Important poisoning alert

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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby Arismac » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:22 pm

bluc wrote:You didnt kink the line when you bent it did you...no still should ever vent vapour of any kind ever :naughty:
If your all sitting round still why is it only one got sick?...sorry dont want to be offensive but sounds like hysteria to me. Does said person have experience around stills?


Good point, except that the McBOKA will vent through the top vent hole IF any vapour that has not been condensed reaches the top of the column. This is an important safety feature which means that high pressure can not build up within the column.

In this case I consider that vapour was not condensed because the condenser temperature was too low. Therefore the methanol vapour was able to escape from the vent. If this hypothesis is correct it can only mean that the condenser was not being sufficiently cooled to trap the methanol vapour.

Increase effective coolant water flow through the condenser. Now done.
Last edited by Arismac on Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby Arismac » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:30 pm

Chocko6969 wrote:
Chocko6969 wrote:Do you get an instruction manual when you swap your gas bottle at Bunnings? :D
Chocko


No, but I sure did when I purchased the Barby with a NEW gas bottle.
See page 3. https://www.barbequesgalore.com.au/medi ... h-cart.pdf

Chocko6969 wrote:I'm sorry if I annoyed you mate, not my intention.
Choko

Not annoyed at all, I just think you are a bit off topic. I am hoping to flag possible a possible hazard not trying to become a front bar barrister.
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby Professor Green » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:27 pm

One thing I found useful on my boka when I ran it was to sit a small beaker upside down on the top. Any vapour escaping out of the vent, and did happen to me once or twice early on, causes the beaker to fog up. Why a beaker? Because it has a spout that prevents the rim form forming a seal and still lets the vapour out if it does escape. The one I used it was small enough that the rim fit neatly inside the recess made by the clamp and the end cap which stopped it from vibrating off.
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby Rolls912 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:59 pm

Professor Green wrote:One thing I found useful on my boka when I ran it was to sit a small beaker upside down on the top. Any vapour escaping out of the vent, and did happen to me once or twice early on, causes the beaker to fog up. Why a beaker? Because it has a spout that prevents the rim form forming a seal and still lets the vapour out if it does escape. The one I used it was small enough that the rim fit neatly inside the recess made by the clamp and the end cap which stopped it from vibrating off.


Great idea. Perhaps could be an optional extra to prevent newbs making the same mistake.
Last edited by Rolls912 on Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby bluc » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:11 pm

Arismac wrote:
bluc wrote:You didnt kink the line when you bent it did you...no still should ever vent vapour of any kind ever :naughty:
If your all sitting round still why is it only one got sick?...sorry dont want to be offensive but sounds like hysteria to me. Does said person have experience around stills?


Good point, except that the McBOKA will vent through the top vent hole IF any vapour that has not been condensed reaches the top of the column. This is an important safety feature which means that high pressure can not build up within the column.

In this case I consider that vapour was not condensed because the condenser temperature was too low. Therefore the methanol vapour was able to escape from the vent. If this hypothesis is correct it can only mean that the condenser was not being sufficiently cooled to trap the methanol vapour.

Increase effective coolant water flow through the condenser. Now done.

Condenser temp was too high not too low. Check the line on condenser is not kinked that would impede cooling water flow making condenser too hot and prevent it knocking down vapour. Had that hole not been there and you didnt condense all vapour then you would have been building pressure till weakest point failed prob with a spectacular fireball. We are not having tea and biscuits here and the descion to do this hobby was your own, noone elses. Make sure you are aware of dangers before you do anything, take on any new still in this hobby. I wish you all the best arismac
Stay safe :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby Doubleuj » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:15 pm

End of the day the usual rules apply

Never run a still in an unventilated area
Always check for leaks
Make sure your water flow is on properly

I have a cheap $15 mirror bought from super cheap and check every seal every time I run. Have never found a leak in any but my fill port yet but checking is easy. Got heaps of time whilst waiting for jars to fill. :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby warramungas » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:04 pm

Sorrry to hear about you partner mate.You guys must have an awesome nose to tell the difference between methanol and ethanol vapor though.
Ive played with both in pure forms and theyre hard to pick apart by smell especially if they were mixed together.
Your condensor should knock down ALL vapor so if its not then you have other problems. Also methanol would not evaporate AT 64 degrees unless it was in a pure form. In a dilute mixture it would be much nearer the ethanols boiling point. Your condensor coil should be below 64 anyway to knock down wverythin when youre loading your boka.
Even a badly made normal wash will have only a few grams (at worst) of methanol and toxic levels need about half to 1.5 grams per m3 of air to feel an effect over a 15 minute interval.
So at roughly 1 gm3 your room would need to be less than 5 m3 for methanol to cause problems. So 1.7x1.7x1.7m roughly.
Im not saying she didnt inhale something but if she did then i would suspect it was mostly ethanol.
I suspect this as i have irritated my own lungs before halfway through a run when someone had a shower and i ducked out to grab something from a shed. It only took a minutr to fill the laundry with fumes. I had a headache for hours afterwards.
Yes guys. Iknow thats a no no too but i thought Id be quick out and back.
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby Arismac » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:52 pm

GREAT post, thank you. I am learning a lot. Posts like yours, without the personal gibes, are in my opinion the reason why this is this is the very best forum for people wanting to learn about our hobby. We make mistakes, we learn and we enjoy.

Perhaps the "mods" should edit the personal lectures, they are not a benefit to anyone, even without the right to reply.
Last edited by Arismac on Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby Sam. » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:42 pm

Arismac wrote:Perhaps the "mods" should edit the personal lectures, they are not a benefit to anyone, even without the right to reply.


Everybody has the right to reply here mate, we try to foster constructive conversation that benefits everyone.

But unfortunately when someone asks a question and they have pre determined the answer they desire then that isn’t very progressive.
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby warramungas » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:44 am

Arismac wrote:GREAT post, thank you. I am learning a lot. Posts like yours, without the personal gibes, are in my opinion the reason why this is this is the very best forum for people wanting to learn about our hobby. We make mistakes, we learn and we enjoy.

Perhaps the "mods" should edit the personal lectures, they are not a benefit to anyone, even without the right to reply.


Sorry if that was me you were talking about. I wasnt having a dig at you as I could imagine that situation would be scary as hell. Id be freaking out and possibly swearing off the hobby if that was my wife that was affected.
I just think think one of my faults (and possibly strengths at work) is that I like to overanalyse everything.
Edit: I think i have a touch of aspies too as sometimes (a lot of times) how people might feel about my comments gets missed but i never speak from a position of malice.
Ceers.
Warra
Last edited by warramungas on Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby Arismac » Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:22 pm

Many thanks to all who have contributed here. I really mean that. No offense intended and none taken.

I have learned a valuable lesson and perhaps put a fellow hobbyist or two on alert.

Mods: Possibly time to close this thread?
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby Sam. » Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:56 pm

We don’t like to lock threads but I can remove it if you like?
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby Arismac » Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:33 pm

Thanks Sam, but I still view this as a lesson learned and a lesson shared.
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby garouda » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:25 pm

Arismac wrote:Suffice to say here that methanol turns to vapour at about 64C. So by the time it is time to open the product valve at 78C the Boka will have vented the methanol from the condenser via the top breather vent hole.
The lesson learned. Run the Boka outside the house or if this is not possible open all doors and windows and switch on exhaust fans until after the heads have been collected. By this time the methanol will have been vented and you can return to normal.

You also escaped a big blast, depending upon the size of the room and the type of heating... %-( :angelic-cyan:
In fact I never thought this was the method for running a Boka, normally your condenser has to knock down all vapours, or am I wrong?... My plan is to use the slant plates to remove foreshots and heads in liquid state, then switch to VM for the main run.
Last edited by garouda on Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby bluc » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:13 pm

No still should ever vent vapour EVER!!
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby Arismac » Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:40 pm

On the condition that I don't start another "tense conversation" and you take this in the spirit (pun intended) with which it is intended, I can now reveal this.

There is little doubt that my partner, a very occasional alcohol drinker (we can't afford two) had breathed in a lot of ethanol NOT methanol. She was, how do they say, p****d.

The answer became apparent when I discovered that the T500 Boiler with McBoka had been loaded with 12 litres of 92% AbV first stilling, reduced to +/- 40% AbV. But I now only have 9 litres left after "THAT" McBoka run.

I rest my case.
Last edited by Arismac on Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby Professor Green » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:40 pm

Sounds like you had a very lucky escape there mate. Given the explosive nature of ethanol vapour, even switching the boiler off could have resulted in catastrophe. At least you can learn from the experience so it doesn't happen again.
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby TBone » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:20 pm

Arismac wrote:On the condition that I don't start another "tense conversation" and you take this in the spirit (pun intended) with which it is intended, I can now reveal this.

There is little doubt that my partner, a very occasional alcohol drinker (we can't afford two) had breathed in a lot of ethanol NOT methanol. She was, how do they say, p****d.

The answer became apparent when I discovered that the T500 Boiler with McBoka had been loaded with 12 litres of 92% AbV first stilling, reduced to +/- 40% AbV. But I now only have 9 litres left after "THAT" McBoka run.

I rest my case.


That sounds dangerous my friend. Please be careful.
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby Darwin award » Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:39 am

This is a good thread.
I guess people get sensitive to the M word because there is so very much disinformation about home stilled spirits, like drinking them WILL make you go blind...
or that nobody at home can possibly make good spirits without them being full of methanol....

I recently changed my setup and on a rum-run the ABV was sub 80% whilst the boiler temp was 92... usually I'd be expecting high 80's to low 90's... WTF?
then I noticed a kink in the RC hose.....Now looking at changing the setup to make sure that doesn't happen again, surprisingly, good quality garden hose is far better than the steel wrapped lines I have been using.. (kink-wise anyways)

Once you get to know your still you pick up pretty darn quick if things aren't as they should be.
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Re: Important poisoning alert

Postby P3T3rPan » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:57 pm

Darwin award wrote:This is a good thread.
I guess people get sensitive to the M word because there is so very much disinformation about home stilled spirits, like drinking them WILL make you go blind...
or that nobody at home can possibly make good spirits without them being full of methanol....

I recently changed my setup and on a rum-run the ABV was sub 80% whilst the boiler temp was 92... usually I'd be expecting high 80's to low 90's... WTF?
then I noticed a kink in the RC hose.....Now looking at changing the setup to make sure that doesn't happen again, surprisingly, good quality garden hose is far better than the steel wrapped lines I have been using.. (kink-wise anyways)

Once you get to know your still you pick up pretty darn quick if things aren't as they should be.


As an OCD plumber that is intrigued by kinky stories, may I ask whether it was the inlet or the outlet pipe?
I know it makes no difference to your result but the temperature of the water is to be considered with all flexible plumbing.
90 odd C is a big ask for garden hose.
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