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We are having a problem which has left me scratching my head a bit. The fores, heads, and early parts of the heart are coming over with a pale greenish/yellow tint. It starts most intense at the heads and generally lessens as the run goes on. It looks different than the copper contamination I've seen from other stills, there isn't any blueish and shades more towards yellow. We've done 6 distillations of wine and it has happened the same way each time. We are distilling a 14% abv red wine made from Syrah, the wine has no added SO2 and doesn't present as flawed (no obvious VA,brett, infections). Wine pH is ~3.8 We are running a 4 plate Kothe still; it has a copper boiler, stainless column with copper plates and dephleg, and a stainless steel condenser. The lyne arm to condenser is stainless and has an upward J, so liquid generally drains back to dephleg and not condenser. It is heated very slowly via bain marie and no wine generally boils/foams into the plates. We generally distill brandy in a single pass, using the plates and dephleg with a heads cut from 182 to 175, adjust dephleg down and a hearts cut 165-145. The still is cleaned with 80C water after every distillation and receives a citric acid rinse generally when we switch between products or the copper is looking tired. We've distilled probably 300+ runs of wine on this still without encountering this. I've tried degassing the wine to remove co2, which didn't change anything. I gave the still a through cleaning & citric acid treatment, as well as dissembling the lyne arm to look for corrosion or debris but it looked clean. Adding baking soda to the diluted greenish fraction doesn't alter the color, but after a period of time it appears some of the green drops out and the fraction is clearer when decanted. Today I am going to redistill the greenish portion as well as try filtering it through a .25 micron filter to see what happens but I would appreciate some theories on what's going on.
Just bought my first column! Very exciting, but it's used so it needs a good cleaning as it has quite a bit of build up inside. What's the best way to clean/refurb? Just the usual rinse/caustic/rinse/acid/rinse? I've seen some people recommend scrubbing with steel wool - bad/good idea?