Urea!?

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Annolyx
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Urea!?

Post by Annolyx » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:00 pm

Hey all,

Started a plain old sugar wash yesterday. Used a yeast nutrient from the local supply store. The nutrient is a blend of Urea & DAP.
Heard tonight that i want to stay away from urea!? :econfused: Should i dump the wash and wait for my order of Dap to arrive in a few days to start another or will i be ok?
What are the effects of the urea? Will it make effect the cleanness of my end product?

Thanks for your help..
-Anno

jerf
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Re: Urea!?

Post by jerf » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:16 pm

This is one I am interested in finding out more about as well. I know I've read online here that when using a 20-20-20 fertilizer you want to make sure it does not have urea in it. But the Ammonia Phosphate (Yeast nutrients) they sell at wine/beer making suppliers seem to all be a blend of DAP and urea. Are we just being overly cautious, or do they supplies not seem to know it not a good idea?

Thanks,

Jerf

HookLine
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Re: Urea!?

Post by HookLine » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:40 pm

Urea is best avoided. It can produce ethyl carbamate which you don't want. Do a search on the forums for those two compounds, been discussed before.
Be safe.
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And have fun.

Annolyx
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Re: Urea!?

Post by Annolyx » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:39 pm

I did end up finding information, have sense acquired DAP. Thanks anyhow
-Anno

rad14701
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Re: Urea!?

Post by rad14701 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:21 pm

Many ingredients contain small amounts of urea... Best practice is to keep the amount to a bare minimum... The less of any potential problem you put into your wash/mash the less you'll need to worry about getting it back out...

liz 22 nd
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Re: Urea!?

Post by liz 22 nd » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:13 am

I got some liquid molasses at the feed store to make some rum. It Does contain some urea. Can I still use it? or just throw the gallon of molasses away. I thot maybe if i heat the molasses to 190F before i use it in my recipe for rum it would be ok.

hartparr
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Re: Urea!?

Post by hartparr » Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:34 pm

I got my supplies from a beer supplier and did use some of their food grade urea as a yeast nutrient in my washes. I just ran across this and am wondering if my spirit is safe to drink now after reading the part that it can create ethyl carbomate. I have'nt been doing this to long, but have just been diagnosed with a growth on my kidney and and trying to think of anything I might have done to cause this problem.

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Re: Urea!?

Post by grogrum » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:24 pm

hartparr wrote:I got my supplies from a beer supplier and did use some of their food grade urea as a yeast nutrient in my washes. I just ran across this and am wondering if my spirit is safe to drink now after reading the part that it can create ethyl carbomate. I have'nt been doing this to long, but have just been diagnosed with a growth on my kidney and and trying to think of anything I might have done to cause this problem.
Well, here's the thing. There is no such thing as 'food grade' Urea. It is produced as farm fertiliser for top-dressing fields.
If I had a lump on my kidney, I'd be asking my LHBS why he didn't warn me of the risks.

Now, I get going....
Urea, of itself, is not a dangerous product. It provides an excellent nitrogen source and it has many beneficial applications, particularly as a fertiliser.
Ethyl Carbamate (Urethane) is a known carcinogen (Grade 2 carcinogen – known to produce cancer in primates. Recently regraded to the same level of threat as Arsenic and Mercury) It is produced in a reaction between urea and ethanol. The levels produced increase
exponentially when the mixture is heated, particularly during distillation (the level of Urethane doubles with every 8degC increase in temperature.) For a more detailed explanation of the role of urea and ethanol see: http://www.firstventuretech.com/s/Yeast.asp

Urethane levels in alcoholic beverages and the use of urea in fermentation have been of great concern to health agencies and food safety agencies worldwide since the mid 1980’s.
A brief history can be viewed at: http://www.firstventuretech.com/s/EthylCarbamate.asp

For a detailed summary of Urea in the Home Distilling marketplace in Australia and New-Zealand check out http://www.essencia.com.au/bulletins.htm

BurntEloi
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Re: Urea!?

Post by BurntEloi » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:10 am

Sorry to necrobump this thread but I have a specific set of questions relating to this.

I run a sugar wash with turbo and used a yeast nutrient (Global Vintners Inc. Diammonium Phosphate, DAP) what else it may contain is a mystery as there is only "contains diammonium phosphate" on the label, no other ingredient information)

After fermentation I distill with laboratory apparatus (mantle,column, condenser) I can hit 79-82 C reliably at the head and although I have not tested the purity I have to guess at about 70-80%. The distillate has a slight yeasty smell to it. This isnt designed for consumption, but if someone did I would like to know it is not poison (beyond the ethanol itself that is).

So lets say worse case scenario, Ethyl Carbamate is being produced in the wash and getting worse through distillation, I checked the evaporation point for Ethyl Carbamate and it is 182 C so in theory even if I was producing ethyl carbamate it should be in the wastewater left over at the end of distillation, No?

In any event after reading this I will certainly stop using yeast nutrients. Scary.

Lastly is there a way to test distillates for Ethyl Carbamate or other common contaminants? Maybe a lab you can send a sample to?

Pikey
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Re: Urea!?

Post by Pikey » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:29 am

Oh dear, a couple of points here -

a) you cannot pot still a wash by temperature - it doesn't work like that.

b) Urea -
Wikipedia wrote:Urea serves an important role in the metabolism of nitrogen-containing compounds by animals and is the main nitrogen-containing substance in the urine of mammals. It is a colorless, odorless solid, highly soluble in water, and practically non-toxic (LD50 is 15 g/kg for rats). Dissolved in water, it is neither acidic nor alkaline. The body uses it in many processes, most notably nitrogen excretion. The liver forms it by combining two ammonia molecules (NH3) with a carbon dioxide (CO2) molecule in the urea cycle. Urea is widely used in fertilizers as a source of nitrogen and is an important raw material for the chemical industry..............
Now since we are all full of urea, I'm not sure khow well we could achieve keeping it away from our alcohol consumption.
Personally I don't use urea as a nutirent because I knew before I just looked it up that bird shit is full of it and just didn't fancy putting it in my product.

c) Yeast needs nutrient ! :)

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der wo
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Re: Urea!?

Post by der wo » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:42 am

One reason more to use plant fertilizers instead of yeast nutrients. You can always read the exact composition on the fertilizer bag.

For me it sounds that your yeast nutrient is pure DAP. At least in my country most yeast nutrient is pure DAP. The difference to fertilizer DAP is, that the worker who fills the small packages wears gloves, just kidding... But if you don't find out, you should replace it IMO.

Ethyl carbamate can go over into the destillate, there are easy measurable amounts in stone fruit brandies. Not only the boiling point decides what goes over. But the main problem with urea is when producing wine.
In this way, imperialism brings catastrophe as a mode of existence back from the periphery of capitalist development to its point of departure. - Rosa Luxemburg

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der wo
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Re: Urea!?

Post by der wo » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:48 am

Yes Pikey, urea is all natural. But when you google urea ethyl carbamate, you find many studies... There are enough other cheap nitrogen sources for the yeast without this problem and probably they help the yeast faster anyway, for example DAP, ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate. No need to risk something.
In this way, imperialism brings catastrophe as a mode of existence back from the periphery of capitalist development to its point of departure. - Rosa Luxemburg

Pikey
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Re: Urea!?

Post by Pikey » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:08 am

der wo - for the avoidance of doubt - I do not and was not advocating the use of urea, just saying we are all full of it already.

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der wo
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Re: Urea!?

Post by der wo » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:55 am

Yes. And our body is not able to form the poisonous ethyl carbamate from the unpoisonous urea. We would have to sit in a pot with boiling alcohol to do the trick. But the still is able.
In this way, imperialism brings catastrophe as a mode of existence back from the periphery of capitalist development to its point of departure. - Rosa Luxemburg

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Re: Urea!?

Post by Pikey » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:05 am

der wo wrote:Yes. And our body is not able to form the poisonous ethyl carbamate from the unpoisonous urea. We would have to sit in a pot with boiling alcohol to do the trick. But the still is able.
I think the figures are a doubling of Urethane for 8deg C temperature rise aren't they ?

so admitthedly at 97deg C there would be 256 times as much Urethane produced per hour as at 33 deg C -- which is the temperature our own boilers run at - biggish difference yes, but alcohol spends a lot longer in our boilers than it does in our stills :wink:

Biggish difference, not absolute is it ?

BurntEloi
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Re: Urea!?

Post by BurntEloi » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:23 am

Pikey wrote:Oh dear, a couple of points here -

a) you cannot pot still a wash by temperature - it doesn't work like that.

c) Yeast needs nutrient ! :)
huh? I just spent a day making 2.5 litres of ethanol , works fine what are you talking about?

first time I have bought and used DAP, works fine without too; and i am pretty sure that those turbos already have nutes in the package.

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Re: Urea!?

Post by Pikey » Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:09 am

BurntEloi wrote:
Pikey wrote:Oh dear, a couple of points here -

a) you cannot pot still a wash by temperature - it doesn't work like that.
huh? I just spent a day making 2.5 litres of ethanol , works fine what are you talking about?
.
You say your purity was guessed at 70-80 % and you say you distilled 2.5 litres of ethanol at a head temp between 78 and 82 ?

You were using turbo yeast and how much sugar in what size of wash ?

I presume you know you had got all the alcohol out because no more "stuff was coming out of the condenser - right ? :)

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Re: Urea!?

Post by BurntEloi » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:51 am

Pikey wrote:
BurntEloi wrote:
Pikey wrote:Oh dear, a couple of points here -

a) you cannot pot still a wash by temperature - it doesn't work like that.
huh? I just spent a day making 2.5 litres of ethanol , works fine what are you talking about?
.
You say your purity was guessed at 70-80 % and you say you distilled 2.5 litres of ethanol at a head temp between 78 and 82 ?

You were using turbo yeast and how much sugar in what size of wash ?

I presume you know you had got all the alcohol out because no more "stuff was coming out of the condenser - right ? :)

Yes I said that, unless someone knows a way test purity without the washes original specific gravity I cannot say for sure. Its jet fuel man seriously. I cannot keep the temps any tighter with the mantle I own, need one with digital temp probe.

immaterial, but if you must know 16kg in a roughly 60 litre tote, 20%abv turbo and about a cup of nutrient ( I figure it came out around 15% and I am distilling off about 10%)

No I did not get all the alcohol out, ran 1.5-2 litre batches and distilled about 200ml (+/- 20ml) off then cooled, siphoned, discard and reloaded. My mantle and boiling flask are only 2 litres so it takes some time and effort but am able to run it steady. Thermometer goes in one of these
http://www.ebay.com/itm/24-40-Glass-The ... 1519704116" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
at the top of this
http://www.ebay.com/itm/300mm-24-40-Vig ... 1028407221" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
stuck to one of these
http://www.ebay.com/itm/2000ml-24-40-Si ... 1277748409" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
the condenser is one of these
http://www.ebay.com/itm/410mm-24-40-Joi ... 2466721088" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

Does that help you explain to me why I "cannot" have achieved what I am standing here staring at? And why am I even having this conversation... it has zero to do with the my questions.

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Re: Urea!?

Post by der wo » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:09 am

It was better you would start a new thread.
In this way, imperialism brings catastrophe as a mode of existence back from the periphery of capitalist development to its point of departure. - Rosa Luxemburg

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Re: Urea!?

Post by Pikey » Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:27 am

Here it is der wo - I have used BurntEloi's last post as the starting point.

Come over and join the discussion BurntEloi, youo may find something of benefit over there :thumbup:

http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 15&t=67427

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Re: Urea!?

Post by der wo » Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:33 am

BurntEloi,
probably it's easier to make new alcohol without urea instead of trying to get it lab tested.
On the one hand we have this high boiling point, on the other hand we know, that in spirits is ethyl carbamate. There are even legal limits in some countries (Switzerland for example) for stone fruit brandies. There are chemicals for adding to a mash and reactors above the column to keep the level of ethyl carbamate down. Not everything is about boiling points. We have similar issues very often, for example we are not able to reduce the methanol with the foreshots regardless of its low boiling point.

There are a few indicates in your posts, that your are still at the beginning of distilling spirits. It's ok, you never claimed the opposite. Perhaps those details upsetted Pikey.
One of the mistakes were to top up turbo yeast with nutrients. Turbo yeasts are all in one packages. You only need water and sugar normally. So either make a new turbo wash or follow one of the tried and true recipes here like birdwatchers or Rads All Bran. Only if the quality and yield is really not important for your purpose stay with single distillations.

Hopefully my post will get the ethyl carbamate discussion back here and keep the potstill/temperature discussion in the other thread.
In this way, imperialism brings catastrophe as a mode of existence back from the periphery of capitalist development to its point of departure. - Rosa Luxemburg

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