The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Discuss safety issues here.

The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby Ashley12 » Fri Feb 11, 2022 5:26 am

With my small airstill it can take significant time to make a drinkable amount of alcohol. Because of this I nearly always run my still unattended ONLY on stripping runs.

I have a high precision electronic timer plug that allows me to pre program when the still turns off on a countdown. It's accurate to a second. I also get an email alert when the still turns off.

I'm usually in the house and I run the little airstill in the shed. So I'm never more than a minute away.

The way I see it, with the doors left open The still is incredibly well ventilated and is basically outdoors!

Does anyone else do this? Does it pose any significant safety risk?
Ashley12
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2021 2:22 am
equipment: Pot still

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby renedox » Fri Feb 11, 2022 8:23 am

This is what I'm doing literally right now. Benefit of working at home, I guess.

Doing a couple stripping runs while I'm working away at the other end of the house.
renedox
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2022 12:29 pm
equipment: Copperhead pot still

Copperhead reflux still

Air still

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby bluc » Fri Feb 11, 2022 9:11 am

Fan fails vapour everywhere static electricity or other source of ignition shed full ablaze :angry-banghead: never NEVER leave still unattended. Your not cooking scones..
bluc
Site Donor
 
Posts: 8537
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:47 pm
Location: sunshine coast
equipment: 2" pot with 2" shotty 400mm long 5x 1/2" on a t500 boiler.
50l keg boiler 4" still mount 4" sight glass 1" drain..
4 plate 4" bubbler, 600mm packed section

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby The Stig » Fri Feb 11, 2022 9:39 am

100% with Bluc here , shit can turn bad real quick
The Stig
Site Nerd
 
Posts: 10356
Images: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:37 am
equipment: Only the Best will Do.
Mac4 SSG Bubbles of Joy

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby southern45 » Fri Feb 11, 2022 10:26 am

Yeah it'll probably be fine, until it's very much not.... x_x
southern45
 
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:50 pm
Location: Tasmania
equipment: Four plate 5-Star copper bubbler

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby Ashley12 » Fri Feb 11, 2022 5:06 pm

bluc wrote:Fan fails vapour everywhere static electricity or other source of ignition shed full ablaze :angry-banghead: never NEVER leave still unattended. Your not cooking scones..


I completely understand your point and concerns. Though with the double doors open I can fit a car in my shed. It's basically outdoors.

The little air still charged with 4 litre of 14% wash holds about a litre and a half of 40% ethanol. In reality it only holds about 400ml of ethanol that would be released at the begining of the run which would actually be high enough percentage to ignite. The rest is way to low for ignition.

I just don't think 400ml of flammable vapour in a highly ventilated environment would pose any risk of fire. It has constant fresh airflow circulating in and out.

Of course I wouldn't risk this on a spirit run.
Ashley12
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2021 2:22 am
equipment: Pot still

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby RuddyCrazy » Fri Feb 11, 2022 5:47 pm

Ashley12 wrote:
bluc wrote:Fan fails vapour everywhere static electricity or other source of ignition shed full ablaze :angry-banghead: never NEVER leave still unattended. Your not cooking scones..




I just don't think 400ml of flammable vapour in a highly ventilated environment would pose any risk of fire. It has constant fresh airflow circulating in and out.



Even 50ml of high abv will ignite off a spark and provide enough heat to fuel a larger fire so at no point should one leave a running still out of eyesight PERIOD
RuddyCrazy
Mentor
 
Posts: 2056
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:36 pm
Location: Not far from Kanmantoo SA
equipment: 4" copper bubbler with a setup for Neutral and a thumper for Whisky and my old 5 litre pot for doing maceration runs and MiniMe the baby pot still also a 1-1/2" pot still and bubbler build happening

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby The Stig » Fri Feb 11, 2022 6:49 pm

Ashley12, it’s your house you can do whatever you want.
We here at AD promote safety first and foremost.
I wouldn’t want to see anybody have an issue let alone if there was a fire your insurance company would void your policy if they found an illegal still, food for thought .
Personally I wouldn’t take any chance and I’m guessing 99% of the members would agree.
The Stig
Site Nerd
 
Posts: 10356
Images: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:37 am
equipment: Only the Best will Do.
Mac4 SSG Bubbles of Joy

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby Wellsy » Sat Feb 12, 2022 6:38 am

Hey Ashley

Does your shed have any BBQ gas tanks, and paint thinners, any mower fuel, the list goes on mate.
you asked if anybody else sees a risk and when they say yes you seem to want to justify how that is not so in your case.
It is a huge risk but if you are happy to take it, then take it. I do not believe anybody here will tell you that it is not a risk mate because it is. It is a risk and this forum is very much about keeping everyone safe.

All the best
Wellsy
Wellsy
Mentor
 
Posts: 1559
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:48 am
Location: Victoria
equipment: FSD 4” Modular Pot Still plus 4 FSD Bubble plates on FSD 50 ltr Milk Can Boiler + 2 x 2400W FSD Element and Guard Kits

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby Carol » Sat Feb 12, 2022 9:55 am

Hi Ashley
I have a little air still which I use for gin extracts. I run it in various locations and schedule time in that area. For example I might run it in the kitchen - and while I am minding the still I load the dishwasher, wash the floors, prep food etc. I usually have some small bits of china or baking beads in the airstill so there is a bit of a rattle. So I have an extra audible reminder that the still is running.
If I run it in the carport I will find jobs to do there etc.
That system works well for me.

Cheers
Carol
Carol
Mentor
 
Posts: 326
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:29 pm
Location: South Australia
equipment: Still Spirits Air Still
FSD 2" Boka (aka Boris)
FSD 2" pot still ( aka Natasha)

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby Ashley12 » Sun Feb 13, 2022 8:11 am

Just to let you all know, I wholeheartedly stand corrected. DO NOT RUN YOUR STILL UNATTENDED. And definitely never count on timer plugs.

A couple of days ago my timer failed. Causing the entire still to empty it's self all over the shed. Considering I only had a 1 litre collection vessel it was messy!

Never again will I leave a still unattended. I consider my mistake extremely lucky considering what could have happened!
Ashley12
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2021 2:22 am
equipment: Pot still

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby Outbackozzie » Fri Apr 15, 2022 6:03 pm

100% agree, do not leave your still unattended.

I had the T500 on heatup phase without the water on, and missed the timeframe of needing to turn the water on - I live offgrid in an arid environment so water is precious.

I walked into the still room after it had probably been vaporising for 20 minutes, I honestly dont know how nothing had caught fire. Could not breath, could not see.

I turned the power off to the room from an external switch and let everything calm down.

DO NOT leave your still unattended.

I was lucky.
Outbackozzie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2022 12:19 pm
equipment: T500, alembic.

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby bluc » Fri Apr 15, 2022 6:28 pm

Outback ozzie grab a ibc or couple blue drums and a pump :handgestures-thumbupleft:
bluc
Site Donor
 
Posts: 8537
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:47 pm
Location: sunshine coast
equipment: 2" pot with 2" shotty 400mm long 5x 1/2" on a t500 boiler.
50l keg boiler 4" still mount 4" sight glass 1" drain..
4 plate 4" bubbler, 600mm packed section

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby RuddyCrazy » Fri Apr 15, 2022 6:50 pm

G'day Outback Ozzie, :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Ok mate you said you live off the grid and yes without a bore water is precious :scared-eek: so the setting up of a cooling system via a rainwater tank is the best solution. The 12 volt flojet pumps are great for this job where in in feed comes from a pipe from the base of the water tank then the pump provides a great flow of water and a simple ebay DC motor controller can be used to dial in the required cooling, I run mine at 40% as the version of the pump does output 17 litres/min I don't need that flow on my shotgun PC. Now the output pipe just goes back into the top of the tank which does make it a closed system and water loss is only there when thing go wrong :angry-banghead:

So mate get on and think about this as someday you will upgrade from the T500 and having a cooling system in place will go a long way to a happy distilling life.

any question mate just start a new thread and we can start from there.

Cheers Bryan
RuddyCrazy
Mentor
 
Posts: 2056
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:36 pm
Location: Not far from Kanmantoo SA
equipment: 4" copper bubbler with a setup for Neutral and a thumper for Whisky and my old 5 litre pot for doing maceration runs and MiniMe the baby pot still also a 1-1/2" pot still and bubbler build happening

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby Outbackozzie » Fri Apr 15, 2022 7:31 pm

Cheers guys,

The issue with water wastage was in the early days, have all the recirc systems setup now.

I time the distilling runs to use the hot water to clean the fermenting barrels.

:text-thankyoublue:
Outbackozzie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2022 12:19 pm
equipment: T500, alembic.

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby Dancing4dan » Tue May 03, 2022 11:05 pm

I knew someone who was present when an “empty” plastic gasoline container exploded near a camp fire. Pretty impressive story. Ten years later she still got emotional telling me the story. Was at a bush party and everyone flew thirty feet and caught fire.

Vaporized fuel is explosive when it ignites. Vaporized alcohol is going to ignite and expand very rapidly.

My understanding has been that a gallon container of air fully saturated with gasoline vapour is equivalent to approximately 18 sticks of dynamite. Alcohol would be less…. But still a big boom.
Dancing4dan
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:45 pm
Location: Alberta Canada
equipment: Pot still modular design that can use a beer keg or a 70 L SS pot. Steam distillation in development.

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby Dancing4dan » Tue May 03, 2022 11:08 pm

Have a look at this. Pretty easy to happen if you have a fire while filling “jugs”

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cl86p3ZjuSM
Dancing4dan
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:45 pm
Location: Alberta Canada
equipment: Pot still modular design that can use a beer keg or a 70 L SS pot. Steam distillation in development.

Re: The forbidden leaving your still unattended

Postby Outbackozzie » Tue May 17, 2022 10:08 pm

That is particularly nasty D4d.
Outbackozzie
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2022 12:19 pm
equipment: T500, alembic.


Return to Safety Discussion



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

x