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  1. 5 likes
    Thanks for the kind words, guys. What AC-DC and 3d0g refer to is that we've known each other for years on multiple hobbyist distillation forums. Starting with the old Yahoo Distiller and New Distiller forums (where I may still be a moderator) grown out of New Zealand home-distilling legalization, international hobby distilling forums have been a huge factor in developing and disseminating the theoretical and applied information that all of us now take for granted. Shortly after the turn of the century, there was so much awful, dangerous, and superstitious distillation misinformation running rampant, that it was seriously difficult to get good facts about our science/art. The situation was so bad that I wrote "Making Fine Spirits" (Amphora Society) just to give the beginner some trusted facts and procedures he could build on. While I can't prove it, I'm betting that most of the artisan distillers here started with information, first-, second-, or third-hand, that we hammered the BS out of in the hobby forums. Truth be known, I'm kinda proud of all of our efforts.
  2. 2 likes
    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
  3. 1 like
    Besides taste, a red oak barrel would be empty by morning. Red oak cannot hold liquids.
  4. 1 like
    That bottle is something special, nice work.
  5. 1 like
    that is a really nice bottle , very eye catching hope it pays off for you . who makes your bottles .
  6. 1 like
    Packaging looks great guys!
  7. 1 like
    We just went through the startup process or could be considered still going through it. Our Kannuk vodka should be in LCBO stores this May 2017. We are based in Niagara Region of Canada. Any Canucks (or non-Canucks as well) feel free to reach out to us as by PM or email info@kannuk.ca Here is a pic of our bottle which we designed and custom made and the wooden top we make ourselves in-house, eh?
  8. 1 like
    That is amazing how many barrels you can fit in that small space. I watched for about 1 minute and saw 6 roll in and they hardly took up any room
  9. 1 like
    Hi Rachael, as Foreshot mentioned above, the pallet stackers are perfect solutions for those of us who don't have room to operate a fork lift. We build our own 3 level barrel racks and use the pallet stacker to load/unload from the top two rows. Here's a link to an Instagram video we recently posted that shows a barrel being offloaded onto our racks. These are 15 gallon barrels.
  10. 1 like
    Experiment, experiment, experiment. Who knows what really went into the grain bill. The end product is absolutely not important. What's important is the marketing story around it. Remember, you're not in the distilling business, you're in a marketing business whose product is a distilled beverage. You've got a great story. Go with it.
  11. 1 like
    Lets not discount temp swings. We age in a non climate controlled warehouse and here in missouri it gets hot in the summer. I see a lot of people aging inside their distillery building. I would think it would take additional time when you don't get the temp changes, particularly the heat of summer. Everyone has a different answer which really depends on their location, where they age, proof they put in the barrel, how tight they cut, etc so this question cannot really be answered with any degree of certainty but its nice to see how others are doing it. I had a 5 gallon barrel when we started I had forgotten about. I found it on the back of a shelf after it had been sitting about 2 1/2 years. New barrel filled with bourbon. I had several others I had dumped at 8 months. By what everyone believes it should have been way over oaked and not good. That was not the case. It was outstanding! Made me realize I don't know anything! lol
  12. 1 like
    Yeah definitely sterilize a few containers and keep samples, if the result is great you are going to kick yourself for not attempting to culture it. I think there are lots of clues on the specific bacteria in the late heads. Typical acetic strains will just result in a larger than usual heads cut, nothing particularly interesting. But strains that generate higher amounts of butyric and propionic acid esters are where it's at - you'll get these in the late heads. Propionic and butyric esters - tropical fruit, bubble gum, rummy, pineapple, strawberry, apple, etc. Low acetic lacto strains are harder to pick out, slightly pineapple in the late heads, but without the juicy-fruit gum, slightly buttery early tails - but broadly contribute to the buttery/rich descriptor, absolutely - creamy, caramel, buttery, nutty.
  13. 1 like
    I used mostly .093 copper plate on my build. The steam kettle itself was stainless, but the dome walls, column and top condenser where all rolled copper pieces tig welded together. The spun dome top was .125 thick. It took a very large slip-roller to roll the .093 plate into a 4' long x 11" diameter tube that became the main column. Using .125 plate would have been better but was not really practical for the machinery I had access to at the time. If I recall I purchased "half hard" plate as well. I am currently considering building a 300 gallon still myself and will probably try to go with .125 plate.
  14. 1 like
    hi! If still for sale can you me call with price and electrical info. 5187420620 Thanks Bernie
  15. 1 like
    Since Will provided the number for easy reference, here is the full text for further detail: § 19.356 Alcohol content and fill. (a) General. At representative intervals during bottling operations, a proprietor must examine and test bottled spirits to determine whether the alcohol content and quantity (fill) of those spirits agree with what is stated on the label or the bottle. A proprietor’s test procedures must be adequate to ensure accuracy of labels on the bottled product. Proprietors must record the results of all tests of alcohol content and quantity (fill) in the record required by § 19.600. ( Variations in fill. Quantity (fill) must be kept as close to 100 percent fill as the equipment and bottles in use will permit. There must be approximately the same number of overfills and underfills for each lot bottled. In no case will the quantity contained in a bottle vary from the quantity stated on the label or bottle by more than plus or minus: (1) 1.5 percent for bottles 1.0 liter and above; (2) 2.0 percent for bottles 999 mL through 376 mL; (3) 3.0 percent for bottles 375 mL through 101 mL; or (4) 4.5 percent for bottles 100 mL and below. © Variations in alcohol content. Variations in alcohol content, subject to a normal drop that may occur during bottling, must not exceed: (1) 0.25 percent alcohol by volume for products containing solids in excess of 600 mg per 100 ml; (2) 0.25 percent alcohol by volume for all spirits products bottled in 50 or 100 ml size bottles; or (3) 0.15 percent alcohol by volume for all other spirits and bottle sizes. (d) Example. Under paragraph © of this section, a product with a solids content of less than 600 mg per 100 ml, labeled as containing 40 percent alcohol by volume and bottled in a 750 ml bottle, would be acceptable if the test for alcohol content found that it contained 39.85 percent alcohol by volume. (26 U.S.C. 5201, 5301)