SAFETY

This hobby is fun & enjoyable, but it is not tiddlywinks. Be safe!

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Tater
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SAFETY

Post by Tater » Sat May 05, 2007 8:28 pm

This subject was overlooked as a subject. You Guys post your safty tips and lets see how many of us are being safe in our hobby.
I use a pot still.Sometimes with a thumper

stoker
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Post by stoker » Sun May 06, 2007 1:38 am

  • -make sure pressure can be released from a still

    - never lay a gass tube on it's side :oops:

    -make sure your spirit is well labeled and stored in a seperate place (so, for example, kids won't drink your 95° )

    - watch out with open fire and alcohol

    -...
-I have too much blood in my alcohol system-

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Post by absinthe » Sun May 06, 2007 3:34 am

make sure if you are doing a stripping run you use a large container... just in case you get distracted and don't check it enough (i have had a fire from this whoopsy.. almost burnt through my gas line :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: it dont take long to fill 2 ltr bottle at 4.5 ltrs an hour)

get a thermometer with an alarm for much the same reason...
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theholymackerel
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Post by theholymackerel » Sun May 06, 2007 6:00 am

Wear pants.

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More

Post by Uncle Jesse » Sun May 06, 2007 9:15 am

Make sure none of your openings or outlets are clogged by wasps, mud, etc.

Try not to use glass for your eprouvette or spirit container. I know glass carboys are very common but dropping one of these filled with high proof spirits is a disaster. Use thick store-bought 750ml bottles which are very hard to break or steal my idea and store your spirits in Connie Kegs.
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BW Redneck
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Post by BW Redneck » Sun May 06, 2007 10:14 am

absinthe wrote: make sure if you are doing a stripping run you use a large container... just in case you get distracted and don't check it enough (i have had a fire from this whoopsy.. almost burnt through my gas line :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: it dont take long to fill 2 ltr bottle at 4.5 ltrs an hour)
I can share my experiences with that. One time I was doing a stripping run and company arrived. Lost about 2/3 of my low wines all over the basement floor because the bottle ran over. :oops: Fortunately, I was using a sealed electric hotplate and the stuff never caught fire. (Which really seemed lucky, as there was a wood furnace not 40 feet away.)
Place stank like tails for weeks. (No air circulation.)

Also, if supporting something temporarily, don't use cardboard boxes. Them things collapse readily.
(My worm bucket tipped over.:oops: I was lucky because the still has temporary cork fittings instead of solder joints and the worm pulled out and didn't harm anything. Just had 12L of water on the floor.)

Be careful when refrigerating washes to slow them down in hopes of freezing them shortly afterward. A glass bottle has a tendency to explode when the cap is tight. :oops:
"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance... baffle them with bullshit."
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20lt small pot still, working on keg

junkyard dawg
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Post by junkyard dawg » Sun May 06, 2007 10:40 am

I always put my collection jar into a big stockpot so if it flows over or break then everything is contained.

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Husker
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Post by Husker » Sun May 06, 2007 11:19 am

BW Redneck wrote:Be careful when refrigerating washes to slow them down in hopes of freezing them shortly afterward. A glass bottle has a tendency to explode when the cap is tight. :oops:
Along the same line, be careful of stored backset. Make sure the container is not air tight, or an explosive mess can be the result.

H.

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speaking of explosions

Post by Uncle Jesse » Sun May 06, 2007 11:37 am

Never take a potato mash lightly. I had one in a 6.5 gallon carboy once, not realizing that this was far too little headspace for a 5 gallon potato wash. It fermented so heavily that it clogged the plastic bubbler in the top of the carboy. Eventually the rubber gave way to pressure and was shot at high velocity at the ceiling of my garage where it shattered into many pieces. A huge wet, sticky, dripping mess of potato mash adorned the ceiling as a result.
If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.

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Post by goose eye » Sun May 06, 2007 1:35 pm

i would check an see how yalls homeowner insurance policy deals with illegal activeitys. what they gonna see after a fire is a excellarent was involved. that could means arson an insurance fraud to some districk aturnee. mostly it means alot of money an some time.

level Joe
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Post by level Joe » Sun May 06, 2007 3:06 pm

keep gloves handy
fire extinguisher (or a charged hose)
vent gasses from the burner
stay with the still and stay awake
junkyard dawg wrote:I always put my collection jar into a big stockpot so if it flows over or break then everything is contained.
I do the same
check for leaks durring the whole run
Salus populi suprema est lex. [L.] The safety of the people is the highest law.

level Joe
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Post by level Joe » Sun May 06, 2007 3:12 pm

goose eye wrote:i would check an see how yalls homeowner insurance policy deals with illegal activeitys. what they gonna see after a fire is a excellarent was involved. that could means arson an insurance fraud to some districk aturnee. mostly it means alot of money an some time.
Ild say the still located at the seat of the fire would be a dead giveaway :wink:
I dont think Ill tell my agent I run a still :)
no confidentially rule like a lawyer
Salus populi suprema est lex. [L.] The safety of the people is the highest law.

TownDrunk

Post by TownDrunk » Sun May 06, 2007 4:39 pm

Never do this DRUNK.

Tell your kids your making BEER!

Never leave the Still unattended

Get the wife's permission first before you start a run (in case she's gonna need the stove or is bringing a friend home)

When having a sample from a spirit run make sure you spit instead of swallow!

Never try to get frisky with the wife while shitfaced!

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Post by Monster Mash » Sun May 06, 2007 5:24 pm

TownDrunk wrote:Never do this DRUNK.

Tell your kids your making BEER!

Never leave the Still unattended

Get the wife's permission first before you start a run (in case she's gonna need the stove or is bringing a friend home)

When having a sample from a spirit run make sure you spit instead of swallow!

Never try to get frisky with the wife while shitfaced!
Yes, TownDrunk has a good safety tip brought to you by Tony Montana. When distilling "Don't get to high on your own supply"
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rangaz
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Post by rangaz » Mon May 07, 2007 3:01 am

be carefull with material selection not just in stills but in fermenters. You can get some strange effects from seemingly innocent materials in fermenters.

Never get over zealous with bi carb. It will ruin your wash and make a mess. (when heated, it will break down into Na2O and huge ammounts of CO2, making your boiler spew forth a mess and blow out gaskets)

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Post by msrorysdad » Mon May 07, 2007 5:55 am

I stated in a thread. I am too cavalier with my still, I take it for granted that I'm o.k. Fire is deadly, Do not underestimate it's potential. I've lit puddles on fire instead of moppin them up. Ventilate, keep a fire suppressant nearby, and know how to use it. Also let someone know what you are doing, make sure you are checked on every few minutes, you can be overcome by fumes

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Post by triggernum5 » Tue May 08, 2007 11:47 am

One thing I'll add, is thats its not smart to allow a fan's backside to draw too close to the unit.. They can be notoriously "sparky".. I would prefer enough positive pressure coming into the room to safely force exhaust out in a direction that moves fumes directly away from the heat-source in such a way that floor level can be exhausted without an uphill climb.. Honeywell made a great cheap Mega-fan that works superbly but sounds like a 747 called the Mega-Force I think.. Although this uis overkill, Crack a door partway open, and jimmy-seal up the opening with cut up garbage bags and fan such that theonly airpassage there is though the fan too keep all air moving one direction, open the door you want to exhaust out, and make sure it stays open (which it should)..
First you get the sugar.. Then you get the power.. Then, you get the women...

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Post by dan_pilbara » Fri May 11, 2007 3:16 am

well ventillated, turn off if unattended

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Post by aj » Fri May 11, 2007 9:16 am

Always run a new rig with water first, especially if it's one you've built. Steam is easier to see than ethanol vapor, and a lot less flammable.
"I would like to observe the vermouth from across the room while I drink my martini." -- Winston Churchill

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safty

Post by woftam » Fri May 18, 2007 3:13 am

do everything outside
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Post by pintoshine » Mon May 28, 2007 2:57 pm

There was a great safety point came up from another site.
Label everything correctly.
The case was presented for a person who macerated some fruit in 80% when he thought it was 80 proof.
This could be a dangerous accident.

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Post by defcon4 » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:26 am

aj wrote:Always run a new rig with water first, especially if it's one you've built. Steam is easier to see than ethanol vapor, and a lot less flammable.
This is an absolute necessity. I ran my still 4 times with water before I caught every last little leak.
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Post by Johnny Reb » Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:52 pm

:idea: Make sure you put the dog out to let you know when someone's walkin round... And make sure to give the dog a treat when he sounds off to let ya know someone's walkin round... :idea:
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Post by blanikdog » Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:36 pm

pintoshine wrote:There was a great safety point came up from another site.
Label everything correctly.
The case was presented for a person who macerated some fruit in 80% when he thought it was 80 proof.
This could be a dangerous accident.

This, I think is the greatest risk in this silly hobby. With a bit of common sense and the advice given in this forum, cops aren't a problem if one is wary and ventilation is easy and virtually eliminates the fire risk.

VENTILATE YOUR DISTILLING SHED!!!

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Post by HookLine » Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:49 pm

pintoshine wrote:There was a great safety point came up from another site.
Label everything correctly.
The case was presented for a person who macerated some fruit in 80% when he thought it was 80 proof.
This could be a dangerous accident.
I always label in %, never in proof.

I say pick one measurement system and stick to it. And because % is the same the world over, but the definition of proof can vary from one country to another, I picked %, so there is never any doubt.
Be safe.
Be discreet.
And have fun.

RoundEye
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Post by RoundEye » Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:28 am

Never place foreshots on the floor in a mason jar and light it to see the pretty blue invisible flame, forgetting that you lite it, then later walk past it and accidently kick it, splashing the invisiable flaming goodness all over your leg (no shorts) and feet (sandles only no socks). It makes for an embarassing ride to the hospital, an even more unsettling time explaining to them the why and how you caught on fire.

This little incident gave me new respect for how flamable this hobby can be.

I've been paranoid about even running the still since. I'm vapor shy. I have a 3 car garage and I keep all 3 doors open when running. After catching on fire, I can't imagine how bad it would be to let the vapors build up and ignite my entire body next time.

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Post by Husker » Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:42 am

Wow........

I really don't have too much more than that to follow up with RoundEye, other than it sounds like you almost earned a Darwin award with that stunt :?

H.
Last edited by Husker on Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Uncle Jesse
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yeh

Post by Uncle Jesse » Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:49 am

This isn't a game or even a normal hobby. Safety first and foremost! Don't ever let your guard down.

I'm very cautious and thankfully never had an incident other than messy beer spills during fermentation. You can burn your house down with you inside if you aren't careful! And you certainly don't want painful burns on your feet and legs, sounds like a nightmare to me.
If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.

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Post by RoundEye » Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:01 am

Ya, sadly I've got perminent scars on my feet and legs, two of my toes lost hunks of meat even. It's the only time I was greatful that I have multiple sclerosis. The lack of feeling in some parts of my body kept the pain to a minimum.
As I was putting out the flames, there were thoughts of web postings all over the globe, detailing my story with a Darwin award next to it.
I should post pictures of my scars so newbies can use it as a real world tale of how to be safe.

Needless to say I no longer take the hobby for granted. And i wasn't even drunk. I can't even blame likker on being so stupid. Oh well.

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Post by The Chemist » Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:31 am

RoundEye wrote:I should post pictures of my scars so newbies can use it as a real world tale of how to be safe.
I think that's a capital idea. And while I am sorry for your troubles, it's not the Darwin you get...it's the Richard Pryor...

:lol:
Purposeful motion, for one so insane...

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