Gluten Free Paste?

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Gluten Free Paste?

Postby Irishgnome » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:29 am

I have two friends that have celiac disease and enjoy my brandy and oat whisky. I have made these in a small Chinese stainless steel still using silicone gaskets without issue.
I recently purchased a much larger all copper alembic still and I am now looking for a solution on sealing the seams without using a material that contains gluten.
I am looking at PTFE Teflon sheets from amazon, after reading another post here. One other option that I read about was to use a silicon seal tape at: http://distillique.co.za/distilling_sho ... techniques
My concern with both options is a leak midway through a run.
I am happy to play around with this and update you all on my failures and (hopefully) success. Just curious if anyone else here has experimented with alternatives and if so, what worked and what didn’t.

Cheers!
- Irish
Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. - Ogden Nash
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Re: Gluten Free Paste?

Postby Expat » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:09 pm

First off ditch the silicone gaskets, it's not a safe material to use. See the rules for reference.

As for gluten free, frankly I don't see the point. Unless your friends plan on eating your gaskets the likely hood of gluten mixing with your product is negligible.


Curious. Self declared celiac or Doctor diagnosed?
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Re: Gluten Free Paste?

Postby Kareltje » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:27 pm

I do not understand the connection between title and opening post.

Some use flour paste to seal the leaks in a still and this flour can contain some gluten. But this paste is supposed to stay outside the still and not contaminate the distillate.
There will be gluten in a grain ferment, but I doubt there will be some gluten in a distillate.

When I imagine seals that are made with silicone and seals made with flour paste, they are not interchangeable.

The rules of this forum are of course no reference for anything other than the rules of this forum.
In this thread: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=11013&start=30 near the end is a recent link to a study about leaching of silicone into hot, strong ethanol.

To comply to the rules of this forum, you could take a silicone gasket and wind it with PTFE-tape. Just as I did with my cardboard gasket.
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Re: Gluten Free Paste?

Postby The Baker » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:23 pm

I would be leery of using flour paste.

I have made gluten free bread and the merest trace of wheaten flour dust in the air can contaminate the product. You can not use a knife on gluten free bread that has been used on ordinary bread.

It is that simple to make a genuine coeliac sufferer very ill.

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Re: Gluten Free Paste?

Postby Irishgnome » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:17 am

So, I will be ditching the old silicon seals for PTFE washers and PTFE tape.

To Expat: They have both been diagnosed by a doctor with celiac and it’s legit. They both get stomach cramps and the runs if they consume gluten.
I’m sure that only a small amount would get into the still, if any at all, but it’s not worth the risk.

To Kareltje: Thank you for the link to the study on silicone, need to read this a few more times to gather everything.
I pulled enough info out to see that silicone is not a good material when it comes to distilling.

As to the post, I am looking for an option that is gluten free, paste or seal.
The Baker understands that even a trace amount is a concern.
I make traditional whisky for myself, however for my friends with celiac, brandy and oat whisky are about the only things that I have made that didn’t upset them.

My new still is a traditional onion head alembic, so I really need a paste to seal the head.
I ran a cleaning (vinegar) run last night and tried to use Namaste brand GF flour, it failed big time. It clacked all over and patches lasted about 30 seconds before they cracked and fell off letting steam escape.

I’ll keep at it and post if I find a safe solution.
Thanks for the input!

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Re: Gluten Free Paste?

Postby Birrofilo » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:43 am

Gluten is what makes the flour seal your still, it creates the maglia glutinica (maybe this in English is called gluten shield) which prevents gas from fermentation to escape. That makes your pizza elastic and your bread bubbly.
No gluten, no trap for gases and no elasticity. Gluten (wheat proteins) does the job, not "flour".

Sensitivity to gluten can very widely among people with proper diagnosed celiac desease.

If your friends really have problems with the very tiny amounts of gluten that can end up in the final product from the seals, then I suggest gluten-free flour with some protein such as eggs added (that's the way you do tortellini, tagliatelle etc). You actually can make a decent amount for your dinner, and you use a small part for sealing; Basically that's pasta all'uovo.

The normal ratio in the kitchen is 1 egg for 100g of flour, but as you use gluten free flour you'll have to use more eggs. That way you should have proteins in your flour, which makes it somehow elastic, but no gluten.

Mind you: people don't make bread or pizza with pasta all'uovo. The degree of elasticity given by gluten is probably much higher. But trying doesn't cost anything.
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Re: Gluten Free Paste?

Postby Expat » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:37 pm

Paste is applied from the outside, the still generates a small amount of outward pressure, I doubt you'd have any gluten ending up in your product.

Run it, let them try it, dont mention the seal materials and they'll very likely be fine.
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Re: Gluten Free Paste?

Postby ShineonCrazyDiamond » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:12 am

By that theory, you could just use caulk to seal it. I mean, just don't tell them your using toxins. The vapor is pushing out, so it won't get into your liquor either :roll: .

I would not recommend this course of action.
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Re: Gluten Free Paste?

Postby Saltbush Bill » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:42 am

The Baker wrote:I would be leery of using flour paste.
I have made gluten free bread and the merest trace of wheaten flour dust in the air can contaminate the product. You can not use a knife on gluten free bread that has been used on ordinary bread.
It is that simple to make a genuine coeliac sufferer very ill.

I agree Baker I have a Daughter in Law who suffers from this disease, The tiniest amount of Gluten in any form can make her very very ill indeed, I didn't realize just how bad it could be until I saw it with my own eyes.

Expat wrote:Run it, let them try it, dont mention the seal materials and they'll very likely be fine.

Expat I think you have an extremely poor understanding of how badly this disease can affect some people.
Yes Im sure there are some people out there who may not be genuine cases, but many are ..and if you are one of them it is no joke. I think maybe it wouldn't hurt you to do a little proper research into the subject.
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Re: Gluten Free Paste?

Postby Expat » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:31 am

Saltbush, I think you're reading too much into my comments on this topic. Anaphylaxis isn't associated with celiac, and given the exposure is very low, my suggestion was for a blind test, that's all.

Personally, I've never used paste, everything I use is PTFE.
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Re: Gluten Free Paste?

Postby The Baker » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:12 pm

Going to try PTFE tape on the lid of my(stock pot) pot still.
Do you tape the lower and upper surfaces?

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Re: Gluten Free Paste?

Postby Expat » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:46 am

Rather than wrapping the surfaces, the recommendation I read here on the board was to make an ever lasting gasket; cardboard wrapped in PTFE tape. It worked well enough. I made a few of them back when I had a stock pot.
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Re: Gluten Free Paste?

Postby The Baker » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:13 am

Expat wrote:Rather than wrapping the surfaces, the recommendation I read here on the board was to make an ever lasting gasket; cardboard wrapped in PTFE tape. It worked well enough. I made a few of them back when I had a stock pot.


Thanks, EXPAT, I'll try tape on the surface first.
Not sure if there is a groove or whatever for the cardboard job, but I guess there should be.
Will look tomorrow.

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