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  2. Generally, legally I mean, Legal-for-Trade is typically determined by your State Division of Weights and Measures. Usually, just having an NTEP scale in place doesn't automatically mean you are Legal-for-Trade - this usually requires state level registration and regular inspection. How many distilleries are registering their scales with their State, and having state inspectors come out to provide a Weights and Measures seal on a regular basis? The CFR we are talking about are all Federal requirements, Legal-for-Trade is a State requirement. Not to mention, the rules for Legal-for-Trade will differ, sometimes SIGNIFICANTLY from state to state.
  3. This is the scale we have been using for the past few years: They also have a non-NTEP version for a few dollars less: The product description includes the following helpful info: 1. Do you need a Legal For Trade scale? (NTEP approved) This should be the first thing you need to check. If you are running a recycling center or any sell or buy by weight business, you need a Legal For Trade scale. If you use a non-NTEP scale in a Legal For Trade application, your scale may be confiscated by the local Weigh & Measurement officer. If you are not sure please consult with our specialist at 855-697-2253. NTEP is a national certification for the products in legal application. If the scale is NTEP approved, it is legal for trade. If you are in TX, RI, ND or VT, you don’t have to use an NTEP scale, however your scale will still be checked by your local Weigh and Measurement. If your scale doesn’t meet the standard, a red tag will be placed on your scale. You won’t be able to use your scale until it passes the re-check. If you have a few more dollars to spend, it is always a good choice to buy an NTEP scale – even if it is not required by law in your application. An NTEP scale model has been tested by NCWM through their official labs before the certification is issued. NTEP floor scales have to use NTEP load cells and an NTEP indicator. Both components must come with temperature compensation. That’s why NTEP scales are usually more expensive. A well- built non-NTEP scale will also provide great performance in accuracy while NTEP ones can give you a little more confidence. The decision is yours.
  4. Today
  5. Call up one of the suggestions above, buy a NTEP scale - not because you need NTEP, but because you want the quality associated with it, and the confidence of knowing you can trust it. If you can spring for it, go 1000lb x 0.2lb - as it will give you a little bit more accuracy when working with smaller volumes. Just keep in mind 19.186 - which means you can't weigh 10 wine gallons or less on the 1000lb x 0.2lb (or 0.5lb) scale. §19.186 Package scales. Proprietors must ensure that scales used to weigh packages are tested at least every 6 months and whenever they are adjusted or repaired. However, if a scale is not used during a 6-month period, it is only necessary to test the scale prior to its next use. Scales used to weigh packages that hold 10 wine gallons or less must indicate weight in ounces or hundredths of a pound. And keep in mind the definition of package: Package. A cask or barrel or similar wooden container, or a drum or similar metal container.
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  7. Everything you will end up needing, molasses, grain, barrels, equipment, bottles, all comes freight. What might seem like a short cut now may hinder your ability to even operate at some efficiency. Hard to meet the freight elsewhere when the still is running. Oh right, he's gonna be there between 10-2. Sure. Or u have to spend time moving things again cause you can't get them delivered, not to mention a fork lift here and a fork lift there. Here a fork there a fork everywhere a fu#% f%#k. Oh then when you have to ship something. Like pallets of booze to your distributor. Think it through real good Pretty easy to blow through several pallets of any fermentable in a month. Even at 100 g batches. With all the friggin cleaning that needs to be done, I'm pissed when simple things like a delivery, take all day.
  8. Thank you James. That answer is exactly why I asked the question. CFR doesnt specify what they want for a scale other than .5 lb minimum for 1000lb. So what to do
  9. Yesterday
  10. Slippery slope. More information than anyone probably wants or cares about. I like weighing and can't fathom doing anything other by weight. Spirits by volume? You are wasting your time and are highly inaccurate. The scale probably doesn't need to be NTEP, but it should be. Non-NTEP scales generally can't be calibrated, and the TTB wants your measuring equipment calibrated. Given this is used for tax determination, it could be arguable that this is a value exchange and NTEP should apply. Dunbar probably has a good handle on this. NTEP scales are typically higher quality than non-NTEP scales. It doesn't mean a non-NTEP scale isn't good, it can be better than an NTEP scale, but generally, NTEP is there for a reason. Generally you don't make a junk NTEP scale, but lots of people make junk non-NTEP scales. Non-NTEP scales are typically sold based on readability - the display accuracy, the number of digits on the scale display. However, you need to realize that showing more numbers on the display doesn't mean the scale is accurate to the digit of the display. This is a massive misconception. Just because the display shows it, don't mean it's so. You could make a 1000 pound scale with a display that reads 999.99 - but it doesn't mean that the scale is accurate to 0.01 pounds. In fact, you have no idea at all if the scale is accurate to that level, because there are no rules to mandate that it is. The numbers after the decimal point could be complete nonsense. You think it's highly accurate because it shows more numbers, but that ain't the case. That's where NTEP comes in. Among other things, NTEP defines the number of "DIVISIONS" that the scale is capable of accurately resolving. Legal for Trade means that the the display accuracy is equal to the accuracy that is defined by the division in one of these classes. NTEP also means that the scale is independently verified to read accurately across a range of voltages, temperatures, and other operating conditions. NTEP CLASS I - 100,000 Divisions and UP (Precision Laboratory Use) NTEP CLASS II - 10,000 to 100,000 Divisions (Lab Use, Precious Metals, etc) NTEP CLASS III - 1,000 to 10,000 Divisions (Commercial legal for trade) Accuracy/Readability = Maximum weight / Divisions So, you can have an NTEP Class 3 scale, 1,000 pounds, with 1,000 divisions. The display should read 0000 (1000/1000 = 1). Nothing after the decimal point. You would assume it is accurate to the pound only. You can also have an NTEP Class 3 scale, 1,000 pounds, with 10,000 divisions. The display should read 0000.0, and the scale will increment in .1 pound steps. 0000.1, 0000.2, 0000.3. You would assume that it is accurate to a tenth of a pound. So what's the difference? The 10,000 division NTEP scale is going to be more expensive than the 1,000 division NTEP scale. What makes scales more expensive than others? Not the total weight capacity, no no no. It's the divisions. The more divisions a scale can accurately measure, the more complex the circuity, the higher tech the load cells, the tighter the manufacturing tolerances, the more substantial the frame needs to be, and the more expensive the scale. That all said, the scale used for a specific operation needs to be suitable for that operation. Lets say you are proofing 50 pounds of 120proof spirit to 80 proof for bottling, that's going to be 28.154 pounds of water for a total final blend volume of 78.154 pounds. If you have a 5000 pound NTEP pallet scale with a 1 pound accuracy, your display weight of 78 pounds is everything from 77.5 pounds to 78.4 pounds. So you add water until your display reads 78 pounds. In proof terms, it means you are anywhere from 79.7 proof to 80.4 proof, you'll have no idea unless you gauge again. If you read 80.4 - you'll need to slowly keep adding water and gauging, over and over, in little steps. A waste of time. If you read 79.7 proof. Sorry to hear it, hope you have more spirit on hand to raise the proof, which you'll need to do slowly, re-mixing and gauging every time. Now, if you had a 150 pound scale with an accuracy of 0.05lb (NTEP Class III - 3000 Divisions, actually LESS ACCURATE THAN THE 5000lb Scale). You would add water to 78.15 pounds. If proof terms, you are going to be better than 79.95 to 80.05. Do you gauge again? Of course you do. But you'll be dead on, no fiddling around with trying to add an unmeasurable amount of water or spirit (proofing by trial and error). I just hope someone bothers to get this far and at least got some bit of useless trivia knowledge out of this. That said, EVERYTHING BY WEIGHT, NO OTHER WEIGH ... err WAY.
  11. related Chuck Norris joke found online: "Jesus could turn water into wine. Chuck Norris can turn his own piss into award-winning top shelf water."
  12. I purchased a Model A CCR machine last year and have not been disappointed, I wish I would have splurged and went with the Model D with the hopper on it. Still beats the hell out of hand application or using a rubber mallet.
  13. fstmatt, that looks like it was/ is painful. Speedy recovery!
  14. I have been distilling for the past five years for various companies, and am currently heading production at a distillery in Oregon. I'll be on the cape early next month if you wanted to grab a beer and talk shop. I've been involved in starting up distilleries and am in the process of ordering all production equipment for this current facility so may have some helpful advice if you find yourself in need of it! Kyle
  15. Tom, I had already read the requirements for a scale in the CFR but it is not clear on what they want other than the minimum graduations. It does not specify legal for trade but shouldn't a scale have to be?
  16. Re: TTB requirements - TTb will never see the road until after the application is approved, so the question may be moot. However, I see nothing that would allow TTB to deny the application based on the fact that in bad weather they have to walk a half mile from the parking area rather than 50 feet. I see no general requirement that would require that you plow snow, for instance, or fill potholes, or otherwise ensure that TTB can drive to within a certain distance of the door. When TTB approves variances, etc., the question is whether approval would "hinder the effective administration of this part." I'm tempted to argue that it is important that TTB uses this provision, because it shows that it is concerned with, and considered, hindrances when it wrote the regulations. Thus, since it considers hindrances, and did not include this in the provision re: construction, etc., hindrance or in convenience should not be considered in deciding whether to approve or not.. Then I think about putting a DSP in a treehouse. Hmm. I think TTB assumes that, for your own purposes, you must provide reasonable commercial access. I think it assumes that such access will suffice. I also think that if the local development department and fire marshal approve, TTB has no grounds to deny. But not in a treehouse, please.
  17. Never met him or seen him, he stays really low key, personally I'm rarely at the distillery. We had talked about doing some charity events if we ever finished the property and extend him an invite. We've used some local craftsmen that know him and said that he doesn't drink or ever has. - Mr. Norris just built a 50,000sqft bottling plant for water across the street from his ranch.
  18. I macerate for 3 weeks at 115 proof. And yes, use small amounts of spices with small mason jars and blend the tinctures accordingly to achieve your flavor profile. Then, do a trial maceration with all of your spices together and go from there.
  19. Does Chuck ever drop by for a taste, and break some boards with his head?
  20. Give me a shout if you need help with anything. We can get you set up with whatever you may need.
  21. Tom - We are starting pretty small (100 gal stills) and we'll start with Rum and ethnic specialty spirits. The gravel road is about 600 ft long. Up to this point I've been looking at siting the DSP next to the road but that site presents a lot of hurdles : floodplain regs, foundation to bring first floor above floodplain, constrained building area, etc. Pretty much once we have the small building but there we could not do any additions. The site down the gravel road has issues like accessing the last 100 ft and utilities. But the cost is a bit of a wash because the cost of running the utilities is less than the cost of raising the foundation 2 ft above the floodplain. The gravel road site also allows for no constraints on growth. The alternative route may be to build a super tiny distillery near the road and a builder building down the gravel road for storage and move operations if things take off. Whiskey: We won't know for sure until we submit for permits but in my state agricultural buildings are exempt from the fire code. If I was rolling in dough or if the distillery does well then there is actually a 30" watermain all along the gravel road site.
  22. I would just do a keg still and a 4" flue from still dragon. Less than $1500. Plenty big to develop recipes, although as mentioned above illegal. If you go commercial you will need something a lot larger, so buy the big still once. While I know one distiller who started with two 26 gal stills they were both quickly replaced by a 100 gallon.
  23. Id say your biggest issue is going to be your local fire department. They are going to want access and the ability to get a fire truck to the location.
  24. What size of a distillery are you looking at operating, and what kind of products are you planning on making? It sounds like a nightmare for getting trucks in to load/unload, customers back to buy your product, getting trash/recycling, spent mash off-site. Not to mention the cost of running electricity back that far, is three-phase available?
  25. So it's starting to look the the best location for the DSP on my land is down my private gravel road, across a creek and up a hill. In bad weather it may be difficult to reach. I don't see anything specific about DSP access in 26 U.S. Code § 5178 but it does say "The Secretary shall prescribe such regulations relating to the location, construction, arrangement, and protection of distilled spirits plants as he deems necessary ". Anyone know of any issue of accessing a DSP via a trail or across a creek?
  26. For smaller volumes of spirit (that will fit on scales) the cheapest and most accurate way to determine volume is by measuring mass, density and temperature. Calculate volume from tables or computer program.
  27. CFR has scale requirements pretty spelled out.
  28. Modular is a nice way to learn. You can start with pot still distillation - arguable the easiest. Then move on to trays, where now you add the complexity of operating the reflux. I wouldn't ever recommend perf plates for a beginner over bubble caps. Cap trays are much more forgiving and have a wider effective operating range.
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