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Natrat last won the day on January 19 2016

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About Natrat

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    Ham Handed Philanderer
  • Birthday 01/23/1973

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    Salt Lake City
  • Interests
    Technology, chemistry, sailing, flavor, marine biology, and wonderful wonderful booze.

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  1. At your size, firetube vs watertube isn't a consideration. Once you're over 2 or 3 million btus, firetube are generally more efficient but need more maintenance cycles. The maintenance downtime is lower than a watertube, though. That is only of academic interest. The boiler will maintain steam in the line. Controlling it at the still is easy, and there are many ways (globe valve, needle valve..) I prefer to use a PID controlled pneumo- or servo-actuated pilot valve, with an inline needle valve and a ballvalve shutoff. Unless your still is under 250 gal, and then it's not worth the expense. My first real job was as a boiler maintenance engineer :-D Dan
  2. No offense, but I don't recommend acetic acid (vinegar) as a cleaner. Sure, it will work, but there are issues with removing it. I'd contact Loeffler and get some Lerapur 283 with a copper inhibitor additive. Use that, then rinse with hot water, then hit with a mild acid cleaner. AFTER your gin run, hit it with a detergent, such as Tide or Simple Green, before doing a CIP with L283, rinse, and acid. Some oils from botanicals are particularly sticky on metals. Dan
  3. In many cases, it is the "plasticizer," and not the sealing compound, that is leaching into your NGS. Unless you are using a platinum-cured silicone, I suspect you will see clouding again. As mentioned before, gaskets with a higher durometer, such as PTFE (Teflon) or HDPE are the best for high proof ethanol storage. They don't have added plasticizers to make the material softer or less brittle. Best of all is to use a one-use copper crush gasket, preferably without added graphite. The question is, other than a bottle of calibration fluid, why are you storing high proof ethanol for long periods of time? Dan
  4. Not all neutrals are the same. Botanical quality aside, the base of a gin is the distillate. You will find that the same gin made with different bases are different gins. Even if your corn ethanol is distilled "6x," it is still full of corn flavor. Other than NS being relatively inexpensive, it allows hardcore ginsmiths the ability to further tune their products. OR, you make your own neutral, and go from there. Just different approaches, like macerating vs. dry gin vs. compounding. Or rotovaping! No two of my gin clients use the same base neutral. Grape, wheat, barley, tapioca, potato...even cheese whey are their starting points :-)
  5. Keep an eye on mutations. Another thing is to periodically acid wash your pitch. Biggest issues with continuous processes is crud buildup in your equipment. Have fun!
  6. I use a 2" diaphragm pump plumbed in a loop on the tank. Run the pump for 3 min to mix the water and grain back into slurry, then flip a valve to transfer :-)
  7. That's what I was going to ask...pre-rinse or sparge can do this. When in doubt, sparge with filtered product in the loop.
  8. My guess is that you will be ok. With hoses, wadding up some PE film and pushing it through the hose slowly can remove TCA taint. On a pump, I'd replace any elastomer parts...same with bottler. Hitting stainless with steam and a passivating concentration of citric acid would be beneficial. Good Luck!
  9. I'd stick with the hot air. It's not fun, but if you use the ones that look like a soldering iron (instead of hair dryer) you can mount it on a stick. If you tie a rod across the manway, it's easier to brace on. But I think the seams will re-open. It sounds as if they were solvent-welded together, so the voids will extend out about 30 mm. Crappy. How about a 60 gallon sanitary can liner? Disposable. Cuts down on CIP time, too!
  10. Good arithmetic, good answer. How about "heat in = heat out." If you size the reservoir and delta T to match the BTU you're putting into the wash at the pot over the course of the run, then the resulting heat losses from still radiation give you a nice small margin of error for your res. Personally, I recommend sizing your cooling at 160% of your heating capacity, as there are always errors, and your res can be affected by its environment. Cuz I'm late for work, so no math from me today!
  11. Has your fermentation lag or total ferment time sped up recently? Has your proportion of liquid heads increased? Have you changed nutrient loads? Or have you started a new lot of yeast? And has your finishing pH been really low or wonky?
  12. I love those Bormioli grappa glasses. I use them at work. For blending, i like the Copita style glasses they have at Crate & Barrel. I use them at home, too. And they are ok in top rack!
  13. Rather than adjusting without first titrating, perhaps adding a pH buffer to avoid change is a good idea. Backset works if you're already collecting it. But it can be messy if you aren't. At what point are you needing to acidify?
  14. I put it in homemade citronella lamps. Wine bottle in a sconce with a wick. Add 2% citronella essential oil. Bye bye mosquitoes.
  15. Used, yes.