moonshine distillery explodes today

Anything about distilling ya read in news.

Moderator: Site Moderator

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby rad14701 » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:01 pm

shadylane wrote:I've learned from this.
1. A boiler needs protection, from overpressure, vacuum and fools.

Not necessarily in that order... :think: Protect the boiler from fools and that pretty much mitigates the other two... :twisted:
User avatar
rad14701
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 20873
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:46 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:07 pm

rad14701 wrote:And, for the record, I find it highly unlikely that the burners were still producing flames when the fire department arrived as they would have been extinguished by such a catastrophic explosion...

Sorry, that's my bad. I went back to correct it but I can no longer edit my post.
It was mentioned by one of the victims that some of the burners were still lit after the incident, and he had shouted for Spencer to turn off the propane at the tank, which he did.
There was no mention of any burners still running by any of the responders.

Also, from the report: "Mr. Balentine revealed that whistling had previously been heard coming from the stainless steel access plate in the top of the still. He also stated that it was not uncommon for chattering or rattling to occur in the column during distillation. "
Shouting and shooting, I can't let them catch me...
User avatar
MichiganCornhusker
Site Mod
 
Posts: 3938
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:24 am

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby cob » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:22 pm

I bought an old used 5 gallon revenoor a few years ago that was built in lacenter wa. (before they moved to Oregon)

it came with a 1/4" NPT. 1PSI pressure relief valve, that was stuck soundly shut.(about the size of a 1 1/2"x 1/4" pipe nipple)

the worm is about 5' of 1/4" id. copper tube in a flake stand attached directly to the column. the output is a 1/4"

npf fitting welded to the cone at the top of the column. any one see any red flags yet? the only still presently on

the revenoor web site that looks like mine is the 1 1/2 gallon. they used to all look like that.

after I bought it I disassembled it for cleaning bought stainless parts to replace the brass bits,

and it has never been reassembled.
be water my friend
cob
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 1648
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:38 pm
Location: little puffs of dust where my feet used to be

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby Truckinbutch » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:32 pm

Glad I'm not on either side of this situation . I see nothing good coming out of it .
If you ain't the lead dog in the team , the scenery never changes . Ga Flatwoods made my avatar and I want to thank him for that .
Don't drink water , fish fornicate in it .
User avatar
Truckinbutch
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 7163
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:49 pm

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby Uncle Jesse » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:51 am

cob wrote:I bought an old used 5 gallon revenoor a few years ago that was built in lacenter wa. (before they moved to Oregon)

it came with a 1/4" NPT. 1PSI pressure relief valve, that was stuck soundly shut.(about the size of a 1 1/2"x 1/4" pipe nipple)

the worm is about 5' of 1/4" id. copper tube in a flake stand attached directly to the column. the output is a 1/4"

npf fitting welded to the cone at the top of the column. any one see any red flags yet? the only still presently on

the revenoor web site that looks like mine is the 1 1/2 gallon. they used to all look like that.

after I bought it I disassembled it for cleaning bought stainless parts to replace the brass bits,

and it has never been reassembled.


I learned on a 10 gallon Revenoor still made in Lacenter. Love that thing. Never had a problem with it. And I've boiled it over a few times and mash came pouring out the 1lb blowoff valve just like it should.

I find it hard to believe that Revenoor errantly put a 150lb blowoff valve on a still.
If only the best birds sang, the woods would be silent.
User avatar
Uncle Jesse
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3269
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 3:00 pm

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby LWTCS » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:23 am

Uncle Jesse wrote:I find it hard to believe that Revenoor errantly put a 150lb blowoff valve on a still.


+1

I'd bet they didn't.
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
User avatar
LWTCS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 9944
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: North Palm Beach

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby NZChris » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:27 am

One thing I find difficult to believe, is that a still manufacturer would tweak production by fitting a pressure valve rated 147psi over what they consider a safe pressure, but maybe Revenoor did just that and that is why Revenoor didn't defend itself.

Revenoor's blurb says that those stills are fitted with 1psi pressure relief valves, so if that is the case, they should be able to provide a paper trail to at least show that the valve fitted at the time of the explosion was not the type being supplied to them by the manufacturer, or likely to be the type that was fitted by Revenoor on the Silver Trail still. The Watts LLL100XL comes with standard settings of 75, 100, 125 & 150psi, so 1psi would have to be a custom order if the valves were coming from them.

What valves were fitted to the other 300gal stills built at around the same time? This is a big safety issue for the still owners. Has anyone seen any feedback on this from owners?

What valves are fitted to other Revenoor 300gal stills reported have marbles rattling in their columns, and who fitted them? It must be very tempting for a newbie still owner to fit a higher rated valve or a brass plug to stop it blowing off every time he cranks the heat up to speed up production.
User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby LWTCS » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:12 pm

NZChris wrote: It must be very tempting for a newbie still owner to fit a higher rated valve or a brass plug to stop it blowing off every time he cranks the heat up to speed up production.


Seems the "experienced" guys might be even more inclined when they started to realize that the big still was running slower than a beer keg out fit? Just thinking out loud is all.

1 psi would take a life time to get that much beer hot enough to distill and make money. 15 psi would have been more like it. Don't know why they would have thought 150 psi? Too much "experience" maybe?
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
User avatar
LWTCS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 9944
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: North Palm Beach

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby rubber duck » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:43 pm

A 4 in column on a 300 gallon still would take a lifetime to make any product unless you where really running it hard.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck
User avatar
rubber duck
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3400
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:33 am
Location: brigadoon

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby LWTCS » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:00 pm

rubber duck wrote:A 4 in column on a 300 gallon still would take a lifetime to make any product unless you where really running it hard.


+1.

Could make it go real fast if they pulled out the packing and had them selves a big enough PC.
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.
User avatar
LWTCS
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 9944
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: North Palm Beach

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby shadylane » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:20 pm

rubber duck wrote:A 4 in column on a 300 gallon still would take a lifetime to make any product unless you where really running it hard.

You could make a neutral spirit run in 100+ hours.
Or a bomb if you tried to run it in a day.
User avatar
shadylane
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 5353
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Hiding In the Boiler room of the Insane asylum

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby cranky » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:45 pm

NZChris wrote:One thing I find difficult to believe, is that a still manufacturer would tweak production by fitting a pressure valve rated 147psi over what they consider a safe pressure, but maybe Revenoor did just that and that is why Revenoor didn't defend itself.

That's what I was thinking all along, I don't think it would be beyond a handy man who plumbed the propane incorrectly with no regard for code and who added the pipe to the relief valve to also think the relief valve was faulty when it activated during the cleaning runs and install one from the local hardware store not knowing the still required a low pressure valve. We will never know for sure since Revinoor failed to show up.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4585
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby shadylane » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:06 pm

I'd bet good money
If there had been an accurate pressure gage on the boiler,
The would have realized 4" was too small and slow
They would have upgraded to a 6" - 8" packed column

On a side note.
Revenoor made the still.
Did they make the column?
And if so, who ordered the combo
And assembled it?
User avatar
shadylane
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 5353
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Hiding In the Boiler room of the Insane asylum

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:22 pm

In lieu of a pressure gauge, they could have relied on the chugging marbles, shaking the column, and the whistling coming from the fill port to let them know they were running it too hard.

It's a shame Revenoor didn't show up to court. The whole pressure valve is sort of a red herring, ultimately. The still was never meant to be a pressure vessel, it was designed to be run open to the atmosphere.
The still could have been run with no pressure valve at all, just like many of us do.

I am absolutely pro-safety, and a large enough, well designed, low pressure safety system almost certainly would have prevented this accident, but I don't think Revenoor could have legally been held responsible for not providing one.

As it sits now, I believe Revenoor has a default judgement against them, for millions, simply for not showing up to the courthouse when being sued for "justice."
Well, justice, and 16 million dollars.
Shouting and shooting, I can't let them catch me...
User avatar
MichiganCornhusker
Site Mod
 
Posts: 3938
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:24 am

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby Bushman » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:26 pm

This has been a great conversation with some important topics mentioned for members to think about.
User avatar
Bushman
Global moderator
 
Posts: 12467
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby rubber duck » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:27 pm

Does someone have a link to the original report of them leaving it unetended for 5 hour? I can't find any record of anyone at the distillery saying that it was left without supervision. I'm just wondering if it really was reported or if it was just somthing someone heard.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck
User avatar
rubber duck
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3400
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:33 am
Location: brigadoon

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby shadylane » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:33 pm

If Revenoor can't pay for the damages to the still hands.
They should be suing their Boss, who had them working with unsafe equipment.
User avatar
shadylane
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 5353
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Hiding In the Boiler room of the Insane asylum

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby jedneck » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:35 pm

Bushman wrote:This has been a great conversation with some important topics mentioned for members to think about.

Couldn't agree more. This thread made me look at my rig and how I run it from another angle. Its not that I am unsafe but it made me see improvements in how I run from a safety stand point.
welcome aboard some of us are ornery old coots but if you do a lot of
reading and don't ask stupid questions you'll be alright most are
big help
Dunder
User avatar
jedneck
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3530
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:16 pm
Location: drive to the sticks, hang a right past the sticks amd go a couple more miles.

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby NZChris » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:54 pm

shadylane wrote:If Revenoor can't pay for the damages to the still hands.
They should be suing their Boss, who had them working with unsafe equipment.


It could have been one of the still hands that had the brilliant idea to swap the original 1psi pressure valve for something that wouldn't blow all time. The original may have still been somewhere on site when the explosion occurred if someone had the nounce to look for it.
User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:55 pm

rubber duck wrote:Does someone have a link to the original report of them leaving it unetended for 5 hour? I can't find any record of anyone at the distillery saying that it was left without supervision. I'm just wondering if it really was reported or if it was just somthing someone heard.


http://whiskycast.com/two-hurt-in-kentu ... explosion/

I agree that this has been a good opportunity to think about safety.
Not just about pressures, but anything else about my setup that I can improve or reconsider.
Fire extinguisher? Is my rig stable, if it got bumped would it be moved or even tip over?
Collection area safe? Stable? Are there any distractions that could draw my attention away from the stillin'?

My son took flight training years ago, and one of the things I remember from that was that pilots should scan their instruments very often.
I remember it being something like every minute, or even more. Things can always go sideways real fast.
I think I will not just be near my rig when running, but be more attentive and try to be even more focused on the task at hand.
Shouting and shooting, I can't let them catch me...
User avatar
MichiganCornhusker
Site Mod
 
Posts: 3938
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:24 am

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby Bushman » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:57 pm

Not only scanning instruments I am also feeling my return water to see how hot it is in both dephlagmater and shotgun condenser.
User avatar
Bushman
Global moderator
 
Posts: 12467
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby rubber duck » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:26 pm

Thanks for the link to the report where it's implied the still was unetended, I couldn't find it to save my life.

First thing all its says is that the doors where open, second it says they where checking on the run, I don't leave a still when it's running but I don't stand there and stare at it either. Third this came from the ems manager, so it could be missenturpreted.

What I don't understand is how did a fire start from a still explosion due to overpresure? Still explodes, glass jars breaks, alcohol in the jars catches fire because they didn't have a fire box. OK sure but that's a few gallons of alcohol, how does one get a fire with flaming mash stuck to the walls?
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck
User avatar
rubber duck
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3400
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:33 am
Location: brigadoon

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby NZChris » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:51 pm

Burners were still alight after the explosion.

Glass jars can break from thermal shock from the hot mash and if the alcohol expands too much in a tightly closed jar.

Flaming mash on the wall?? Really?? I bet nobody on this forum can take a sample of their mash and light it.
User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby rubber duck » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:25 pm

NZChris wrote:Burners were still alight after the explosion.

Glass jars can break from thermal shock from the hot mash and if the alcohol expands too much in a tightly closed jar.

Flaming mash on the wall?? Really?? I bet nobody on this forum can take a sample of their mash and light it.


You can get there if you load a few strip runs to your spirit run. That's a bad idea but lots of folks do it.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck
User avatar
rubber duck
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 3400
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:33 am
Location: brigadoon

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby Truckinbutch » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:45 pm

rubber duck wrote:
NZChris wrote:Burners were still alight after the explosion.

Glass jars can break from thermal shock from the hot mash and if the alcohol expands too much in a tightly closed jar.

Flaming mash on the wall?? Really?? I bet nobody on this forum can take a sample of their mash and light it.


You can get there if you load a few strip runs to your spirit run. That's a bad idea but lots of folks do it.
You are so right , Rubber Duck . They do stupid things . Win stupid prizes . And want to deny doing stupid things and blame someone else when stupidity catches up with them .
If you ain't the lead dog in the team , the scenery never changes . Ga Flatwoods made my avatar and I want to thank him for that .
Don't drink water , fish fornicate in it .
User avatar
Truckinbutch
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 7163
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:49 pm

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby NZChris » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:03 pm

rubber duck wrote:
NZChris wrote:Burners were still alight after the explosion.

Glass jars can break from thermal shock from the hot mash and if the alcohol expands too much in a tightly closed jar.

Flaming mash on the wall?? Really?? I bet nobody on this forum can take a sample of their mash and light it.


You can get there if you load a few strip runs to your spirit run. That's a bad idea but lots of folks do it.


I'm not sure what you mean by that. The start of the UJSSM method adds the strip from the first generation to the wash of the second generation, but I bet you can't set fire to that.

Something that I haven't found in any report is the original ABV of the charge, or the estimated/calculated ABV of the charge at the time of the explosion. The investigator didn't know enough about distillation to know to ask, and nobody at STD volunteered that info, (or the investigator failed to record it). The temperature of the charge should have been related to the boiling point at 150m elevation, the difference enabling the calculation of the pressure in the still.
User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby Truckinbutch » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:16 pm

NZChris wrote:
rubber duck wrote:
NZChris wrote:Burners were still alight after the explosion.

Glass jars can break from thermal shock from the hot mash and if the alcohol expands too much in a tightly closed jar.

Flaming mash on the wall?? Really?? I bet nobody on this forum can take a sample of their mash and light it.


You can get there if you load a few strip runs to your spirit run. That's a bad idea but lots of folks do it.


I'm not sure what you mean by that. The start of the UJSSM method adds the strip from the first generation to the wash of the second generation, but I bet you can't set fire to that.

Something that I haven't found in any report is the original ABV of the charge, or the estimated/calculated ABV of the charge at the time of the explosion. The investigator didn't know enough about distillation to know to ask, and nobody at STD volunteered that info, (or the investigator failed to record it). The temperature of the charge should have been related to the boiling point at 150m elevation, the difference enabling the calculation of the pressure in the still.

RD isn't talkin about backins . He's talkin about addin low wines to the next run which , under heat , could render the entire heated mass a flamabale compound .
If you ain't the lead dog in the team , the scenery never changes . Ga Flatwoods made my avatar and I want to thank him for that .
Don't drink water , fish fornicate in it .
User avatar
Truckinbutch
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 7163
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:49 pm

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby NZChris » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:45 pm

Truckinbutch wrote:RD isn't talkin about backins . He's talkin about addin low wines to the next run which , under heat , could render the entire heated mass a flamabale compound .


That's what I'm guessing. But I doubt many stillers run strips to such a high ABV that adding them to the next strip would make a flammable ABV 'mash' that could flame on a wall, if you get what I mean.

How high would the ABV from a strip have to be to make a flammable mix with mash at, say 10%, even stretch it to 16%, to make mash that could flame on a wall at 209 degrees F?
User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 4675
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby thecroweater » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:32 am

without going back all over this and associated links and so going by memory they had a second reflux still I think. Now a reflux still in a whiskey distillery would be used to run near to neutral to add to/bulk up the new make but just maybe they were adding it to the mash to carry more flavour per Gallon of spirit. Just speculation but that would explain a few things
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin
User avatar
thecroweater
Site Mod
 
Posts: 4958
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:04 am
Location: Central Highlands Vic. Australia

Re: moonshine distillery explodes today

Postby Kegg_jam » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:46 am

Probably all those glass carboys popping all over the place.

Says something in the report about them getting ready to switch over to running right into a stainless barrel.

NZC, It seems the report left out some very useful details. Either because of ignorance to the mechanics of distillation, or to make it easier to blame the still manufacturer.

If anything, the event has driven home the reality of what can happen when things go south. That still was talkin but nobody was listening.

Also, how long would it normally take to bring 300 gallons safely up to production temps?
User avatar
Kegg_jam
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1164
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:29 am
Location: Appalachian Mountains of MD

PreviousNext

Return to Distilling News



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests