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  1. Aging White Gin I think there are two topics here. First, the making, diluting, and bottling of gin, does that require any aging? Secondly, there is a big move towards barrel aged gin. I will start with the first question first ... and I will leave "barrel aged gin" for another post. White gin requires aging. Not much, but you can't just dilute it and bottle it and sell it. Well, you can, but you won't create the best tasting gin that way. A gin that's bottled right after it's been diluted to bottling strength has two issues: 1. It tickles on the tongue; 2. Taste is not integrated. The tickling of the tongue is a very good indication that a gin is not yet aged out. The tickling is caused by alcohol sucking water up water. Since alcohol is highly hydrofile or hygroscopic, that makes sense ... if you didn't give your gin enough time after diluting it to bottling strength. If you add water to your gin to bring it down from (for example) 70% to 45%, a process starts that I call "the marriage between water and alcohol". It is not an instant process. It is not a gentle process either. It is a process where some of the water gets dissolved into the alcohol. A process that creates heat (some), slightly lowers the total volume (total volume is lower than the volume of the original alcohol and water), and raises the proof a bit. All because water dissolves - over time - in alcohol. So here's the first trick in letting your gin age out: dilute it, then give it like five weeks for the marriage to take place. After this period, when you taste the gin, the tickle on your tongue is gone. The five week period also helps the different oils and tastes settle out. Please try it. Make your gin, dilute it, fill one bottle, open the cap on that bottle like every day, and taste is: - On day one (not coherent, tickly, is this the gin I wanted to make?); - After three days (nice, its moving in a good direction, wow, this is different shit!); - After five weeks (when you'll have reached your final taste profile). This test will teach you that you will achieve around 2/3rds of the final taste profile already after the first three days. It will also teach you that giving it more time really pays of. I know that waiting for five weeks can be a pain. You need more time to market, and you need more storage space. But in the end, if you want to make the best product, there is no escaping it. There are, however, a few tricks you can use to speed up the process. Here they are: 1. Use an ultrasonic cleaner (50 Watt per liter minimum and at 40 kHz) and give your gin like three ten minute treatments. It won't skip the five week rest period completely, but it will get you closer sooner. The process of especially water marrying to alcohol is sped up. And if you look in your ultrasonic cleaner, while doing it, you'll see for yourself that this process is not a gentle one: the liquids turn grey during the first part of the ultrasonification. 2. Use corks instead of caps on your bottles. A cork may allow for slight air movements in and out. If you allow for that, the process of water dissolving into alcohol can take place in the bottle. But if you have a hard capped bottle, the process of water dissolving in alcohol cannot take place, because its a process that shrinks total volume. A relative vacuum developing in the air pocket would prevent the water to dissolve properly. So ... with hard capped gin bottles, you may want to skip the white gin aging process a bit with ultrasonic treatments, or not and you wait five weeks before you bottle. The good news is: it will improve your drink hugely. And the fun thing is that if you did the tests I proposed, you'll recognize other gins as having had the appropriate amount of aging or not. Aging white gin is not completely straight forward in the sense that five weeks will do it. Time and again, I learn that the vapor speeds and how deep we go towards tails / the end part of the run influence the aging curve. See the first post on that please. The concise? If you run your rig harder (higher vapor speeds) more aging is needed. If you run longer, more aging is needed. If you run your rig slower and cut a bit earlier, for a more floral gin, the marriage may just take as much as only three weeks to take place. Next post in this thread will be about barrel aging gin. After that? Lets dive into herbs bills! Regards, Odin.
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  2. Re: a 20-day approval. Miracles do happen, but don’t expect them. To understand the unlikelihood of your application being approved in 20 days, you must understand the way in which TTB processes applications. The system makes it all but impossible. That is why 20 days to approval is miraculous. When you submit the application, it is assigned, within a day, to a specialist. TTB used to use a triage system, but it appears to have abandoned that. The assignment to the specialist appears to now be made before anyone looks at it. The assignment to the specialist is made like dealing a deck of cards. The applications that come in each day are dealt round robin to the specialists. Who gets it is a lottery. The specialist who gets the application doesn’t look at it when she or he (I’ll chose she) receives it. It comes dealt face down and remains face down. She doesn’t look at it to say, oh, this one is great or lousy. It’s simply inserted into the bottom of the stack of applications she already has pending in her pile. She works this stack from top to bottom. This is a matter of “fair play.” One application is not favored over another. Since the specialists carry an “inventory” of 150 plus pending applications – I’ve heard figures as high as 250 - it takes a while for new ones to rise to the top, no matter how well prepared, to become the old ones at which they take a first look. This first look often does not occur for 180 days or so, although the October average time to approval was 180 days, so the average first look probably came at closer to five months after receipt rather than to six, for those applications, but that varies too, since in September the average was 206 days to approval. Now, is it possible that any particular application can bore through the pile to make it to the top in 20 days? Sure, anything is possible. But it would be an anomaly that would fall more than several standard deviations from the expected. But, let’s assume, for purpose of argument, that such a miraculous event does occur. What then? TTB says 75% of applications require correction notices. That was a 2015 figure. My experience says it probably is now a higher number than that. Some of that is because of real errors or omissions, but a lot is not. I submit quite a few conscientiously and competently prepared applications. I have found that what one specialist wants may not be what another specialist wants, so an entry that generates a “correction request” from one specialist, will not from another. Worse yet, the “corrections” that one specialist might require might be entries that are anathema to another, i.e., precisely the entries that would generate a correction request from the second specialist. In short, there is no “right” way to make entries when the specialists, or their immediate supervisors, are free to invent their own rules about what is required and the form in which it should appear. [Note, in fairness, I do make errors, from time to time, that generate needed requests for correction, so not all such requests are nonsense, but in my opinion many are]. In this situation, I proceed as follows. I read what the instructions ask for, provide that, and do so in a form that most specialists accept most of the time. I then handle any correction request, nonsense or not, in a couple of days. But I can’t prevent it. And I can’t get an approval in 20 days or 40 days or 60 days or 80 days. That is my reality. I can’t perform miracles. Next, let’s assume, for purposes of further argument, that the specialist who has reviewed the application within the miraculous 20 days, finds no fault with it and sends it off for “management disposition,” which is yet another hurdle that the applications must clear before it crosses the finish line. While it is possible to get management to dispose of the application quickly, if one has been expressing legitimate concerns about how long it has been pending, getting expedited service is not likely. The manager’s review serves as a “quality control” check. The managers return the application to the specialists if they find any problem and “gig” the specialist for the error, be it real or imagined. But that is not the problem. The problem is that the “gig” system is a Machiavellian management style that has the specialists working in fear of even the tiniest error and managers, who are also subject to gigs, working in fear that they will miss an error the specialist also missed. The absurd consequences that result from working in fear of errors, a nitpicking, excruciatingly slow review, do not matter in TTB's present mileau. Specialists and managers, in turn, look at each application in detail to find reasons the application should not be approved, not to find reasons that it should. Next, like the specialists, the managers have stacks of applications on their desks. Yes, if you guess that the most recent ones go to the bottom of the pile, you are correct. Unless someone is complaining about how much the processing time for their application has exceeded the average time, i.e. 180 days, not something less than 20 for others, things do not get expedited by merit. So, absent legitimate concerns about how long the processes has already taken, again in the sense of fair play, the managers take up the applications in the order received. My experience says that the times in which the manager acts in less than 20 days from the date the manager received the application are not common, unless, again, there are extenuating circumstances. So, management disposition alone general takes as much or more time than the 20-day application took from its conception to its approval. While the 20-day approval suggests that the application may have been immaculately prepared, in the manner of which the submitter justifiably is proud, the care with which it was prepared does not account for TTB not carrying it full term. The application was in fact "blessed." Unless your application is similarly blessed, by whom or what I cannot suggest, your application will not receive such favored treatment. I can all but guarantee it. As I said, I can’t get an approval in 20 days or 40 days or 60 days or even 80 days, because they do not even look at the applications until well after such time frames are in the rear-view mirror.
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  3. Mail merges are a dying art. Only the Nigerians seem to make the effort anymore.
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  4. tails test the end of your run with a glass of water.
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  5. If I go lower in pH, it is because I want to create a little bit more taste. Lower pH enhances the formation of taste molecules (Esterification). So I do it on rum and whiskey, but not on vodka recipes. When I make (or help develop) taste rich products, like rum or whiskey, I use (or advice to use) backset. It is sour and will sour up mashing and fermentation, enhancing esterification. Since you now add backset, instead of water, to the next mash/ferment/distillation cycle, you also increase taste, you don't need (so much) yeast nutrients, and it helps you stabilize on taste output (repeatability). In general, I aim for a much lower pH, especially while fermenting (where most taste is formed). It does not only help create more taste (and a more interesting whiskey or rum), it also helps against bacterial infections, when pH is below pH 4.8. Low pH is good against all bacterial infections ... safe lactic bacteria infection, unfortunately. I usually aim for a starting pH, while fermenting, of pH 4.8 and will see it go down to pH 3.8, depending on wash type (malts having more buffering capacity than grains having more buffering capacity than molasses). If it goes below pH 3.5, I know that next time I have to add a bit of lime to start with, so it does not get more sour than pH 3.8. I don't like it lower than that because (again, depending on sugar source) ferments tend to stall below that. Regards, Odin.
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  6. Taste Development during the Run So, let's follow up on the first post. Taste, in a gin, pretty much follows in the footsteps of making brandy, whiskey or rum. Fruity notes at the beginning, body in the middle, root-like, nutty tastes at the end of the run. Weird, because we normally work with GNS, when making gin, so there shouldn't be "real" heads and tails, right? Right, but the molecules, associated with certain tastes, still follow the same rules. Fruity at the beginning, root-like at the end. Lime, lemon, orange peel come over early. Rooty and nutty herbs come over near the end. And if you want multi-dimensionality, a complex gin, you need both. It even gets more funny. Or interesting. Not only does the gin develop in taste as a whiskey or rum or brandy would ... even though you may use GNS to make your gin, you still need cuts. Cuts on a gin? Yes! A sorta Fores/Heads cut and a sorta Tails cut. Tails cut is easy. It is when you stop the run, because the later parts of the run just bring too much root-like tastes over (and they easily overpower the fruitiness of the beginning of the run). But a "Fores/Heads cut"? Yes, you need it. A small one. Only like 0.5 liters on a 250 liter charge. Maybe a liter in a 500 liter boiler charge of gin. The first (half a) liter. Why? This contains the very oily, excessive and harsh first juniper oils. You want to cut them out. I'll try to find a picture and add it to this thread. So you can see how these first juniper oils, that you want to cut out, look like. Really remarkable. A bubble of haze in a pint of alcohol. Not nice. Toss it. I can't find pics right now, but I'll dive in later. Important that you see it, so you can recognize it. All right, so how can we use cuts to perfect our gin? Well, if you are not satisfied with the amount of back of throat taste / root-like tastes ... you could cut a bit later, allowing for more nutty flavors to come over. Or if you feel you need a little less fruity notes ... well, you can dial the amount of fruit peel back ... or you can take a slightly larger "Fores/Heads cut". I am not saying one solution is better than the other, I am just informing you that by "gin cutting" you have an additional tool to perfect your gin runs. Something else you can use. If you make rum or brandy or whiskey, you can do a swift stripping run. Fast, low alcohol purity, lots of tastes blending in all over the place. Just so you get the picture: faster strips make for dirtier smearing of heads and tails into hearts. Same technique you can use with gin making. You don't strip, but you can vary power inputs on your distilling machine. If you go for higher energy inputs and higher output figures per liter, you will increase vapor speeds inside your column. High vapor speeds translate to more of the Tails oriented tastes to come over earlier. And they may be overpowering. The solution? Just throttle down and you will find the outcome less root-like, less nutty oriented. More florals coming over. Play with it: power settings. If you go too fast, taste becomes flat, one dimensional. Tune it down (by power management) and within just a few seconds, you may find the taste appealing again. Multi-faceted, interesting, complex. Playing with energy input, speed of run, and vapor speeds does not only allow you to make better tasting gin (lower speeds for better gin), it also allows you to go deeper into the Tails oriented department without the associated tastes becoming too overpowering. In other words: you can use more of the GNS to actually make more great tasting gin. End temperature based on gas temperature entering the column? Between 94.5 and 96 degrees C. The slower you go, on the last part of the run, the deeper you can go, without compromising on overal taste. Next? Lets dive into louched gins in the next post. Are they a failure ... or maybe a sign of actual distilling success? I'll try to find some time and dive in tomorrow or the day after. For after the weekend? A take on boiler vs. vapor infused gins! I know there's lots of opinions. I won't try to take sides, I will try to explain the pro's and con's. Regards, Odin
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  7. Actually, this is not entirely correct. The hot vapors rise in the still because the condenser creates a lower pressure (slight vacuum) and the vapors travel from the higher pressure where the vapors are generated in the pot to the top. Even at 200'F (above its atmospheric boiling point) ethanol vapors are 20% heavier than air. Ethanol vapors will fairly quickly mix with air, although they will still tend to seek the floor.
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  8. Just a quick check list of things distilleries should record Jan 1: Take a complete physical inventory on or after January 1 (but before January operations start) including: - Production, Storage, and Processing Tanks (list Tank name, Account, Spirit Type, Total Proof Gallons, True Proof + any gauging calculations) - Barrels (Counts by fill date, size, spirit types, entry proof, and Original Proof Gallons) - Finished cases (Counts by product type, bottle proof, with Proof Gallons/case) Sum up the total Proof Gallons in each of the 3 accounts. Compare the total Proof Gallons in house to what your End of Month December TTB Reports would show. If there are discrepancies, start the research to reconcile and/or make correcting Gains or Losses. You can actually do this exercise at the beginning of any month to compare how many Proof Gallons you have in-bond versus what you are reporting. If you have significant discrepancies, feel free to give me a shout for a possible on-site clean up. Donald@whiskeyresources.com Also, consider registering for Whiskey Systems to make 2017 the year you are in full TTB compliance! https://whiskeysystems.com/
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  9. Tangential to your topic - Read about Six Sigma or Lean manufacturing. It's about eliminating waste in your processes. Two heavy hitters: Lean's "TIM WOODS" - https://www.isixsigma.com/dictionary/8-wastes-of-lean/ Lean's 5S - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5S_(methodology) The idea is to reduce the amount of time you're doing things that don't make you money. An example - if you use a specific tool all the time put it in a place that's easy to get to it instead of mixing it in with a drawer full of other things. (5s) That reduces the time you're looking for it. Fastcap has some great videos showing real examples:
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  10. Double your budget. Don't anticipate drawing salary for two years. Know your market. Don't be fooled into thinking distributors are your friend. Realize you're a marketing company first, and distillery second.
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  11. I went with a physically separate warehouse for aging. No electric, except in the sprinkler riser room. Made achieving H3 quite affordable.
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  12. The principal problem with completing TTB operating reports is understanding how TTB uses words and the rules for how the spirits flow through the accounts that TTB requires you to use, creating an "audit trail" of the operations you conduct, from the materials used to the products shipped out the door. You have to have a basic understanding of operations and transactions take place in each of the three accounts that you report - production, storage and processing - and also understand what TTB means by the terms it uses, like redistillation and tax determined, the differences between packages and bottles, etc, and when you take and report physical inventories as opposed to when you report book inventories. The problem with instructional sets, and any attempt at simplified pamphlet, is that any set of instructions (or records database for that matter) is going to have to include all possibilities for entries you might have to make to record any possible operation or transaction in which any DSP might engage, even though most DSPs do not engage in most transactions and small DSPs usually engage in darned few. The forms are imposing because they have all those cells in to which you might have to put information, which creates doubt and second guessing, but if you eliminate the products that you don't make and the transactions and operations in which you don't engage (few remove spirits to a customs bonded warehouse, for example, or for use by the United States), you get a whole lot fewer cells into which you might need to place information. Thus reduced, the task becomes far less daunting. The more daunting task is determining what records you must keep to capture the information, but again, ignoring what you don't need is key. Often a simple set of analog, pen and pencil records, suffices. Other times, if you engage in many activities, a database makes sense, if you can afford it. I know this does not answer your question, but I hope that it explains a way in which you can approach the problem and gain some assurance that what you are doing is what is required. I keep threatening to do a set of separate modular instructions for recording and reporting vodka, gin, whiskey, rum, brandy, and specialty items, etc, but haven't found the time or energy to do that with the rigor that would be required to make sure that all possibilities are covered for each product, or how to market the darned things to pay for the effort it would take. It's far easier to respond when a client asks, "How do I report my vodka production when I do it by redistillation of neutral spirits I buy in totes?" When I have specific info, the answers are easy, which is just a restatement of what I said above, you simplify first, then dig out the answers to the specifics.
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  13. I try to space them evenly apart from each other so that they get a more accurate reading. On my 500 gal tank I place them on opposite sides of the tank about 16 inches in from the sides.
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  14. Local authorities are going to have more to say than us, but.. When talking to my electrical contractor about classified environments and being "explosion proof" - he made a point to me that made so much sense, I was embarassed to not have thought of it. Easiest way to manage electrical classification in an area? Remove all the electric, deal with only essentials, not optionals. A window or skylight is cheaper than approved lighting. Pneumatics will be cheaper than electrics. The floor drain might represent a problem, since if you have major spillage, it may feed into the sanitary sewer. It might be a liability and not a benefit.
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  15. I single heater maintains ferm temps in all but the coldest days when we'll also use moving blankets for insulation.
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  16. Like SCD said there isn't a great book on distilling. I'm up to 24+ and I still wouldn't say there is a single one that covers everything. It's best to start reading and keep a notebook. Jot down the key ideas you run across. I started a private blog to keep track of posts and links from here and other websites with searchable notes.
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  17. How many grams of yeast do you pitch?
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  18. Greetings and Salutations... I would like to thank ADI for allowing me to join this forum. My name is Emory Finklea (AKA The Liquor Layman). I just want to give a brief introduction of me and my current endeavor as a Managing Member of Synergy Wine And Spirits Group. I am an industry professional and an avid connoisseur of wine and spirits (mainly spirits). My work history started humbly, in the service industry waiting tables and bartending in Restaurants and Bars across Philadelphia, PA. I started my career with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board about 11 years ago where I was able work through the ranks to my most notable position of Spirits Category Manager; essentially I was the spirits buyer for the entire 600+ Fine Wine and Good Spirit Stores in Pennsylvania. I met and visited with many brands, wineries, and distilleries over the course of my tenure; also developed many lasting relationships. I helped to usher in the "Made in PA" section of the FWGS stores which allowed small, local PA distilleries to gain a shelf presence in local stores and offer PA consumers more selection. I left state employment in 2016 to pursue my own ambitions within the wine and spirits industry. I began to use my formed relationships to help small and deserving brands understand and better prepare to gain entry into Pennsylvania as well as other control markets. As time went on, I met other freelance industry professionals who shared in my passion and we formed a network in the pursuit of building brands. In 2016, we decided to give our venture a name, Synergy Wine and Spirits Group. A partnership comprised of people who have worked in top positions for notable companies (Brown Foreman, Diageo, Bacardi, etc...) and have been top idea men and women for brands such as Jagermiester, Tullamore Dew, Stolichnaya, and Glenlivet, just to name a few. More about SWASG can be found at www.synergywineandspiritsgroup.com. Again, Thank You ADI for adding me to this forum and I hope to be an asset to the community. Best Wishes in the New Year!!!
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  19. Super cool! I really like the "Oregon Grain Growers" name as well. Whats its going to take for you to give me that "bottled liquors" sign? Ill throw out $100 cash and a case of Pennsylvania's finest straight rye whiskey as my initial offer
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  20. I have a 300 gallon setup, natural gas boiler (1 million btu) with basically the same production scheduler hedgebird described. His $450 estimate is pretty accurate. Some months higher, some lower but on average, that's a pretty good budgeting number
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  21. Introduction Over the last decade I have had the opportunity to help dozens and dozens of craft distillers with developing and designing their gins. I want to use this thread to help lay out some of the basic guidelines I learned, that make the production of great gin quite easy and straight forward. Over the coming days (and depending on comments and my time in the factory) or weeks, I want to get most of the information (if not all) that we give on our gin making courses across. Now, gin making has a wide set of variables. And a lot of people adhere to certain approaches. If ever you feel my approaches or opinions to be contrary to yours, let's turn this thread into a discussion, not a battle ground. I for one will not. Just sharing info, not trying to convince anyone. Use the info or not. It's here (or it will be) and I will share it so you can use it. A few things on gin. Basically, let's dive into procedures, herbs bills, distillation techniques. But I want to start with a general outline on taste. Just to make or introduce a starting point. When I make whiskey, I find the late heads, smearing into hearts, to be fruity. Front of mouth oriented. You taste them first and you taste them on your lips and the front of your tongue. The body, the grain, comes over after that. Hearts. Middle mouth feeling. Early tails, that smear into the last portion of hearts, have a nutty, root-like taste (if you give them time to develop) and are tasted at the back of your mouth towards the throat. Now, in my experience, the same holds true for a gin: it's the fruity bits that come over first, then the body, then the root-like, nutty flavors. So if you want to make a floral gin ... don't add root-like, nutty things to your gin recipe. And cut a bit earlier. If you want a full-bodied gin that lingers in your mouth and can be consumed neat ... do add those nutty, root-like components. And cut a bit later, since these tastes come over during the last part of the run. Okay, that was the introductionary post. More on herbs bills and aging gin and procedures in future posts! Regards, Odin.
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  22. It's very difficult to identify the specific bacterial strain from a pellicle photo, it could be a half dozen different bacteria. Can you describe the smell? Is it more acetic than usual? Do you smell any rancid, butter, body odor, or vomit? Any slime or ropiness if you stir closely below the surface? Just keep an eye on it and see if it begins to appear to be a mold, in which case remove it. I intentionally pitch specific strains of non-yeast bacteria in my rum fermentations to encourage specific ester formation, and I'm starting to work on mixed culture whiskey fermentations, with very good results. There are a handful of lactobacillus strains that I absolutely adore in whiskey and rum. Yes, I said that, and yes I intentionally "infect" fermentations. Every whiskey fermentation that doesn't boil after mashing is "infected" with numerous strains of bacteria. Grain is incredibly filthy from a microbiological perspective. Even some strains of Streptococcus can survive lower-temperature cereal mashes. Same for the rum distilleries, just a different set of bugs. In addition, you'll develop your own mix of strains that define your house/colonial bacteria profile. What I do is force a specific profile to match the outcome I am looking for. Let it ferment out, run it, it may be the most interesting rum you've made. Here are two of my favorite papers on the prevalence of specific bacterial strains in whiskey distilleries: http://www.microbiologyresearch.org/docserver/fulltext/micro/147/4/1471007a.pdf?expires=1483011394&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=3F2159A77F8BCEB870E570C224754586 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC126549/ And Rum: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1046/j.1365-2672.1998.00380.x/asset/j.1365-2672.1998.00380.x.pdf?v=1&t=ixabpopp&s=5841ec634998983c0b050add5b2dbeba52bd555c
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  23. It may clear up as it warms up. Higher proof means solvency power is bigger. So more (especially) fatty acids can be dissolved at a higher proof product. The same holds true for temperature (to a lesser extend): colder drinks shrink and may push excess amounts of oils out of solution. If it warms up, it will dissolve again. 3Dog gives the right answer. Another option is running it a bit slower or less deep into tails for less tailsy oils in your end product. Regards, Odin.
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  24. Hi Rick, Just thought that I would throw out some statements of people who have experience with us. Below that is a video of one of our stills being installed at Elevated Mountain Distillery in Maggie Valley NC. We have equipment in around 200 distilleries. If you would like our reference list just email me paul@distillery-equipment,com http://distillery-equipment.com http://moonshine-still.co My wife and I are actively avoiding retirement by starting up a micro-distillery in Lilburn, Georgia. I began our journey by applying 40 plus years of experience as an Industrial Manufacturing Engineer in conducting a thorough international search for the equipment that would best fit our requirements. We were looking for a “Swiss Army Knife, do anything” system, and I was off and running. I evaluated 12 different suppliers, from budget to big bucks, and repeatedly kept returning to Affordable Distillery Equipment. One of their secrets is the office staff – bless “patience of a Saint” Susan for putting up with my dumb questions, always answered, cheerfully and promptly. She and Paul were always there to show us “newbies” the way, as was Micah, the seemingly super-human guy that delivered and set up our equipment for us. If anyone is in our neck of the Atlanta suburban woods, please do contact us to make sure we’ll be around, and drop by – we’ll be happy to show off our place, featuring our 300 gallon Ultra Pro Vodka still, fermenters, mix tank, mash pump and steam boiler, all thanks to Affordable Distillery Equipment. Great prices, shortest lead times anywhere, beautiful stuff, outstanding support." - Paul Allen, Hope Springs Distillery “When we started the plan of Black Dog Distillery, we reached out to several still manufacturers and suppliers. ADE and their team took the time we needed to help us understand our options. Not just for today but where we might go in the future. Fast forward a year and half later, we are open and operational. The equipment has been performing and producing award winning Vodka and Rum.” -Keith Moore, Black Dog Distillery. "Paul and Susan at Affordable Distillery Equipment are very knowledgeable and helpful when it comes to making purchases. They provided us with all the specifications for our equipment so that we could purchase the appropriate boiler and pre-organize all our electrical, steam and plumbing trades. This allowed us to have our entire facility up and running in only 5 months. We found both their price quotes and their delivery times unmatched in the research we did on distillery equipment manufacturers. We are happy with the quality and have an on-going relationship with them for our other equipment needs. We highly recommend their products and invite anyone interested in seeing samples of their equipment to come to our distillery to check it out first hand." - Geoff Stewart Big Rig Craft Distillery Ltd.
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  25. Had a great conversation with Joe Dehner on this two years back, so I'll give him credit for turning me onto the process. Fermenting on grain with glucoamylase, starch hydrolysis and saccharification will continue to take place during fermentation, albeit at a slow rate. What this means, practically, is that final alcohol yield is going to be higher than what your mash OG would indicate, especially if your grain particle sizes are larger, or if your mash efficiency is lower. Say you did an iodine test and found starches - these would be converted by the time fermentation was complete. However, unlike the commercials/fuel process, there isn't any reason you wouldn't add glucoamylase to the batch at a higher temperature, where it is more active (60-65c for example), since you would be gelatinizing cereal grains anyway. This process isn't necessarily true SSF, but it's certainly leveraging SSF principles to compensate for grain size, lower mash temperature, low mash efficiency, etc etc. I've played around with a no-boil method that uses a near-boiling strike temperature to get pretty good corn yield, especially if you can take it to flour, it's really just HTAA, GA, and BG and obsessive pH control to hit optimum ranges through the temp drop and enzyme additions.
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  26. Hi there, Here's a little booklet I wrote a few months ago on taste rich distilling. With a few typo's. Sorry for that. Not of native English tongue. Let me know what you think of it and if I should write a few more. Like on gin making, whiskey making, still design and operation, or whatever. As long as you can think of a few questions, me and my team can probably dive in. Regards, Odin. 33 Questions On Taste Rich Distilling.pdf
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  27. You know, Black walnut trees also make great table syrup too- tap them/cook into syrup like you would maple. My 81 year old grandma would give it to us kids on our pancakes....dangerous stuff. Alcohol is lethal to mammals in quantity too. Good thing the TTB ensures that we put it on the labels so people can avoid it. Just kidding, but I'm having a hard time finding any scientific backing of why walnut staves are a bad choice for use as a flavoring compound. I don't believe people will be inserting it into their intraperitoneal cavities, or injecting it intravenously. The only findings are an indication of somnolence. The FDA surprisingly finds alcohol to cause somnolence (drowsiness) also. Lucky for you and me, there is probably no way we will get laminitis and founder. All scientific arguments aside, it's important to test, to look for something unique, tasty, and different, to find old traditions and make new ones. That is what craft distilling is all about. Traditional bourbon was being made (and made well) long before you or I ever fired up our stills and although there is always room for improvement, there is also room for finding the new. The TTB requires charred oak to give the predominant flavor that is consistent with "whisky". As it is, I'm not making black walnut barrels, but using oak barrels with a black walnut inserts and it is a test, not a shelf ready product. Exactly what are you making anyways that probably can't be made better and more consistently in Kentucky? Are you up and running? Do you have anything on the shelf? Is it selling? Nuff said- You should go to work for Budweiser. That should be within your comfort zone of tradition.
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  28. I know you are unhappy with your spreadsheets, and from talking to people and looking at this post, a lot of other people are as well. However, I'm going to stand here and defend spreadsheets. I have written multiple spreadsheets not only for daily reporting and all the TTB logs, but also for budgetary, production scheduling and sales projections, and while they aren't perfect, I wouldn't describe them as clunky either. People always praise software for it's ability to spit out reports or information as needed. Which spreadsheets are capable of as well. It takes me minutes to do all of my end of month paperwork with this spreadsheet, and I have additional information that I have decided is relevant stored on the report. My raw material spreadsheet will turn a case number into bushels, barrels, blocks of yeast, days of still time, and in minutes I can rearrange our production schedule to drop a products numbers and increase another to make sure we are operating at capacity. I'm not sure how good your Excel-fu is and perhaps your spreadsheets are already great, but not good enough, then in that case ignore me. But I'd like to defend the poor old spreadsheet, and say if you are willing to, there is no reason you can't build spreadsheets custom tailored to your business for a fraction of the cost of buying software. To me this is the key, I know software is getting better and more customizable everyday, but nothing beats the flexibility (and price) of a spreadsheet. I'm no spreadsheet expert by any means, but I have found that armed with a whiteboard and list of what I want to accomplish, I can design what I need in a few hours. I also feel by building the spreadsheet, it helps me understand the logistics of whatever the spreadsheet accomplishes. For example, building my TTB record keeping spreadsheets using the CFR as a guideline helped me become intimately aware of their details, which was important for me as I had no experience with regulations before.
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  30. Pretty sure that adding enzymes to a rum ferment is a waste of time. The sugars in molasses (mainly sucrose with some glucose) are readily convertible by the yeast and don't need to be broken down. As Lassiter said, molasses has a high percentage if unfermentables that are not sugars. A example of typical blackstrap might be: Sucrose 35% Glucose plus fructose 15% Water 20% Plant material 20% Inorganic salts (ash) 10%
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  31. Tell them your answer is {confidential}. That kind of answer is BS. I can understand if they want some NDA, but totally confidential is crap. It seems like an answer a company that is faking it until they make it. They could be awesome but too many warning signs.
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  32. Alcohol Strength A little more on alcohol strength. While distilling and while bottling. Let's start with the ABV of you vodka/neutral/GNS in the boiler ... The first question, related to alcohol strength is of course: how does it influence taste? Luckily, the answer is pretty straight forward: if you distill your gin at a higher proof, it will get dryer in taste. That's why London Dry Gin is called "Dry". It is distilled at no less than 70% / 140 proof, that's a quite high percentage ... so "High" equals "Dry". And if you want to get an understanding at what "Dry" means in a gin ... maybe buy a bottle of Gordon's or Beefeater's. If "High" is "Dry", what happens if we distill with lower proof in the boiler, in order to get the distilate to come over below 70%? Well, in that case the gin becomes less dry and more mellow in style. All right. Now, for example's sake, let's assume you want to make a more mellow gin. How to achieve it? By putting a less strong GNS in your boiler. But here comes the interesting challenge: below 30% not all herbs give up their taste oils. Now, if you choose to vapor infuse that's not a problem. The rising gases are stronger than 30%. Even on a 20% boiler charge. But vapor infusion brings over less taste. So how do we deal with boiler infused gin? Bigger taste, but since the boiler charge needs to be 30% for oils extraction ... does this mean we cannot make anything else - when boiler infusing - than a dry style gin? No, it doesn't. And here's the solution I like to work with. What I do, when I make a gin (and I am more of a big taste - so boiler infused - and mellow - so below 70% kinda guy), is this: I prepare my gin run the night before. I fill (example) a 500 liter boiler with 200 liters of 60%. I put the berries in and I put the herbs in. I let them steep over night. Next morning I top of with warm water to bring the ABV down and to preheat the boiler contents (to get to the production phase sooner). Best of both worlds. Works like a charm. Please see the video posted above for more explanation. Now, onwards to bottling strength. Many commercial gins are bottled at 40%. You'd need a very forward cut or light and floral gin to be able to dilute it to 40% without louching. Or you need to chill filter, of which I am not a fan, because it takes away taste. I personally feel 43 to 45% is great. Sometimes 47% is wonderful. My advice: play with ABV. I have helped develop a beautiful gin for customers from Ireland, where we wanted a neat sipper and a gin for in the gin tonic. We used the same herbs bill, the same distilling procedure, and the same cut points. The only thing we changed is how far we diluted down. The neat sipper stayed at 47%, the gin for gin tonic went down to 43%. Amazing taste differences are to be found, just playing with your bottling strength. So what's next? I could talk a bit more on gin aging. Some misconceptions there we can dive into. And/or you tell me what you want me to cover in the next post and I'll try to dive into your questions. Just let me know. Regards, Odin.
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  33. It has been quite a while since I've been on the forum . Checking in to what is new in distilling today. Christopher Kelley owner Rockypoint Copper Stills
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  34. Vapor vs. Boiler Infusion Slowly on the mend, Graffy. One moment I feel good, an hour later it's of to bed again. It seems pneumonia takes a bit longer to recover fully from. But enough about that. Onwards with gin! Vapor vs. boiler infusion, where the first stands for a distillation cycle with the herbs and berries in the vapor path, and where "boiler infusion" stands for a situation where the herbs and berries are put in the diluted GNS that's about to be distilled. I feel the discussion of vapor vs. boiler infused gin follows quite naturally on the thinking about louched vs. non-louched gins. Vapor infusion has seen a steep rise in attention over boiler infusion, over the last years. Mainly, in my opinion, there are two reasons for that. First, vapor infusion is a great way to create a gin without the "issues" associated with louching. Vapor infused gins don't louch, where boiler infused gins do. So if you feel louching is bad (please see the post above), vapor infusion can help you out. The second thing that happened is that Bombay Saphire Gin became a huge hit. And it acclaimed its success to its great taste and its great taste to its vapor infused distilling method. "Delicate" is a word often used to describe vapor infused gins. To burst that second bubble first: Bombay Saphire does not taste great. Yes, it does, when compared to traditional English gins like Beefeaters and Gordons, but in a direct comparison with most Craft Distilled Gins, it does not stand a chance. I know, because we use Bombay (and Hendricks and Tanqueray) in blind tastings when helping our customers developing great tasting gins. Even people that come in and say: "Bombay (or Hendricks or Tanqueray) is my prefered gin!" will never go back to it, once they have done a side-by-side comparison with Craft Distilled Gins. Vapor infusion does not create gins that louche. The reason is that vapors are much, much "thinner" than liquids. Around 1200 limes. One liter of (say) 30% diluted GNS in the boiler will boil-of as 1200 liters of gases. Gas to herbs contact therefore creates much less taste (tasty oils) transfer than liquid to herbs contact. Less oils over means that vapor infusion produces non-louching gins. It also explains why vapor infusion makes a lighter gin. Not by definition more delicate, but, yes, by definition lighter. So, its not like one method is better than the other, that really depends on your goal. Do you want a ligher gin? Use vapor infusion or use boiler infusion and then dilute with GNS. Do you want a bolder, heavier style? Go the route of boiler infused gin. "But how about peels? Peels need to be vapor infused, right? They turn rancid otherwise!" Yes and no. It's not the peels of lemons and limes, tangerines and oranges that turns rancid. It's the inside white, the pith, that does. Both in vapor and in boiler infused approaches. It's just that in vapor infusion less taste, so also less of the potentially rancid tastes, come over. In other words: if you make sure the peel you use has zero to none inside white ... you can put them where ever you like. It is my profound experience (and nowadays the experience of many, many distilleries that have sought our help in product development) that the statement that peels need vapor infusion is a myth. Does this mean vapor management is a myth? That it serves no goal? No. As before: it is a choice you have. An extra tool you can apply. But it is not The Tool That Solves Everything. In fact, if you understand that louching is actually a good thing, and if you work with well cleaned peels in your gin recipe, you'll probably find boiler infusion to be easier and more economical to work with, since it allows you to make both lighter and heavier styles, while using less total herbs to get you there. There is one thing, though, that vapor infusion is king at. And that's if you have flowers in your gin recipe. Most flowers benefit from an oils extraction method that combines both higher ABV's (higher alcohol percentages) and lower temperatures. That's exactly where vapor infusion excels. Gases have undergone one distillation and are by definition stronger in alcohol percentage than the boiler content they boil-of from. And gases have a lower temperature than the temperature of the liquids in the boiler. If you have flowers in your gin recipe, vapor infusion is a great tool. And that's all that's to it. It's not like vapor infusion or boiler infusion are better. Due to the different chemical / scientific situations they offer, both methods provide tools you can use to your benefit. To what goal? To make even better gin. It's not vapor vs. boiler infusion, its vapor AND boiler infusion. Next post? Let's dive into alcohol strength and the difference between a London Dry Style Gin and other gins. Regards, Odin.
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  35. Heres a few of our tasting room. Hard to get a good shot of the overall space as it kind of winds around. To give some context of what we have going on - the first floor of my building has a warehouse space for pallet storage (24x36), common entry/lobby area with a garage door (12x24), grain and merchandise room with backup register (12x36), distillery seating and drink serving area (24x18), brewery drink serving and seating area (24x36). The brewery is a separate business, but our serving and seating areas are in the same large room. Building was originally a tobacco warehouse built in 1900 and added to the the national register in 1990. Went for a rustic barn wood and metal look as it seemed to fit the building and our brand. Most of the wood used on the interior build out came from a barn I helped tear down that was about 20 miles away from the distillery location. On site sales are still a big part of our business so lots of time and energy go into the tasting room. We are open five days a week for drinks and bottle sales and do four regularly scheduled public tours (free - no reservations needed) each weekend. Freight elevator is original to the building and still inspected and used. Runs like a champ!
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  36. To Louch or not to Louch, that's the question! Thanks tbagnulo! Onwards with louched gins! I visited a distillery once that had a wide array of products. Most of them bottled at 40%. Only their gin was bottled at higher strength. I asked the master distiller why? He said - and taking a look I could see it - that even at the higher ABV of 45%, his gin was on the verge of becoming cloudy (or "louchy" as the word seems to be). Would he go any lower in ABV, the gin would turn almost white. I asked him what he thought the solution was. He told me that he had talked to two gin experts. One advised him to cut his herbs bill in half. Use like only 50% of the total herbs bill he had used before. The second one told him to buy a chill filter and filter the haze out. The second solution I really don't like, because it takes away essential oils AKA taste. And anyone who tells you that chill filtering doesn't ... well, let them chill filter their whiskey for 10 times only to find out it starts to taste pretty much like a vodka! The first solution of using less herbs, isn't good either. It relies on the assumption that a louched gin is bad. I feel it isn't. A louched gin is a great indication you got over huge amounts of tasty oils. And that was the goal right? To create a big tasting gin. So how do we solve the louch? Easy, dilute some neutral / gns to the same percentage as the louched gin, and add a portion. There will be a moment (75:25, 66:34, 50:50, etc.) when all of a sudden the louch lifts. In a second, maybe two. You now have the gin with the most taste possible. And if you think it is too big in taste? Dilute it. Bottom line? A louched gin gives you a balpark. A starting point that makes it easy to create great tasting gin with the same flavor profile over and over again. And you can always dilute a big taste gin to a lighter one, but not the other way around. Next post: on boiler vs. vapor infused gins. Regards, Odin. PS: Here's a movie on me making gin. With lots of info on how to do it! Here it is:
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  37. I had posted a diagram in this thread: But it appears the image I posted was lost in one of the forum upgrades. After some searching, I think I have found it once more, although it appears this is actually for a triple-distilled Scotch.
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  38. Thought it would be appropriate for the first post in the Canadian section of ADI forum to be about the basic requirement associated with "Product of Canada" claim on spirit labels. Based on information available on CFIA website, less than 2 per cent of the ingredients used in making the spirit can be imported from outside of Canada if one is to use "Product of Canada" on their label. Here is a link to source of info: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/labelling/food-labelling-for-industry/origin/eng/1393622222140/1393622515592?chap=5 My Kannuk vodka will be made from 100% Canadian ingredients, therefore not an issue for my vodka. However, if I was to make a spirit from Bananas for example, and we don't grow bananas in Canada, would you then indicate on the label "Made in Canada from imported ingredients"? Or would you just indicate "Distilled in Canada"? Curious what others know about this topic.
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  39. Yes. But... We must always guard against the danger of getting lost in the romanticism of nostalgia. We can respect the old ways and be thankful that we have the ability to stand on the shoulders of giants, but that doesn't mean that we should not push the limits, leveraging new technologies and new techniques, to create new, unique, and better products than our elders had before us. Just because they are the old ways, do not mean that they are the best ways. Don't mistake my words, I'm not saying that a new way is better because it's new, or that an old way isn't the best way. Just like our elders had the responsibility of growing and enriching their craft, so do we. If it means an old way must go, it must go. I believe the old artisans would approve. I'm sure I'm not the only one who reads this article as being condescending. I'm sure it wasn't written to come off as condescending, but it is nonetheless. I admit, it's nice to look back on the good old days. Everything was better back then, wasn't it? Men were men, honesty was a virtue, and someone's word actually meant something. Having studied neuroscience and cognitive psychology for many years, with a focus on emotion, memory, and cognitive bias, I can't help but read these kinds of nostalgic pieces and imagine how much of that retrospection was clouded by biases and flaws (or omissions) in our memories. There is a well known cognitive bias called Rosy Retrospection. Despite the cute name, it's the basis for those feelings of romantic nostalgia we have for the past. However, it also means that perhaps the past was not how we remember. I still remember the taste of the champagne that I sipped after toasting with my wife at our wedding reception, or the taste of that whiskey me and the boys sipped when getting the news that there was a little one on the way, god it was so good. The reality of it is, the good old days weren't. I'm not complaining that our brains have a propensity to fade unpleasant memories, and retain (and even embellish) the good ones. Life would be awful otherwise, wouldn't it? But, the old stories come together, and history is written with these biases. So when we look back, we need to understand that the negatives were probably omitted, and the positives are certainly more positive than they were. So, now we get to the truth, let's be realistic here. Commercial producers, even small ones, have been producing awful spirits for as long as people have been drinking them. You would be remiss to simply assume just because some producer produced something seventy five years ago, it was absolutely fantastic, magical, unparalleled in quality and without compare. Because, you know what, most of it was probably pretty bad. Craft was probably the last thing in many of their minds. Losing a batch to a raging bacterial infection meant your kids going hungry, so they produced it anyway. I've tasted lots of very old product, you know, the kind with fancy scores and reviews, when people fawn over names, and was amazed that after dozens of years your could still taste the fact that they didn't bother to take much of a heads cut, hell, any cut at all. The raw distillate was probably so god awful that it needed 25 years on oak just to be remotely drinkable. What I don't understand is, why make these overly broad, sweeping assumptions about the new breed of craft producers? Yet at the same time paying some kind of religious homage to those who came before? Frankly, neither deserve it.
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  40. Let's begin, again. A-use the hydrometer, and you don't need a college degree or computer to figure out the deviations. B- add your enzymes below 150 (except for a small amounts to keep the mash thin) C- add your non corn items after the corn has rested at 180+, and those items will help to bring your mash temp down so you can get to (B) in an orderly and timely fashion without wasting to much energy.
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  41. You are killing your malt/enzymes by adding it over 150. Also, you can't use a refractometer on your beer, once it has alcohol in it. Fine for the initial info, but worthless once the fermentation starts.
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  42. Golden, We are in Greensboro NC. There are advantages and disadvantages with being in a control state. NC has been really supportive, just know that the tasting room will not bring as much revenue in NC as it will or Oregon. We can only sell 1 bottle, per person, per year right now, and cannot serve mixed drinks. So, just keep that in mind if you are planning on focusing on a tasting room revenue.
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  43. A slight tangent... Very good point. We started out using Lallemand's line of distiller yeasts and found the flavor was indeed much more representative of the product being produced when the fermentation temp was in the range of that specified in the yeast documentation. During winter we had a rum ferment that was in the low 60s that was nearly tasteless (sugar source was 68% TSAI molasses so pretty clean in and of itself) after the spirits run. We found that fermenting in the upper 80s resulting in a drastically shorter ferment time and a better flavor profile.
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  44. We have a Culligan brand system. Haven't used anything else for comparison, but no complaints.
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  45. You cannot dispose of spirits in bulk containers (more than one gallon) from the DSP unless it is for transfer in bond to another DSP, industrial use, use in wine production, or government use. Doing so is contrary to both law and regulation. If you bottle the spirits, you could remove them upon payment of tax, without violating federal law, but states generally want to collect their taxes, so they want the spirits to enter the commerce stream in a way that ensures that the state tax is paid on them. §1.80 Sales of distilled spirits in bulk. It is unlawful for any person to sell, offer to sell, contract to sell, or otherwise dispose of distilled spirits in bulk, for nonindustrial use, except for export or to the classes of persons enumerated in §§1.82, 1.83, and 1.84. §1.82 Acquiring or receiving distilled spirits in bulk for redistillation, processing, rectification, warehousing, or warehousing and bottling. (a) Proprietors of distilled spirits plants. Persons holding basic permits (issued under subpart B of this part) authorizing the distilling, processing, rectifying, or warehousing and bottling of distilled spirits, or operating permits (issued under §19.91 and succeeding sections of this chapter) may acquire or receive in bulk and redistill, warehouse, or process distilled spirits, so far as permitted by law. ( Proprietors of class 8 customs bonded warehouses. If the permittee operates a class 8 customs bonded warehouse, the permittee may acquire or receive in bulk, and warehouse and bottle, imported distilled spirits, so far as permitted by the customs laws. §1.83 Acquiring or receiving distilled spirits in bulk for addition to wine. Persons holding permits as producers and blenders of wine, may, pursuant to such permit, acquire or receive in bulk alcohol or brandy for addition to wines. §1.84 Acquisition of distilled spirits in bulk by Government agencies. Any agency of the United States, or of any State or political subdivision thereof, may acquire or receive in bulk, and warehouse and bottle, imported and domestic distilled spirits in conformity with the internal revenue laws. I keep reciting the mantra - look tot the regulations for answers.
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  46. I believe that once spirit is bottled and the federal tax is paid, at that point only the state will care how the bottle gets into the owner's hand. I can't find any regulation on container size limit once you get it home, and barrels are perfectly legal to own. Might be less of a headache to just buy the bottles from yourself in a few years when you're done aging, though.
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  47. Swede from AD may be able to help. His website: www.distillerycontrols.com
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  48. It took me a while to figure out what you were talking about, but I finally got it, and that definitely helps. For everyone else, I've summarized a few things and included some links below: TTB F 5110.11 – Monthly Report of Storage Operations (http://www.ttb.gov/forms/f511011.pdf) Completed using proof gallons – Monthly, due by the 15th of the following month. http://www.ttb.gov/forms_tutorials/f511011/f511011_tutorial.html The purpose of completing TTB Form 5110.11 is to report storage account activity for a Beverage or Industrial Distilled Spirits Plant. This report is to be filed if the operation of warehouseman is shown on your permit and registration. If there is no activity during the month, you are required to file the report showing zeros. Send to: TTB National Revenue Center (Form 5110.11) 550 Main Street, Room 8002 Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 TTB F 5100.28 – Monthly Report of Processing Operations (http://www.ttb.gov/forms/f511028.pdf) Completed using proof gallons - Monthly, due by the 15th of the following month. http://www.ttb.gov/forms_tutorials/f511028/f511028_tutorial.html Form 5110.28 must be filed if your plant conducts processing (rectifying), bottling, packaging or denaturing operations. You are required to file this report each month. If there is no activity during any months, you are required to file the report showing zeros. Send to: TTB National Revenue Center (Form 5110.28) 550 Main Street, Room 8002 Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 TTB F 5110.40 – Monthly Report of Production Operations (http://www.ttb.gov/forms/f511040.pdf) Completed using proof gallons - Monthly, due by the 15th of the following month. http://www.ttb.gov/forms_tutorials/f511040/f511040_tutorial.html Form 5110.40 must be filed if distilling/production operations are shown on permit and on registration. You are required to file this report each month. If there is no activity during the month, you are required to file the report showing zeros. Send to: Director, National Revenue Center (Form 5110.40) 550 Main Street, Room 8002 Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 TTB F 5110.43 – Monthly Report of Processing (Denaturing) Operations (http://www.ttb.gov/forms/f511043.pdf) Completed in wine gallons (regular US liquid gallons) - Monthly, due by the 15th of the following month. http://www.ttb.gov/forms_tutorials/f511043/f511043_tutorial.html Report in this section recovered denatured spirits and/or recovered articles users return to you for restoration or redenaturation. You may also report any denatured spirits or articles that you recover and/or either restore or redenatured. Send to: Director, National Revenue Center (Form 5110.43) 550 Main Street, Ste. 8002 Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-5215 TTB F 5000.24 – (http://www.ttb.gov/forms/f500024.pdf) Completed for US$ amounts – Semi-Monthly returns are normally due no later than the 14th day after the last day of the return period. Except for the September periods the 16th-26th shall be filed no later than Sept. 29th. The period 27th-30thshall be filed no later than October 14th. (3 returns due in September) http://www.ttb.gov/forms/helpful_hints500024.shtml http://www.ttb.gov/forms/smartform-user-guide500024.pdf http://www.ttb.gov/expo/presentations-black/s10-bw.pdf Send to: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau Excise Tax (F 5000.24) P O Box 790353 St. Louis, MO 63179-0353
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  49. The advice above is good, get an engineer which will cost you some $ upfront but will save you $$$ later when your local Fire/Building Department evaluates your project. They won't be arguing with your engineer but they will with you. Buy the codes and read them. This is an overview and not all inclusive. An F1 occupancy allows for production of beverage grade alcohol of more than 18%. IFC table 307.1(1) limits a non-sprinklered F1 to 120 gallons of class IB-IC flammable liquids and class II combustible liquids at 120 gallons. Per table 2703.8.3.2 this limit is per control area. A control area is defined as a room with a 2hour fire rated wall and you can have multiple control areas per floor depending on construction and building type. Sprinklers increase the hour rating in a room/building and double this capacity limit, thus the 240 gallon. The barrel exemption per IFC chapter 27 - 2701.1-9 and IFC chapter 34 3402.1-10 is just that, so the rest of the chapter does not apply including height limitations, etc. Most spirits are bottled as Class II combustible liquids. Spirits stored in containers less than 1.3 gallons (5L) in storage are excluded from the volume limits per IFC chapter 27 - 2701.1-1 and IFC chapter 34 3402.1-2. Once packaged, the individual bottles should be stored in cases and placed on pallets by product type.
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  50. Just an FYI to anyone dealing with their state on alcohol laws, this statement is not always true- In Wisconsin, unless it is expressly allowed by regulations you CAN NOT do it!
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