The quality of distillates produced, whether they be water, essential oils, spirits, or fuel alcohol, is determined by how well distillation equipment is cleaned and maintained. Before utilizing your still for the first time, clean it well to remove any pollutants that may have remained on its surface during construction. Cleaning should be done on a regular basis after each usage, as well as between batches or when transitioning from one spirit to another, especially for commercial distillers. This removes contaminants like sulfuric acid from fermented mash that gather on the surface during distillation.
What are the benefits of cleaning your stills on a regular basis?
When copper is exposed to the environment, it oxidises and the colour fades to a bluish-green hue, finally becoming virtually black. Patina is the natural colour that occurs when copper metal is used over time. Some individuals attempt to keep copper’s natural colour by washing and polishing it on a regular basis or covering it with benzotriazole. Others are unconcerned with the dulling, although this is just true on the exterior.
Stainless steel stills, on the other hand, will immediately display dirt and smudges on their surface. Stainless steel is easy to clean, but it does require periodic washing to maintain it immaculate.
To maintain a safe, sanitary, and suited for generating pure distillates, the inside of a still, whether copper or stainless steel, should be carefully cleaned. Additionally, when copper stills are clean, they are more successful in removing sulphides.
Cleaning Fermentation Equipment-
The distillation setup includes fermentation equipment, which is separate from the still. Because they deal with grain right from harvesting, this equipment tends to contain a lot more dirt and microbes than the still. As a result, fermentation equipment should be cleaned as well as sanitised. Cleaning removes grime and other bigger particles, whereas sanitising kills bacteria that aren’t visible.
Copper stills need to be cleaned-
Cleaning copper stills is necessary for two situations: before using it for the first time after purchase and on a regular basis after use. Your copper still may be cleaned using a vinegar solution, rye flour, and water, or a salt solution. Alternatively, commercial copper cleaners are available.
Keeping your copper mesh clean-
Maintain a regular after-use cleaning routine for the copper mesh, just as you would for the still. The cleanliness of your copper mesh will influence its capacity to remove sulphur compounds from your liquor, which will have a direct impact on its quality.
Still polishing your copper-
Polishing your copper while it’s still on the exterior gives it a brilliant, gleaming finish. While you’re at it, choose a non-toxic polish and stay away from abrasive cleaners at all costs. To avoid your still getting tarnished by the very cleaners that are supposed to remove tarnish, rinse carefully and dry it after using whatever cleaner you choose to give it a shine.
Stills made of stainless steel that has been cleaned-
Stainless steel stills are much simpler to clean, and unlike copper equipment, they do not tarnish with proper maintenance. They will, however, show up even the tiniest smudge or dirt, which may be removed with a simple wipe.
High-quality goods and great-tasting spirits come from well-maintained stills. Copper stills, in particular, are more successful at removing sulphur compounds from your moonshine, resulting in a great-tasting product. Depending on the type and purpose of your still, you’ll want to take special care to clean it properly. Cleaning with warm or hot water is also advised since it removes not only dirt and oil residues but also hidden bacteria. In the end, frequent cleaning and maintenance will keep your distillery in peak operating order for longer.
Alaqua is a distillation equipment supplier along with other processing equipment such as the evaporator, crystallizer, solvent recovery system, spray dryers and heat exchangers. Contact us today to overcome all your industrial processing equipment requirements.