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silver metallic residue on my copper plates

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silver metallic residue on my copper plates

Postby bradocaster » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:06 pm

OK, we just finished a stripping run on a bourbon mash 76% corn 14% wheat, 10%
distillers malt. we used lalvin 71B and distillamax GW yeast at suggested
amounts. we didn't let it finish completely. at 1002 it was still active and had
a cap on it. we distilled it in a stainless steel still with copper plates, and
copper packing inside. the whole run stunk terribly of sulphur. when we removed
the plates there was a silver metallic looking coating on the under side of the
plates. can anybody help with a diagnosis?

Thanks, Brad.
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Re: silver metallic residue on my copper plates

Postby Harry » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:44 pm

The sulphur stink can be remedied with more copper contact. That's why Holstein stills use a 'Catalyzer' (coil of corrugated copper sheeting in a drum) atop their tray columns.

As for the silver residue. It's on the tray bottoms. That tells me it's entrained (being carried) in the vapor. Could be organic (from the boiled yeast). Could be unused nutrients (you did stop the ferment short). But could also be residue from the solder. Was the still thoroughly cleaned after fabrication? Is this its maiden run? Just some things to consider.
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Re: silver metallic residue on my copper plates

Postby big worm » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:52 pm

my first thought was solder ...who made the still?
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Re: silver metallic residue on my copper plates

Postby bradocaster » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:11 pm

We did clean the still very well before the run, but we've only run it twice. there is only a very little solder in the still. what would cause solder to dissolve like that? my brother an I made the still. it's all stainless, except for 2 home made bubble caps, and two areas that have copper mesh packing. we are cooking another batch tomorrow and intend to let the ferment finish completely this time.

As always, thanks for the help,
Brad
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Re: silver metallic residue on my copper plates

Postby kiwi » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:40 pm

A picture tells a thousand words... hard to speculate without seeing the still and the residue.
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Re: silver metallic residue on my copper plates

Postby bradocaster » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:08 pm

I'll try to post some pics and more details.
Thanks again,
Brad
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Re: silver metallic residue on my copper plates

Postby bradocaster » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:25 pm

OK, i said i'd post photos so here they are. we started with a 300 gal mash. we put about 15 Gal in our hillbilly still. the rest went into our big still. in the big still, the bubble plate has the silver stuff on it and so does the packing just above the bubble plate. the hillbilly still had the stuff on every plate and on the inside of the column. could the use of too much Gypsum have anything to do with this?
Thanks for your input,
Brad


mod edit;You'll need to shrink those photos and repost. They are much too large.
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Re: silver metallic residue on my copper plates

Postby radiatorboy » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:55 am

i get a silver like film on the bottom of a plate i use the reduce from 4" that on my boller to my 2" pot still. I find more on there on stripping run. i was thinking its normal and some thing in the tails. the pot still been used for two years and always cleaned out before and after every run with water.
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Re: silver metallic residue on my copper plates

Postby itchy » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:42 pm

could it possibly be his copper packing is plated copper on steel mesh? try seeing if a magnet sticks to the packing,,, see if it sticks to the stainless as well,, could be a low grade stainless giving off the metalics...
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Re: silver metallic residue on my copper plates

Postby bradocaster » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:29 pm

I finely got the pix uploaded right...i think.
Brad
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silver gunk 001.jpg
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silver gunk 002.jpg
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Re: silver metallic residue on my copper plates

Postby titus-a-fishus » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:31 pm

Not sure if it is relevant but I get similar at times.
Have had a silver oily residue/film in the pot still.

Seems to happen occasionally for no real reason.
Not solder as the still can't get to the temp and has been used for over 12 months.

Doesn't seem to effect the distillate.... so I don't worry about it.
Think it might be something from the wash.

Oh and my pot still is copper.

TAF
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Re: silver metallic residue on my copper plates

Postby pintoshine » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:17 pm

That's copper 1 oxide. completely normal. copper II oxide is red and requires some heat. That is just the copper pulling stuff out of the vapor like sulfides. If you get enough tails in the vapor they will clean that up.
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Re: silver metallic residue on my copper plates

Postby bradocaster » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:08 pm

Thanks a million Pint o shine. is there a standard method for cleaning this off?

Thanks again,
Brad
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Re: silver metallic residue on my copper plates

Postby kiwi » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:32 pm

Try some hot water and citric acid. Be sure to rinse well.
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Re: silver metallic residue on my copper plates

Postby bradocaster » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:09 pm

Having no luck cleaning this stuff unless i scrub it off with a scotch bright. tried steam with no success. tried citric...no good. nothing I've tried will dissolve it. i don't want to scrub every run!

Help!...(please)

Thanks,
Brad
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