Copper Scrubbers

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Copper Scrubbers

Postby CaymanRumBaron » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:24 am

Hi all,

Ive seen on here that many people use copper pot scrubbers as a packing for thier reflux stills.

How do you guys pack it with the scrubbers? Do you just wedge the scrubber into the column or do you unravel the scrubber and roll it up and then put it into the column? Also do you guys preclean before the first use or clean the scrubbers after use?

I have a 2" X 40" SS column with a screen on the bottom, how many scrubbers would you guys recommend? I think they are a standard size everywhere, like 2.5" X 1".

I tried putting 3 (bottom, middle and top) into my column as they come out of the package (no unraveling, unrolling or anything) and my column would not heat up at all, atleast not at the top where the themometer is. I think it was packed too tight.

Nowhere here sells any rolls of copper mesh that I see on this site as a alternative to the pot scrubbers so that is out.
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby Mud Mechanik » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:41 am

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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby CaymanRumBaron » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:46 am

Thanks Mud but as I said, I cant get that stuff any where around here. All thats around here is pot scrubbers and marbles. That the cons of living on a island in the caribbean.
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby Mud Mechanik » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:08 am

If the scrubbers are pure copper, they should work fine, just find a way to unfold them and re-roll into a circle like shown from Brewhaus, stuff your column up to the reflux section and try to breathe through it. If you get plenty of air, the vapors should have no problem making the trip. MM
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby CaymanRumBaron » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:35 am

Thanks for the info Mud,

I have about 8 of um so I think that should be enough to do a test run and I definitely try the breath test before I put the column on the boiler.

Thanks again
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby rad14701 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:49 am

CaymanRumBaron, you need to pack the entire lower column, from the boiler to the top of the column, with only a small open space below the condenser head...

I slip mine into place using an arrow shaft and never let them pack too tightly... Properly seated and tensioned there will be more friction between the scrubber and the column wall than between the scrubber and the arrow shaft, allowing easy shaft removal...
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby NcHooch » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:32 pm

thats funny Rad, I use an old arrow shaft to shove 'em down there too.

I use 6 of the copper ones in the 24" tower, evenly spaced, so I recon there's about an inch or so between each one . Works like a charm.

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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby kiwistiller » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:23 pm

Amphora could probably send you mesh if you want it.
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby birdwatcher » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:05 am

I've used stainless steel scrubbers for years. No problems.

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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby CaymanRumBaron » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:06 pm

Rad and NcHooch,

Do you guys pack them in the form they come from the shop or do you unroll them and reroll them?

I unrolled one and they unroll like a condom (pretty sure we all know how one looks) with a little knot on top. All together about 10" long and 3" wide.

I am just gonna unroll and reroll them into 3" versions of the proper mesh ones. So 9 or 10 of them @ 3" long with 1" spacing should do the job for a 40" column. Might leave out the last one to give a little space between the inlet to the liebig condensor and the last scrubber.
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby NcHooch » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:51 pm

I just stuff em in right out of the box, like I said though, I try to keep em equally spaced through the column.

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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby Fourway » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:16 pm

Unrolled they are actually the same thing as that copper mesh just roll them into a loose cylinder.

You can almost certainly find bulk copper mesh on your island, it's also called copper gauze.
People use it in resin fabrication like carbon fiber and fiberglass, and it's primary purpose is as a stuffing material for pest control... its used to fill rat holes.
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby likkerluvver » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:52 am

I saw some shiny new copper pot scrubbers in the Dollar Store. At $1.00 for 3 they looked too good to be true….Until I checked them with a magnet. And, of course, they were too good to be true. Made in China – I should have known better. I’ll stick with Brewhaus or Mile Hi in future.

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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby homedistlr » Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:27 pm

Hi guys, I think I understand the benefits of stuffing the column with to increase the proof of your runs, but from what I understand using copper also removes sulfides as the vapor rises through the column. Can you still achieve the sulfide removal if you basically soak your finished product in a container with the copper mesh after the run? Sorry if the question sounds silly, but I'm trying to figure out if the benefit of copper only exists with vapor, or is if will provide the same sulfide extraction after the run. Any help is appreciated.
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby rad14701 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:36 pm

homedistlr wrote:Hi guys, I think I understand the benefits of stuffing the column with to increase the proof of your runs, but from what I understand using copper also removes sulfides as the vapor rises through the column. Can you still achieve the sulfide removal if you basically soak your finished product in a container with the copper mesh after the run? Sorry if the question sounds silly, but I'm trying to figure out if the benefit of copper only exists with vapor, or is if will provide the same sulfide extraction after the run. Any help is appreciated.

The sulfur compounds are most readily removed when in vapor form... You can experiment and post your findings but I doubt that removal would be effective by adding copper to cooled liquid spirits...
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby homedistlr » Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:44 pm

Would something like this be a better approach?
http://www.morebeer.com/products/kupzit ... gQod9_8Mhw
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby rad14701 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:24 pm

homedistlr wrote:Would something like this be a better approach?
http://www.morebeer.com/products/kupzit ... gQod9_8Mhw

Not without knowing the complete MSDS for that product... Considering how you would be ingesting the final product you need to be 100% certain that you won't be poisoning yourself... Never roll the dice without knowing the odds are in your favor unless you are willing to accept the potential risks and live, or die, with them...
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby homedistlr » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:37 pm

I understand. I looked over the documentation on the product here, http://www.morebeer.com/images/file.php?file_id=4692, before asking. It looks like it is currently used in the wine making process to remove sulfides so I wasn't sure if it would translate for us as well.
I think I'll give the copper mesh a try first. Thanks for the input and help.
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby rad14701 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:59 pm

homedistlr wrote:I understand. I looked over the documentation on the product here, http://www.morebeer.com/images/file.php?file_id=4692, before asking. It looks like it is currently used in the wine making process to remove sulfides so I wasn't sure if it would translate for us as well.
I think I'll give the copper mesh a try first. Thanks for the input and help.

The issue that I would have is the difference in the %ABV between wine and distilled spirits... We know that copper in the vapor path is effective and doesn't require additional steps... With wine its use is pretty much the only viable option for salvaging tainted product...

You could always contact the manufacturer if you'd like a more definitive answer regarding its use with high proof spirits... :idea:
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby Mikeinkaty » Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:35 pm

Lots of cheap 100% copper mesh on EBay.
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby still_stirrin » Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:48 pm

Mikeinkaty wrote:Lots of cheap 100% copper mesh on EBay.

Cheap copper????? Buyer beware! Not everything "posing" as copper really is. Make sure you're not enticed by the "too good to be true" sales pitch. You may be surprised in the end.
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby UnSub » Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:50 pm

I just ordered 100' X 5" (1.7lbs) for $33.50..

I'm hoping that the 100' + 60' I already have is enough for my 3"x48"... I see it as a small investment for the benefit and can last a long time if properly cared for..
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby cob » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:11 pm

still_stirrin wrote:
Mikeinkaty wrote:Lots of cheap 100% copper mesh on EBay.

Cheap copper????? Buyer beware! Not everything "posing" as copper really is. Make sure you're not enticed by the "too good to be true" sales pitch. You may be surprised in the end.
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copper mesh was first made to clean plastic injection moulds (no scratchie). the insect control industry adoped it for insect exclusion.

if you buy from those industries you will get copper. the brew stores have a vested interest in not pissing customers off (mostly).

fleabay can be a crap shoot but the 100' rolls and custom cuts are off 1000' rolls

if you look hard enough you can find 6 different gauges of copper mesh in small rolls (100') and full rolls 1000' at about the price unsub paid

edit; for confusion, 100' rolls for about the price unsub paid
Last edited by cob on Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby Bushman » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:23 pm

I've posted my solution to copper mesh on several threads. Still think it's better than what you can buy on the market.

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=47650
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby UnSub » Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:11 am

Bushman- I totally agree, I stopped at our local recycling center and didn't have any luck. The guys didn't seem at all interested in keeping an eye out for wire for me.

Cob- I'd be interested in finding 1000' for $30! I can usually find the best deals but that market didn't seem very flexible (but I'll keep looking).. Point me in a direction:)
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby Hillbilly Popstar » Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:03 am

UnSub wrote:Bushman- I totally agree, I stopped at our local recycling center and didn't have any luck. The guys didn't seem at all interested in keeping an eye out for wire for me.

Cob- I'd be interested in finding 1000' for $30! I can usually find the best deals but that market didn't seem very flexible (but I'll keep looking).. Point me in a direction:)

Any welding supply will sell you cable for 1.50-2.50/ft.
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby frodo » Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:38 am

I ran a piece of copper wire thru my scrubbies, and soldered it to the last one

just pull the wire to load or unload the pipe
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby UnSub » Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:06 am

HBP: To pack a 4'x3" column with wire @ $2.50/ft. = damn near same cost as 160' of copper mesh... (That's if 160' does it for me)
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby frodo » Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:24 am

WHUT? LOL.....i must be splain'n like jibberish again one more time.

no no..not packed with wire, that would cost like a wholelotta cost for sure to much

one wire, runed thru all the little hommie scrubbies..soldered to the last one

sorry if i confused,

scrubbies 002.JPG



scrubbies 003.JPG
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Re: Copper Scrubbers

Postby UnSub » Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:15 am

No Frodo- I seen your discussion previously about scrubber retrieval- and a super idea btw:)

I was directing that at Hillbilly Popstar. I was assuming he was recommending to use wire (at 1.50-2.50/ft) as opposed to mesh. Wire was referenced by Bushman and his link to "making your own copper packing".

I followed what you were saying :)
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