Ross Topliff

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About Ross Topliff

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  • Birthday April 8

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  • Location
    Newburgh, New York
  • Interests
    distilling, safety, environmental protection, cost reduction, waste reuse/reduction, engineering
  1. iskiebaydistillery has the right idea. By using negative pressure ventilation, you prevent any flammable ethanol vapors from traveling from the origin to other parts of the building that are not designed for the hazardous location - primarily electrical. If your distillery is in a separate building, positive pressure ventilation will definitely work and save the cost of the XP fan.
  2. Actually, this is not entirely correct. The hot vapors rise in the still because the condenser creates a lower pressure (slight vacuum) and the vapors travel from the higher pressure where the vapors are generated in the pot to the top. Even at 200'F (above its atmospheric boiling point) ethanol vapors are 20% heavier than air. Ethanol vapors will fairly quickly mix with air, although they will still tend to seek the floor.
  3. I agree that costs seems excessive, although it may include travel time and training to become qualified to approve the panel. Unfortunately, some people will charge whatever the traffic will bear, with little connection to actual costs.
  4. Did the official provide a rationale for this sink? Was this in your tasting room or where those utensils are washed?
  5. I was speaking with Bill Owens recently and he mentioned that he has seen some strange requests from officials in order to "comply" with the local building and fire codes. I am working in this area and am interested in collecting information on some of these unusual requests. What have you been asked to do that seemed excessive or was well beyond what the written code required? Maybe we can help others avoid your situation.
  6. The DISCUS manual is excellent and covers the topic well. Be aware, however that it is intended more for large facilities so the recommendations may be well in excess of what you need depending on the size of your distillery.
  7. Bluefish_dist is correct with one important addition - the 120 gallon limit only applies to liquids containing more than about 20 vol % alcohol. Below the concentration, it is considered non-flammable and is exempt. Also, once the high proof alcohol is in wooden barrels, it is exempt from this limit.
  8. Here's the proposed revisions that say goodbye to the famous barrel exemption Actually this exemption was retained in the 2015 version of the International Fire Code (IFC), so everyone is OK, at least for now. The MAQ only applies to liquid that is over 20 vol. % ethanol (alcohol). As stated above, once you have this is wooden barrels, it is exempt from the MAQ calculation according to the IFC. If you are expanding and concerned about exceeding the MAQ, you can segregate you distilling/blending areas within fire walls and stay within the F-1 classification for your facility.