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I'm New And I Need Advice Regarding Operation of a VM System

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  • geoff
    Hi Tom, When you were interrupted by HWMBO in my opinion if you had carried on with you run it would have been faultless. When you stop a run, yes you can
    Message 1 of 25 , Jun 8, 2010
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      Hi Tom,

        When you were interrupted by HWMBO in my opinion if you had carried on with you run it would have been faultless. When you stop a run, yes you can restart again but and here’s the rub you need to start as if you it was a completely fresh run and take fore shots and heads in the usual manor (been there done that)

            After the 1 ½ hr reflux you should have done the fore shots heads take off procedure again. 

           Why? Ok this is gonna be hard to explain but I’ll give it a try.

           There is still significant proportion albeit a smaller proportion of fore shots and heads in the remaining wash and when you refluxed it again this portion stratified out to the top of your column again in the same concentrate as before.  This needs taking off again.  Now I haven’t done the math but I suspect you might have been nearing the end of the hearts run and what you collected was fore shots and heads plus maybe a lot of tails. Hence the tails smell which can be very overpowering even when mixed with fore shots and heads   

          Ok this is only my opinion but I think I’m getting close to the solution for you

          Why have only raschig rings in a stainless steel column you need some copper in there Tom to prevent the blue goo you mentioned.

      Throw everything back into the boiler do another run with copper in the column and I’ll bet you get a good product (split it into two 5 gal runs if you can’t do the 10gal run without having to leave it)

           Some of the mods can explain the blue goo better than me.  Ok over to you Jameson  Bing (an idea)  Let ZB cut his teeth on this blue lagoon chit.  Honestly Bob we really do like you and I just love putting you on the spot.

      Geoff   

       

    • Tom
      Geoff, Thanks for the information. If I m ever in that shape again, I ll restart as if it was at the beginning of a run. However, I will try to never put
      Message 2 of 25 , Jun 8, 2010
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        Geoff,

        Thanks for the information. If I'm ever in that shape again, I'll restart as if it was at the beginning of a run. However, I will try to never put myself in that condition (interrupt a run) again.

        Regarding the raschig rings and my column - the column is copper. Everything in my set up is copper except the boiler and the rings. I stayed with the rings with this set-up because that's what I had in my LM set-up and the rings seemed to work ok. As soon as I save up enough money, I'll probably switch to copper mesh.

        Thanks! I really appreciate your help.

        Ton

        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "geoff" <jeffrey.burrows@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi Tom,
        >
        > When you were interrupted by HWMBO in my opinion if you had carried on with you run it would have been faultless. When you stop a run, yes you can restart again but and here's the rub you need to start as if you it was a completely fresh run and take fore shots and heads in the usual manor (been there done that)
        >
        > Snip
        >
        > Why have only raschig rings in a stainless steel column you need some copper in there Tom to prevent the blue goo you mentioned.
        >
        > Snip
        >
        > Geoff
        >
      • landrover_ffr
        Hi Tom, I can t offer too much advice as to why you got such a bad case of the blue meanies but in the future it might be worth raising the pH of the wash
        Message 3 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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          Hi Tom,
          I can't offer too much advice as to why you got such a bad case of the blue meanies but in the future it might be worth raising the pH of the wash before you run.
          I started doing this (with baking soda) on the advice of some of the learned members here and not only does it seem to offer clearer distinction between the heads and hearts but I've also noticed it's a lot easier on the copper at the bottom of the column. FYI my column is 2.5" x 44" VM packed with s/s scrubbers.

          As for stopping and restarting. I've has to done this a number of times (for the same reason as you funny enough) and have never suffered any ill affects. You shouldn't have to completely start again.
          When I power back up I only eq. for about 30 minutes and then pick up where I left off. Sometimes this has been after a couple of days :(
          You should have taken out all the foreshots and heads during your first effort so all things being equal you won't detect any when you restart (well I never have and have done restart runs dozens of times)

          Regards,
          Sid.
        • fucenbrewer
          ... Sid, what is your target PH before the run? Thanks, Marshall
          Message 4 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "landrover_ffr" <sid.rains@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Tom,
            > I can't offer too much advice as to why you got such a bad case of the blue meanies but in the future it might be worth raising the pH of the wash before you run.
            > I started doing this (with baking soda) on the advice of some of the learned members here and not only does it seem to offer clearer distinction between the heads and hearts but I've also noticed it's a lot easier on the copper at the bottom of the column. FYI my column is 2.5" x 44" VM packed with s/s scrubbers.
            >
            > As for stopping and restarting. I've has to done this a number of times (for the same reason as you funny enough) and have never suffered any ill affects. You shouldn't have to completely start again.
            > When I power back up I only eq. for about 30 minutes and then pick up where I left off. Sometimes this has been after a couple of days :(
            > You should have taken out all the foreshots and heads during your first effort so all things being equal you won't detect any when you restart (well I never have and have done restart runs dozens of times)
            >
            > Regards,
            > Sid.
            >
            Sid,
            what is your target PH before the run?

            Thanks,
            Marshall
          • Tom
            Sid, Thanks for your help. Unfortunately, the more I read about this problem, the more confused I get. In Tony s site there are a couple of references to
            Message 5 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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              Sid,

              Thanks for your help. Unfortunately, the more I read about this problem, the more confused I get. In Tony's site there are a couple of references to "blue" product. They seem to suggest that the cause may be due to excess nutrients in the wash or to a basic, not acidic, wash. See the following:

              From Tony's site under "Fermenting"

              Also, don't use too much nutrient. It won't make the yeast work any faster, once you've supplied its needs ... but it can make your spirit turn blue. Mike explains ...
              ... alkaline washes that hold a lot of nitrogen-containing compounds that have been put in as nutrients will liberate ammonia and that, being a gas, will get to the top condenser and form an aqueous ammonia solution, which is alkaline. Normal oxidation of copper under heat forms cupric hydroxide in an alkaline solution. This turns black when boiled with water, and is commonly seen on copper components in stills. This, in turn, reacts with ammonia solution to form Schweitzer's solution, containing the tetrammino-cupric ion Cu[4NH3]++, which is deep blue. Don't worry ... it won't hurt you, and you might even think the colour attractive!

              Answer is to ensure that your wash is not alkaline, but acidic. This is the normal condition after a fermentation, as yeasts tend to acidify the wash with their by-products. You say that you added yeast nutrients, and I suspect that you were a bit too enthusiastic, as this can tipp the balnace the other way. Addition of citric acid is usually enough to neutralise and then acidify a solution made too alkaline by overdosing with nutrients, but without acid buffers to control the pH. In an acidic solution, those nitrogen-containing compounds will react with the acid to form salts, and so will not ne carried up to the top condenser.
              If this happens, make sure you strip down your tower, and clean it well. The blue alcohol can be cleaned up by adding some citric acid (50g per 5L) (which will react with the ammonia to produce ammonium citrate which will precipitate out along with the copper leaving hydrogen sulphyte and or sulphide), and then filtering it through some coffee filters to collect the flocculant; the alcohol will then be ok to redistil.

              From Tony's site under "Distilling"

              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! End of Excerpted material

              Sid, I don't understand how my problem could have been caused by either condition as the out put from day #1 was crystal clear and I didn't do anything to the wash prior to day #2 except remove the ethanol on day #1.

              Thanks very much for your help. In light of the information from Tony's site, do you still feel that I should have made my wash less acidic?

              Tom


              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "landrover_ffr" <sid.rains@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Tom,
              > SNIP> it might be worth raising the pH of the wash before you run.
              > I started doing this (with baking soda) SNIP> As for stopping and restarting. I've has to done this a number of times (Snip>
              > Regards,

              > Sid.
              >
            • jamesonbeam1
              Tom, Yes, I posted that same information a while back. It does see to be confusing. However, when you think about it, if you left an acidic mixture in copper
              Message 6 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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                Tom,

                Yes, I posted that same information a while back. It does see to be
                confusing. However, when you think about it, if you left an acidic
                mixture in copper (you did originally mention you still is all copper
                except for the boiler and rashing rings), it will turn blue. Not sure
                what that wine clearing agent did but the fact you mentioned earlier
                that it was on the greenish side worries me. Thats usually what happens
                when plant food is used for nutrients. Could you please tell us exactly
                which recipe of Tony Ackland's that you used and what nutrients?

                JB.


                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tom" <tomhawk412@...> wrote:
                >
                > Sid,
                >
                > Thanks for your help. Unfortunately, the more I read about this
                problem, the more confused I get. In Tony's site there are a couple of
                references to "blue" product. They seem to suggest that the cause may be
                due to excess nutrients in the wash or to a basic, not acidic, wash. See
                the following:
                >
                > From Tony's site under "Fermenting"
                >
                > Also, don't use too much nutrient. It won't make the yeast work any
                faster, once you've supplied its needs ... but it can make your spirit
                turn blue. Mike explains ...
                > ... alkaline washes that hold a lot of nitrogen-containing compounds
                that have been put in as nutrients will liberate ammonia and that, being
                a gas, will get to the top condenser and form an aqueous ammonia
                solution, which is alkaline. Normal oxidation of copper under heat forms
                cupric hydroxide in an alkaline solution. This turns black when boiled
                with water, and is commonly seen on copper components in stills. This,
                in turn, reacts with ammonia solution to form Schweitzer's solution,
                containing the tetrammino-cupric ion Cu[4NH3]++, which is deep blue.
                Don't worry ... it won't hurt you, and you might even think the colour
                attractive!
                >
                > Answer is to ensure that your wash is not alkaline, but acidic. This
                is the normal condition after a fermentation, as yeasts tend to acidify
                the wash with their by-products. You say that you added yeast nutrients,
                and I suspect that you were a bit too enthusiastic, as this can tipp the
                balnace the other way. Addition of citric acid is usually enough to
                neutralise and then acidify a solution made too alkaline by overdosing
                with nutrients, but without acid buffers to control the pH. In an acidic
                solution, those nitrogen-containing compounds will react with the acid
                to form salts, and so will not ne carried up to the top condenser.
                > If this happens, make sure you strip down your tower, and clean it
                well. The blue alcohol can be cleaned up by adding some citric acid (50g
                per 5L) (which will react with the ammonia to produce ammonium citrate
                which will precipitate out along with the copper leaving hydrogen
                sulphyte and or sulphide), and then filtering it through some coffee
                filters to collect the flocculant; the alcohol will then be ok to
                redistil.
                >
                > From Tony's site under "Distilling"
                >
                > 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!!!!
                ____snip
              • Tom
                JB, The sugar wash recipe was as follows: 12 pounds (5.44 kg) white sugar was mixed with 3 quarts (2.84 liters) water and ½ cup lemon juice, heated to simmer
                Message 7 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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                  JB,

                  The sugar wash recipe was as follows:

                  12 pounds (5.44 kg) white sugar was mixed with 3 quarts (2.84 liters) water and ½ cup lemon juice, heated to simmer for 30 minutes to invert the sugar.

                  Poured into primary fermenter and topped up to 5 gallons (18.9 liters) with tap water.

                  Added 109 grams LD Carlson yeast nutrient (urea and diammonium phosphate – ratio not stated)

                  Two (2) 5 gram packages Lalvin EC 1118 yeast hydrated in ½ cup water at 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) and pitched in wort at 75 degrees F (24 degrees C)

                  Aerated six (6) hours with aquarium pump and air stone.

                  Original Gravity, 1.114; Original pH, 5.43

                  The pH was checked twice daily and adjusted as necessary (acidity increased as fermentation progressed) with potassium bicarbonate to maintain pH between 4.25 and 5.00.

                  Fermentation was strong and was finished at Sp.G. of 0.993 in nine (9) days. The last four (4) days the fermentation was very slow. At day 5, the Sp.G. was 1.009

                  On day #9, racked the wash to a clean carboy and treated it with SuperKleer KC to settle out the yeast. After 24 hours I racked it again to a clean carboy and stored in my wine cellar for a week as I waited for an opportunity to run it. The wash was beautifully clear with a slight greenish tint.

                  By my reckoning, the ABV should have been (1.114 - 0.993) x 129 = 15.6%

                  I made two (2) such batches and combined them for the run.

                  Previous to the subject run, I prepared, and successfully ran, a couple of batches of JEM Wash using Miracle Grow plant food as a nutrient. It was more green than the subject sugar wash. The spirit was super clean and sweet. I just didn't like the green color. I was surprised that the subject wash was green too. However, it was only very slightly green.

                  Thanks to you and all those who have helped me in this exciting hobby!

                  Tom




                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Tom,
                  >
                  > Yes, I posted that same information a while back. It does see to be
                  > confusing. However, when you think about it, if you left an acidic
                  > mixture in copper (you did originally mention you still is all copper except for the boiler and rashing rings), it will turn blue.

                  Snip

                  Could you please tell us exactly which recipe of Tony Ackland's that you used and what nutrients?
                  >
                  > JB.
                • geoff
                  Hi Tom, The ingredient Quote from your post (Added 109 grams LD Carlson yeast nutrient (urea and diammonium phosphate - ratio) Meaning of Urea basically and
                  Message 8 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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                    Hi Tom,

                         The ingredient

                    “Quote from your post”

                    (Added 109 grams LD Carlson yeast nutrient (urea and diammonium phosphate – ratio)

                         Meaning of Urea  basically and essentially good old fashioned organic pee.  Try this link  http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/urea

                     

                    Urea (u-re´ah) 1. the chief nitrogenous end product of protein metabolism, formed in the liver from amino acids and from ammonia compounds; found in urine, blood, and lymph.ated)

                    The guys were a couple of years back trying to use cheap agricultural grade molasses with urea in for rum making and it did not play nice at all if memory serves me well.

                         Urea is the key nasty word here.  It’s not nice for booze, I personally steer clear of ingredients with that in it, right or wrong but maybe that’s just my phobia.  I ain’t got the plastic boobs and eccentricity of “Cher ” to be drinking my own pee.  The only pee you’ll see me drinking:-  is yeast pee i.e. (ethanol the purer the better)

                    Geoff

                  • jamesonbeam1
                    Tom, Thankyou for your immediate response. While I am not a chemistry master, your nutrients mentioned: Added 109 grams LD Carlson yeast nutrient (urea and
                    Message 9 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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                      Tom,

                      Thankyou for your immediate response.

                      While I am not a chemistry master, your nutrients mentioned:  "Added 109 grams LD Carlson yeast nutrient (urea and diammonium phosphate – ratio not stated)"  is way more ammonia based nitrogen then I would ever add to just a 5 gallon wash...  109 grams or  almost 4 ounces of DAP and urea (all of which contains ammonia), is far more then the 1 to two tablespoons of DAP along with plant food I have ever recommended for a sugar based wash.  (no wonder your wash had a green tint to it)

                      If you read the history of our MUM wash that Mason invented with our help,  the original recipe calls for only  5 teaspoons of Miracle-Gro plant food which as specified in other documents is only a mixture of 24-8-16 nutrients or only 24% ammonical nitrates with urea (artificially created of course) and other nitrogens, with 8% potassium and 16% phosphates or potash...

                      This is far, far, far less ammonia based nitrogen as whole then you added.  And 5 teaspoons or a tablespoon or 2 is way, way less then 4 ounces of pure ammonium based nitrogen!!!.

                      If you re-read what was stated in Tony's, no wonder leaving some of this solution in a copper column would result in blue distillate after stopping and letting sit.;)

                          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).  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_distillers/message/38783

                      Next time be a bit more light handed on adding pure nitrogen components to a sugar wash or stick to the old stand by MUM wash.

                      Vino es Veritas,

                      Jim aka Waldo.

                      ________________________________________________________________________

                       



                      --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tom" <tomhawk412@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > JB,
                      >
                      > The sugar wash recipe was as follows:
                      >
                      > 12 pounds (5.44 kg) white sugar was mixed with 3 quarts (2.84 liters) water and ½ cup lemon juice, heated to simmer for 30 minutes to invert the sugar.
                      >
                      > Poured into primary fermenter and topped up to 5 gallons (18.9 liters) with tap water.
                      >
                      > Added 109 grams LD Carlson yeast nutrient (urea and diammonium phosphate – ratio not stated)
                      >
                      > Two (2) 5 gram packages Lalvin EC 1118 yeast hydrated in ½ cup water at 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) and pitched in wort at 75 degrees F (24 degrees C)
                      >
                      > Aerated six (6) hours with aquarium pump and air stone.
                      >
                      > Original Gravity, 1.114; Original pH, 5.43
                      >
                      > The pH was checked twice daily and adjusted as necessary (acidity increased as fermentation progressed) with potassium bicarbonate to maintain pH between 4.25 and 5.00.
                      >
                      > Fermentation was strong and was finished at Sp.G. of 0.993 in nine (9) days. The last four (4) days the fermentation was very slow. At day 5, the Sp.G. was 1.009
                      >
                      > On day #9, racked the wash to a clean carboy and treated it with SuperKleer KC to settle out the yeast. After 24 hours I racked it again to a clean carboy and stored in my wine cellar for a week as I waited for an opportunity to run it. The wash was beautifully clear with a slight greenish tint.
                      >
                      > By my reckoning, the ABV should have been (1.114 - 0.993) x 129 = 15.6%
                      >
                      > I made two (2) such batches and combined them for the run.
                      >
                      > Previous to the subject run, I prepared, and successfully ran, a couple of batches of JEM Wash using Miracle Grow plant food as a nutrient. It was more green than the subject sugar wash. The spirit was super clean and sweet. I just didn't like the green color. I was surprised that the subject wash was green too. However, it was only very slightly green.
                      >
                      > Thanks to you and all those who have helped me in this exciting hobby!
                      >
                      > Tom
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" jamesonbeam1@ wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Tom,
                      > >
                      > > Yes, I posted that same information a while back. It does see to be
                      > > confusing. However, when you think about it, if you left an acidic
                      > > mixture in copper (you did originally mention you still is all copper except for the boiler and rashing rings), it will turn blue.
                      >
                      > Snip
                      >
                      > Could you please tell us exactly which recipe of Tony Ackland's that you used and what nutrients?
                      > >
                      > > JB.
                      >

                    • Tom
                      JB, Thanks for the help and for your quick reply! I came up with the 109 grams of yeast nutrient from the following statement in Tony s site: Dissolve 5 kg of
                      Message 10 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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                        JB,

                        Thanks for the help and for your quick reply! I came up with the 109 grams of yeast nutrient from the following statement in Tony's site:

                        "Dissolve 5 kg of white table sugar and 100g of yeast nutrients in 4L of boiling water, then top up to a total of 20L using cold water."

                        I used 5.44 Kg of sugar and, based on a pure ratio, tossed in 109 grams of nutrient. However, bowing to your experience, I will certainly cut back. Please suggest the appropriate amount of nutrient to use. Or, should I switch to 24-8-16 Miracle Gro that I used in the JEM wash? If so, how much?

                        As soon as I get the hang of the "stillin" process, I'm going to make a pot still and learn how to make scotch!

                        This process is absolutely fascinating. Building my unit was great fun! I can see that there will be no end to the changes and possible improvements one can make to the hardware.

                        Thanks again for all your help.

                        Tom




                        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > Tom,
                        >
                        > Thank you for your immediate response.
                        >
                        > While I am not a chemistry master, your nutrients mentioned: "Added 109 grams LD Carlson yeast nutrient (urea and diammonium phosphate – ratio not stated)" is way more ammonia based nitrogen then I would ever add to just a 5 gallon wash... 109 grams or almost 4 ounces of DAP and urea (all of which contains ammonia), is far more then the 1 to two tablespoons of DAP along with plant food I have ever recommended for a sugar based wash. (no wonder your wash had a green tint to it)
                        >
                        > Snip
                      • Tom
                        Geoff, Thanks! I ll add that to the knowledge base. What would you suggest as a nutrient for the sugar wash I described? Tom
                        Message 11 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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                          Geoff,

                          Thanks! I'll add that to the knowledge base. What would you suggest as a nutrient for the sugar wash I described?

                          Tom

                          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "geoff" <jeffrey.burrows@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Hi Tom,
                          >
                          > The ingredient
                          >
                          > "Quote from your post"
                          >
                          > (Added 109 grams LD Carlson yeast nutrient (urea and diammonium phosphate - ratio)
                          >
                          > Meaning of Urea basically and essentially good old fashioned organic pee. Try this link http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/urea
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Urea (u-re´ah) 1. the chief nitrogenous end product of protein metabolism, formed in the liver from amino acids and from ammonia compounds; found in urine, blood, and lymph.ated)
                          >
                          > The guys were a couple of years back trying to use cheap agricultural grade molasses with urea in for rum making and it did not play nice at all if memory serves me well.
                          >
                          > Urea is the key nasty word here. It's not nice for booze, I personally steer clear of ingredients with that in it, right or wrong but maybe that's just my phobia. I ain't got the plastic boobs and eccentricity of "Cher" to be drinking my own pee. The only pee you'll see me drinking:- is yeast pee i.e. (ethanol the purer the better)
                          >
                          > Geoff
                          >
                        • bbmdave
                          I have had this problem a few times, re blue distillate, your PH is to low you have to make it more acid. Simple solution to the problem, is to add 12 to 16 OZ
                          Message 12 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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                            I have had this problem a few times,
                            re blue distillate,
                            your PH is to low you have to make it more acid.

                            Simple solution to the problem, is to add 12 to 16 OZ of lemon juice
                            to the wash.

                            Run your still, equalize, if your heads are yellowish or blue add more
                            lemon juice.

                            At this point after it has equalized and the distillate is still yellow or blue I dump more of the lemon juice into the top of the still and let it equalize again.

                            This is not very scientific, but it works for me.

                            Hope this helps

                            Dave

                            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > Tom,
                            >
                            > Yes, I posted that same information a while back. It does see to be
                            > confusing. However, when you think about it, if you left an acidic
                            > mixture in copper (you did originally mention you still is all copper
                            > except for the boiler and rashing rings), it will turn blue. Not sure
                            > what that wine clearing agent did but the fact you mentioned earlier
                            > that it was on the greenish side worries me. Thats usually what happens
                            > when plant food is used for nutrients. Could you please tell us exactly
                            > which recipe of Tony Ackland's that you used and what nutrients?
                            >
                            > JB.
                            >
                            >
                            > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tom" <tomhawk412@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Sid,
                            > >
                            > > Thanks for your help. Unfortunately, the more I read about this
                            > problem, the more confused I get. In Tony's site there are a couple of
                            > references to "blue" product. They seem to suggest that the cause may be
                            > due to excess nutrients in the wash or to a basic, not acidic, wash. See
                            > the following:
                            > >
                            > > From Tony's site under "Fermenting"
                            > >
                            > > Also, don't use too much nutrient. It won't make the yeast work any
                            > faster, once you've supplied its needs ... but it can make your spirit
                            > turn blue. Mike explains ...
                            > > ... alkaline washes that hold a lot of nitrogen-containing compounds
                            > that have been put in as nutrients will liberate ammonia and that, being
                            > a gas, will get to the top condenser and form an aqueous ammonia
                            > solution, which is alkaline. Normal oxidation of copper under heat forms
                            > cupric hydroxide in an alkaline solution. This turns black when boiled
                            > with water, and is commonly seen on copper components in stills. This,
                            > in turn, reacts with ammonia solution to form Schweitzer's solution,
                            > containing the tetrammino-cupric ion Cu[4NH3]++, which is deep blue.
                            > Don't worry ... it won't hurt you, and you might even think the colour
                            > attractive!
                            > >
                            > > Answer is to ensure that your wash is not alkaline, but acidic. This
                            > is the normal condition after a fermentation, as yeasts tend to acidify
                            > the wash with their by-products. You say that you added yeast nutrients,
                            > and I suspect that you were a bit too enthusiastic, as this can tipp the
                            > balnace the other way. Addition of citric acid is usually enough to
                            > neutralise and then acidify a solution made too alkaline by overdosing
                            > with nutrients, but without acid buffers to control the pH. In an acidic
                            > solution, those nitrogen-containing compounds will react with the acid
                            > to form salts, and so will not ne carried up to the top condenser.
                            > > If this happens, make sure you strip down your tower, and clean it
                            > well. The blue alcohol can be cleaned up by adding some citric acid (50g
                            > per 5L) (which will react with the ammonia to produce ammonium citrate
                            > which will precipitate out along with the copper leaving hydrogen
                            > sulphyte and or sulphide), and then filtering it through some coffee
                            > filters to collect the flocculant; the alcohol will then be ok to
                            > redistil.
                            > >
                            > > From Tony's site under "Distilling"
                            > >
                            > > 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!!!!
                            > ____snip
                            >
                          • just me
                            Tom next wash try a Mum.Look in the archives. Just Me No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However a large number of electrons were terribly
                            Message 13 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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                              Tom next wash try a Mum.Look in the archives.
                              Just Me
                               No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However
                              a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


                              On Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 3:03 PM, Tom <tomhawk412@...> wrote:
                               

                              JB,

                              Thanks for the help and for your quick reply! I came up with the 109 grams of yeast nutrient from the following statement in Tony's site:

                              "Dissolve 5 kg of white table sugar and 100g of yeast nutrients in 4L of boiling water, then top up to a total of 20L using cold water."

                              I used 5.44 Kg of sugar and, based on a pure ratio, tossed in 109 grams of nutrient. However, bowing to your experience, I will certainly cut back. Please suggest the appropriate amount of nutrient to use. Or, should I switch to 24-8-16 Miracle Gro that I used in the JEM wash? If so, how much?

                              As soon as I get the hang of the "stillin" process, I'm going to make a pot still and learn how to make scotch!

                              This process is absolutely fascinating. Building my unit was great fun! I can see that there will be no end to the changes and possible improvements one can make to the hardware.

                              Thanks again for all your help.



                              Tom

                              --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > Tom,
                              >
                              > Thank you for your immediate response.

                              >
                              > While I am not a chemistry master, your nutrients mentioned: "Added 109 grams LD Carlson yeast nutrient (urea and diammonium phosphate – ratio not stated)" is way more ammonia based nitrogen then I would ever add to just a 5 gallon wash... 109 grams or almost 4 ounces of DAP and urea (all of which contains ammonia), is far more then the 1 to two tablespoons of DAP along with plant food I have ever recommended for a sugar based wash. (no wonder your wash had a green tint to it)
                              >
                              > Snip


                            • Tom
                              Dave, Thanks. Based on what I ve read, my wash should have been acid enough. Tom
                              Message 14 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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                                Dave,

                                Thanks. Based on what I've read, my wash should have been acid enough.

                                Tom

                                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "bbmdave" <bbmdave@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > I have had this problem a few times,
                                > re blue distillate,
                                > your PH is to low you have to make it more acid.
                                >
                                > Simple solution to the problem, is to add 12 to 16 OZ of lemon juice
                                > to the wash.
                                >
                                > Run your still, equalize, if your heads are yellowish or blue add more
                                > lemon juice.
                                >
                                > At this point after it has equalized and the distillate is still yellow or blue I dump more of the lemon juice into the top of the still and let it equalize again.
                                >
                                > This is not very scientific, but it works for me.
                                >
                                > Hope this helps
                                >
                                > Dave
                                >
                                > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Tom,
                                > >
                                > > Yes, I posted that same information a while back. It does see to be
                                > > confusing. However, when you think about it, if you left an acidic
                                > > mixture in copper (you did originally mention you still is all copper
                                > > except for the boiler and rashing rings), it will turn blue. Not sure
                                > > what that wine clearing agent did but the fact you mentioned earlier
                                > > that it was on the greenish side worries me. Thats usually what happens
                                > > when plant food is used for nutrients. Could you please tell us exactly
                                > > which recipe of Tony Ackland's that you used and what nutrients?
                                > >
                                > > JB.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tom" <tomhawk412@> wrote:
                                > > >
                                > > > Sid,
                                > > >
                                > > > Thanks for your help. Unfortunately, the more I read about this
                                > > problem, the more confused I get. In Tony's site there are a couple of
                                > > references to "blue" product. They seem to suggest that the cause may be
                                > > due to excess nutrients in the wash or to a basic, not acidic, wash. See
                                > > the following:
                                > > >
                                > > > From Tony's site under "Fermenting"
                                > > >
                                > > > Also, don't use too much nutrient. It won't make the yeast work any
                                > > faster, once you've supplied its needs ... but it can make your spirit
                                > > turn blue. Mike explains ...
                                > > > ... alkaline washes that hold a lot of nitrogen-containing compounds
                                > > that have been put in as nutrients will liberate ammonia and that, being
                                > > a gas, will get to the top condenser and form an aqueous ammonia
                                > > solution, which is alkaline. Normal oxidation of copper under heat forms
                                > > cupric hydroxide in an alkaline solution. This turns black when boiled
                                > > with water, and is commonly seen on copper components in stills. This,
                                > > in turn, reacts with ammonia solution to form Schweitzer's solution,
                                > > containing the tetrammino-cupric ion Cu[4NH3]++, which is deep blue.
                                > > Don't worry ... it won't hurt you, and you might even think the colour
                                > > attractive!
                                > > >
                                > > > Answer is to ensure that your wash is not alkaline, but acidic. This
                                > > is the normal condition after a fermentation, as yeasts tend to acidify
                                > > the wash with their by-products. You say that you added yeast nutrients,
                                > > and I suspect that you were a bit too enthusiastic, as this can tipp the
                                > > balnace the other way. Addition of citric acid is usually enough to
                                > > neutralise and then acidify a solution made too alkaline by overdosing
                                > > with nutrients, but without acid buffers to control the pH. In an acidic
                                > > solution, those nitrogen-containing compounds will react with the acid
                                > > to form salts, and so will not ne carried up to the top condenser.
                                > > > If this happens, make sure you strip down your tower, and clean it
                                > > well. The blue alcohol can be cleaned up by adding some citric acid (50g
                                > > per 5L) (which will react with the ammonia to produce ammonium citrate
                                > > which will precipitate out along with the copper leaving hydrogen
                                > > sulphyte and or sulphide), and then filtering it through some coffee
                                > > filters to collect the flocculant; the alcohol will then be ok to
                                > > redistil.
                                > > >
                                > > > From Tony's site under "Distilling"
                                > > >
                                > > > 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!!!!
                                > > ____snip
                                > >
                                >
                              • Tom
                                Just Me, Actually, I was planning on doing a MUM wash. I just thought that experience with a sugar wash would be helpful. Tom
                                Message 15 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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                                  Just Me,

                                  Actually, I was planning on doing a MUM wash. I just thought that experience with a sugar wash would be helpful.

                                  Tom



                                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, just me <hifa222@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Tom next wash try a Mum.Look in the archives.
                                  > Just Me
                                  > No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However
                                  > a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > On Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 3:03 PM, Tom <tomhawk412@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > JB,
                                  > >
                                  > > Thanks for the help and for your quick reply! I came up with the 109 grams
                                  > > of yeast nutrient from the following statement in Tony's site:
                                  > >
                                  > > "Dissolve 5 kg of white table sugar and 100g of yeast nutrients in 4L of
                                  > > boiling water, then top up to a total of 20L using cold water."
                                  > >
                                  > > I used 5.44 Kg of sugar and, based on a pure ratio, tossed in 109 grams of
                                  > > nutrient. However, bowing to your experience, I will certainly cut back.
                                  > > Please suggest the appropriate amount of nutrient to use. Or, should I
                                  > > switch to 24-8-16 Miracle Gro that I used in the JEM wash? If so, how much?
                                  > >
                                  > > As soon as I get the hang of the "stillin" process, I'm going to make a pot
                                  > > still and learn how to make scotch!
                                  > >
                                  > > This process is absolutely fascinating. Building my unit was great fun! I
                                  > > can see that there will be no end to the changes and possible improvements
                                  > > one can make to the hardware.
                                  > >
                                  > > Thanks again for all your help.
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Tom
                                  > >
                                  > > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com <new_distillers%40yahoogroups.com>,
                                  > > "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@> wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Tom,
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Thank you for your immediate response.
                                  > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > While I am not a chemistry master, your nutrients mentioned: "Added 109
                                  > > grams LD Carlson yeast nutrient (urea and diammonium phosphate – ratio not
                                  > > stated)" is way more ammonia based nitrogen then I would ever add to just a
                                  > > 5 gallon wash... 109 grams or almost 4 ounces of DAP and urea (all of which
                                  > > contains ammonia), is far more then the 1 to two tablespoons of DAP along
                                  > > with plant food I have ever recommended for a sugar based wash. (no wonder
                                  > > your wash had a green tint to it)
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Snip
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                • jamesonbeam1
                                  Ok Tom, Yeast is a very highly studied single celled microbe due to its common nutrient requirement links to both plants and animals. It requires nitrogen,
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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                                    Ok Tom,

                                    Yeast is a very highly studied  single celled microbe due to its common nutrient requirement links to both plants and animals.  It requires nitrogen, potassium and phosphates along with other trace minerals as plants do, but in addition it also requires lipids (fats), amino acids (building blocks for protein) and vitamins - especially the B-complex for the animal side. 

                                    While grains and molasses contain alot of these nutrients, plain sugar contains none.  This is why we need to add nutrients to sugar washes along with aeration and yeast to get it going.

                                    There are many commercial brands of yeast nutrients available from Lalvin and others or you can use yeast nutrients bought from your local beer/wine supply store or use plant food with vitamins ala the MUM wash or even boil left over trub and convert the old yeast hulls into nutrients (which brewers extract and vegimite is made from and also good to use).

                                    While Dr. MB Raines-Casselman has metioned yeast can ferment with just sugar and a nitrogen suppliment, you really need the other nutrients as well to make a nice balanced fermentation.

                                    Might want to read her discussion on yeast and its propagation at: http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/yeast-propagation-and-maintenance-principles-and-practices

                                    Above all however, keep your nutrients to no more then a few tablespoons per 5 gallon wash depending on what your using and definitely not  nearly 4 ounces of pure ammonium based nitrogen (or ya better change your still to all stainless steel;)).

                                    JB.

                                     


                                    --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tom" <tomhawk412@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Geoff,
                                    >
                                    > Thanks! I'll add that to the knowledge base. What would you suggest as a nutrient for the sugar wash I described?
                                    >
                                    > Tom

                                  • JD
                                    Might be a dump idea, but it work out the first few time i started doing this. I made a sugar wash ( mum wash wasnt known then ) Calculated it out for 12% abv,
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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                                      Might be a dump idea, but it work out the first few time i started doing this.

                                      I made a sugar wash ( mum wash wasnt known then )

                                      Calculated it out for 12% abv, used nutrient for wine making ( and followd there instructions, and used champagne yeast.
                                      then airated it for a day and poured 2á3 cups of bread crumbs in it.
                                      this whas for about 5 gallons

                                      The idea whas for the yeast to have an suspension on the bottom of the fermentor.

                                      Came out really nice. only i didnt had a good still , i only had an pressure cooker with a 3 inch riser and 3½ feet condenser.
                                      Wich made really smooth whiskey, but took me 8 times to clean vodka.
                                      Wich whas a week work for me cause i whas only allowed after 7pm.

                                      JayDee
                                    • geoff
                                      Hi Tom, Miracle Gro is your answer use it as per Mason s MUM wash you ll not go far wrong. Never mind about your wash turning green I use Miracle Gro on my
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Jun 10, 2010
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                                        Hi Tom,
                                         Miracle Gro is your answer use it as per Mason's MUM wash you'll not go far wrong.  Never mind about your wash turning green I use Miracle Gro on my garden lettuce and cabbage and they grow bigger and greener and I enjoy eating them so what's the problem with the yeasties turning green?
                                        Geoff 
                                      • Tom
                                        JB, Thanks! I will revise my recipe. Tom
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Jun 11, 2010
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                                          JB,

                                          Thanks! I will revise my recipe.

                                          Tom

                                          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "jamesonbeam1" <jamesonbeam1@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Ok Tom,
                                          >
                                          > Yeast is a very highly studied single celled microbe due to its common
                                          > nutrient requirement links to both plants and animals. It requires
                                          > nitrogen, potassium and phosphates along with other trace minerals as
                                          > plants do, but in addition it also requires lipids (fats), amino acids
                                          > (building blocks for protein) and vitamins - especially the B-complex
                                          > for the animal side.
                                          >
                                          > While grains and molasses contain alot of these nutrients, plain sugar
                                          > contains none. This is why we need to add nutrients to sugar washes
                                          > along with aeration and yeast to get it going.
                                          >
                                          > There are many commercial brands of yeast nutrients available from
                                          > Lalvin and others or you can use yeast nutrients bought from your local
                                          > beer/wine supply store or use plant food with vitamins ala the MUM wash
                                          > or even boil left over trub and convert the old yeast hulls into
                                          > nutrients (which brewers extract and vegimite is made from and also good
                                          > to use).
                                          >
                                          > While Dr. MB Raines-Casselman has metioned yeast can ferment with just
                                          > sugar and a nitrogen suppliment, you really need the other nutrients as
                                          > well to make a nice balanced fermentation.
                                          >
                                          > Might want to read her discussion on yeast and its propagation at:
                                          > http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/yeast-propagation-and-maintenance-pri\
                                          > nciples-and-practices
                                          > <http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/yeast-propagation-and-maintenance-pr\
                                          > inciples-and-practices>
                                          >
                                          > Above all however, keep your nutrients to no more then a few tablespoons
                                          > per 5 gallon wash depending on what your using and definitely not
                                          > nearly 4 ounces of pure ammonium based nitrogen (or ya better change
                                          > your still to all stainless steel [;)] ).
                                          >
                                          > JB.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tom" <tomhawk412@> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > Geoff,
                                          > >
                                          > > Thanks! I'll add that to the knowledge base. What would you suggest as
                                          > a nutrient for the sugar wash I described?
                                          > >
                                          > > Tom
                                          >
                                        • Tom
                                          Geoff, I guess green is ok. It just looks a little strange and was a bit of a surprise! Thanks, Tom
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Jun 11, 2010
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                                            Geoff,

                                            I guess green is ok. It just looks a little strange and was a bit of a surprise!

                                            Thanks,

                                            Tom
                                          • Tom
                                            JayDee, I will add your suggestion to my mental archive. Maybe I will give it a try. Tom
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Jun 11, 2010
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                                              JayDee,

                                              I will add your suggestion to my mental archive. Maybe I will give it a try.

                                              Tom
                                            • JD
                                              easyest recipe you will ever find other then turbo wash :D greetz
                                              Message 22 of 25 , Jun 11, 2010
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                                                easyest recipe you will ever find other then turbo wash :D

                                                greetz

                                                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Tom" <tomhawk412@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > JayDee,
                                                >
                                                > I will add your suggestion to my mental archive. Maybe I will give it a try.
                                                >
                                                > Tom
                                                >
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