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Tin lined copper stills

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Tin lined copper stills

Postby jake_leg » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:36 am

Why were so many old stills lined with tin? For instance Harry's old time rum recipe specifies that a tin worm is superior to copper. Is this to do with ease of cleaning? Cost?
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Re: Tin lined copper stills

Postby Ratabilly » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:14 am

I never really heard of tin lined stills, but tin must be an all right metal to use in a build since its what most lead free solder are made out of nowadays.

I would suspect the tin being used as economical purposes. It probably was cheaper to line the inside of an old existing container made out of whatever, than to build a whole still from scratch out of copper and stainless.

As for the worm, i have no idea, but i think i'm with you with the ease of cleaning. Maybe mister Harry could enlighten on the whole thing...
It aged on the way out of the worm. :mg:
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Re: Tin lined copper stills

Postby jake_leg » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:59 am

I believe copper cooking vessels were commonly tinned before use because of the reactivity of copper with acids. Maybe that has something to do with it.
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Re: Tin lined copper stills

Postby Dan P. » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:54 am

It might be that tin does not oxidise in the same way as copper, so people making alcohol with dirty tin worms were making better product than people with dirty, verdigris filled copper worms.
It is also very possibly something that is a carry over from the alchemical tradition. Copper is a "hot" metal, thus perhaps it was seen to yield "hot" alcohol. Alcohol is "hot" already, and excessive "heat" is bad.
For more information on such arcane and fascinating nonsense; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humours
People used to pretty much live by these ideas, people in India and China, and many other countries still do. It is possible, to my mind, that some distiller might have been thinking of this.

PS The wikipedia article says this theory is discredited- I don't know what credible scientist has gone out of his way to discredit it, but he certainly isn't cited in the article. As it happens, Ayurveda and Chinese medicine do pretty well by quite a few people using a similar system,

-Dan
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Re: Tin lined copper stills

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:46 am

In the times of colonial America, many cooking utensils were fabricated from copper parts, riveted, and then "tin-locked", where the vessel was heated and tin was applied to the inside of the vessel, where it melted, at about 450F, and both soldered and sealed the tiny leaks in the vessel.

Trying to reproduce that look of copper on the outside and "silver" on the inside gives us some modern (and expensive) one-piece copper pans lined with tin or sometimes stainless.

I think that the original "tin" (in the sense that sheet iron and steel is colloquially called tin) cans were also "tin-locked" (this time with real tin) to hermetically seal the container.

Maybe the tin has some chemical advantages also, but i don't know that for sure.
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and you can eat chicken noodle soup with a crescent wrench. But...
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Re: Tin lined copper stills

Postby roadmonkeytj » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:11 pm

No base to this just an idea from the little knowlege I have of tining

Could it have been that a tinned copper peice is stronger and more sealed then an untinned one?
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Re: Tin lined copper stills

Postby Harry » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:35 am

Before 1950, tinplate was a common sheet metal to manufacture items used in foodstuff preparation. It was cheap, non-toxic, non-corrosive. Copper has always been more expensive.

PROPERTIES OF TIN
· Tin is a white metal at room temperature.
· Tin is soft.
· Tin is highly corrosion-resistant and fatigue-resistant.
· Tin is non-toxic.
· Tin is highly malleable (able to be shaped).
· Tin alloys easily with other metals.
· Tin has a low melting point (232°C).
· Tin is easy to recycle.
· The word tin is Anglo-Saxon in origin, but the symbol for tin, Sn, comes from the
Roman word Stannum.


Much more about tin here...
http://www.australianminesatlas.gov.au/ ... on/tin.pdf
.


Slainte!
regards Harry
http://distillers.tastylime.net/

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Re: Tin lined copper stills

Postby Kareltje » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:42 pm

I found:
http://www.mast.is/Uploads/document/gui ... erials.pdf

An old cookbook strongly warns against the use of copper in kitchen utensils. "If the maid is a bit sloppy and does not clean the iron pan completely, the worst that can happen is that the spinach of yesterday will be found in the beets of today. But when she does not clean a copper pan properly, poisonous coppergreen will be found in the beets."
Copper could only be used if properly tinned.
The above linked report states that copper is used in kitchenware but mostly tinned on the inside.

In distilling it is advised to restrict the use of copper to the ascending path and use other metals in the descending path.
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Re: Tin lined copper stills

Postby just sayin' » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:52 pm

Nice find, Kareltje! Thanks for posting! Bookmarked for future reference!
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Re: Tin lined copper stills

Postby zedzedtop » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:40 pm

Interesting find. Wasn't there some paper in one of the journal compendiums that had an experiment where they found the greatest effect on sulphur reduction in the vapour path of the wash still and the boiler of the low wines still?
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Re: Tin lined copper stills

Postby Kareltje » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:18 pm

Thanks. This is now overruled by newer rules. Unfortunately they can not be viewed on line.

https://www.beuth.de/en/publication/met ... ls/3718475
Committee of Experts on Packaging Materials for Food and Phamaceutical Products (P-SC-EMB)
Metals and alloys used in food contact materials and articles (Ordering only!)
A practical guide for manufacturers and regulators
Council of Europe, 2013

https://www.edqm.eu/medias/fichiers/lis ... dition.pdf
Committee of Experts on Packaging Materials for Food and Phamaceutical Products (P-SC-EMB)
Metals and alloys used in food contact materials and articles (List of contents only!)
A practical guide for manufacturers and regulators
Council of Europe, 2013
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Re: Tin lined copper stills

Postby zedzedtop » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:03 am

'Bubble cap plates are better for batch distillation than perforated plates' - Benjamin Franklin

Fortune cookie: Your whole family are well
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