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Re: Blue crystals in sugar wash?

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  • Mike
    ... any ammonia. I ll filter them out and add to the next tail batch. Live and learn. In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, jamesonbeam1 ...
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 5, 2008
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      --- I'm pretty good with the cleaning after every event. I don't smell
      any ammonia. I'll filter them out and add to the next tail batch. Live
      and learn.


      In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...>
      wrote:
      >
      >
      > First thing - clean your whole dang still out, condenser and all.....
      >
      > Next, take that blue distillate and add some of it to your next
      > distillation run. May want to add some acid to it also to get the pH
      > down - and see what happens.
      >
      > Next time dont add nutrients to a Turbo Yeast - they already have
      > em..... [;)]
      >
      > Vino es Veritas,
      >
      > Jim.
      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Mike" <maw56b@> wrote:
      >
      > --- Thanks as always. So what should I do for this batch?
      >
      >
      > > In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" jamesonbeam1@
      > > wrote:
      >
      >
      > Mike,
      >
      > Usually the result of too much nitrogen / nutrients in too alkaline a
      > wash / mash which results in blueish distillate and blue crystals in
      > your condenser and tubing as a reaction from the copper - cuprammonium
      > hydroxide or commonly called Schweitzer's reagent. See Below.
      >
      > Vino es Veritas,
      > Jim.
      >
      >
      > Blue Spirit
      >
      > Sometimes the spirit may get a slight blue tinge to it. This is usually
      > a sign that you've used too much nutrient in the wash. Mike explains ...
      > I [previously] replied, saying it was probably due to copper salts
      > coming from acid wash. I WAS WRONG!!!!
      >
      > In fact, I've learned that it is just the opposite! Acid washes do not
      > corrode the condenser (unless, perhaps, they've been allowed to sit far
      > to long and have gone acetic), but neutral to alkaline ones DO. Heating
      > an ALKALINE wash, particularly one with lots of nitrogen-containing
      > compounds that have been put in as nutrients, liberates ammonia, which
      > corrodes the heck out of reflux coils and dyes the distillate a distinct
      > greenish blue.
      >
      > The Upshot: if the WASH is turning blue, it's probably due to acid wash
      > corroding a copper sheathed element or a copper boiler, but if the
      > collected DISTILLATE is blue, (and probably ammoniacal, but not always),
      > the wash should be acidified!
      >
      > Turbos contain a lot of nitrogen-containing compounds, and at neutral to
      > high pH, these can liberate free ammonia. At low pH, they are bound up
      > with the acid as salts, and do not liberate ammonia. So, by adding
      > nutrients to an already nutrient rich turbo, you can inadvertently push
      > the mix over the line and get ammonia with your distillate.
      >
      > Mike warns though ..
      > It's OK to add baking soda or other alkali to a STRIPPED wash, but NEVER
      > put it in the primary ferment and then distill. If you do, and your
      > still contains ANY copper, you will severely corrode the copper, and get
      > blue, ammonia-smelling distillate. Not fun!
      >
      > Why? Yeast and yeast nutrient both contain lots of ammonium salts (like
      > DAP), which are very stable under acidic conditions, but which release
      > lots of ammonia as the approach neutral conditions. Actually, you will
      > start getting ammonia at about pH 5! Ammonia gas is very corrosive to
      > copper, and you will find your condenser coil packed up with blue
      > crystals after such a run (and blue alcohol too !)
      >
      > Schweitzer's reagent is cuprammonium hydroxide, and is formed when
      > copper hydroxide dissolves in a dilute ammonia solution). It is a deep
      > blue colour, and is particularly known for its ability to dissolve
      > cotton. The chemist who first discovered this property was Eduard
      > Mathias Schweizer (1818 -1860), so it seems that it should really be
      > called Schweizer's reagent.
      >
      > It forms in stills when ammonia released from alkaline washes (nitrogen
      > source may be plant material or yeasts) reacts with copper hydroxide
      > formed by the action of steam on copper oxides coating the inside of
      > copper columns or components. It may be avoided by ensuring that the
      > liquid in the boiler is slightly acid (pH less than 7).
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
      >
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/post?postID=ElqAvcbWnFRZK1\
      >
      9_QoyaPOphqmGMJ_pfiWzQxDb1WTXcllROI22NUER2F3mRPsrD4uDWVAyDDQFgWVBGOfAtlk\
      > 6cFWJXozyq> , "Mike" <maw56b@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Blue crystal have formed in a first run wash. what is it and why?
      > > Thanks guys.
      > >
      >
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