I mix "151" with wintergreen scented rubbing alcohol. It works great!
"Gentlemen, you may smoke"
[QUOTE=Kentos;4290491]Does it not leave the pipe minty tasting? Or does it burn away?[/QUOT
No, it burns away and creates a very pleasant, clean taste. It's basically the same thing as store bought "pipe sweeteners", only homemade and a lot cheaper.
"Gentlemen, you may smoke"
Just use whatever booze you may have on hand that's ~80 proof or higher just to avoid so much water being invited to the party. It's not building a rocket, it's just a pipe. No matter what you use the flavor will fade quick enough anyway.
Oh, this Twinkie thing, it ain't over yet. -Tallahassee
I use 151 Rum myself.... never had an issue.
If you aren't grateful for what you've got, nothing that may be coming down the pike will likely do the trick for you.
Old Jack D. will work just right.
We don't carry any Everclear around here; liquor taxation in Canada is so high that it would be prohibitively expensive to use, anyway. We've got Bacardi 151, but price is the very reason I don't touch the stuff for cleaning my pipes.
I've gotten a couple bottles of vodka as gifts. I've kept them for cleaning my pipes and for filling my homebrew airlocks. Only 40% but it'll do the job...
If I got whiskey or rum I'd save it for personal consumption!
I didn't want the airlock water to infect my batch in case it got sucked inside the carboy somehow. (An accident or major pressure change, perhaps)
The vodka is clean, tasteless, and wouldn't perceivably elevate the alcohol content if it came into contact with the beer. I think it would buy you some time to refill the airlock and avoid contamination even if you ran into trouble...
I've done it every single time and it's worked like a charm so far. It makes me feel better than just using water or water and sanitizer.
I imagine that it could kill some of the yeast if you spilled it into the fermentor before your primary took off, but I've never seen or heard of that happening.
PS: It's probably even better for mead despite the evaporation because you have it sitting around for so long. Just be careful when you have to top it up. I seldom top up my beers though even if I leave them in primary for a month, so you might not have to do it very often.
Last edited by delamain; 07-26-2012 at 11:52 AM.
I think it may depend upon what part of the pipe you are cleaning. Since I have access to Everclear it is not such a problem for me. There are two times I use alcohol when cleaning my pipe: First, after every two or three smokes I take apart my pipe and run some cleaners with alcohol through the plastic stem and then one or two through the shank just to the entry point of the bowl.
Second, much less frequently, kind of depends upon usage, I'll fill up the bowl with salt and add alcohol and let it sit over niight. This reall pulls out the tars in a pipe which has turned sour.
I'd think that when doing #1 you would want to use something high quality since the smoke will be passing through there. I'd reserve my 151 for that. For #2, I'd think any cheap liquor would do, probably a 100 proof cheap vodka would be fine.
A few of my corn cobs are in need of a freshening up. It seems like no matter how much I clean them they are still fairly sour. I think the salt trick is in order.