Cleaning de-oiling new copper mesh

Reflux still design and discussion

Cleaning de-oiling new copper mesh

Postby Arismac » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:48 pm

I recently purchased a roll of copper mesh for my T500 from my favourite on-line supplier. I was warned must be de-oiled before use. No problem used an aborted run from the T500 which after burping and pucking had produced a medium grade ethanol. Immersed the mesh in the ethanol, stirred, stirred again, drained and immersed in fresh batch of ethanol, blow dried with a fan. Oil was dissolved by ethanol in accordance with chemistry text books. Result lovely clean copper mesh.
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Re: Cleaning de-oiling new copper mesh

Postby Arismac » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:23 pm

Just to be certain all the oil was gone I washed in two litres of fresh ethanol a day later and there was a slight discoloration of the liquid. There was also a few small drops of oil on the paper towel where I had stood the roll to dry. So it seems washing a roll of copper at least three times could be required. After all if the oil is apparent in the ethanol it would certainly contaminate the spirit.

As a side issue, the copper mesh has a very strong ethanol smell after washing. Which to my way of thinking proves the coppers capacity to strip nasty flavours/smells from the end product. Complete proof in my opinion of the ability of copper to very much improve the spirit quality. It takes about two hours under a strong fan before the odour is gone from the mesh, after washing it in ethanol.
Last edited by Arismac on Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cleaning de-oiling new copper mesh

Postby Georgio » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:11 pm

I recently cleaned up some new copper mesh myself. I soaked it in 50/50 vinegar/water solution over night. Then one cycle through the dishwasher (without soap/tablet). Then soaked in citric acid solution overnight. Finally through dishwasher again (no soap). Came up schmick and no manufacturing oil in sight :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Cleaning de-oiling new copper mesh

Postby RC Al » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:14 pm

I would think a swim in boiling water and then maybe some very warm water with washing up detergent initially would help no end
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Re: Cleaning de-oiling new copper mesh

Postby Arismac » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:44 pm

All true, and thank you. I guess the point that I was making is that ethanol is a natural emulsifier with oil and water. So instead of washing the oil off the ethanol dissolves the oil. So when I had a 50% - 50% ethanol and water due to a bad still run, by bad/good fortune I had have the perfect oil cleanser/de greaser.
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