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  1. 4 likes
    Hi folks, I recently discovered that the ADI forum has a "no badmouthing" policy. This doesn't sound bad, but in practice it allows sponsors of the forum to have any content they don't like removed, even objective reviews. After recently posting a negative experience with one of the forum sponsors, my post was removed and I was threatened by the sponsor with a lawsuit. But in the meantime I was contacted by several other distillers who have had even worse experiences with this particular company. I now know there are numerous lawsuits in the works against this company, which appears to be in the business of taking deposits and providing faulty, late or no equipment to its customers. Because of ADI's forum moderation policy, there are no candid reviews of this company on the forum. Presumably if other people have shared similar experiences they have been taken down. If I had known about other people's experiences, I would not have done business with them. Since this is the primary place where distillers talk to each other, having the ability to share negative experiences is absolutely critical to the industry. I asked Bill Owens to consider changing this policy, and he has not responded, so I thought it wise to post it here. Either the ADI forum needs to change its policy to allow for open dialogue and reviews of its sponsors, or we need to open a new forum that is not censored in this way. Thanks, Joel Vikre
  2. 4 likes
    Masters in chemistry, while helpful, is far from necessary. What you really need is a process engineering consultant for about a year, a stellar marketing company, compliance officer, and CFO. Oh, and a shit-ton of money. Distilling is by far the easiest thing about running a distillery (and probably, after the first year, the most boring).
  3. 3 likes
    As bluefish says, use weight. For your calculation the only volume you should put into alcodens is 750 mL and the only temperature is 60 f (assuming you are TTB) Also, do not bother measuring the temperature of your bulk spirit. With mass that is irrelevant, and it has confused you because you have put that 73.54 f into Alcodens to calculate the 1072 bottles. 1674.8 lbs should have filled only 1066 bottles at 60 f. You have actually filled 14 more bottles than you should. What you have done is filled the bottles with 750 mL of spirit at 73.54 f instead of at 60 f. There will be less than 750 mL in the bottle which is part of the reason you ended up with extra bottles. Also, throw away that measuring cylinder. For one thing it is calibrated at 20c not 60f. (was the 80 proof you measured at 20 c? ) Parallel sided glass cylinders are not sensitive enough to read to fractions of a mL unless they are very skinny. Even so, I still can't see how your measuring cylinder was 11 mL out. Don't do your volume checks with a measuring cylinder, use weight. 750 mL of 80 proof at standard temperature (US) 60f weighs 712.34g. (in air for TTB calculations only) An easy way I use is to stack say 10 cases of empty bottles with caps on your scale. Fill them all then re-weigh. If they are cases of 6 X 750 mL then the lot should weigh 60 X 712.34 = 47.74 Kg (94.226 lbs) more than when they were empty
  4. 2 likes
    Your 1674.8 lbs of 80 proof will give you 804.1 liters at 73.54°F. AlcoDens and the TTB Tables agree on this. But because 750 ml at 60°F grows to 754 ml at 73.54°F you should expect to get 804.1/0.754 = 1066 bottles. This agrees with PeteB’s mass based calculation. The underfill is 4 ml per bottle so you could expect to have 1066 x 4 / 750 = 5.7 extra bottles. The fact that you had 14 too many means that we still need to find where the extra 8 bottles came from. I agree that your scale is unlikely to be the source of error, but keep it in mind to check once you have eliminated all other possible reasons. If your proofing was out and the 1674.8 lbs actually gave you 810.0 liters ( = 1080 x 0.750) instead of the calculated 804.1 then your density at 73.54°F was 7.8262 lb/WG and this would correspond to a proof of 88.2. It is unlikely that you could be this far out. Another possibility for error would be if your bottling temperature was not the 73.54°F in your storage tank. But the temperature would need to be in the region of 90°F to explain the difference. This should be easy to check. As PeteB has said, it would be better to do your quantity checks during the run based on mass rather than volume. If you have an accurate lab scale you could also use it to calibrate your measuring cylinder. Use AlcoDens to calculate the expected weight of 0 proof (i.e. water) when your cylinder is full, and fill it with RO or well filtered water. If you have a bottling machine that uses a fixed head (pressure) and adjustable timer to control the fill quantity then you can set it to give a target weight rather than volume. The weight filled will vary with the temperature of the spirit and if you make a note of the time required and the temperature each time you adjust it you will soon be able to draw up a calibration curve to speed up the job.
  5. 2 likes
    Most books on distilled spirits are worthless, except for the technical references, which tend to be heavily theoretical textbook or journal articles. Some of the best stuff has bubbled up from the hobby community. Crozdog's gin manual is a good start if you are interested in vapor distilling - https://www.stilldragon.org/uploads/manuals/StillDragon.The.Gin.Basket.Operation.Manual.v1.1.20140116.pdf Odin's post and video from the other day was very good as well. I'd wager a guess that both of these are better technical guides than any published book. Although I really do like The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart (this is a lay book).
  6. 1 like
    Racked my brain the other day about how I could have possibly overfilled by 17ml, or had such a significant proofing error (on a smaller bottling run). Checked bottle weights - spot on. Dumped bottles to check proof, spot on. Nothing wrong. Counted the cases over and over, checked the bottles. Checked the hydrometer. Nothing wrong. Turned out a full case ended up stacked on a pallet of empties, and the total count was 6 bottles short. Racked my brains for a day until my brother comes over and asks why a full case was sitting on top of a pallet of empties. Hallelujah, all of the sudden the math works, all is right in the world. Any chance you over counted by 1 case, or a case of empties made it over to the full pallet side? Just throwing it out there. Everything PeteB and Meerkat say still applies. Dump the graduated cylinder - get a small scale with reasonable accuracy to check bottle fill. I have a small 5kg scale with good sub-gram accuracy.
  7. 1 like
    I should add that it is possible to have a policy that allows direct and honest comments and reviews but doesn't allow disrespectful, hateful or slanderous speech. It just requires the moderators to exercise some judgement, and the members to help ensure positive honest and respectful tone.
  8. 1 like
    Use weight for your bottle fill instead of volume. Weight doesn't change, but volume does with temperature.
  9. 1 like
  10. 1 like
    We sincerely appreciate any reasonable feedback from our customers or friends,since they help us improve better. We welcome any potential customers or friends to visit us and know us in person. Thanks. Penny Email: daey010@dayuwz.com
  11. 1 like
    I agree. I love to read constructive criticism. It should be personal experience, not hearsay and specific. Either design, materials, craftsmanship or service in nature.
  12. 1 like
    Exact same design as Kothe stills http://www.kothe-distilling.com/newsite/stills/vodka
  13. 1 like
    While I have zero personal experience, I have talked to a distiller who had nothing but good things to say about DYE. If you're going to rip a company apart (especially on a professional's forum) please at least bring some direct evidence as to why we shouldn't do business with a company. If any customers have anything good or bad to say, I'd love to hear it because it's a company which we have considered for our growth plan.
  14. 1 like
    Hey Everyone! Wanted to share with you all Black Water Barrels Production Process!! Check it out and see some behind the scenes footage of what goes into creating a Black Water Barrels. #BWBSC Cheers!!
  15. 1 like
    You want exhaust pulling low in fermentation, barrel aging and spirit storage spaces. High and low for around the still, assuming you have spirit sitting near it. Hot vapor leaving the still via a leak or an incident will go up. Otherwise alcohol vapor and CO2 are heavier than air and will sink.
  16. 1 like
    Hey Mott- We're just starting up...and with a fresh perspective I can say you've asked a bunch of questions only you guys can answer. Simply going down the path and preparing to risk the capital can really help you focus on what you want to do. You'll hear a whole spectrum of advice - start small, start big, only do this or do that! Write a business plan on your top spirit that YOU want to make, and let it go from there. It will help you see what it really costs and how much time it will take before you see a return. If I were in a nice agricultural area, I'd see if I could find a good location with lots of tourist traffic. Check zoning, building codes, fire regulations, local acceptance among stakeholders, etc first. If you can endure that set of special headaches and still want to do it....that's a good test. Visit every distillery you can in a multi state area and talk to them about how they did it. Good luck!
  17. 1 like
    You can have a Distillery and Restaurant in Oregon. Oregon Spirit Distillers and the Barrel Thief Lounge, Bend Oregon. Cheers all!
  18. 1 like
    I know other PA distilleries that have done exactly that, but it seems its a gray area. I just called and spoke with the PLCB asking if we can deliver or if we can apply for a licensed Transporter for Hire in order to deliver. The lady I spoke with read from the sheet she has that lists the "rights" of a limited distillery holder, and her sheet specifically states that we are allowed to "remove and deliver" product. She did not think I would need to apply for a licensed Transporter for Hire, but had no specific ruling or code section to back that up and suggested I submit for a legal advisory before trying to apply for the licensed Transporter for Hire..
  19. 1 like
    I haven't spent a whole lot of time reviewing the PA laws, but I suspect it would be easier for us to have setup just north of the border in NY state than in NJ. Most of NJ municipalities have been known to be sticklers when it comes to building, construction, commercial codes. I've toured many distilleries across the US, and based on what I've experienced here, and known from other ventures, they would have never been approved in that manner here. NJ is made up of 565 municipalities, each one run like it's own little political kingdom, with it's own officials and inspectors looking to protect their turf. If you do set up on this side of the river, I suggest you spend time groveling before these kings until you find one sympathetic to your cause, because fighting them afterwards will be costly and time consuming. Sounds a bit harsh, but NJ is just not welcoming to small business, these guys would fall all over themselves to help a billion dollar company set up shop, because it means advancing their careers. Little guy? You are a bother. I've lived in NJ nearly 40 years. Other issue on this side of the river are property taxes, which are going to impact you whether you buy or lease, this is especially the case if you are looking at a triple net lease here in Jersey, be sure to fully burden that rate when comparing to PA. Comparing gross to gross, it's going to be more expensive out here. PA is a control state, NJ is not, understand what it means to do business in both. Not sure if you are planning on being around the 78 or 80 corridors, but I believe there is someone setting up shop in Philipsburg (Nick Piperata). Also, Teton Vodka posted some news about another new startup in the Rockaway area (80 corridor). There are a number of new startups coming to the table. At this pace, NJ is going to lead the country in distilleries per capita in the next 3 years, no foolin. I've also been trying to organize those who I know of into a NJ distillers guild of sorts, but everyone is too busy trying to build a business to do anything about that. Shoot me a message, seems you are close enough to meet up for a beer or two.
  20. 1 like
    My feeling is if you have the money and tools to test the water sooner or later your going to find fish (hehe) I crack myself up. I can see pros and cons to both sides of the coin. My feeling is small batch whiskey is more collector friendly. I also understand that volume helps consumers adjust to your new products. The last thing any small distillery needs is empty shelf space. I think this is a balancing act. if your in the camp that wants to build one thing (GOOD) just remember that innovation is the mother of all new business If your in the camp that wants to build lots of new spirits (GOOD) just remember that brand recognition is the mother of your bottom line.