Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Just how dangerous is it?

Expand Messages
  • Mark
    To take the plunge into distilling I got an alembic pot still with an alcohol burner as heat source. So far I ve distilled a bit of water to try it out and
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 16, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      To take the plunge into distilling I got an alembic pot still with an alcohol burner as heat source. So far I've distilled a bit of water to try it out and check for leaks. A couple of people I've spoken to have warned me that the open flame alcohol burner is very dangerous. If I use tubing to direct the distillate from the condenser a foot or so from the flame is there really any danger?

      And "thank you" to all for the advice I've already received from the members here.

      Mark
    • Jim Graves
      Well, for what its worth, I run my reflux still on an open flame fish cooker, propane fired.  I don t see the worry using alcohol...just watch what you do and
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 16, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        Well, for what its worth, I run my reflux still on an open flame fish cooker, propane fired.  I don't see the worry using alcohol...just watch what you do and be carefull and you won't have any problems.  The dangers I preceived, using alcohol burner is that you can hardly see the flame!
         
        James D. Graves
        Ravenwood Solutions, llc.
        251-533-8569

        From: Mark <stagof7@...>
        To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2013 4:46 PM
        Subject: [new_distillers] Just how dangerous is it?

         
        To take the plunge into distilling I got an alembic pot still with an alcohol burner as heat source. So far I've distilled a bit of water to try it out and check for leaks. A couple of people I've spoken to have warned me that the open flame alcohol burner is very dangerous. If I use tubing to direct the distillate from the condenser a foot or so from the flame is there really any danger?

        And "thank you" to all for the advice I've already received from the members here.

        Mark



      • Jim Graves
        To add to what I just sent, if you are worried about the alcohol burner, just get yourself a single burner camping stove, either propane or coleman fuel.  In
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 16, 2013
        • 0 Attachment
          To add to what I just sent, if you are worried about the alcohol burner, just get yourself a single burner camping stove, either propane or coleman fuel.  In thinking about it, it would be much more efficient, ie hotter and faster!  Good luck in your efforts...
           
          James D. Graves
          Ravenwood Solutions, llc.
          251-533-8569

          From: Mark <stagof7@...>
          To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2013 4:46 PM
          Subject: [new_distillers] Just how dangerous is it?

           
          To take the plunge into distilling I got an alembic pot still with an alcohol burner as heat source. So far I've distilled a bit of water to try it out and check for leaks. A couple of people I've spoken to have warned me that the open flame alcohol burner is very dangerous. If I use tubing to direct the distillate from the condenser a foot or so from the flame is there really any danger?

          And "thank you" to all for the advice I've already received from the members here.

          Mark



        • RLB
          The danger is in a high concentration of vapors coming in contact with the open flames.  It could cause a still to explode or catch fire.  Ethanol frames are
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 16, 2013
          • 0 Attachment
            The danger is in a high concentration of vapors coming in contact with the open flames.  It could cause a still to explode or catch fire.  Ethanol frames are not like a gasoline fire in that ethanol can burn almost invisible, AKA: Formula-1 drives wear suits for protection.  One of my tests involved lighting a table spoon of my first run on fire.  In my dim lite kitchen the blue flame was almost invisible to see.  I would suggest at least 2' away from your heat source.  Good ventilation is a must, so I run fans for my condenser, and to move vapors out of my kitchen.

            safety first,

            Robert   


            From: Mark <stagof7@...>
            To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2013 5:46 PM
            Subject: [new_distillers] Just how dangerous is it?

             
            To take the plunge into distilling I got an alembic pot still with an alcohol burner as heat source. So far I've distilled a bit of water to try it out and check for leaks. A couple of people I've spoken to have warned me that the open flame alcohol burner is very dangerous. If I use tubing to direct the distillate from the condenser a foot or so from the flame is there really any danger?

            And "thank you" to all for the advice I've already received from the members here.

            Mark



          • Jan
            ... Hi Mark, Your biggest danger is distilling in an enclosed area and a still with a leak, pumping alcohol fumes out. Here in Australia we had such a
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 16, 2013
            • 0 Attachment
              On 17/02/2013 8:46 AM, Mark wrote:
               

              To take the plunge into distilling I got an alembic pot still with an alcohol burner as heat source. So far I've distilled a bit of water to try it out and check for leaks. A couple of people I've spoken to have warned me that the open flame alcohol burner is very dangerous. If I use tubing to direct the distillate from the condenser a foot or so from the flame is there really any danger?

              And "thank you" to all for the advice I've already received from the members here.

              Mark

              Hi Mark,
              Your biggest danger is distilling in an enclosed area and a still with a leak, pumping alcohol fumes out. Here in Australia we had such a scenario, the double garage landed 2 streets away. Luckily nobody was hurt.
              Always distill in an open but covered area. Alcohol fumes are as dangerous as petrol fumes.
              Cheers.


            • Hopefull
              Any time flammable vapors can contact flame it can be dangerous The main question is what the risk and that is so variable as it can be safer inside with a
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 17, 2013
              • 0 Attachment

                Any time flammable vapors can contact flame it can be dangerous The main question is what the risk and that is so variable as it can be safer inside with a very well ventilated room the outside on a windless day so the only totally safe way is go electric which limits you to a 5-10 gal still with a 1500w hot plate which works quite well on a 5 gallon but get slower the larger you get so at 10 gal slow but ok. But over that you need more heat, which forces you into commercial grade electric which is expensive/ limited availability  or gas.

                So gas while reality safe you just have to always remember it can be dangerous so keep the area clean and ventilated and if there no wind add a fan or two to add in ventilation.

                But for me I stick with a 1500 watt hotplate

              • ahandyman59
                If the specific concern is with your alcohol burner, then there is some justification for concern. A lot of boats over the years have burned because of alcohol
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 18, 2013
                • 0 Attachment

                  If the specific concern is with your alcohol burner, then there is some justification for concern. A lot of boats over the years have burned because of alcohol based stoves. One of the problems with alcohol burners is that alcohol burns with a blue flame that can be hard do see, so you may not realize you've had a leak and flame is spreading until you get secondary fires starting.

                  Like others have said, you should probably replace the alcohol burner. Alcohol burns at a pretty low (relatively speaking) temperature. This will end up making the long distilling process even longer. Waiting for a "kettle to boil" is boring... Go with propane or a white gas (coleman) stove. They put out a lot of heat and are much more controllable...

                  ahandyman59

                   

                  On Sat, 16 Feb 2013 22:46:51 -0000, "Mark" <stagof7@...> wrote:

                   

                  To take the plunge into distilling I got an alembic pot still with an alcohol burner as heat source. So far I've distilled a bit of water to try it out and check for leaks. A couple of people I've spoken to have warned me that the open flame alcohol burner is very dangerous. If I use tubing to direct the distillate from the condenser a foot or so from the flame is there really any danger?

                  And "thank you" to all for the advice I've already received from the members here.

                  Mark

                  .

                   

                   

                • RLB
                  Another example of how poor ethanol is as a heating source: Years ago car salesmen spurted alcohol onto auto hoods and set them on fire to show that its paint
                  Message 8 of 8 , Feb 18, 2013
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Another example of how poor ethanol is as a heating source: Years ago car salesmen spurted alcohol onto auto hoods and set them on fire to show that its paint was almost indestructible.  It was nothing more than a gimmick because of the way alcohol burns above the surface and water protects it from damaging paint.

                    Robert



                    From: "rdh2059@..." <rdh2059@...>
                    To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Monday, February 18, 2013 2:24 PM
                    Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Just how dangerous is it?

                    If the specific concern is with your alcohol burner, then there is some justification for concern. A lot of boats over the years have burned because of alcohol based stoves. One of the problems with alcohol burners is that alcohol burns with a blue flame that can be hard do see, so you may not realize you've had a leak and flame is spreading until you get secondary fires starting.
                    Like others have said, you should probably replace the alcohol burner. Alcohol burns at a pretty low (relatively speaking) temperature. This will end up making the long distilling process even longer. Waiting for a "kettle to boil" is boring... Go with propane or a white gas (coleman) stove. They put out a lot of heat and are much more controllable...
                    ahandyman59
                     
                    On Sat, 16 Feb 2013 22:46:51 -0000, "Mark" <stagof7@...> wrote:
                     
                    To take the plunge into distilling I got an alembic pot still with an alcohol burner as heat source. So far I've distilled a bit of water to try it out and check for leaks. A couple of people I've spoken to have warned me that the open flame alcohol burner is very dangerous. If I use tubing to direct the distillate from the condenser a foot or so from the flame is there really any danger?

                    And "thank you" to all for the advice I've already received from the members here.

                    Mark

                    .

                     
                     


                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.