Blue distillate after 2 litres

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Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby Fusto » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:29 pm

Hi all,

I have been enjoying this hobby for years now, and never really had any issues...until now!
I was running a Still Spirits turbo sugar wash (before you say it, I know...it was a gift).
I had 2 batches made exactly the same way, same temp, same size fermenter, same time (6kg sugar).
Fermented out to 0.990.
I ran them both through a t500 reflux (steel and copper packed).
1st batch...no issues.
2nd batch...2 litres perfect, then a massive surge of 3 litres of blue distillate. I dumped the lot just to be safe, and will run the t500 through a cleaning and sacrifice tpw just to make sure it is back to clean.
My question to all is...does anyone know why it puked so much blue?
I have never had this happen before, even with turbo when I was first starting out.
As said, I dumped it all, just wondering what it could have been?
Any advise is greatly appreciated.
Thanks
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby Tesla101 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:06 pm

I usually get a blue-ish colour when I give mine a citric bath. Not sating that's your problem, just saying...
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby Fusto » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:22 pm

Tesla101 wrote:I usually get a blue-ish colour when I give mine a citric bath. Not sating that's your problem, just saying...


Hey Tesla,
I appreciate the reply. I also blue when I clean my copper saddles with citric acid, but for this particular run they were last cleaned 2 full washes before the issue.
The blue I got in the distillate was a full on milky sky blue, I have never seen this particular colour in home brewing.
Got me stumped!
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby bluc » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:54 pm

whats it smell like? i have had slighest blue on strip run from dirty still that cleaned up on spirit run but never full on blue.
Last edited by bluc on Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby Fusto » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:13 am

bluc wrote:whats it smell like? i have had slighest blue on strip run from dirty still that cleaned up on spirit run but never full on blue.


Hey bluc,
No off smells. Just the normal clean smell I would expect from a good run...
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby wynnum1 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:44 am

What is the PH because have read some where that needs to be acidic or could get blue reaction.
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby Sam. » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:59 am

The massive surge part would indicate a puke.

How long was the still sitting between the two runs?

Whats the still packed with?
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby Fusto » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:44 pm

wynnum1 wrote:What is the PH because have read some where that needs to be acidic or could get blue reaction.

Hey wynnum,

It was 5.2 when I started the wash before adding the yeast.
After that I don't normally check the PH again.
With the 2 batches I did they were both 5.2 at the start, and both using 1 packet of Turbo each.
I would not have thought that the PH should have shifted so much on only 1, but since your post I have looked into how final PH might impact on colour, and you are right that it could turn it.
I really hope that was what it was, but as I already dumped it I cannot test...Sounds plausible though, cheers :clap:
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby Fusto » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:51 pm

Sam. wrote:The massive surge part would indicate a puke.

How long was the still sitting between the two runs?

Whats the still packed with?

Hey Sam,

I agree that it has puked, but worse than I have experienced before :puke-huge: :puke-huge:
I was not expecting that at 0.990!

It sat 24 hours between the 2 runs.
I always like to clean and rest the still between runs so as not to risk burning out the element.

The column had copper saddles (https://stillspirits.com/collections/co ... er-saddles) at the top, and Stainless Steel Saddles packed in the rest of it (https://stillspirits.com/collections/co ... el-saddles).
I always pack with the same amount of packing...not too tight but not loose either.

I also had 2 cupfuls of the still spirits distilling conditioner in the wash just in case (As it was a Turbo wash)...
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby Chocko6969 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:51 pm

Did you get any photos?

Chocko
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby MartinCash » Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:37 pm

According to HD there's a pretty strong correlation between blue distillate and the use of turbo yeast in copper stills.
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby Fusto » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:15 pm

Chocko6969 wrote:Did you get any photos?

Chocko

Hey Chocko,

I thought of that 10 seconds after I poured it out :angry-banghead:
Closest I could point to would be the blue milk from the first Star Wars movie.
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby Fusto » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:18 pm

MartinCash wrote:According to HD there's a pretty strong correlation between blue distillate and the use of turbo yeast in copper stills.

Hey MartinCash,

Another reason why I switched to TPW years ago... ;-)
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby BPR2011 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:06 pm

Out of curiosity, did you happen to add sodium bicarbonate to the wash?
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby Wearthefoxhat » Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:31 am

BPR has a good point. A high ph can bring copper salts out of solution to be visible in a liquid. This can take on a blueish or muddy look. From memory I think copper sulphates shouldn't exceed 2 ppm for consumption. Anything over 1 PPM can come out of solution with a quick PH change to the upside. If you are going to throw it out perhaps throw in some citric acid and see what happens. If it dissapears then I think it is likely copper sulphate .
Do you know what your local water supply consists of?
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby Fusto » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:35 am

BPR2011 wrote:Out of curiosity, did you happen to add sodium bicarbonate to the wash?

Hey BPR2011,

Not for this one
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby Fusto » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:39 am

Wearthefoxhat wrote:BPR has a good point. A high ph can bring copper salts out of solution to be visible in a liquid. This can take on a blueish or muddy look. From memory I think copper sulphates shouldn't exceed 2 ppm for consumption. Anything over 1 PPM can come out of solution with a quick PH change to the upside. If you are going to throw it out perhaps throw in some citric acid and see what happens. If it dissapears then I think it is likely copper sulphate .
Do you know what your local water supply consists of?

Hey Wearthefoxhat,

I already threw it out, so cannot check.
That being said, local water is 7.2 and I always get it to 5.2 prior to ferment (With Citric acid).
I think this must have been the issue, so many thanks to BPR and yourself :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby BPR2011 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:15 pm

I can't recall the exact reaction, but I believe bicarbonate blue is different to what you experienced. The bicarbonate reaction is related to a reaction with diammonium phosphate when the solution goes alkaline and the sodium bicarbonate (or carbonate) is added to the mix, forming a blue solution that has an odour of ammonia. Probably a copper carbonate in there somewhere, some liberated ammonia, etc. Amazing how little copper you need though to form a blue solution.
Last edited by BPR2011 on Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby BPR2011 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:24 pm

Also, if you want to repeat the experiment to see the odour I'm talking about, just put a teaspoon of DAP in a cup and add boiling water. The smell will knock your socks off. (DAP degrades to Ammonia above 70C).
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Re: Blue distillate after 2 litres

Postby BPR2011 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:29 pm

Wearthefoxhat wrote:BPR has a good point. A high ph can bring copper salts out of solution to be visible in a liquid. This can take on a blueish or muddy look. From memory I think copper sulphates shouldn't exceed 2 ppm for consumption. Anything over 1 PPM can come out of solution with a quick PH change to the upside. If you are going to throw it out perhaps throw in some citric acid and see what happens. If it dissapears then I think it is likely copper sulphate .
Do you know what your local water supply consists of?


Yes, exactly right, it takes sweet bugger all (definitely a valid scientific unit of measurement in Australia) copper to throw a fair bit of blue once it forms a salt.
Last edited by BPR2011 on Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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