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Irritant while distilling brandy


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Hi all,

Just wanted to pick your brain.

So I'm distilling some Cabernet wine into brandy for port, and I just realized that the persistant cough that I am experiencing, I also experienced last year around the same time, doing a similar project.

I know the wine we brought in had 30 ppm free so2, but I neutralized it with h2o2.

I'm thinking though that maybe there is some kind of irritant in the air while I'm distilling... When I cough, I get a kind of metalic/tinny taste in my mouth.

Just wondering if anyone else had exprienced anything similar

Thanks much

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its also entirely possible that I just have a throat irritation... and whatever the fumes are, regardless of base material, are exacerbating it....

But the timing seems suspicious to me.

I only have a few more days of it, so i suppose ill see if it goes away when im done. the cough does not occur when im running vodka or gin

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I think you'll find, if you were to measure the FSO2 of your distillate you'll find SO2. We worked with some Muscat last year that needed to be H2O2'ed. Even with the addition, we could smell it across the distillate as it came off, albeit at a very low rate. Ended up having to add more to the distillate, water back and re-run.

Our experience was that the basic calculation rate is not enough to convert all the SO2 into Sulfuric. The pH shift along with the addition of heat, plus the relatively short time between peroxide addition and distillation, ment that we had to overshoot our H2O2 addition to meet our target.

Our last large run of Chenin Blanc had only a slight residual of FSO2 measured through Aeration-Oxidation. Measured at 1-3ppm. We treated each 100 gallon charge with 30mL of 35% concentration H2O2. We tossed the peroxide in right before shutting the door and turning on the agitator and steam. Worked brilliantly.

You know something just occurred to me. We did a run a while back, in fact it was while we were trying to dial in an H2O2 add, we way over-shot. The fumes that came off during distillation were suffocating, but in the weirdest way. We had to kill the steam and evacuate the facility to let it air out.

However, the metallic taste you describe in your mouth after coughing sounds like residual SO2, not this other phenomenon.

Good Luck


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