Cleaning Copper Mesh Safety

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

Moderator: Site Moderator

Cleaning Copper Mesh Safety

Postby artooks » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:48 am

Hi,

I have been reading the proper way to clean the copper because I read a thread about why Odin do not use copper anyway
I have an SS Still and use copper packing after every use I take them out give them a quick wash then put them in a bucket
Which has water and white vinegar mix submerge them leave them there for 3-4 days take them out but when ı pour the vinegsr water mix in the sink it is somwhat blueish I them rinse them well and leave them to dry, is this practice correct
Am I leaching something that could cause a health issue due to this what do you think, is it the right way to do if not what do I have to do ? Thanks
artooks
Rumrunner
 
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:48 am

Re: Cleaning Copper Mesh Safety

Postby artooks » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:31 am

There are many different ways that people treat copper, so I really wonder which way is more accepted, vs the others, for example, I read here how to clean Copper Scrubbers:

https://www.clawhammersupply.com/blogs/ ... g-material

To summarise hey are mainly using PBW to clean the copper mesh after each use, I used to use it in my brewing days it is a detergent and I do not feel that it is suitable for our use, anyway, I have been reading the forum there are many different opinions on how to manage copper, so I just want to ask my questions in a simple way please help me ease my mind about this subject.

1) Would it be ok safe to use copper mesh in the column only in an %100 SS CCVM still ?
2) If it is ok how often should I clean my copper mesh ?
3) How do you clean your copper mesh
4) Is seasoning the cooper mesh necessary ?
5) Copper removes sulphides so this is the main reason I use it, but I also see many people use SS Scrubbers and Marbels is it better to use or is there a better alternative to copper
6) if I did not understand wrong donI also need a sacrificial run, after each copper mesh cleaning ?
The main reason that I am a bit hesitant is that in the light of some threads that copper is not the best safe material to use as a packing, I can use marbles, but the the sulphides will come over.
artooks
Rumrunner
 
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:48 am

Re: Cleaning Copper Mesh Safety

Postby greggn » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:02 am

There's no easier or cheaper way to clean copper packing than to simply toss it into your boiler after completing a strip run. That hot, acidic backset will clean the copper in a few minutes.

I keep my used, smelly mesh in a sealed mason jar. Once the jar is full I dump it into my next strip and let is soak while I go through my tear-down/put-away process. By the time I'm ready to empty the boiler the copper is clean as new. A quick rinse with fresh water and it's ready for the next run.
________________

I drank fifty pounds of feed-store corn
'till my clothes were ratty and torn
greggn
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:59 am

Re: Cleaning Copper Mesh Safety

Postby fizzix » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:05 am

greggn wrote:There's no easier or cheaper way to clean copper packing than to simply toss it into your boiler after completing a strip run. That hot, acidic backset will clean the copper in a few minutes.
I keep my used, smelly mesh in a sealed mason jar. Once the jar is full I dump it into my next strip and let is soak while I go through my tear-down/put-away process. By the time I'm ready to empty the boiler the copper is clean as new. A quick rinse with fresh water and it's ready for the next run.

Damn I like that idea. I'm stealing that process, greggn.
..Making the devil's water since 2017... Never bash another distiller. Ever.
"And when you lose control, you'll reap the harvest you have sown." -Dogs, Pink Floyd
User avatar
fizzix
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1312
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:08 pm

Re: Cleaning Copper Mesh Safety

Postby artooks » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:35 am

greggn wrote:There's no easier or cheaper way to clean copper packing than to simply toss it into your boiler after completing a strip run. That hot, acidic backset will clean the copper in a few minutes.

I keep my used, smelly mesh in a sealed mason jar. Once the jar is full I dump it into my next strip and let is soak while I go through my tear-down/put-away process. By the time I'm ready to empty the boiler the copper is clean as new. A quick rinse with fresh water and it's ready for the next run.


Thanks Greggn,

So you are using your backset to clean the copper mesh, the thing I do not understand is you said you do it at the end of a stripping run, when the backset is hot and acidic, you dump the copper mesh and leave it for how many minutes lets say 30 minutes and then you rinse and air dry them, what I wonder is if I let them air dry then the gradually become a little bit dark, so technically they get oxidize so is that ok to leave them to air dry, and can I store them just like that ?

What about the part that you store your backset heat it up and use it when you use it am I getting it right ?

Also do you do this after every run ? because in some threads they say that you need a sacrificial run once you clean you scrubber which will not be practical if you do it after each run is that correct ?
artooks
Rumrunner
 
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:48 am

Re: Cleaning Copper Mesh Safety

Postby greggn » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:51 am

> you dump the copper mesh and leave it for how many minutes

Probably no more than 15 minutes ... the time it takes to put away my power controller, pond pump, hoses, and column.


> what I wonder is if I let them air dry then the gradually become a little bit dark, so technically they get oxidize so is that ok to leave them to air dry, and can I store them just like that ?

Mine stay clean. After air drying I store them in an open ziplock bag.


> What about the part that you store your backset heat it up and use it when you use it am I getting it right ?

No storing and heating of backset ... this process begins once you end your strip run. As soon as the strip run is complete I crack the lid on my boiler and toss in the old mesh. The lid goes back on while I put away my gear and 10 - 15 minutes later the copper is clean. I dump the boiler, recover the mesh, rinse it off and leave stretched out to dry.
________________

I drank fifty pounds of feed-store corn
'till my clothes were ratty and torn
greggn
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:59 am

Re: Cleaning Copper Mesh Safety

Postby artooks » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:02 am

greggn wrote:> you dump the copper mesh and leave it for how many minutes

Probably no more than 15 minutes ... the time it takes to put away my power controller, pond pump, hoses, and column.


> what I wonder is if I let them air dry then the gradually become a little bit dark, so technically they get oxidize so is that ok to leave them to air dry, and can I store them just like that ?

Mine stay clean. After air drying I store them in an open ziplock bag.


> What about the part that you store your backset heat it up and use it when you use it am I getting it right ?

No storing and heating of backset ... this process begins once you end your strip run. As soon as the strip run is complete I crack the lid on my boiler and toss in the old mesh. The lid goes back on while I put away my gear and 10 - 15 minutes later the copper is clean. I dump the boiler, recover the mesh, rinse it off and leave stretched out to dry.


Thanks Greggn

Also do you do this after every run ? because in some threads they say that you need a sacrificial run once you clean you scrubber which will not be practical if you do it after each run is that correct ?
artooks
Rumrunner
 
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:48 am

Re: Cleaning Copper Mesh Safety

Postby greggn » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:29 am

>do you do this after every run ?

No. I use raschig rings as my primary packing so I only use a small slug of copper mesh in the bottom of my column. Given my available inventory, I use clean mesh for each strip and spirit run. So, I just wait until there is a backlog of used mesh needing cleaning ... maybe once a month.


>in some threads they say that you need a sacrificial run once you clean you scrubber which will not be practical if you do it after each run is that correct ?

I suspect there must be some context missing. That discussion must have involved the use of some dangerous, caustic chemicals to clean the packing. No such need with my process.
________________

I drank fifty pounds of feed-store corn
'till my clothes were ratty and torn
greggn
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:59 am

Re: Cleaning Copper Mesh Safety

Postby HDNB » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:49 am

greggn wrote:I suspect there must be some context missing. That discussion must have involved the use of some dangerous, caustic chemicals to clean the packing. No such need with my process.


i think maybe too. sac run for cleaning machine oils and flux for sure...to clean copper thats already clean seems overkill.

i use backset to clean mesh too, but maybe after six or eight runs. the dark patina is good IMHO. blue not so much...and like you noticed if you clean it back to shiney you get blue vinegar water.
in between cleanings i just rinse with water and it stays dark brown. any oils are washed off by the fores in the next run.

aged patina'd copper makes better booze (again IMHO) there was a recent thread on breaking in the still and better likker coming because of patina, or is it because you are getting more practice? both i think.
I finally quit drinking for good.

now i drink for evil.
User avatar
HDNB
Site Mod
 
Posts: 5518
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:04 am
Location: the f-f-fu frozen north

Re: Cleaning Copper Mesh Safety

Postby artooks » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:23 am

greggn wrote:>do you do this after every run ?

No. I use raschig rings as my primary packing so I only use a small slug of copper mesh in the bottom of my column. Given my available inventory, I use clean mesh for each strip and spirit run. So, I just wait until there is a backlog of used mesh needing cleaning ... maybe once a month.


>in some threads they say that you need a sacrificial run once you clean you scrubber which will not be practical if you do it after each run is that correct ?

I suspect there must be some context missing. That discussion must have involved the use of some dangerous, caustic chemicals to clean the packing. No such need with my process.


Thanks Greggn, I also want to use less copper nowadays a little bit is needed but not much I guess, it is said in the forums that it has negative health effects where it can end up in the final distillate, do you also share this information ?

I have a 36" column tried %100 raschig rings but the column flooded, how much do you use raschig rings full in the column ?

Thank you for sharing your process I will definitely use it.
artooks
Rumrunner
 
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:48 am

Re: Cleaning Copper Mesh Safety

Postby artooks » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:26 am

HDNB wrote:
greggn wrote:I suspect there must be some context missing. That discussion must have involved the use of some dangerous, caustic chemicals to clean the packing. No such need with my process.


i think maybe too. sac run for cleaning machine oils and flux for sure...to clean copper thats already clean seems overkill.

i use backset to clean mesh too, but maybe after six or eight runs. the dark patina is good IMHO. blue not so much...and like you noticed if you clean it back to shiney you get blue vinegar water.
in between cleanings i just rinse with water and it stays dark brown. any oils are washed off by the fores in the next run.

aged patina'd copper makes better booze (again IMHO) there was a recent thread on breaking in the still and better likker coming because of patina, or is it because you are getting more practice? both i think.


So creating the patina is important in terms of the flavour it will pass, and if you clean it between 8-10 runs do you also do a sacrificial run in the still or this is not needed at all as Greggn says.
artooks
Rumrunner
 
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:48 am

Re: Cleaning Copper Mesh Safety

Postby greggn » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:48 am

>it is said in the forums that it has negative health effects where it can end up in the final distillate, do you also share this information ?

Honestly, I have no opinion on the matter. I run all stainless so I'm only concerned with getting some copper in the vapor path. In my situation, putting it at the bottom of the column, within the rising vapor, is the easiest solution ... and it also facilitates the reflux being returned to the boiler so it prevents flooding (at normal input heat).


>I have a 36" column tried %100 raschig rings but the column flooded, how much do you use raschig rings full in the column ?

I run a 2" CCVM with 36" (strip runs) and 48" (spirit runs) columns. In both cases my configuration is the same: a 3 - 4" long roll of copper mesh in the very bottom of the column and raschig rings packed to within 1 - 2" of the CSST reflux condenser when it's in the "closed" (100% reflux) position.
________________

I drank fifty pounds of feed-store corn
'till my clothes were ratty and torn
greggn
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:59 am

Re: Cleaning Copper Mesh Safety

Postby OtisT » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:20 pm

greggn wrote:There's no easier or cheaper way to clean copper packing than to simply toss it into your boiler after completing a strip run. That hot, acidic backset will clean the copper in a few minutes.


Sweet! What a great trick.

Thanks. Otis.
Cranky's spoonfeeding:
viewtopic.php?t=52975
OtisT
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 821
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:59 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Cleaning Copper Mesh Safety

Postby Hilltop » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:26 am

Most of these grocery and dollar store copper mesh is actually copper coated iron oxide. I found that one out the hard way. I have two copper stills. anything below the water line is cleaned shiny by simply distilling. I use Arm and Hammer wash soda to clean mine periodically. I shit canned the copper mesh in my parrot and replaced it with pure stainless mesh. On the outside of my still I will clean it with a mixture of ketchup and orange juice.

I once scorched some mash and used a wire wheel to get it off, don't do that, if you scorch it soak the boiler overnight and use copper mesh the next morning and it will come off easy.

Copper mesh should be ordered from a reputable supplier as most of it is the cheap iron oxide crap. You will discover this when you pull it out of your still and let it hit air, rust starts forming immediately.

Copper mesh is cheap, just replace it. Backset is an amazing cleaner, but be advised anything cleaned with it will need a good rinsing or it will smell like
backset.
"Virtute et armis" By valor and arms

Let's keep our country free as God has given us.

"Give me Liberty or Give me Death."
User avatar
Hilltop
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:48 pm
Location: South Pole


Return to Safety and Related Issues



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest