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Everything posted by HedgeBird

  1. I built my own four plate hybrid still and have been pretty happy with the results. Having never really distilled commercially prior to building it I did not really realize how beneficial a good CIP system would be. As a result, the still is a massive pain in the ass to clean, particularly if you are trying to switch between products. I just never felt like we could get it clean enough to run vodka without tasting a bit of whiskey flavor. In the end we just got a smaller second still (that we can brake down and clean) that we use for the gin/vodka and the big still is dedicated solely to whiskey. This worked out better for us anyways as we needed the extra capacity. As others have said, it certainly is possible to clean well enough to switch products, but if possible you might want to consider a smaller finishing still that can be used for second distillations, spirit runs, gin botanicals, small test batches, etc. and keep your big still just for whiskey/vodka stripping runs.
  2. Feel free to hit us up if you ever make it out to the eastern side of the state. We are friendly folks and always enjoy visitors. http://www.thistlefinch.com/
  3. Hey all - After some trial and error, we have finally been able to strain/separate our spent mash. We ferment and distill on the grain with the grain milled to a fine flour. I have attached an image of what the spent mash looked like after one day. It ended up being somewhere between a batter and jello in consistency. Unfortunately after a weekend of sitting in the distillery there was noticeable mold growing on the top surface of the mash. Our farmer is (not surprisingly) concerned about the mold as are we. It seems pigs are much more sensitive to mold than dairy cows. Our hope was just do do one weekly delivery/pickup of grain meaning that at least a part of the mash would sit from Monday to Friday. I am just curious what everyone else's experience is with spent grain shelf life? I assume if we cover the mash it will last longer? Does the fact that we are using flour and not a coarse grind make it mold faster? Are there preservatives anyone is using the prevent mold/bacteria growth? How much do your farmers care about freshness/mold? Is there an acceptable level? Input/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
  4. I basically built a false bottom on the box shown in that picture with a fine wire mesh. Right now its pretty poorly constructed as I just wanted to make sure it would work, but I am now going to build it out in more sturdy material. I will post some pictures/video once I get that done in the next week or two if folks are interested.
  5. You spent 2 years and $100,000 dollars just to write a business plan?
  6. "Then after playing around with different things all my friends said that my different “waters” were better than what they could buy in the stores." This has to count for something at least. Every home distiller I know thinking of starting a distillery always talks about how much negative feedback they get from their friends. </sarcasm>
  7. If you read this gentleman's one other post on this forum he explains that when he says he "wrote the book on craft distilling" he really means he wrote a business plan the some other distilleries might have referenced when they created their own business plans. Personally I would think claiming you "wrote the book on craft distilling" when you never actually stared one is a bit of a stretch, but then what do I know?
  8. It sounds like you may be confused about how this machine operates. The machine is not calibrated to any specific volume size, but has a timer that controls how long its fills for each time you push the fill button. You control/adjust the fill volume by changing/adjusting this timer. (the timer can be adjusted to the hundredth of a second) Every time you bottle (even if you only ever bottle 750mls) you should expect to have to adjust the timer based on the product you are bottling and the temperature, etc. Do what Silk City describes above, and use that info to adjust the timer/fill volume.
  9. XpressFill 4-Spout Volumetric Filler with a block of wood on the shelf to get the bottles up high enough. I think they make a straight spigot option but we where able to make it work with the standard spigot that has a bit of a bend at the end.
  10. FYI - The one recommendation I have seen for linseed oil on a wine barrel was specifically for "raw (not boiled) lineseed oil" I have no experience or knowledge of what the difference is or how it works but figured it might be worth a mention. Also of interest I believe forum member Blackheart might have some experience with wrapping barrels in plastic to reduce the evaporation loss.
  11. 2lb per gallon is a pretty standard starting point.
  12. Looks like you where spot on PeteB! http://www.drahtweberei.de/products/synthetic-wire-cloth/
  13. It seems I was confused about what you where looking for, but I get it now. These guys might be a better option: https://www.replacementglass.co/product/clear-circle-tempered-glass Their website has pre-determined sizes, but I had them cut 6" circles for me. Looks like I paid $220.85 with shipping for five 6" diameter 1/8" thick clear tempered glass. Sounds like Dehner's suggestion is quite a bit cheaper though if you can go that route!
  14. I purchased a red-line sight glass tube from these guys to replace a cracked sight glass we had. http://www.shopoilsupplies.com/gauges-s/7.htm Fittings, tubes, valves and event the cutter to cut your sight glass the length:
  15. something is screwy with the link: https://www.facebook.com/greenengineering/
  16. Having a bypass like that is really clever! I might see if we can set that up next time we go to fill a barrel.
  17. Yes, the ZL-120L. We got a green one, but not sure it matters much unless you have a filling station in your distillery!
  18. I think you shared your video with me in the past. What type of grind are you using on your grain?
  19. Just wanted to let everyone know that we got this nozzle and its been working pretty well for us. The first one we received would not automatically shut off when the receiving container was full; emailed the manufacturer and they shipped us a new one, and its been working good. Nice and affordable upgrade for a small distillery like mine!
  20. Can anyone point me to a place (preferably online) that would sell large sheets of this type (or something similar) of plastic mesh screen material? I have searched the internet and just cant seem to find anyone selling this. I am hoping that is because I dont know the right word/product to search for. My though is getting something like this hopper: http://www.hippohopper.com/self-dumping-hoppers/specialty-hoppers/dewatering-self-dumping-hopper/#/ and then lining the inside with an finer mesh material. Pump out of the still into hopper, allow to drain/stain over night... We are currently mashing rye flour and fermenting/distilling on the grain...
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Pretty amazing that a distillery would leave that much alcohol behind in the barrel! Did you try just running it through a coffee filter?
  25. 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