RUBBER WHITE FOOD GRADE PLUG AT THE TOP OF MY COLUMN !!!

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RUBBER WHITE FOOD GRADE PLUG AT THE TOP OF MY COLUMN !!!

Postby brewster14 » Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:38 am

can i hear some thoughts from you master distillers on using a white food grade plug at the top of my column to hold my thermometer...is that a bad ideal...could a rubber plug be causing the problems that i am incuring as regards to bad taste and smell
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Postby Grayson_Stewart » Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:46 am

Only food grade materials that should be used are copper, glass and stainless steel. People have used the white gum bungs you are talking about along with alot of other materials that were labeled or touted as food safe but invariably they end up having problems. It's got to be the number one complaint we hear on the boards.

If someone uses a clean still made only of copper, glass, or stainless...doesn't boil the mash over to the condensor...and uses good water to cut the product with, I'll guarantee you get a good result or your money back :D
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RESPONSE TO GRAYSON

Postby brewster14 » Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:57 am

grayson,

"doesn't boil the mash over to the condensor...and uses good water to cut the product with"

"boil the mash over to condensor"...what does that mean ??

"good water to cut with"....i use distilled water at .60 a gallon ...and lately we have been using water that we run thru a britta filter....are those methods acceptable ??
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Postby brewster14 » Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:01 am

also grayson ...how would you recommend i plug the top of my column??
thanks, scott
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Postby Grayson_Stewart » Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:19 am

"boil the mash over to condensor" - Sometimes called "puking" over. This is when you have too vigorous of a boil in the boiler. Idealy you want only vapor leaving the surface of the wash to travel up the column. The mash can jump up into the column and the packing, and vapor speed can carry it further. It only take a very small bit to cloud up a run.

"good water to cut with" - I don't like distilled water because the lack of taste gives it a bad taste...know what I mean? Plus I never drink distilled water because it can screw up your electrolyte balance if you drink it alot....so I never have it around.

I've never used a Brita filter, but that should take care of most anything that could cause a problem. Personally I buy commercial water like Crystal Springs, Culligan, etc in 5 gallon plastic carboys for $4.95 to cut my stuff with and then i have a 5 gallon fermenter when I've used all the water.
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Postby linw » Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:47 am

The word "rubber" is applied to all sorts of compounds. If you can find bungs made of nitrile they would be OK.

Jumping straight to the conclusion that the "rubber" bung is the source of all evil is presumptuous. It may be crap, but, then again, it may not. I can speak from experience as my first still used such a stopper and it didn't degrade or affect the output "taste and smell".
Last edited by linw on Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby linw » Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:50 am

Grayson_Stewart wrote:If someone uses a clean still made only of copper, glass, or stainless...doesn't boil the mash over to the condensor...and uses good water to cut the product with, I'll guarantee you get a good result or your money back :D


Sounds like a dangerous assertion! What about someone with the perfect still boiling the hell out of it and getting no separation and low purity? Do they still get their money back? :D
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Postby Grayson_Stewart » Sun Feb 12, 2006 12:37 pm

Linw,
It was said with a smile...aparently you didn't see the fine print (perhaps because it was so small) but the main caveat being that you must first know how to operate the still in question.

And for the record, I said money back guarantee...not that I would bet my left nut :D
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Postby agl » Sun Feb 12, 2006 2:22 pm

silicone rubber is a safe alternative, useful where you need gaskets, orings etc. Silicone is inert, chemical resistant, and won't leach anything into your product. 2 part rtv is best, beware some 1 part silicone sealants though, some are not all 100% silicone. I would still try to minimize contact, just to be sure. You can't beat stainless, glass and copper. I would suggest putting a copper cap on your still, wtih a small hole and silicone rubber grommet for your thermometer.
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Postby Tater » Sun Feb 12, 2006 2:27 pm

agl wrote:silicone rubber is a safe alternative, useful where you need gaskets, orings etc. Silicone is inert, chemical resistant, and won't leach anything into your product. 2 part rtv is best, beware some 1 part silicone sealants though, some are not all 100% silicone. I would still try to minimize contact, just to be sure. You can't beat stainless, glass and copper. I would suggest putting a copper cap on your still, wtih a small hole and silicone rubber grommet for your thermometer.
Im game AGL lets see your research that what you just recommended is safe for distilling.
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Postby OldStormy » Sun Feb 12, 2006 6:26 pm

Hi All,
My solution for thermometer placement is a short length of 6mm copper tube set into a 50mm copper cap. The thermometer stem fits quite neatly into the 6mm tube and with a small cork at the top of the stem just below the thermometer head I get a pretty efficient seal. No need for silicon, rubber or other nasties.
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Postby agl » Sun Feb 12, 2006 7:03 pm

Sure,
besides my own experince with this stuff at work (I can attest to it's indestructability in various solvents)
here is the closest source to home
http://homedistiller.org/equip/materials
I for one trust stuff from there!

I don't want to get into an argument about it, if you are uncomfortable with a material, don't use it.

I did some searching on the internet about this before, here are a couple of links I found they ahve to do with ethanol, but they don't have anything to do with distillation.

the following is from an obscure source:
"Based on the migration test, no chemicals were released into 20% ethanol at 60 degrees C for 30 min,.."
(Kawamura Y, Nakajima A, Mutsuga M, Yamada T, Maitani T. (2001)
Residual chemicals in silicone rubber products for food contact use Shokuhin Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2001 Oct;42(5):316-21.)
got if from :http://www.turnertoys.com/Polymer_update20051009.htm

and here is another:
"For rubbers and resins in contact with the aqueous food simulants, and the resins in contact with the fatty food simulant (95% ethanol), overall migration tests showed that the total amount of siloxane material was below the Council of Europe Resolution guideline value"
from the UK Food Standards Agency
http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/researchinfo/contaminantsresearch/contactmaterials/a03prog/a03projlist/a03046proj/a03046r
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Postby Tater » Sun Feb 12, 2006 8:17 pm

Witch 1 says the kind you used is ok to use in distilling.And as far as Aint gonna arugue about it . Me either . There got to be some used in distillerys. Wish someone couldn clue us in to what it is.And as far as http://homedistiller.org/equip/materials goes as a distilling sight I think its great. But I dont take everything in it as written in stone.And like you I think as far as distilling goes to each there own.We all have the right to add any ingreadent we want into our likker. :D
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TEFLON Good or Bad

Postby Arnie_sla » Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:04 pm

Hi all, as we are talking about stuff thats good and bad to use in the distilling process. What is everyones feelings about Teflon. At the top of my tower I use a Teflon "stopper" . My temp sensor and the output tube to my condenser are placed into holes in this stopper. I have had no problems with it, and it gives a good tight fit in the tower and to the temp sensor and output tube for the condenser.

Anyway just thought I would ask your opions about Teflon.
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Postby Grayson_Stewart » Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:39 am

I have a 3 inch long x 1/4 inch copper tube out the side of my column as a temperature probe port. I wrap teflon thread tape around the thermometer and wedge it into the 1/4 inch tubing. I'm sure it is in contact with vapor, but being 3" up a 1/4" tube thats filled with a probe it probably isn't seeing alot of contact so I don't know if this is a good example. With that given, I've never seen any changes in the characteristics of the teflon tape.
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Postby possum » Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:07 am

I use a big cork to stop the top of my pressure release port (could add thermometer there) on my potstill. I seal it good with flour paste. I have had no flavor problems from using it, but after manny runs, the cork gets weak and needs replaced.
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Postby stoker » Mon Feb 13, 2006 10:09 am

I use the methode writen in "The Compleat distiller"
fitted with teflon
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Postby agl » Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:18 pm

Warning the following is my opinion only, and I have no records of research to back it up:

Teflon - or PTFE - as long as it is pure "virgin" PTFE (not hard to find - it is the usual form in tape and gaskets etc.) is safe for food contact, highly resistant to chemicals, and it is fairly heat resistant also. Ever use a non stick frying pan?. I would bet that every modern distillery uses a few ball valves most of which use PTFE seat and packing- it is actually rather difficult to find one without PTFE. Long story short, I would use it in my still if I had the need. If you choose to do the same, make sure it is pure Teflon, not just something that contains teflon.
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