Cleaning a revenoor still

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Cleaning a revenoor still

Postby cob » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:54 pm

where do i find a thread for cleaning a very old revenoor 5gallon probably 25 years old with 5 years light use and 20 years in the barn. i know uncle j has one and one other poster has a newer one. welded up like a canteen is not very handy. thanks much c.o.b.
Last edited by cob on Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cleaning a revenoor still

Postby Husker » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:59 pm

cob,

For the still (btw, sounds like a NICE find!!!)

DO THIS FIRST: Before firing it up, make SURE that it has the vapor path open. Make sure any tubes, lines, etc are not packed with some mud hornet nests, or bird nests, or other blockage. If this is so, and you fire up the still with a charge (even water), then it could be very dangerous, and possibly cato explode on you, due to building pressure.

If the still is it dirty on the inside, or just on the outside? Easy way to clean the inside is to run it. First do a pure water run. That will allow you to spot leaks. Leaks doing a water run are no problem at all (as long as you do not build pressure and 'explode'). However, leaks with ethanol, CAN be a problem, and dangerous. Ok, now after a good water run, it should have some of the stuff cleaned out. Then do a weak vinegar run. This will help to clean the copper some, but not do ALL of the cleaning needed. Once that is done, and you are sure the still is solid and leak free, and has no vapor leaks, etc, then run some cheap wash that you will throw away in the end. This IS the cleaning run, it will clean the inside out, and make it where the still will produce a clean drinkable product. NOTE do not drink this first run. Consider it tainted, and unsafe.

If the still is simply dirty on the outside, then use a garden hose, and scrub brush (plastic, must be solfter than the copper), and scrub off any dirty or other crud. Then if the still is green tarnished, or you simply want a 'shiny' clean, then use lemon and salt. I find a green 'brillo' pad, a bowl of salt and a bowl of lemon juice will clean up copper VERY shiny, very fast. Once you have the copper cleaned using an acid like lemon, be SURE to rinse if off well, to cut the acid.

NOTE if you remove the patina, it will reform. There really is NO reason to remove the patina. It is a GOOD thing. Now, if the copper has tarnished to the point of the powdery white/green corrosion, you probably should remove that. But the good strong brown or reddish brown is a good thing. It will keep the copper from 'micro-dissolving' into your product. It also protects the copper. The patina grows only so much and then becomes 'stable'. If you remove the patina, you are removing some metal. The patina WILL regrow, and if you again remove it, you are again removing metal. Doing this time and time again, you CAN wear out the still.

Like I said, it sounds like you made a hell of a find. Wish I could find a unit like that!

H.
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Re: Cleaning a revenoor still

Postby cob » Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:13 pm

the first thing i did was took ALL the brass stuff off and got stainless to replace it when the time comes, then i flushed it with 60-70 gallons of water. then i put a chunk of chain in it and did the shake thing, and flushed more. then plugged most openings and filled full to top of column and flushed more from the top down.then put a gallon of water in it and brought it up to steam thermometer top and bottom, no worm just open top 212 top 209 bottom for 1/2 hour (now i know thermometer correction, top is closer to correct for 430' elevation) then tipped it to 45 degrees and put a siphon tube to the bottom corner and flushed more while shaking so any chunks would go to the back bottom corner pickup for the siphon tube. now having done that i put a bore light in it and it's black (that could be good) looks thick, it doesn't smell. opinions please is this just well seasoned or should i take it to copper and start over ? as far as outside it has great camo nice and brown little splashes of bird poop. sombody wrote shiny attracts attention. i would add "chrome don't get you home" and i ain't drinkin off the outside. thanks husker thanks to the site
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Re: Cleaning a revenoor still

Postby Husker » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:14 pm

If it is black on the inside, then likely the first time (or first couple times) you produce any ethanol through it, it will clean out that funk. You will probably not want to drink anything out of it for a run or two, until you get that funk out.

But yes, camo does make it less conspicuous. I am not sure I would go as far as hiding stills under a layer of bird shit, but it certainly will not impact the flavor of what is produced. However, the still does get hot, and I think any organic material will smoke or at least smell bad, so if it were me, I would clean that off, at the very least.

Good luck with yer new toy, :)

H.
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Re: Cleaning a revenoor still

Postby cob » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:19 pm

i found a thread in research and theory about ethyl carbomate that gave me some more info .the thought of pitching two batches breaks my heart. but safe or sorry, i'll do more research and err, on the side of safe. so is this thing a modifyed reflux or a pot ? with a short (20") fat (2 1/4") column full of marbles and a water coil (i think i count 6 turns) in the top of that short column, with an external water cooled worm setting right against the column. i am going to move the worm away from the column to eliminate a cold spot on one side of the column. as far as the outside i said a couple of splashes not encrusted in layers of guano. there are a couple green spots and stripes and other colors of stuff and lots of nice aged brown patina. i've had it up to temp with water and no smell inside or out. thanks
Last edited by cob on Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cleaning a revenoor still

Postby olddog » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:23 pm

How about a photo?
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Re: Cleaning a revenoor still

Postby cob » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:56 pm

i would if i could but can't yet, not equiped. a cell phone picture isn't worth trying. i may someday put a wet sponge on it but as it is it matches the rest of the stuff in the shop.
Last edited by cob on Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cleaning a revenoor still

Postby goose eye » Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:43 am

make you some hot slopes from cain syrup or cider an sink it in


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Re: Cleaning a revenoor still

Postby stillvodka » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:14 pm

olddog wrote:How about a photo?


Yes, I would like to see a picture of the revenoor still as well
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Re: Cleaning a revenoor still

Postby cob » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:02 am

digital camera ? sugar, yeast, thermometers, hyhrometers, etc. more copper for a reflux? no choice there. what's left when the corn's all gone? cranky! old! bastard! c.o.b.

p.s. novice is an extremely generous description for this c.o.b. never made a run, cooked a batch, or made wash. just bought a new to me very old revenoor after about a year reading this and other sites. by the way a year of reading on this site doesn't even scratch the surface. cob
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Re: Cleaning a revenoor still

Postby Husker » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:40 am

cob wrote: p.s. novice is an extremely generous description for this c.o.b. never made a run, cooked a batch, or made wash. just bought a new to me very old revenoor after about a year reading this and other sites. by the way a year of reading on this site doesn't even scratch the surface. cob


The title "novice" (or "master distiller" for that matter), means nothing other than the number of posts you have done on the site. Note, there are some true MASTER distillers which have few posts, and then are others who post a lot of times, but have not done much distillation.

There is no way the board could know the quality or quantity of the information you know about distilling. The better titles are simply given as a thank you for users who keep the site active.

H.

PS, Thanks for explaining what cob stands for. Makes me smile when I understand just wtf it does stand for :)
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Re: Cleaning a revenoor still

Postby cob » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:03 am

after two more days of reading (on topic) huskers got it well covered the black stuff inside looks like burnt sugar, run dry, blackened orange peel, thick black stuff. the guy at revenoor said he would cut the bottom off, acid wash it and put the bottom back on, nice offer, we didn't talk money. i have a bird in my hand. and if it go's back in the factory door i'm not willing to do any "splanin" so i'll take the inside down to patina if there is any under the crust and do a proper cleaning run. (i was eyeballing a box of almaden in the store yesterday if it wasn't $13 a box i'd use it). it's been 100-106 for 14 days and 7 more before it is supposed to cool off to 99. that means 110-135 in the shop. will a wash self destruct ? if i manage to make a wash do i really want to light an 80k. burner. no i'm not prepared yet. no digital camera, no hydrometer for abv. need to make a parrot.(you can step away from the burner a little. when your welding copper your stuck there dripping on your glasses) hell i don't even have any yeast. give me time boys i'll get there. but not today. cob



quit smoking years ago, except for a cuban once and a while. still got flint and ethanol and to quote meatloaf "two outa three ain't bad" cob
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Re: Cleaning a revenoor still

Postby cob » Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:22 pm

Image so here you go. it's 115f. out there. the more observent will see incomplete assembly. the hole in the bottom had a brass garden hose spiggot i have a food grade stainless ball valve. the plug above the lower thermometer was brass. the t at the top was brass i added the thermometer at the top. the worm can will be moved away from the column enough to insulate the column. cooling will be supplied by a ten horse three phase 440 volt pump 169 feet down where the water is always 56f. it took 1/2 an hour to figure out how to take a picture with the web cam on my new and nearly unused laptop (especially to NOT transmit it and me to youtube my space cbs evening news etc) another 1/2 hour to set up and take a picture with a new laptop on top two plastic buckets on its side and propped to the correct angle with 1/4 inch square copper bar stock and then get the hell out of that 115 decree shop. then 2 1/2 more hours to get said picture to this site. 3 calls and a supreme pizza to the computer guy. so the most observent of you will look to the right of the revenoor and say "sombitch thats a FIVE FOOT column for a reflux" enjoy. cob

the other stuff in the picture is my arm, hair and shadow of hair on my arm while i was pushing the button on the computer.


just cause there's air coming out don't mean you always gotta make noise with it. cob
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