How far will my sh*t smell??

Moderator: Site Moderator

Post Reply
Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:31 pm

Hey everyone I'm new to the hobby I haven't yet done my first run and I know this is probably a hard question to answer but I was wondering running stills outside how far away could someone smell your run??
Ive got 2 stills a 3 gallon potstill, and a 10 gallon reflux.
I'm not really worried my next door neighbor I know we'll and she wouldn't do anything but there's a street out front about 200 feet away, obviously not in site but I don't need anyone coming around.
Sorry if its a dumb question. 🍻

User avatar
Yummyrum
Global moderator
Posts: 3744
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:23 am
Location: Mid North Coast Aussie

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by Yummyrum » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:03 pm

For me , the biggest producer of stench is dumping hot slops from the boiler .I find if I let it cool, it hardly smells at all .
As far as while distilling , there is nothing really noticeable and fermentation smells are minimal .

Remember it is usually legal to brew beer in most places ... so thats what you are doing ... right .

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16571
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Somewhere in the Ozarks

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by Prairiepiss » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:31 pm

When I ran mine in the basement of my old house. You could smell it standing outside the front door. Most people won’t know what that smell is anyway. And being outside it will disappear pretty fast.

To me fermenting just smells like baking bread.
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:49 pm

Yummyrum wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:03 pm
For me , the biggest producer of stench is dumping hot slops from the boiler .I find if I let it cool, it hardly smells at all .
As far as while distilling , there is nothing really noticeable and fermentation smells are minimal .

Remember it is usually legal to brew beer in most places ... so thats what you are doing ... right .
From what I've read I've got mixed results. Some people say you can smell it a mile away some people say it barley smells, everyone agrees breaking it down and cleaning smells .. I'm wondering does it matter if it's a pot still or reflux that makes the difference? Im not really worried because I'm just making some beer in my keg kettle and I'm already invested and made my mind up that this was the hobby for me. 😃 Ive learned so much from you guys sorry if I ask alot of questions I'd rather suck it up and ask for the help.

Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:52 pm

Prairiepiss wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:31 pm
When I ran mine in the basement of my old house. You could smell it standing outside the front door. Most people won’t know what that smell is anyway. And being outside it will disappear pretty fast.

To me fermenting just smells like baking bread.
The fermentation won't be a problem I was more worried about running it. Ive made up my mind to go threw with everything already and I'm not that worried I just kinda wanted to know if all the neighborhood would know.

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 9074
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by NZChris » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:54 pm

If I can smell my still several minutes after it started pouring, I have a problem. Bad leak, valve left open, joint not tightened, blockage in the vapor path, too many Watts, condenser water failure, etc..

Pouring hot backset on the weeds on the fence line is more likely to attract attention than running the still, but it is a great use for backset. :D

User avatar
jog666
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 322
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:15 pm
Location: Swamp of the Ozarks

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by jog666 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:12 am

Dumping hot backset has the most smell like others have said. The only other time Ive had a big smell from this hobby was when I covered the dining room table with jars to air out.

User avatar
8Ball
Rumrunner
Posts: 724
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:12 am

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by 8Ball » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:05 am

You could get an old pot and lid for a couple of dollars. Put a little charcoal in it and light it. Every once in awhile, add some wet wood chunks to it. If you have a real smoker, fire it up and use it while you are running a batch. Now you are just tending to your bbq. Like others said, its only when dumping the boiler does the odor become a factor.

🎱
🎱 The struggle is real and this rabbit hole just got interesting.

User avatar
zed255
Rumrunner
Posts: 698
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:06 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by zed255 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:13 am

The only odours I get are during the peak of a large ferment, a little of the super light volatile compounds at the start of a run and dumping the boiler. None of these are particularly strong or offensive. I live right in town and am not the least bit worried about it. The smells of this hobby aren't likely to become a problem.
----------
Zed

When the Student is ready, the Master will appear.
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.

User avatar
Durhommer
Distiller
Posts: 2187
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:23 am

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by Durhommer » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:40 am

Fermenting smells a little bit and the backset I dump mine down the kitchen sink
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason....

Phathead
Novice
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:06 am

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by Phathead » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:50 am

I'm gonna bet unless there is a brewer or distillers nearby anyone will be, do you smell something? almost all won't know what it is, fewer will care.

User avatar
still_stirrin
Master Distiller
Posts: 8335
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:01 am
Location: where the buffalo roam, and the deer & antelope play

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by still_stirrin » Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:50 am

Agree that the “smelliest” part of distillation is the hot backset...hot and sour...not like vinegar, but still quite acidic smelling. Likewise, the CO2 off gassing from a “posse of fermenters” can be quite stinky too. Other than that, the smells from a brew day are quite pleasant, like you’re making bread. Yummm. Still, it is a “noticeable” aroma that will escape your brewhouse.

But the smells dissipate quickly in even a very slight breeze. I believe “prying eyes” would be a bigger concern than “a sensitive sinus”.
ss
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
My LM/VM & Potstill: My build thread
My Cadco hotplate modification thread: Hotplate Build
My stock pot gin still: stock pot potstill
My 5-grain Bourbon recipe: Special K

User avatar
Desvio
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 291
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:35 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by Desvio » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:03 pm

All of my work is done in the garage, I did add vent tubes through the wall for my fermentors to keep the boss-wife happy (she didn't like her car smelling like ferments). As for [electric] distilling, the only real smell is the initial gas off, the rest of it is pretty minimal. Fortunately the sewer pipe clean-out is in the garage floor, using a torch and a 5gal bucket I made a large 'funnel', so good there dumping the backset.
People say that I'm a bad influence. I say the world's already f#cked -- I'm just adding to it.

User avatar
River Rat
Novice
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:34 pm
Location: Apple-atcha

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by River Rat » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:14 pm

I can smell mine from outside the shed while it's heating up but then the smell dies down after it starts running. If you're able to run on a rainy day I'd say you've got nothing to worry about at all. Rain really seems to keep the smell from traveling.
Plain ole pot rig.

User avatar
SassyFrass
Trainee
Posts: 977
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:54 am
Location: Sittin' on the side of the Mountain sippin' and smilin'

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by SassyFrass » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:21 pm

Fermenting wash/mash in the woods can carry quite a ways. Especially in low areas like draws and hollers, which is where you usually find springs. Now that's open top ferments with screen wire and burlap covered, not air locked.
I reckon I'll find out this summer how the scents carry around the shop. I plan on mashing in around april or may, depending on weather, so we'll find out then.
Simple Lil' Pot Still, no temp guage, no carbon, no scrubbers, nuthin' fancy. Sometimes use a thumper, sometimes don't.

Real good info for New Folks:

Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:54 pm

River Rat wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:14 pm
I can smell mine from outside the shed while it's heating up but then the smell dies down after it starts running. If you're able to run on a rainy day I'd say you've got nothing to worry about at all. Rain really seems to keep the smell from traveling.
That's kinda want I was thinking about doing, ive got a shed in a corner of the yard with a space behind it that's about 5 foot wide and 8 feet long I usually keep fire wood back there but moved locations this yea so it's empty. I was thinking about building a little roof over the area just under the top of the fence. Nobody will see me. I was mostly worried about the smell. I feel alot better now. Thanks guys 👍

Seanjohn19
Novice
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:20 am

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by Seanjohn19 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:59 pm

I was planning on using a hotplate inside my shop that's well ventilated at first but that plan dissolved finding out the hotplate and temperature controllers aren't right for the job. Now I'm going to use propane crab heater burner thing lol don't really know the name.
As for the clean-up Ive got one of those big work sinks in the garage I will try to use the first time and if the wife don't like it I've got a bunch of beer equipment bottles and whatnot I'll either bring some of the stuff outside and neighbors will think I'm bottling beer if they even care. Ive done alot worse things back there, sanding cars with a belt sander dust everywhere, I also just replaced my fuel pump back there and the whole neighborhood smelled like gas for a good hour 😋 like one of you guys said I don't think anyone could care less what I'm doing,

Patriot
Novice
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:23 pm
Location: Sunshine State

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by Patriot » Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:03 am

I live in a subdivision, small lot sizes, I do my work in the garage, the door is usually open part way. No smell in the house, hot backseat smells at clean up. But being in Florida and it raining frequently I time my run during a rain and you never notice it plus the folks walking dogs or walking around stay in during inclement weather. My preference is when I’m on a night shift rotation to run it on a night off since I’m awake anyway and the rain makes it even more discreet.

HmBrwr Whsky Drnkr
Novice
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:08 am

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by HmBrwr Whsky Drnkr » Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:38 am

I’m thinking of running mine in the basement with a vent line going outside. Any idea what size fan I should be looking at? It’s a large shop (20’ x 15’), but thinking I won’t need to plan for the total room area. Thinking of installing a vent fan directly above the still and running the fan while running the still. Will a bath vent with a 110 CFM be enough, or go with 210 CFM? I’m planning for around 18’ of 4” duct. Thinking more for safety concerns and some smell also.
Don’t blame a clown for being a clown. Instead, ask yourself why do you keep going to the circus.

Zeotropic
Swill Maker
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:48 pm

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by Zeotropic » Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:08 am

HmBrwr Whsky Drnkr wrote:I’m thinking of running mine in the basement with a vent line going outside. Any idea what size fan I should be looking at? It’s a large shop (20’ x 15’), but thinking I won’t need to plan for the total room area. Thinking of installing a vent fan directly above the still and running the fan while running the still. Will a bath vent with a 110 CFM be enough, or go with 210 CFM? I’m planning for around 18’ of 4” duct. Thinking more for safety concerns and some smell also.
Are you running electric?

HmBrwr Whsky Drnkr
Novice
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:08 am

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by HmBrwr Whsky Drnkr » Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:49 am

Yep. 3500w element with 240v service.
Don’t blame a clown for being a clown. Instead, ask yourself why do you keep going to the circus.

Zeotropic
Swill Maker
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:48 pm

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by Zeotropic » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:23 am

HmBrwr Whsky Drnkr wrote:Yep. 3500w element with 240v service.
Image Then you shouldn't need a huge amount of ventilation but I would go with the 210 cfm because you can always damper it down but you cant make it more powerful. Also most are rated with no duct so any ducting will reduce airflow.

StillerBoy
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 2459
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:27 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by StillerBoy » Sun Feb 21, 2021 1:12 pm

HmBrwr Whsky Drnkr wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:38 am
Thinking of installing a vent fan directly above the still and running the fan while running the still. Will a bath vent with a 110 CFM be enough, or go with 210 CFM? I’m planning for around 18’ of 4” duct. Thinking more for safety concerns and some smell also.
Save your dollars and time.. as it is not requires..

Your over thinking this ventilation thing.. take the word of those who have yrs over you in the hobby..

Mars
" I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, Obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas "

– Albert Einstein

HmBrwr Whsky Drnkr
Novice
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:08 am

Re: How far will my sh*t smell??

Post by HmBrwr Whsky Drnkr » Sun Feb 21, 2021 1:18 pm

Thanks!
Don’t blame a clown for being a clown. Instead, ask yourself why do you keep going to the circus.

Post Reply