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Deposit after emptying 190 tank


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Occasionally I notice some white powder deposit left behind when I empty a tank of 190. Any pointers as to what that might be?

Mash - wheat

Distilled to low wines, then rectified to 190. Diluted with H2O and carbon filtered.

Let sit for 24 hrs. This is when I noticed the deposit. Very little but enough to make me wonder.

Any ideas?

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It is probably unusual from such a high proof, but could your diluted 190 be producing a flock? ie. louching

I have seen a white deposit in the bottom of tanks that have dried out after being used to dilute whisky

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Blue, The tanks are stainless. I clean them simply with a grease cutting soap and water. fully rinsed and dry before filling. Temp before during and after is around 55.

I am not using deionized water when I cut the 190 down to around 100 as I go on to re-distill it into Gin. I use deionized water when I proof a final run for bottling.

As you say Nick, I suspect these are minerals introduced with with the water used to cut it with. They are minimal but I noticed them this last run, dried on the side (and bottom) of the tank where the 190 (cut to 100) had made contact.

I guess its going to be hard to figure out unless I send them to a lab.

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If you are not used deionized water, it is a likely source. If you are not using some sort of inorganic rinse (like citric acid) to help remove the residual detergents and soaps, it could be contributing. The two together is the worst: soaps/detergent residue interacting with calcium produces the white residue in your shower, for example.

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If you are not used deionized water, it is a likely source. If you are not using some sort of inorganic rinse (like citric acid) to help remove the residual detergents and soaps, it could be contributing. The two together is the worst: soaps/detergent residue interacting with calcium produces the white residue in your shower, for example.

Thanks Blue

What would be the best/most efficient tank cleaning process in your opinion? for a smallish tank. (800 litres)

- I currently just clean it with something like a 409 and then rinse that out with water. Attaching a pump for an acid rinse for example would be a fair amount of extra work..

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Thanks Blue

What would be the best/most efficient tank cleaning process in your opinion? for a smallish tank. (800 litres)

- I currently just clean it with something like a 409 and then rinse that out with water. Attaching a pump for an acid rinse for example would be a fair amount of extra work..

Our proofing/storage tanks are about half that size. We clean with PBW and follow with a citric rinse, which is pretty common, when we need to, like when we have had aromatic or oily spirits in there (gin, aquavit).

I would not use general cleaners like 409 on stainless for beverage storage.

Attaching a pump for a rinse in a distillery should be pretty easy, you need pumps all over the place. This also cleans up your pump and lines.

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PBW / citric is tried and true, and a great way to clean. If you wear gloves and eye protection (which you should always do anyway), you can even do such cleaning by hand (though I believe that you'll find that CIP with a pump and sprayball is less labor intensive)

Caustic / acid blend is an equally effective and less expensive route when cleaning stainless, but it is slightly more hazardous.

Call Birko or Loeffler. They'll be happy to help you find a suitable cleaning agent for your specific process... probably not 409...

Nick

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Nick, could you explain pump and sprayball?

Pump is just any liquid pump to recirculate the water with detergent or citric in the tank. A spray ball is a ball that sprays the liquid to cover the interior of the tank. A google is a way to find out very simple information on the net.

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  • 2 months later...

Probably carbonates from the water. Get a sample and perform a basic acid dilution test. Weak Sulphuric or Hydrocloric acid will make any carbonate fizz.

RO your water.

+1 on the likelihood of carbonates from the dilution water - regardless of what the salts are (likely Ca++ and Mg++ carbonates in this case), as (less polar than water) ethanol concentration increases ions in solution will become less soluble, so things that were perfectly soluble in the initial water will precipitate as the solution becomes less polar.

Probably you have high-mineral water, and if your cleaning water is close to saturation it won't be able to effectively dissolve the precipitate. Citric acid is a good suggestion of a cheap divalent cation chelator. Or use better water for dilution.

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