Blue Distillate

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Blue Distillate

Postby my shine » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:48 pm

I just attempted to make my first batch and it came out blue. I have tried to find answers on here and I believe it may have been from alkaline wash. I only used sugar with turbo yeast. I am assuming it contained many nutrients.
My question is , is there any way to save this blue distillate? It came out to about 93%. If I cut it with water and added citric acid or lemon , then ran it through the reflux still again , would this save it? By the way I do not have a way to test the ph.
My next question is what should I do to fix the copper piping that is now possibly corroded by this? Would running vinegar water through it fix it, or do I need to replace the coil? (which by the way , I have no way of knowing how to get to the coil, since it is not a home made still).
I am new to this, and just basically followed the instructions and out came Blue Alcohol!! Please help me with any advice. Thank you in advance. :?:
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby Ghost » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:59 am

Did you do a cleaning run on your still first?

Would you drink it knowing it came out blue?

Have you done a lot of reading up on how to run a still?


I was just going with the questions theme here- but srsly the only time I have had anything blue-ish come out of my still was on my cleaning run.
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby Ghost » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:00 am

I also used the search function and just typed in "blue" and 131 pages came up - the search function is your friend :)
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby Bayou-Ruler » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:15 am

Ha..............Knew this one would get moved from the mentors section..................... :problem:
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby 501outlaw » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:26 am

My experience was I had a very low abv plus I ran it to hot Good mash makes good likker, low abv and a shit mash will make shit likker
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby Dnderhead » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:16 am

alkaline wash+excess nitrogen= ammonia +copper=blue
not suggested to drink!
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby Bayou-Ruler » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:11 am

Dnderhead wrote:alkaline wash+excess nitrogen= ammonia +copper=blue
not suggested to drink!


Indeed...............
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby Dnderhead » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:24 am

this has been a big problem with "turbos" apparently it has a lot of nitrogen (fast ferments)
then if it does not git used up and your wash is alkaline you have blue distillate..
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby Prairiepiss » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:27 am

Dnderhead wrote:this has been a big problem with "turbos" apparently it has a lot of nitrogen (fast ferments)
then if it does not git used up and your wash is alkaline you have blue distillate..


I have noticed this pattern. More recently it seems to be happening more?
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby 501outlaw » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:29 am

Prairiepiss wrote:
Dnderhead wrote:this has been a big problem with "turbos" apparently it has a lot of nitrogen (fast ferments)
then if it does not git used up and your wash is alkaline you have blue distillate..


I have noticed this pattern. More recently it seems to be happening more?

Second I seen this week
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby Dnderhead » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:44 am

right now we have a lot of new members,the brew shops talk them into "turbos" just add this to a bunch of sugar
and instant ferment,,yes it does but they dont tell you that "turbos" was developed for fuel.
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby Fourway » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:05 am

501outlaw wrote:My experience was I had a very low abv plus I ran it to hot Good mash makes good likker, low abv and a shit mash will make shit likker


It's not as simple as all that and it's a common rookie myth that only nice smelling pretty high abv wash/mash makes good spirit.
Some of the best flavors come from low abv mash.
Sure bad mash/wash will make bad distillate but some bad washes are 22% alcohol and smell like a smirnoff ice, and some good mashes are 4%, the consistency of spit and smell like Satan ate a bad burrito.
GIGO does not really apply... or at least you need a lot of experience to know what garbage actually is (it's not obvious).

As far as blue distillate goes... no it cannot be saved.
It is poison.
Throw it away.
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby 501outlaw » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:14 am

Sir I made many runs on my still and i tried a new wash and all I got was a very light blue liquid that tasted no more that a flavored water . And another thing do you think that any other answer other than yours is correct or is just because I'm a new guy???
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby 501outlaw » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:16 am

One more thing I don't make high abv washes I keep mine around 8%
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby Dnderhead » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:34 am

its not being "new" its using the wrong information.
starch?proteins? carried over can look "fogy" and a bit blue this is from running to fast like a stripping run. but this is not to be confused with a "true blue" distillate. the finished product should always be "water clear"
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby 501outlaw » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:39 am

Dnderhead wrote:its not being "new" its using the wrong information.
starch?proteins? carried over can look "fogy" and a bit blue this is from running to fast like a stripping run. but this is not to be confused with a "true blue" distillate. the finished product should always be "water clear"

If I was to post I had light blue likker I would get told wrong info b/c in my case was poor mash . And I didn't tell him wrong info I only said in my experience !!!
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby rad14701 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:26 pm

Ok... All these posts and here is the $64,000 question... What was the wash recipe you used, in detail...???
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby forrestgump » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:52 pm

Having been through this myself (my first distillation came out blue) and then having done quite extensive searches on the forum and having come up with lots of vague and conflicting advice, I think this topic with a clear subject ("Blue Distillate") will be of great use to people who are looking for this advice in the future. Particularly if one or more of the "wise heads" can provide some definitive answers.

As a total novice, I had no idea if blue distillate was normal (until I started searching/researching).

I guess there are really just a couple of questions that it would be nice to have answered here for posterity. I am not experienced enough to answer the questions but the following are my (perhaps naive) comments.

1. Is it normal for the distillate to be blue? It happens but it is certainly not normal.

2. Is it safe to drink? There seem to be a variety of opinions but all in all it seems that the general consensus is NO. Simple rules of "playing it safe" would tell all of us that it is just not worth taking any chances. Dump it!

3. Can it be saved by filtering/re-distilling? Again, my searches have revealed a variety of opinions but, once again, in the interests of playing safe - dump it. After all, it's only cost us a few bucks to produce - our health is worth more than that.

4. What caused it? Yet again, a variety of possible causes are thrown up in the search. The two prevailing suggestions are (a) A copper still that has not been cleaned correctly; or (b) Too much nutrient in the wash. My personal feeling is that it might be (b) (see below).

Warning. I am a newbie. DO NOT take the suggestions above as gospel - they are just my comments consequent upon my searches of the forum. I am hopeful that one of the experts will be able to provide a far more reliable and definitive set of answers that can live forever in this thread for the benefit of all, both now and in the future.


Now, just a little comments about my situation. Having looked at all this, I had a "light bulb" moment that possibly explains why I got blue from my first run. It was a Turbo wash. It ran very hot for a couple of days, then stopped. I tasted the wash and it was still very sweet. Having read lots on this forum, I figured that meant that my yeast died before it had finished its job (probably from the heat, I thought). I then decided (again naively) that a solution would be to throw in another batch of (turbo) yeast. I did that and it did restart for perhaps a day. Of course what I have now realized is that those Turbos have nutrient in the pack also. This means that I probably produced a wash that had far too much nutrient left in it, Result - blue distillate. Of course, now I have learned a little more, I know some of the mistakes that I have made. Just passing this on in case it is of benefit to somebody else.
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby rad14701 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:02 pm

forrestgump wrote:Now, just a little comments about my situation. Having looked at all this, I had a "light bulb" moment that possibly explains why I got blue from my first run. It was a Turbo wash. It ran very hot for a couple of days, then stopped. I tasted the wash and it was still very sweet. Having read lots on this forum, I figured that meant that my yeast died before it had finished its job (probably from the heat, I thought). I then decided (again naively) that a solution would be to throw in another batch of (turbo) yeast. I did that and it did restart for perhaps a day. Of course what I have now realized is that those Turbos have nutrient in the pack also. This means that I probably produced a wash that had far too much nutrient left in it, Result - blue distillate. Of course, now I have learned a little more, I know some of the mistakes that I have made. Just passing this on in case it is of benefit to somebody else.

Geez... Didn't I make a comment about that in reply to another one of your posts...??? I guess I wasn't lying... Too much nutrient can be worse than not enough...

Lesson learned... Dump it and move on...
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby Fourway » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:11 pm

501outlaw wrote:Sir I made many runs on my still and i tried a new wash and all I got was a very light blue liquid that tasted no more that a flavored water . And another thing do you think that any other answer other than yours is correct or is just because I'm a new guy???


I actually didn't look at your post count, I saw that your post equated "low" with "bad". I wasn't even concerning myself with whether or not that is what you intended to say or whether it is what you actually believe... in fact (believe it or not) I wasn't thinking about you at all, I was making sure that there was information closely following the info that you posted (which I felt might have been confusing or misleading to people coming here later to research) that set straight any possible misunderstandings someone might take away from what you said.

In the future, if anything blue comes out of your still don't taste it. It can hurt a lot more than your feelings.
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby Fourway » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:21 pm

501outlaw wrote:
Dnderhead wrote:its not being "new" its using the wrong information.
starch?proteins? carried over can look "fogy" and a bit blue this is from running to fast like a stripping run. but this is not to be confused with a "true blue" distillate. the finished product should always be "water clear"

If I was to post I had light blue likker I would get told wrong info b/c in my case was poor mash . And I didn't tell him wrong info I only said in my experience !!!


As far as being new goes... it's totally fine to share your experience, to try to help others by telling what you've learned so far, it's good for the community and the knowledge base to have your voice included... but people are going to set what you say straight when it's off the mark or you are drawing erroneous conclusions... it's going to happen... deal with it. If you get whiny and defensive every time someone follows one of your posts with a correction or clarification that's going to pretty much cancel out the good work you are doing when you try to help people newer than you.
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby forrestgump » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:22 pm

rad14701 wrote:Geez... Didn't I make a comment about that in reply to another one of your posts...??? I guess I wasn't lying... Too much nutrient can be worse than not enough...


I don't think so. (apologies if I missed it)

I'm just trying to plant clear footsteps that those that come behind can follow.

I still really don't know for certain what caused my blue distillate. There remain many conflicting suggestions out there in "search world".

Anyway, possibly the most important advice that I am taking and that anybody following along should heed is exactly what you say - dump it.

I have another Turbo wash fermenting as we speak. I'll report how it goes. (and, yes, my next wash will be a birdwatchers :relaxed: ).
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby rad14701 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:39 pm

forrestgump wrote:I don't think so. (apologies if I missed it)

May not have been you, but it's been discussed in more than one topic in the past several days... The more the forums get fragmented, the more they get fragmented... Trust me, I read it all... :crazy: It's no wonder I'm dazed and confused... :wtf:
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby 501outlaw » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:51 pm

Rad play some led Zeppelin
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby Prairiepiss » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:58 pm

rad14701 wrote:
forrestgump wrote:I don't think so. (apologies if I missed it)

May not have been you, but it's been discussed in more than one topic in the past several days... The more the forums get fragmented, the more they get fragmented... Trust me, I read it all... :crazy: It's no wonder I'm dazed and confused... :wtf:


Rad there were 3 posts about blue distillate this week. I've been getting them cornfused the whole time. :crazy:
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby forrestgump » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:25 pm

rad14701 wrote:
forrestgump wrote:I don't think so. (apologies if I missed it)

The more the forums get fragmented, the more they get fragmented... Trust me, I read it all... :crazy: It's no wonder I'm dazed and confused... :wtf:


I suspect that part of the problem is that the simple search, when asked to search for blue distillate comes up with 132 pages, including every time someone has mentioned that they are wearing BLUE jeans. Of course the HD Google Search can produce more targeted results but many new friends may not notice that initially.

Purely from my own perspective (as one of a continuous flow of new members), a "sticky" on Blue Distillate that just gives some clear answers (or at least informed opinions) would make sense. But then I am not yet au-fait with this forums policies on such things. (It may be that such a policy would result in too many stickies). Life is not simple, is it?

Just in case anybody should misunderstand - I really do appreciate all the advice available by search and provided "live" by you guys.
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby my shine » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:20 pm

forrestgump wrote:Having been through this myself (my first distillation came out blue) and then having done quite extensive searches on the forum and having come up with lots of vague and conflicting advice, I think this topic with a clear subject ("Blue Distillate") will be of great use to people who are looking for this advice in the future. Particularly if one or more of the "wise heads" can provide some definitive answers.

As a total novice, I had no idea if blue distillate was normal (until I started searching/researching).

I guess there are really just a couple of questions that it would be nice to have answered here for posterity. I am not experienced enough to answer the questions but the following are my (perhaps naive) comments.

1. Is it normal for the distillate to be blue? It happens but it is certainly not normal.

2. Is it safe to drink? There seem to be a variety of opinions but all in all it seems that the general consensus is NO. Simple rules of "playing it safe" would tell all of us that it is just not worth taking any chances. Dump it!

3. Can it be saved by filtering/re-distilling? Again, my searches have revealed a variety of opinions but, once again, in the interests of playing safe - dump it. After all, it's only cost us a few bucks to produce - our health is worth more than that.

4. What caused it? Yet again, a variety of possible causes are thrown up in the search. The two prevailing suggestions are (a) A copper still that has not been cleaned correctly; or (b) Too much nutrient in the wash. My personal feeling is that it might be (b) (see below).

Warning. I am a newbie. DO NOT take the suggestions above as gospel - they are just my comments consequent upon my searches of the forum. I am hopeful that one of the experts will be able to provide a far more reliable and definitive set of answers that can live forever in this thread for the benefit of all, both now and in the future.


Now, just a little comments about my situation. Having looked at all this, I had a "light bulb" moment that possibly explains why I got blue from my first run. It was a Turbo wash. It ran very hot for a couple of days, then stopped. I tasted the wash and it was still very sweet. Having read lots on this forum, I figured that meant that my yeast died before it had finished its job (probably from the heat, I thought). I then decided (again naively) that a solution would be to throw in another batch of (turbo) yeast. I did that and it did restart for perhaps a day. Of course what I have now realized is that those Turbos have nutrient in the pack also. This means that I probably produced a wash that had far too much nutrient left in it, Result - blue distillate. Of course, now I have learned a little more, I know some of the mistakes that I have made. Just passing this on in case it is of benefit to somebody else.



Thank you very much for this reply. I assume after all my research it was most likely the turbo yeast that has too many nutrients that caused this. My next thing that I wanted to try was perhaps add some citric aid to lower the ph balance to put through the still again to see if I would get any good drinkable alcohol from this. I even went and got some ph strips today. I also wanted to know if I needed to replace the copper coil or not. Or if just a thorough cleaning would be enough.

Your reply was the most helpful and I will take your advice and not even try to fix the blue distillate. I agree that it would be nice if someone would provide us a knowledgeable answer to this.
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Re: Blue Distillate

Postby forrestgump » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:16 pm

G'day,

Just an added observation here (trying to add to the database of knowledge in my own little way).

As it happened, I left the distillate from my "blue run" in the collection jars and they have been sitting there for a week. I just had a look at them this morning and the "blue" has all settled to the bottom of each jar. It's actually a "bluey-green". Clearly, my blue (double meaning there) was the excess nutrients (nitrogen?) reacting with my copper still.

I do not intend to drink this distillate, it will be dumped. I would suggest the same course of action to anybody else - just not worth the risk for less than $20 worth of ingredients.
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