• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

1 Neutral

About MadMacaw

  • Rank
  • Birthday 02/26/1964

Contact Methods

  • ICQ

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Bridgeport, WV
  • Interests
    Travel, snow skiing, SCUBA, all things fermented, music, drumming, Cuban cigars & Cuban rum, whisky, craft brewed beverages.

Recent Profile Visitors

929 profile views
  1. Hi! Does anyone know what the limit of alcohol production and storage is in Virginia whereby a fire suppression system is not required?
  2. Forumites, I have received reports regarding Oak Wood Barrel Co. One of our clients ordered and paid them in June with the company guaranteeing delivery in July. They still have yet to receive their order. They have been contacted numerous times via E-Mail and landline. The client has been given a lot of excuses the few times they could actually reach them. Now they no longer answer their phone but instead have a service that when you call they tell you that they are in a meeting. They have yet to be called back. At the minimum they are operating their business poorly, at the maximum this could be a scam.
  3. Hey All, I just became aware of a guy who portends to be in the barrel business but I have never heard of him. They are based in Lansing, MI and say they can make and char/toast barrels. I am cautious because they are listed as a furniture builder (bunk beds,cabinets, dog houses...etc...). I have this picture in my head that they may be buying oak locally which would be unseasoned and building them, but maybe not. They will not give references. Anybody out there had dealings with them?
  4. We are closing out our stocks of Fermentis Red Star Yeast which is a great yeast for producing bourbon, rye whisky, malt whisky, etc... The yeast is packaged in 10 kg sachets and each is available for $85 (+ shipping) which equates to $3.86 per pound. If you have been buying this yeast in the small, 500 gram packets, this pricing offers a substantial savings as this would equate to only .$ 4.25 per 500 grams! With careful handling and cool storage, this yeast may be repackaged for batch use. This is a one time, fixed sale price, no additional discounts are available. Spec sheet is attached to this posting. Contact: Eric Watson AlBevCon LLC Fermentis Red Star Whisky Yeast.pdf
  5. For Sale, To Be Decommissioned in Mid-November: 2 - Specific Mechanical 465 US Gallon/1762.2 liter/15 bbl Cylindroconical Fermenter, Dual Zone Glycol Jackets, Clad and Insulated, 100% 304 Stainless Steel, All Fittings Except Spray Ball for CIP. $ 12,000 Each. 1 - Specific Mechanical 465 US Gallon, 1762.2 liter/15 bbl. Dished Bottom, Single Zone Glycol Jacket, Insulated and Clad (great for chill filtration prep), 100% 304 Stainless Steel, All Fittings Except Spray Ball for CIP. $ 11,000 All are offered as-is and all shipping cost are to be borne by the purchaser. These vessels are made from N. American 304 stainless steel with a heavy build quality from one of Canada's best manufacturers and would be equally at home in a distillery or brewery. They are in very good condition. Pictures available upon request (too big to upload). Being sold as excess equipment. Cheers! Eric D. Watson President AlBevCon LLC, USA US Phone: 304.6416166
  6. We may be able to add value to your efforts. If you would like to discuss your needs with us, you may do so off-forum. Our website is operational but the e-mail link on the site has a re-direct problem our IT people are working on. You may contact me personally at Our website address is .
  7. If you plan to drill through stainless steel plate, 3/16" holes are sufficient. In your case, you will need to vorlauf (recirculate) the wort until it is clear and particulate free before run off into your fermenter(s). However, it is best to use wedge wire for mash screens due to the even pressure they can create across the mash bed which prevents channeling and raises extraction. While on the topic of extraction, you also need to use multiple draw points which lead into a single outlet for the same reason. Are you sparging? If not, you areleaving residual extract behind. Eric Watson President AlBevCon LLC, USA
  8. Folks: Sorry about the odd spacing in the post above, evidently this forum does not react to standard formatting attempts! Eric Watson President AlBevCon, LLC
  9. All, There is some great info in this thread and some unfortunate assumptions and practices I would like to address: 1) You ARE brewers if you are mashing grains, using a wort/wash produced by others or using grain based extracts. All of the same standards including cleaning and sanitization apply. Remember, in the case of washes, garbage in truly results in garbage out. The only possible situation where this can be less important is in vodka production, but then your effort and time swings into distillation where you have to carefully distill the wash to eliminate the bad effects of bacterially contaminated washes. In this case, it is still better to follow the same standards... it will produce a better outcome that is easier to distill from.. 2) From my training at Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, Weihenstephan TUM in Freising, Germany and VLB in Berlin, Germany as well as experientially: A. Passivation: Prior to use all stainless steel vessels should be passivated. Even if the equipment was supposedly passivated at the factory, it is still in your best interest to passivate the equipment anyway. The equipment should be rinsed at ambient temperatures and then cleaned first with sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. Even better results can be obtained using either of the latter which have a chlorinated additive. An additional benefit of the latter is you can clean at ambient temperatures which saves energy inputs and time. After the first step and another rinse (ambient if you did not heat your cleaning solution, the same as the heated temperature if you heated the solution) you can use nitric acid (what the factories use) or a nitric/phosphoric blend. Make sure to look up the proper ration of dilution because it is a stronger concentration for passivation vs. cleaning. After the chemical manufacturer's specified CIP contact time, the equipment should be drained and then allowed to air dry in an acidic state. The last step is to rinse the vessel after it dries (within 24 hours). Your vessel(s) will now be passivated as long as you followed the chemical manufacturer's directions. If there are deviations in instructions from what I outlined above, follow those directions. B. A Little Bit About Cleaner Types and Effectiveness/Cost 1. Caustic/Percarbonate Cleaners: These cleaners are designed to remove organic soils. They have very little sanitizing powers. There are many standard formulations available for these cleaners. Most were developed for the poultry and dairy industries. There is a disadvantage to percarbonate cleaners (Five Star's PBW/TST/One Step and various other trad names). Unfortunately they are hydrophillic (draw water readily). From the moment you open the container, the effectiveness decreases because of this. This characteristic is readily apparent because the product clumps over time. I had a study from the MBAA (can't find it at this point or I would post it) that revealed that these cleaners had a steep drop in effectiveness after 6 months. This means as time elapses, you have to use more of it for it to be effective. This is particularly an issue with PBW because it is one of the most costly cleaners in the industry despite it's formulation being similar to most of the percarbonate cleaners on the market. Sodium and potassium hydroxide is considerably cheaper and does not have these issues. Some resources for cleaners: Birko Inc. (National), Loeffler Inc. (National), Brenntag (many regional locations), Rochester Midland (many regional locations), ADM (some locations) and many independant providers in the dairy and food processing industries. Try to source within your region as the shipping costs can be high due to the weight. 2) Acid Cleaners: It is best to use formulations that contain both nitric and phosphoric acid. They allow the maintenace of passivation as well as the removal of inorganic soils. Phosphoric acid alone is a fairly weak cleaner but with nitric acid in the blend, it becomes very effective. 3) Some Temperature Guidelines: Follow the manufacturer's directions in all cases, but the general rules are: 1) Sodium/Potassium Hydroxide: Clean between 140 and 180 degrees F. 2) Sodium/Potassium Hydroxide WITH Chlorine Additives: Clean at ambient temperatures. You can also clean at heated temperatures, but the solution becomes more agressive and experientially, I and others have found it unnecessary to heat the solution. Chlorinated caustic is inexpensive and is more than 50% more effective than cleaners without the additive. Some may react to this suggestion with puzzlement. Brewers for many years have been told repeatedly not to allow chlorine to contact stainless steel. Although this is true, that edict refers to using sodium hypochlorite in a solution alone. If not rinsed really well, this practice can cause de- passivation, pitting and rusting, particularly at weld lines. Once entrained with sodium or potassium hydroxide and then rinsed per directions followed by an acid wash, this is not an issue as any residual chemicals are neutralized. NEVER use a chlorinated or non-copper inhibited percarbonate or sodium/postassium hydroxide cleaner on ANYTHING copper! The results otherwise will cause pitting and degradation of the copper equipment. 3) Cleaning Cycles Should Be Undertaken in Cycles: The appropriate practices after passivation and first use (Stainless steel equipment only): 1. Rinse all matter from vessels with an ambient water rinse. NEVER rinse during this step with hot water as it may cause the soils to be bound to the vessel's surfaces making cleaning and sanitization more difficult or ineffective. 2. Perform a percarbonate or sodium/potassium hydroxide cleaning (w/without chlorination) as per manufacturer's directions. 3. Rinse with clean water as per manufacurer's directions. (temperature should be the same as the wash in step 2. 4. Perform an acid wash with a nitric/phosphoric blend at ambient temperature. (see #7 as well) 5. Rinse with clean water at ambient temperature. 6. Leave all valves and manways open to completely air dry until the next sanitization cycle. Note: If you have interconnected equipment such as that in professionally produced wash production systems which usually have pumps, valves, piping and heat exchanger(s) all piped together, allow all cleaning solutions to cycle through all of the wash pathways. Heat exchangers must be cleaned in reverse flow to eliminate the soils accumulated where eddies were created by the wash knockout in the opposite direction. This is achieved by using hose "jumpers" or if included in your system, a revese flow pathway controlled by valves. 7. The acid wash cycle usually only needs to be employed every 4th cleaning or if inorganic soiling becomes evident. (Stainless steel equipment only) 8. After 4 acid wash cycles, reverse the cleaning regimen, in other words acid wash after the soils rinse, then apply the percarbonate or sodium/potassium hydroxide cleaning proceedures followed by a rinse. This practice ensures that soil binding potential is reduced. After this application, return to sodium/potassium hydroxide followed by the phosphoric/nitric blend wash (if in rotation or as needed). NOTE: For still cleaning: a. After Low Wine Runs: Rinse with water at ambient temperature. Continue low wine runs until equipment will be dormant for a period or will next be used for a spirit run. Clean with citric acid until the copper surface areas are restored followed by a rinse. Leave all valves and manways open to allow to air dry. b. If you notice streaking, soil accumulations or a black/brown film that does not go away after proper citric acid washes, a inhibited caustic or percarbonate cleaning cycle is necessary. NEVER use un-inhibited or chlorinated cleaners in copper fabricated or containing vessels! Follow this proceedure with a clean water rinse at ambient temperatures and a citric acid cycle followed by another rinse at ambient temperatures. Leave all valves and manways open to allow to air dry. c. For Spirit Runs: You should renew the copper surfaces of the distillation system before every spirit run. This will ensure that the maximum catalylictic action of copper will be available which will produce the best spirit results. d. If you experience foaming during a distillation run (applies to mostly to protein containing washes, particularly if conduction on grain distillations): Use an anti-foam product at the proper dosage. The use of these can also result in higher fill levels in your still. If this proves ineffective (very rare with proper product selection and usage), you can investigate using enzymes in your wash production that reduce proteinaceous compounds. e. Most washes tend to foam initially due to entrained carbon dioxide being released as the wash is heated. This cause disappears relatively quickly though as most washes don't exceed 2% carbon dioxide by volume. Again, the proper use and selection of an antifoam agent will eliminate this issues. If you are not following any of the above and believe that you are achieving the best possible results from your systems, by all means continue. What has been outlined are industry standard practices that have been in place for a long time and have proven to be effective long term. Additional notes: NEVER use anything more abrasive than a sponge (w/o a scrubbing surface) to clean equipment! Doing so will produce swirls and scratches on the equipment surfaces making cleaning less effective (due to soil deposition/bacterial organism trapping). The above listed cleaner are more than adequate to clean the equipment properly with out the need for agressive scrubbing by hand if used at the proper ratios, temperatures and cycle durations. If you have equipment not equipped with CIP provisions or utilizing open fermenters that require manual cleaning: It is best to use acid anionic sanitizers. These sanitizers are the only group that will sanitized in the presence of proteins. They are best used at ambient temperatures and sprayed onto surfaces with a garden sprayer or spray bottle to all wort/wash contact surfaces. These sanitizers foam and therfore will "stick" to the surfaces of the vessels and enter any irregular surfaces. When using these sanitizers, a rinse is not required. The agents are neutralized upon filling and have no residual effect on the product. I hope the above information is useful! Eric Watson President AlBevCon LLC, USA
  10. Low pressure boilers are 15 PSI. In most municipalities and states there are no special regulations for their use. Optimally you should set your delivery pressure to between 12 and 13 PSI with no less than a 3 PSI deadband. All of this is assuming you are using steam jackets, not steam injection which is another topic all together. Eric Watson AlBevCon
  11. Your problem is why they make antifoam. The 2 most widely available are Fermcap and Birko Antifoam 100. The latter is cheaper to use and more effective. Eric Watson AlBevCon
  12. Tuzemak is yet another one of the indiginous Easter European infused liquids. The word itself means "local". it's nickname is "Czech Rum". It got this name because the producers wanted to try to ride the popularity of rum by coloring it to look like a wood matured rum, and then labeled it "rum" although technically it isn't. Yes ... It is made from sugar beets, was traditional fermented with bread yeast in about 4 days. It was then distilled to around 70-75% ABV. Then a portion was used to make a tincture by adding vanilla beans and anise as the base flavoring, but each producer usually added other spices to differentiate. After sufficient extraction, the flavored portion was filtered and dosed back into the rest until it reached the desired flavor profile. Then it was diluted to drinking strength to between 40 and 45% ABV. That is all I know, there is little info on this one as the locals drink most of it up! The only time I've had it was while I was there. I tried a number.... they were all cheap... I don't think there is such as a super premium one! They ranged in flavor from "industrial-solvent to throat scorching hot and astringent. The ones in the middle of the pack were best, about 40-42 %ABV and had a smooth vanilla character, very slight diacetyl followed by an anisey-licorice note. In some I thought I could taste somethings reminiscent of bay leaf, verbena, woodruff, grains of paradise, and in one case cilantro ! (one of the soapy-solventy ones.) I think the field is wide open to experiment with. Even they don't all make it the same! The base for it is a wash that is handled just like gelatinizing potatoes then converting the starches into fermentable sugars via enzyme action either through adding malt or fungal derived enzymes. It would be as messy and labor intensive as using potatoes as well! Eric Watson AlBevCon
  13. There are two highly respected persons in the food grade chemical production industry that can answer your question in seconds. Both of these gentlemen are chemical engineers, not simply salesmen. That being said, they each have their own chemical companies that have supplied the brewing, winemaking, distilling and food processing industries for quite a long time. Birko Corporation (since 1953): Dana Johnson - 800.525.0476 Loeffler Chemical Corporation (since 1933): Dirk Loeffler -800-769-5020 I highly advise against using general chemical companies to source information from when concerning usage in breweries and distilleries, Zep is one of those. It is best to stick with firms that have significant experience with the special requirements and materials that exist in these environments. I do know of one more brewery specialized chemical provider, but there is nothing in their line that should be used on copper distillation equipment so they were not worth mentioning, particularly to directly answer your question posed here. Hope this was helpful! Eric Watson AlBevCon
  14. Hi!, I have had only one experience with TB, but it was really bad. I was not handling any of the transaction or the details, but one of my clients had been working for the better part of a year to secure a large quantity of custom molded bottles through them that were made in China. They had a custom mold made that produced some embossing on the bottle and then it was to be ACL'd. Delay after delay kept occurring and they finally said they couldn't supply the bottles leaving my clients on the hook. They scrambled about and sourced bottles manufactured elsewhere and had to settle for a lesser design than they had intended. It didn't seem as though TB was on the ball in this case. But, that is only one experience. They are a very large company that has been around for a while. I figure like any business, if you do enough volume you are bound to run into problems from time to time. Given the odd state the glass business has been in for the last 10 years, this has to amplify this possibility. Hopefully you get other feedback that will aide you in determining if you will want to attempt to engage them for your needs. Eric Watson AlBevCon
  15. Seth, Without a doubt, oil would work as anti-foam, but it may cause unacceptable fouling issues. It would be best to use additives that are specifically designed for the task in a food production environment. They are non-fouling natural compounds that have proven effective for many years. Two such examples are Birko Anti-Foam 100 and Fermcap. The prior is less expensive to use due to the lower dosage required. Eric Watson AlBevCon