Never leave a still unattended

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Never leave a still unattended

Postby TheMechwarrior » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:13 pm

There's a couple of "professional" distillers in critical condition at the moment.
http://www.wlwt.com/news/2-hurt-in-dist ... y/32568832

Before photo
Image

After photo
Image

More news:
http://news.yahoo.com/blast-injures-two ... 21505.html

They left the still running overnight and unattended…with no controls.
You can see from pictures around the net they had no idea of safety.

Stay safe,

Mech.
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby WTDist » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:29 pm

Did a google video search and watched a few news clips on this.
it goes to show even professionals may not be professionals. A little concerning :wtf:
I hope no one here leaves their still unattended, if if you do not anymore.

Im wondering what the verdict will be on what caused the failure? :wtf:
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby thedarkmesh » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:09 pm

Apart from fire safety equipment always have one of these handy...

Image
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby MacStill » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:12 pm

What an insurance nightmare that'll be :))
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby 1 2many » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:21 pm

I find it hard to believe that they would leave it running unattended. :wtf:

I can't fathom it, must be more to it. :-B
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby rumdidlydum » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:32 pm

I wonder if they were using gas? I know of one simmilar event where a cold storage used lpg as a refrigrrant and when the alarm went off fireman broke down the door not knowing lpg was used on site and the whole place exploded. 1 fireman lost his life and several badly infured.
Just my thoughts any way.
Check your gear before each run :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby 1 2many » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:36 pm

rumdidlydum wrote:I wonder if they were using gas? I know of one simmilar event where a cold storage used lpg as a refrigrrant and when the alarm went off fireman broke down the door not knowing lpg was used on site and the whole place exploded. 1 fireman lost his life and several badly infured.
Just my thoughts any way.
Check your gear before each run :handgestures-thumbupleft:


I know a guy that used to gas his car AC with lpg, it works but you wouldn't want to crash it. :scared-eek:
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby TheMechwarrior » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:38 pm

The were running propane.
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby 1 2many » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:44 pm

TheMechwarrior wrote:The were running propane.


What for there chilling?
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby Muppet » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:15 pm

There's something strange about that second photo... I see no shrapnel, no broken glass. It doesn't look like an explosion at all. Mabey a fire but not a catastrophic explosion like it being made out. :think:
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby Whiskyaugogo » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:53 pm

It is strange there is no 'bits" everywhere, but have a look at the operation (running this continuous?)

LBL_spencer.jpg
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby WTDist » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:16 pm

What is that setup? Doesnt look too profesional :shock:
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby TheMechwarrior » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:17 pm

I believe the boyz from "Moonshiners" visited his distillery.

He's from a family of bush distillers I believe, he decided to go pro.
It just looks like his distillery is missing a great deal of the fire marshal standards with respect to Ex rated equipment and safe design.

Some things just don't translate well from the bush when scaled up and locked in doors.
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby choppy » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:36 am

I asked my brother to watch my pot still for 30 minutes one day as I had to go to school to collect a sick child, when I got back he was gone - he decided to walk up and check the surf!!

Safe to say he no longer gets asked to watch the still, and no longer gets any samples either.

Leaving an unattended still may have worked for you once, maybe twice, but eventually something will happen and the results could resemble something like that photo.
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby WTDist » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:48 am

My still is never unattended. if i leave the room to do something for the kids then my wife is in the room, ha even though she hates it. loves the booze, hates the obsession :laughing-rolling:
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby Pete8686 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:02 am

Just thought I'd add in my experience for other novice distillers who may not understan the importance of leaving a still unattended. I had many runs on my my boka and following the advice on this forum never left it un attended. After some time and no issues I thought I could get away with doing some housework after changing my cut jars, leaving my still running in the garage heated by a gas burner. One day I went out to discover that one of my water inlet had come off and ethanol vapors were spewing out the top of my column, it had the potential for disaster :angry-banghead: needless to say I have not left it un attended since. Another example was a late night boka run, stupid me fell asleep while my cut jar was filling up. I awoke to find that it had overflowed and run down the table and about 15cm from my burner. What a fucking idiot :violence-smack: I learned my lesson before anything disasterous happened, luckily. So anyone that thinks they know how their still operates and trusts that nothing will go wrong, think again. Anything could happen
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby WalterWhite » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:48 pm

Had an interesting couple of experiences today.
My second run at stilling and it had the potential to go all kinds of wrong!
First off I am using an old very basic still ....

image.jpg


Notice that it doesn't have any kind of seal around the boiler lid!

I decided to pack the bottom section (below marble) with SS scrubbers to see what difference it made compared to my first run! Well it did make a difference ... As soon as my wash came to boil the lid started bouncing around and the wash was boiling over .... I stopped it immediately.

Once cooled I removed 2/3 of the scrubbers and started the run again.

This time it started really well with the fores coming out super quick. Then the heads all coming out at about 4min per 50ml at 85% ... Much better than without the packing.

As my run continued it still seemed to be doing great until I noticed it start to slow. I fiddled with the water cooling and messed around for about 20 mins trying to work out what was going wrong. Then I noticed the very faint bubbling of liquid around the rim of my boiler lid again. That's when I also noticed it was warm and a bit whiffy in the laundry! I opened the door and wafted like mad at the same time as unplugging my boiler.

I'm pretty sure this was dangerous. Even if it wasn't I gave myself a good scare and I was sat watching the thing the whole time!

No more scrubbers for me ... I really need to save like mad and buy a proper rig from FSD!
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby rumdidlydum » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:41 pm

Mate i think its time to park that rig up.
Good that you noticed a problem before the worst case senario.
You need to get a seal for it or let it gather dust :think:
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby WalterWhite » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:18 pm

You are definitely not wrong mate.
I have already emailed Mac about an element and possible attachments for my keg. At least then I will be rid of the boiler with all its leaks!!
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Re: Never leave a still unattended

Postby tipsy » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:40 am

rumdidlydum wrote:Mate i think its time to park that rig up.


:text-+1: You can pay a high price for cheap alcohol.
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