still maintainence & sulphides (renamed)

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still maintainence & sulphides (renamed)

Postby MacStill » Sat May 17, 2014 10:02 pm

Here's a pic of the 6" prototype plates and bubble caps that have been totally abused by me for around 8 months now, they've been run many times with only a quick flush down it's neck to rinse it out occasionally.

I purposely neglected these plates for R&D purposes, sulphide removal when caked in shit... etc etc.

Here's what they looked like new, it's a similar plate but you get the idea :-B

view.jpg


They look pretty rough hey :shock:

DSC_0346.JPG


DSC_0347.JPG


So I decided to see how degraded the plates were by trying a simple cleaning solution of citric acid and water, about half a small tub from woolies & maybe 8 litres of water in a bucket then drop the plates in.

A few hours later and just the occasional jiggle of the bucket, craziest iridescent retro blue water :banana-rainbow:

DSC_0351.JPG


Here's what they look like without any scrubbing etc. I'll drop em back in then check again in the morning :D

DSC_0354.JPG


I'll keep updating here, but in the mean time feel free to comment/contribute about it, and share ideas on how you keep your FSD bubbler all spick n span :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby Kimbo » Sat May 17, 2014 10:22 pm

I wonder how would it go doing a citric acid cleaning run? that way, you could clean the whole inside without having to pull it all apart :think:
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby MacStill » Sat May 17, 2014 10:29 pm

Kimbo wrote:I wonder how would it go doing a citric acid cleaning run? that way, you could clean the whole inside without having to pull it all apart :think:


I did the same no scrub method with this rig mate, the plates were pretty much inaccessible by hand and they came up ok.... the middle two could be better though.

DSC_0160.JPG


Boiling a citric/vinegar solution would be ok, but you'll still get the green shit if you dont/cant get into all the little grooves properly, I reckon you really gotta get in there and scrub/dry it all out with a cloth if you want it pristine
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby TheMechwarrior » Sat May 17, 2014 10:53 pm

Try a 50:50 blend of ethanol and acid, then run your boiler up like you were doing a run except you want to run a higher vapour temp so back off on the RC.
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby Dingo Charlie » Sat May 17, 2014 11:01 pm

Just dropped my plates in a citric acid solution and chucked my still in the dishwasher...... still came out beautiful and I will check on my plates in the morning.
Plate water is a beautiful blue already.
Cheers for the pics Mac.
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby 1 2many » Sat May 17, 2014 11:12 pm

Just put a fish tank air stone in the citric acid bath to keep it agitated, no shaking required.
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby MacStill » Sat May 17, 2014 11:19 pm

I think some are missing the point, I wasnt asking for advice 8-}

:teasing-tease:
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby TheMechwarrior » Sat May 17, 2014 11:21 pm

8-} My Bad, reading and listening are 2 of my failings :))
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby 1 2many » Sat May 17, 2014 11:25 pm

MacStill wrote:I think some are missing the point, I wasnt asking for advice 8-}

:teasing-tease:


b-( Just thought it was a good idea. ;-)
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby MacStill » Sat May 17, 2014 11:33 pm

I'm thinking more along the lines of sulphides and their removal, how to better prevent so much shit building up on the plates.

To this point I've been using a little copper mesh on top of the RC, but now I reckon I'm better off putting the mesh below the plates and getting rid of more shit prior to it entering the column :D and hopefully we'll see a difference in the amount of crap stuck to the plates.

It'd be fairly easy to pop the mesh out after each run or two for a quick clean to expose the surface for the best efficiency :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby res » Sat May 17, 2014 11:45 pm

MacStill wrote:I'm thinking more along the lines of sulphides and their removal, how to better prevent so much shit building up on the plates.

To this point I've been using a little copper mesh on top of the RC, but now I reckon I'm better off putting the mesh below the plates and getting rid of more shit prior to it entering the column :D and hopefully we'll see a difference in the amount of crap stuck to the plates.

It'd be fairly easy to pop the mesh out after each run or two for a quick clean to expose the surface for the best efficiency :handgestures-thumbupleft:


I have a vague recollection of reading sulfides Are best removed when the alcohol is in a liquid state :think: How about a gin basket of copper mesh under the rc?
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby 1 2many » Sat May 17, 2014 11:48 pm

Like running the packed section on the bottom under the plates, different, do you think it will have much impact on the stills normal performance, it would keep the plates cleaner I recon. :-B
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby SBB » Sun May 18, 2014 12:06 am

MacStill wrote:but now I reckon I'm better off putting the mesh below the plates and getting rid of more shit prior to it entering the column

Thats gotta take at least some of the work load of the plates :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby MacStill » Sun May 18, 2014 12:41 pm

1 2many wrote:Like running the packed section on the bottom under the plates, different, do you think it will have much impact on the stills normal performance, it would keep the plates cleaner I recon. :-B


I dont think I'd want to be cleaning the full packed section of copper mesh, res has the right idea.... along the lines of what I was getting at :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby MacStill » Sun May 18, 2014 2:49 pm

OK so not quite 24 hours later and there's not much change, so out of the bucket for a look see.

Now remember up until this point I've done absolutely nothing except the odd jiggle of the bucket, but I reckon the grime needs to come off so the acid has something fresh to get stuck into :handgestures-thumbupleft:

DSC_0359.JPG


So now a good blast with the spray nozzle from the garden hose and they look even better.

DSC_0360.JPG


Now they're clean enough to handle and the rancid smell is gone off the plates I've pulled them to bits, I'm just putting them back in the same blue citric acid solution I made up yesterday. I'll pull everything out again this evening for a look, but so far so good for a set of plates that have been shown nothing but abuse for so long, and a fairly lazy attempt at restoring them.

:D
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby MacStill » Sun May 18, 2014 5:20 pm

.... a few hours on with the plates pulled apart, yes they are in there :scared-eek:

DSC_0367.jpg


Also found this old bit of copper mesh in my scrap bin, might as well chuck it in too and see how it goes.

DSC_0364.JPG


Most of the copper is starting look like it just has a bit of natural patina now, bit of an eye opener at just how much shit sticks to the copper.
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby TheMechwarrior » Sun May 18, 2014 9:47 pm

Mac, for the acid not too have already removed the initial grime might indicate organics so a caustic wash followed by an acid wash may help avoid the elbow grease :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: FSD still maintainence

Postby MacStill » Sun May 18, 2014 10:04 pm

Oh yeah there's definitely organics in there, these plates have seen pukes from plum jam, molasses & AG single malt runs :handgestures-thumbupleft:

The whole point of this is to get people thinking about how grotty the inside of a still gets, why it gets that way, and what we can do to prevent things getting so bad as to influence the effectiveness of the copper and the removal of sulphides :-B

I treated these plates as bad as I possibly could for a long time, and doubt anyone would see anything like this through normal use, I just thought the sight of them and the shit that's coming off would provoke some thoughts on a various range of things.... we all want the best tastiest product right ? so how much of this shit would get through a still ?

Some testing with low wines v's wash would be good perhaps :-B
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Re: still maintainence & sulphides (renamed)

Postby pulsetech » Sun May 18, 2014 10:22 pm

To me it looks like a good enough reason to go modular. Ease of maintenance
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Re: still maintainence & sulphides (renamed)

Postby TheMechwarrior » Sun May 18, 2014 10:26 pm

Top thread Mac,

Got me thinking about how to get the best out of the still without having to pull everthing apart and scrub etc.

At the end of the day there's no foolproof way to avoid the need for cleaning, build-up will occur.
You can always add more copper to the internal surface area and prolong the need for a clean, but the eventual clean cannot be avoided.

What would be interesting is to note at what point during continous use and only a water rinse in between, at what point the user could detect the carryover of sulfides into their drink.
We may find we are over-cleaning, until you do the test I guess you won't know?

Mac, how many runs did you put through and did you pick any flavour taints towards the end?
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