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repeated distillation - how close to 97% ?

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  • curiousswinger2003
    Hi all, was curious if using my little water purifier still, and repeatedly distilling, if I could get anywhere close to 90%+ purity. I know 100% is
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 4, 2008
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      Hi all,

      was curious if using my little "water purifier" still, and repeatedly
      distilling, if I could get anywhere close to 90%+ purity. I know 100%
      is difficult (azeotrope ???).

      Anyone any experience of this ?
    • abbababbaccc
      You can get to 95.6% ABV, after that the ethanol starts to absorb moisture from air and the ABV stays the same. Cheers, Riku
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 4, 2008
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        You can get to 95.6% ABV, after that the ethanol starts to absorb
        moisture from air and the ABV stays the same.

        Cheers, Riku

        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "curiousswinger2003"
        <curiousswinger2003@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi all,
        >
        > was curious if using my little "water purifier" still, and repeatedly
        > distilling, if I could get anywhere close to 90%+ purity. I know 100%
        > is difficult (azeotrope ???).
        >
        > Anyone any experience of this ?
        >
      • jamesonbeam1
        Hey Winger, First, water purifier systems should not be used for distilling unless they have been specially modified. These systems contain plastic piping
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 4, 2008
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          Hey Winger,

          First, "water purifier" systems should not be used for distilling unless they have been specially modified.  These systems contain plastic piping with will be disolved by high ABV alcohol and will leach compounds and off-flavors to your product.

          Secondly, you cannot get anything close to 90%  "neutral" alcohol without being able to make specific cuts in your distillation.  This is impractical with "water purifier" type distilling devices.

          Third, in order to do this correctly, you need a reflux type still, especially if you want to reach the "azeotrophe" of ethanol in regular distilling devices which is 95.6 ABV.  This is also different then "neutral" alcohol, which contains no tastes or flavors, since azeotrophic alcohol may have impurities in it.

          In order to get to 100% pure alcohol, you need special devices such as molecular / membrane  screens which seperates water molicules from alcohol molecules (totally ridiculous for us hobby type distillers):

          "The pervaporation method uses a membrane that is more permeable to the one constituent than to the another to separate the constituents of an azeotrope as it passes from liquid to vapor phase. The membrane is rigged to lie between the liquid and vapor phases. Another membrane method is vapor permeation, where the constituents pass through the membrane entirely in the vapor phase. In all membrane methods, the membrane separates the fluid passing through it into a permeate (that which passes through) and a retentate (that which is left behind). When the membrane is chosen so that is it more permeable to one constituent than another, then the permeate will be richer in that first constituent than the retentate.[2]"    From  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azeotrope  

          If you want to seriously make some neutral alcohol,  (or take this hobby seriously) please browse through the Info base and learn how to make a real reflux still - there are many designs out there.

          Sorry to be the bearer of bad news....

          Vino es Veritas,

          Jim.

           

           

          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "curiousswinger2003" <curiousswinger2003@...>  wrote:
          >
          > Hi all,
          >
          > was curious if using my little "water purifier" still, and repeatedly
          > distilling, if I could get anywhere close to 90%+ purity. I know 100%
          > is difficult (azeotrope ???).
          >
          > Anyone any experience of this ?
          >

        • curiousswinger2003
          ... unless ... piping ... and ... It s a proper pot-still ... with copper piping - produces pretty good 60% which I dilute down to 40% and add spirit essences
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 5, 2008
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            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1"
            <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Hey Winger,
            >
            > First, "water purifier" systems should not be used for distilling
            unless
            > they have been specially modified. These systems contain plastic
            piping
            > with will be disolved by high ABV alcohol and will leach compounds
            and
            > off-flavors to your product.

            It's a proper pot-still ... with copper piping - produces pretty good
            60% which I dilute down to 40% and add spirit essences to. Not as
            good as commercial spirits, but very acceptable, given the
            price/litre (I'm in the UK where a "cheap" bottle of whisky is about
            20 USD)

            >
            > Secondly, you cannot get anything close to 90% "neutral" alcohol
            > without being able to make specific cuts in your distillation.
            This is
            > impractical with "water purifier" type distilling devices.

            I take it you mean there will be other alcohols in the initial
            distill, which will just get worse with repeated distillation ?

            > Third, in order to do this correctly, you need a reflux type still,
            > especially if you want to reach the "azeotrophe" of ethanol in
            regular
            > distilling devices which is 95.6 ABV. This is also different then
            > "neutral" alcohol, which contains no tastes or flavors, since
            > azeotrophic alcohol may have impurities in it.

            I was curious to make alcohol for dissolving oils in. As a chemical
            reagent, basically.

            >
            > In order to get to 100% pure alcohol, you need special devices such
            as
            > molecular / membrane screens which seperates water molicules from
            > alcohol molecules (totally ridiculous for us hobby type distillers):

            No, no need for 100%. As long as the alcohol dissolves the oils, then
            then evapouration will leave the residue.

            >
            > "The pervaporation <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pervaporation>
            method
            > uses a membrane that is more permeable to the one constituent than
            to
            > the another to separate the constituents of an azeotrope as it
            passes
            > from liquid to vapor phase. The membrane is rigged to lie between
            the
            > liquid and vapor phases. Another membrane method is vapor permeation
            > <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?
            title=Vapor_permeation&action=edit&\
            > redlink=1> , where the constituents pass through the membrane
            entirely
            > in the vapor phase. In all membrane methods, the membrane separates
            the
            > fluid passing through it into a permeate
            > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permeate> (that which passes
            through) and
            > a retentate
            > <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?
            title=Retentate&action=edit&redlink\
            > =1> (that which is left behind). When the membrane is chosen so
            that is
            > it more permeable to one constituent than another, then the permeate
            > will be richer in that first constituent than the retentate.[2]"
            From
            > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azeotrope
            > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azeotrope>
            >
            > If you want to seriously make some neutral alcohol, (or take this
            hobby
            > seriously) please browse through the Info base and learn how to
            make a
            > real reflux still - there are many designs out there.

            Maybe when the long winter nights draw in :-)

            >
            > Sorry to be the bearer of bad news....

            Not at all. I appreciate the time you took to answer my question
            fully. At least I have an idea of the size of the problem.
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