Bartletts Distillery

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Bartletts Distillery last won the day on March 28 2016

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  1. It looks like I may have a local path through this issue. Montgomery County has a Departmnet of Environmental Health Services which oversees On-site Sewer Facilities. So, I won't be dealing directly with the TCEQ, but the County instead. If I get a permit through them, then I should be good to go.
  2. Did they ever quote any specific regulations? With the information you bring up, it looks like the next person to call will be an Wastewater Consultant.
  3. Can you please elaborate on the waste water issues? I'm looking at leasing a place in unincorporated Montgomery County and the property has an aerobic septic system.
  4. Hey Travis, this post was back in July. What was the resolution to the issue?
  5. Congratulations Jessica...but 8 months? Was this on your first submittal or in total after resubmittal? DHDunbar, I'm looking at a place now in an industrial park. A 1200 sq.ft. unit in one building will house production area with still, fermenters, and some storage (all non-sprinklered...but that's another story.) Another building has a 1200 sq.ft. space that's intended to be chopped into 3 x 400 sq.ft. units (pedestrian door & overhead door in each.) I'm looking at using one for storage, one for bottling, and one for adjacent retail. Only the adjacent retail area will not technically be part of the DSP. All other areas (storage, bottling, and production) will make up the bonded area with no general area. If I need extra office space, I'll buildout over the 3 x 400 sq.ft. units and connect it to the adjacent retail space. Does this sound about right?
  6. You guys have to quit trying to use logic. The Fire Marshal could not care less about what you "think". They follow the International Fire Code (IFC), the International Building Code (IBC), and the codes produced by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Many localities have their own local version of these codes, where they insert their own little modifications, but these are largely the rules we all have to follow. If you happen to be in an unincorporated area of a rural county which has no fire marshal, then you can probably do whatever you think is right. However, you do this at your own peril. Also, if you do not follow these rules, you may also have issues getting insurance than if you do. In short, as defined by "the codes" ethanol is a Class 1B Flammable liquid until you proof it down, then it's a Class 1C Flammable Liquid. These classifications drive the building occupancy and how you design your plant. Occupancy, sprinkler systems, storage limits, these all are interrelated and include the classification of the liquid you're storing. And no, sprinklers won't do diddly for an explosion, but it will help keep that initial fire from turning into a complete loss of the property. References: These data can be found in many sources. Flammable liquids shall be known as Class I liquids. Class I liquids are divided into three classes as follows: (i) Class IA shall include liquids having flashpoints below 73 F (22.8 C) and having a boiling point below 100 F (37.8 C). (ii) Class IB shall include liquids having flashpoints below 73 F (22.8 C) and having a boiling point at or above 100 F (37.8 C). (iii) Class IC shall include liquids having flashpoints at or above 73 F (22.8 C) and below 100 F (37.8 C). Ethanol has a boiling point of 78.37 °C (173.07 °F) and its flash point is dependent on proof. See table below. The flash points of ethanol wt % concentrations[103] wt % Temperature 10% 49 °C (120 °F) 20% 36 °C (97 °F) 30% 29 °C (84 °F) 40% 26 °C (79 °F) 50% 24 °C (75 °F) 60% 22 °C (72 °F) 70% 21 °C (70 °F) 80% 20 °C (68 °F) 90% 17 °C (63 °F) 96% 17 °C (63 °F) Stay Safe! VB
  7. Eric, I too am looking for a location for a distillery in the Houston area, but I'm up in Montgomery County, so the rules may be just a tad different. At any rate, here's some of the things I've found: Houston is the only major city without zoning. There are restrictions on building within neighborhoods, but there are no commercial / industrial zones that I know of that are codified by the City of Houston. Properties are more plentiful down in H-town compared to where I'm looking, so you may have more luck. You should be able to find an industrial warehouse that suits your needs. If you've got a TON of money, then you can build a place suited to your needs. More stuff that I found: Sprinklered or non-sprinklered? Non-sprinklered buildings have a maximum allowable quantity of 120 gallons of class 1B flammable liquid (ethanol) per control area. If you go over the maximum allowable quantity, then you're classified as H-3, which requires sprinklers and adequate ventilation. Even though the International Fire Code (IFC) says there's a exception for alcohol in barrels, that exception does not exist in the International building code (IBC), thus the rule holds. At any rate, if you cannot store more than 120 gallons, then that can make things difficult. You can have up to 4 control areas per building, separated by walls with 1 hour fire resistance. Still this maxes you out at 480 gallons, including tha which you have in process. Another option is to store outside, provided of course that you can secure it. To do this, there are limitations on how many gallons you can have in one "pile" (2200 gallons) but you have to be 50' from the property line and from buildings. If you limit your piles to less than half (1100 gallons), then you can halve the distance (25'). Again, providing you have the property space for this. The other option is sprinklered. If you sprinkler a building, the WHOLE building must be sprinklered OR you have a 3 hour fire barrier (seriously heavy wall) to separate you from your neighbors. The best option is to find a building that is already sprinklered. Installation cost is ~$2.5/ft plus the cost of getting water to the building. You have to be close to a fire line (water) that can supply a TON of water, in the neighborhood of 1000 gpm. You'll also have to have a hydrant within 100' of the building where you put the Fire Department connection (FDC) or pay for a vault and remote FDC. (expensive!) Ethanol storage is considered "Extra Hazard - Group 2", requiring .40 gpm/sq.ft. Again, find a building that's already sprinklered, it'll make your life a lot easier. Best of luck VB
  8. Dunbar, that's sort of what I did. Once I found a place that I though would be suitable, I laid out a basic plan and went to talk to the local Fire Marshal. It was obvious he was not comfortable with a distillery, so he instructed me to get a Fire Protection Engineer to make a report. I made it clear to the landlord's agent that I had to first ensure that I could get a fire permit before I'd sign any lease. Getting a Fire Protection Engineer to spend a little time with me was difficult, but eventually I got my answer. I didn't like it, but it was an answer. It was a great learning experience. It didn't cost me anything but some time. Now, moving forward, I have a lot better understanding of what I need in a location. As for the floor drains..OK, OK, OK!!!! Heard, loud and clear. Make sure to have floor drains. Check!
  9. Thanks guys, but this has become a moot point, at least for the moment. I just got a call from my fire protection engineer (required by the county Fire Marshal.) With an H3 classification, I would need 0.4 gpm / sq.ft for 90 to 120 minutes. Since the local water main cannot supply sufficient water flow, I would have to put in a rather sizable tank, pump, etc. He said that I'd need between 125,000 to 150,000 gallons of water storage. Or enough to fill the building halfway up. Ummm, no thanks. So, I'm back to square-1 on looking for a suitable property. But this time, I'm hunting for a place with better access to large water mains, and existing floor drains! Wish me luck. VB
  10. Continuing to work on my distillery plans. I'm 3 weeks away from signing a lease and still have some unanswered questions. FYI, I'm going to be making rum (sugar, molasses) and whiskey from malt extract, grains and no mashing. Question: are floor drains actually "required" by the FDA? I know many highly recommend floor drains, but I'm trying to set this up as clean of a facility as possible, and would rather not have floor drains that would a) harbor a place that could produce TCA, and b) cost a lot of money to install into a facility that I will be leasing. That being said, the Current Good Manufacturing Practices state the following: Section 117.20(3) Adequately draining areas that may contribute contamination to food by seepage, foot-borne filth, or providing a breeding place for pests. Section 117.34(4) Provide adequate floor drainage in all areas where floors are subject to flooding-type cleaning or where normal operations release or discharge water or other liquid waste on the floor. So, does anyone know if they are really required, or just a really good idea? Cheers, VB
  11. Roger that. I'm just looking to fill out my Distillery Registration. Should I include a statement that all quantities of alcohol will be determined by weight and ABV%?
  12. Under 27 CFD 19.166, the code states "A statement of certification of accurate calibration shall be included in the description of tanks that are to be used for gauging distilled spirits or wine for any purpose." Could someone translate this from LAWYER into ENGINEER for me? Does this mean that if a tank is used for measuring volume, that it must be calibrated and certified?
  13. Hey Tupper, No update yet. I'm still in the planning phase and have not started purchasing equipment yet. But, in the near future, I do plan on doing a test, of sorts. We have a countertop macerating juicer which operates on the same principle as the piece of the equipment I intend to order from China. We'll see how it works. Stay tuned...
  14. Since I'm going to be running an all electric still, I will need to separate the spent grain from the wort prior to either fermenting or distilling. I've looked at a lot of options, but none seem workable. The Russel-Finex units are prohibitively expensive (~$35k) and other options will not work for larger batches (250 gallon+), require lots of cleaning, or won't dewater the grain enough (powered sieve option from Russel Finex ~$12k). I did find something that may work. Industrial juicing machines from China look like they may fit the bill. They have units which can juice up to 2.5 metric tons (~3300 lbs or 400 gallons) per hour for only $3-5k. I figure if a piece of equipment can juice a carrot, then it should OK separating grains and wort. Just Google: industrial fresh fruit juicer alibaba See attachment. Thoughts? Van Bartletts Distillery, LLC
  15. Thank you all for the support. Stillcreek, it looks like we may have just enough for a club!