Hands-On Brewing Cheat Sheet

June 17, 2008

backyard biodieselThanks to everyone who came out to the Hands-On Brewing class last weekend in Palmer. The class was full, and there was a lot of stuff to go over. In a room full of beakers and graduated cylinders a new crop of biodiesel brewers tested Salmon oil, Mill and Feed’s oil, and my personal supply of cherry-picked deep-fryer Canola oil. The layout of the room made the board hard to see, so I’ve put together the basic directions here for folks to remember:

Always wear safety equipment. Don’t breath or touch this stuff. Biodiesel is nontoxic after you’ve washed the methanol and glycerine/lye out, not before.

For the reference solution:

  1. add 1000ml distilled water
  2. add 1 gram NaOH or KOH

For the titration:

  1. add 10 ml isopropyl alcohol
  2. add 4 drops phenolphthalein indicator solution
  3. “blank” the jar with a few drops -OH reference solution – swirl and add until the purple stays
  4. add 1 ml oil (be exact)
  5. measure 10 ml -OH reference solution – swirl and add until the purple stays.
  6. note how many ml -OH reference solution you used.

This will be the grams (Na or K)-OH added on top of the catalyst amount to strip the free fatty acids.

For the test batch:

  1. warm your oil to 135 degrees F. (methanol boils at 148F – don’t overheat!)
  2. add 220ml methanol to methanol/catalyst jar
  3. add the catalyst – 5 grams NaOH or 8 grams KOH plus the stripping grams from the titration – to the methanol.
  4. swirl the methanol/catalyst mixture until it dissolves.
  5. add 1000ml warm oil to a 2 liter soda bottle.
  6. add methanol/catalyst solution to the soda bottle.
  7. shake for one minute, then shake one minute every 15 minutes for an hour.

For more detailed information check out www.biodieselcommunity.org

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