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Propane and Death

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  • jessemull@home.com
    I m a new distiller and I was wondering exactly how dangerous propane is to use as opposed to electric stoves. I know that the possibility of explosion is
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 6, 2001
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      I'm a new distiller and I was wondering exactly how dangerous propane
      is to use as opposed to electric stoves. I know that the possibility
      of explosion is possible, but what exactly does that entail? Has
      anyone ever witnessed a still explode? Am I risking my life by using
      propane or just risking serious injury? If anybody could write back
      in response that would be great so I could prevent any harm to myself
      or others.
    • ups474@aol.com
      the biggest danger in using propane is carbon monoxide poisoning- if you use the propane outside (and you should) this isn t really a problem. The other
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 6, 2001
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        the biggest danger in using propane is carbon monoxide poisoning- if you use
        the propane outside (and you should) this isn't really a problem. The other
        problems with propane is that the open flame on a burner can spark off an
        alcohol explosion if the alcoholic vapors either don't condense (which could
        be if the condesor isn't big enough) or if the still leaks. It's possible to
        see water vapor (Steam), but alcohol vapors aren't visible- and you can't
        really detect them by smell, either, since before the alcohol comes out of
        the still, the area around the still will smell of the CO2 (from the ferment)
        being driven off of the mash by the heat. If you plan on using propane, you
        MUST- 1.use the thing outside, 2.run your still with water only on the first
        run to check for leaks, and, 3, try to design the still so the outlet for the
        alcohol is far away from the burner. Heating with a low flame is also a good
        idea- it'll prevent the mash from boiling so fast that the still can't handle
        the pressure build up.- myself- I use an electric stove. If your still does
        explode - yes, it can kill you- shrapnel is not your friend. It is also not
        the propane tanks friend- if the still explodes, pieces of it could tear open
        the propane tank- then you get what's called a "fuel/air explosion"- this
        would definitely kill you (you hope- I sure wouldn't want to live with that
        much of my body burned). I've been caught in a blast or two (not from
        stills, though)- it's no fun regrowing your eyebrows and picking jagged, red
        hot metal out of your skin. A pressure relief valve should be installed on
        your still to help prevent this.
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