dafish5

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About dafish5

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  1. Tom and Silk, Thank you both for the info. I will forward on to our local manufacturer and see what they say. Its tough trying to answer engineering questions when we haven't done this before and if it didn't cost thousands of dollars to get something you may not like I would say the equipment purchasing process has been exciting. Our hope using a local fabricator is that if we have other stainless steel issues or any welding on the still, etc. that needs to be done they would be willing to help, and more knowledgeable than just getting a local welder off the street. Dave
  2. Hi all, I have trolled through the forum looking for answers to our questions and can't seem to find any. We are partnering with a local brewery equipment manufacturer to have our mash tun made. They do excellent work (http://rockymountainvessels.com/) but have not done any work for the distilling industry. They are willing to work with us to get what we need and will be matching the price of any U.S. manufactured equipment, so its a great deal for both of us. Problem is they haven't dealt with a distiller before and we haven't opened our distillery yet, so all of our production requirements are coming from other distillers and/or trying to scale up what we've been messing with in the garage. So far we have them working on a design using a steam jacketed bottom for heating, and water or glycol jacketed sides for cooling. The heating and cooling times get better if we focus on glycol and if we do direct steam injection (apparently there are two types of direct injection being used in the industry and the newer method is more efficient and less noisy...not sure), but the costs go up. Anyone have insight into the various heating and cooling technologies and the pros and cons? Is it worth the cost to invest in direct injection and glycol when we are starting out? Like I said, the heating and cooling we are pretty sure we have pinned down, but the remaining questions are: 1. What is the make and model of the agitator/motor being used by other manufacturers? What are its specs/features, including HP, VFD or not, operating speed (RPM)? What is the design/shape of mixer/paddles (1 or 2, what angle)? 2. Is it necessary to insulate the mashtun or just have it steam and glycol jacketed? 3. Is a false bottom something that is worth having them make? We'd like the ability to lauter, more like a traditional scottish approach, but again, is it worth it? If anyone has the actual design/drawings of their system with the attached notes and key to all the numbered parts that would be amazing if you are willing to share (I have a bunch of schematics that have call-outs for all the parts on the system but then they never come with the sheet to tell you the specs on part A9 or whatever). Thanks for your input.
  3. Similar issues with low SG when doing a bourbon mash. I've been doing 60% corn, 30% rye and 10% malt recipe and the results are as follows: Using flaked corn I hit 20 brix, no added enzymes. Fresh corn I hit 24 brix, again no added enzymes. Dried corn ground to nearly flour and cooked at 190 for 2 hours, then let rest, insulated overnight, results were struggling to hit 15 brix with added amalyse. I have access to basically unlimited dried sweet corn and want to use it but have tried everything except the addition of tons of enzymes. The fresh version of the same corn off the cob is 24 brix...take it from a silo after a year and I can't get close to 15...any thoughts? At this stage the amount of effort to get the dried corn to do what we need may not be worth doing a bourbon, but with the amazing corn we have access to, it'd be a shame. My thought was that the super dried out corn loses something else other than water and is causing us the issue we are having.
  4. Can anyone offer advice on an ideal still setup given the following: 1. We are looking to focus on whiskey/bourbon as our flagship, but will be making gin and vodka to get revenue coming in while we wait for aging. 2. The facility we are looking at is basically a 40ft x 60ft warehouse with 12ft walls and an 18ft peak on the ceiling. The original thought was a 250 gallon batch still system with a potstill, vodka column, gin basket, all in one. This seems like the easiest way to go, not necessarily the cheapest or the best way (as far as product is concerned) to go. My gut feeling is that this is the jack of all trades, master of none approach, but maybe I am wrong. Regardless of the spirit you are doing at the time, they all seem to run through the same dephlegmator at the end so don't you get gin whiskey and vodka all contaminating each other at the end? The systems we've looked at have been from Vendome, Artisan Still Design, CARL, Hagyo, Bavarian-Holstein, and Kothe. Again, anyone have anything to say about these guys? I've been to a few craft distilleries and seen the approach I mentioned, but then I have also seen a three still setup where two pot stills are being used for whiskey (strip and finish), and then a column and gin basket setup for vodka and gin. There seems to be an infinite number of setups you could do to accomplish the same task. We are trying to do the right approach out of the gate so we don't regret the equipment or design once we kick off. thanks, as always for any input.
  5. perfect. I just signed up for the February class at downslope.
  6. Does anyone have recommendations on a Colorado based architect/engineering firm that has experience with designing distilleries? We are opening in a small town and the firms here have never dealt with this type of thing before so we want to make sure we work with someone that knows what they're doing. Related to that, if we are looking to get a turnkey system from a manufacturer, is it necessary to have them in on the planning discussions? Thanks for any advice.
  7. Thanks bluefish. I am waiting to hear back from Downslope about their next offering. I can't make the one in November. Just checked out your facebook page. Looks like you guys are just getting things going in Colorado Springs? How long has it been in the making? Vodka and Shine, anything else in the works?
  8. Hi all! My name is David Fishering and I am in the early stages of developing our distillery business plan for what will be an exciting new venture for me and hopefully a great addition to the market and our community. I decided to make the jump from the home distillers forum to the ADI forum to coincide with our move from garage to a real commercial operation. Whisky is my true passion and will be our focus, but we plan to do clear spirits as well in order to get product to market. My family has also been growing grapes and making wine in the region for 6 years so we will likely add brandy to the mix (done a few pretty decent batches with our pot still). We have experience running a small pot still, but I have never worked on a column or reflux still and would lie if I said I wasn't a bit intimidated. I started trolling the forum about a month ago but am always looking for any advice on business planning, equipment and actual plant setup/operation. Also anyone ever go to any of the workshops/classes that are offered around the country or in CO specifically? Are they worth it? Thanks to all and look forward to being a part of this community!