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Usge wrote:Lemon/salt will absolutely strip copper down nekid. I've heard of using it on the "outside" but ain't never heard of using it on the inside. Other than that, I'm sure it works! (ie..down to the shiny copper metal). Dunder, and others, have said just use hot-slops from a stripping run to soak it. I know that sure enough makes the bottom of my pot clean after a stripping run.
Using vinegar and or vinegar/water soak was also something recommended, and something Iv'e used. But a friend of mine who's a plumber, and whos also familiar with distilling, suggested that the copper could absorb the vinegar and it could eventually ruin your still (ie., could give off-tastes). He also said lemon salt used all the time would just eat your still away to nothing. Since then, I've used only water to flush out my still and I can definetly tell my still heads need some cleaning.
Seems to me, it makes sense that if copper is absorbing some of the bad stuff that over time it would start imparting off-tastes to your distillate. And it makes sense that something that strips it down to bare copper would be the surest way to do that. I just recall from somewhere, can't remember where, being specifically warned "against" using lemon/salt on the inside. And my plumber/distiller friend has said vinegar would permeate the copper and ruin it (for flavor/taste). I guess that leaves the tried and true "hot slops" method.
Just wondering outloud if anybody who's used any of these various methods of cleaning has noticed any off-tastes or other issues develop over time?