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Showing most liked content since 03/16/2018 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    Hey Mosaic, Distillate tastes great. It is very neutral tasting, and if carbon filtered, tastes like a perfectly fine vodka. I am using 100% grain base. I could probably get a higher proof if I ran an additional distillation, but we don't sell vodka so I have never had the need.
  2. 1 point
    Back from the dead, nearly 10 years later.
  3. 0 points
    How about ... how about we do a 4-day gin workshop in the USA? You come in with ideas, we train you, we make extracts, concentrates and then translate your ideas to an actual recipe? Next step is that we run that recipe, all the students taste it and give feedback ... and we run it again maybe with a few last tweaks to make it gin perfect? You basically walk in with the wish to make a great gin. Four days later you walk out with the actual recipe, herbs bill, and distilling procedure to make that gin in your own craft distillery? Let me know if that would be of interest to you! Sales@iStillmail.com. If this is helping you, we'll organize it! Regards, Odin.
  4. 0 points
    Yes, and thanks to all for that. This post is meant to aggregate peoples' experience and preference for one type of condenser, not to be antagonistic or assert that one is superior. I have personally found that coils are safer, but there are compelling arguments to be made for both styles and I want to hear them. In most of the comments above, the superiority of one style over the other has to do with the traditional materials used; copper vs. stainless. Eliminating that variable we get: Tube in Shell Pros: Compact size Less surface area contact time (also a Con for certain spirit types such as Cognac or Scotch when a longer temp gradient is desirable) Less chance of occlusion or blockage (though, as I mentioned earlier, occlusion of the condenser should never be an issue) Coil Pros: Better control of thermal gradient, especially important when using a reactive material such as copper. Safety. Totally anecdotal, I admit. I haven't seen this topic addressed on these forums before and want to understand all of the subtleties at hand. Thanks again for everyone's input.
  5. 0 points
    Off-time is generally the time after lunch service but before dinner service, it's a pretty narrow window usually, in my parts about 2-3, maybe a little wider. Before lunch service, you generally miss the beverage manager, don't even attempt coming in during service as you'll be ignored, and things are generally pretty busy leading up to dinner service starting, 4-5. You tend to have a little bit more leeway if it's a restaurant that doesn't open for lunch. Weekends are usually always off the table.
  6. 0 points
    Go early in the week and during off times. See if you can set up an appointment with the buyer/beverage manager/etc even if you have personal or professional connections with them. Be prepared to do a tasting at each place and have all of your "ducks in a row". This means drink(pour)- bottle- and case costs, any promotional material (sell sheet) or support you have, qty discounts, and ask when they prefer deliveries and try to be in the window when you do the deliveries. Don't hound them but you should expect to need to keep on them since all the other reps are doing the same for their brands. Take PaulNL's advice - it's right on target. [edit: also, don't forget that you'll still need to do and have all of these things when you sign with a distributor too]
  7. 0 points
    By way of an update, for those that are interested, we ended up with a 24-day ferment down to 1.002, which would have been awesome had it not taken so long. We felt we learned some things about nutrient additions and adding more yeast so we tried again with our new found knowledge. We started batch #2 on march 1 and went with roughly the same OG, feeling that the correct nutrient and yeast addition regimen would overcome...we were wrong. We started batch #3 on March 7 at a lower OG of 1.065 and followed the same yeast and nutrient regimen. They are both down to 1.03, but batch #3 has done it in half the time. That being said both have had issues of stalling and we are in the strong belief it has to do with pH. At one point the pH of batch #2 got down to 2.5. We have been working to keep the pH of both around 3.5 and the fermentation is visibly more active and the SG drops about 4 points a day instead of 1-2. So batch 4 is going to be the charm, with an OG around 1.065 and monitoring pH daily. Thanks again for all of your input and i hope our experience is helpful to someone else.
  8. 0 points
    All of the above is true, however many traditionalists will argue, particularly with Cognac, that a tube-in-bath or worm-tub type condenser leads to a slower step down in temperature (top of the bath is hotter than the bottom of the bath) and that the temperature of the distillate coming off the still will affect the flavor of the product. I believe, although am not certain, it is standard practice to watch both the temperature of the finished distillate and the proof, and it is easier to control that temperature with a worm-tub. We have both worm-tubs and a tube-in-shell. We use the worm-tub stills for brandy and mostly make American whiskey on the tube-in-shell, albeit not the only reason we use the stills for those products.
  9. 0 points
    So back to my original question. What, if any, specific and unique benefit does tube-in-jacket have over a coil designed with the same throughput rate? Higher efficiency - Countercurrent tube-in-shell heat exchangers will have a higher overall efficiency than tube-in-bath. Smaller Package - Tube-in-shell will be smaller, have more surface area, more efficient use of space. Safer design - Multiple vapor/liquid paths mean reduced risk of occluding the single-path design of tube-in-bath. Tube-in-bath designs are older, less-advanced designs, where the ability to create more efficient designs was not possible to to the manufacturing complexity involved. Fairly easy to make a crude tube-in-bath condenser with soft copper and any container you might have. Building a baffled tube-in-shell is going to require significant machining/welding. I am of the community that feels that you should not use copper on the downside vapor path, so for me, a copper worm would not represent a good option. The only advantage that a tube-in-bath/worm condenser has is that it can be easily/crudely made.
  10. 0 points
    Hello Thatch, my 2c: although in a completely different country (NL) I face the exact same issue over here. Am allowed to sell to bars, restaurants and liquor stores. The two main things I've learned in the last year are: - a. only go after companies that sell drinks in your price bracket (in my case 55 USD a bottle average retail price; so that's Michelin starred restaurants and specialty liquor stores) and - b. try to find some "ambassadors" who can introduce you (in my case several well-known chefs and a sommelier who worked at ** starred restaurants) Once you meet people immediately become friends with them on LinkedIn and FaceBook so once people look you up they see you know many of their colleagues. One more thing: try to find out what the typical markup is, so ask someone you know in a liquor store or a bar/restaurant (different) for the formula they use to go from purchase price to sales price for a bottle or a glass. Paul.
  11. 0 points
    Whoa - I misread this the first time. I bet you mean the proof and fill check you make at the time of bottling. I'll talk about that here. I wish I could do it in a few short words. I can't. The law says TTB must make regulations that make sure consumers are not misled as to the quantity of the product in the bottle. For spirits, the quantity is the volume, but it is also the proof. So TTB requires that you tell consumer how much and how strong. Because TTB is not making tests to determine if you are doing that, they require that you keep records to prove that you are. It sounds good in theory. It sounds professional. But it is not. Your records will not provide assurance of compliance. Let’s look at why I say that. The regulations provide for a record of the proof and the fill of bottles. You find the record requirement in 19.600, which is headed "Alcohol content and fill test record." It requires specific information, but you will not find a "form" that TTB offers as appropriate for your use. In the broad sense, the records you keep of the tests you perform for each bottling are supposed to allow a TTB official to determine that you are complying with Sec. 19.356. Sec. 19.356 requires that, during bottling, you take adequate samples of bottled spirits, at representative intervals, to "ensure" that products are within the tolerances established by that section. I add the emphasis to point out TTB doesn't tell you how to do what they require. The regulations do not discuss how many samples you must take and at what intervals you must take them in order to "ensure" compliance. They place the onus on you. Why doesn’t TTB give sample sizes and frequency? It doesn’t do that because it is impossible for you to do what they ask. Sampling is not an easy subject and I am not an expert. I know just enough to recognize hogwash. It is hogwash to expect any small distiller to have a sampling program that “ensures” compliance. It also is hogwash to expect any small distiller to have a sampling program that will allow statistically valid projections of compliance at any reasonable confidence level. If pressed about sample parameters, the TTB officer who is auditing your records would probably dance to the side with a comment, every case is different, so we can’t specify sample size. Well, sure, every case is different, but the rules for statistical sampling, i.e., for sampling from which the TTB officer can draw the conclusion required by 19.356, that the sampling program ensures compliance, don’t change. And that leads to problems. The basic rules of statistical sampling do not allow for a sampling program that will ensure compliance. Talk of ensuring is prattle. Since TTB cannot possibly create a sample standard that ensures, it punts. TTB says it is up to you to devise the program. Going a little deeper. If we want to draw a conclusion from a sample, we must know the sample size needed to establish, within an acceptable degree of accuracy, that the bottles are consistently within the tolerance established by 19.356. Assuming you select the sample in a valid way, given the sample size, the frequency of the sample, the expected error rate, and the universe from which it is obtained, you will have a level of assurance, say 95%, that between 96% and 98% are within the tolerances allowed. Note that it is a qualitative finding. It says nothing about how much things vary. An error of 5% counts just as much as an error of 50%. All errors are created equal in frequency sampling. Which is fine, as far as theory goes. But when the universe is small, i.e., the size of a bottling run by a small distiller, no sample size will provide results that will allow a conclusion of the sort, we are 95% sure that the between 96% and 98% of the bottles were within tolerance. Even if TTB were to have a standard that said, you must take sufficient samples to establish, with a 95% confidence level, that between 96% and 98% of the bottles were in tolerance, TTB would have to determine how taking stratified samples, instead of random samples, affect the assurance of compliance, what rate of error is expected, etc., i.e. how to deal with all the variables that bedevil students in college statistics classes, let alone a small distiller left adrift by broadly stated requirements for which TTB provides no further guidance. Worse yet, in a small business, audit standards provide that an auditor looking at compliance must assume that the internal controls are inadequate to ensure. And proof and fill tests are "internal controls." Because the auditor cannot place any reliance on internal controls (you could be inventing all the test data), the auditor would have to test every bottle to ensure compliance. But most of those bottles had best be gone from bond or your business is probably in deep trouble. My point? Sampling is not an easy subject and I am not an expert. I know just enough to recognize hogwash. It is hogwash to expect any small distiller to have a sampling program that ensures compliance. So, what would I recommend, recognizing that I am not TTB, but that TTB has chosen to punt? The practical answer is, provide the TTB officer with information that satisfies the TTB officer, who, like you, is without an objective standard for how many and how often to test. I know, that is a statement of the obvious, but it is all we are left with. My best advice, in practice, is ask yourself, based on your sampling, if you are reasonably sure that you are within tolerance. If you are reasonably sure and the TTB officer is a reasonable person, your program will pass the test. That is the best guide I can offer. I'd be interested in hearing comments from any statisticians and/or auditors on my comments.