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Everything posted by HedgeBird

  1. Lots of companies selling used barrel racks. We stack three high (so six total barrels on a rack set) and can still push them around with a pallet jack. Fill then in place on the rack, pump empty while they are still on the rack. Disadvantage is you cant really harvest the bottom ones until you get the top ones off. We also use a chain hoist to lift barrels, but can only do that on the bottom or middle rack as the third barrel up is too high to get under the hoist.
  2. We are also on city water. Fresh water coming in goes through a pair of carbon filters, one on the main water line coming to the production area, and then a second one on the line that feeds only the condenser. When we change out filter cartridges a new goes on the condenser line, and the old condenser only filter gets moved to the main line, and the old main line one gets tossed. Having two in line like this allows us to push the limits of the filters max useful life, but still be confident that our condenser/mash water is getting fully filtered. The now filtered and warm/hot spent condenser water goes into an elevated and insulated holding tank where it can also off gas if needed. When we mash we gravity fill from this holding tank through an ultraviolet light into the mash tun. The ultraviolet light is there just to try and help kill anything off that may have started growing while this warm water sits around for potentially a few days. Nice thing about this setup is we are recovering/reusing a good chunk of our spent condenser water, and or mash water is also pre-heated.
  3. I know its not what your asking for, but just wanted to make sure you have already considered, and ruled out placing a new label over the old label as an option.
  4. Pretty amazing that a distillery would leave that much alcohol behind in the barrel! Did you try just running it through a coffee filter?
  5. https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome-psyapi2&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8&q=site%3Ahomedistiller.org%2Fforum%2F gin recipe&oq=site%3Ahomedistiller.org%2Fforum%2F gin recipe&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i58.6415j0j4
  6. My advice would be to not give or donate a product/service that you do not currently offer to regular paying customers, or provide regularly. But then I am turning into a grumpy old man worn out by the daily request for donations for every imaginable organization under the sun!
  7. I know this software has been discussed in other threads, but I though it might be good to not completely hijack another thread with HoochWare info. I finally got around to writing the testimonial I have been meaning to send to Shawn over at HoochWare. Figured I should probably also share it here. I used to dread filling our monthly federal reports. It would take hours to compile and prepare the data we had already spent hours recording. Even once they where finally submitted, that nagging worry that perhaps I did not file everything correctly, or I forgot to record some transaction, was a constant concern. Since migrating over to HoochWare I now spend drastically less time recording, preparing and submitting reports, and even more importantly, I now spend no time worrying that I might fail some audit in the future. Saving time might be worth money, but peace of mind is priceless and thankfully HoochWare is more than affordable even for a small distillery like mine! For the testimonial I really wanted to focus on why switching over to this software has been such a good move for me, and not specifically on features. If your still doing reporting by hand or spread sheet, or like me, have that nagging concern that your not doing it right, I would highly suggest you consider HoochWare or even one of the competing products. I am not sure what the pricing is currently on other products, but you can view the HoochWare pricing right on their site: https://www.hoochware.com/pricing While I pretty much signed up just for the reporting aspects, one of the other features we are taking advantage of is the inventory tracking. The "REORDER ITEMS" report on the inventory page is awesome. With once glance I can make sure we have enough of everything we need for an upcoming bottling. And when we record that bottling in the system for our reports the inventory we used gets automatically subtracted. Lots of other features I could go on about, but these two (reporting and inventory) alone make it more than worthwhile for me. Images: About a years worth of 2016 federal paperwork I wont be messing with this year! Screen shot of the Reorder Items report.
  8. These guys do our logo shirts on blanks from Next Level: http://www.steadfastprintco.com/ These guys did the crest shirt (including the design) on blanks from Bella Canvas: http://www.foxduckprint.com/ Both the Next Level and Bella Canvas blanks are a nice fitting, comfortable medium weight shirt. If you dont have a design ready to go I would highly suggest hitting up Ryan at FoxDuck. They all but gave me the design work for free as I was getting my shirts printed with them, and Ryan does really nice work. If you have a design ready to roll you should also be able to find a local screen printing shop. I know I always appreciate when people support their local small business!
  9. I think this was only done because the old NJ craft distillers license specifically barred them from selling or operating a restaurant on premise. Additionally I think they could only sell for on-site consumption if they provided a tour as well. Seems like they could have just modified the existing license to remove these restrictions.
  10. http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=ZL-120L+nozzle&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=ZL-120L+nozzle&_sacat=0 The product description, in regards to material, on these is a bit confusing so I emailed to ask if all wetter surfaces are stainless. They emailed back quickly with the following info: " The fluid will come in contact with just stainless steel and the viton seal that connects the nozzle together. Hope this helps. " I just purchased one and can share more info on how well it works once it arrives.
  11. Super cool! I really like the "Oregon Grain Growers" name as well. Whats its going to take for you to give me that "bottled liquors" sign? Ill throw out $100 cash and a case of Pennsylvania's finest straight rye whiskey as my initial offer
  12. Are you actually able to calibrate and correct a hydrometer yourself, or are you just creating a correction table that you reference? I am sitting here trying to imagine how I would go about changing the weight of a hydrometer in order to correct it and the only thing I can think of is sanding down the glass to make it lighter.
  13. Not what your asking for, but if your just looking for some numbers to plug into a budget this may help. I am paying about $225 a month to UGI Natural Gas to run our 150 gallon still 5x a week and our mash tun 4x a week, the neighboring breweries 300 gallon kettle about 1x per week and the heater in the tasting room when its gets below freezing out. We are using our recovered hot condenser water for mashing. It looks like my UGI rate is $4.32160 / MCF. Thats our 150 gallon setup pretty much maxed out (at least with a single shift) so if I was budgeting for a 300 gallon setup maxed out I would just plug in $450 per month. Just getting actual numbers from operating distilleries is probably easier (and more accurate) than trying to do a theoretical cost calculation that needs to take into account way too many variables.
  14. I dont have any insight on the question you asked, but was just curious about this statement. If I am reading this right your saying that you do a first distillation stripping run, then do a second distillation with cuts, and then a third distillation without cuts. If your not doing any cuts on the run, is the point of the third distillation just to get up to the 95% requirement?
  15. "Dear Alcohol Industry Partner" "Your brand has individually been selected" So individually selected we can't bother to address our email to you specifically.
  16. Welcome to the forum Justin! It sounds like you might be located somewhere close to me. If your ever in the area feel free to stop by or give me a call if you ever just want to talk shop! My fiance and I are also working on a new off-site location concept (hope to open Sept 2017) that will serve and sell only PA spirits, wine and beer. Would love to know what winery you family runs and perhaps we can rope you in once we are up and running and you have product available!
  17. Thanks for sharing this great info Paul. I wish I had read this six years ago as it sounds like it may have made my life a little easier!!
  18. Hey Highlander, Could you elaborate on why you dont suggest C110 or 101 or what benefit the 122 provides? The only distinctions I have been able to find between them is in the hardness, psi rating and machinability. Are there other distinctions as well? Thanks!
  19. All great points! If your going to oversize any piece of equipment for future growth it should probably be the boiler! I probably would have gone larger but the unit I got pretty much maxed out the gas capacity at my building and anything bigger would have required a separate boiler room. An easy answer to the original question might be "the largest you can get without having to build a dedicated boiler room!"
  20. If you stagger your start times you should be able to mash and distill on the same day with a boiler that is not large enough to fire both items at once. During the hour our still is coming up to a boil we typically clean and sanitize the mash tun, and then start filling it with the mash water. Normally the still is boiling by the time we are ready to start heating the mash water. Once the still is up to a boil it does not need much steam to simply maintain that boil, allowing you to send most of the output to the mash tun. That said, I think we have a 350,000 BTU boiler for almost the exact setup DistillateurQc is describing and would not want it to be any smaller!
  21. 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.
  22. Anyone have any suggestions on a sealed shaft bearing (and housing) that would be suitable for use on a still. This would be used for the addition of an agitator shaft to the still. Looking for options in the range of 1/2" to 1" shaft size. At this point I am not even sure I am using the correct terms to search for.
  23. I will keep them in mind. At this point I am really just looking for the shaft bearing or shaft seal or whatever you would call the thing that keeps a spinning shaft from leaking liquid and/or vapor!
  24. Heres a few of our tasting room. Hard to get a good shot of the overall space as it kind of winds around. To give some context of what we have going on - the first floor of my building has a warehouse space for pallet storage (24x36), common entry/lobby area with a garage door (12x24), grain and merchandise room with backup register (12x36), distillery seating and drink serving area (24x18), brewery drink serving and seating area (24x36). The brewery is a separate business, but our serving and seating areas are in the same large room. Building was originally a tobacco warehouse built in 1900 and added to the the national register in 1990. Went for a rustic barn wood and metal look as it seemed to fit the building and our brand. Most of the wood used on the interior build out came from a barn I helped tear down that was about 20 miles away from the distillery location. On site sales are still a big part of our business so lots of time and energy go into the tasting room. We are open five days a week for drinks and bottle sales and do four regularly scheduled public tours (free - no reservations needed) each weekend. Freight elevator is original to the building and still inspected and used. Runs like a champ!
  25. Tare off the scale tank, fill scale tank with new make, note weight/proof, fill barrel full, subtract weight left in scale tank after filling barrel from originally noted weight.