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Is there anywhere in North America or Canada that makes fully copper pot stills along the lines of this guy outfit?


AlembicGymnast

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He probably went with Forsyths: https://forsyths.com/distillation/pot-stills/

 

US Copper still makers:

Vendome: https://vendomecopper.com/

Cleveland Coppersmiths: https://www.clevelandcoppersmithing.com/

Confederate: (can't find a website other than facebook)

Colonel Vaughn: http://www.coppermoonshinestills.com/

There's more but those are the ones I remember off the top of my head. Colonel Vaughn will probably be the least expensive. Vendome will be the most expensive.

 

 

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You don’t want a full copper pot still. I have one. It’s a b to clean. Especially if you are newer to operating. TM you want a stainless kettle that can be washed with caustic and stainless condenser. If you’re looking at a descending pitch on your lyne arm you’re gonna want that stainless too. 
 

have Paul make it for you. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Most spirits need copper contact in the still. If built from all stainless you will most likely need to put a lot of copper inside, main reason is to react with sulfur that would otherwise cause a turnipy note

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I can build an all stainless still, by outward appearance, with my copper catalyzers inside that will result in spirits with no detectable sulfur taste.  In fact my catalyzers in a stainless still, will have interaction with more vapor than an all copper pot still with no plates or copper packing, because my catalyzers insure that 100% of the ethanol vapor comes in contact with copper.  In an all copper pot still with no copper plates, packing or catalyzers, you never get 100% copper vapor interaction. 

Years ago, I designed 2 types of copper catalyzers for my stills.   I call the first type defuser plate assemblies.  They actually serve 2 other purposes aside from catalyzing sulfur  They are stacks of copper perf plates spaced 1/8" apart with the perforations offset one from the other so that the vapor has to wind its way through the plates insuring 100% interaction with copper.  They are removable and easy to clean.  The 2nd type are copper bowls that go upside down just underneath the column caps.  There is around 1/2" of space between the outer edge of the bowls and the inside diameter of the columns.  The vapor hits the inside of the bowl and must roll down  and up and around the sides of the upside down bowls to get passed and into the line arm. Each of my stills have multiple catalyzers.  If the customer wants an all copper still we still put in all of the catalyzers. Our stripping stills have the same copper catalyzers listed above and if the customer is distilling a high sulfer wash, we put chopped up rolled copper scrap as well as rashig rings made from our scrap copper tubing and pipe, above a copper perf plate in the stainless stripping column.  We put a layer 8" or more in depth in the stainless stripping columns so the vapor must wind its way through that before going on to interact with the other catalyzers.  These multiple catalyzers allow our customers to have stainless pots that are easily cleaned in stills that remove more sulfur than if the pot where all copper without catalyzers. 

If you want copper interaction in the liquid mash or wash, that's no problem as we have catalyzers for the pot as well if you want them.

The proof of course is in the spirits produced by our stills.  Our customers with stainless still pots have won many tastings against distillers using all copper stills and or stills with all copper pots.  

Us using stainless pots, stainless dephlegmators, stainless line arms and stainless final condensers with internal copper catalyzers verses all copper stills, saves the customer a huge amount of money at the time of purchase and it allows for much easier cleaning and the sulfur removal is as good or better.

However if the customer wants an all copper still we are glad to build it.

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On 2/21/2021 at 6:59 PM, Southernhighlander said:

I can build an all stainless still, by outward appearance, with my copper catalyzers inside that will result in spirits with no detectable sulfur taste.

I will support Paul.

The use of "catalysts" (special devices) inside the steel tank is the best price-quality option.

From the point of view of Chemistry and Physics, in order for chemical reactions to occur with maximum efficiency, it is necessary to provide the largest possible contact surface of the substance-catalyst, and to provide a temperature higher than the "temperature of the beginning of catalytic reactions". That is why catalyst inserts must be in the path of alcohol-water vapor at temperatures above 70 Celsius. Copper does not work below 70 degrees Celsius.

The surface area of classical copper (completely made of copper) distillers is inferior to catalyst inserts in terms of interaction area and has a very high cost.

If we talk about a further increase in the efficiency of copper, and even at low temperatures, then we should work not with copper surfaces, but with "molecular" (colloidal) copper in solutions inside the tank. This makes it possible to increase the contact surface with the copper catalyst by a factor of hundreds and to work at temperatures below 70 Celsius (vacuum distillation).

But this is a more complex technology.

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On 2/25/2021 at 9:04 AM, Alex_Sor said:

I will support Paul.

The use of "catalysts" (special devices) inside the steel tank is the best price-quality option.

From the point of view of Chemistry and Physics, in order for chemical reactions to occur with maximum efficiency, it is necessary to provide the largest possible contact surface of the substance-catalyst, and to provide a temperature higher than the "temperature of the beginning of catalytic reactions". That is why catalyst inserts must be in the path of alcohol-water vapor at temperatures above 70 Celsius. Copper does not work below 70 degrees Celsius.

The surface area of classical copper (completely made of copper) distillers is inferior to catalyst inserts in terms of interaction area and has a very high cost.

If we talk about a further increase in the efficiency of copper, and even at low temperatures, then we should work not with copper surfaces, but with "molecular" (colloidal) copper in solutions inside the tank. This makes it possible to increase the contact surface with the copper catalyst by a factor of hundreds and to work at temperatures below 70 Celsius (vacuum distillation).

But this is a more complex technology.

Sorry my redneck ass tryna keep up with your lab dwelling ass (that was meant as a compliment). Is that a copper liquid solution or is it a special type of solid that you steep in the kettle? Cheers

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2 hours ago, SlickFloss said:

Sorry my redneck ass tryna keep up with your lab dwelling ass (that was meant as a compliment). Is that a copper liquid solution or is it a special type of solid that you steep in the kettle? Cheers

A little information 🙂
Colloidal copper.
This is one of the main trace elements that are involved in the vital processes of the human body. It is one of the components of human blood and plays a very important role in the oxidation of vitamin C. Among non-ionic colloids, copper is today the strongest fungicide and disinfectant.
This is the first :)

Materials in an ultrafine state (dimensions of the order nanometers) have specific properties, which are due to the peculiarities of the formation of the structure and the presence of a large number of atoms located on the surface of the nanomaterial.
Due to the uncompensation of the bonds of atoms located in the near-surface layers of nanosized particles, the symmetry of the distribution of forces acting on them is violated. This leads to an increase in the free energy of their surface in comparison with macro- and micro-sized materials and, as a consequence, to the intensification of adsorption processes, ion and atomic exchanges, etc.
This is the main thing 🙂

Colloidal solutions. What is it?
Cold morning fog settling on the ground, a column of smoke over the fire, suspended particles in the water of rivers and lakes - we have seen all this many times. This is the "colloidal solution".
We are constantly surrounded by dispersed systems.

Applied to distillation :)
Colloidal copper solution must be added to the distillation tank. For a tank in a 100-200 liters, only about 1 gram of colloidal copper is enough.
Because of the huge total surface area of copper particles, they perform hundreds and thousands of times better than your copper trays inside copper columns.

Colloidal copper works in the tank itself already when the mixture (mash) is heated. And prevents the stench from evaporating from the tank.

There are several simple ways to make fine copper particles. For example electrolytic.

SlickFloss - don't consider yourself unworthy or stupid :) just because you don't know something. In the 21st century, Knowledge is available to everyone. Don't be afraid to ask :)
You and I are the same - I, too, two years ago did not know about it (colloidal copper), simply because I did not ask myself the question "how to remove odors during vacuum distillation at temperatures below 70 Celsius." I was looking for a solution and I found it. A simple solution.

I don't like the word "redneck". I believe that people who work in the field or on a farm deserve no less respect than those who launch rockets to the moon. 

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3 hours ago, Alex_Sor said:

A little information 🙂
Colloidal copper.
This is one of the main trace elements that are involved in the vital processes of the human body. It is one of the components of human blood and plays a very important role in the oxidation of vitamin C. Among non-ionic colloids, copper is today the strongest fungicide and disinfectant.
This is the first :)

Materials in an ultrafine state (dimensions of the order nanometers) have specific properties, which are due to the peculiarities of the formation of the structure and the presence of a large number of atoms located on the surface of the nanomaterial.
Due to the uncompensation of the bonds of atoms located in the near-surface layers of nanosized particles, the symmetry of the distribution of forces acting on them is violated. This leads to an increase in the free energy of their surface in comparison with macro- and micro-sized materials and, as a consequence, to the intensification of adsorption processes, ion and atomic exchanges, etc.
This is the main thing 🙂

Colloidal solutions. What is it?
Cold morning fog settling on the ground, a column of smoke over the fire, suspended particles in the water of rivers and lakes - we have seen all this many times. This is the "colloidal solution".
We are constantly surrounded by dispersed systems.

Applied to distillation :)
Colloidal copper solution must be added to the distillation tank. For a tank in a 100-200 liters, only about 1 gram of colloidal copper is enough.
Because of the huge total surface area of copper particles, they perform hundreds and thousands of times better than your copper trays inside copper columns.

Colloidal copper works in the tank itself already when the mixture (mash) is heated. And prevents the stench from evaporating from the tank.

There are several simple ways to make fine copper particles. For example electrolytic.

SlickFloss - don't consider yourself unworthy or stupid :) just because you don't know something. In the 21st century, Knowledge is available to everyone. Don't be afraid to ask :)
You and I are the same - I, too, two years ago did not know about it (colloidal copper), simply because I did not ask myself the question "how to remove odors during vacuum distillation at temperatures below 70 Celsius." I was looking for a solution and I found it. A simple solution.

I don't like the word "redneck". I believe that people who work in the field or on a farm deserve no less respect than those who launch rockets to the moon. 

I appreciate the respect! And the lengthy answer! Where I’m from that term isn’t used pejoratively it’s just what a lot of us are

Out of curiosity what type of odor were you originally trying to tie up? Im running a lot of this one high sulfur high lipid botanical macerate under vac and I’m looking for a little more aromatic clarity I’m wondering if this could be the answer 
 


 

Cheers

slick

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Wine makers deploy copper (usually copper sulfate) with the same intent as copper in the still, to deal with reductive / sulfur aromas. However, I believe there can be an issue with elevated copper levels in the effluent. 

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On 2/27/2021 at 3:17 AM, SlickFloss said:

I appreciate the respect! And the lengthy answer! Where I’m from that term isn’t used pejoratively it’s just what a lot of us are

Out of curiosity what type of odor were you originally trying to tie up? Im running a lot of this one high sulfur high lipid botanical macerate under vac and I’m looking for a little more aromatic clarity I’m wondering if this could be the answer

To be honest :) I personally do not understand at all the desire of people to use copper for catalysts.

Copper gives off a "bouquet" of medium ethers, I have seen this many times on chromatograms. As soon as copper is used, it does not matter - like plates, like an alambic, or like tubes of electric heaters inside the tank, so the parameters "average ethers" in the chromatogram will always be one and a half to two times higher. Higher compared to pure steel tank and heaters.

The most difficult thing in all this is that each person is very sensitive to "average ethers" in his own way.

To taste - I would argue a lot with someone who loves "tube copper shade" 🙂

I love vodka :)

This is a pure product that doesn't cause a hangover :) if you don't drink a lot. And all these variants of moonshine and tinctures - always contain whole "bunches" of impurities, moreover, of an uncontrolled composition (copper simply gives a set of impurities instead of sulfur and aldehydes instead of some of the alcohols).

Therefore, if you have special requirements for taste, you need to experiment.

In a vacuum, you need to understand that the higher the vacuum (closer to -99kPa), the more ethers are released into the final product without change. For example, the taste (and smell) of cereal mash (rye and wheat) will run well in the first third of the distillation if you are distilling under high vacuum.

But if you have rotten grain, then the smell will not be very good ... Bad grain is best distilled into pure alcohol, and then used for tinctures.

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On 2/27/2021 at 5:54 PM, JustAndy said:

Wine makers deploy copper (usually copper sulfate) with the same intent as copper in the still, to deal with reductive / sulfur aromas. However, I believe there can be an issue with elevated copper levels in the effluent. 

My advice to you: if you want to work (preserve) grain and fruit aromas (esters) and tastes, then you need to apply vacuum distillation.

No other distillation methods will give such capabilities and product purity from fusel oils and "stink".

One of my friends lives in Georgia (Country on the Black Sea, not a state in the USA) he has a large harvest of tangerines every year. He makes tangerine mash, and then distills it. When I sold him my vacuum distillation controller and told him how to get flavors, he got amazing spirits :)

In Georgia, distillers compete to make a purer alcohol :) they love wine and they are not interested in moonshine-whiskey :) (they explained to me that way).

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The middle esters are formed at elevated (more than 40 ° C) temperatures and when acidic esters are heated.

The middle esters are insoluble in water, but readily soluble in hydrocarbons and organic solvents. Under the action of water or an alkali solution, the middle esters can hydrolyze to form first alcohol and alkyl sulfuric acid, and then alcohol and sulfuric acid

🙂

Esters of wines and cognacs are mainly represented by esters - products of substitution of hydrogen atoms of OH groups in mineral or carboxylic acids by hydrocarbon radicals.

They (esters) are involved in the formation of the aroma and taste of wines and cognacs. Certain high molecular weight esters are also involved in the formation of haze in beverages. Esters of lower and middle representatives of aliphatic acids and alcohols are colorless volatile liquids, often with a pleasant odor. Esters with the smallest number of carbon atoms are poorly soluble in water, but well in organic solvents. High molecular weight ethers are insoluble in water.

Esters can undergo saponification (hydrolysis) to form the corresponding alcohol and acid. They are capable of transesterification (alcoholysis) in an acidic environment in the presence of a large amount of alcohol. When interacting with ammonia and its derivatives (ammonolysis reaction), they form amides.

For example, with the action of ammonia on ethyl acetate, acetamide is formed, which gives the wine a "mouse" tone. The esters that make up the essential oils of raw materials for winemaking have little effect on the aroma of the resulting wines and cognacs, with the exception of methyl and ethyl esters of anthranilic acid, which have an odor that determines the aroma of Vitis labrusca grapes, as well as wines made from it.

Esters that affect the aroma of wines and cognacs are formed mainly as a result of alcoholic fermentation. They are mainly represented by ethyl esters of aliphatic acids with the number of carbon atoms from 1 to 12, as well as acetates of aliphatic alcohols from 1 to 12 (with an even number of carbon atoms) and cyclic (3-phenylethyl alcohol.

The variety of esters of wines and cognacs is due to the large number of possible combinations between alcohols and acids. Their number is several dozen, and the concentration of ether is from fractions of a milligram to several milligrams per cubic decimeter (1 dm3 = 1 liter). Ethyl acetate is formed in the greatest amount. In wines there are also acid and medium esters of hydroxy acids and polybasic acids, such as , for example, lactic, succinic, malic, tartaric, etc. Their content in young wine is about 50mg/dm3, and after aging - up to 100-400mg/dm3.

Acetates of furancarboxylic and terpenic acids have also been found. involving the use of yeast, you can achieve an increased content of some esters. egg wine materials in the presence of yeast forms 50-100mg/dm3 of ethyl esters of nylon, caprylic, capric and lauric acids, which determine the "soapy" tone characteristic of some types of cognac. The same esters, as well as ethyl linoleate, etc., are released from yeast during autolysis and are characteristic of champagne.

Esters of higher fatty acids and alcohols with carbon atoms up to 32, as well as esters of glycerol and sterols, which are part of grape waxes, yeast lipids and oak wood, can participate in the formation of turbidity in wines and cognacs due to poor solubility in water alcoholic environment, especially when cooling. Gas-liquid chromatography and other methods are used to study the composition of ethers.

🙂

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/2/2021 at 12:13 AM, Alex_Sor said:

The middle esters are formed at elevated (more than 40 ° C) temperatures and when acidic esters are heated.

The middle esters are insoluble in water, but readily soluble in hydrocarbons and organic solvents. Under the action of water or an alkali solution, the middle esters can hydrolyze to form first alcohol and alkyl sulfuric acid, and then alcohol and sulfuric acid

🙂

Esters of wines and cognacs are mainly represented by esters - products of substitution of hydrogen atoms of OH groups in mineral or carboxylic acids by hydrocarbon radicals.

They (esters) are involved in the formation of the aroma and taste of wines and cognacs. Certain high molecular weight esters are also involved in the formation of haze in beverages. Esters of lower and middle representatives of aliphatic acids and alcohols are colorless volatile liquids, often with a pleasant odor. Esters with the smallest number of carbon atoms are poorly soluble in water, but well in organic solvents. High molecular weight ethers are insoluble in water.

Esters can undergo saponification (hydrolysis) to form the corresponding alcohol and acid. They are capable of transesterification (alcoholysis) in an acidic environment in the presence of a large amount of alcohol. When interacting with ammonia and its derivatives (ammonolysis reaction), they form amides.

For example, with the action of ammonia on ethyl acetate, acetamide is formed, which gives the wine a "mouse" tone. The esters that make up the essential oils of raw materials for winemaking have little effect on the aroma of the resulting wines and cognacs, with the exception of methyl and ethyl esters of anthranilic acid, which have an odor that determines the aroma of Vitis labrusca grapes, as well as wines made from it.

Esters that affect the aroma of wines and cognacs are formed mainly as a result of alcoholic fermentation. They are mainly represented by ethyl esters of aliphatic acids with the number of carbon atoms from 1 to 12, as well as acetates of aliphatic alcohols from 1 to 12 (with an even number of carbon atoms) and cyclic (3-phenylethyl alcohol.

The variety of esters of wines and cognacs is due to the large number of possible combinations between alcohols and acids. Their number is several dozen, and the concentration of ether is from fractions of a milligram to several milligrams per cubic decimeter (1 dm3 = 1 liter). Ethyl acetate is formed in the greatest amount. In wines there are also acid and medium esters of hydroxy acids and polybasic acids, such as , for example, lactic, succinic, malic, tartaric, etc. Their content in young wine is about 50mg/dm3, and after aging - up to 100-400mg/dm3.

Acetates of furancarboxylic and terpenic acids have also been found. involving the use of yeast, you can achieve an increased content of some esters. egg wine materials in the presence of yeast forms 50-100mg/dm3 of ethyl esters of nylon, caprylic, capric and lauric acids, which determine the "soapy" tone characteristic of some types of cognac. The same esters, as well as ethyl linoleate, etc., are released from yeast during autolysis and are characteristic of champagne.

Esters of higher fatty acids and alcohols with carbon atoms up to 32, as well as esters of glycerol and sterols, which are part of grape waxes, yeast lipids and oak wood, can participate in the formation of turbidity in wines and cognacs due to poor solubility in water alcoholic environment, especially when cooling. Gas-liquid chromatography and other methods are used to study the composition of ethers.

🙂

There is a chemistry error in your explanation. When esters undergo saponification (base hydrolysis), the products produced are an alcohol and a salt of the ester, not an alcohol and an acid like in an acid hydrolysis. Like if you mixed sodium hydroxide with oleic acid in water, you'd end up with glycerol and sodium oleate (a soap), or sodium hydroxide and ethyl acetate gives you sodium acetate (technically a soap, but not really, since it doesn't have any hydrophobicity). Just thought you should know.

Also, I saw you talking about copper, and I figured you might like to read this study done by some fellows at the Scotch Whisky Research Institute, and published in the Journal of the Institute of Brewing. It's free to read, and pretty enlightening on why one would want to have copper in their still.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/j.2050-0416.2011.tb00450.x

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What I wrote was taken by me from textbooks that are basic (and time-tested for tens of years) for training Chemical Engineers in the former USSR. In addition, I have on hand chromatograms of various processes for obtaining alcohol. In particular, I have repeatedly compared the results of obtaining alcohol with the use of copper in pipes and in the jacket of the heater.

You are writing about an ideal process that contains only one kind of pure substances, but I am writing about the entire distillation process, there are no pure substances inside the tank and the composition of the mixture cannot be reduced to pure school organic chemistry. Let me remind you that often the taste of whiskey is created by elements that are very harmful to health 🙂 for example, creosote (contained in the material of oak barrels fired by fire), so let's separate the ideal Chemistry of a school laboratory and the taste Chemistry of real alcoholic products.

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