saving a blue product
- i copied this from another forum.i tried the archives but didnt get a answer.
"I added baking soda to my sugar wash to try to clean it up but my hooch is blue and smells terrible. What have I done and can I save it?"
The answer "by a source i trust" said no. But i vaguely remember a few years ago a possible solution.
From what I remember, filter it thru carbon then dilute it back down to below 40% and re-distill. What you did was add to many nutrients in the form of nitrogen and allowed the wash to become to alkaline before distilling it. Higher acidic washes will prevent this.
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.
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).
PS> While ZB is not currently a moderator, if Harry and others are willing, I would highly recommend him as a moderator since he been around as long as I have and knows tons on distilling good whiskey - even in a pot still LOL.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "hifa222" <hifa222@...> wrote:
> i copied this from another forum.i tried the archives but didnt get a answer.
> "I added baking soda to my sugar wash to try to clean it up but my hooch is blue and smells terrible. What have I done and can I save it?"
> The answer "by a source i trust" said no. But i vaguely remember a few years ago a possible solution.