So, the answer was copper

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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby SaltyStaves » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:46 pm

der wo wrote:"sulfur washes but no sulfur smelling products" Yes, same like me. But how smells the sulfur after distillation?


After distillation of the offending washes, I've never had the sulfur smell. I had a very bad rum wash that almost made me vomit because the sulfur was so overpowering. However, its sulfur smell did not carry through to the low wines. But my copper parts all smelt like very salty cheese after that.

I have an unhappy UJ in the fermenter right now that is giving a very slight sulfur aroma (for the first time in 10 generations). If putting some copper in the wash will clear that smell before I run it, then I'm happy to experiment. How much to add for a 23L wash?
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby Bagasso » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:25 pm

SaltyStaves wrote:How much to add for a 23L wash?

I don't think we have an answer for that yet, we are still trying to feel things out but, if it is racked then I don't think you can overdo it. Add what you can and check it as often as you can until it is corrected.

I used 6 inches of 3/8" tube in 2L and it took 7 hours or so. In part because I was using a narrow mouthed bottle. If it had been a bucket i would have thrown anything that fit in there.

The wire I used in the fermenting wash had around 315mm2 of surface area and that was definitely too little. I freeze-jacked that wash and dropped the 3/8 x 6" tube in there last night. Much cleaner today.

Every inch of 3/8" tube has a surface area of 1350mm2 and 1/2" tube would be around 1900mm2 (rough calcs)
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby SaltyStaves » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:26 pm

Thanks. It is still finishing and I'll be racking to a wide mouth jerry can. I have lots of offcuts that should fit.
I'm also going away for 3 weeks and may not get to run it before then, so I'll have to plan accordingly.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby NZChris » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:15 pm

SaltyStaves wrote:Thanks. It is still finishing and I'll be racking to a wide mouth jerry can. I have lots of offcuts that should fit.
I'm also going away for 3 weeks and may not get to run it before then, so I'll have to plan accordingly.


Three weeks is a long time to have copper in a wash. I'll let you go first :D

I just used an ugly piece of whatever I found in my collection with no regard to surface area, SG 1000 and not quite dead. You can ferment in a copper vessel as long as you have enough yeast, so I'm picking how much isn't critical late in the ferment.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby Saltbush Bill » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:30 pm

I wonder why none of the big commercial operations have never thought of this. Its a wonder they are not all throwing lumps of copper into there washes or fermenting in copper vessels.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby thecroweater » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:37 pm

Saltbush Bill wrote:I wonder why none of the big commercial operations have never thought of this. Its a wonder they are not all throwing lumps of copper into there washes or fermenting in copper vessels.

Took the words out of my mouth :thumbup:
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby NZChris » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:37 pm

Saltbush Bill wrote:I wonder why none of the big commercial operations have never thought of this. Its a wonder they are not all throwing lumps of copper into there washes or fermenting in copper vessels.


Probably because they're not doing washes out of tomato paste to distill through Stainless Steel.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby thecroweater » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:42 pm

The grapes used back home are covered in metabisulfate, I know this because I've mechanically harvested grapes many times and have been instructed many times on what amount to add. Some of this wine goes to brandy. I'm sure they have very clever methods for reducing the sulfur but one thing for sure is they all have copper stills
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby Saltbush Bill » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:43 pm

Party my point Chris....why do people persist with making stainless stills and then complain when they end up with less that great product.
A copper still with a few good sized pieces of copper offcut in the boiler would have saved the whole problem to begin with.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby Bagasso » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:01 pm

Saltbush Bill wrote:I wonder why none of the big commercial operations have never thought of this. Its a wonder they are not all throwing lumps of copper into there washes or fermenting in copper vessels.

Winemakers do use copper (actually where the idea originally came from). I'm guessing because they are stuck with the water given up by the grapes.

Distillers and brewers are often built around springs and other water sources that have something about them.

Lastly, they may not have a need for it.

Then again, it isn't like most commercial operations are held as an example of producers of good products around here but when something different comes along they get trotted out as the golden standard.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby Bagasso » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:03 pm

Saltbush Bill wrote:A copper still with a few good sized pieces of copper offcut in the boiler would have saved the whole problem to begin with.

If you had followed the thread you would have seen that that is not guaranteed.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby thecroweater » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:24 pm

Bagasso wrote:
Saltbush Bill wrote:A copper still with a few good sized pieces of copper offcut in the boiler would have saved the whole problem to begin with.

If you had followed the thread you would have seen that that is not guaranteed.

Yep sorry but it is, only time some amelioration seems to be needed is when someone is not using a copper still
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby Bagasso » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:28 pm

thecroweater wrote:Yep sorry but it is, only time some amelioration seems to be needed is when someone is not using a copper still

So my 10 feet of 1/2" copper coil and half a dozen copper off-cuts in the boiler are what?
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby Saltbush Bill » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:33 pm

Bagasso wrote:If you had followed the thread you would have seen that that is not guaranteed.


You seemed very surprised at the beginning of this thread that copper had fixed the problem of your crappy tasting booze.
Ive always run full copper stills, with copper in the boiler, Ive also made my fair share of Tomato Paste Wash..or Birdwatchers as it should be known and never ever had the problem you have.
Ive told you what I think is the problem ......take it or leave it.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby thecroweater » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:34 pm

Bagasso wrote:
thecroweater wrote:Yep sorry but it is, only time some amelioration seems to be needed is when someone is not using a copper still

So my 10 feet of 1/2" copper coil and half a dozen copper off-cuts in the boiler are what?

Well pretty obviously inadequate :roll:
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby Bagasso » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:37 pm

Saltbush Bill wrote:You seemed very surprised at the beginning of this thread that copper had fixed the problem of your crappy tasting booze.

Of course I was surprised because I have copper in the boiler and in the vapor path, which you just explained was the solution but for years it didn't resolve my problem so, I'll just leave your advice right where it is, thank you.
Last edited by Bagasso on Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby Bagasso » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:48 pm

thecroweater wrote:Well pretty obviously inadequate :roll:

Obviously but since "toss a copper scrubbie in that ss rig to scrub sulfides" is about the closest to an amount offered I will say that the advice is lacking in info.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby SaltyStaves » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:19 pm

NZChris wrote:Three weeks is a long time to have copper in a wash. I'll let you go first :D


Indeed. I think I'll do a daily sniff test before I go away and if the sulfur clears or shows signs of improving, I'll remove it.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby thecroweater » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:49 pm

Bagasso wrote:
thecroweater wrote:Well pretty obviously inadequate :roll:

Obviously but since "toss a copper scrubbie in that ss rig to scrub sulfides" is about the closest to an amount offered I will say that the advice is lacking in info.

Copper in the condenser is not copper in the vapour path, no doubt its doing a bit to help but obviously not enough. The correct answer is build a copper pot still , other than that you can probably loosely pack with copper mesh. Pot stills should be copper and then this problem does not arise in the first place to need fixing.
Edit copper in the ferment won't help and is not a good idea, it will stress the hell out of the yeast
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby Bagasso » Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:05 pm

thecroweater wrote:Copper in the condenser is not copper in the vapour path, no doubt its doing a bit to help but obviously not enough.

Yeah, I have a bit of a copper riser that I, at some time, stuffed with stripped copper electrical wire. Didn't work either.

The correct answer is build a copper pot still , other than that you can probably loosely pack with copper mesh. Pot stills should be copper and then this problem does not arise in the first place to need fixing.

Sorry but I'm not willing to just accept that, not after all the advice given before didn't make enough of a difference in my situation.

I don't see any drawback to letting wash/low wines sit for a while with a piece of copper in them and I don't have to try to source a copper pot. Had enough of a hard time getting copper tube for my coil where I live.

Someone with much more copper in the upside of their still than I have in mine has already tested it and the results are positive for resting on copper, everyone is free to take that or leave it as well.

Edit copper in the ferment won't help and is not a good idea, it will stress the hell out of the yeast

Do you guys even read threads before you reply to them? I already tried it and it was a major improvement. Didn't slow the yeast down one bit although it needed a little more cleaning afterwards.

EDIT: And by "more cleaning" I don't mean more than my usual batch, it was way better than anything I could ever remember, but there was still a hint of the flaw that was taken care of with a little more time on copper.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby thecroweater » Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:56 pm

Yeah OK champ sorry I couldn't help and sorry you can't except that a pot still should be copper, I just didn't want newbies thinking they can dump a ton of copper in there ferment (wash, must, mash, what ever) and think this will remove sulfides or think it is in any way necessary. Copper pieces in the boiler maybe. Story about asses and water comes to mind, happy distilling dude :thumbup:
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby Bagasso » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:32 pm

thecroweater wrote:Yeah OK champ sorry I couldn't help and sorry you can't except that a pot still should be copper,

No problem. Actually, what I don't accept is that it has to be all copper or that that is the best way to treat sulfur compounds. It sure isn't the only way.

Wine makers put it right into their wines so it isn't unheard of.

I just didn't want newbies thinking they can dump a ton of copper in there ferment (wash, must, mash, what ever) and think this will remove sulfides or think it is in any way necessary.

Nobody said it was needed, much less a ton but, it does remove sulfur compounds.

I actually participated in a thread where someone was asking about a copper fermentor and we, me included, said it was a bad idea.

Copper in the wash, in small amounts, is for each person to try and see if it works for them.

Copper pieces in the boiler maybe.
That didn't work for me.

Story about asses and water comes to mind, happy distilling dude :thumbup:

Sorry but that story also fits your stance on this as well.

At least this ass is basing their decision on their particular situation and accepts that it may not apply in others.
Last edited by Bagasso on Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby Bagasso » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:49 pm

One more happy surprise, seeing how my test batch was only 3l, I jacked it down to 1.5l and let it sit on copper overnight. I filtered it through a submicron filter to get the suspended yeast out and I am getting a banana smell coming off of it.

It's my normal recipe but I had never had anything like that come through before.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby NZChris » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:20 pm

For what it's worth, my jacking experiments have concentrated flavor more than alcohol, so now I only jack unfermented fruit for liqueur experiments.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby jb-texshine » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:40 pm

So if I've comprehended this post correctly...some of you are getting fermented washes that smell of sulfur? Like garlicky,sweaty armpit sulfonamides smell? In the wash?
reason I'm asking is I've only had that happen once but it was a wash that got way to hot during fermentation. Guess I didnt know that smell came from anything but yeast stressed in one form or another.
by the way...
The barrel of wash that did that to me was distilled through my keg and 30" tall copper riser pot and apparently that wasn't enough to fix it. Triple distillation didnt either.
Not sure that my situation has any bearing,but hey....
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby SaltyStaves » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:45 am

jb-texshine wrote:So if I've comprehended this post correctly...some of you are getting fermented washes that smell of sulfur? Like garlicky,sweaty armpit sulfonamides smell? In the wash?


In my case, closer to rotten egg.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby NZChris » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:54 am

Some of you need to get pigs and get into making bacon and ham.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby jb-texshine » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:15 am

NZChris wrote:Some of you need to get pigs and get into making bacon and ham.

+1nzc. The most valuable thing it taught me was that something's are meant to feed worms not to be distilled. In the three days I triple distilled mine trying to get rid of the smell I could have almost finished another ferment.
The underlying question is what is causing the ferment to smell like that. If you wouldn't want to drink or smell the fermented wash,mash or must,then why distill and try to fix the aftermath?
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby NZChris » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:34 am

jb-texshine wrote:The underlying question is what is causing the ferment to smell like that. If you wouldn't want to drink or smell the fermented wash,mash or must,then why distill and try to fix the aftermath?
Jbt


It's very hard to diagnose a fault you can't smell yourself, especially when the description is something that you don't recognize in your own ferments and distillations. I'd love to sample a jar of Bagasso's to try to understand what he is talking about, but it ain't going to happen any time soon.

I have a set of wine flavors in an educational kit designed to teach you how to recognize basic wine flavors. A spirit version of the same kit would be the duck's nuts about now, but I've never come across such a thing.
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Re: So, the answer was copper

Postby der wo » Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:30 am

I'll try a bit irony in English, I am sure it fails:

- Bagasso, even after you have posted every detail of your mash and we don't have found mistakes, I still think, that my mash is simply better than your mash. Bad mash -> bad spirit. Improve your mashing skills and you don't need to mess up your mash with copper.
- Ok, a smartass tells us, with a simple trick all our distilled spirits could taste better.
- I knew it always. All the stupid young distillers with their stainless stills. They never distilled one good drop.

I know, everything is still fuzzy. We don't know exactly if or what is wrong with Bagassos mash. And of course noone can prove the success with copper without a lab test. But also the counter-arguments are worthless IF it works in practice.
So please try it. Or at least wait until more distillers have results before you argue why it cannot work even if it works.
Sorry for my bad English!
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