Question about baking soda

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redman
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Question about baking soda

Post by redman » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:20 pm

I have 4 gallon of low wines from a stripped run of birdwatchers. Low wines were clean and clear until i tossed in the baking soda to sit a week or so before doing my spirit run. After adding the soda my low wines turned a light blue. Will it be ok to go ahead with the spirit run?

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bearriver
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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by bearriver » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:39 pm

What container was the low wines in?

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by Danespirit » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:43 pm

Are you sure it's NaHCO3..?
Further...how much did you throw in there..?
What do you ferment in..?
It shouldn't give a blue tinge, when used correctly.
I assume you run it in a potstill..?

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by redman » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:50 pm

Put a tablespoon of soda per quart low wines which would be 16 tablespoons in the 4 gallons. Have the low wines stored in a food grade plastic bucket. Thats all i have

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by still_stirrin » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:55 pm

bearriver wrote:What container was the low wines in?
+1 to this one.

As a reference, I added sodium carbonate (made by dehydrating baking soda...sodium bicarbonate) to my boiler today. The NaCO3 is a 10x stronger base and very effective at cleaning up the low wines. I added 2 tablespoons and let it work in the boiler (8 gallons) as it heated up. The heat makes it much more effective, otherwise it tends to simply settle out. But you would never want to add this to a fermenter, or even the strip wash. Its best in the low wines. It is good at helping to pull out the oxides in the tails..makes them much cleaner. Good for a neutral spirit, which is what I'm making. No color in any of the distillate either.
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Last edited by still_stirrin on Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by still_stirrin » Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:05 pm

redman wrote:Put a tablespoon of soda per quart low wines which would be 16 tablespoons in the 4 gallons. Have the low wines stored in a food grade plastic bucket. Thats all i have
That seems like an awful lot to me. And I can't imagine that there would be anything there to turn it blue unless there was something in your wash that carried over to the low wines during the strip. What nutrients did you use in the ferment?
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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by bearriver » Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:13 pm

I use baking soda with low wines and BW on a regular basis with no blue reactions. Something else is definitely wrong. Perhaps multiple things...

Regardless you really should stop using the bucket for low wines storage. "All that I have" don't chooch.
Last edited by bearriver on Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by redman » Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:26 pm

I know storing them in platic is not good. Bearriver , how much soda do you put in your BW? Will the blue low wines be ok to do the spirit run anyway?

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by bearriver » Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:47 pm

redman wrote:I know storing them in platic is not good. Bearriver , how much soda do you put in your BW? Will the blue low wines be ok to do the spirit run anyway?
Get some pickle jars or a 24 pack of bottle beer and drink it... Anything is better than nothing, which is what you have currently for low wines storage. Free glass also isn't hard to come by and kegs are abundant for a reasonable price. I use stock pots also, two of which I snagged from my transfer station for free.

1/4 cup per 15.5 gallons...

I wouldn't knowingly drink anything made from that.

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by rad14701 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:58 pm

redman wrote:I know storing them in platic is not good. Bearriver , how much soda do you put in your BW? Will the blue low wines be ok to do the spirit run anyway?
Please don't downplay safety concerns... We want you to be both safe and successful... When do you think leeching will happen, on the first storage of low wines in synthetics, or the fifth, or all of them...???

The whole how much soda to add has been covered... But you're better off with washing soda than baking soda due to the sodium in baking soda... And the amounts differ between the two...

Research, research, research...

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by Bagasso » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:18 pm

I always seem to get a blue tint to low wines treated with alkali. It has happened with bicarb, sodium hydroxide and calcium hydroxide. I have even tried water from different sources for the wash, with the exception of distilled water.

Fermented in natural HDPE, no puking, low wines stored in glass or SS. If I let it sit, it settles and I have even filtered it out with a coffee filter.

Link to pic of what that looked like:
http://homedistiller.org/forum/download ... p?id=16173

The stuff in the pic was from low wines taken up to a pH of 11 but I get it even if I just bump things up to 7. The only thing that I can think of as being the source is my copper coil.
Last edited by Bagasso on Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by rubber duck » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:23 pm

You ran,your stripped run really hard didn't you? Probably ran it so hard you puked a little mash. Well if you ph up on a run that got puked into you've just made amonia.

I only ph up on on my first reflux run I don't do it on low wines because I've done the same thing you did.

I do low wines then reflux then ph up then reflux agian.
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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by redman » Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:40 am

Thanks for the replies. Im sure there was no puking. I have 2 feet of riser off my pot.low wines smell fine with no smell of ammonia. Im gonna get some glass carboys for storage ordered today. Gonna let the low wines sit a while and rerun them.

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by Kegg_jam » Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:35 am

+1 rubber duck

I've only put soda in feints from spirit runs. Never had any problems. I've read about other people having trouble with low wines.

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by Bagasso » Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:19 am

rubber duck wrote:You ran,your stripped run really hard didn't you?
Don't know about the OP but I have never been able to run hard.

My old 20L still with a 15L charge running propane on max would start out at about 1.5L/h. Since switching to a 1kw hotplate I can get a bit over 2L/h.

There's nothing hard about those speeds.

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by shadylane » Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:35 am

redman wrote:Thanks for the replies. Im sure there was no puking. I have 2 feet of riser off my pot.low wines smell fine with no smell of ammonia. Im gonna get some glass carboys for storage ordered today. Gonna let the low wines sit a while and rerun them.
I've had bad luck with glass carboys. I use gallon glass jugs or korny kegs for storing low-wines. I've tried using baking soda to treat low-wines several times and didn't like the taste of the finished product. A couple of times it turned the low-wines slightly blue.

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by Danespirit » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:34 pm

redman wrote:Put a tablespoon of soda per quart low wines which would be 16 tablespoons in the 4 gallons. Have the low wines stored in a food grade plastic bucket. Thats all i have
That bucket just happened to be blue..?
HDPE comes in different colours..

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by bearriver » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:07 pm

Lowes buckets are blue. :sick:

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by Braz » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:41 pm

Just for what it is worth, I sometimes get a very light blue tint after adding baking soda to my low wines (All bran wash). This is done in a stainless pot, no plastic. I dilute to ~30% with my well water and have no real idea what effect that has, if any. I think I add about one tbsp per gallon. I am pretty imprecise on this point. Anyway, it refluxes to a nice neutral and nobody has died from it - yet - so I'm not concerned about a little blueness.
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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by redman » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:00 pm

The buckets i have are from tractor supply which are white. Have some glass on the way

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by Bagasso » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:16 pm

redman wrote:Have some glass on the way
To me it has always looked like copper in solution. Don't be surprised if you continue to see it, even in glass.

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by kiwi Bruce » Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:34 pm

Bagasso wrote:
redman wrote:Have some glass on the way
To me it has always looked like copper in solution. Don't be surprised if you continue to see it, even in glass.
+1 It will be copper if.........if your run come in contact with copper, the condenser for example. It has to be over on the condenser side as these salts don't distill. With your raising the pH the copper salt becomes visible, Test this by taking a glass full out and adding a little vinegar to it. If the blue color disappears it's a copper amine. Good news is,it won't distill. So you don't want this to happen in the spirit run, you'll have to "passivate" the copper. Rinse all copper still parts in a mild organic acid like citric, malic or ascorbic acid in warm water and rinse with cold. Done... the copper is passivated, which just means the very thin copper oxide layer is gone. This is what was dissolved by ammonia from the ferment and turned blue in the run. Kiwi Bruce
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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by Bagasso » Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:12 pm

kiwi Bruce wrote:Done... the copper is passivated, which just means the very thin copper oxide layer is gone. This is what was dissolved by ammonia from the ferment and turned blue in the run. Kiwi Bruce
This is where things get contradictory. Copper oxide or patina is supposed to be good and many say that product from an unoxidized still tastes bad.

I don't care one way or another but it is a POV.

I would, however, like to know how you got ammonia into the mix?

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by Snackson » Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:56 pm

rad14701 wrote:
The whole how much soda to add has been covered... But you're better off with washing soda than baking soda due to the sodium in baking soda... And the amounts differ between the two...
There is sodium in both washing soda and baking soda. Yes, you will use less washing soda than baking soda, but there is still sodium in it.

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by kiwi Bruce » Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:12 am

Bagasso wrote:I would, however, like to know how you got ammonia into the mix?
diammonium phosphate (DAP). is the most common. Ammonia is a building block of proteins that are in the malted grains, mashing and fermenting release these into the wash.

Your other point is copper oxide. Copper has two common oxides, CuO stable, black:- we tend to scrub this off our hard ware because it looks bad. The other is Cu2O Red in color, and very soluble in amines, so much so, that this is what is used to refine copper from this common ore. Kiwi Bruce
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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by kiwi Bruce » Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:14 am

[/quote]There is sodium in both washing soda and baking soda. Yes, you will use less washing soda than baking soda, but there is still sodium in it.[/quote]

Sorry, I don't see why sodium is a problem. Kiwi Bruce
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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by Bagasso » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:34 am

kiwi Bruce wrote:diammonium phosphate (DAP). is the most common. Ammonia is a building block of proteins that are in the malted grains, mashing and fermenting release these into the wash.
So it's something that happens every time, to everyone. It's just a question of copper placement.

That explains a lot. People prone to pH treating usually have copper on the up side. People running simple pot stills probably never mess with pH treating.
Your other point is copper oxide. Copper has two common oxides, CuO stable, black:- we tend to scrub this off our hard ware because it looks bad. The other is Cu2O Red in color, and very soluble in amines, so much so, that this is what is used to refine copper from this common ore.
Last time I checked the pH of low wines coming off my still it read around 3.7. Seems to me a mild acidic cleaning can happen with every first run of a wash.

This seems like the most likely answer, seeing that the 2 major questions of this kind are "why did my low wines turn blue?" and "why are there black specks in my product?".

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by kiwi Bruce » Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:24 pm

The black specks can be anything, but mostly, nothing to worry about.
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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by Bagasso » Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:24 pm

kiwi Bruce wrote:The black specks can be anything, but mostly, nothing to worry about.
I don't mean that any of this is worrisome.

Vapor can be acidic. Acid cleans copper. If there's copper on the downside of a still you might end up with a copper compound in the output.

I do find it funny that people always try to blame everything else but the copper.

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Re: Question about baking soda

Post by kiwi Bruce » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:06 pm

If the copper is passivated before the distillation starts, the vapor, even if it's acid wont react with the copper. Copper is one of the safest metals we use for that reason, it is very none reactive. the blueness of copper amine can generally only happen if the copper hardware has sat unused for a while or is a new build. You can take some of you low wines and raise the pH with any food grade base, bicarb, antacids etc, it shouldn't turn blue.
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