          seal into the joint between kettle lid and base of column. I am too
          suspicious of caulking.
          Sorry to be so lengthy,
          Hope this helps,
          John V

          magpie2001au wrote:

          > Hi to all, my first post, notwithstanding I have been reading the
          > group for many months. I have completed my first "run"...the results
          > are pleasing to the taste and I can still "see" ?
          >
          > I am receiving conflicting advice regarding the use of "plastic"
          > utensils during the distilling process and would like clarification
          > from the experts.
          >
          > I have used 5 Litre glass jars to collect the product from the Still.
          > When reduced to the 40% mark I have had to use larger than 5 litre
          > containers and so place the product in a 15 litre "plastic"
          > pail\bucket. This "bucket" is white in colour and is stocked and sold
          > by the local brew shop. The 40% product is in this plastic bucket for
          > a few hours (maybe four) whilst it is processed through the filter
          > and
          > is then again collected to individual 5 litre glass jars.
          >
          > The second, and final point of conflict is the use of a small
          > lenght of "plastic" tube\pipe which is connected to the "outlet"
          > point
          > of the Still and terminates in the "neck" of the 5 litre glass jar. I
          > find it difficult to accept that this piece of "tube" (about 10
          > inches
          > long) is going to cause a "problem" to the product. However, I am
          > unsure about the use of the plastic bucket\pail.
          >
          > Advice and or comment on both points would be appreciated
          > please...Regards to all....\\
          >
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        • peter_vcb
          storing cold 40% in suitable plastic continers should be fine. ive seen 60% alcohol in plastic bottles at the airport. i have a gallon of 95% isopropanol which
          Message 4 of 19 , Feb 3, 2002
            storing cold 40% in suitable plastic continers should be fine. ive
            seen 60% alcohol in plastic bottles at the airport. i have a gallon
            of 95% isopropanol which came in a HD PE container.
          • janpam ooms
            Hello All, It s good to see that most distillers dont use plastic in any way with their alcohol.I had a posting an this many months ago and was told to take my
            Message 5 of 19 , Feb 3, 2002
              Hello All,
              It's good to see that most distillers dont use plastic in any way with their
              alcohol.I had a posting an this many months ago and was told to take my
              blinkers off and wake up as it is harmless.
              I cant remember the fool who wrote this. Anyhow, now it has come to light
              that even the bags in winecasks leach plastics into the plonk and we drink
              this stuff.
              Just have a look at the new plastic Z filter manufactured by who?, which is
              lauded as the ants pants.
              Anyone using this contraption continually will wake up to the health problem
              he or she might have in years to come.
              Just remember DDT how wonderful that was.
              Regards. JAN.


              >From: John Vandermeulen <vandermeulen@...>
              >Reply-To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
              >To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
              >Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Use of Plastics
              >Date: Sun, 03 Feb 2002 11:46:37 -0400
              >
              >Hello magpie,
              >I do all my brewing in 'plastic' buckets. From there on my reflux column
              >is
              >all copper, with s.s. scrubbies. I did have a plastic drain from the
              >condenser, a split length of flexible hose around the rim of the kettle to
              >act as a seal, and a similar short length of tubing plus plenty of high
              >temp.
              >caulking between the lid of the kettle and the circular flange at the base
              >of
              >the column.
              >I have since removed all plastic tubing (except for my water lines), and
              >today plan to dissassemble the column/kettle lid to remove the plastic seal
              >and the caulking. As I have a persistent 'synthetics' odor in the
              >distillate, and even in the left-over water from the distilled sugar-wash.
              >The only synthetic material that I trust absolutely is 'teflon' as it is
              >super inert. I used sheets of the stuff to cut those small circular seals
              >for inserting in the caps of chemical sample bottles. As I don't have any
              >on hand now, I use the white synthetic material from pint-size supermarket
              >yoghurt tubs.I have had no trouble with these, and figure that both US and
              >Can. food inspection agencies have given that stuff their bureaucratic
              >eagle-eye inspection. In fact, a lid from one of those tubs will go as a
              >seal into the joint between kettle lid and base of column. I am too
              >suspicious of caulking.
              >Sorry to be so lengthy,
              >Hope this helps,
              >John V
              >
              >magpie2001au wrote:
              >
              > > Hi to all, my first post, notwithstanding I have been reading the
              > > group for many months. I have completed my first "run"...the results
              > > are pleasing to the taste and I can still "see" ?
              > >
              > > I am receiving conflicting advice regarding the use of "plastic"
              > > utensils during the distilling process and would like clarification
              > > from the experts.
              > >
              > > I have used 5 Litre glass jars to collect the product from the Still.
              > > When reduced to the 40% mark I have had to use larger than 5 litre
              > > containers and so place the product in a 15 litre "plastic"
              > > pail\bucket. This "bucket" is white in colour and is stocked and sold
              > > by the local brew shop. The 40% product is in this plastic bucket for
              > > a few hours (maybe four) whilst it is processed through the filter
              > > and
              > > is then again collected to individual 5 litre glass jars.
              > >
              > > The second, and final point of conflict is the use of a small
              > > lenght of "plastic" tube\pipe which is connected to the "outlet"
              > > point
              > > of the Still and terminates in the "neck" of the 5 litre glass jar. I
              > > find it difficult to accept that this piece of "tube" (about 10
              > > inches
              > > long) is going to cause a "problem" to the product. However, I am
              > > unsure about the use of the plastic bucket\pail.
              > >
              > > Advice and or comment on both points would be appreciated
              > > please...Regards to all....\\
              > >
              > >
              > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > > new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
              >http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >
              >




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            • G&N
              I have used a two litre plastic beaker to collect my 90+ percent spirit for over 12 months now and the container is still just fine ...no doubt some plactics
              Message 6 of 19 , Feb 3, 2002
                I have used a two litre plastic beaker to collect my 90+ percent spirit for
                over 12 months now and the container is still just fine ...no doubt some
                plactics would'nt be as good as others but i dont have a worry with it
                ...plastic is used everywhere nowadays ..........BUT

                Ethanol is a solvent..........we drink that

                Ethanol kills brain cells .....we drink that

                Ethanol is bad for our liver....we drink that

                Ethanol is a drug............we drink that

                Ethanol when we distill ...i bet we all sniff it to so see what the product
                is coming out like.

                If people are that worried about plastics they shouldnt drink this stuff
                anyway ...that is my opinion anyway



                Glenn













                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "John Vandermeulen" <vandermeulen@...>
                To: <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Sunday, February 03, 2002 11:46 PM
                Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Use of Plastics


                > Hello magpie,
                > I do all my brewing in 'plastic' buckets. From there on my reflux column
                is
                > all copper, with s.s. scrubbies. I did have a plastic drain from the
                > condenser, a split length of flexible hose around the rim of the kettle to
                > act as a seal, and a similar short length of tubing plus plenty of high
                temp.
                > caulking between the lid of the kettle and the circular flange at the base
                of
                > the column.
                > I have since removed all plastic tubing (except for my water lines), and
                > today plan to dissassemble the column/kettle lid to remove the plastic
                seal
                > and the caulking. As I have a persistent 'synthetics' odor in the
                > distillate, and even in the left-over water from the distilled sugar-wash.
                > The only synthetic material that I trust absolutely is 'teflon' as it is
                > super inert. I used sheets of the stuff to cut those small circular seals
                > for inserting in the caps of chemical sample bottles. As I don't have
                any
                > on hand now, I use the white synthetic material from pint-size supermarket
                > yoghurt tubs.I have had no trouble with these, and figure that both US and
                > Can. food inspection agencies have given that stuff their bureaucratic
                > eagle-eye inspection. In fact, a lid from one of those tubs will go as a
                > seal into the joint between kettle lid and base of column. I am too
                > suspicious of caulking.
                > Sorry to be so lengthy,
                > Hope this helps,
                > John V
                >
                > magpie2001au wrote:
                >
                > > Hi to all, my first post, notwithstanding I have been reading the
                > > group for many months. I have completed my first "run"...the results
                > > are pleasing to the taste and I can still "see" ?
                > >
                > > I am receiving conflicting advice regarding the use of "plastic"
                > > utensils during the distilling process and would like clarification
                > > from the experts.
                > >
                > > I have used 5 Litre glass jars to collect the product from the Still.
                > > When reduced to the 40% mark I have had to use larger than 5 litre
                > > containers and so place the product in a 15 litre "plastic"
                > > pail\bucket. This "bucket" is white in colour and is stocked and sold
                > > by the local brew shop. The 40% product is in this plastic bucket for
                > > a few hours (maybe four) whilst it is processed through the filter
                > > and
                > > is then again collected to individual 5 litre glass jars.
                > >
                > > The second, and final point of conflict is the use of a small
                > > lenght of "plastic" tube\pipe which is connected to the "outlet"
                > > point
                > > of the Still and terminates in the "neck" of the 5 litre glass jar. I
                > > find it difficult to accept that this piece of "tube" (about 10
                > > inches
                > > long) is going to cause a "problem" to the product. However, I am
                > > unsure about the use of the plastic bucket\pail.
                > >
                > > Advice and or comment on both points would be appreciated
                > > please...Regards to all....\\
                > >
                > >
                > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > > new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >
              • ups474@aol.com
                Yes, ethanol is a solvent that kills brain cells, but, due to laws of natural selection, it kills the weaker and slower brain cells first, this makes the brain
                Message 7 of 19 , Feb 3, 2002
                  Yes, ethanol is a solvent that kills brain cells, but, due to laws of natural
                  selection, it kills the weaker and slower brain cells first, this makes the
                  brain healthier and faster overall.
                • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
                  ... That would explain all those genius you meet in the pub. They shure do seem to know a lot, particularly the more they ve had Tony
                  Message 8 of 19 , Feb 3, 2002
                    > Yes, ethanol is a solvent that kills brain cells, but, due to
                    > laws of natural
                    > selection, it kills the weaker and slower brain cells first,
                    > this makes the
                    > brain healthier and faster overall.

                    That would explain all those genius' you meet in the pub.
                    They shure do seem to know a lot, particularly the more they've had

                    Tony
                  • Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)
                    For more info on the placticiers and their toxicity, see : http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/GDWQ/Chemicals/di2ethylhexyphtafull.htm ..It should be
                    Message 9 of 19 , Feb 3, 2002
                      For more info on the placticiers and their toxicity, see :

                      http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/GDWQ/Chemicals/di2ethylhexyphtafull.htm

                      "..It should be noted that some reported occurrences of DEHP in certain matrices have been found to result from contamination of the latter by plasticizer extracted from plastic tubing or other equipment..." and "..Consequently, the TDI is 25 µg/kg of body weight..."

                      Tony
                    • Lynne
                      ... .. aka, the Buffalo Theory : http://www.primenet.com/~machado/adb/buffalo.htm Note in particular, the second part, Tony ;) Lynne
                      Message 10 of 19 , Feb 3, 2002
                        At 07:25 PM 2/3/02 -0500, ups wrote:
                        >Yes, ethanol is a solvent that kills brain cells, but, due to laws of natural
                        >selection, it kills the weaker and slower brain cells first, this makes the
                        >brain healthier and faster overall.

                        .. aka, the Buffalo Theory : http://www.primenet.com/~machado/adb/buffalo.htm

                        Note in particular, the second part, Tony ;)

                        Lynne
                      • klcampbell
                        G day John,teflon is not totally inert in hot ethanol vapour or liquid,it does soften and go spongy but will return to normal as the ethanol evaporates.
                        Message 11 of 19 , Feb 4, 2002
                          G'day John,teflon is not totally inert in hot ethanol vapour or liquid,it
                          does soften and go spongy but will return to normal as the ethanol
                          evaporates.
                          Nitrile and silicone are both inert and silicone tubing is suitable for
                          extending the outlet from your condenser,Regards,Ken.
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "John Vandermeulen" <vandermeulen@...>
                          To: <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Monday, 4 February 2002 2:46
                          Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Use of Plastics


                          > Hello magpie,
                          > I do all my brewing in 'plastic' buckets. From there on my reflux column
                          is
                          > all copper, with s.s. scrubbies. I did have a plastic drain from the
                          > condenser, a split length of flexible hose around the rim of the kettle to
                          > act as a seal, and a similar short length of tubing plus plenty of high
                          temp.
                          > caulking between the lid of the kettle and the circular flange at the base
                          of
                          > the column.
                          > I have since removed all plastic tubing (except for my water lines), and
                          > today plan to dissassemble the column/kettle lid to remove the plastic
                          seal
                          > and the caulking. As I have a persistent 'synthetics' odor in the
                          > distillate, and even in the left-over water from the distilled sugar-wash.
                          > The only synthetic material that I trust absolutely is 'teflon' as it is
                          > super inert. I used sheets of the stuff to cut those small circular seals
                          > for inserting in the caps of chemical sample bottles. As I don't have
                          any
                          > on hand now, I use the white synthetic material from pint-size supermarket
                          > yoghurt tubs.I have had no trouble with these, and figure that both US and
                          > Can. food inspection agencies have given that stuff their bureaucratic
                          > eagle-eye inspection. In fact, a lid from one of those tubs will go as a
                          > seal into the joint between kettle lid and base of column. I am too
                          > suspicious of caulking.
                          > Sorry to be so lengthy,
                          > Hope this helps,
                          > John V
                          >
                          > magpie2001au wrote:
                          >
                          > > Hi to all, my first post, notwithstanding I have been reading the
                          > > group for many months. I have completed my first "run"...the results
                          > > are pleasing to the taste and I can still "see" ?
                          > >
                          > > I am receiving conflicting advice regarding the use of "plastic"
                          > > utensils during the distilling process and would like clarification
                          > > from the experts.
                          > >
                          > > I have used 5 Litre glass jars to collect the product from the Still.
                          > > When reduced to the 40% mark I have had to use larger than 5 litre
                          > > containers and so place the product in a 15 litre "plastic"
                          > > pail\bucket. This "bucket" is white in colour and is stocked and sold
                          > > by the local brew shop. The 40% product is in this plastic bucket for
                          > > a few hours (maybe four) whilst it is processed through the filter
                          > > and
                          > > is then again collected to individual 5 litre glass jars.
                          > >
                          > > The second, and final point of conflict is the use of a small
                          > > lenght of "plastic" tube\pipe which is connected to the "outlet"
                          > > point
                          > > of the Still and terminates in the "neck" of the 5 litre glass jar. I
                          > > find it difficult to accept that this piece of "tube" (about 10
                          > > inches
                          > > long) is going to cause a "problem" to the product. However, I am
                          > > unsure about the use of the plastic bucket\pail.
                          > >
                          > > Advice and or comment on both points would be appreciated
                          > > please...Regards to all....\\
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                          > > new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                          http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                          > new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          >
                          >
                        • magpie2001au
                          Howdy. I posted the original question re: the use of Plastics a few days ago. I have read the resulting mail with much interest. There seems to be an even
                          Message 12 of 19 , Feb 4, 2002
                            Howdy. I posted the original question re: the use of Plastics a few
                            days ago. I have read the resulting mail with much interest. There
                            seems to be an even divide of opinion.

                            I called into my local "brew" shop this morning and asked the staff
                            for their opinion on the subject. As might have been expected they say
                            providing the product\hose\tubing\utensil is of "FOOD" quality...there
                            will be no problem.

                            It is not my intention to cause argument, but rather to acknowledge
                            the various opinions which have been expressed. For my part I tend to
                            subscribe to that argument which say's...use glass and copper etc
                            whenever possable...and if I have to use plastic...then ensure it is
                            of Food quality. However, you may well ask....if I go into my Brew
                            shop and buy, say, a three litre measuring jug...how do I know it is
                            made of a Food quality material?...and so the circle continues.

                            Regards to all....\\
                          • Ian Macsween
                            Good point - I bought a plastic vial for measuring specific gravity of my wort from the local wine shop - it clouded up and crazed the first time I tried to
                            Message 13 of 19 , Feb 4, 2002
                              Good point - I bought a plastic vial for measuring specific gravity of my
                              wort from the local wine shop - it clouded up and "crazed" the first time I
                              tried to measure the %APV from one of my "runs". So much for plastic!
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: "magpie2001au" <mikeltee@...>
                              To: <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Monday, February 04, 2002 5:19 PM
                              Subject: [new_distillers] Use of Plastics


                              > Howdy. I posted the original question re: the use of Plastics a few
                              > days ago. I have read the resulting mail with much interest. There
                              > seems to be an even divide of opinion.
                              >
                              > I called into my local "brew" shop this morning and asked the staff
                              > for their opinion on the subject. As might have been expected they say
                              > providing the product\hose\tubing\utensil is of "FOOD" quality...there
                              > will be no problem.
                              >
                              > It is not my intention to cause argument, but rather to acknowledge
                              > the various opinions which have been expressed. For my part I tend to
                              > subscribe to that argument which say's...use glass and copper etc
                              > whenever possable...and if I have to use plastic...then ensure it is
                              > of Food quality. However, you may well ask....if I go into my Brew
                              > shop and buy, say, a three litre measuring jug...how do I know it is
                              > made of a Food quality material?...and so the circle continues.
                              >
                              > Regards to all....\\
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                              > new_distillers-unsubscribe@onelist.com
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                              >
                              >
                              >
                            • confederaterebel@aol.com
                              Might as well keep the pot stirred some. I used to work for a plumbing company. Every time i got cut on copper tubing they would tell me hope you didn t get
                              Message 14 of 19 , Feb 4, 2002
                                Might as well keep the pot stirred some. I used to work for a plumbing
                                company. Every time i got cut on copper tubing they would tell me " hope you
                                didn't get too much copper in your blood stream you could get real sick if
                                you do". Now if plastic is bad why is copper not in a still. Both are bad at
                                high levels. All quality stills have copper, plastic, and rubber in its
                                construction. The only thing i can say is i've never heard of plastic
                                poisoning. I've drank more moonshine out of plastic milk jugs than i care to
                                remember.

                                Bill
                              • mattdistiller
                                ... http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/GDWQ/Chemicals/di2ethylhexy phtafull.htm ... Hi, Just to add my 2 cents worth - I don t and won t use plastics
                                Message 15 of 19 , Feb 4, 2002
                                  --- In new_distillers@y..., "Ackland, Tony (CALNZAS)"
                                  <Tony.Ackland@c...> wrote:
                                  > For more info on the placticiers and their toxicity, see :
                                  >
                                  http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/GDWQ/Chemicals/di2ethylhexy
                                  phtafull.htm
                                  >

                                  Hi,

                                  Just to add my 2 cents worth - I don't and won't use plastics with my
                                  alcohol - thats just me. BUT - thats not to say that some plastics
                                  are OK - I don't claim to know.

                                  I have just scanned in a datasheet (from our lab) with info on
                                  different plastics (resins) and how they react to chemicals. I have
                                  only included the ethanol data - all up, the entire table is 6 pages
                                  long!

                                  You can find the sheet in the files area of this group:

                                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/files/mattdistiller/ethan
                                  olplasticdata.gif

                                  It is fairly large (300k) but I scanned it so it would print out OK
                                  on a normal printer.

                                  I won't interpret all the data - but I will say by the looks of it,
                                  there are some plastics which could be OK, and others that are a
                                  definite no! That said, this is a laboratory guide, not necessarily
                                  a guide for human consumption! So use the data at your own risk!

                                  Matt
                                • peter_vcb
                                  ... say ... quality...there ... did you tell them that 95% boiling ethanol vapours would be passing through the item? many years ago i made distilled some
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Feb 5, 2002
                                    > I called into my local "brew" shop this morning and asked the staff
                                    > for their opinion on the subject. As might have been expected they
                                    say
                                    > providing the product\hose\tubing\utensil is of "FOOD"
                                    quality...there
                                    > will be no problem.

                                    did you tell them that 95% boiling ethanol vapours would be passing
                                    through the item?

                                    many years ago i made distilled some alcohol it tasted like it came
                                    out at about 30%. it was passed through a food grade tube from a
                                    homebrew shop. when i added water to the alcohol it turned milky,
                                    plastic precipitating out!

                                    > subscribe to that argument which say's...use glass and copper etc
                                    > whenever possable...and if I have to use plastic...then ensure it
                                    is
                                    > of Food quality. However, you may well ask....if I go into my Brew
                                    > shop and buy, say, a three litre measuring jug...how do I know it
                                    is
                                    > made of a Food quality material?...and so the circle continues.

                                    that is what i do. my still is mainly 316 stainless then copper then
                                    glass. i use small amounts of food grade silicone tube to seal some
                                    joints and i use food grade silicone sealant for my gasket on top of
                                    my keg. i am not sure what the exact differences are between normal
                                    silicone and food grade. i know the food grade sealant contains
                                    fungicides in it (dont know if this is the only difference). if your
                                    measuring jug is food grade they should be shouting about it. the
                                    company i work in must use food grade plastics and we have trouble
                                    finding them and can pay over twice the price for them. it might be
                                    worthwhile looking up chemical supply companies posing as a student.
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