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Warning If You Home Distill


howlsn
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This may be useless information unless you, or intend to, home brew whiskeys (calledl distilling I have since learnt from initially posting) etc. & have aquariums.

I was away for most of yesterday & when i returned I found a slight scum starting on the top of my water in 2 tanks. I wasn't sure what it was & decided to get up early today & waterchange as it was that time of week.

To my horror 1st thing next morning all aquariums including my yabbie tank in 4 seperate rooms & fed different things & different water conditions (so the cause wasn't anything like that) were all soapy slimy thick water with a few mm of scum on the surface & fish were distressed. I rushed around doing 80% water changes & will be doing changes daily as it is really hard to clear (short of doing a complete clean which I don't want to).

The boys in the household decided to "cook down" their brew & it seems the fumes react to aquarium water even when exposed even in small doses with aquariums with lids on but not sealed (aquariums 2-3rooms away well ventilated house).

Edited by howlsn
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I used to home brew, and from what I know of the process I cannot think of any way a home brew could contaminate fish tanks to that extent. During the mash stage, all that's being "cooked" is carbohydrate (in the form of sugars), water and hops, and there aren't any fumes to speak of. Yeast isn't added until the brew goes into the fermenting vessel, and then the fumes are primarily carbon dioxide. For fermentation to take place, yeast has to have a source of sugar/starch to feed on, and you wouldn't expect to find this in measurable amounts in aquarium water. (If there was significant sugar in tank water, tanks would be fermenting all the time because there are always airborne wild yeasts around). I suspect that, whatever the cause of the nasty contamination in your tanks, it could not have been simply the result of home brewing -- unless the boys of the household decided to offer a sample of their wares to the fish ;D

Edited by VickiPS
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No there is absolutely a reaction just through fumes from the cooking down process I experiemented!, may depend on what your doing (from someone that knows nothing about it..different types/processes etc.) The cooking down was the separation of alcohol of the fermented brew which fermenting did no harm (brewing whiskey etc. where it is separated in a contraption that your eyes water from the fumes...) & it does affect the water as I remembered water in a sole single tank I had previously up the other end of the house about 3mths ago that went exactly the same & I couldn't undertsand it at the time so I marked it on my waterchange notes next to the tank incase it occurred again I could find a pattern....looked at the date the boys cooked the last batch down... guess what dates matched exactly they cooked it that morning & tank was soapy that night, didn't happen again until they cooked down yesterday & by last night/thismorning my tanks were soapy & I never have water trouble! They were cooking down the remainder thisafternoon so I sealed my tanks with gladwrap & masking tape. I took a glass of clean unaffected tank water from a growout tank in my shed & putting in the same room on a shelf, by tonight it is cloudy & milky! thats too much of a coincidence even if the reason can't be explained. It's too much of a coincidence to take a risk IMO as its no fun trying to waterchange all tanks at once cos the fish are distressed & its very hard to get rid of it.

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The cooking down was the separation of alcohol of the fermented brew which fermenting did no harm (brewing whiskey etc. where it is separated in a contraption that your eyes water from the fumes...)

OOOOOOoooooh, you mean "home distilling"!! Not the same as "home brewing" at all, at all. :lol::lol:

I think I'd be more worried about the fire and explosion hazard (not to mention risk of poisoning oneself with the end product, and the fact that it's not actually legal) than funny scum in the fish tank.

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