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  1. 2 likes
    Ah! "but not the chemistry behind how they interact once mixed.".... Along similar lines to "What is the meaning of Life, The Universe, and Everything?" As the Japanese distillers have pursued (to their definite and large advantage), modern chemistry allows PRECISE discovery of "what is in it?" for any liquid. Down to parts-per-billion precision and with total knowledge of component identification. There are NO components in - for example - a Great malt whisky which cannot be acquired in pure form so that a duplicate "recipe" of ingredients can be made. The Great Mystery is how these form over time in the environment inside an ageing barrel. And even that is no longer much of a mystery to the Chemistry Detectives. Techniques have been available for DECADES to relatively mundane laboratories not only to identify and quantify ALL such components, and to also to TRACK whence they came. Time-spanned repeat studies even show up "intermediates" along the way. So, the scientifically inclined follow their path, sometimes with a quiet chuckle for the Traditionalists who insist that a good malt only develops if the right number of old bones are thrown into the air, at the right height and with the correct incantation....... And the Traditionalists laugh in (near) total disbelief at the complete analysis of the Big Picture suggested by their opponents. The big question is who, over time, makes the best product in terms of Customer acceptance AND preparedness to pay. And PROFIT of course! Which US Distilleries get $100 per 70cl bottle of single malt made on a COFFEY STILL (and know that even some in Scotland have done for many decades....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Nevis_distillery )? How many posters herein are actively and currently discussing and debating such progressive options to Process Improvement, compared to those promoting "same old" methodologies? Sure ALL distilleries have seen gradual incorporation of newer ideas and technologies over the centuries. What many seem to fail to grasp is the rate of ACCELERATION of such adoptions, and the rapid demise of those failing to see the "train" heading their way in their tunnel! Cast your minds back to how impregnable DEC seemed with their super-mini computers in 1985. Or Compaq did with their PC's in 1995. Both GONE. Extinct as the dinosaurs. And all they did was to fall behind "the Curve" SET BY THEIR CUSTOMERS' NEEDS. They both thought they owned their market. Both were seriously mistaken! Just my $0.02
  2. 2 likes
    Producing Green Rye Malt (Laundromat method) ( the most photographed part of my distillery) I no longer use the bucket or floor methods because I have built an automatic system using an old commercial clothes dryer. I can do about 40 Kg ?? pounds at a time. The drum is lined with fine stainless mesh because the original holes are too large. There is a small plastic microjet garden sprinkler fitted through the door to keep grain moist. Motor gearing has been changed so drum turns slowly. It is also on a timer so it switches on about every hour and gives the grain a squirt of water. Drum is loaded with dry grain and timer switched on. I return 2 days later in summer (4 days in winter) and it is finished. (I sometimes pre-soak the grain if I need to get more batches out per week) If I need to peat smoke the grain I light some peat in the space below the drum. When I malt barley I dry it by turning on HEAT and speed up the drum. I am currently building a larger drum to do about half ton batches.
  3. 1 like
    The manually operated lift forks are great in a small space. I have one similar to the link above. Also good for lifting drums to syphon out.
  4. 1 like
    Taste and nose the spirit regularly. Get the cubes/chips out when you think it has enough. Time taken will vary with temperature, variations in temperature and even air pressure to a small extent. If you think it has become over oaked then add some spirit. If you have some spirit that has been off the still for some time that would be better as spirit does mellow even without oak. Also if you are trying to rapid age I suggest you take a much larger heads cut. Those highly volatile compounds you remove are similar to the "angels share" that barrels lose over time. ie. the angels share is mostly volatiles you don't want, they get the trash.
  5. 1 like
    Welcome Rachael. Some of the other people here use manual pallet stackers - http://www.globalindustrial.com/g/material-handling/lift-trucks/manual-lift/big-joe-manual-push-hand-operated-lift-stacker For racks: http://barrelsandracks.com/racks/ - There's large number of suppliers out there, including used as Hedgebird. Maybe some of the other guys can post their suppliers. What area of the country are you in?
  6. 1 like
    Lots of companies selling used barrel racks. We stack three high (so six total barrels on a rack set) and can still push them around with a pallet jack. Fill then in place on the rack, pump empty while they are still on the rack. Disadvantage is you cant really harvest the bottom ones until you get the top ones off. We also use a chain hoist to lift barrels, but can only do that on the bottom or middle rack as the third barrel up is too high to get under the hoist.
  7. 1 like
    Producing Green Rye Malt (floor malting) Soak (steep) the rye grain for 8 hours in buckets or a larger vessel. Drain and leave 8-12 hours. Soak with water again for another 5 or so hours then drain and spread about 3 inches deep on floor. Keep moist with water spray. Cover with burlap = best, or loose fitting plastic can help keep the top moist. Turn the grain with a shovel (or hands if small quantity) every 12 hours until it gets warm then turn and spray more regularly as it warms up. (Rye has no husk so it soaks up water quicker than barley, but it also dries out quickly so it is important to keep up the water spray) Grind it up when the average acrospires are almost same length as the grain. (Floor malting probably produces better quality malt because it is easier to control the temperature but the bucket method is so easy especially if you have limited space and only need a small quantity)
  8. 1 like
    Producing Green Rye Malt (bucket method) ( a fresh batch of green malt needs to be done for each mashing) I do 20% of my grain but I expect that 15% or even 10% would do if malted under ideal conditions, but I am being cautious. A very easy way is to almost fill (2 inches from top) enough plastic buckets with the required amount of grain. Fill the buckets to top with water and leave for about 8 hours, no longer than 12. Use a bucket lid with holes drilled in it (or some other type of strainer) to empty all the water. Keep in a reasonably cool area. High quality rye malt is produced at about 10 deg C but it works OK at higher temps. leave another 12 hours then get another empty bucket and tip the wet grain into new bucket so grain from top of bucket ends up in bottom of next bucket. Wet grain from the bottom of the original bucket will end up on the top and a little water will permeate the dryer grain below. Repeat this every 8 to 12 hours. Add a very small amount of water if there is none in the bottom of a bucket when you tip it. After about 24 hours you should see the first signs of the rye sprouting. The grain will swell with water and again when the roots and acrospires start emerging. You will eventually need 3 times the original buckets . The grain will start to get warm after about day 2 so if convenient it would be better to tip more regularly to disperse the heat. Repeat for about 3-4 days or until the average acrospires (yellow-green fat sprout) are almost the same length of the grain. (take no notice of the length of the thinner white roots) Grind the malt, roots and all, in a meat grinder, or some type of wet mill. My roller mill is not suitable for wet milling. Use the malt within a few hours or it will start to ferment. (I occasionally bag up the finished un-ground malt and put in freezer for a day or so if I get the timing wrong)