How to Clean a Copper Alambic
If you plan to use your Copper Alembic for the first time, simply distill a few liters of water in your new apparatus. The same can be done if your apparatus has not been used for a long time.
As relentless experience in home distillation enthusiasts shows, the copper surface of the alembic tends to dull over time. The inner part of the cube, above the line of the cube's residue, takes on a dark brown color, and the parts of the alembic installed in the cube, such as the helmet or deflagrator, become even darker and may acquire a bluish tint. Why does this happen? The viscosity of copper and its increased susceptibility to oxidation compared to stainless steel are responsible for it. The cause of this deposit on the copper surface is the oxide of sulfurous compounds that arise during fermentation. If it weren't for copper's ability to react with them, they would go straight into your favorite distillate. Therefore, maintaining all the internal parts of your alembic in its initial cleanliness becomes a crucial factor for the uninterrupted production of high-quality and pure distillates from fruit and grain mashes.
Only a clean copper surface can actively react with sulfurous compounds vaporizing during the distillation process and bind them (oxidize) on its surface.
After each distillation, it is advisable to thoroughly rinse all components of your alembic with hot water. If you notice that the copper surface has become significantly darker, it is recommended to use citric acid to clean the copper from its oxide.
For the most thorough cleaning of surfaces, we recommend using a 3-5% solution of citric acid. To prepare, for example, a 3% solution, add 30 grams of citric acid to 1 liter of water. Fill the cube up to the neck with this solution and leave it for 4-5 hours. The cube with more severe contamination can be left overnight. The same solution, or a new one, can be used to clean the other parts of your moonshine apparatus. The helmet and deflagrator should be set up so that they stably stand with the open part facing upward, and fill them with the citric acid solution. It is easier to place the copper rectification plate in a container slightly larger in diameter than the plate itself to completely fill it with the citric acid solution. To speed up the process of cleaning copper from oxides, you can preheat the water used for the citric acid solution, bring it to a boil, and increase the concentration of the solution to 10%. Despite acquiring a greenish tint, the used citric acid solution can be poured into a container and used later for repeated cleaning
Posted on 2023-12-09 0 207