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  2. richard1

    New startup question about setting up

    It's desperately easy to wire a basic system with interlocked level and heating. I guess it's all about available money and or not knowing better. In my new build for an automated 500L direct fired still, its all PLC controlled with interlocked level and pressure.
  3. Today
  4. Silk City Distillers

    New startup question about setting up

    Never understood why direct element stills never used level sensors to cut the heaters should the liquid level fall below a certain level, preventing the elements from becoming a catastrophic ignition source.
  5. Silk City Distillers

    New startup question about setting up

    30% alcohol at 113 F is equally as flammable as 85% alcohol at 74 F. Once you've gotten into heat-up, there is no difference in the flammability of the two liquids, one simply contains more fuel than the other. Should a still lose it's contents at boiling temp, 30% or 85%, it will be equally as catastrophic, as the surface temperature of the now exposed element will easily ignite the vapor and liquid in either case.
  6. Yesterday
  7. MG Thermal Consulting

    Glycol / cooling system

    I can supply you with a heat reclaim chiller, making 170F hot glycol off the chiller and use the heat on various heat heat exchange devices needing heat, but then that would be an overkill. Rube Goldberg the heck out of it:):)
  8. MG Thermal Consulting

    Glycol / cooling system

    If you're using a central cooling system and it doesn't have a cooling jacket, you could wrap a mess of pex tubing around it and run a chilled water return line from your still and warm it up
  9. nabtastic

    Glycol / cooling system

    Our ambient temp is 80+F out here and we cool to 80-82F for a agricole-style rum (fresh juice). If the fermenter is jacketed for cooling, it probably has enough insulation to keep the heat from an active ferment. The chiller will not heat the glycol but the piping could be controlled in the same manner and heated with a separate heat source like a solar array or water heater. "reverse heatEx" does sound cooler btw lol
  10. MG Thermal Consulting

    Wind Hill Distillery, LLC

    Used to travel IN when I repped in Chi-town after going to college in N.IN. I am placing a cooling system in N Chi suburbs and have some around Indianapolis, too. Don't hesitate to give me a ring if you have cooling questions. Mike G
  11. Southernhighlander

    New startup question about setting up

    Glenlyon, They are a bitch to clean after running gin because they do not have CIP. We have many stills with CIP but of course they are more expensive however a couple of weeks ago we started offering a tri clamp connection on the parrot so that you can back flood the condenser and column for faster cleaning. If you are interested please email me paul@distillery-equipment.com. Also if you have the new 90 degree vent on the bottom of the condenser, you can connect to it for flooding the column.
  12. Southernhighlander

    New startup question about setting up

    Tom, Yes, I most certainly sell stills with electric heating elements and so do many others. However my safety manual plainly states that if you put high wines in the pot accidental injury or death may occur. If they use the still in a way that it was not designed for then they are at fault. There are many pieces of equipment that will kill you if operated in ways other than what they were designed for. I have done dangerous jobs for most of my life and having a complete understanding of the equipment that I was using and my common sense allowed me to do those jobs without ever getting a scratch.
  13. Glenlyon

    New startup question about setting up

    This is a great gin still, but not on for a daily driver. Its a drag to clean.
  14. Tom Lenerz

    New startup question about setting up

    Aren't you the one selling stills with electric heating elements? If it is such a concern why would you take that risk that no customer of yours or anyone they might sell the still to or an unknown future employee might use the still in a way it wasn't designed for?
  15. bluestar

    Wind Hill Distillery, LLC

    Gee, that's straight down US 41 from Chicago, just a couple hours. Might even be able to visit 😉
  16. bluestar

    New startup question about setting up

    I stand by my comment that 6' packed column might not be enough on its own, but in the configuration Paul (Southernhighlander) describes, combined with 6 plates, that should indeed work. We did the same thing for our 8' packed column, adding 4 plates, just got us over 190. But it was not optimal, and a bit harder to keep stabilized. In the end, we switched over to a 17 plate column of smaller diameter, using, by the way, full disclosure, a SS pot we purchased from Paul. Another advantage of plates, if you can observe them while running, is you can see how the column is stabilizing, and if it is being overdriven or underdriven. Also, if the structured packing is not of good design or packing, you can get non-uniform behavior. That said, a good structured-packing-filled column can make great vodka, and is usually far cheaper than the plated column. A rough rule of thumb for packed columns is the height in feet should be roughly 1.5x the diameter in inches. That was our experience, and is similar to that described by Paul for the Vendome still at Rock Town. But the specific height required will be dependent on the kind of packing used. I also agree with Paul that you don't want to be direct heating high-wines. In addition to the safety issues, the high proof alcohol is more corrosive, and will likely cause even stainless elements to quickly erode and potentially fail. Cleaning wasn't hard for us for a packed column, we just back flushed by circulating hot PBW and back rinsed by circulating hot citric acid, and that will clean in place. You can also remove the column, seal an end, and fill for soak cleaning.
  17. Southernhighlander

    New startup question about setting up

    MGL, If my stills did not do what I say, I would not be in business. I agree, anyone selling a 10 or 12 plate still and calling it a vodka column is being untruthful. Our 6' tall vodka extension with 6 plates produces 190 proof in a timely manner. Our customers that are using them are doing so with great success. However, I only offer the packed extension options on smaller stills and when the customer has a tight budget because bubble plates are a lot more versatile my opinion, but at the same time a packed column will certainly do the job. Also my stills in this configuration will do any spirit from brandy to Vodka, as the column can be reconfigured in a matter of 4 or 5 minutes. It can be ran as a pot still with no plates or as a 4 plate or as a 6 plate. Of course our Pro series equipment is better but not everyone can afford it. There are very large distilleries all over the US that use packed Vodka columns with great success, which proves that you are incorrect. Rock Town in Little Rock uses one. Theirs is 12" in diameter and 18' tall. It was built by Vendome and produces great Vodka in a timely manner. There are some absolutely huge packed columns out there that produce industrial ethanol every day as well as many other chemicals. So you are advising someone to run 85% alcohol in a still pot using electric heating elements. That advice will get someone killed. If your advice gets someone killed you are responsible for their death and are completely liable.
  18. Glaser Estate

    Finish Still, Stripping Still, Hammer Mill and Scale

    Tom that's right. When I could only run on the weekends, I would do my mash on Sunday, let it ferment all week, run my stripping run saturday, then run a new mash and a finishing run on sunday.
  19. MGL

    New startup question about setting up

    Packed column is a lot slower run and harder to clean when ya get tails at the top yer gonna have an awful time getting the smell out. with a 6 plate column even after two or three runs you are gunna end up with high proof whiskey not vodka. A company selling 6 or 8 or 10 or 12 plate stills and callin it a vodka still is just looking for a sucker. Might as well take an alembic and call that a vodka still too!! Buy the right setup and you are going to save yourself 20 to 40 hours of work each and every week. It will pay for itself. I also dont think the safety concern of running high wines in a still is the combustion inside of the still. The oxygen will be pushed out by the alcohol vapor during warm up and you'll be out of combustion danger very shortly. The concern is what happens if theres an accident like a manway hatch or a cheap china weld that brakes and sprays 190 degree 190 proof across the distillery.
  20. Corsair

    SAFETY 101 course coming this June (27th &28th)

    Just wanted to bump this and stress to everyone that the discounted room rate expires on june 5th!!! Best to sign up sooner rather than later!!
  21. TomClifton

    Wind Hill Distillery, LLC

    Thanks. Our distillery is in Earl Park, Indiana which is on a glacial moraine that stretches 100’s of miles from west to east. It’s always windy here!
  22. bluestar

    New startup question about setting up

    Hence the reason I suggested the 20 plate column. A packed column can work as well, although you might need something taller than 6' at 6" wide, depending on the packing material. We found it tough to get above 190 proof with an 8" x 8' packed column, for instance. And the throughput is generally slower. Beyond safety, another reason you won't want to keep redistilling is that each heat-up and cool-down costs you money in energy. You would likely make back again your investment in a higher-plate-count column with the time and energy saved in a reasonably short time.
  23. The stripping still/mash tun. Question: you mash, ferment, and do a stripping run with this setup?
  24. Hello all, I am waiting for my sister to close on a house that has an old horse barn on the edge of the property. I am going to try and make it a legal place to distill and lay it out so I can operate myself from my manual wheelchair. I am finishing a plan for a small business loan and this place has been a great resource. I need to figure out estimates for insurance, ingredients and bottles if anyone has any suggestions on who to call or more importantly who NOT to call it would be greatly appreciated. Any distillers here from NY if you see a guy with his face pressed against the glass looking at your still like a little kid outside of a candy store..... that would be me. -Jimbo
  25. Southernhighlander

    Wind Hill Distillery, LLC

    Tom, I like your name. it has a really good sound to it.
  26. Hi from Indiana. Thanks for adding me to the site. Wind Hill Distillery is the newest craft distillery in Indiana. We look forward to the interaction with fellow members. Tom Clifton
  27. richard1

    New startup question about setting up

    I do not know if this deserves the appropriate reply.
  28. indyspirits

    Help! Artemisia pontica..

    Following up to my own post... I got my pontica at absintheherbs.com. Good people to work with. I just wish it weren't so damn expensive!
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