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JustAndy last won the day on October 12 2016

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About JustAndy

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  1. I wouldn't worry about it infecting your whiskey storage barrels. It's very possible depending on the type of equipment you have to get a persistent brett contamination of fermenters and etc but it would depend on your process whether that's a problem for you. We have some plastic fermenters that I'm certain harbor brett from some wine we worked with, but the 7 days that whisky ferments reside in them doesn't seem to be long enough to get much activity from it.
  2. I also think there will be a big rash of closures, and pretty soon. The distilling industry has spent the last 200 years going through boom and bust cycles, I'm not sure why that would change.
  3. I would be curious to see the filter that is going to let you filter a 60-70% corn mash bill. To me it makes more sense to design a whiskey around the capabilities of your equipment, rather than trying something that will always be an error-prone struggle. I also think you'll have a hell of a time trying to make that mash without an agitator/mixer in your vessel. We've used a method similar to what you describe to make bourbon mash in a 1000L IBC tote (with top cut off) and it requires the use of an agitator to get the grain mixed into the water.
  4. We had a copper one, but unfortunately found it communicated a copper-like smell to samples so we got a couple of stainless steel ones http://thevintnervault.com/index.php?p=view_product&product_id=4520
  5. It was called 'Distilled In Oregon' https://www.amazon.com/Distilled-Oregon-History-Cocktail-American/dp/1467137723/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484236666&sr=8-1&keywords=distilled+in+oregon My wife wrote the foreword, so we had an advance copy laying around the house. It was pretty fascinating if you have an interest in local history.
  6. Welcome! I was recently reading a book about the history of distilling in Oregon and was amused to learn that Eugene was originally named Skinner's Mud Hole, and there was a commercial distillery there as far back as 1856! Your labels look very nice, I look forward to visiting the next time I'm in Eugene. A place I work also used Hired Guns Creative for their branding, and were equally pleased with the results pictured here
  7. While changes to your fermentation scheme could certainly help, to me the issue sounds like poor performance on the 20 plate still. For vodka, we stripped wheat mash through a 5-plate brandy column with a small forescut (at about 90%), and redistilled that on a 20 plate CARL column. We still needed to take a heads cut during the vodka run, and even after the heads cut it was possible to produce clean 95% and dirty 95% all depending on the configuration and parameters (plate loadings, dephelg input, take-off speed, heat input, still charge). We would redistill the heads through the 20 plate, and after a generous heads cut were able to recover out about 70% of the total alcohol in that heads redistillation as usable (although very different from the core vodka produced, and use primarily for heavily flavored liqueurs). Who made the 20-plate still you are using? In my experience small stills are extremely touchy to get working consistently, and many are poorly/incorrectly designed. Before investing a lot of time and cycles into learning that equipment, I would suss out how practical it is to make vodka at that scale.
  8. Sorry, I was misunderstanding what you said in your original post. It would be helpful if you posted specifications for your equipment and process. So 20% of your 2nd distillation is heads, and when you redistill that none of it is usable to you? It is very strange sounding to me that you wouldn't end up making a heads cut when running your 'heart' through your 20 plate column. Even if you take a generous heads cut on the 2nd distillation, there will still be heads components smeared into the hearts when using only 3 plates (unless your still works very differently than ones I've used), and you should be able to separate those out with the 20 plate. That suggests to me when you are rerunning the heads through the 20 plate, the still isn't calibrated correctly and you are not getting very good separation. Lowering the charge strength to something like 25% when running through the 20-plate still would likely also help with getting better separation.
  9. When you are rerunning these heads, what is the abv charge of the still? Depending on the efficiency of your 3 plate, 20% of LPA for heads of heads doesn't seem outrageous. When we would do similar of running heads through the vodka column we probably took 10-12% as heads of heads to destroy.
  10. Sorry, we sold these. I'm looking forward to checking out your place the next time I'm in Pendleton!
  11. Is your wash actually juice from freshly crushed sugar cane, or is it some type of sugar you are re-hydrating?
  12. Accuracy Extract: 0.3 %w/w Sugar: 0.3 °Brix Alcohol: 0.5 %v/v Temperature: 0.2 °C / 0.4 °F Not accurate enough for official use.
  13. Planning to not make money at first is an excellent way of not making money ever.
  14. All the places I've worked, our carbon dosage rates were 10-to-40x less than what you are doing. Try pumping the spirit from the bottom slowly as described earlier in the thread?
  15. Your yield seems very low, from 200 lb of grain we get about 16-18PG vs your 11. I've used a bunch of different stills and distillation schema, and I don't find there to be many good rules of thumb of percentage breakdown of heads vs hearts vs tails. Because where you make cuts is very qualitative and subjective, you quickly end up comparing apples to oranges. On our 4 plate brandy still, when doing a single-pass distillation the % of hearts changes from 35-75% depending on the abv of the charge (4% fruit is about 35% and 13% wine is about 75%). Similarly, when double distilling how you process feints really change the heads/hearts/tails %. With 2-plates it seems unlikely to me that you should be trying to run it as a single pass distillation and should be instead double distilling it, or perhaps taking a very small heart cut and redistilling the rest.